A Comprehensive Guide to Weed Strains

weed strains

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Have you ever wondered how weed strains came to be? How did breeders manage to make a mind-blowing strain or a very therapeutic cannabis strain? There seems to be something that makes us want to try a strain over and over again. It may be the taste, smell, aroma, effect, or the after-effect of a strain which defines it. 

Experts say that the final form of a marijuana plant is determined by the plant’s genetic makeup as well as its growing environment. If you grow two plants each in a different growing environment from the other, you will get plants with a unique appearance, smell, taste, and aroma.

Where did the first cannabis strain come from?

The very first species of cannabis thrived in the Hindu Kush mountains, an area in Pakistan. Experts also said that the very first species may have also originated in countries found near the equator. The term used to refer to these early weed species is “landrace.” These plants grew in the wild without any help from humans; this is where they adapted and changed their physical structures for many hundreds and thousands of years. 

The two basic types of strains had equivalent landrace strains with Cannabis sativa landrace strains growing in 30 to 50 degrees and Cannabis indica growing between 0 to 30 degrees. With a wide area of growth, the two basic types have unique characteristics as well as growth patterns and needs. 

Weed strains developed for genetics

Over the years, cannabis breeders have changed marijuana genetics to adapt to certain needs. For instance, some growers bred strains with faster flowering times, some created strains that have higher therapeutic qualities while some bred weed the stronger head high or protection from pests and molds. It’s important to take note that almost all breakthroughs in cannabis strain production happened indoors. This is because growers can easily adjust a strain’s genetic makeup.

Experts have developed improved cannabis growing conditions using better soil, lighting, cloning, cross-pollination, and extraction methods. Because of these, hybrids were created. Hybrids are strains that result from the mixing of a sativa and an indica strain.

The three different cannabis strains

Cannabis has three basic species:

  • Cannabis sativa
  • Cannabis indica
  • Cannabis ruderalis

Each of these species has different growing characteristics, effects, and applications. You need to understand the difference between each kind so you’ll better appreciate how cannabis works.

1. Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa is a very prominent cannabis strain and is widely known as the symbol of marijuana with its long and narrow leaves. The sativa plant has originated from the regions found along the equators where growers used this plant for food, fiber, oil, medicine, and for ceremonial applications.


A Cannabis sativa plant grows very tall and lanky looking like a Christmas tree. A typical height of a sativa plant is from 12 feet to 24 feet if you don’t control its size. When sativa plants are grown outdoors, these plants will develop a single large trunk and can be as high as a tree.

The branches are long and the leaves are long and narrow. Usually, sativa plants will only have a single cola. The buds are conical in shape and are not as dense as indica buds.

Growing characteristics

Sativas prefer a very large growing area as it will grow and stretch vertically and horizontally. Sativas originated from the warm and dry regions near the equator and thus will survive in warm and dry growing environments as well. 

Sativas can take time to flower sometimes as long as six months. Because of this plant’s slow growth, you can expect more yields than indica plants.


Cannabis sativa plants have higher ratios of THC to CBD and thus you’ll feel uplifted and energetic. With sativa, you will be more alert, euphoric, and creative. When consuming sativa strains, it’s best to consume this in the morning before you get to work or proceed with any task. The mind-dominant effect helps improve your alertness and will help you concentrate on your work better.  

Medical effects

Cannabis sativa strains have a variety of medical uses. It can be used to treat mental conditions like anxiety and depression. It is a strain that experts recommend for the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure-related conditions. Sativa strains can also help relieve chemotherapy side effects such as vomiting and nausea.  

Sativa strains can also help with mental and physical fatigue. It can boost energy especially when you need it. 

Examples of Cannabis sativa strains

Here are the following impressive Cannabis sativa strains that you must consider growing this year:

Green Crack Punch

Green Crack Punch is a sativa-dominant hybrid made from a Green Crack and a Purple Punch strain. It offers an energetic high with an uplifting and creative beginning and a nice and relaxing end. 

You can use this to strain to relieve all kinds of pain including muscle aches, headaches, joint pains, and more. And when all its growing needs are met, you can get as much as 500 grams per square meter of buds, each one oozing with 20% THC.

