Saturday, January 19, 2019

Marijuana is something of a paradox when it comes to anxiety. On the one hand, pot is well-known to cause mild panic and paranoia in many users. At the same time, countless medical cannabis patients attest to the drug’s ability to alleviate anxiety and stress.

The reality is, patients with anxiety disorders often do benefit from medicinal pot, but it’s important to find the right marijuana strains to do the job. Here’s a list of some of the best strains for anxiety.

Grandaddy Purple

Cannabis for Anxiety
Grandaddy Purple

“Purps,” as the kids call it (or used to), is an all-time favorite among stoners both medical and recreational, but it’s especially popular for its ability to calm chronic anxiety.

Granddaddy Purple is a near-pure indica made by combining Purple Urkle and Big Bud. With such strong indica heredity, this strain is ideal for treating stress and insomnia, both common aspects of anxiety and panic disorders, as well as lack of appetite and depression.

Purps generates a decent amount of euphoria, but mostly the sensation is physically relaxing and sleepy. That makes it a great choice for drifting off without the endless distraction of anxiety.


Best Weed for Anxiety

Most medical marijuana patients seek out pot with high levels of THC. That makes sense, as getting high is part of the healing process for many. But for others, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

That’s where Cannatonic comes in. This cannabis hybrid, one of the best strains for anxiety, offers an equal balance of THC and CBD, another critical chemical component of the marijuana plant. The THC still provides a kick, but the CBD helps reduce the anxiety and paranoia that can come with it.

Bubba Kush

Marijuana for Anxiety
Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush, another potent indica classic, delivers a strong dose of drowsiness and physical relaxation. A few quick puffs are followed by loosening muscles, lifting moods, and a blast of euphoria.

This California native is noted mostly as an effective therapy for stress, both physical and mental, and for chronic pain. Anxiety, as anyone who has experienced it knows, often comes in the form of physical pain, lack of appetite, and insomnia – all symptoms that respond to Bubba Kush.

Blue Dream

Weed for Anxiety
Blue Dream

Sativas aren’t typically associated with unwinding, but this favorite hybrid manages both a deep sense of calm and a healthy wallop of cerebral euphoria. Best of all, Blue Dream usually coes packed with THC, making it a great choice for patients with daily anxiety, stress, and pain.

What’s more, this strain works faster than most, delivering medical benefits in a matter of seconds without leading to couch-lock. For this reason alone, Blue Dream is one of the best strains for anxiety.

Strawberry Cough

Best Strains for Anxiety
Strawberry Cough

Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental illness, and it can cripple a person’s ability to function in the wider world. Thankfully, there are marijuana strains such as Strawberry Cough that can help.

Like Blue Dream, this is mostly a sativa, but the pep it generates is part of how it works, adding a bit of social energy while also keeping distractions and panic to a minimum. That can make it easier to enter any room with less anxiety, more confidence, and a greater sense of calm.


There’s a good reason sativas reign supreme when it comes to the most popular marijuana strains. They offer pep, euphoria, and a heady high perfect for the middle of the day.

But some sativas are in a class above the rest. From Sour Diesel and Blue Dream to Headband and Durban Poison, the best sativa weed comes in many stripes. Here are our choices for the 10 best sativas of all time.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a top-notch sativa weed strain that has earned both its name and its unbeatable reputation. It’s been around for a long time, first appearing in New York City in the early 1990s, and it is known above all for the strong aroma of gasoline it produces.

The taste and smell are also quite sour, naturally, with notes of citrus, earth, and pine needles. The high is mellow, relaxing, and cerebral. You can’t go wrong with this original, one of the best sativa strains in history.

Sour Diesel
Sour Diesel

White Widow

The name doesn’t come up in pop culture as often as it used to, but White Widow is easily one of the best strains of sativa weed on any market, legal or otherwise. First bred in Amsterdam in the early ’90s, this still-popular staple is often described as a balanced hybrid, but the effects definitely swing sativa.

