The five best sativa strains of 2018

Published Mar 17, 2019 12:01 p.m. ET

Pure sativa strains hold significance not only to the individual user who chooses to smoke or grow a plant made of these particular kinds of cannabis but also to the entire culture and availability of marijuana strains we know and love today. Some of the world’s most popular types of weed are thanks to the genetic components that sativa strains helped to make. Just a few of the most popular sativa hybrids are Green Crack, Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush, Gorilla Glue, and Jack Herer. Many of which are highly praised even within the medical community due to their characteristics that help patients to manage their symptoms. Though pure sativa strains are not always the most popular, they do hold significant value in the way that weed has evolved throughout the years. Below are the five best sativa strains on the market followed by a list of some of the qualities and characteristics that are associated with this type of cannabis.

1. Dr. Grinspoon (Quaze Haze)

This sativa strain was discovered by the legendary researcher from Harvard, Lester Grinspoon who studied the strain in depth for medical benefits and even published a book about his findings in 1973 called The Forbidden Medicine. This pure sativa strain is perfect for anyone who likes to keep moving or needs a clear mind to focus as it provides effects that are often compared to those of coffee including a spike in energy and motivation. It also boasts an average 21% THC and 3% CBD. Quaze is spicy to taste and smells similar to cinnamon when it is smoked or vaped but is difficult to find and mainly only available in seed form online.

2.Panama Red

If you were a part of cannabis culture back in the 1960s than you may have gotten the chance to try some of this pure sativa strain yourself. Unfortunately, it can also be difficult to acquire much like many other sativa strains that have slowly died out due to an overwhelming demand for hybrids. Its name comes from it’s almost illuminated red looking appearance, and it is most known for its cerebral effects that are intense, kick in quickly, and are mind altering while somehow keeping you energized. With a low 13% THC average it is easy to see why this pure sativa strain is no longer as profitable to grow as it once was. If you do manage to get your hands on some of this one you can expect a fiery diesel undertone and a subtle hint of berries.

3. Black Beauty

This is one of the best sativa strains for both its effectiveness and its visual appearance. Black Beauty is known for its deep dark purple bud flowers that can look almost black in certain lighting. Its THC content is only average at 16%, but its tetrahydrocannabivarin is a record making 4%. While it is considered to be a potent cannabis strain, because of its THC-V levels, it will not completely sedate you, and in small doses will provide an uplifting feeling that leads to a heavy case of the munchies. Though its flowers are a purple hue and some even think it’s smell resembles a sweet grape berry or citrus, it’s flavor is more of a heavy earthy tone with a hint of pine.

4. Lasqueti Haze

AKA Lasqueti Sweetie is another pure sativa strain that was most popular back in the 1990s around Lasqueti Island. Much like Panama, this sativa strain will give an initial boost of intense and invigorating energy, but the difference is in how the high progresses and will also depend on the kind of doses it is used in. In small portions, the Lasquetican be beneficial for those who are chronically tired or in need of motivation, but in more significant doses it can act as more of a sedative that is effective for pain relief and insomnia. The flavor of this sativa is unique and is a powerful sweet burst of berry flavor and scent that hardly resembles anything you would typically expect from pot. This strain was highly sought after until the late 90s and is now, unfortunately, another one from the history books that is nearly impossible to obtain in its pure form. If you find some of this strain snatch it up while you can.

5. Doug’s Varin

This pure sativa strain is believed to have originated in California, but other than that its heritage and history is largely unknown. A unique characteristic of Varin is its incredibly high THC-V content as it holds one of the highest in the history of pure strains of cannabis. THC-V is the active component that can help to alleviate some of the most commonly felt side effects from ingesting marijuana including nausea, paranoia, anxiety, and the burn out that is often felt by the user as the effects wear off. This one has an average 16% THC content and has an incredibly rare ability to highly energize a user with a rush of energy that can last for hours.  

Common characteristics of pure sativa strains

Potency - While it isn’t entirely correct to believe that sativa strains are less potent, it is a fact that they will provide a lower average of THC than their counterparts. Usually, a sativa strain will produce between 16% and 20% THC. What this type of marijuana has that Indica does not is a much more prevalent CBD content with many sativa strains ranging from .5%- 18% CBD

Appearance - Sativa plants can soar high above any expectations you could have for a marijuana plant with many shooting past 6 feet tall with ease. They tend to be more like trees with spindly scattered flowers that grow along large protruding branches toward the sky. Unfortunately, this usually means that a six-foot sativa plant will produce the same amount of bud and sometimes even less than a much smaller indica. Sativa strains are also known for their giant fan leaves that seem to be endless and contribute to less growth near the bottom of the plant stalk.

Growing - Pure sativa strains will take on average 3 weeks longer to flower than their indica or hybrid counterparts.

Effects - Sativa strains effects are most often more uplifting and energetic. A mellow kind of high when compared to those that are produced by indica. Thought this is not always the case, it is typical for this particular kind of cannabis to provide these kinds of effects when used.  

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