Which Strain of Delta-8 is Best? Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid

by Kat Austin October 19, 2021 11 min read

Which Strain of Delta-8 is Best? Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid - Vida Optima™

Delta-8 and Delta-9 are pretty different, but they do share a lot of similarities. For instance, both cannabinoids are psychoactive and have very similar therapeutic effects. The types of Delta-8 and Delta-9 products available are also similar, and just like with traditional cannabis flower, there's virtually no limit to the number of different Delta-8-THC flower strains you can find. 

This, of course, is great news for experienced THC users who want a little variety in their Delta-8 dosing routine. For new Delta-8 users, however, it can be a little overwhelming. If you found yourself asking what Delta-8 strain is best, you're not alone. Our goal here is to help you make an informed decision about which Delta-8 flower strain you should choose even if you've never tried THC products before.

Let's dive into the three types of Delta-8 strains and the different effects they produce. Then, we’ll give you some recommendations on the best Delta-8-THC strains to try. Let's go:

Table of Contents
Benefits of Delta-8 Flower
Types of Delta-8 Strains
The Best Delta-8 Strains
Best Strain for Pain
Best Strain for Sleep
Best Strain for Anxiety
How to Determine the Quality of Delta-8 Flower
How to Consume Delta-8 Flower
Is Delta-8 Flower Legal?
Conclusion: Which Strain of Delta-8 is Best?
Where to Buy Delta-8-THC Flower

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8 strains can be broken down into three distinct categories: sativa, indica, and hybrid.
  • The best Delta-8-THC strain for you depends on preference, desired effects, or the ailments you wish to manage.
  • You'll probably have to experiment a bit to find the best Delta-8-THC strains for you, but popular strains like Gorilla Glue and Pineapple Express are usually a safe place to start.
  • You can buy Delta-8-THC in stores in states where Delta-8 is legal, but shopping online gives you access to a better variety of Delta-8-strains.

Benefits of Delta-8-Flower

Before we can really break down the best Delta-8 strains, we want to touch a bit on what that even means. What is a Delta-8 strain? And how do they affect the Delta-8 experience?

A fully grown hemp flower just before harvested and used to make Delta-8 flower

To put it briefly, the wide range of available hemp strains are the reason why Delta-8 flower is such a unique dosing method. Every strain has a completely different cannabinoid and terpene profile, which gives each of them a different physical appearance, smell, taste, and effect profile.

Although Delta-8 (and CBD, because Delta-8 flower is made from hemp flower) are at the center of the flower’s effects, every terpene and cannabinoid present in the flower has its own therapeutic value, which is why some strains may be better for managing pain while others are perfect for catching some sleep.

The interactions between the wide range of compounds found in each strain is usually referred to as “the entourage effect.” However, when a combination of terpenes and cannabinoids is specifically chosen in order to provide a specific effect, that can be described as “the ensemble effect.” That is essentially the idea used by cannabis geneticists as they cross strains to create new strains with new effect profiles. In some cases, a strain may even be specifically bred to target a certain health ailment. Either way, the availability of different Delta-8 strains gives you the opportunity to fine tune the experience by choosing the best Delta-8-THC strain to meet your needs. Let’s talk about how to do that:

Types of Delta 8 Strains

As we mentioned, there's virtually no limit to the number of different Delta-8-THC strains available. That's because Delta-8 flower is actually CBD-rich hemp flower that's infused with a potent Delta-8 distillate.

As you may already know, there are hundreds of different strains of hemp flower, and hemp geneticists are creating new strains everyday. There may be a little less variety in terms of Delta-8 flower, but that's only because it's a relatively new product, and there's still quite a bit of ground for Delta-8 manufacturers to cover.

Still, the types of strains available are the same, and understanding how to choose the best Delta-8 strain requires you to understand the three primary categories—sativa, indica, and hybrid flower. Let's discuss these a bit more:

Delta-8-flower and two Delta-8 flower pre-rolls, a great way to sample different Delta-8 strains


Sativa strains of hemp flower are known for their uplifting, energizing effects. These are most often regarded as daytime strains, and some people enjoy the way that sativa Delta-8 strains can provide a lift without disrupting focus or productivity. Of course, there are plenty of different sativa strains out there, and each has a different cannabinoid and terpenecomposition. Still, most sativa strains have higher concentrations of limonene and caryophyllene, which may both have anti-inflammatory benefits that make them useful for pain relief.

This is the type of strain you may choose if you want to add a little pep to your step while doing housework, exercising, or hanging out with friends. People who dislike sativa strains say that they're more sensitive to these effects, and it may be more likely to make you feel a bit anxious or on edge than other strains.


Although the benefits vary by strain, sativas may be a better option for managing depression, pain, and fatigue. More research is needed.