Those effects include potent euphoria, powerful bursts of energy, social pep, and increased creativity. The “white” part of White Widow come from the dense layers of silvery trichome glands covering the bud of this sativa weed. That alone gives a sense of just how strong this strain can be.

White Widow
White Widow

Blue Dream

Easily one of the best sativa strains of all time, Blue Dream can be found in almost every corner of the United States. It’s a hybrid, but the sativa side almost always wins out. That’s obvious in the upbeat high of this super-soothing sativa weed.

Blue Dream has a long history in California, the state with which it is usually associated. But it was actually born in Florida in the early ’90s before making its way to stardom on the West Coast.

Blue Dream
Blue Dream

Jack Herer

If Jack Herer is one of the all-time best sativa strains, its namesake was an even bigger deal. Jack Herer – the real Jack Herer – was a tireless advocate for reform on behalf of stoners and medical marijuana patients. Within the community, he remains a hero.

The high is clear-headed and energetic, much like the man himself. Also a product of the ’90s, this strain mixes a heavy dose of sativa weed with a smaller portion of indica genetics. That makes it more potent (indica) but also headier and more effective (sativa).

Jack Herer
Jack Herer


Haze ranks near the top of almost every list of history’s best sativa strains. A parent of countless other favorites, this California native first popped up in the 1960s and has since spread to every corner of the globe. It’s a mix of genes from plants in Mexico, South America, and Asia.

Haze has a spicy aroma with hints of earth and citrus fruit. More importantly, the high produced by this great sativa weed is powerful, energy-inducing, and creative.



Super Silver Haze

One of the many sativa descendants of the original Haze, Super Silver Haze is a great choice for medical marijuana patients who suffer from stress, nausea, or lack of appetite. Like its famous parent, this popular sativa strain is thick with trichomes and generates an uplifting, long-lasting head high.

There are physical effects, too, giving Super Silver Haze just a touch of indica. That fine-tuned combination of effects has made this strain a top choice since the late 1990s, when it won three Cannabis Cup awards in a row.

Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze



Anyone who buys pot off the black market has heard the name “Headband” more than once. Probably many times. It’s easy to find almost anywhere, it’s usually pretty cheap, and yet it is clearly one of the best sativa strains available.

A cross of OG Kush and Sour Diesel, Headband comes with frosty buds, a Kushy taste, and an aroma that combines coffee, diesel, spice, citrus, pine, and soil. Potency varies widely, but the best batches are quite strong.

Headband strain

Maui Waui

This near-ancient sativa weed strain has made appearances again and again throughout pop culture history. It first came on the scene out of Hawaii in the 1970s. It’s alternately known as Maui Wowie, Maui Wowi, and Mowie Wowie, with little agreement on the proper spelling.

But we do know this strain is a favorite for its aroma of pineapples and the tropics. The high is pleasant if not exactly punchy, but Maui Waui is one of the best choices for a day when you don’t need to get blasted.

Maui Waui
Maui Waui


Green Crack

Don’t let the name fool you: Green Crack sativa weed isn’t especially addictive or bad for you. It certainly won’t kill you. In fact, you may go to your grave with regret if you never try it.

Likely a product of the 1970s, Green Crack remains one of the best sativa strains out there. The taste and smell are sweet and fruity, while the high is powerful, uplifting, and relaxing. This sativa is perfect for reducing stress and relieving chronic pain.

Green Crack
Green Crack


Durban Poison

Durban Poison, the last on our list of the best sativas, hails from Africa – specifically, the South African port city of Durban. Its sugary smell and happy, energetic head high have made it a low-key favorite, especially among hardcore stoners.

Few sativas are better for a busy day, but Durban Poison is also great for making edibles and concentrates. Trichomes are plentiful, making this a strong, effective choice, one of the all-time best.

Durban Poison

Leave a comment and let us know: What is your favorite sativa strain?

