There are hundreds, if not thousands, of weed strains in existence that provide different effects. Since cannabis is easy to breed, new strains are created daily.  

Despite all of these different strains of weed, there are only two main categories of Cannabis: indica and sativa. Hybrid strains are made up of the many variations of indica and sativa bred together. 

This article shares all about the best strains in each category, their effects, what they’re good for, and more. 

Indica Strains

To start off, Cannabis indica gives you more of a relaxed body high. People gravitate towards an indica strain when they want to relax before bed or spend a night in.

Note: Very rarely is a strain ever 100% sativa or indica. However, the following strains are indica-dominant. 

Most Popular Strains of Cannabis Indica

1.Northern Lights

No list of strains would be complete without the world-famous Northern Lights! It takes effect throughout the body by relaxing muscles and sending your mind into a sweet euphoria. 

Often Used For

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Stress

Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush has gained popularity for its heavy tranquilizing effects. It boasts sweet hashish flavors with notes of chocolate and coffee. Bubba Kush helps ease muscle pain and destroy stress. 

Often Used For

Blue Mystic

Blue Mystic stems from unknown genetics, but it definitely contains some Blueberry and possibly some Skunk or Northern Lights. It has a distinctive blueberry aroma, but the potency is fairly subtle compared to other marijuana strains

Often Used For

Pineapple Kush

Pineapple Kush smells and subtly tastes like pineapple, hence the name. This strain is derived from Pineapple and Master Kush. The buzz is commonly described as cerebral, with a light body sensation.

Often Used For

  • Relaxation
  • Stress
  • Depression

Fat Banana

Experienced smokers only! This strain can reach 25%+ THC content – just a few puffs is enough to get you high. Fat Banana is one of the leading medical marijuana strains. The high is felt primarily in the body and is great for relieving pain.

Often Used For

  • Pain
  • Relaxation
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Hindu Kush

Hindu Kush is a pure indica strain. With a subtle sweet and earthy sandalwood aroma, this strain induces a deep calm that can bring relief to those using medicinal cannabis. 

Often Used For

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Stress 

Afghani 

Originating in the mountains of Afghanistan, this sedative strain is perfect for many medicinal uses. It will give you a high primarily felt in the body. It’s one of the weed strains cherished by breeders because it’s easy to grow and can resist nearly anything. 

Often Used For

  • Insomnia 
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Depression

Girl Scout Cookies

GSC (also known as Girl Scout Cookies) is an OG Kush and Durban Poison hybrid. With a sweet and earthy aroma, you’ll be swept into a full-body relaxation.

Often Used For

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Appetite Loss

Master Kush

This heavy indica strain provides ultimate feelings of relaxation, along with sleepiness. 

Often used for 

  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety
  • Migraines

Sativa Strains

Weed Strains - Indica

Cannabis sativa provides a more energizing head-high. Unlike indica, people choose sativa-dominant strains when socializing or working on creative projects.   

Most Popular Strains of Cannabis Sativa

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a sativa-dominant strain named after its pungent, diesel-like aroma and energizing effects. Stress, pain, and depression fade away in long-lasting relief that makes this strain a top choice among medical patients. 

Often Used For

  • Euphoria
  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Relaxation

Lemon Haze

Lemon Haze has been named one of the best sativa strains. It smells like fresh peeled lemon slices, with a similar taste. The buds appear to be green and yellow with amber hairs, giving it the recognizable yellow tint. 

Often Used For

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Pain

Green Crack

Green Crack promotes sharp energy and focus as it induces an invigorating mental buzz that keeps you going throughout the day. It’s one of the few strains of weed that’s great for daytime – it helps fight fatigue, stress, and depression. 

Often Used For

  • Euphoria 
  • Focus
  • Pain

Durban Poison

This sativa strain has gained popularity for its sweet smell and uplifting effects. It’s the ideal strain to help you stay productive during a busy day, when exploring nature, or to spark creativity. Breeders love it, often naming it the best sativa to grow indoors.

Often Used For

  • Euphoria
  • Focus
  • Creativity

Strawberry Cough

Strawberry Cough is a sativa blend with a unique strawberry scent. The cerebral, uplifting effects provide a lovely euphoria. It’s a common strain for managing social anxiety and to balance yourself out during elevated stress. 

Often used for

Maui Wowie

Another of the most popular cannabis strains is Maui Wowie. It’s just as uplifting as it sounds! The tropical flavors and stress-relieving qualities will send you to the shores of Hawaii. It boasts sweet pineapple flavors and high-energy euphoria effects. 

