How Many Strains of Weed Are There?


The strain of cannabis is a largely misunderstood concept because of the lack of scientific information available due to its recent classification as an illegal drug. However, there are a variety of strains, each with unique characteristics. Knowing the basics of how plants are bred and crossbred can help to explain what these differences may be when looking at an assortment of cannabis plants.

In short, there is no single definitive answer to how many types of marijuana strains exist in the world today. Since each strain is created through a process of selective breeding and crossing different varieties, it's hard to determine exactly how many strains currently exist. The number is constantly growing due to the proliferation of the industry in many states across the US and other countries.

Generally speaking, marijuana strains can be divided into two main categories – Indica and Sativa – along with hybrid strains that take elements from both Indica and Sativa varieties. Both Indicas and Sativas have different characteristics regarding their growth pattern, flowering time, effects when consumed, flavor profile and more. Additionally, modern-day breeders are experimenting more and more with completely new weed hybrids that combine several different parent plants into one “super strain” with unique effects on consumers.

Additionally, cannabis contains various cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Different strains contain varying concentrations and ratios of these chemicals that can contribute significantly to the effects felt after consuming them – meaning users may experience an extremely wide range of results depending on which type is consumed.

Cannabis Strains Overview

It is estimated that there are over 20,000 strains of Cannabis across the globe. These strains can be broken down into three primary categories; indica, sativa, and hybrid. Each of these categories bring their own unique effects, aromas, and flavors. Within these three categories, the sheer number of strains out there can be overwhelming.

Let's explore the different categories and strains of cannabis in further detail:


Among the three main families of Cannabis (indica, sativa and hybrid), indica strains are the most wide-spread. They are usually short and bushier than sativas, with broad leaves. Indicas originally come from the Hindu Kush mountain range that spans from Afghanistan to Pakistan and Northwestern India. They are typically used for medical purposes due to their higher CBD content which helps people find relief from chronic pain, muscle spasms, anxiety and other medical conditions.

Some popular indica strain examples include Northern Lights, Grandaddy Purp and Afghani #1.


Sativa is one of the two primary species of cannabis with indica being the other. Sativas are known for their tall, thin plants, and long, narrow leaves. Sativa plants tend to grow faster and taller than indica strains, making them the perfect choice for outdoor growers looking for quick harvests in the warmer months when temperatures are suitable for growing.

Sativas typically have higher levels of THC compared to CBD and a terpene profile that provides uplifting and energizing effects when consumed. As a result, sativas are often chosen by recreational users who want an energizing boost from their cannabis.

Popular sativa strains include:

  • Jack Herer
  • Durban Poison
  • Super Lemon Haze
  • Ghost Train Haze


Hybrids are cannabis plants that have been bred from two or more different parent plants. This is done to combine certain desirable traits from each line, such as flavor, aroma, effects, yield, and other unique qualities. Hybrid strains often offer a balanced combination of effects from both of their parent strains. By combining the genetics of two different plants, breeding can result in unique strain characteristics and allow for customization based on specific goals for the grower or breeder.

The most common type of hybrids are Sativa-dominant (Sativa/Indica) or Indica-dominant (Indica/Sativa). Examples of popular hybrid strain varieties include:

  • Blue Dream
  • Gorilla Glue #4
  • White Widow
  • Girl Scout Cookies

Strains Classification

With so many different types of cannabis strains available, it can be overwhelming to figure out what strain is right for you. Knowing the different kinds and strains of weed can help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right strain for your needs. This section will discuss the various strains of weed and how they are classified.

Cannabis Sativa Strains

Cannabis Sativa is a species of Cannabis that is known to have many different strains. As the popularity of marijuana has grown, so have the number of strains available. Today, there are hundreds if not thousands of new Sativa strains available, with different effects and varying levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content.

Among the most popular varieties of Cannabis Sativa are: Haze, Durban Poison, Sour Diesel, Kush Mints, Green Crack, Blue Dream and Red Congolese. Each strain has its own unique properties and characteristics that differentiate it from the others.

  • Haze is a tall and lanky plant with a sweet-spicy aroma and a high THC content (10-25%).
  • Durban Poison is known for its powerful uplifting effects that can bring about feelings of happiness and creativity.
  • Sour Diesel provides an intense burst of energy that aids with physical tasks or creative endeavors.
  • Kush Mints is one of the newer varieties that’s gaining in popularity due to its exotic flavor profile and calming effects.
  • Green Crack is famous for its energetic properties while Blue Dream can be used as either an energizing or relaxing strain depending on usage amount.
  • Red Congolese is known to provide crucially therapeutic relaxation without feeling overly sedative or couch locked – it’s also popular for daytime consumption due to its milder head buzz compared to other cannabis strains.