See also:

The 10 Best Indicas of All Time


It shouldn’t be terribly surprising that stoners tend to prefer sativa strains over indicas. Sativas create an appealing pep that improves a day and helps with lots of medical conditions.

Indica strains, on the other hand, are sleepy, relaxing, best for late nights and rainy weekends in front of a flat-screen. They’re great for a lot of people, but more like a nightcap than a cup of coffee (note that the people of the world drink far more coffee than booze).

Still, a stellar indica is a thing of beauty. So here are the 10 best indicas of all time. You might not agree, but try them all if you can.

Granddaddy Purple

Granddaddy Purple is among the long-time favorites of indica aficionados. It’s also known as Grandaddy Purp, but by any name it packs a potent punch.

A cross of Purple Urkle and Big Bud, Granddady is a relatively new strain, just 13 years old. It first made a name for itself in California, but has since spread to almost everywhere weed is commonly found.

Grandaddy Purple Best Indicas
Granddaddy Purple

Northern Lights

If you’ve never tried or at least heard of Northern Lights, you can’t really call yourself a true pothead. This Amsterdam native is easily one of the best-known strains on any market, black or legal. It’s one of the all-time classics.

Northern Lights descends from original Thai and Afghani landraces (strains that develop in the wild). Layered in crystals, this powerful indica smells of spice and sugar. Effects are euphoric and deeply relaxing, ideal for sleepless nights.

Best Indicas - Northern Lights
Northern Lights


A legend in its own time, Blueberry is a parent of numerous other favorites, including the massively popular hybrid Blue Dream. Blueberry traces its roots back to landraces first subjected to breeding in the 1970s.

And this lovely indica hasn’t lost any of its charm over the years. It took home the Cannabis Cup in 2000 and retains a huge following among both recreational and medical users. And of course, there’s the hunger-inducing smell of blueberries.

Best Indicas - Blueberry

Pineapple Kush

Most part-timers and young potheads turn their thoughts to Pineapple Express when they hear the tropical fruit in the same sentence as “weed.” Express appeared after the movie, but Pineapple Kush is the real thing, a descendant of the indicas Pineapple and Master Kush.

The smell and flavor are tropical, with strong notes of pineapple and mint. While not known for its strength, this strain produces cerebral effects mixed with a bit of physical relaxation. The key is in the balance.

Pineapple Kush - Best Indicas
Pineapple Kush

Purple Kush

This one is pure indica. It comes out of the Bay Area, a genetic blend of Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani, both popular indicas in their own right. Users say Purple Kush creates a powerful, long-lasting mental euphoria paired with physical stress relief.

Perfect for anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, Purple Kush sometimes gets lost in the sea of Kush strains. “Kush” is a hot term in stoner and pop culture circles, but even most hardcore potheads would have a difficult time distinguishing the many strains that bear the name. Like all A-list kush strains, though, this is an unmistakable indica.

Purple Kush - Best Indicas
Purple Kush


Ice is technically a sativa/indica hybrid, but the indica side usually wins out. This strain descends from Skunk #1, Afghani landraces, Northern Lights, and Shiva, and it produces a heavy physical high.

The aroma of Ice is similar to gasoline or diesel, and the bud is blanketed in a thick coat of THC crystals. Expect to get very high, and expect to feel a lot better after smoking this winning indica.

Ice - Best Indica Weed

Blue Mystic

Little is known about the origins of Blue Mystic, though it could come from a mix of Blueberry and a Skunk strain or maybe Northern Lights. It smells a bit of blueberries, but less so than that strain.

Nugs are covered in snowy crystals that give the bud a grayish tint. The high can be powerful – or not. But its subtle smell and small plant size make it easier to grow and use in close quarters.

Blue Mystic - Best Indica Strains
Blue Mystic

Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush has become one of the world’s favorite strains, best known for its sedative effects and physical relief. It tastes of hash with tones of chocolate and coffee. Euphoria mixes with a heavy, tranquil state that promotes couch-lock and deep sleep.

