In A Nutshell
Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are very different in their chemical composition, effects, and medical applications—sativa affects mostly the mind, indica mostly the body.
The Whole Bushel
Despite its status as a Schedule 1 narcotic in the United States, the medical benefits of marijuana are well-established enough that many states have legalized its medicinal use. Many are unaware that there are two very distinct breeds—sativa and indica—which have very different compositions, affects, and applications.
To a typical user, Cannabis sativa will produce a strong head buzz. This can produce the stereotypical euphoria and creativity, as well as the stereotypical paranoia and edginess. Indica, on the other hand, affects mostly the body—producing a kind of numbing, analgesic effect that most medical users find effective in controlling pain.
This is because sativa is higher in the psychoactive ingredient (THC) in marijuana, while indica is generally higher in the “cannabinoid” (CBD) that relaxes muscles and eases pain, with minimum psychoactive effect in purer indica strains. Weed, indeed, is not just weed.
Of course, our Nut Quote is slightly misleading. While hemp is closely related to marijuana, the differences are even greater between those two strains.