Cannabis plants can be divided into three basic varieties: sativa, indica and ruderalis. These varieties originally grew in different climate zones and differ in appearance, growth pattern and effects. Most of the plants are a hybrid between sativa, indica and ruderalis. In the ‘specifications’ section of every seed we sell, you can read about its origins.



Sativa plants can grow very tall, up to 3 meters. They grow in equatorial regions with a relatively warm climate. The flowering period usually takes quite long: between 9 and 12 weeks. During the flowering period, the plants may still grow fast.

The leaves of a sativa are long and thin and the space between the twigs (internodes) is larger than in an indica plant. This gives the plant a more open appearance and makes it easier to harvest.

Sativas usually smell sweeter than indicas and contain relatively large amounts of THC. They have a more ‘high’ and activating effect.

‘Haze’ varieties are mainly sativa, like for example Super Lemon Haze or Arjan’s Haze #3 from Greenhouse. Kali Mist from Serious Seeds also is a typical sativa.


Indica plants don’t grow very tall, and therefore are more suitable for a balcony or indoor growing. They originated from the Hindu-kush region of Central Asia. Their flowering period is relatively short: 7 to 9 weeks.

The leaves of an indica are wide and short and the plant has a ‘woody’ structure, as the twigs grow much closer to each other than in a sativa.

The smell of an indica is more intense, though less sweet than the smell of a sativa. Indica plants contain higher levels of CBD and have a more ‘stoned’ and relaxing effect. They’re also more suitable for medical use.

‘Skunk-varieties are indica-dominant, like for example Super Skunk Automatic from White Label or Sweet Skunk Automatic from Royal Queen Seeds.

nice illustration of the three types of cannabis plants


The ruderalis is a very small plant with a short flowering period. It’s indigenous to Eastern Europe and Russia and adapted to cool environments with little light and short days.

A ruderalis has small leaves and looks most like a bush. The plant can reach a maximum height of 1,5 meters. In a ruderalis, flowering and growth are not clearly separated.

A ruderalis usually has very low THC levels and therefore is less interesting to cultivate. However, hybrids between a ruderalis and an indica or sativa can be very valuable.

Automatic flower varieties are the result of cross-breeding with a ruderalis: they usually keep the positive characteristics of the indica or sativa plant, though they’ll stay short and don’t require much attention. Autoflower plants flower automatically after about three weeks, regardless of light cycles. This can be very useful for those who want to cultivate cannabis outdoors in cooler climates.

Northern Lights Autoflower from Vision Seeds is a cross between a ruderalis and an indica. Roadster V8 from Fast & Furious is a cross between a ruderalis and a sativa.

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