Bubba is a Kush, of course, but it isn’t nearly so old as the earliest Kush strains, hitting the market about 1996. The genetics are a cross of an OG Kush hybrid and an indica plant from New Orleans (no one seems to remember what that was called).

Bubba Kush - Best Indica Strains
Bubba Kush

OG Kush

Few strain names carry such glory and notoriety as “OG Kush.” It’s near the top of almost any list of timeless indicas, maybe the best ever.

Potent and tasty, OG Kush is often categorized as a sativa, but its (unclear) heredity and the name “Kush” suggest it’s mostly indica. It is widely considered a California native, as it sells wildly there and appears frequently in West Coast hip-hop lyrics, but it actually came out of Florida in the early 1990s.

OG Kush - Best Indica Marijuana
OG Kush


The last on our list of best indicas is named after another popular tropic fruit. Papaya is undoubtedly an indica, at least in terms of its genes. But users report it often produces a more sativa-like experience, with pep and psychoactive effects.

Even so, the indica background of this papaya-scented strain gives many users a sense of mental calm and tranquility. In addition to the smell and taste of tropical fruit, Papaya includes spice notes and a peppery smell.

Best Indica Strains - Papaya

How many from the list have you tried? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know.


Charlotte’s Web is the strain that started it all. Without this life-saving medical treatment, thousands of patients, many children, would lack an effective means to reduce severe epilepsy.

A sativa with low THC levels and high CBD levels, Charlotte’s Web was bred specifically as medicine for children with intractable seizure disorders. Many of these kids suffered dozens of convulsions a day; this strain all but eliminated those seizures and saved many lives.


The “Charlotte” of Charlotte’s Web is Charlotte Figi, a Colorado girl whose parents led a successful nationwide campaign to make CBD pot available to epileptic children like her. Charlotte experienced up to 300 seizures each week until she used a CBD-heavy strain grown by the Stanley Brothers. The Stanleys designed Charlotte’s Web specifically for her.

Charlotte's Web Marijuana Strain
The strain took its name after Charlotte Figi.

In the years since, more than a dozen conservative states have passed laws allowing CBD marijuana. Another 25 allow “whole plant” medical cannabis, which includes both CBD and THC. But without Charlotte Figi, hundreds of American families would not have access to effective medication.

High CBD-to-THC ratio

Charlotte’s Web contains less than 0.3 percent THC, making it a poor choice for getting high. CBD levels vary from one crop to another but are almost universally strong. It’s not clear how CBD affects epilepsy, but scientists believe the chemical may quiet electric overactivity in the brain.

The lack of psychoactive effects makes this an ideal choice for children, especially those with disorders that don’t require THC. Kids (and adults) who use Charlotte’s Web can function fully through the day.


There are some potential side effects, including dizziness and dry mouth. Anxiety and headaches are also reported but are relatively rare.

Charlotte's Web Marijuana Strain

This strain is relaxing and uplifting, making it a good choice for many insomniacs and victims of anxiety disorders. CBD can also be an effective painkiller, anti-depressant, and anti-spastic medication for many patients.


Charlotte’s Web has an earthy smell and flavor with notes of pine and flowers. It’s grown across the country, but mostly in the Mountain West and on the Pacific Coast. It’s easiest to find on the legal pot markets of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan.

Charlotte's Web

There isn’t really much point in seeking out Charlotte’s Web for recreational use, or even for medicinal use unless you have some evidence of its effectiveness in treating your symptoms. But it is one of the best medical strains available on any legal market, and it has played a major role in generating public support for MMJ laws.

Without Charlotte’s Web, the movement to end cannabis prohibition would likely be stuck years in the past. This remarkable strain has not only changed lives, it has changed the course of marijuana reform – and American history.

Tell us: Have you ever tried Charlotte’s Web? Do you know anyone who has? Leave a comment below.


Don’t let the name fool you: As marijuana strains go, 9lb Hammer is not known for delivering a sledgehammer high. That’s not because it doesn’t – THC levels can be fairly strong – but because its real value is as medicine.

