Why do street dealers sell more indica than sativa strains?

Why do street dealers sell more indica than sativa strains?
Luke Sumpter

We've all been there: Your dealer says he's got something new in stock. Excited to try something different, you end up with yet another bag of indica, which, to be honest, isn't that different from the last stuff you bought. In this article, we explore why street dealers tend to sell more indica than sativa.

Do you live in an area where weed is still illegal? If so, ever noticed how most of the weed you get on the street is indica or indica-dominant? That is no coincidence of course.

Here are 4 reasons why street dealers sell more indica as sativa strains.


One of the main reasons your dealer likely stocks more indica than sativa is because indica is easier to grow. Indica strains (or indica-dominant hybrids) are known for being hardier, healthier plants compared to their sativa siblings.

Indicas tend to be less sensitive to nutrient deficiencies, and usually do well even with basic nutrient solutions. Sativas, on the other hand, are far more sensitive to the nutrients they are getting, and really benefit from specific nutrient solutions tailored to the different parts of their life cycle.

Indicas are also known to be more resistant to tough growing conditions. They are especially good at dealing with colder conditions and droughts. They also tend to be less susceptible to disease and better at fighting off pest infestations.


Remember, street dealers have one priority. And no, it’s not selling weed; it’s not getting caught. In most parts of the world, cannabis remains a controlled substance and the possession, cultivation, or sale of it is punishable by big fines and long jail terms.

Hence, since dealers are most concerned with not getting caught, they’re unlikely to grow their plants outdoors where they risk catching the attention of a nosy neighbor (or worse, a cop). Instead, illegal street dealers almost always grow indoors, sometimes in small spaces where they are unlikely to arouse suspicion.

That being the case, it's not hard to see why street dealers tend to grow more indicas. Sativas can be hard to control and really flourish when they’re grown in big, open spaces where they can really branch out. A solid indica plant, on the other hand, can be grown in a closet and still produce great weed.


Another major reason street dealers prefer growing indica has to do with yield. Indica strains are known to produce dense and heavy buds, whereas sativas tend to produce bigger buds that are noticeably wispy and light.

Again, this makes indica plants much more attractive to a dealer. Remember, these guys are really trying to maximize their profits with every harvest, seeing as they’re running a big risk growing and selling in the first place. As such, they’ll want to grow plants that produce the most weed (in weight) possible and maximize their turnover.

Also, remember that, because indica buds are smaller and heavier, they also take up noticeably less space to store or transport. If you’ve grown before, you’ll likely know that 500g of sativa bud looks like a lot more than 500g of indica, simply because the buds are so much lighter.

This is another important factor for dealers who are looking to keep their operation as secretive as possible.


One big difference between indicas and sativas is their flowering time. Pure sativa strains can take 90 days or more to bloom; some indica strains, on the other hand, can flower in as little as 45 days.

This is a huge difference, especially for a dealer looking for a fast turnaround from their plants. Remember, the growing stage is the most problematic for a dealer, as it’s when they’re most exposed. Once they’ve harvested their buds and stored them, they are much less likely to get caught than when they’re mid-grow, running powerful grow lights, fans, etc.

At the end of the day, dealers are looking for a fast way to make money without getting caught. The best way to do this is to grow fast-flowering indica strains indoors, which is why most of the weed you buy illegally is indica in the end.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Luke has worked as a cannabis journalist and health science researcher for the past seven years. Over this time, he’s developed an advanced understanding of endocannabinoid system science, cannabis phytochemistry, and cultivation techniques.