Haze Berry

Haze Berry is another popular, classic cannabis strain made from potent strains Blueberry and Haze. Dry and cure these buds properly and you’ll reap weed with a distinct flavor and an energizing high ideal for people who want to accomplish more things during the daytime. This sativa-dominant strain will give you good yields. 

This plant can grow very tall and thus an outdoor growing area is best to cultivate it. Haze Berry buds can produce 20% THC. Grow these indoors and get 525 to 575 grams per square meter of yield while outdoor growers can expect up to 650 grams per plant of dried weed.

Shining Silver Haze

If you want a physical but clear high then you need Shining Silver Haze. This strain is a popular sativa strain made from the union of a Skunk, Haze, and Northern Lights. Shining Silver Haze is for indoor and outdoor growing but as much as possible, outdoor growing is best.

It loves the full sun and when its needs are met, you can expect around 450 grams per square meter of yield. You can get as much as 21% THC with this strain and this can produce a potent physical high which can result in a couchlock effect if you’re not careful.

Mother Gorilla

Mother Gorilla is a cross between a Reina Madre and a GG#4. You’ll be amazed by this plant’s very potent THC at 25% and this is why many choose this if they want a stoned experience. This sativa-dominant strain also matures fast compared to other sativas. It takes around 8 weeks to flower while harvests are high up to 500 grams per square meter or 650 grams per plant.


AMG is short for Amnesia Mac Ganja, a multi-awarded sativa-dominant cannabis strain that will leave you happy, stimulated, and at peace. Many users prefer it because of its stimulating yet relaxing effect thanks to its 22% THC. This strain has an earthy, spicy, and herbal scent and flavor and it’s now one of the most popular strains in many Dutch coffeeshops. 

When grown properly and all its needs are met, you can get as much as 500 grams per square meter of growing space indoors and up to 600 grams per plant when grown outdoors.  

Lemon Shining Silver Haze

Very similar to Shining Silver Haze, the only difference is the Lemon Skunk gene to liven its flavor. The limonene terpene becomes dominant giving you a sweet, and citrusy flavor that can be describe as skunky and dank. Lemon Shining Silver Haze can give you up to 475 grams per square meter of yield indoors sand around 500 grams of dried weed per plant outdoors. THC levels can be as high as 21% while CBD is low. 

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is popular for its unique taste and flavor plus its extremely high. It hails from both the West Coast and the East Coast of the United States can be cultivated indoors or outdoors. Sour Diesel is tall and produces large and dense buds bursting with resin in just 10 weeks of blooming. You will get a delicious uplifting effect much needed by daytime users. 

When grown properly, you can harvest as much as 525 grams per square meter indoors and up to 600 grams of dry yield per plant outdoors. Buds will produce up to 18% THC.

El Patron

El Patron is another award-winning strain created by an AMG and a Shiva. This strain gives you a stunning heady high combined with a body buzz. El Patron also has a fantastic blend of delicious terpenes making it a favorite among edibles maker. 

This hybrid is also easy to grow and can be grown indoors or outdoors. You can get as much as 500 grams of yield per square meter indoors and about 500 grams of dried yield per plant. THC can be as high as 22%. 


Shogun is another very prominent sativa strain created from the union of an Amnesia Haze and a Royal Gorilla. This strain was developed for potency as it comes with a very high 25% THC. Shogun is a very uplifting sativa and is also a therapeutic strain because of its very strong physical buzz. This hybrid is easy to grow and maybe cultivated indoors or outdoors in almost all climates.

When you grow this strain properly, you can expect up to 600 grams of yield per square meter of growing area and about 750 grams of dried weed per plant when cultivated outdoors. 


Hulkberry is very popular in many Dutch coffeeshops and dispensaries in the US and Canada. This was made by combining an OG Kush and a Strawberry Diesel and it comes with an awesome 27% THC.

You’ll love its long-lasting effect plus its flavorful high with strawberry and citrusy smell and taste. This will also give you a powerful and lasting cerebral high but won’t give you a couchlock effect. When grown properly, expect to get around 450 grams of yield for every square meter or up to 700 grams per plant for outdoor growers. 

