Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
We live in a busy world that demands a lot of people’s energy and focus, so it’s unsurprising that remedies to enhance productivity are always in high demand. Despite the “lazy stoner” stereotype, many cannabis consumers today rely on cannabis products to boost their productivity, combat fatigue, and accomplish more throughout the day.
If you’re used to cannabis as an evening-time experience, emerging research may change your mind about reaching for your morning cup of coffee. Recent studies have found that specific cultivars, often referred to interchangeably as chemovars (i.e., strains), may boost energy levels and motivate users to accomplish tasks. According to consumers, some of the best strains for productivity include:
- Durban Poison
- Jack Herer
- Super Silver Haze
- Sour Diesel
- Lemon Skunk
- Green Crack
- Mango Kush
- Super Lemon Haze
Many of these varieties are high in terpenes like limonene, pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and terpinolene, which may contribute to these cultivars’ uplifting and focusing effects. Low doses of THC, THCV, and low-to-moderate doses of CBD may also contribute to their effects.
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How Cannabis Affects Productivity
For decades, many have associated smoking weed with relaxing and tuning out the world for a few hours. However, people are increasingly harnessing the cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana to enhance creativity and jumpstart a day of focused work. Unfortunately, many of the exact compounds that produce these results lack sufficient research, but limited evidence suggests cannabis’s promising usefulness as a productivity tool.
One 2016 study found that regular cannabis use in healthy adults helped to improve their general quality of life and well-being, which led to improved executive function (mental processes that help us plan, focus, multi-task, and remember instructions). When cannabis can help address other quality-of-life concerns, such as chronic pain, a byproduct is improved productivity.
Much older evidence also helped to dispel the stigma of cannabis users as lazy. A 2006 survey found that, despite the belief that marijuana use hindered ambition, there was no measurable difference between consumers and the test group on motivation and well-being.
And while there is evidence of marijuana’s impact on immediate cognitive function and memory, many of these studies don’t isolate by cultivar and account for the terpene profile’s impact on cannabis’s effects — an impact known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect occurs when THC and CBD work with other compounds (like terpenes and flavinoids) in a given strain. This is why, while THC may be sedating in some cases, certain strains with THC can uplift, energize, and increase productivity.
Finally, the amount and duration of cannabis use may also affect productivity. In one study, long-term cannabis use was associated with a decrease in dopamine, one of the hormones responsible for feelings of motivation.
So, in addition to the compounds in a particular cannabis strain, it is possible that heavy, chronic use of cannabis may decrease productivity. If you find that that’s the case for you, you may benefit from a tolerance break.
Best Daytime Strains for Productivity
When searching for a cannabis strain to help you tackle the day ahead, one size does not fit all. Strains that work for some may not work for others. Ultimately, you may need to try a few different strains to see which your body responds best to.
Durban Poison is considered one of the best marijuana options for energizing and tackling tasks. The strain typically has high THC levels that test as much as 24%, with terpinolene and beta-caryophyllene among its primary terpenes. This strain reportedly provides a clear-headed yet cerebral high, so some refer to it as the “espresso” of cannabis.
Jack Herer is a classic sativa-dominant strain that many daily consumers use to replace their morning cup of coffee. Anecdotes claim it provides a calm mental clarity and mild euphoria that lasts for many hours, perfect for carrying those with fatigue through the workday. Jack Herer usually tests between 15%-24% THC and features a terpene profile of caryophyllene, pinene, and terpinolene.
Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze’s high comes on fast, filling users with a mental focus within the first few inhales. Consumers claim this potent strain is an excellent mood booster and creativity enhancer, making it helpful if you need more brainstorming focus on a specific project. Super Silver Haze’s high lasts throughout the day, and a little goes a long way.
Sour Diesel is considered a much-beloved daytime strain with high levels of energizing limonene and pain-relieving myrcene. Those dealing with chronic pain throughout the day opt for Sour Diesel to manage pain while not compromising their ability to think or accomplish tasks. However, high doses may lead to sedative effects due to Sour Diesel’s high THC and myrcene content.
Lemon Skunk is a sativa-dominant hybrid that balances a relaxed impact on anxiety with a pleasant, cerebral buzz. Many cite Lemon Skunk as their preferred cannabis strain for creative pursuits, lowering mental blocks that would otherwise allow creative work to flow.
Green Crack is the perfect strain for a busy day requiring as much focus as possible. Many people choose Green Crack for effects that promote attention to detail, which separates it from most other sativa strains on this list. Its potency lands between 13%-21% THC and contains beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, and pinene as its primary terpenes.
Blue Dream is a popular strain that relaxes while stimulating creativity. Descending from Blueberry and Haze, Blue Dream perfectly suits those who suffer from anxiety as a blocker of productivity, melting away stress and allowing them to accomplish tasks with an open, relaxed mind.
However, it can be more potent and contain more relaxing terpenes like linalool and myrcene than other varieties, so start with a low dose before gradually increasing it.
Super Lemon Haze
Super Lemon Haze is an energizing hybrid that soothes pain and inflammation while elevating mood and energy levels. Many users reportedly select this cultivar for brainstorming and collaborating with others, citing improved social mood and a lessened distraction from physical pain. Super Lemon Haze has high levels of terpinolene, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene and tests up to 25% total THC.
Daytime Dosing Tips
Much of cannabis’s effectiveness lies in different strains’ dose sizes and chemical makeup. Some who rely on cannabis for daytime use employ “microdosing.” They consume products with far lower THC levels than they might use in the evening, which provides an energy boost while mitigating the risk of unwanted side effects of high levels of THC, including dry mouth, anxiety, and paranoia.
The terpenes in certain strains also impact your productivity. The best weed options here are high in terpenes like limonene, pinene, and terpinolene, which tend to have more energizing effects and battle the otherwise sedating impact of THC (note that terpinolene can also be sedative and relaxing, especially when combined with myrcene). Combining lower doses of THC with CBG, CBD, or THCV may also help uplift you when you must tackle your to-do list.
While cannabis isn’t a panacea for daytime productivity, some marijuana strains can boost energy and hone mental focus for those struggling with fatigue, ADHD, or a simple lack of energy. Experiment with small and gradually larger doses daily to determine your favorite strain and how much it will suit your productivity needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What strains are best for daytime pain?
When you need daytime pain relief without the sedative effects of some more analgesic (i.e., pain-relieving) strains, opt for a high-CBD option such as ACDC or strains with high beta-caryophyllene — which has anti-inflammatory properties — like Sour Diesel.
Is sativa or indica better for working?
Those looking for a productivity-boosting chemovar will want to stick with traditionally sativa strains. These usually have moderate THC content and feature more energizing terpenes like limonene, pinene, and terpinolene.
However, the terms “sativa” and “indica” are rough distinctions at best and will not always tell you about the effect a chemovar will have. Only looking at the cannabinoid and terpene content of the plant (i.e., its chemotype) will give you an understanding of the effect a particular variety of cannabis will have.