Why Cannabis Strains Look Different and How to differentiate them.

Cannabis strains have substantial distinctions in appearance, and few enthusiasts actually know why. Here’s why each kind of cannabis looks unique and how to recognize specific strains.

Marijuana strains can look very different. With a trained eye, you can identify various strains based on necessary characteristics. While hybrids have actually blurred the lines and made recognition more challenging, finding the difference between true indica or sativa plants is still reasonably straightforward. There is also a rare strain or an exotic zaza strain used to describe a high-grade weed with fascinating qualities that most strains don’t have.

A quality marijuana dispensary can help you make sense of the different strains and what makes them unique.

While the mind-altering results can often be the greatest hint, visual recognition is also important. Let’s take a look at why marijuana strains differ in their look and how to identify specific kinds.

Genetics is Key

There are 2 main reasons why cannabis plants have various appearances. The leading cause is genetics. Due to differences in weather patterns, soil conditions, and other factors in their specific native regions, indica and sativa plants developed specific characteristics to help them succeed.


Marijuana sativa is a tall-growing range with light, airy buds and long skinny leaves. Most pot leaves utilized in pop culture are that of the sativa plant. Sativa plants can reach upwards of 10 feet, making indoor growing tough. These plants are belonging to southeast Asia and areas near the equator and choose warmer conditions like their homeland. If you can break up buds without utilizing a grinder, you’re likely dealing with a sativa-dominant range.


Indica plants originated in continental Asia and grew short and stocky, with compact, dense flowers. This lower profile helped them survive the generally chillier growing conditions in Asia than that of the islands farther south. The leaves of indica plants grow broader than sativa leaves and are perfect for indoor or space-limited grow operations.

Temperature Level Includes Colors

As discussed above, temperature and climate play a significant role in growth qualities, but it’s likewise critical in adding lively colors to the flowers themselves. Cold growing temperature levels encourage darker colors in marijuana buds. Many growers have perfected the art of growing and present plants to differing temperatures to assist highlight these colors.


Because sativa come from warm, tropical environments, their flowers are usually brightly colored and lighter than indica plants. Timeless sativas Panama Red and Acapulco Gold produce brightly-colored flowers and are among some of the most convenient strains to identify aesthetically.


With cold temperatures encouraging much deeper colors, lots of indicas are often darker than sativas. Deep-colored names like Gelato, Purple Kush, and Grape Ape are all indica-dominant and can produce a few of the market’s darkest buds. Bud color is a lot more a sign of strain than the name, as ranges like Blue Dream lean to the sativa side.

As growers continue to call in genetics, visual appeal is becoming just as essential as impacts. Rainbow Kush measures up to its name and gives a great glance at what’s possible with successful hybrids.

Spotting Various Strains

With the above qualities, you’ll have the ability to limit the field between the two main kinds of cannabis, however figuring out the specific pressure will take more than just your eyes. Color frequently plays an important function in the identifying of a pressure, so search for subtle clues in the great hairs of the bud itself. The lighter the color, the most likely you’re handling a sativa strain.

Utilizing your nose will also help you narrow it down. Every plant produces natural compounds referred to as terpenes, which are extremely aromatic and function unique residential or commercial properties. Lots of indicas consist of the terpene myrcene, which has a musky, natural fragrance. Limonene is a common terpene in sativas, and you’ll find it in strains like Super Lemon Haze and Sour Diesel. There is some crossover in between sativa and indica on the terpene wheel, so use the total picture to decide.

With some practice, anyone can recognize weed strains simply by sight and odor. You may not be able to hit the exact hybrid strains, but you’ll know what terpenes you’re handling, and more importantly, the side effects you should expect along the way. Now that you understand why different strains look differently, you’re well on your way!