One of the greatest benefits of weed legalization –apart from not having to risk jailtime for some draw, obviously– has been how professional the purchasing process has become. Smokers are no longer at the mercy of pot luck and the integrity of a dealer's word – now, when you pick up a branded strain like OG Kush or OG Kush you know exactly what you're getting... or do you?

Not everyone can tell their sativa from their indica, but the good people at MARY Magazine can, so they've broken down 30 better-known strains and an explanation of what exactly they do to your brain, so you can taper your high to your mood or schedule.

Indica: Indicas are the THC-powered steamrollers of the weed world: they'll flatten you into couch putty with their sedative bodily highs. Indica possesses a more calming and soothing experience, which can be used to relax or relieve pain. Cannabis Indica plants get their genetics from the original landrace strains of India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Sativa: A professional high, for the highly-functional, steadily-employed, family-orientated careerist that likes to puff on the go. Sativa strains are known for producing an uplifting and cerebral experience that is typically energizing, stimulating, and won't make your mind feel like a jammed VCR.

Hybrids: As you can guess from the name, hybrids sit somewhere between the two. They can be sativa or indica dominant and have the effects to match. Hybrids can be broken down into three basic categories: Sativa-dominant Hybrids; Even Hybrids (50/50 split); and Indica-dominant hybrids.

Indica Strains

Critical Mass: a combination of Afghani and Skunk #1 that originated from the breeder Mr. Nice Seed Bank. With a large "critical mass" of production, branches tend to snap from the weight of these dense buds. THC levels of this strain may reach 19-22%. Used medicinally to treat pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and migraines.

Hindu Kush: a pure indica strain named after the mountain range stretching 500 miles between Pakistan and Afghanistan where it originated. With a subtle sweet and earthy sandalwood aroma, Hindu Kush has a calming effect that helps bring relief to those suffering pain, nausea, and stress disorders. Used medicinally to treat pain, insomnia, stress disorders, anxiety, and lack of appetite.

Granddaddy Purple: introduced in 2003 by Ken Estes, is a popular indica cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud. GDP flowers bloom in shades of deep purple, and offer a contrast to its snow-like dusting of white crystal resin. It produces a potent mind and body high that fuses cerebral euphoria with physical relaxation. Used medicinally to treat pain, stress, insomnia, appetite loss, and muscle spasms.

Sensi Star: a legendary indica strain renowned worldwide for its powerful full-body effects and subtle cerebral invigoration. Crystal trichomes sparkle like a constellation of stars against this indica’s dark green and purple coloration. Used medicinally to treat pain, stress, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

G13: a very strong strain of cannabis indica that is the subject of many urban legends. According to some accounts, the CIA, FBI, and other agencies gathered the best strains of marijuana from breeders all over the world. Although the legends are probably not true, G13 delivers effects like no other.Used medicinally to treat stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, and lack of appetite.

Blueberry: taking its name from its sweet flavor reminiscent of fresh blueberries, it induces relaxing effects to produce a long-lasting sense of euphoria. Many appreciate Blueberry for its ability to suppress pain and relieve stress and admire the strain for its colorful hues and high THC content.Used medicinally to treat stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, and lack of appetite.

Afghani: a heavy indica strain named after its geographic origin, where the earliest varieties of cannabis are believed to have grown, and is treasured for its heavy resin production. With a sweet, earthy aroma, Afghani delivers a deep, sedating relaxation and euphoria. People most commonly turn to this potent indica to treat insomnia, pain, and stress disorders.Used medicinally to treat pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and migraines.

Chemdawg: The original source of powerhouse strains like Sour Diesel and OG Kush, Chemdawg is known for its distinct, diesel-like aroma. Pungent and sharp, you’ll be able to smell this hybrid from a mile away. This highly-potent strain tends to have THC levels of 15-20%. Consumers can expect to have a very cerebral experience, coupled with a strong heavy-bodied feeling. Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, and depression.

Bubba Kush: a sweet, earthy indica strain with genetics traced back to the Hindu Kush landrace strains. Its effects may begin the head, but quickly seep throughout the rest of the body. Some might consider couchlock an inevitable consequence of Bubba Kush, making this powerhouse indica a perfect go-to strain for evening relaxation, restful sleep, or a lazy weekend at home. Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, insomnia, anxiety, and lack of appetite.

Sativa Strains

Acapulco Gold: Originating from Acapulco, Mexico, its orange hairs resemble a gold nugget, with gold, green, and brown colors of resin collecting on the buds. An aroma of burnt toffee lingers when the bud is broken up. Acapulco Gold has a reputation for being one of the best cannabis strains ever created, and is becoming more difficult to find due to more growers moving indoors. It is also known to contain approximately 23% of THC.

Amnesia Haze: Imbued with earthy flavors of lemons and citrus, is a perfect strain to start your day with a smile. The uplifting, energetic buzz is one you won’t soon forget. Its genetics have been traced back to the South Asian and Jamaican landrace strains.

Durban Poison: Originating from the South African port city of Durban, it's notorious for its sweet smell and energetic, uplifting effects. Durban Poison is the perfect strain to help you stay productive through a busy day. Concentrate enthusiasts will both enjoy the over-sized resin glands which make this strain a quality choice for concentrate extraction.

Strawberry Cough:Known for its sweet strawberry aroma and ability to make even the most seasoned consumer cough, the skunky, berry flavors will capture your senses while the cerebral, uplifting effects add a dose of euphoria that is sure to have you smiling. Strawberry Cough is a great solution for managing social anxieties and to balance yourself in times of elevated stress.

