- What are cannabis strains?
- How many strains exist?
- The truth about indica, sativa & hyrbids
- Best strains for different uses
No one would expect to walk into a cannabis dispensary and find a lineup of cannabis that was all the same. From Do-Si-Dos and Tahoe OG to Peanut Butter Breath and Cease & Desist, you will see an impressive collection of colorful cannabis that has its own name.
These names are given to specific cannabis strains, and these names have grown to be how we differentiate one type of cannabis and its effects from another. But, what are cannabis strains exactly, and how much does a strain name matter? Let’s take a closer look.
What are cannabis strains?
Cannabis is known today as an incredibly diverse plant. However, the real OG cannabis is thought to have originated from one place: Central Asia. Over the centuries, the plant was carried all over the world and numerous cultivars started to show up as people who were fond of the plant experimented with crossbreeding different varieties. This is speculated to be how the earliest cannabis strains were birthed.
As time has passed and we understand more about cannabis and cannabis constituents like cannabinoids and terpenes, horticulturists have readily crossed different varieties to create strains with certain attributes. For example, some strains have been specifically bred to contain a high amount of cannabidiol (CBD) and a low level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or vice versa. Further, each strain has its own terpene profile, which can further alter the outcome of using the plant.
How many different cannabis strains are there?
While the list is ever-growing, some research from 2015 did give a number: at least 700 unique cannabis strains were thought to exist. New strains are quite literally developed almost every day as skilled breeders play around with crossing different plants to create new strains with the most desirable attributes.
Of course, not every strain makes its way into the limelight or gets its day in the sun, but some become true superstars, such as the original Chemdog strain. Today, there could very well be thousands of cannabis strains, some more well-known than others.
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains
For the longest time, heavy emphasis was placed on whether a strain was Indica, Sativa, or a Hybrid (mix of both). The common belief was that Indica strains were more sedating, Sativa strains were more energizing, and Hybrid strains offered the best of both worlds.
However, these perceptions about Indica versus Sativa and so on are not hard and fast rules when it comes to how a strain will affect you. While these designations have their place, they are more valuable when looking at plant genetics and physical characteristics and not necessarily when understanding the effects.
The Truth About Common Strain Types and Effects
The more important determinants of how a strain will affect someone are the exact cannabinoid and terpene compositions. For example, you can have a high-THC strain that is high in the limonene terpene and is Indica-dominant but still gives you energy. Likewise, you could run into a Sativa-dominant strain that has potent concentrations of myrcene, so it leaves you glued to the couch or ready for bed.
Here at Canna Provisions, we tend to stay away from emphasizing whether a strain is Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid simply because the lines have truly blurred between anticipated effects. Instead, we usually refer to strain types as either calming, balanced, or energizing, regardless of whether they offer the Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid genetic background.
Best Cannabis Strains for Different Reasons
The specific strains that people prefer for different reasons are debatable. And, not a lot of formal research has examined which strains work best for which ailments or purposes. However, by examining the terpene and cannabinoid content, the anecdotal reports, and the usual effects of different strains, there are a few strains that stand out for different uses.
Best strains for sleep?
In general, the best strains for sleep are going to be higher THC strains that have a nice dose of myrcene, which is considered a sedating terpene. Look for calming strains known to help you relax. A few good examples include:
- 9 Pound Hammer
- Grandaddy Purple
- Grape Ape
- Blue Dream
- Airplane Glue #3
Best strains for anxiety & depression?
The best strains for anxiety and depression can vary depending on the specific symptoms you want to target. If you have a great deal of anxiety due to stress, there is a nice collection of strains reported to help, such as Girl Scout Cookies and Jack Herer. Some strains are more specific to depression because they are touted for inducing a state of happiness that can help elevate your mood. A few examples include Sour Diesel and Mac 1, which is one of the newest Chemdog strains.
Best strains for pain?
The better strains for pain tend to deliver a nice mix of relaxing effects and a good mood lift. You can go in a lot of directions here, but a few common strains for pain include:
- Bubba Kush
- Purple Kush
- White Widow
- Northern Lights
- Super Silver Haze
Different strains can also be more fitting for different types of pain or even when someone in pain is looking for relief. For example, something like Northern Lights works well at bedtime because it is a more sleep-inducing strain. But, White Widow is good for energy but is also super relaxing, so it’s a good option for people that need to stay alert but without as much bodily pain.
Best strains for productivity?
The best strains for productivity can truly vary depending on the type of productivity you are really going for. For example, the best strains for ADHD would be those that help the mind relax and focus, but the best strain to be more physically productive would be energizing strains that get you up and moving. Some of the more energizing strains include:
- Sour Diesel
- White Widow
- Pineapple Express
- Maui Wowie
As far as strains that would leave you feeling focused and productive to combat symptoms of ADHD, some of the better strains would be the more balanced varieties that yield calming and energizing effects all in one. Something like Jack Herer, which is known for both energy and focus, or Lemon Skunk, which promotes invigorating focus, are good choices.
Discover Premium-Quality and Top Strains at Canna Provisions
Thanks to the loosened regulations surrounding cannabis, people in multiple states now have access to carefully curated cannabis strains that may be better built to target certain issues. You can truly learn a lot about cannabis by taking a closer look at the common strains and their cannabinoid/terpene composition, and it is a lot of fun to explore the different effects.
As you explore various strains, always trust a reputable dispensary for the best experience. Take a look at our menu at Canna Provisions, which includes a diverse lineup of strains.