In the 18th century, European scientists noticed different species inside the cannabis genus, and Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus named European hemp cannabis sativa in 1753. Sativas are typically tall and thin with long branches and narrow leaves. Generally a lighter shade of green, sativa takes between 10 and 20 weeks to grow, and its maximum height is typically six feet for indoor grows and 20 feet for outside. Some researchers believe sativa and indica both originated from a common cannabis species in Central Asia. The impact of replanting this species in different geographic regions may account for the differences, and sativa thrives more in warmer climates closer to the equator in countries like Thailand, Mexico and Colombia.
The commonly accepted perception is that sativa offers a more energetic and cerebral high, promotes creativity and has a higher THC percentage than indica plants. Studies show that this is not always case, but some researchers suggest the outliers might stem from gene-pool hybridization, i.e., the plant is not a pure sativa. Nevertheless, sativa is considered the social choice for deep conversations and laughter and better suited for daytime use. Clinical studies suggest that certain sativa strains can potentially help treat depression, fatigue and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).