If you've ever stepped foot inside a dispensary or have recently encountered cannabis, chances are you've come across the term "sativa.”. But what does it mean, and how does it differ from its counterpart "indica"? And if you want a sativa strain, how do you know which sativa to choose?
Sativa cannabis refers to strains, or varieties, of weed known to produce energetic, cerebral highs and is often associated with daytime consumption. Sativa strains differ wildly from indica strains, which are known for inducing a more relaxed and body-centered high.
In this article, we explore some of the best sativa strains that 2024 has to offer and how they can elevate your mood, energy, and well-being.
What is Sativa?
The phrase "sativa" refers to one of the primary types of the cannabis plant, as differentiated from its counterparts, indica and ruderalis. Sativa plants feature tall and thin stalks with long, narrow leaves that are usually lighter in color.
Colloquially, cannabis users use the word "sativa" to describe strains that produce energizing and uplifting highs. They're often cited for producing creativity and a sense of euphoria, contrasting with the more relaxing and sedative effects of Indica strains. Sativa cultivars offer unique characteristics that make them well-suited for daytime activities, such as hiking, social hangs, and studying.
Benefits of Sativa Cannabis
Typically, sativa strains contain high levels of THC, and some landrace sativas are recognized for their abundant concentrations of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Conversely, sativa strains often feature lower naturally occurring levels of CBD compared to indica strains.
Sativa strains infuse users with a surge of creativity, uplift their spirits, and boost their energy. They're the go-to choice for many when they want to revitalize routine tasks, be it artistic pursuits or participating in outdoor activities.
A quick energy boost is another reason many turn towards sativa strains, with some consumers citing enough extra motivation to exercise, hike, or run long distances. Sativa-dominant options, such as Green Crack and Super Silver Haze, are often celebrated for their energizing effects.
Sativa strains with higher levels of CBD may enhance your concentration, but the exact amount of focus achieved varies from person to person. In some instances, those who consume high-CBD strains – even if they're sativas – may experience more relaxation.
Most sativas naturally feature less CBD than other hybrid or indica varieties, but small amounts may improve focus.
The 8 Best Sativa Strains
Hawaiian Haze is a favorite here at Evn, where it's the source sativa strain for several of our THC products. This zesty sativa is known to provide both energy and mental clarity, thanks to its mixture of Haze and Hawaiian landrace genetics.
With a tropical flair, Hawaiian Haze produces pineapple and mango-forward aromas with delightful tropical fruit flavors on every smoke. A few tastes will transport users to a tropical getaway, no matter where they enjoy themselves.
Sour Diesel is hailed as one of the market's all-time favorite sativa strains. Originating from the East Coast of the United States, Sour Diesel is so-named for its signature sour, fuel-like aromas. Its fragrance mixes lemon scents with gasoline pungency, which provides an aromatic kick-in-the-pants of energy and fuel.
Sour Diesel packs higher amounts than the average of THC, with some strains lab testing up to 24% content - though exact amounts depend on the flower's genetics and growing environment. With such high potency, Sour Diesel is a sativa strain best reserved for moderate to more experienced cannabis consumers. If you're a beginner, it's best to start with a tiny amount or opt for another strain altogether.
Anecdotal claims associate Sour Diesel's high with a burst of inspiration, making it well-suited for musicians or creators who need a rush of mental creativity and focus to make their art. Sour Diesel is also a good choice for social environments, encouraging talkative moods and relaxed, happy vibes.
Those growing Sour Diesel may want to opt for a controlled indoor environment where the plants usually grow about four feet tall. Outdoor grows can stretch up to seven feet high in 10-11 weeks and prefer a warm, Mediterranean-like climate.
This potent sativa was originally named Green Cush, but rapper Snoop Dogg bequeathed it the new name "Green Crack" due to its hyper-energizing effects. Consumers favor Green Crack for a strong kick of energy and happy moods, and the strain has won many an award as one of the most iconic and powerful sativa cultivars on the market.
Green Crack is definitely a Sativa strain with few relaxing effects. The strain averages about 17% THC in flower, and some users report mild ability to soothe pain and ease stress/anxiety, even though it's a more energizing high. Green Crack exudes a citrusy aroma with hints of lemon, mango, and spicy earth present on each exhale.
The Green Crack strain is a fast-growing sativa, reaching an impressive height in outdoor gardens with a zippy seven-week growing period, much faster than a sativa variety's typical eight to twelve-week process. While it prefers outdoors with plenty of sunlight, an indoor crop of Green Crack will thrive with adequate air circulation and room to stretch its branches.
Jack Herer is a famous sativa strain named after the well-known cannabis activist of the same name. The strain averages 18-24% THC, making it a good option for beginners and well-practiced cannabis consumers alike. Its lineage is uncertain, but most believe it combines Northern Lights #5, Shiva Skunk, and Haze.
Buds of Jack Herer feature a blend of citrusy, berry-like flavors with hints of skunk and stone fruit hitting the nose. Some varieties are slightly more spicy, with pine and peppery notes thanks to their higher pinene and beta-caryophyllene content.
Jack Herer's energizing effects reportedly not only add a pep in your step but also help individuals manage mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It also has an anti-nausea property, which is helpful for maintaining a healthy appetite.
Jack Herer plants produced fluffy, jumbo-sized buds with a light green hue at harvest. Indoor grows are more manageable, but outdoor plants stretch several feet high in about eight to nine weeks.
Strawberry cough, as its name hints, is a sativa with a delightful strawberry aroma and flavor palate that blends spices with sweet and earthy tones. The second half of its name clues users into the cough its smoke can cause, which will trip up even the most experienced cannabis consumers.
However, don't let the fear of coughing put you off: Strawberry Cough is a delightfully potent sativa strain with an average of 20% THC per product. Its effects relax the body, while its mental impact soothes anxious thoughts and adds an energetic bounce to your every day.
Strawberry Cough plants are relatively easy to grow and don't mind indoor or outdoor environments. As a sativa, the plant can grow very tall, but in a short eight weeks, it's ready to produce a harvest of fluffy, ashy-green buds.
Shining Silver Haze
While most consumers may have heard of Haze, its descendent - Shining Silver Haze - is a worthy sativa in its own right. A mix of Haze, Northern Lights, and Skunk, this sativa hybrid by Royal Queen Seeds features a cerebral buzz that stimulates without overpowering most consumers.
This sativa features a flavorful palate of fruity, spicy notes, with hints of apple and mango blending with an earthy finish. Shining Silver Haze takes effect within a few minutes when smoked, buzzing right behind the eyes with a mood-boosting euphoria perfect for accomplishing everyday tasks.
Like its bubbly beverage namesake, Mimosa fires up one's energy and adds a happy glow and focus to the rest of the day. These fluffy, resinous flowers feature a THC potency clocking at 22% on average, with notes of citrus and earthy spice that delight both nostrils and tastebuds.
Many use Mimosa as a sativa strain to replace or complement their morning cup of coffee, especially when getting up early for a busy morning. From a cultivation perspective, Mimosa plants stay relatively small despite the presence of sativa. Indoor plants rarely grow above three feet tall, though indoor and outdoor gardens produce 15-20 oz yields.
Durban Poison is one of the only landrace sativas on this list, but it's worth the inclusion. A moderately potent strain, Durban Poison traces its genetics back to South Africa, the region for which it was named. This aromatic bud features a sweet, piney aroma with a matching spicy flavor on each exhale.
Perfect for more-seasoned users (or beginners in small amounts), Durban Poison is especially well-suited for uplifting low moods and inspiring consumers with long-lasting inspiration for creative pursuits and social engagements.