How to consume Cannabis sativa

Cannabis sativa strains can take you to a unique mind-boggling high if you’re not careful. As with all types of cannabis, consume sativa strains moderately. If you must use sativa strains for medical conditions, always follow your doctor’s advice.

You can get sativa weed in different preparations. You can vape oils, smoke rolled joints, or eat edibles. Always take any of these moderately and never overindulge.

How to grow Cannabis sativa

Consider the following when growing Cannabis sativa plants:

  • Grow sativa plants outdoors to take advantage of its large height, good yields. But if you have a large growing area or greenhouse then these may do.
  • You may train sativa plants to control their height and shape as well as their yields. 
  • Use good quality soil as sativas need the best nutrients to grow taller. 
  • Sativas thrive in warm and dry environments so you must consider watering your plants only when the soil is dry. 
  • Sativas grow large and dense buds so you must always check for pests and molds. 

2. Cannabis Indica

Cannabis indica plants were first seen in the regions of the Hindu Kush mountains and until today, it is still being cultivated in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and in the surrounding areas. Cannabis indica slowly spread to Asia and the Middle East and finally, to Europe through the spice trade. 


Cannabis indica plants are short and can grow from 3 to 6 feet. The branches are neatly arranged in layers. Because of its short height and neat arrangement, it is favored by indoor growers because of the short and compact size. 

Growing characteristics

The leaves of the indica plant are wide-bladed. Meanwhile, the short height means that these plants can take 8 to 12 weeks before blooming. Compared to sativa plants, indicas will produce smaller yields but with higher THC levels. Most indicas also come with denser CBD amount which will leave you a bodily stone.


Cannabis indica plants offer a relaxing and sedating effect. It has a high THC to CBD ratio making it one of the best strains to cap a busy day. The ratio of THC to CBD varies from strain to strain and those with very steep THC can give you a very frightening couch lock effect. 

Medical effects

Cannabis indica strains have a relaxing body-dominant effect. It is sedating sometimes to the point of making you fall asleep thus it’s best for people who have insomnia and those with sleeplessness. 

Indicas are also effective muscle relaxants. It can stop pain including muscle pains, migraines, headaches, joint pains, and digestive pains. You can count on indica strains to deal with nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. It can also enhance appetite, giving you the munchies.  

Examples of Cannabis indica strains

The following are the best Cannabis indica strains that you must grow in your garden this year.


ICE is short for Indica Crystal Extreme and it’s one of the most popular indica because of the appearance of its frost-covered plants. ICE gives you a bountiful yield with buds that emerge in just 8 weeks of growth. No wonder IICE is very potent as it is a hybrid spawned from an Afghan, Skunk and Northern Lights.

When properly grown, ICE can give you up to 450 grams of yield indoors and 550 grams per plant outdoors. ICE buds have 18% THC. 

Northern Light

Northern Lights is one of the most prominent cannabis strains and this is a potent indica. No one knows exactly how Northern Lights came to be but many think that it is the product of 11 cannabis strains. Northern Lights offers a stoned high due to its 18% THC. You can get as much as 550 grams of yield per square meter indoors and around 625 grams per plant when this is cultivated outdoors.

Sherbet Queen

Sherbet Queen is an indica-dominant cannabis strain that provides a relaxing body high together with rich cerebral effects. This strain was made from the genes of a Sherbet Queen S1 and shares the same genetics as Girl Scout Cookies so expect a sweet, cerebral high. 

When harvest time comes, you can get as much as 525 grams per square meters of growing space and around 500 grams per plant grown outdoors. THC of Sherbet Queen is around 24% with very low CBD. 

Sweet ZZ

Sweet ZZ is an indica dominant cannabis strain made from a Grapefruit and a Grape Ape. It has a very sweet smell and tastes to the point that users compare it to smoke laced with candy. Sweet ZZ is a strain used for ultimate relaxation, euphoria, creativity, and focus. 

Sweet ZZ is also a productive strain as you can get as much as 600 grams per square meter indoors and 550 grams per plant in dried form. This strain comes with very potent THC at 22%, giving you a stoned and relaxed effect. 

Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese is an indica-dominant hybrid cannabis strain made by combining an Oregon Blueberry with an Original Cheese. Because it’s part of the Cheese family, Blue Cheese comes with a distinct smell and taste with a hint of sweetness coming from its Blueberry parent. And apart from Blue Cheese’s amazing taste, it also has very potent recreational and medicinal effects.

Blue Cheese is a productive strain capable of giving you up to 550 grams per square meter indoors ad 550 grams per plant when this is cultivated outdoors. Buds also have 19% THC so consume this moderately.

Bubble Kush

Bubble Kush is a sweet indica-leaning strain made by combining the genetics of a Bubble Gum and an OG Kush. This strain comes with 19% THC capable of a relaxing high and natural blissful effect. You’ll be physically and mentally stoned so take this moderately as much as possible. 

Bubble Kush can grow indoors and outdoors. As long as you provide all its growing needs you can get as much as 600 grams per square meter of indoor growing space. Outdoors, expect 600 to 650 grams per plant. 

OG Kush

OG Kush is very potent and flavorful and is one of the most widely bred marijuana strains in the world. Its natural flavors came from the potent flavor profiles of different indicas and has an aftertaste that will remain longer in your tongue and nose. You’ll be rewarded with an intense physical and mental high when you use OG Kush.

OG Kush was created from the union of a Chemdawg, Pakistani Kush, and a Lemon Thai. You can get as much as 475 grams per square meter indoors and around 550 grams per plant when you grow it outdoors.

Fat Banana

Fat Banana has a flavorful taste and aroma that many growers and consumers love. It was made from combining two potent strains: a Banana and an OG Kush. This green indica has fat and potent buds which can yield up to 500 grams of weed per plant in just 8 weeks of growing. But when grown outdoors, expect around 500 grams per plant. You must take Fat Banana moderately because it is capable of producing up to 25% THC.

Royal Cookies

Royal Cookies is a very potent indica with a delicious baked goods smell and aroma. It comes with a sweet flavor that will stimulate your senses and with a THC of 23%. You will experience full-bodied relaxation with an uplifting effect.  

Royal Cookies was made from combining a phenotype of a Cookies Forum strain. You can harvest as much as 525 grams per square meter indoors and 450 to 500 grams per plant in dried form. 

Purple Queen

Purple Queen is a strain with powerful physical and mental effects. It is deliciously smooth to smoke thanks to its Kush flavor and a hint of delicious lemon. It is the best strain to unwind after a busy day, to cap things off before you retire. 

Purple Queen yields well and will give a canopy of lovely violet flowers with 22% THC. This indica-dominant strain was made from the union of the Hindu Kush and a Purple Afghani. You can get as much as 500 grams of yield per square meter of indoor growing space and from 650 to 700 grams of yield per plant outdoors.

How to consume Cannabis indica

Just like consuming Cannabis sativa strains, always consume indicas moderately. If you overlook this simple rule, you might end up with a couchlock effect. Also, if you’re consuming indica for medical reasons, follow your doctor’s prescription. And if you want to consume indica edibles, always monitor your consumption and never overindulge.  

How to grow Cannabis indica plants

Consider the following when growing cannabis Indica strains:

  • Cannabis indica strains are small to medium-sized plants that can grow indoors, outdoors, or inside a greenhouse. These plants may not grow as tall as sativas but these need a wider space to grow healthy and produce good yields.
  • Cannabis indica plants may be trained to grow more bud sites, to control growth, and to enhance yields.  
  • Indicas require the best nutrients, lighting, and watering.  
  • Always check for pests and molds as the compact size of indica plants can retain moisture inside the plant canopy. This moisture can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.

3. Cannabis Ruderalis

Cannabis ruderalis strains were first discovered in the wild, harsh and cold environments in Asia and Russia. Experts say that there are no recreational or medicinal benefits when you consume ruderalis strains. These strains are only good for creating autoflowering cannabis.

Ruderalis strains are mostly bred with a sativa or an indica to make a hybrid strain. This hybrid strain will have indica or Sativa growing characteristics and strain qualities but will also have ruderalis characteristics. 


