When it comes to getting high, how do you explain the experience to someone who’s never tried weed? Ask a seasoned stoner how many different ways cannabis can make you feel and they’ll tell you effects fall under a few umbrellas: energizing, uplifting, euphoric, relaxing, or sleepy.
Ask a scientist how many different ways cannabis can make you feel and they’ll tell you an infinite amount. But what about cannabis makes you feel any of these?
“Subjective effects are due to THC causing different patterns of functional connectivity in the brain… a measure of how much they talk to each other,” said Nick Jikomes, Leafly’s Director of Science & Innovation, and host of the Good Chemistry podcast.
So, once you consume THC, your brain changes the way it talks to itself. Some parts of it may become more active than usual, causing you to feel energized or uplifted; others parts of it may become less active, causing you to feel relaxed or sleepy.
“Think of it as a home stereo system,” said Jikomes. “You’ve got one dial for the bass, and one dial for the treble, and one for the volume, etc. Every dial is always tuned to something, and you’re just tuning them to different ratios.”
And with that, here are five of the best strains to set your dials to feeling energized, uplifted, euphoric, relaxed, or sleepy.
Energized: Green Crack
Green Crack is a prime example of a cannabis strain that usually adjusts a person’s knobs to an energizing experience. Bred way back in the 1970s, it’s a legendary sativa that tastes like earthy citrus terpenes and is great for daytime consumption. Its three most common terpenes are myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene.
Uplifted: Sour Diesel
If you want something uplifting, Sour Diesel is held in high regard by the medical cannabis community for its mood-blasting abilities. It’s a potent sativa-dominant hybrid created by crossing Chemdog and Super Skunk. Sour Diesel’s sour and gassy terpene profile features caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene.
Euphoric: OG Kush
Though it can be extremely potent, OG Kush is still the perfect example of a long-lasting euphoric high that doesn’t much teeter toward feeling energizing or sleepy—you’ll just be stoned.
OG Kush is the hybrid of all hybrids that swept California by storm in the 1990s and set the bar for many of the high-potency strains we smoke today. It has a flavor of earthy, sour, gassy, and skunky terpenes that we’ve come to identify as “kush,” which give way to an intense cerebral experience.
OG Kush’s terpene profile is dominant in myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene.
Relaxed: Blue Dream
Blue Dream is another legendary hybrid that people love for its relaxing qualities, morale-boosting euphoria, and overall feel-good high that brings a smile to your face. It’s a cross of Blueberry and Haze that produces a sweet, berry, terpene profile that’s dominant in myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene.
Sleepy: Granddaddy Purple
If you’re talking sleepy strains, Granddaddy Purple is one of many that may tuck you in for a few hours. This indica crosses Purple Urkle and Big Bud and is famous for its purple flowers; and maybe even more famous for its usually sedative high. Its most common terpenes are myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene.