There are three major categories of marijuana: Indica, Sativa, and Kush. These categories used to be a lot more clearcut than they are now, because interbreeding has mixed cannabis genetics to blur the lines.

However, most marijuana breeders, growers and users still rely on those categories as a general description of how a specific marijuana strain will grow, and what the psychoactive and/or medicinal effects will be.

Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each category…

Indica Marijuana

Indica genetics mostly originate from the Middle East and India. Indica marijuana tends to grow short, wide, stocky, and sturdy, and is known for short bloom phases and huge buds. Indica bloom phase is usually 60 days or less. These strains are the easiest of the three categories to grow, and they yield the heaviest harvests.

They tend to produce sedation, relaxation, pain relief, couchlock, appetite increase and extreme, chill euphoria. They’re often used as medical strains to relieve insomnia, anxiety, spasms, and chronic pain.

Sativa Marijuana

Sativa marijuana originates from the tropics (Vietnam and Colombia, for example) and Africa, although some Sativa genetics have come from the Himalayan mountains.

Sativa cannabis tends to grow very tall, and can even get close to being an unstable vine-like plant under the wrong growing conditions. They also tend to take longer in bloom phase than Indica or Kush. In some cases, they can take as long as 120 days in bloom phase if not longer.

Sativa marijuana is stimulating mind candy. It can produce mild visual and auditory hallucinations, racing thoughts, high energy, and in novice users or people with worried minds: paranoia.

Sativa cannabis is hard to grow, especially indoors. It doesn’t handle inferior fertilizers well, and needs a specific amounts of light intensity and UV-B wavelengths to develop robust buds. Yields are low, and buds are often thin. But the high is like magic mushrooms, and you don’t find yourself falling asleep on the couch after using it.

Kush Marijuana

The Hindu Kush mountains that span regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan are the source of the majority of Kush genetics, although some have been sourced from lower-elevation desert regions of Afghanistan.

Kush is a very powerful, buzzy kind of cannabis, with a powerhouse body high and a euphoric head high (the head high is missing from Indica).

Kush is easier to grow than Sativa, but harder to grow than Indica. It doesn’t like overfeeding, and it prefers colder grow rooms and outdoor garden conditions. It has a longer bloom phase than Indica, averaging about 67 days, but shorter than Sativa.

Authentic Kush plants produce “popcorn buds.” Instead of the big fat ten-inch-long buds you see on Indica strains or thin Sativa buds, Kush buds are hard nuggets of resin the size of a ping-pong ball that grow up and down the side stalks.

General Advice On Whether to Grow Indica, Sativa or Kush

If you’re looking for fast-growing, hardy, easy to grow, heavy yielding plants that produce fat, gooey buds that give you a mostly-body high, grow Indica.

If you’re looking for slow-growing, long bloom phase, lower-yielding buds that will make you feel like you took magic mushrooms, grow Sativa.

If you want something in between Indica and Sativa, with a balanced body and mind high and a moderately heavy yield, grow Kush.

In future articles, I’ll be bringing you the top Indica, Sativa and Kush strains from around the world–so you can choose the best strains to grow. So come back to on a regular basis and learn the real deal about marijuana growing!