9lb Hammer
9lb Hammer

In fact, this strain isn’t even named after a real hammer; it apparently gets its moniker from a Seattle dive bar.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of either the bar or the strain. This isn’t an especially famous type of weed, at least not outside of medical marijuana markets, but its popularity is growing on the West Coast.

9lb Hammer is a genetic blend of Jack the Ripper, a sativa; Hell’s Angel OG, a hybrid; and Gooberry, an indica. Each has its fans, but like their Hammer offspring, none top any bestseller lists.

The indica side dominates in this strain, making it a good choice for patients who suffer from stress and chronic pain. Depression, insomnia, anxiety, and inflammation can also be treated with 9lb Hammer.

The high is heavy, strong, and long-lasting, a definite indica experience that makes this a good bedtime medicine. And with at least a touch of CBD, 9lb Hammer may help ease the kind of physical pain that can lead to opioid addiction.

The heavy body-centered effects are deeply relaxed and sleepy, with potent euphoria and a subtle mood boost to end the day. This strain will leave you hungry, so maybe give yourself an hour between toking and sleep for a snack.

Like any cannabis strain, 9lb Hammer causes a few short-term negative effects – mostly dry mouth, dry eyes, and occasional paranoia. Dizziness is also possible, as well as more generalized anxiety.

This strain has an earthy flavor and smell, with notes of grapes and other sweet berries. The taste has been compared favorably to more popular grape strains, especially Bubblicious.

You’ll have a hard time finding 9lb Hammer anywhere on the black market, but it sells in many medical pot dispensaries on the West Coast, as well as in Nevada and Colorado. It’s a THC-heavy strain, so some recreational shops may also sell it.

Whether you suffer from chronic joint pain, the side effects of radiation therapy, or panic attacks, 9lb Hammer is worth a try. And there’s no disputing that it has a great name.

Tell us: Have you come across 9lb Hammer? What did you think? Leave a comment below.


“Acapulco Gold”: Even to people who have never touched a joint, blunt, or bowl, these words immediately evoke a certain era in the history of American drug culture. It was a time when marijuana shipments crossed the country in VW vans, when weed was “grass” and an ounce was a “lid,” when potheads were still American outlaws.

It might be something of a surprise, then, to learn that Acapulco Gold is still a staple of tokers from coast to coast. It tops few lists of local favorites, but its long, almost mythical reputation guarantees it won’t be going anywhere soon.

But how good is this legendary strain, really?

Acapulco Gold is a classic sativa strain, with strong, peppy effects perfect for daytime errands or an afternoon picnic in the park. Or maybe at a protest or drum circle or surf-off, if those are your things. Even knowing this strain still exists should give you some street cred.

If you need empirical evidence that today’s Acapulco Gold lives up to its glory days in the 1960s, look no further than the 2010 Cannabis Cup competition, where the strain was declared top sativa 50 years after it became the weed of choice for Baby Boomers.

Acupulco Gold Marijuana
Acupulco Gold has been a popular strain since the 60s

You may have to look pretty hard to find this wonderful strain, unless maybe you live on the West Coast (or Mexico), but it’s definitely worth the effort. The high is distinctly focused, social, bubbly, energetic, and enjoyable. If you’re looking for a fun, relaxing day as summer draws to a close, Acapulco Gold is a good way to go.

Limited side effects

Side effects tend to be pretty limited, with dry mouth and red eyes most common. Anxiety and paranoia are limited, but the high typically doesn’t last very long. Acapulco Gold is a great choice for everyday life, not so much for nights when you want to blast into orbit. The munchies are strong but not overpowering, and there isn’t much in the way of an unpleasant edge to the experience.

Numerous medical uses

Acapulco Gold has a number of medical uses: It’s an effective painkiller and stress reliever, but it also helps with depression, anxiety, and spastic disorders such as multiple sclerosis. As a standard sativa, it isn’t very sedating, so you can use it throughout the day without needing to nap. Of course, that means it’s less than ideal for insomniacs, but no strain delivers everything.

