Everyone has experienced those moments when you just can’t concentrate, regardless of whether you have ADD/ADHD or not and it can be frustrating trying to get things crossed off your to-do list when you can’t just seem to find any ability to focus.
Luckily, several different cannabis strains have shown promise in alleviating internal distractions, energizing the body, and helping us focus. Below we take a look at the best cannabis strains for focusing.
This list of top strains for being productive is in no way intended to be a replacement for medical advise and if you have ADD/ADHD consult with your doctor.
However, if you just occasionally struggle with being able to focus and are drinking waaaay too much coffee already and don’t want to venture into the world of prescription drugs, we’ve rounded up a few focus-friendly cannabis strains worthy of exploration.
*If you’re not in the mood for focusing and just want to get high and have fun check out our “best strains of 2020” list because many of these little guys are still going strong into 2021!
Sativa vs. Indica
Let’s delve into the different ways in which Sativa and Indica can promote concentration. Typically, Sativa’s high-THC content creates an uplifting effect; whereas, Indica’s high-CBD content relaxes the mind and body.
For a more thorough explanation of these two origin plant types and the more common hybrids found on store shelves today check out this differences breakdown post we recently published!
Dispensaries often recommend Sativa as the wake-and-bake species of cannabis. Its energizing effect stimulates the mind and gets you ready for the day.
If you experience difficulty when trying to focus because of sluggishness’s general feeling, Sativa can lift you up. Other effects of consuming Sativa include:
- Enhanced creativity
- Improved mood
- Increased anxiety
Indica has gained popularity as the cannabis species that helps you unwind at the end of a long day. Its ability to relax your mind, nerves, and muscles can bring a person back down to Earth if they can’t focus due to a racing mind.
Those who feel a little scatterbrained while multitasking can narrow their focus with just a pinch of Indica. Reported effects include:
- Improved sleep
- Decreased anxiety
- Lessened motivation
Sativa vs Indica: Is There a Difference?
There are a lot of myths in the cannabis world. One myth is that you can go out and buy an ounce of pure sativa or pure indica from your local dispensary.
In reality, there are hardly any real 100% indica or 100% sativa plants anymore and the ones that do exist don’t produce massive juicy trichome-laden buds you want.
So, ultimately, everything you are going to find in your local dispensary is technically a hybrid.
BUT, there are still ratios within hybrids and that is where the magic of sativa vs indica comes into play because you can definitely get indica dominant strains and sativa dominant strains that impart the desired effects they are famed for.
So, no need to fret, you can still ask your budtender for a focus-friendly sativa-dominant hybrid and they’ll immediately know what you’re talking about.
Likewise, if you want something to unwind you on the couch after a long hard day at work then asking for an indica-dominant hybrid will get you set up with the right flower for your needs.
Role of Terpenes
You still need to know yourself regarding your personal dosing requirements and previous reactions to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
But, you should also consider the primary terpenes, or aromatic compounds, found in each strain. Before we dive into the strains, take a look at the various terpenes you will encounter as you read further:
- Myrcene – Found in all but one strain that we selected, myrcene gives off a grassy, balsamic aroma and may protect your brain and heart from oxidation.
- Caryophyllene – Another common terpene, beta-caryophyllene, has a more pungent smell and may reduce pain and inflammation.
- Pinene – This terpene adds a piney taste to cannabis, may improve your mood, and can have a bronchodilatory effect that allows more oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Limonene – Limonene provides a citrusy twist to your cannabis’ flavor and, as you might expect, has antiviral and anticancer properties.
- Terpinolene – Terpinolene smells fresh, almost floral. You can find terpinolene in the tea tree and other plants, and it may have antibacterial and antifungal effects.
- Ocimene – Sweet and earthy, ocimene rarely serves as the main terpene. But, like terpinolene, it may also provide antibacterial and antifungal benefits.
Now, let’s go over the best cannabis strains for focusing, starting with the THC-dominant options, and moving towards the CBD-dominants.
Balancing Role of CBD
CBD isn’t just for those who are afraid of THC or get drug tested. Having some CBD in a strain can help keep you grounded, particularly when consuming a very high THC sativa dominant strain.
In fact, if you find yourself geeking a bit with a big sativa hitter, try using a little bit of a CBD dominant strain, it will often help balance out some of the jitter or paranoia experienced with very intense THC-heavy sativa dominant strains.
You’ll notice there are a lot of CBD containing strains towards the bottom of this list for precisely the reason described above.
If you find yourself feeling a little sluggish and unmotivated, Cinex will wake you up and sharpen your focus. But, use caution when consuming this THC-dominant, Sativa-dominant strain.
