Cannabis genetics are generally classified into three different types; indicas, sativas, and hybrids. In general, the term sativa is used to describe strains that provide uplifting cerebral highs. They are large slender plants, with large internodal spacing with the potential to produce some sweet and sticky buds.
So, continue reading as we list the top 11 sativa strains for consumers and growers alike. Hopefully, you may have never heard of some of them, which is exciting because it introduces you to a whole new world of cannabis genetics.
1. Silver Haze
If we’re talking about the best sativas, we have to start with the legendary strains that made way for modern-day cannabis genetics. Silver Haze is one of those most influential strains and is the predecessor to many other famous sativa hybrids, like Super Silver Haze.
It is a classic sativa strain bred by Sensi Seeds over four decades ago. It crossed all the best genetics from the 80s (Original Haze, Northern Lights, and Skunk #1), and to this day, it’s still one of the best sativas available.
Growers can expect a relatively low-maintenance and easy to grow strain despite its long flowering period. This means that even beginners can enjoy the benefits of this sweet cultivar.
Silver Haze has a complex terpene profile in rich myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene, so expect a mixture of spicy and citrus flavours on the palette. Users report a long-lasting uplighting high, with a sense of euphoria and increased creativity that will have you running through your to-do list without interruption.
2. Northern Lights #5 x Haze
Northern Lights #5 x Haze is one of the most renowned sativas in Dutch genetics and dominated Amsterdam’s High Times Cannabis Cup in 1990 and 1993 – it’s been classic ever since.
Northern Lights #5 x Haze is a tall, slender plant with sizeable internodal spacing and a dense flower structure similar to an indica. Growers should know that Northern Lights #5 x Haze can reach extreme heights and has a longer flowering time than most cannabis plants, around 65 to 75 days.
So if you’re looking to maximize its potential, it should be cultivated in open soil, with the potential to yield 800 grams per plant. Indoors growers frequently report harvests of around 450 grams per square meter.
The terpene profile is primarily myrcene, pinene, and limonene. Upon consumption, Northern Lights #5 x Haze fills the users’ palette with sweet fruity and earthy notes with spicy piney undertones. In addition to its look and taste, Northern Lights #5 x Haze is beloved for its potent effects. The strain delivers a euphoric head high that actively boosts creativity.
3. Durban Poison
Durban Poison is a pure landrace sativa from Durban, South Africa, and it’s possible you won’t find a single list of best sativas that doesn’t feature Durban. It was discovered and proliferated by Ed Rosenthal and Mel Frank.
Durban Poison is a typical sativa with significant internodal gaps and slender leaves. She has elongated flowers with a dense bud structure and is covered in resin glands.
The most abundant terpenes in Durban Poison are terpinolene, myrcene, and ocimene, evident in the earthy, spicy, and slightly fruity aroma. Users experience an almost sweet and spicy flavour on the palette upon consumption.
The biggest reason people love Durban is for its uplifting effects. Durban is one of the best daytime strains ever, and after consuming, you’ll immediately feel clear-headed, creative, and optimistic. Anyone looking for a delicious uplighting strain should look no further than Durban.
4. Jamaican Pearl
In loose soil, Jamaican Pearl can reach extreme heights of up to 3 meters. It is a tall, slender plant with resinous flowers and large thin fan leaves. She has an average nine to eleven-week flowering period and has the potential to produce around 450 grams per square meter.
Thanks to the presence of myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene in the terpene profile, Jamaican Pearl gives off fruity and earthy undertones with a sweet grapefruit aroma. Expect a tropical palette reminiscent of the Caribbean.
Like a classic Haze, Jamaican Pearl is an excellent mood-enhancing strain ideal for daytime use or socializing with friends. With light waves of euphoria and increased creativity, Jamaican Pearl is a classic sativa.
Trainwreck is one of the best cannabis strains ever to exist. It’s citrusy, potent, and it’s relatively easy to cultivate. This classic sativa strain was bred in Northern California from a mix of Mexican, Thai, and Afghani landraces.
Trainwreck is an easy strain to cultivate and can flourish both inside and out. Growers can expect an eight-week flowering period and heavy yield from Trainwreck. Since she tends to grow quite tall, Trainwreck is often favoured for outdoor cultivation instead of indoor cultivation.
The result produces a unique terpene profile with an aroma that smells like a mixture of citrus and pine. These idyllic flavours come from a unique blend of humulene, myrcene, caryophyllene, pinene, and limonene.
Trainwreck gets its name from the heavy effects that hit your mind like a freight train. Most consumers feel a great sensation of euphoria and an uplifting, long-lasting cerebral high.
6. Mexican Sativa
Mexican Sativa crosses Mexican Oahakan, Pakistan Hash Plant, and Durban. It is a 70% sativa-dominant hybrid, with a long flowering period of around 70 days that can flourish even in cold climates.
