Most cannabis users and enthusiasts know that cannabis comes in two main varieties: the short, broad-leafed indica, and the tall, narrow Sativa. Indicas are often causing heavy, "stony" body highs, while Sativa strains are usually uplifting and energizing.
Many cannabis enthusiasts view Indicas as nighttime strains: perfect for smoking when relaxing at the end of the day or before going to bed, but definitely too heavy and sedating for daytime use. Meanwhile, Sativas can be seen as daytime strains that uplift, energize, and focus the user. If that sounds like it's your speed, check out some of the best Sativa strains:
Sour Diesel is one of the most well-known Sativa strains, all around the world. The high produced by this strain is energetic, and cerebral in ways that some users would describe as dreamlike. The strain's stress- and pain-relief properties, as well as its ability to help fight depression, have made Sour Diesel popular among medical patients. Believed to be descended from the well-loved Chemdog 91 and Super Skunk strains, Sour Diesel is definitely a Sativa worth trying.
Despite this strain's somewhat dubious name, it's one of the most well-loved and popular Sativa strains out there. It gets its name from its effects: Green Crack boosts energy (significantly, according to some users) and tightens focus, keeping users productive and invigorated. Users who are prone to cannabis-induced paranoia might want to take it easy on this one, but those who can hold on for the ride will certainly enjoy it. Green Crack has a tangy mango scent, and like many strains, can be used to combat fatigue and stress. Take note that there are actually two different genetic lineages called "Green Crack." The most common one is the Sativa, which is descended from a strain called Skunk #1. There is also a variety of Green Crack that is 75% indica, which is believed to be descended from a type of Afghani.
This strain contains large amounts of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a cannabinoid that suppresses appetite, reduces anxiety and anxiety attacks in PTSD patients, promotes the growth of healthy bones, and may help with diabetes and Alzheimer's. THCV is commonly found in landrace Sativa strains from Africa – such as Durban Poison. Durban poison is an intense, potent Sativa strain that one Leafly reviewer calls "the espresso of cannabis." This is because the strain is known to cause an energetic, clear-headed high without the haze or mental fog that is often associated with cannabis. This strain is perfect for productivity, energy, and alertness.
High Times calls this strain one of the strongest strains on Earth. It has been measured to contain more than 27% THC – enough to give even some experienced cannabis enthusiasts some pause. This strain is descended from Ghost OG and Neville’s Wreck, smells of sour citrus, and induces a euphoric, uplifting, energetic high. As with Green Crack, users who frequently experience cannabis-induced anxiety may want to steer clear of this strain.
Named after the famed marijuana advocate and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer is a strain that can live up to its namesake's reputation. It can contain up to 20% THC and is descended from a Haze hybrid, Nothern Lights #5, and Shiva Skunk. Sensi Seeds did this in the hopes of creating a strain with the heady, elevating effects of a Sativa with the Indicas' high level of resin production. As a result, this strain is a hybrid, leaning 55% toward Sativa. Users describe their highs after smoking some Jack Herer as happy, uplifting, and creative.
Created by breeding the well-loved Cinderella 99 with a sativa that was chosen because of its prominent grapefruit flavor, this strain contains a potent 20% THC. This strain smells delicious, and produces a happy, energetic high that many users love.
For the last decade, this strain has been widely regarded as one of the best Sativa strains by many users. A hybrid of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze, this strain tests at more than 20% THC and smells of zesty lemon. Along with a tart, citrusy taste, you can expect an energetic, giggly, motivated high. Just watch out for munchies!
Even if all this strain did when you smoked it was taste like strawberries, it would be delightful. However, Strawberry Cough’s delicious flavor isn’t the only thing the strain has going for it. Strawberry Cough is a potent 23% THC, and provides users with a blissful, anxiety- and stress-busting high.
This strain is bred from Chocolate Thai and Cannalope haze, and the result is a strain that contains a thick, earthy, coffee flavor that accompanies a hefty load of 22% THC. This strain, plus some coffee, equals the perfect breakfast combo for a productive weekend morning. It's a very energetic, motivating high, which makes it a good fit for both mental and physical activity. It's an extremely uplifting and relaxing strain, which might also make it a good choice for anxious or depressed individuals.
This strain is named after the Hulk's alter-ego, but a better name might be "Professor Hulk." Much like Professor Hulk, this strain is as calm, collected, and relaxed as Bruce Banner… but at more than 30% THC, it can still punch with all the power of Banner's big green rage machine. The strain hits hard, but after the initial peak of a high, the user settles into a euphoric, relaxed, and creative frame of mind.
When choosing a strain, the distinction between indica and Sativa can be a good place to start, but it's important to remember that there are other factors at play. Every strain of cannabis can contain a blend of more than 100 different cannabinoids, and 100 different terpenes. The combined effect of all of these compounds is what’s responsible for a particular strain’s effects. Add in the fact that different individuals react differently to these compounds, and the equation gets a bit more complicated. Fortunately, on average, most cannabis plants are quite similar, and so are most humans. So chances are, if the majority of people love these strains, you'll find something on this list for you.