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The best cannabis strains for focus and ADD/ADHD

January 12, 2016
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(Gillian Levine for Leafly)
Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, sometimes we need a little help concentrating. You’ve probably noticed that certain varieties of cannabis help you stay focused and productive while others can send your mind completely off the rails. We’re still waiting for research to provide more guidance on why cannabis might or might not help someone with ADD/ADHD; for now, we’re primarily limited to personal anecdotes.

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Finding that perfect focusing strain requires trial-and-error, but this list provides a few starting points. First, ask yourself what sort of experience you’re looking for:

  • THC-dominant strains can be focusing for some and distracting for others. If you find THC strains are causing your mind to be overly racy or foggy, try switching up the strain or experiment with a smaller dose. Find THC-dominant varieties below by looking for strains composed of diamond shapes.
  • CBD-dominant strain contains only trace amounts of THC and is unlikely to produce a euphoric high. For CBD-dominant varieties, look for strains composed of only circles below.
  • Balanced THC/CBD strains are known to provide only a mild high, making them a good choice for someone who wants just a little bit of cerebral activation. To find a balanced THC/CBD variety, look for strains made up of both diamonds and circles below.

As you work your way through this list, also pay attention to a strain’s colors, which indicate the terpenes found in that strain. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that shape your experience by influencing a strain’s aroma, flavor, and possibly even effects. Knowing which terpenes (or colors) you gravitate toward can help you find similar strains—more strains that help you achieve that coveted mindset of relaxed focus.

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Cinex

cinex cannabis strain

Primary terpenes: Limonene, caryophyllene, pinene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

Cinex is the strain you reach for when that cup of coffee didn’t do the job. Providing wired euphoria that feeds creativity, this strain can rekindle interest in tasks that may otherwise be a drag. Take caution with this one if you’re prone to anxiety and racing thoughts; Cinex can start to feel a little racy, especially to those sensitive to THC.

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Sour Diesel

Primary terpenes: Caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

It’s famous for a reason. Sour Diesel is one of the highest-rated strains on Leafly for focus, quite possibly due to its ability to shine a new, engaging light on activities and tasks. Speedy euphoria lets your mind stay nimble, but remember that dosing is key. Overdoing a potent strain like Sour Diesel can have the opposite of your desired effect.

“It makes your frontal lobe act in ways you could never have imagined. It’s almost like Sour Diesel is a key, a key that opens up whole realms of your mind that you were once ignorant of.” —Dr. Zimbardo, Leafly reviewer

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Harle-Tsu

harle-tsu cannabis strain

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, terpinolene, pinene

Cannabinoid profile: CBD-dominant

A cross between Sour Tsunami and Harlequin, Harle-Tsu is a high-CBD strain that contains only trace levels of THC. It eases you into clear-headed calmness with little to no intoxicating effects, so you can keep your cognitive faculties intact. If you’re having trouble finding Harle-Tsu near you, try finding its high-CBD parent strains or close relative, Canna-Tsu.

“A good herb for relaxation. Not much of a cerebral high, but what little high you do get is focused and energetic but calm.” —medicineman7, Leafly reviewer

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Green Crack

green crack cannabis strain

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, caryophyllene, ocimene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

According to lore, this strain was dubbed Green Crack by Snoop Dogg because its effects were so intensely stimulating. Green Crack sharpens the senses and brings vibrancy to the dull, all with an enticing tropical citrus flavor.

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Harlequin

harlequin cannabis strain

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene

Cannabinoid profile: Balanced THC/CBD

Calming physical sensations coupled with agile cerebral focus, Harlequin is balanced CBD/THC strain that should be on your radar if concentration is hard to come by. Although this ratio can fluctuate, Harlequin typically expresses a 5:2 ratio of CBD:THC, so expect at least a little euphoric stimulation in the mind.

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True OG

True OG cannabis strain

Primary terpenes: Myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

Sometimes what you need to concentrate isn’t a strain that speeds your brain up—it’s one that can slow the mind down. True OG is touted among reviewers for knocking down stress and distractions for easier focus.

“Comes on kind of slowly. Is a chilling high, but you can easily focus and do things like schoolwork, cleaning, etc.” —alittleweird7, Leafly reviewer

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Black Jack

Black Jack cannabis strain

Primary terpenes: Terpinolene, caryophyllene, ocimene

Cannabinoid profile: THC-dominant

Black Jack captures the perfect synergy of its two parents. From Jack Herer, it inherits a supercharged cerebral effect that lends a spark of creativity. The Black Domina parent passes on a mellow, full-body experience that allows your thoughts run at a more manageable pace.

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