Unlike other products that might come in varieties or brands, different types of weed are differentiated by their strain. Though “strains” are not scientific — in fact, science has time and again demonstrated that there is basically no genetic variation between strains — they are widespread, essentially dominating cannabis culture as the best way to talk about weed with different properties. Some strains have existed for decades, and some strains are created new every year to meet the diverse demands of weed users.
Whether you are new to cannabis or you want to try something new, here are some of the most important weed strains worth knowing about:
Arguably the single best-known weed strain in the world, Blue Dream has a sweet flavour and sweeter effects. This strain is a sativa hybrid, meaning it provides mind-energizing euphoria and deep body relaxation.
Admittedly, there isn’t just one OG Kush strain — there are over 91 different strains that share the famous name. Still, OG Kush is the genetic foundation for much of today’s weed, so sampling this critical forerunner is important for the development of any stoner.
Chemdawg is another strain that has left a genetic legacy on the current marijuana landscape. Peppery and citrusy with potent effects perfectly poised between calming and energizing, Chemdawg is a top-tier strain for Michigan recreational marijuana users.
Gorilla Glue #4 was a total accident of breeding, but it has become one of the most beloved strains in California dispensaries in recent years. Appropriately named for its ability to glue users to the couch, this sativa hybrid also uplifts one’s mood.
Fans of this strain attest that it is as delectable and addictive as the Girl Scout Cookies it is named for. Minty, sweet and a little dank — like the ubiquitous Thin Mint — GSC has won dozens of awards over the years for its impeccable ability to relieve stress.
It remains uncertain which came first — the movie or the weed — but today Pineapple Express is indeed a sought-after strain. With notes of bright mango and citrus and a powerful, immediate body high, this strain is perfect for watching Seth Rogan movies.
Super Lemon Haze is, as the name suggests, intensely citrusy and quite sweet. The winner of back-to-back Cannabis Cups, this strain is as pure as a sativa can get, providing euphoria, energy and creativity in spades.
Green Crack is the prototypical wake-and-bake strain. An intense sativa with sour, citrusy notes, this strain comes from the American South but is popular most everywhere.
This strain’s fame comes from its association with Rastafarian spiritual rites practised by none other than Bob Marley. Herbal and peppery, this strain is supposed to send a user’s brain into overdrive to provide intense introspection.
Though the name evokes violence and intensity, AK-47 is popular precisely because it is so pleasantly mellow. Steady, long-lasting and incredibly cerebral, this strain has sour and earthy aromatics but sweet, floral flavours.
Another strain particularly popular in California, Gelato tends to boast berry flavours mixed with some sweet cream — but different breeders have added other interesting notes, like florals and grass. The calming, relaxing effects come on fast and hard, so this strain is best at the end of the day.
A strain of many names, Sour Diesel has become so popular that even those unfamiliar with other strains likely recognize this one. Unfortunately, that means that many strains labeled Sour D often aren’t. Users should ask budtenders for true Sour Dies, which is sour and skunky and provides focusing, energizing effects.
Named equally for its sweet vanilla flavours and for its dense, white smoke, Wedding Cake is a new favourite among weed aficionados. This strain boasts high THC content, typically above 20 percent, but effects come on slow to provide a delightful feeling of weightlessness.
Forbidden Fruit is like a fruit salad, with aromas of tropical fruits, berries, citrus and more. Unique on this list, FF is best enjoyed in concentrate form, which provides deeper physical relaxation and pain relief while intensifying the flavour.
Sweet and buttery, Biscotti is a delightfully balanced strain. Instead of punching hard and fast, this strain eases users into a head high that leaves the body free and energized to get things done.
If you find a strain you love, you can stick to it — but you might find more fun trying a new strain every once in a while. These popular strains are some of the best and available almost everywhere, so you might snag some on your next dispensary run.