There’s a debate within the world of cannabis about the “old” ways of labeling the different plant strains “The Entourage Effect” concept is making its way into the mainstream. The Entourage Effect posits that it’s less about indica versus sativa—the former famous for its body high and the latter for its uplifting, energetic, creative high—and more about more intricate details of the plant.

Cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN join forces with the terpenes that give each strain its unique flavor and color to create each strain’s individual effects, the theory says. 

Some take it a step further and say that it doesn’t matter whether a strain is an indica or sativa. If the terpenes and cannabinoids line up correctly, a sativa could give you couch-lock while an indica could help you write that novella you’ve been putting off for months.

Still, there’s a reason that indica and sativa strains have the reputations they do—and there are no signs that retailers or their customers are rushing to redefine their favorite plant after centuries of experimentation. 

With that in mind, here are five sativa strains that are guaranteed to meet or even exceed their stereotypes:

Sour Diesel

If a strain has the word “sour” or “diesel” in it, you know you’re in for an energetic ride. Sour Diesel is a cross of the Chemdawg and Super Skunk strains. Its 19% THC rate is almost guaranteed to get you going. The strain gained popularity in the early ’90s, and it remains popular today. It’s no surprise then that the top effect listed by Leafly’s user base is “energetic.”

Durban Poison

Durban Poison has a reputation for being among the most energetic of the pure sativas, and it’s not for the faint of heart. “Those who struggle with anxiety and paranoia should probably steer clear,” according to culture website Thrillist. The strain was originally exported from the South African city Durban and boasts a 19% THC rate. Its top effect is also listed as “energetic” at Leafly.

Durban Poison - Sativa Strain
Photo: El Roi via 123RF

Green Crack

If the name didn’t give it away, the Green Crack strain is renowned for its energetic high. “Few strains compare to Green Crack’s sharp energy and focus as it induces an invigorating mental buzz that keeps you going through the day,” says Leafly, whose users rate its top effect as—you guessed it—”energetic.”

Purple Haze

We’ve taken you back to the ’90s. Now, let’s go seriously old school with Purple Haze, a strain rock legend Jimi Hendrix arguably made famous in his band’s 1967 track, “Purple Haze.” That track also contains some of Hendrix’s most famous lyrics: “Purple haze all in my brain. Lately, things just don’t seem the same. Acting funny, but I don’t know why. Excuse me while I kiss the sky.” Leafly says Purple Haze “delivers a dreamy burst of euphoria that brings veteran consumers back to their psychedelic heyday.” There might just be something to that.  


Bringing you back to the current decade, allow us to introduce you to Mimosa—the 2020 High Times Cannabis Cup winner for the state of Oregon. Leafly says: “In small doses, this strain produces happy, level-headed effects that will leave you feeling uplifted and motivated enough to take on any mundane task.” But in what could be a win for proponents of The Entourage Effect, “In large doses, Mimosa may make you feel sleepy and relaxed.” A popular description on the Leafly site is “Creative.”

If you’re looking for a top-tier selection of sativas virtually guaranteed to get you going—at work, school, or play—hit your local retailer, grab an eighth of one on this list, and you’ll be good to go!