Sativa strains that never go out of style

Sativa strains: photo of colas against black background.

Despite talk of there being little scientific value to naming cannabis indica and sativa strains, budtenders still rely on the terms to help consumers find the right products. For this purpose, sativa strains are generally uplifting rather than sleep-inducing. Sativa plants also generally grow taller, with more reaching branches than indicas. The buds often have citrus notes, probably from terpene profiles like limonene and citronellol often found in these buds.

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The fresh, juicy flavor profiles of exotics like Apple Mintz and Blue Zushi are impressive. But when it comes to cannabis sativa strains, these ten types of cannabis are the perfect place to start.

Sativa strains: aerial view of new buds on plant
Photo by Cappi Thompson for Getty Images Photo: Cappi Thompson / Getty Images

Durban Poison

Many people claim they have a Durban Poison strain, but those who have seen the real thing always know when that’s a lie. The landrace strain from South Africa has one of the most distinct aromas, flavor profiles, and colors compared to most American cannabis.

Lime is the prominent smell until a sharp mint kicks in on the backend, a complex cannabis profile that carries over into the flavor. After consuming, expect energy, maybe even verging on psychedelic. The pure sativa could potentially suppress appetite, possibly because it naturally grows with more THCv.

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Super Silver Haze

Super Silver Haze is a sativa-dominant strain with a straightforward lemon aroma. The buds grow in spears with a shamrock green hue and tufts of orange hair, and the good ones are sticky.

The flavor profile features lemon and eucalyptus notes for a metallic citrus fruit vibe. Expect a focus that can be creative after consuming, but make sure to have direction before lighting up. Some sativas, like Super Silver Haze, can be stoney, which is an easy way to get sidetracked.

Sour Diesel

This strain has a name that perfectly describes its aroma. One whiff fills the air with a scent that can only be described as straight gas. The flavor is reminiscent of lemons in the dirt but in a good way. Sour Diesel creates one of the most straightforward uplifting effects, providing energy and mental stimulation without cloudiness. Beware of headaches, though. Some anecdotal reports say that Diesel strains may be migraine-inducing.

Strawberry Cough

Frolic in a meadow, write the next great American novel, or do bits with a lover– the Strawberry Cough strain is whimsy in a weed bud. The cross of Strawberry Fields and an unknown Haze grows dense and compact, granny apple green with bright orange hairs.

The aroma is distinctly strawberry with the slightest whiff of cheese, and the effects are just lovely. This is a gorgeous option for the creative needing a jump start or the person looking to take life less seriously.

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis?

Blue Dream

The most even hybrid on the list, this beloved sativa dominant strain deserves a spot. DJ Short’s Blueberry crosses with Super Silver Haze to make this classic flavor hailing from Santa Cruz.

A rich earthiness winds into the sharp citrus aroma with a matching flavor profile. When it comes to effects, Blue Dream can deliver mellow physical effects without the groggy, lethargic effects common with indica strains.

Jack Herer

Sensi Seeds created this strain and celebrated the work of Jack Herer by naming it after him. Rumor has it the genetics are Northern Lights #5, Shiva Skunk, and Sativa Haze. No matter the genetics, this one can promote a clear-headed focus with a silly edge.

Sativa strains: Jack Herer bud
Photo by Mindy Schauer for MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images Photo: Mindy Schauer / MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Jack Herer grows bright green in little evergreen tree-shaped buds with a scent of cut grass and citrus. This ranks among the beloved sativa strains, but some report it can bring on migraines–so be in a safe, comfortable environment the first time lighting it up.

Chemdawg or Chemdog

Originally named Chemdog after its slang names Chem and Dog Weed, enough growers of Chemdog propagated clones it became known by a new spelling. The origins are unclear, although many believe the strain is Nepali and Thai.

Chemdog, Chem 91, Chem Sister, and other Chem iterations will often have uplifting effects reminiscent of Sour Diesel with a heavier body high. There is a diesel note to the aromatics and a flavor to match.


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Green Crack

The long-popular sativa can create a euphoric buzz with a side of caffeinated energy. The buds of Green Crack are so laden with hair and trichomes they almost seem fuzzy. The aromatics are fresh and, you guessed it, filled with citrus notes. Those who enjoy strains like Durban Poison and Jack Herer would appreciate a puff of Green Crack.

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Sour Tangie

Combining the level head of Sour Diesel with the dreamy exhilaration of Tangie, this hybrid sativa quickly became a connoisseur favorite. The chubby tree-shaped buds complement a tangerine and musk scent.

Sour Tangie is perfect for an indica lover looking to try something new or someone seeking a slight body buzz with less lethargy. Do note that Tangie can inspire some serious munchies as it wears off.

Sativa strains: Cola against white background
Photo by David Trood for Getty Images

Amnesia Haze

This sativa can provoke the perfect storm of uplifting, euphoric, and mental stimulation that some say verges on psychedelic. Amnesia Haze has a storied lineage, its origins aren’t completely clear, but it most likely came from the Netherlands.

The bergamot-forward scent paired with the quintessential sativa effects makes this a beloved option among consumers.

Sativas, indicas, and hybrids all have a history and unique combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. Understanding more of how the dispensary shelves became filled with exotic buds named after baked goods starts with learning about the classics. These ten sativa strains are some of the icons that started it all.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.