Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, with 34.8% of Australians over the age of 14 reporting trying it at least once in their lives.
And with the growing acceptance of both medical and recreational marijuana overseas, drug cultivators are constantly striving to find methods to increase the potency of the drug whilst minimising negative side effects such as paranoia, impaired thinking and fatigue.
Back in the day, stoners had very little choice of strain. Today, users in places where marijuana is legal can take their pick from a diverse range of strains which differ in strength, taste and effect .
The desire to develop the best strain of cannabis has even spawned the Cannabis Cup, an annual marijuana trade show hosted in those of the United States where cannabis is legalised. The Cup is the yearly meeting point for cannabis enthusiasts and growers who gather to discuss, celebrate and showcase the drug. At each Cup, judges award prizes for the best strains of cannabis.
We have compiled a list of some of the best cannabis, indica and hybrid strains here from various cannabis rankings around the world. Of course, users may beg to differ!
Indica plants are generally shorter and bushier than sativa plants. Indica buds are best suited to night use, producing a relaxing body high which can aid in the treatment of stress and sleep problems.
1. Granddaddy Purple
Taking out the top spot for indica is this famous strain, aptly named after its berry-grape aroma and deep purple tinge. A cross between the Purple Urkle and Big Bud strains, it has a reported THC content of between 17-23%. It is used predominantly for treating pain, appetite loss and stress, with users experiencing a heavy body high.
2. Northern Lights
One of the most famous cannabis strains on the market, this pure indica bud has a THC percentage of 18%+. It is highly desirable amongst growers as it is easily grown and cloned. Users describe feeling de-stressed, relaxed, euphoric and happy.
3. OG Kush
Though this is an indica-dominant strain, it has sativa-like properties, producing a euphoric high which aids in the treatment of anxiety and stress disorders. With fragrant earthy aromas and a high THC content of between 19-26%, it’s been used as the base for many other spin-off strains such as Tahoe OG and Alpha OG.
One of the most popular strains in the US, this predominantly indica strain is so-named because of its distinctive blue-purple hue and fruity aroma. With a THC percentage of 19.5%, it’s certainly not the strongest strain on the market, but it makes the list because of its long-lasting, strong, euphoric high which leaves users feeling immensely relaxed. As an indica strain it is also highly effective for pain and stress relief.
In contrast, sativas are better known for producing an uplifting, energetic high, and are thus better suited for social or daytime use. Plants are generally taller, with thinner leaves.
1. Sour Diesel
Named after its diesel-like aroma, this strain takes out the top spot on numerous cannabis ranking sites, containing a THC content of 19-25%. With energising, uplifting effects, it is a popular choice amongst users wanting to treat stress, pain and depression.
2. Jack Herer
Named after the American cannabis activist Jack Herer, who founded the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) organisation, this strain has taken out the top spot in numerous Cannabis Cups, winning 11 awards overall. Though it is a hybrid of the Skunk, Haze and Northern Lights strains, it’s recognised as a sativa-dominant variety, producing a strong body and head high. It contains between 15-20% THC and leaves users feeling happy and euphoric.
3. Super Silver Haze
A strain with legendary status amongst cannabis users, Super Silver Haze is technically a sativa-dominant hybrid of three famous strains – Skunk (25%), Northern Lights (25%) and Haze (50%). It took out the top place in its category in three consecutive Cannabis Cups between 1997 and 1999 and is still one of the most highly prized strains around. Users speak of its unique uplifting effects and long-lasting body high, which minimises some of the fatigue issues associated with regular strains of marijuana.
Developed in the early 1990’s, sativa-dominant AK-47 has won several Cannabis Cups around the world for its mellow, relaxed high. It’s somewhat of a multicultural bud, blending strains from Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Afghanistan together for a complex aromatic flavour. With an average THC content of 14%, users also report feeling creative, lazy and uplifted.
Hybrids seek to combine the effects of both the sativa and indica strains. While most commercially produced strains are now hybrids which are ‘dominated’ by either a sativa or indica strain, some hybrids contain almost equal percentages of both strains.
1. Bruce Banner #3
Fittingly named after The Incredible Hulk’s alter ego, BB3 has one of the highest known THC percentages at 28.5%. Prized amongst users who report a sudden intense burst of euphoria followed by a mellow, relaxing high, the bud has a strong, earthy yet sweet aroma.
2. Girl Scout Cookies
This famous hybrid blends sativa strain Durban Poison with hybrid strain OG Kush, producing an intense euphoria balanced by a heavy body high. With a THC content of between 17-28%, even regular users report experiencing the strong effects of the strain. It has a sweet aroma complemented by an earthy, pungent texture.
So there you have it folks, some of the top cannabis strains around together with their descriptions.
But a word of warning – cannabis is still illegal in Australia, with users being dragged to court for drug possession and dealers being charged with drug supply, while at the same time cigarette and alcohol companies are free to sell deadly drugs that create far greater problems for society than weed ever has.