Super Lemon Haze: A sativa-dominant hybrid of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze, its smell is zesty, citrusy, and a little sweet. As for the taste, it's everything one would expect from the namesake: tart and sweet like lemonheads candy, but not quite as sharp as one might expect. The effects are uniquely energetic and lively, may not be the best strain for those of us that are naturally more reserved.

Chocolope: A cross between Chocolate Thai and Cantaloupe Haze, the hefty sativa buds emit earthy, sweet coffee flavors that provide a dreamy, cerebral effect. Consumers report a strong, euphoric mental effect that is great when coping with depression or stress.

Super Silver Haze: By crossing the genetics of Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze, we are left with a beautiful, sticky sativa blend that boasts an energetic, long-lasting body high. The uplifting effects are a great remedy for high stress levels or when suffering from a lack of appetite or nausea.

Sour Diesel: An invigorating sativa named after its pungent, diesel-like aroma. This fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that relieve stress, pain, and depression, making it a top choice among medical patients.

Jack Herer: A sativa-dominant cannabis strain bred by combining a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk cross, Jack Herer was created in an attempt to capture both the cerebral elevation associated with sativas and the heavy resin production of indicas. Its rich genetic background gives rise to several different variations of Jack Herer, each phenotype bearing its own unique features and effects. However, consumers typically describe this 55% sativa hybrid as blissful, clear-headed, and creative.

Maui Waui: A classic sativa with tropical pineapple flavors and stress-relieving qualities, it takes its name from its ancestral home on the shores of Hawaii. Associated with high-energy euphoria, its lightweight sativa effects allow your mind to drift away, while its active effects won't leave you house-bound.

Hybrid Strains

Girl Scout Cookies: An OG Kush and Durban Poison hybrid with a sweet and earthy aroma, Girl Scout Cookies launches you to euphoria’s top floor where full-body relaxation meets a time-bending cerebral space. Patients needing a strong dose of relief, however, may look to GSC for severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss. Used medicinally to treat stress, anxiety, pain, depression, and insomnia.

White Widow: A global favorite, this balanced hybrid is a cross between a Brazilian sativa landrace and a resin-heavy South Indian indica. Its buds are white with crystal resin, warning you of the potency of its effects. A powerful burst of euphoria and energy breaks through immediately, stimulating both conversation and creativity.Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Chemdawg 91 : An offshoot of the original Chemdawg strain with unknown origins, some growers believe it's a cross between Chemdawg and Skunk, which may explain its particularly pungent aroma. This hybrid has a very strong diesel smell with a piney-lemon aftertaste. It leans towards sativa, although you may find indica variants on some dispensary and retail shelves. Consumers should expect a cerebral buzz from this strain. Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, and depression.

Skunk #1: A hybrid strain that has influenced cannabis on a global scale, parenting a horde of Skunk crosses since it first bloomed in ‘85. As its name suggests, Skunk #1 buds radiate with an aromatic blend of sour skunkiness and subtle earthy notes. This hybrid offers elevated creativity through its high-energy buzz, while stress and appetite loss melt away with Skunk #1’s potency.Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, and depression.

Bruce Banner: Named after the name on The Incredible Hulk's birth certificate, its effects come on quickly to provide an immediate burst of euphoria before easing into relaxation that may be good for creative pursuits. Bred from OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel, it's imbued with a diesel aroma with sweet undertones. Used medicinally to treat pain, stress, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia.

Cannatonic: A hybrid cross with an MK Ultra mother and G13 Haze father. Cannatonic has been known to have a nearly 1:1 ratio of THC & CBD. Used medicinally to treat pain, anxiety, stress, depression, and muscle spasms.

Northern Lights: One of the most famous strains of all time, Northern Lights has given rise to famous hybrids like Sour Diesel, Shiva Skunk, and Super Silver Haze. Pungently sweet, spicy aromas radiate from the crystal-coated buds, which sometimes reveal themselves in hues of purple. Northern Lights’ psychoactive effects relax the muscles and pacify the mind in dreamy euphoria. Comfortable laziness relieves pain and sleeplessness, while its mellow contentment roots out depression and stress. Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, and insomnia.

OG Kush: Commonly described as sativa-like in its euphoric and happy effects that combat stress and anxiety. It has an earthy pine scent with woody undertones, an aroma that has become the signature of OG Kush varieties and descendants. Patients most commonly cite improvements in migraines, ADD/ADHD, and stress disorders.Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, and insomnia.

AK-47: Despite its name, AK-47 will leave you relaxed and mellow. This sativa-dominant hybrid delivers a steady and long-lasting cerebral buzz that keeps you mentally alert and engaged in creative or social activities. While AK-47’s scent is sour and earthy, its sweet floral notes can only be fully realized in the taste.Used medicinally to treat stress, pain, anxiety, lack of appetite, and insomnia.

Headband: The love-child of cannabis’ power couple, OG Kush and Sour Diesel. The smooth, creamy smoke is accented by flavors of lemons and diesel while the long-lasting effects are great for pain relief, relaxation, and to combat elevated stress levels. Many report that the effects create a slight pressure around the crown of the head and feels as though they are wearing a headband. The effects have been known to come on slow, so pace yourself with this one.

Hungry for more weed knowledge? Then have a listen to the special 420 edition of our weekly podcast.

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