Beginners Guide To Marijuana Strains

In the United States, the Cannabis industry is currently worth $61 billion. The legalization of the plant has increased consumer interest in commercial marijuana strains more than ever.

If you’re new to Cannabis, you might be wondering what the best marijuana strains are.
What’s more, with the influx of choices available on the market today, it might be difficult choosing the right strain as per your requirements.

But don’t worry; as you’ll see, choosing the right marijuana strain is not a challenging task— as long as you know what to look for.

In this article, we’ll list down some of the best marijuana strains for beginners. But before we can reveal our selection, you need to know what exactly a marijuana strain is. 

What Are Marijuana Strains?

A group of marijuana plants.

Simply put, marijuana strains are different varieties of the plant. Basically, these strains are explicitly bred to amplify particular properties of the flower, such as taste, smell, color, terpene profile, THC and CBD content, and psychoactive effect.

The four main categories of marijuana strains are as follows:

  • Sativa
  • Indica
  • Ruderalis
  • Hybrid

Before moving on, let’s briefly go over each type of strain to know what to look for.


The first type of strain is Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis Sativa is a strain said to have originated in Central and South America, from where it spread to the rest of the world.

A typical Sativa plant is tall and has thin leaves, and sometimes a lighter color. Moreover, a Sativa plant can grow up to 20 feet tall, so it is more suitable for growing outdoors.

Sativa strains are more mentally uplifting and can provide relief from excessive sleepiness, ADHD, depression, and other mood disorders.


Next up, we have Cannabis Indica. Indica is said to have evolved in the Hindu Kush mountain region. Consequently, many strains have the word “Kush” in them, which indicates genetic origin from landrace Hindu Kush strains.

Indica plants are shorter than other strains, often maxing out at 6 feet tall. They also have thicker, bushier, and darker leaves.

Sativa strains are traditionally good for insomnia, anxiety disorders, pain, and low appetite.


The third type of strain is Cannabis Ruderalis. Originally from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, the strain has a very low THC concentration on its own.

In recent years Ruderalis has surged in popularity with the emergence of autoflowering strains, which are the easiest for beginners to grow.

You will not find much use from Ruderalis buds on their own. With that in mind, if you’re medicating with an autoflowering strain, you’re likely smoking a Ruderalis hybrid. This brings us to the final kind of strain.


Hybrids are true to their name: fusions of two different kinds of strains.

These can be combinations of Sativa with Indica or Ruderalis to create autoflowering strains.

Hence, hybrids can vary in their profile of effects; a 60-40 Sativa-Indica hybrid will have mostly uplifting, cerebral effects, whereas a 50-50 will offer a balance between both.

Of course, the best marijuana strains are often hybrids of Sativas and Indicas, usually available in autoflowering versions.

Top 5 Marijuana Strains For Beginners

Now that you’re up to speed about marijuana strains, you’re all set to buy your first beginner’s strain.

Make sure you know what type of effects you’re looking for before you decide on a strain purchase. If you’re using marijuana medically, always consult with your medical marijuana practitioner before medicating with a strain.

With that said, here are our picks for the best marijuana strains for beginners:

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1. Wedding Cake

  • Strain Type: Indica-dominant Hybrid
  • Dominant Terpene: Limonene
  • Primary Effects: Relaxation, Hunger, Euphoria
  • Cannabinoids: THC 22%, CBG 1%

A hard-hitting strain, Wedding Cake offers sweet and tangy flavors with hints of earthiness. This makes the strain an ideal choice for new smokers who find the taste of Cannabis strong.

But be warned; the THC content in this strain is unusually high. The high THC levels make it an excellent choice for people with insomnia or clinical depression. At the same time, the strain might not be ideal for anxiety and mood disorders.

The other major warning? You’ll soon be hungry for cake; the strain increases appetite like no other. Hence, patients undergoing chemo or radiation therapy could benefit from the hunger-boosting effects.

2. Jack Herer

  • Strain Type: Sativa-dominant Hybrid
  • Dominant Terpene: Terpinolene
  • Primary Effects: 
  • Cannabinoids: THC 17%, CBG 1%

Named after the legendary marijuana activist and Journalist, Jack Herer lives up to its legendary reputation as a medical-grade marijuana strain.

Originally from the Netherlands, this strain offers spicy, pine-scented notes that bring a rush of energy.

You’ll find that Jack Herer is great for anxiety, mood disorders, and ADHD.

3. Northern Lights

  • Strain Type: Indica-Dominant Hybrid
  • Dominant Terpene: Myrcene
  • Primary Effects: Relaxation, Happiness, Euphoria
  • Cannabinoids: THC 16%, CBG 1%

Another Dutch classic, Northern Lights is a medical-grade Indica-Dominant Hybrid that remains a popular choice for new marijuana users even today.

The strain has a pungent, sweet, and spicy aroma. For medical use, the strain is excellent for depression, pain relief, and insomnia. 

So if you’ve been feeling a little blue, why not spark some Northern Lights to cheer you up and soothe you?

4. Bubba Kush

  • Strain Type: Indica
  • Dominant Terpene: Caryophyllene
  • Primary Effects: Relaxation, Sleepiness, Happiness
  • Cannabinoids: THC 17%, CBD variable

Next up, we have Bubba Kush, a well-known Indica strain.

All Kush strains are sure to pack a powerful Indica-laced punch, and Bubba Kush is no different. Sweet, chocolatey, and coffee flavors burst through in a deeply sedating smoke that leaves the user in a state of relaxed bliss.

Additionally, It’s also an excellent night-time strain. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, a little Bubba Kush will send you off to dreamland faster than you can count sheep.

5. CBD Kush

  • Strain Type: Indica-Dominant Hybrid
  • Dominant Terpene: Myrcene
  • Primary Effects: Relaxation, Happiness, Focus
  • Cannabinoids: THC 7%, CBD 8%

If you have a low tolerance to THC, CBD Kush is the best beginner’s strain.

Cannabis Flower.

The effects are mild and offer slight mental cloudiness, making it the perfect choice for people who experience anxiety or paranoia on marijuana.

CBD Kush increases focus in its users, an effect not commonly associated with Indicas. This should show you how strain labels can sometimes be misleading. For this reason, it’s best to buy marijuana strains based on effect profile rather than strain labels alone.

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As marijuana continues to surge in popularity, the number of strains available for use also continues to grow. 

If you have just started to dabble in recreational marijuana and are looking for the best marijuana strains to buy, it helps to know the types of strains and what effects profile to consider. 

Get started with our picks for the best beginner marijuana strains by going to a dispensary near you, and let us know what you think!

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