  • Uplifting and energizing
  • Great for focus and productivity
  • Enhances creativity
  • Great for social settings


  • May be more likely to incite anxiety, although the chance is much lower with Delta-8 products than with Delta-9.


Indica strains are essentially the opposite of sativa strains. Instead of being energizing, Indica strains are known for their mellow, relaxing effects. Indica is commonly referred to as the bedtime variety, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will put you to sleep. It just means that, unlike sativas, it's not likely to disrupt your ability to fall asleep.

Indica strains are great for unwinding after work, kicking back to watch a movie, reading a book, or any other situation where you just want to chill. People who dislike Indica strains say that they make them feel sluggish or make it harder to focus, although these effects could be dose dependent.


Because of their relaxing effects, indicas may be better suited for managing anxiousness and stress. They may also be a better choice for managing ailments at night or for managing sleep concerns.


  • Relaxing
  • Calming
  • May help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Great for nighttime use


  • May inhibit focus


The hybrid category is the most difficult to navigate because the effects of one hybrid can vary greatly from the next. As the term hybrid implies, these strains are a combination of indica and sativa strains. That means that they may have one indica parent and one sativa parent, or they may be a cross of other hybrid strains. Either way, a true hybrid (meaning a strain that is 50/50 indica to sativa) is rare, and most hybrids are either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant.

Generally speaking, hybrids provide more balanced effects but the overall undertone of the strain is usually defined by its dominant properties. In other words, a sativa-dominant hybrid may be a great uplifting option for those who are too sensitive to full sativa strains. While an Indica-dominant hybrid may offer calmer effects that don't necessarily slow you down. Because the scope of effects is so large, the experience of a hybrid strain is a case by case experience.


The benefits of hybrid strains vary greatly, but may offer a combination of indica and sativa benefits.


  • Balanced effects
  • More variety in terms of effects
  • Can be both uplifting or relaxing


  • Because of the wide variety, effects can be harder to pinpoint before you try each strain.

Potency Matters, Too

Although every specific strain has its own effect profile, don't forget to pay attention to the product's potency. The amount of Delta-8 you ingest also has a lot to do with the overall experience, and everyone has a dosing threshold and a dosing sweet spot. To get the most out of whichever Delta-8 strain you choose, make sure you understand how much Delta-8-THC you should consume and how to experiment with your Delta-8 dosage responsibly.

Pineapple Haze is a tropical strain with uplifting, electrifying effects that make it perfect for daytime use. This would be a great pick for finding that cerebral lift that lets your creativity flow or for dosing before your workout routine.

The Best Delta-8-THC Strains

As we mentioned, choosing the best Delta-8-THC strain is really a matter of preference and individual need. Still, we've got some recommendations that will come in handy whether you're leaning towards sativa, indica, or a hybrid strain.

Best Sativa

Pineapple Haze is a tropical strain with uplifting, electrifying effects that make it perfect for daytime use. This would be a great pick for finding that cerebral lift that lets your creativity flow or for dosing before your workout routine.

Best Indica

Royal Purple Kush is a pure indica strain that's sweet, earthy, and induces a deep euphoria that lulls you into a serene state. This is the perfect strain for kicking back to watch a movie or for dosing before bed.

Best Hybrid

It’s an infamous strain for a reason—Pineapple Express is a perfect middle-ground hybrid that’s uplifting and stimulating and produces a social, functional high. There’s no couchlock here, but you’ll still feel content if all you want to do is kick back and chill with your thoughts.

Sour Diesel, include a range of other compounds and terpenes (like caryophyllene) that may help target inflammation that causes pain.

 A jar of hybrid Delta-8-THC flower

What's the Best Delta-8 Strain for Sleep?

Hands down, most people reach for an indica strain when they're hoping to improve sleep or manage an ailment that disrupts sleep through the night. We recommend Bubba Kush, a potent Indica strain that contains high levels of myrcene, a terpene that's also known to potentially help regulate sleep.

What's the Best Delta-8 Strain for Anxiety?

Again, the actual best Delta-8-THC strain for anxiety depends on preference, but we recommend trying a hybrid strain like Gorilla Glue. Some people report that potent sativas are more likely to heighten stress than a soothing indica strain, but a pure indica may be a bit more sedating than you'd like for daytime use. Gorilla Glue is an indica-leaning hybrid that is known for it’s heavy-handed relaxation effects.

How to Determine the Quality of Delta-8-THC Flower

While understanding how to choose the best Delta-8-THC strain is important, understanding how to choose high-quality Delta-8 flower is the most critical thing you will do as a Delta-8 consumer. Even if you think you've found the best Delta-8 strain, a low quality product can result in the worst experience.

Every brand and manufacturer uses different source hemp material, ingredients, and manufacturing and quality testing techniques, which means one product can vary greatly from the next. Because Delta-8 and the hemp industry are still inconsistently regulated, you need to take time to investigate the product and manufacturer before you buy. So, how do you choose high quality Delta-8 flower? Look for these things:

Good Brand Reputation

First, you need to dig a little into the brand's reputation. One way to do this is by checking customer reviews on the brand's website, but don't rely on these reviews alone since a brand can potentially hide bad reviews on their own site.

A quick web search for the brand will either return a list of complaints or a favorable review profile. If you don't find much at all, no worries, as long as you don't find a list of bad reviews. Some brands are just now entering the budding market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their products are no good.

High Quality Manufacturing

Next, check out the brand's hemp source, ingredients, and manufacturing process. Again, there's quite a bit of variation here from brand to brand. There's no one best way to produce Delta-8 flower, but there are a few things we consider non-negotiable in producing safe, premium products.

For one, high quality products should be made from US grown hemp that's tested for potency and quality BEFORE manufacturing begins. The brand also should use a cGMP certified manufacturing facility to produce Delta-8, and should employ experienced cannabinoid extraction technicians to oversee the process since manufacturing Delta-8 is much more involved than just producing CBD.

Third-Party Lab Testing

Finally, you want to check for lab test results before buying a product, and make sure that the results verify the information of the product's label. Companies who use a third-party lab to test products are much more trustworthy than those who only test in-house. Most high-quality brands will use in-house testing throughout the manufacturing process followed by a third-party lab analysis to verify the quality of the final batch. These results should be clearly displayed on the brand's website to show that they have nothing to hide.

How to Consume Delta-8 Flower

There are many different ways to use Delta-8-THC flower, and there's really no one best method. Smoking the flower is, of course, the most common way that it's used, but some people may choose to use other methods. Here are some ideas:

A few Delta-8 joints, one of the most popular ways to consume any strain of Delta-8-THC flower

Smoke It

As we mentioned, smoking Delta-8 flower is the most common way to use it. Inhaled Delta-8 takes effect in roughly 15 minutes, but the effects of this dosing style are shorter lived than the effects of Delta-8 edibles.

Just like regular cannabis flower, you can roll Delta-8 flower in a joint, pack a bowl, or use your favorite smoking piece. To keep it simple, look for Delta-8-THC pre-rolls that come individually portioned and ready to use.

Vape It

It's less common, but using Delta-8 flower in a dry herb vaporizer has its advantages. First, with this method you aren't inhaling any smoke, just vapor pulled from the bud. Vaping usually results in potent doses that take effect just as quickly as smoking the flower, in as little as 15 minutes. The effects from vaping are also shorter-lived than edible doses, and you can expect the effects to last between two and four hours.

Many people enjoy vaping because it preserves the delicate flavor of the hemp flower and reduces the smokey taste. Some people believe that it also avoids the negative impact of smoke on the lungs.

Eat It

It may sound odd at first, but you can also eat Delta-8-THC flower. Of course, eating the flower raw won't do much of anything at all, but using it to make Delta-8 baked goods, infused oils, or other edible goods is a great way to make your own Delta-8 edibles at home.

Keep in mind that edible doses usually take longer to kick in, sometimes over an hour, and the effects are known to come on pretty strong. Edible doses also last longer than inhaled forms, so you may experience effects that last as long as 6 hours. Of course, it's probably easier to just buy premade Delta-8-THC edibles, like our delicious Delta-8 caramels or gummies.

Is Delta-8 Flower Legal?

As you choose the best Delta-8 strain for you, you should always keep legality at the forefront of your mind. Delta-8-THC is legal by federal law because it is a natural hemp cannabinoid and CBD isomer. However, Delta-8 products are only legal when they meet certain federal requirements, like being derived from legal material and containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC.

And even though Delta-8 is legal by federal law, some states take a different stance on the hemp-derived cannabinoid. In order for Delta-8-THC products to be legal they need to be manufactured in a state where Delta-8-THC is legal, and bought and consumed in a state where Delta-8-THC is legal. That means that you need to look into your local Delta-8 laws before you buy Delta-8-THC flower online.

To learn more about Delta-8 state laws, read “Where is Delta THC legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8 Laws”.

Where to Buy Delta-8-THC Flower

Delta-8-THC is available in stores and online in many states. It's more common to find edibles and oils, especially in small local stores, but you may also find Delta-8-THC flower on the shelves of your local smoke shops and in some cannabis dispensaries. To simplify the process, you can just buy Delta-8-THC flower online, which gives you a better opportunity to evaluate the brand and product quality.

When you buy Delta-8 flower online, you also have access to a larger selection of different Delta-8 strains, which makes it easier to find the best Delta-8-THC strain to fit your needs. Make sure you use the tips above to choose a high quality product, or you can skip the extra footwork and check out the selection of Delta-8-THC flower in our Elev8 Collection.


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