Cannabis ruderalis strains are short plants with some growing from 30 cm to 80 cm when fully mature. The plant has very few branches and h ash wide, flat leaves that may look like cannabis indica plant. Hybrid cannabis with ruderalis genetics may grow to small or average-sized plants. Because of this, cannabis ruderalis or hybrid ruderalis and Sativa or Indica plants are used to grow weed stealthily at home.   

Growing characteristics

Ruderalis plants are small. These will flower quickly in just 7 to 9 weeks and therefore, if you grow your plants properly, there is a chance to grow up to two to three times a year. These plants are autoflowering plants and therefore will bloom without the need for a special lighting schedule.  These are the opposite of regular or photoperiod cannabis that rely on a 12-hour light and 12-hour dark schedule to bloom.  


Ruderalis has very small amounts of THC and CBD and thus these won’t have any recreational or medicinal effects. 

Examples of Cannabis ruderalis strains

Here are the following top autoflowering cannabis strains, hybrid ruderalis, and indica and hybrid ruderalis and sativa strains that you must grow this year:

Northern Lights Autoflowering

Northern Lights auto is a knockout strain made from the original Northern Lights and a ruderalis strain. It’s easy to grow, needs very little maintenance, and has very potent couchlock effects. You can get buds as early as 9 to 10 weeks and harvest up to 200 grams of usable yield per plant. 

Blueberry Autoflowering

Blueberry Auto is a fruity strain with juicy flavors of blueberry that will surely make you want to taste it over and over again. It is an exceptional auto hybrid that can bloom in just 9 to 10 weeks. This is a small plant but can give you a sizeable yield of 70 grams per plant. THC is only 14% while CBD is average.

Gorilla Glue Autoflowering

Gorilla Glue Autoflowering is a very potent strain that will flower quickly in just 8 to 9 weeks. Buds are very sticky, hence the name, with THC levels reaching 25%. Gorilla Glue plants grow small only 100 cm when mature. You’ll get a fast-hitting strain with its trademark lemon and diesel flavor and aroma. 

Kalashnikova Autoflowering

Kalashnikova automatic strain is a quick-flowering cannabis strain that will be ready to harvest in just 9 weeks. This is a potent strain made from the union of an AK47 and a White Widow with a Green-O-Matic strain. This hybrid is a small plant with a high leaf to flower ratio. You can get as much as 80 grams per square meter indoors and around 80 grams per plant outdoors. THC content is average and has unknown CBD content.  

Moby Dick XXL Autoflowering

Moby Dick XXL Auto is an enhanced version of a Moby Dick auto strain. It was made from crossing a White Widow XXL with a Haze XXL creating a strain that branches out horizontally and vertically. It needs up to 12 weeks before harvest time and when its growing need is considered, you can get as much as 500 grams per square meter indoors and around 200 grams per plant if you cultivate this outdoors.  

How to grow cannabis ruderalis plants

Ruderalis plants are often combined with Sativa and indica strains to create an autoflowering hybrid. The following are tips to grow ruderalis plants

  • You can grow ruderalis plants indoors, outdoors, or inside a greenhouse. But because of its size, growers cultivate this plant indoors for stealth growing. 
  • There’s no need to use special lighting to cultivate ruderalis plants so you can maintain a feasible 18-hour light and 6-hour dark lighting schedule.
  • Be ready for early flowering. Change your grow nutrients to bloom as soon as you spot flowering.

How to find the right weed strains for you

If you’re looking for a good weed strain to grow remember the following techniques

  • Choose depending on your growing area. Some strains can grow very tall while some grow small or average size. 
  • Choose according to your growing capabilities. Some strains are easy to grow while some require an experienced hand.
  • Choose depending on your climate. This is important if you want to grow outdoors. Some strains prefer warm and sunny climates while some will stand even cold chilly nights. 
  • Choose a strain to grow depending on your medical needs. Some strains can help with pain or anxiety better than others.

There are numerous weed strains in the market therefore it’s a must to understand the growing qualities, effects, and various strain characteristics of each before you make a decision.  Only with a good knowledge of these strains will you be able to grow cannabis plants well and harvest good yields.  


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