Leave a comment and let us know: Have you ever smoked Acapulco Gold? What did you think?


Every season demands a marijuana toke list, and summer is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a peppy sativa to liven up an August barbecue or a lazy indica for a day at the beach, some strains just taste, smell, and feel like summer.

In that spirit, here are the five best cannabis strains for July 2016. Get outside, get baked, and bake in the sun. Enjoy!

Black Jack

Black jack nug

This uplifting hybrid blend of Jack Herer sativa and Black Domina indica is perfect for a relaxed but happy July afternoon. Take a few hits, head out the door, grab some iced coffee, and zonk out at the park. Or spend a day at a baseball game feeding the munchies with overpriced hot dogs and watery beer.

Either way, Black Jack is one of the hottest cannabis strains for hot days. It traces its roots to the Bay Area, and what starts in California usually spreads fast, so if you can get your hands on Black Jack, try it soon.

Red Congolese

Best Cannabis Strains

Red Congolese is a potent, high-end sativa, a blend of Congolese Sativa and landraces from Mexico and Afghanistan. It’s one of the best cannabis strains available at any time of year, but it’s an especially good choice for staying alert during dreamy blue-sky days.

Red Congolese is also effective in treating depression, attention-deficit disorders, nerve pain, and dementia – and it’s hard to enjoy the great outdoors when you’re not feeling well.

Florida Juicy Fruit

Best Cannabis Strains

Florida Juicy Fruit is a bouncy, aromatic sativa, one of the best cannabis strains born in California, ideal for warm, active days and late, humid nights. Its ancestry includes a heavy genetic dose of Thai sativa with additional influences from an Afghan indica.

This strain is not new; it’s been around since at least the 1990s, when it became hugely popular in Miami. High in THC but low in CBD, this is a great choice for getting high in July, whether you’re mowing the lawn, relaxing at the beach, or hiking in the mountains.

Blue Dream

Maui Waui
Blue Dream
is an old standby that almost everyone has heard of, potheads and otherwise. But it’s an old standby for a reason. This perpetual favorite inspires lazy days staring at clouds in the sky or tanning in the backyard, and it just generally makes summer better.

Blue Dream remains one of the best and most popular cannabis strains on the West Coast, especially in Southern California, but it can be found almost everywhere else in the United States, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia, all places where marijuana is legal for any use.

Chem Dog

Chem Dawg Strain

Though Chem Dog (aka Chem Dawg) has been around for a while, it only reached its current stratospheric THC levels in recent months. Winner of the 2015 Cannabis Cup, this hybrid mix of OG Kush and Sour Diesel can flower with THC concentrations upwards of 30 percent. That’s a potent blast of weed, fall, winter, spring, or summer.

Chem Dog is best saved for dog days when there isn’t much happening. But be careful: With a strain this strong, you may need some help making your way to the nearest Dairy Queen.

Tell us: What’s your favorite summertime strain? Why? Leave a comment below.


First-time pot smokers are often surprised to learn how many choices there are. Available marijuana strains number by the hundreds, if not the thousands, and like a selection of fine wine, each has its own unique qualities: flavor, aroma, euphoria.

Cannabis has always come in strains, but their modern proliferation is strictly a result of intentional cross-breeding by farmers. So how have the most popular strains changed over time? Here’s a primer of the best-loved strains of the last half century.

1960s: Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold

No generation has one absolute “favorite” strain, but the closest thing to that in the 1960s was probably Acapulco Gold. The name still evokes scenes of young surfers trafficking pot cross-country in Volkswagen vans, as well as the era’s many drum circles, communes, and free blues festivals.

Acapulco Gold is still around, and with good reason. A peppy sativa, it’s been baked into stoner lore over the years, with a reputation that hasn’t diminished with time. In fact, this strain won top sativa at the 2010 Cannabis Cup awards, five decades after it became the go-to choice of the Baby Boom.