Outdoors, Mexican Sativa can reach excessive heights. However, if you’re looking to cultivate indoors and increase yields, the height gain can be reduced by using training techniques such as Sea of Green (SOG), Screen of Green (SCROG) and Supercropping. Growers can keep the vegetation period shorter than usual.
Mexican Sativa terpene profile is a unique mixture of woody, nutty notes with pungent earthy flavours that remind you of other classic sativas, like Haze and Thai. This unique cultivar’s palate comes from a rich blend of ocimene, caryophyllene, and myrcene.
Consuming Mexican Sativa will leave the user feeling uplifted, energetic and happy. It has a substantial cerebral effect, and is one of those strains that will have you laughing for hours.
7. Sensi Amnesia
This stereotypical sativa is a tall and slender plant with large internodal spacing. Sensi Amnesia has the potential to large yields; however, you will need some cultivation experience to achieve Sensi Amnesia’s full potential.
Sensi Amnesia’s terpene profile gives off a mix of earthy and citrus scents and flavours. You can expect this strain to make you feel happy and social on the effects side. It would be a great strain to share with friends.
8. White Gorilla Haze
Gorilla Glue #4 in the lineage has created large chunky flowers covered in resinous trichomes, making White Gorilla Haze a tremendous strain for hash makers. The Haze lineage is evident in its tall posture, and if you’re looking to cultivate indoors, it is best to initiate flowering at around 30 cm to reach a final height of approximately 100 cm.
Growing White Gorilla Haze requires some profound cultivation experience, with varied phenotypes and the potential to increase 200-300% in height during bloom. It is one of Sensi Seeds’ more intermediate to advanced strains to grow.
When cured, users can expect a mixture of deep coffee and pine notes with citrus undertones. It is an excellent choice for stressed-out daytime cannabis consumers, and users will feel a mix of uplifted energy and mild relaxation.
9. Purple Haze
Purple Haze is an 80% sativa-dominant hybrid that’s been around since the 1960s— it is one of the strains that prove purple cannabis plants are not always indicas.
It is a tall plant with significant internodal gaps and a loose open bud structure, stereotypical of sativa strains. Foliage is a darker green than most equatorial sativas, and during the final weeks of flowering, growers can expect to see hues of dark purples in the buds.
Purple Haze is a tremendous low-maintenance strain with an average height gain and average flowering period of up to 65 days. Growers can expect a pretty high yield with minimal effort.
Purple Haze has a terpene profile dominant in myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene, so get ready for some sweet earthy undertones with pungent berry notes. Consuming Purple Haze tends to make consumers feel a boost in happiness, energy, and creativity; the touch of indica ensures a soothing body relaxation.
Michka by Sensi Seeds is named after the cannabis legend, Michka Seeliger-Chatelain. It is a deliciously sweet and zesty long-flowering, 80% sativa-dominant strain. Plants have a tall and slender structure with limited lateral branching. Buds form in dense clusters along the main stem and have a light and airy structure.
Indoors, it is an excellent choice for training techniques such as super-cropping, a sea of green or a screen of green. Outdoors in a warm Mediterranean climate, plants can often grow exceptionally tall. It is ideal for experienced growers, as Michka can usually require a lot of tender, love and care.
The terpene profile of this unique cultivar is remarkable; sweet citrus notes with a fruity undertone. Michka provides the user with an initial boost of euphoria and creativity upon consumption. It is an ideal daytime strain with a long-lasting and potent cerebral high. It is available in both feminized and regular varieties.
11. Early Pearl
Last but certainly not least is Early Pearl. Sensi Seeds bred early Pearl as the first outdoor sativa, designed for shorter outdoor summers. Since then, it has been used as a parent strain for many other high-quality sativa-dominant hybrids like Jamaican Pearl.
Early Pearl is one of the most rewarding sativas on this list. Grown inside, you can potentially yield around 500 grams per square meter. Outdoors, cultivators frequently see yields as high as two kilograms per plant. However, be warned that early Peal can reach up to 4 meters outside in open soil!
Unlike most sativas, this plant’s buds are thick and dense like indicas. Early Pearl has smaller internodal gaps and larger fan leaves than most sativas. Early Pearl is a low-maintenance strain, and cultivars can expect plants to flower after about nine weeks. It is a great beginner strain and can be tailored to short summers and colder climates.
Early Pearl emits a mixture of piney and citrusy aromas due to pinene, myrcene, and caryophyllene in her terpene profile.
Upon consumption, users will feel a slight rush of cerebral energy that may cause any anxiety and stress to disappear instantly. Most people describe the Early Pearl experience as happy, light, and cerebral.
We have highlighted 11 of our favourite sativa strains throughout this article. However, as you know, there are many more strains to enjoy! Did we cover all of the classic sativa cultivars, or did we miss any? Please let us know in the comment below!
- Disclaimer:Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.