If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you might be overwhelmed by the number of different strains available. It’s hard to know how to choose. Here are some tips to help you find the best cannabis strains and spot quality cannabis.

An Overview of Cannabis Typescannabis flower

One of the first things that you might notice is that the many options of cannabis are divided into one of three types: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid

Indica cannabis strains have a more physical effect while Sativa strains affect the brain and your mood. Therefore, Indica strains are commonly used to promote relaxation. Sativa strains, on the other hand, are known to help increase motivation and focus. Whereas, hybrid strains of cannabis are a combination of Indica and Sativa. As such, they provide the effects of both types.


Cannabis, regardless of its strain, contains more than a hundred compounds called cannabinoids. The most well-known are THC and CBD. Each strain has different levels of these two compounds, which impacts the effect that cannabis has.

THC-dominant strains produce a euphoric effect and are often chosen for pain relief or the treatment of anxiety or depression. CBD-dominant strains are often chosen by those sensitive to THC or who don’t want the sometimes intense high that can come along with THC.

Some strains have a more balanced ratio between THC and CBD, giving you a lighter euphoria while still providing the other desired effects of cannabis.

Choosing Strains for Your Desired Effect

Managing Pain

One of the biggest reasons people use cannabis is to manage pain. It’s often used by cancer patients as a way to help deal with pain as well as alleviate side effects of treatment such as nausea and vomiting.

Strains containing various pain-relieving cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, produce the best analgesic effects. These include strains such as Chemdawg, White Widow, and Godberry.

Promoting Sleep

Indica cannabis strains are known for promoting relaxation. They tend to cause a sleepy sensation that can be beneficial for those with insomnia. Consider strains such as Grandaddy Purple or Northern Lights.

Alleviating Anxiety

Studies have found that low doses of THC can help those with anxiety. Higher levels, however, can have the opposite effect. If you’re looking for the best cannabis strains to treat anxiety, look for those that have higher CBD to THC levels, such as Harlequin and Remedy.

Boosting Energy

In general, Sativa strains of cannabis contain higher levels of THC. They’re known for boosting energy levels, focus, and creative thinking. Some of the best cannabis strains for energy include Sour Diesel and Super Silver Haze.

Spotting Quality Cannabis

The quality of your cannabis is incredibly important. When searching for the best cannabis strains for your needs, you should look for a reputable, licensed dispensary. Here are a few tips to help you spot quality cannabis.

Visual Appearance

Several visual indications can speak to the quality of cannabis. Look for buds that are covered in a crystalline layer called a trichome. That’s where the cannabinoids and terpenes are stored. Buds should be trimmed and free of leaves and the best cannabis strains are also green in color.


Quality cannabis has a distinct aroma, ranging from sweet and citrusy to earthy and skunky. On the other end of the spectrum, poor quality cannabis is lacking in smell. It may smell similar to alfalfa, or simply like nothing at all.

Physical Traits of the Plant

The best cannabis comes from female plants with strong female genetics. This means that they don’t become hermaphroditic, even with the stresses that may be encountered while growing. Female plants produce the buds that are used for medicinal and recreational use. While male plants are necessary, they are not used for the same purposes.

When it comes to finding the best cannabis strains, you have many factors to consider. Determine your goals and consider your tolerance. Lastly, you should also pay attention to the buds themselves and make sure that you’re buying from a reputable, licensed dispensary.