1970s: Thai Stick

Thai Stick

There’s a common misconception, spread far and wide by people who oppose marijuana reform, that weed is much stronger these days than it used to be. There is probably a kernel of truth to this, as today’s most potent strains are unquestionably stronger than the top strains of yesteryear. But that doesn’t mean much.

We know the best strains of the 1960s and ’70s were pretty strong because we’re still growing many of them, and they don’t seem to be any weaker than most modern choices. Unfortunately, Thai Stick isn’t one of the strains that stuck around, vanishing after the end of the Vietnam War as trafficking routes dried up and Asian countries cracked down on the drug trade.

1980s: Maui Waui

Maui Waui

It’s hard to imagine today, with so much selection, but early stoners were often stuck with little choice in what they toked. Until the advent of medical marijuana in California, “schwag” was the most widespread form of cannabis: cheap and weak, often shipped across the border from Mexico in degraded brick form.

But as cocaine swept the country in the go-go ’80s, better varieties of marijuana were also spreading. Maui Waui was a sign of that growth, breaking into the public consciousness thanks to 1979’s Up in Smoke, the first movie by Cheech and Chong. The strain is still popular, though it no longer tops many lists.

1990s: Blue Dream

Blue Dream Marijuana Strain

In 1996 California voters made their state the first to legalize medical cannabis. This was the point at which the availability of choice strains exploded. One of the earliest commercial favorites was Blue Dream, a West Coast hybrid that leans toward the pep of a sativa while relieving stress with its indica genes.

Blue Dream remains hugely popular nationwide, especially as medicine. Its versatility proved that marijuana strains can be grown for niche uses while still appealing to the masses. It’s a winning recipe that growers have emulated for the last 20 years.

2000s: OG Kush

OG Kush

Easily one of the most potent and beloved strains of all time, OG Kush showed up on the Pacific Coast in the late 1990s, but it didn’t really take off until at least 2000. Around that time, it became a staple of rap songs, the “OG” translated to “original gangster.”

So what does “OG” really mean? We’re not sure, and neither is anyone else. Possibilities include Ocean Grow, OverGrow, Original Genetics, and even Original Gangster, though that term didn’t show up in hip hop until after OG Kush started its rapid spread. Either way, OG Kush dramatically boosted the cachet of unique strains of weed.

Tell us: What do you think was the best strain of all time? What’s your personal favorite? Comment below.


Blue Dream is the strain of choice for potheads in Washington and Colorado, according to a report released in February.

Blue Dream Strain Contain2BDS Analytics reported that Blue Dream was the best-selling cannabis strain in both states in 2015. A sativa-dominant cross of indica Blueberry and sativa Haze, Blue Dream is especially beloved on the West Coast.

BDS collects information about sales of both recreational and medical marijuana in Washington and Colorado. The data come from participating dispensaries and include more than 20 million individual sales in the United States.

Blue Dream topped the list

Blue Dream tops the list at least in part because of smart marketing, said Roy Bingham, the firm’s founder and CEO. Since legalization took effect in both states, budtenders have pushed the strain hard, Bingham said.

“We have literally thousands of strains in our database, and Blue Dream is No. 1 in both Washington and Colorado,” he said. “There’s clearly marketing around individual strains, and budtenders point consumers in the direction of a particular product. I imagine that soon there will be less opinion and more science around that.”

In other words, Blue Dream may not hold the top spot for long, as research determines how specific strains work as recreation and medicine. But the branding push isn’t limited to the legal market. The strain has long been a favorite on the black market as well.

Originated in California

Smoking Marijuana JointIt originated in California and is still very popular there. But it has long since spread to every other corner of the country, and it is sought-after even in places where customers have little choice in the strains they buy.

Bingham said the branding effort now includes every imaginable cannabis product.

“We’re now seeing the emergence of branded products in Colorado,” he said. “People are packaging products similarly to any consumer product you’d get on the shelves at CVS or Walgreens. That started with ingestibles, and now it’s also the case with concentrates, as opposed to flower that is weighed in front of you by a budtender in the same way you would buy bulk in a health food store.”

