History of the Indica Cannabis Plant
The term “Indica” describes a species of the Cannabis plant that originates from the Hindu Kush mountain range. This area is located on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Indica plant is shorter and bushier than its Sativa counterpart, with narrower leaves. The buds tend to be denser and more resinous as well. People typically describe the effects of smoking Indica as relaxing and sedative. Thus making it a popular choice for those suffering from anxiety or Insomnia.
The history of the Indica plant can be traced back to the early 1800s. When French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was conducting research in the Himalayan region. Lamarck observed that the local people were using a particular type of Cannabis plant. This was to make a drink known as “bhang”. Many people in various parts of India still consume Bhang today. They prepare it by mixing Cannabis leaves and flowers with milk, spices, and water. People attribute medicinal properties to Bhang and often use it to treat diarrhea or indigestion.
Lamarck was intrigued by this plant and brought some seeds back to France with him where they were planted at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Paris. From these seeds, two plants emerged that would later become known as “Indica” and “Sativa” respectively. It wasn’t until around 100 years later that scientists began to study these plants in more detail and realized that they contained different cannabinoid profiles.
The Late 1900’s
In 1964, Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam isolated THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from hashish for the first time ever. This led to further studies into the effects of this compound on humans. It was during this period of research that it became apparent that there were distinct differences between Indica and Sativa. While both varieties produce THC, Indica strains tend to have higher levels of CBD (cannabidiol) which lends itself to its relaxation properties while Sativa has higher levels of THCVA (tetrahydrocannabivarin) which gives users a more energetic high.
During the 1970s, American breeders began crossing different strains of Cannabis in an attempt to create new hybrid varieties. Aiming for specific desired traits such as increased yield or improved flavor. One such breeder was Robert C., who created what he called “Skunk #1”. By cross-breeding various Afghani landraces with Acapulco Gold marijuana. Skunk #1 quickly became hugely popular thanks to its distinctive aroma (hence the name) and potent effects. Becoming one of the most widely cultivated strains in North America.
Today, there are thousands of different Indica strains available on the market each with their own unique flavor profile, potency, and set effects. With so much variety available, there’s sure to be an Indica perfect for everyone out there whether you’re looking for something relaxed, uplifting, or even couch-locking!