There are so many different strains of cannabis available today. In fact, experts estimate that over 700 varieties have been identified. Finding the one that works best for you and provides the effect you want to achieve, can be a challenge. Like any other health and wellness routine, consistency is important for effectiveness. Therefore, finding the right strain is critical.
Strains are commonly broken up into three groups: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Indicas are physically sedating, perfect for relaxing or a nighttime routine, while sativas have an energizing effect that goes well with physical activity and creative projects. Hybrid strains are thought to have a mix of indica and sativa.
But there is momentum in the cannabis industry to replace the indica/sativa/hybrid classification system because the terms are actually botanical names that refer to a plant’s structure, not the effects it produces. Instead, many are now referring to the chemical compounds - cannabinoid and terpenes - to classify various strains, and these chemicals can change the effects and efficacy of the plant
According to the Mission Cannabis Club, these are the most popular strains:
Blue Dream Pineapple Express
Girl Scout Cookies Trainwreck
Sour Diesel Lemon Diesel
Cheese Durban Poison
According to Leafly, these were the top selling strains in 2022:
Ice Cream Cake Pineapple Express
Blue Dream Sour Diesel
Wedding Cake MAC
Gelato Purple Punch
Original Glue Durban Poison
Pineapple Express, made popular by Seth Rogan, will likely make most compiled lists. Known for its uplifting and euphoric effect, it’s great for daytime use, as it helps to increase energy levels while also increasing creativity. Blue Dream is also very popular because of its calming effects, making it great to use before bedtime or in the morning when you need some relief from stress. Durban Poison, despite its name, is a perfect balance between euphoria-inducing happiness with an uplifting sensation to help you feel energized.
Whatever strain you are considering, it is important to do the research and understand the chemical compound or terpene profile of the strain:
- The terpene myrcene is known for its sedative effects, making it a good choice for those struggling with insomnia or anxiety. It has an earthy, musky scent.
- Limonene is known for its uplifting effects, making it a good choice for those struggling with depression or fatigue. It has a citrusy, lemon scent.
- Pinene is known for its anti-inflammatory effects, making it a good choice for those struggling with pain or inflammation. It has a piney, woody scent.
- Caryophyllene is known for its anti-anxiety effects, making it a good choice for those struggling with anxiety or stress. It has a spicy, peppery scent.
Finding the right strain can be a matter of trial and error. It's important to start with small doses and gradually increase until the desired effects are achieved. Keeping a journal to track the effects of different strains can also be helpful in finding the one best suited to you. Using the same strain consistently allows individuals to better understand how it affects them and adjust the dosage accordingly. This can also help to avoid building up a tolerance to the effects of the plant.