Breaking Down Different Strains of Weed and Their Effects

holding a cannabis nug up outside

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When you're new to cannabis, all the different strains of weed and their effects can be confusing. What’s the difference between indica and sativa strains? What's a hybrid? How should all these make me feel and why? Keeping your weed strains isn't that hard once you get the hang of a few basic concepts.

For one, indica strain effects are relaxing, felt largely in the body, and can send you to sleep. Sativa strains, on the other hand, have a high with energetic, focusing effects that present mostly in the mind. The more you smoke and the more you pay attention, the easier it is to discern between certain effects. But are any of the different strains of weed better than others? No, not really! It's all about what you enjoy, so read up and learn which of the different strains of weed and their effects suit you the best!

Indica Strains

indica cannabis plant

Indica cannabis strains are great for relaxing. Indica cannabis strains are used by consumers to help a variety of things, and they’re also used for recreational consumption. If you’re learning about different strains of weed and their effects, most agree that it’s best to smoke indica strains in the evening or at night to avoid demotivation or unwanted naps.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a well-known indica strain bred from crossing Thai and Afghani. With a THC content of 17-26 percent, Northern Lights is potent and stoney. Expect a fast, hard-hitting high with the stereotypical indica effects of relaxation and an uplift in mood. Northern Lights should be consumed at night or on days with few obligations since the strain is known to reduce motivation.

Grandaddy Purple

If you want a famous indica, look no further than Grandaddy Purple. The offspring of Purple Urkle and Big Bud, Grandaddy Purple truly is an indica worth trying. Though this strain's THC content clocks in around 17 percent, it still presents with a heavy high – probably coming from Grandaddy Purple's recognizable, resin-coated nugs. This strain of weed and its effects are different from most indica strains since Grandaddy Purple has been known to induce a high as cerebrally stimulating as it is relaxing. While you probably won't be running a marathon or finishing a dissertation after smoking GDP, you also probably won't care. After all, no one smokes an indica strain looking for motivation.

Indica-Dominant Hybrid Strains

indica dominant hybrid bud

Indica-dominant hybrids are similar to more pure indica strains but lack the full indica effect. While you will still experience a heavy body high with indica-leaning strains, it won't be as pronounced as with heavier indicas. Expect a balance of effects and perhaps less couch lock than with a pure indica.


Headband is the offspring of notable strains Sour Diesel and OG Kush. As its lineage would suggest, this strain produces an awesome, indica-leaning high with a potency ranging between 17 to 20 percent THC. Smoke Headband one bowl at a time to avoid this strain's noticeable creeping effects or else you might end higher than you intended to be! Expect a slow-hitting high with spacey side effects. Headband's more balanced effects as an indica-dominant hybrid mean you're unlikely to end up locked to the couch, so feel free to smoke this strain whenever you want. Headband is great for hiking, chilling, or even creative pursuits – so long as you don't smoke too much of this potent strain, that is.

Tahoe OG Kush

If you want an indica-dominant hybrid with all the relaxing effects of an indica and just a hint of a sativa-like body high, then look no further than Tahoe OG Kush. Mellow, uplifting, and oh so relaxing, Tahoe OG Kush is perfect for unwinding after a long day. As the offspring of Tahoe OG and SFV Kush, Tahoe OG Kush really is a perfect blend of indica and (just a little) sativa influence. Tahoe OG Kush hits fast though, so be ready for a fast-acting high.

Sativa Strains

close up shot of marijuana bud showing different strains of weed and their effects

When looking into different strains of weed and their effects, you’ll find that the effects of pure sativa strains are energizing, focusing, and should definitely not send you to sleep. Perfect for smoking anytime, especially during the morning if you want to spend your entire day productively stoned. Cannabis consumers with demanding jobs or busy lives tend to smoke sativa strains for their energizing effects. Pure sativa strains are known to cause some paranoia, so make sure to take it slow if you've never tried a pure sativa strain before!

Green Crack

If you have things to do, people to see, and only a little time to smoke, Green Crack is the strain for you. With a respectable THC content of around 17 percent, Green Crack is just potent enough to get you high and keep you there without taking it overboard. As a pure sativa weed strain, Green Crack should present with energetic effects. This strain is also known for causing unusual side effects like arousal, inspiration, and increased motivation. So pick up some Green Crack and see for yourself just how energizing a little weed can be. Who knows, you might even end up cleaning the house, doing your taxes, and calling your mom (though, realistically, you probably won't).

Jack Herer

Jack Herer, named for the late politician/weed activist, is a pleasant sativa with a THC content clocking in around 16 percent. Don't let the mid-range potency fool you though; Jack Herer is a popular strain for a reason. Its fast-acting high that leaves consumers feeling happy and uplifted. As a pure sativa strain, Jack Herer's high is very much in the head and should not cause fogginess or any sort of hazy high feeling. Smoke this strain before getting creative or brainstorming ideas since its stimulating high will keep you as entertained as you are focused.

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid Strains

container of cannabis flower showing that different weed strains and their effects

Sativa-dominant hybrids are perfect for people who want to smoke during the day but don't want the possible side effects of pure sativa strains. Uplifting, but with the relaxing weight of an indica influence to keep sativa-dominant weed strains from inducing overly-energetic highs. If you’re new to learning about different strains of weed and their effects, you might not know what you like. The general sativa hybrid advice would be to smoke sativa-dominant hybrids if you enjoy a clear-headed high.


Trainwreck, as the name would suggest, is a hard-hitting sativa-dominant strain with a whopping THC content of over 20 percent. A cross between Mexican Sativa with Thai Sativa and Afghani, Trainwreck's high is a pleasant mix of mental and physical relaxation. Expect to feel a notable cerebral buzz from the heavy sativa lean, followed by a mellow body high. This strain is great for sedentary conversation, but should not be smoked before big events. So clear your schedule for your own personal Trainwreck and you'll enjoy a potent sativa-like high with just a little bit of indica-induced body relaxation.

White Widow

White Widow is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain with an intimidating THC content of over 24 percent. Bred by crossing Brazilian and South Indian Indica, White Widow has made a name for itself as a famously well-balanced strain. White trichomes, dense nugs, and a pungent scent are traditionally found on White Widow buds. This strain should smoke smoothly and is great for socializing. Expect the traditional sativa effects with a boost in energy, mood, and sometimes creativity. White Widow is the perfect weed for smoking at any time and can be used from dawn until dusk (and even the hours in between)!