Often used for 

  • Euphoria
  • Energy
  • Creativity

Jack Herer

The 55% sativa-dominant Jack Herer combines a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk cross. There have been several variations of this strain, each with its own unique effects. However, it’s typically described as blissful, clear-headed, and creative.

Often used for

  • Creativity
  • Focus
  • Pain 

White Widow

White Widow has easily made our list of top 10 weed strains in the sativa category for many reasons. It greets you with a burst of euphoria and energy. Instead of putting you to sleep, it stimulates conversation and creativity, making it a great strain for social situations. Users are able to relax, while remaining fully functional. 

Often used for

  • Creativity
  • Social Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • PTSD

Super Silver Haze

This strain promotes uplifting effects and an energetic high that’s long-lasting. At the same time, it’s very relaxing and is a good all-in-one strain. One of the intriguing weed strains you’ll definitely enjoy.

Often used for

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Nausea

Headband

This strain could be called unique because users report they feel a slight pressure around the crown of their head (as if they were wearing a headband). It promotes long-lasting relaxational effects.

Often used for

  • Pain Relief
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Hybrid Strains

Weed Strains - Hybrid

Hybrid strains are made from breeding cannabis strains (indica and sativa) together. Each hybrid strain has different chemotypes and different effects. 

It’s impossible to keep up with all of the hybrids in existence – breeders create new versions every day. However, there are a few combinations that cannabis enthusiasts love.  

Most Popular Hybrid Strains

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant cross between Blueberry (indica) with Haze (sativa). The high THC content easily provides full-body relaxation. It’s one of the best strains for anxiety and stress relief as it doesn’t have heavy sedative effects. 

Often Used For

  • Daytime use
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Stress

Banana Kush

Banana Kush is a combination of Ghost OG and Skunk Haze. True to its name, this indica-dominant hybrid tastes and smells like bananas. It provides a mellow high with a relaxed euphoric feeling. 

Often Used For

  • Stress 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Pineapple Express

Sounds familiar? This is one of the most popular weed strains – it even has a movie about it! Pineapple Express is a cross of Trainwreck and Hawaiian strains. It tastes woodsy and slightly like pineapple. Pineapple Express provides an energetic buzz that’s long-lasting (often used to get the creative juices flowing). 

Often Used For

  • Creativity 
  • Euphoria
  • Focus

Grape Ape

Grape Ape is one of the many purple weed strains. This indica-dominant strain crosses Mendocino Purps, Skunk, and Afghani. It even smells like grapes! People love the relaxational effect. It’s purple because the dense buds have a high amount of anthocyanins in their leaves, which are natural pigments that darken as the strain reaches maturity. 

Often Used For: 

  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety 

Purple Haze

Purple Haze belongs to weed strains that descended from Purple Thai and Haze. This vibrant, purple-colored strain provides high-energy activation and awakens creativity. 

Often Used For

  • Creativity 
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Headaches

Grandaddy Purple

Grandaddy Purple (or GDP) is an indica cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud. Many people believe it to be one of the best strains of all time. This bud boasts a grape and berry aroma, while the flowers show off shades of deep purple. It’s potent, delivering euphoria and relaxation. 

Often Used For

  • Strong pain
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite loss
  • Muscle spasms

Mimosa

This strain has garnered praise as one of the best marijuana strains for its outstanding fruit punch, citrus aroma, and pleasurable mid-level buzz. Mimosa is a cross of Clementine and Purple Punch. It contains a respectable percentage of the terpenes limonene and beta-caryophyllene.

Often Used For

  • Creativity
  • Relaxation
  • Focus

Girl Scout Cookies 

This hybrid of OG Kush and Durban Poison has a sweet and earthy aroma, with a full-body high. Patients needing strong relief choose this strain for severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss. This is one of the few strains of weed that has won numerous Cannabis Cup awards. 

Often Used For

  • Happiness 
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Pain

Tahoe OG

Strong and fast-acting, this strain may not be used when you’re planning to leave the house. It provides an extremely lazy, heavy body sensation. Tahoe OG embodies all of the typical indica effects with an added euphoric, sativa-like kick. It features an earthy, lemon taste.

Often Used For

  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Relaxation
  • Sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite

Gorilla Glue

This strain will glue you to the couch! Cannabis enthusiasts place it among the best weed strains because of the intense relaxing qualities. 

Often Used For

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Chemdawg

Chemdog is known for its distinct scent, similar to diesel. It tends to be very potent. Depending on growing conditions, this strain tends to have THC levels between 15-20%. Consumers can expect to have a very cerebral experience with a heavy-bodied feeling. 