And it isn’t just Blue Dream. The BDS list includes many famed strains, from Durban Poison and Sour Diesel to Grape Ape and Headband. With the exception of Sour Diesel and Blue Dream, the lists are completely different.

As Bingham notes, this probably has less to do with the actual qualities of these strains than it does with advertising and packaging. Budtenders are likely pushing regional favorites in these places.

Of course, legal marijuana accounts for only a small fraction of the cannabis market in America. The vast majority of pot is bought on the black market, where it is impossible to determine which strains are most popular.

But it’s a safe bet every strain on the BDS list has made the rounds on the illegal cannabis market many times. And there’s a very good chance Blue Dream would top that list, too.


Marijuana comes in all kinds. Sativa, indica, ruderalis, hybrid. Edibles, vapes, joints, bongs. And hundreds upon hundreds of names.

There are so many strains of cannabis by this point that no single source offers anything like a complete list. But it’s not hard to find some downright weird names for weed. Here are our 10 favorites.

MoonshineTripleproof Blue Moonshine

Also known as Triple Proof Moonshine, this sativa-dominant strain may be a myth. There is very little information beyond its possible association with Blue Moonshine, an indica blueberry. Where “Tripleproof” comes from, no one seems to know, but let’s hope it means this strain packs the same wallop as real moonshine.

Spicy White Devil

This sativa earns its bewitching name by mixing Jack Herer and the Original Blueberries, both potent strains in their own right. The high is euphoric and long-lasting, delivering a strong dose of THC. As for the name, it’s a devilish mystery.

Wild Thai Ryder

There’s skunk, and then there’s Sweet Island Skunk. This super-potent sativa mixes a pure Thai strain with a high-quality ruderalis to create some of the strongest THC concentrations in the world. The high is intensely euphoric and exhilarating, great for medical use.

Sweet Island Skunk

This energetic strain is also known as Island Sweet Skunk. It’s a sativa and a descendant of Skunk #1. It produces a peppy high, and it tastes and smells of “sweet skunk,” an aromatic blend of traditional skunk and tropical fruits.

Steve McGarrett’s Hair

Steve McGarrettNobody seems to know – or care – what this strain has to do with the real Steve McGarrett’s hair, but that’s beside the point. The name is great, and the lineage is impressive, with roots in Brazil, India, Afghanistan, Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand. And the high is perfect for a night spent binge-watching Hawaii Five-0.

Triple Afghan Slam

As the name suggests, Triple Afghan Slam is a descendant of three pure indicas from Afghanistan. This strain is intense, with a lot of THC and a deep, relaxing body high. The nugs are lime green and frosted with trichomes, hinting at the “Slam” in Triple Afghan Slam.

The Simpson Kush

Is this strain an homage to “The Simpsons?” Was it grown by someone named Simpson? No one seems to know. But we do know this indica is a cross of two famed OG Kush lines: SFV OG Kush and Fruit of the Gods. Despite its indica heritage, The Simpson Kush delivers a fast, uplifting, and motivating high.

Exodus Kush

As with most of the strains on this list, the story behind Exodus Kush is foggy at best. Stoners don’t generally name strains after books of the Bible, and it’s unlikely the growers were thinking of Israel or the movie with Paul Newman. But who really cares? The most important thing is the powerful, narcotic body high – an experience that will make you want to do anything but flee.


Ouch! Ironically, this painfully named indica works well as medication, especially as treatment for – you guessed it – pain. And it’s so strong the original grower of this strain said it made his left nut tingle.

Poison Dwarf

This three-way hybrid (sativa/indica/ruderalis) combines Northern Lights #2 and Mexican Ruderalis to produce a thick layer of resin. The poison, naturally, refers to this strain’s “poisonous” potency, though THC levels aren’t terribly noteworthy. The dwarf is more of a mystery – but isn’t that half the point?