These seven popular varieties represent only a fraction of the types of Cannabis Sativa currently available in today’s market – oftentimes these varieties can be found in combination with each other creating yet more unique flavor profiles and strain diversity!

Cannabis Indica Strains

Cannabis Indica is one of the three main species of cannabis (the others being Cannabis sativa and Cannabis ruderalis). It is most commonly known for producing relaxed, sedative effects, combined with full-body pain relief. Indica strains are often used to treat insomnia, stress, and chronic pain. The plants are generally shorter and bushier than their sativa counterparts.

The buds from indica plants tend to be more compact than Sativa buds, also appearing less green in colour and with a higher concentration of crystals on the flowers. Commonly used for better sleep or as an easier way to relax after a difficult day these strains usually have higher levels of CBD compared to THC. High-quality Indica strains can even produce relaxing effects that reach far beyond just physical or mental relaxation.


  • Granddaddy Purple (GDP)
  • Bubba Kush
  • Afghani Kush
  • Northern Lights
  • Blue Cheese

Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains, as the name implies, are a combination of both indica and sativa plants. The balance between the two can vary greatly from strain-to-strain depending on the breeders’ goal for that particular hybrid. The effects of hybrids may lean more towards either sativa or indica depending on the blend; some may produce effects that are even more in between. Hybrid strains of cannabis offer a great variety of potential effects and relief, making them ideal for those wanting to experience something different every time they medicate.


  • Gorilla Glue
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • AK-47
  • White Widow
  • Blue Dream
  • Jack Herer
  • Cherry Pie

Popular Cannabis Strains

Cannabis has many genetic variations, leading to thousands of different strains. Some of these strains are indica, sativa and hybrid, each with their own effects. The cannabis strain you choose will depend on the desired effects you are looking for.

In this article, we will cover some of the popular cannabis strains, so you can have an easier time selecting the right strain for you.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel, also known as Diese or Diesel, is a hybrid cannabis strain that is well-known for its powerful aroma and stimulating effects. It's a cross between Chemdawg 91 and Super Skunk and was created in the early 90’s by growers in California’s San Fernando Valley. The buds of Sour Diesel emit an ultra pungent diesel smell with an earthy aftertaste. It has a light body feel with a mood-enhancing high that is best enjoyed during the day time.

The THC content of Sour Diesel can range from 18%-28%, while CBD levels can reach up to 1%. This variety of weed is perfect for experienced consumers looking to balance their high with potential therapeutic elements. As such, it's become increasingly popular among medical marijuana patients seeking relief from issues such as chronic pain and stress. Sour Diesel often produces a “head-high” said to provide deep cerebral clarity and mental alertness, making it ideal for concentration tasks. Physically, this strain may produce mild relaxation throughout the body reducing both muscle tension and anxiety while allowing you to still go throughout your day caring out any necessary activities or responsibilities.

Blue Dream

The Blue Dream cannabis strain is a Sativa-dominant hybrid hailing from the Humboldt Growers in Northern California. It is a cross between the Blueberry indica and the Sativa Haze, and has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its well-balanced effects that can provide both mental and physical relief.

The most common characteristic of this strain is a sweet berry aroma with distinct notes of blueberry when smoked or vaporized. Many users note that it carries an energizing rush of creativity and focus, while also providing relaxation and calming effects throughout the body. Blue Dream is effective for treating depression, stress, chronic pain, fatigue, and insomnia.

This strain provides a long-lasting effect, with an average THC concentration of 15-20%. Its effects can range from mild to strong depending on variables such as individual tolerance levels and growing environment. The buds are light green tones in color, covered in long orange hairs that are sometimes difficult to see among all the trichomes present on each nugget.

Granddaddy Purple

Granddaddy Purple, or GDP, is one of the most popular cannabis strains in the world. The strain gets its namesake from its purple hue and signature sweet taste. An indica-dominant hybrid, GDP has a THC content as high as 22%. It was created by California-based breeder Ken Estes and combines two popular strains – Big Bud and Purple Urkle.

GDP delivers heavy body effects including relaxation and sleepiness combined with a pleasant cerebral high that leads to socialization and mellowed moods. It's great for treating symptoms of insomnia, nausea, chronic stress, depression and pain. The strain has an intensely pleasant fruity grape aroma with earthy undertones that sweeten up even more upon grinding or breaking open the buds to reveal deep purple hues covered in trichomes. When smoking this strain, it may produce coughing fits due to its thick smoke.


Overall, there is no definite answer on how many strains of weed are out there. It is believed that there are thousands of unique varieties, and new ones are being developed every day. The numerous genetic variations caused by crossbreeding give breeders an almost limitless array of possibilities. Breeding also allows for unique combinations of traits such as taste, smell and effects, which result in a myriad of choices for physicians and consumers to explore.

With the emergence of legalization, the world can expect to see an even greater variety and availability of strains in the near future—providing users with more options than ever before.