Often Used For:

  • Depression 
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Stress
  • Pain

Ice

This careful creation was tested thousands of times before finally combining Skunk #1, Afghani, Northern Lights, and Shiva genetics into one potent strain. Most report Ice as having a very heavy indica-type buzz, while some variations can present a more uplifting sativa-like effect.

Often Used For:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation 
  • Stress

Best Weed Strains For Focus

Weed Strains - Focus

  • Green Crack
  • Jack Herer
  • Durban Poison
  • ACDC
  • Harlequin
  • Super Lemon Haze

Best Strains for Depression & Anxiety

  • Blue Dream
  • Sour Diesel
  • GSC
  • OG Kush
  • Grandaddy Purple
  • Northern Lights
  • Bubba Kush
  • AK–47

Best Weed Strains for Creativity

  • White Widow
  • Blue Dream
  • GSC
  • Headband
  • Chemdog
  • LSD
  • Agent Orange

Best Weed Strains for Pain

  • Blue Dream
  • Sour Diesel
  • GSC
  • Green Crack
  • OG Kush
  • Grandaddy Purple
  • Pineapple Express
  • AK–47
  • Northern Lights
  • Grape Ape

Narrowing It Down

With so many different types of weed, it can be hard to narrow down which strains to try. Our advice? Just get out there and try some that sound intriguing. You can read about all the different options and the differences, but your best bet will be to experience them yourself since there are so many. 

The main decision you’ll need to make is choosing between indica vs sativa. After this, we’d recommend experimenting as much as you can! Everyone has different preferences and favorites when it comes to cannabis. 

Also, do be careful about the THC content. Marijuana can stay in your system longer than you realize. Sensitive tests are able to trace THC in your body even months after you smoked a joint.

All About Cannabinoids & Terpenes

THC: We’ve mentioned THC a few times throughout this top weed strains article, but what exactly is it? Let’s jump straight to the point – this is the molecule in cannabis that gets you high. It affects multiple areas of the brain including memory, pleasure, movements, concentration, thinking, coordination, and perception. 

CBD: You’ve probably heard this term before. CBD oil has risen to popularity in the last few years. The legal substance is derived from industrial hemp, a type of cannabis that contains very little THC and high amounts of CBD. It can be purchased in all 50 states as long as the THC content is 0.03% or under. A few high CBD strains include Charlotte’s Web, Ringo’s Gift, ACDC, and Harle-Tsu. 

Terpenes: Terpenes add distinctive aromas and flavors to plants. They exist for adaptive purposes (to repel predators and lure pollinators). Each terpene is associated with unique effects. When looking at the many different strains of weed and their effects, terpenes are a large reason they vary. 

There are many different terpenes in cannabis. Myrcene, for example, is the most abundant – some plants can have up to 65% of their terpenes profile made up of it. It’s responsible for giving marijuana its distinctive aroma, has relaxing advantages, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

FAQs

Weed Strains - FAQsHow do I choose from so many different strains?

If you’re completely lost, the main difference you should look at is sativa strains vs indica strains. Your choice depends on what type of high you want. Do you want a relaxed high? Do you want an energetic high that sparks creativity and excitement? Is there some particular aroma you indulge? Aside from this, you don’t need to get overly picky when picking a strain. Once you’ve played around with different ones, you’ll find what you like best. 

What types of weed are used to make CBD oil? 

Marijuana typically isn’t used for CBD extraction, unless you’re trying to make CBD oil with high THC. The legal CBD oil is made using industrial hemp, a type of cannabis that’s bred to contain very little THC and high amounts of CBD. It’s also used to make other legal hemp products

How many strains of weed are there?

As we have mentioned at the beginning, it’s very hard to know exactly how many. However, we’d say there are more around a thousand known and replicable strains. 

Why do strains vary in color?

Color is one of the many key factors when learning how to identify weed strains. There are purple, blue, amber, and more shades or hints to look for. Different strains change color because of anthocyanins in cannabis plants. These natural plant colorants are responsible for the colors in fruits, vegetables, and flowers as well. 

What is the highest THC strain?

Godfather OG is claimed to be the most potent marijuana strain in the world. It has a THC content of over 34 percent! This goes without saying, but newbies should hold off on trying this strain. It’s very sedative and powerful. If you’re suffering from a severe medical condition and other strains don’t work well enough, try Godfather OG. For an extreme effect, you could try some of marijuana concentrates.

Bottom Line

To sum up, there are hundreds of weed strains to try out and new breeds are being invented daily. Since everyone has different preferences and experiences when it comes to cannabis, we recommend trying as many different strains as you can to figure out what you like best. We wish you the very best of luck in finding your perfect strain(s) of weed!