With around 25% THC, new smokers should use a minimal amount to avoid overstimulation and paranoia. Otherwise, the antioxidant power of its primary terpene, limonene, will combine with the high THC level to make you happy enough to perform even the most menial task.
Other terpenes present: caryophyllene and pinene
This is one of the best cannabis strains for focusing. As its name might suggest, Green Crack will get you up and moving because, well, you’ve got things to do!
On average, this Sativa-dominant strain delivers a smaller amount of THC than Cinex.
Still, with a very high THC level of around 21%, less is more. Should you overdo it, the primary terpene, myrcene, will make sure everything is okay thanks to its neuroprotective properties.
Green Crack’s name is definitely scarier than its effects, unless you are a beginner cannabis user in which case something with a lower THC percentage and higher CBD ratio would be a better starter strain.
Other terpenes present: caryophyllene and ocimene
The impact this THC-dominant Sativa can make on minimizing pain, stress, and depression catapults it onto our list as a top candidate for the best cannabis strain for concentration. External distractions seem to melt away, leaving you with a clear head and better composure.
Sour Diesel has maintained its popularity for decades. Again, dosing is key. If you take too much, you may start to overthink things. The pungent caryophyllene dominates, inspiring Sour Diesel’s name.
Most strains that have “sour” in them are going to be sativa dominant and could also make good focus-friendly options but always worth asking your budtender first.
Other terpenes present: myrcene and limonene
Cannabidiol finally comes into the picture thanks to the Harlequin Sativa strain, with its balanced, 5:2 CBD-to-THC ratio. Harlequin will usually calm your nerves and muscles and focus your mind. And, while its THC level remains low, you can still expect a bit of euphoria.
The very high CBD level, which can reach well into the double digits, may help with pain and depression. Many consumers feel like the earthy aroma of myrcene has a grounding effect.
Other terpenes present: pinene and caryophyllene
This hybrid descendent of Harlequin and Sour Tsunami offers an even more calming effect than its parent strains. While its CBD level remains very high, Harle-tsu provides nearly zero THC.
So, you won’t deal with any of the intoxicating effects of the strains mentioned previously.
It’s worth mentioning that Harle-tsu is one of the few strains available with a significant amount of terpinolene, which has been shown to produce improvement in fighting off bacteria and fungi.
Other terpenes present: Myrcene (main terpene) and pinene
Many smokers have celebrated this strain for its anti-anxiety properties. Sour Tsunami represents a cross between Sour Diesel and NYC Diesel.
This high-CBD, low-THC hybrid won’t get you high, but it will calm you down, make you happier, and allow you to focus better. Double-digit CBD will do that.
Terpinolene makes an appearance for the last time on this list, bringing with it a refreshing aroma that resets your mind in addition to its medicinal qualities.
Other terpenes present: myrcene, pinene
Sharing genetics with Sour Tsunami and Cannatonic, Canna-tsu delivers around 10% CBD. This strain enjoys immense popularity with those dealing with chronic pain, anxiety, and seizures. But, like the other CBD-dominant strains, it won’t create a sense of euphoria. Instead, it should relax your muscles and ease your nerves, allowing you to concentrate more easily.
Thanks to its blend of terpenes, it should taste like an orange grove on a rainy day.
Terpenes present: myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene
The following strains almost made our list and may work best for you regarding concentration: Mother’s Helper, Zkittlez, Maui Waui, Durban Poison, and Headband.
*New strains are being released every year so make sure to ask your local budtender directly what they have found to be popular for focusing because that is a very common question and they may have more statistical insight (in terms of sales and customer/patient feedback) than what you can dig up online yourself.
Last Take on the Best Cannabis Strains for Focusing
Finding the right cannabis strain for focus might take some time. You’ll have to employ a trial-and-error approach before you find the right one for you. This is because our bodies each react differently to the compounds found within cannabis.
Similar to how alcohol effects people differently, making some violent, some crazy, some tired, and some comical. Strains also impact our bodies different because we are all unique as humans.
Those disclaimers aside, if you simply want a clear head and a relaxed body, then maybe start your search towards the bottom of our list.
If, on the other hand you’d rather take something that energizes you and gets the creative juices flowing, then start at the top.
Please note that the stated medicinal effects attributed to terpenes require a lot of additional research, we’re just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of understanding all the health impacts of cannabis, cannabinoids and terpenes in particular.
So while much of the data provided regarding the benefits of certain terpenes remain anecdotal at this point it’s a starting point.
At the very least, the alluring fragrances of terpenes can affect our mood due to their aromatherapeutic properties, which there is a long record of documented health benefits.