For many years, cannabis connoisseurs have searched for the Holy Grail of marijuana plants – the most perfectly-proportioned growth pattern mixed with the most balanced effect, that nearly everyone would consider “the best cannabis ever”. Over the past decade or two, this search has proven futile, as what’s best for one person might not be best for another. Indeed, it is only just recently that we have started to think of cannabis flower and its effects in terms of chemical composition rather than rough guesswork based on its growing characteristics.
Everyone has their own unique endocannabinoid system (ECS), meaning that they may need a cannabis variety with a completely different cannabinoid profile to another person. Moreover, people prefer different products for different times of the day, and even specific social situations (e.g. going to a party, a meal out with friends, or to the movies). This means that any list of what could be considered the “best” cannabis flower is highly subjective.
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Because of this, we have picked 6 varieties (or “strains”) of cannabis with a wide range of cannabinoid and terpene profiles, including some recents and some classics.
Northern Lights is an indica known for its relaxing, sedative effects. There are many breeders with their own version of Northern Lights, but perhaps the closest to the original is the one in Mr. Nice/Sensi seed bank, or perhaps the Dr. Atomic version. Cinderella 99 is a sativa known for its powerful, cerebral effects. Both are high in THC.
This particular cross is perhaps heavier on the Northern Lights side, meaning it generally has more relaxing effects, but this doesn’t mean you won’t get the occasional Cinderella-dominant phenotype, meaning you can get a more cerebral effect on occasion.
We have put Northern Lights x Cinderella 99 (NL x Cindy 99) on this list because it:
- Has a pleasant piney, fruity, tropical aroma and taste.
- Has a short flowering time of 6 – 8 weeks.
- Has parents which are long-time favorites that have stood the test of time.
- Has hybrid vigor and is an excellent plant to grow for beginners and experts alike.
- Has a high yield.
- Grows well both indoors and outdoors.
- Grows quite short, making it excellent for discreet and guerilla grows.
NL x Cindy 99 tested at 22% THC and 0.6% CBD. It will have a powerful psychoactive effect when used in high doses. It has been reported as being ideal for anxiety, depression, stress, cramps, migraines, arthritis and chronic pain.
Blueberry, a cannabis cultivar that has been around since the 70s and bred by the one-and-only DJ Short, has become a mainstay varietal that is now used in breeding projects all around the world. It has a berry, vanilla, woody flavor and relaxing effects that make it an excellent choice for treating insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain and anxiety. This is the autoflowering version, making it an excellent choice for beginners and those looking for a relatively simple strain to grow.
Blueberry Autoflower is on this list because it:
- Has a unique, pleasant, vanilla-berry flavor, making it very approachable.
- Has soothing, calming effects.
- Is crossed with Lowryder, Blueberry Autoflower goes from seedling to harvest between 8 to 10 weeks, on top of its hybrid vigor.
Blueberry Autoflower tested at 20% THC and 0.5% CBD.
Critical Mass is a cultivar that is well-known for its bumper yields. It’s not necessarily been a plant with the highest THC content, but that’s never been the point. When crossed with other cannabis varieties, it tends to pump up the bud production whilst retaining many of the other varietal’s properties. In this case, the high CBD content and sweet, citrusy taste.
We have put CBD Critical Mass on this list because it:
- Has a gentle, balanced effect for those who aren’t looking for too much THC.
- Has an extremely high yield – up to 600 grams per square meter indoors, or 750 grams per plant outdoors.
- Is great for those looking to treat anxiety, depression, stress, inflammation and pain without going overboard.
- Could be particularly useful for daytime.
CBD Critical Mass tests at 5% CBD and 5% THC.
For those who want a roughly 1:1 THC:CBD variety, but still high in THC, there are few cultivars available that are better than this one. Cheese is known for its powerful, cerebral high and strong, earthy, taste. In this instance, due to the CBD, the effects are more mellow and calming, but the cheese smell and flavor are retained. The high THC content makes it an excellent choice for treating chronic pain, nausea and muscle spasms as well.
We have put CBD Cream & Cheese on this list because it:
- Is a great outdoor strain that can produce about 28 ounces of top-shelf buds per plant by late September or early October in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Has high THC and CBD content makes it ideal for treating chronic pain, but can also produce more euphoric effects in higher doses for those who need it, without necessarily causing a couchlock effect.
- Has a unique cannabinoid and terpene profile and elite genetics.
CBD Cream & Cheese has tested at 22% THC and 18% CBD.
Strawberry Cough is an iconic sativa cultivar bred by Kyle Kushman, and is known for its sweet, spicy, strawberry taste and uplifting effects. Strawberry Cough delivers a clear, almost energetic effect that makes it great for daytime use and for the treatment of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as fatigue, nausea and headaches/migraines.
We have put Strawberry Cough on this list because it:
- Is relatively easy to grow, for a long-flowering sativa, compared to other Haze varieties.
- Has a unique cannabinoid-terpene profile that produces a clear, “up” effect.
- Has a high THC content for those who require it.
Strawberry Cough tested at a whopping 25% THC and 0.5% CBD.
We know that there are some people out there who like to have fathers for their own breeding projects. So we added a regular seed to this list, in this case the TGA Subcool’s fabulous, prize-winning Jilly Bean. Jilly Bean offers an orange, mango, pineapple and all-round sweet and fruity taste and aroma that many love. It also has a balanced effect, with more creative, talkative, uplifting effects in low or moderate doses, and more relaxing, sedative effects in higher doses. Jilly Bean has been reported to be excellent for treating arthritis, anxiety, migraines, fatigue and PMS.
We have put Jilly Bean on this list because it:
- Offers pleasant, all-round effects that can make it useful for both daytime and evening use.
- Has invigorating effects and high THC content, making it an excellent choice for treating anxiety, depression and chronic pain, amongst many other maladies.
- Has a flowering time of 8 – 10 weeks and high indoor or outdoor yield of 600 – 700 grams per square meter or plant.
Jilly Bean tests at 21% THC and 0.6% CBD.
Is there a best cannabis flower?
If we’re being honest, this list could easily be two, three or even four times as long if we want to encapsulate the entire spectrum of cannabis’ effects to a greater extent (and even then we’d still only be scratching the surface). The above list is a small portion of what’s available out there today. Even though we have looked at a variety of cultivars/strains with a wide range of effects, you may find a completely different one you prefer. The only way to know is to try them for yourself!