Leafly’s top 10 sativa strains of 2023
‘Sativa’ is one of three main ways cannabis strains are classified, along with ‘indica’ and ‘hybrid’. It’s an aging, imperfect classification system, but dispensaries offer sativa strains as the energetic counterpoint to indica strains, which are considered more sedative. Budtenders pitch sativa strains as offering energy, creativity, or focus, as compared to other types of weed that put you to sleep. Many patients also state in Leafly reviews that they use sativa strains to help them manage symptoms of mood disorders or other cognitive issues, including depression and ADHD.
Most modern, popular strains are hybrids of indicas and sativa, so you’re unlikely to ever find a ‘pure’ sativa strain. Strains labeled ‘sativa’ comprise the smallest segment of the Leafly database, with 548 strains, versus 860 listed as indica strains, and 3,800 listed as hybrid strains.
Each person’s chemistry is different, but here are some super-popular, strong sativa strains to check out and see if the effect is right for your needs.
Updated January 2023
These results are based on user reviews and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Frequently asked questions
- Tangie: The Tangie weed strain has strong orange citrus notes and reliably energetic, versatile, approachable effects. It came from Crockett Family Farms in California and is a national staple. Tangie powers many crosses to this day.
- Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel’s strong, uplifting effects and fuel/diesel aromas keep this old-school blockbuster sativa relevant to this day. The East Coast runs on Diesel, and Sour D powers hot hybrids like Apple Fritter.
- Super Lemon Haze: This old-school sativa from Europe continues to dominate sativa menus in dispensaries across the US, thanks to its light, lemony, grassy aroma, and strong energetic effects. All types of Haze strains provide energetic effects, fans report.
- Jack Herer: This classic sativa from Europe has fallen out of fashion with aficionados, but it still rules among sativas in the streets. It’s got a consistent, candy-sweetness and a vivid energetic effect that makes it a legend.
- Durban: Short for Durban Poison, this top-selling sativa references its hometown of Durban, South Africa. Durban is sweet with terpinolene, like Jack Herer. A 2022 study concluded that weed strong in the terpenes terpinolene plus myrcene represents the core of what it means to be a sativa strain.
Here are the highest-THC strains in our library labeled sativa that have a lot of reviews on Leafly, and should be the easiest to find at a dispensary.
- Durban: Lab tests consistently show Durban averaging 20% THC. That makes the old-school strain hold its own against modern hybrids. Fans report using that THC plus terpinolene and myrcene combo to get stuff done—making Durban the espresso of cannabis.
- Super Silver Haze: ‘Haze’ strains embody what it means to be a sativa and none may test as high, or be as popular as Super Silver Haze. While some sativas can be racy and spacy, Super Silver Haze fans report lots of energy with equal amounts of focus. Lab tests average 20% THC, considered very high.
- Chocolope: This cross of a Haze and Thai can taste like coffee and get you going just as much. It tests at 22% THC, and is strong in terpinolene, so strap in to ride this flower. Fans often report energy, focus, and a lifted mood.
- East Coast Sour Diesel: The city that never sleeps needs a sativa to keep its engines humming. Testing at 24%, East Coast Sour Diesel is that engine. ECSD has been a staple in the Leafly database since 2011, with fresh reviews through 2022.