Herbal aids for productivity are no less common than coffee. Millions of people drink caffeine, a stimulant, every morning to prepare for work, and return to it again throughout the day. So it should be no surprise then that cannabis consumers have singled out a handful of strains that appear to impart similar uplifting effects. And science agrees: cannabis can help with focus.
In 2017, researchers in Britain administered a small trial of Sativex, a synthetic cannabinoid spray, on adults with ADHD. Their results echoed the anecdotal evidence that endocannabinoid agonists like THC and CBD can help people manage their conscious attention. The more molecular science regarding how exactly it helps is still being researched, but for those seeking relief from distraction or fatigue, cannabis can be as good as coffee.
In this article, we review some of the best strains for focus, how they might help, and factors to consider when selecting the best strain for you.
Table of Contents
Sour Diesel is a sativa hybrid bred from Chemdawg, and gets its name from the pungent fuel smell it emits. It offers both a cerebral and emotional lift, which not only helps you focus, but also reminds you what you like about the work — or at least helps you have fun doing lousy work. Take it slow with this strain though, because at nearly 25% THC, you risk floating off the face of the earth. A popular strain from coast to coast, it should be easy for most consumers to find.
Formerly known as “Green Crack,” this potent sativa lifted the moniker from lethal street drug because of its infamous energetic high. To be clear, there is nothing dangerous at all about Green Cush / Green Crack, but it may trigger anxiety in those prone to it. Many users prefer this euphoric strain on an otherwise mundane day of chores, but if you need to think a mile a minute for work, put down the coffee and pick up a bowl of this.
Durban Poison is a landrace strain that developed in Africa, and is known for its excited and creative high. This strain can make the world around you seem especially sharp, and some users have even described Durban Poison as “meditative.” This effect may be especially helpful for those who suffer from conditions like depression and ADHD. There is some risk of anxiety in overindulging, but this happy high also sired Girl Scout Cookies, a famously comfortable high.
Lamb’s Bread, also called Lamb’s Breath in some regions, provides an energetic boost and pleasant euphoria that makes it a great strain for productivity. The drive that this hybrid strain can provide makes it a good choice for morning smoke sessions, too. It’s also a favorite of artists and musicians for its creative cerebral effects. Consumers with ADHD, PTSD, and bipolar disorder have reported finding Lamb’s Bread to be a particularly helpful strain for them.
Super Lemon Haze
Super Lemon Haze is a popular strain renowned for its strong citrus flavor. It delivers an energetic, optimistic high that’s great for creative projects or physical activity. Some people may be able to work at a desk on SLH, but could find themselves dancing in their seat or at least tapping their foot — this weed wakes you up like caffeine. But like caffeine, it may cause anxiety in some, so small doses are recommended.
OG Kush is about as close to an indica as this list gets, but this hybrid still carries stimulating effects from its Chemdawg and Thai lineage. However, the body high from OG Kush takes the edge off racing thoughts while easing any pain behind the eyes. This strain does not so much inspire focus as it inhibits distraction, leaving you to calmly carry on with whatever’s in front of you.
Two other names on this list, Sour Diesel and OG Kush, both trace their lineage back to Chemdawg, so why not drink straight from the source? This strain delivers potent euphoria without racing thoughts. Overindulging will still leave you stoned, but not paranoid or distracted by your own mind. The initial head rush fades into a productive cerebral high that can even be introspective or social depending on the setting.
Harlequin is a high-CBD strain by about a 2:1 margin. While many of the strains on this list will help with focus, there are no guardrails to prevent the user from getting just plain high. Getting stoned on any of these strains could send your thoughts into outer space instead of the task at hand. Not only does CBD help with focus and impulse control, but it also undercuts the effects of THC, so you actually can’t get too high on Harlequin.
Choosing the Right Strain for You
As you may have observed, our list is comprised mostly of sativas, with only a few hybrids making an appearance and no pure indicas. Pure indica strains tend to have a more physical, tiring effect which can make it difficult to feel motivated to take on a new task. But before diving into any strain, begin by asking what thoughts, feelings, or precise distractions are preventing you from focusing.
Those suffering from anxious or distracting thoughts may not want to indulge in a racy strain like Super Lemon Haze, nor will users suffering from tension headaches at the desk benefit from the energetic boost of Green Cush. For these symptoms, OG Kush or a similar hybrid that includes indica genetics may be better. However, if your work is impaired by depression or fatigue, then those strains will be helpful indeed.
High-CBD strains represent a great option for all users. The low ceiling of THC content prevents even compulsive smokers from getting too high to focus, and CBD highlights the more therapeutic effects of cannabis, particularly reducing anxiety.
Do you have any other recommendations or favorite strains for focus and productivity? We’d love to hear what your thoughts are. Let us know in the comments below!