Cannabis Strains To Help You Make The Most Of The Outdoors This Summer


Provided things don’t get “heat stroke level” hot, most people treat an increase in sunlight as an invitation to get outside. It’s the season to soak in the vitamin D and show a little skin. Time to buy a tube or hit the local lake, venturing into the wild to wash away your stress.

Whether in the river or on a hike, weed can help this chilling process greatly… if you pick the right strains. If you don’t, you’ll end up yawning when you ought to have energy and paranoid when you’re keen to feel social. To help you get high on life while getting literally high, we gathered a list of strains that all help enhance outdoor activities in one way or another. Some are relaxing indicas that let you laugh through a backyard barbeque, others are sativas that get you up and trekking along the coast at daybreak, and a few are hybrids that do a little of both.

We invite you to see which strains are available (legally) near you and to work them into your summertime routine.

Willie Nelson

Legend says country singer Willie Nelson tried this pure sativa strain once and immediately bought the totality of the first crop. It makes sense if that’s true that the strain is named for him. Heck, it makes sense even if that never happened — because we all know the man smokes a tremendous amount of weed.

This strain is good for focus, creativity, and energy — meaning it’s perfect for wake and bakes and use throughout the day. Although, it may keep you up if you use it too close to bedtime. Users will not only feel less stress, anxiety, and depression when using it, a euphoric happiness will soon set in. This first-place winner for Best Sativa in the High Times Cannabis Cup of 2005 has a fragrance that is both sweet and sour and a lemongrass taste. It’s super pleasant.

Wille Nelson is good for getting outside with a task that takes imagination and feels better with friends. Maybe that means an outdoor photoshoot, a writer’s circle in the woods, some campfire storytelling, or time spent staring at the night sky and identifying constellations.

Cinderella 99

This sativa-dominant hybrid also comes correct — with effects that include an uplift in mood, increased energy, and enhanced creativity. That’s not really a surprise because those traits are fairly common in sativas, which is why they’re so good for daytime use and as a supplement for unleashing imagination.

It can take a while after smoking for users to feel the full effec of this strain, and with THC levels at nearly 22 percent, it’s vital that users wait at least 15 minutes after each use before they head back to the bong, pipe, or vaporizer. If you don’t, you can end up way higher than you meant. And the effects can last up to 90 minutes, so being uncomfortably high for over an hour is worth avoiding. It has a fruity taste with some dank notes, so it’s not super yummy, but it also isn’t terrible. We suppose it is… adequately tasty.

Cinderella 99 is ideal for active people because of the aforementioned energy, but it also eases mild, chronic pains and lessens inflammation. People who like to spend their time in nature mountain biking, hiking, windsurfing, and the like will love this strain because it makes you feel like you have unlimited stores of get up and go, and it keeps you from getting sore muscles when you exert yourself.

Orange Crush

This is another sativa-dominant strain that’s perfect for daytime use. At 29 percent THC, it can really knock novice users on their ass if they aren’t careful. Some people report feeling “the spins” when they smoke it, while others feel the paranoia that often accompanies using powerful sativas. However, for more experienced users, this strain generates a mighty cerebral high that surrounds the mind in a fog of euphoria. Some people literally forget about their chronic pain because this effect is so powerful. And it’s believed that Orange Crush increases the production of dopamine — so it’s especially good for people who deal with depression and find it difficult to get up and out of the house.

Famed for its super sweet and tangy taste and fragrance, this strain is also very tasty. To really appreciate it, try vaping. Perfect for early morning use, Orange Crush is an ideal strain for getting active before the afternoon sun makes the heat unbearable. Warning though: this can cause cotton mouth and dry eyes for some users, so make sure you stay hydrated while using it.

Afghan Kush

This is a bit of a departure from the earlier strains because Afghan Kush is nearly 100 percent indica. Generally, indicas are known for causing more of a body high and for making people sleepy. This is not a strain you bust out at breakfast unless you’re looking to take a nap at lunch. Users will feel some heavy laziness and intense euphoria. It is pretty easy to end up couchlocked, so be sure to give yourself a chance by not taking more than a few hits. That said, this is a great strain for insomniacs, as well as people who need assistance managing stress and anxiety.

So why did we put this sleepy strain on a list about going outside? Think about chill nighttime activities like busting out a couple of instruments next to a firepit or counting meteors. Your creativity will be enhanced, and these pursuits will not only feel more interesting, you’ll have more inspiration to lend to them. It is probably a good idea to avoid hiking in the dark or even with flashlights because that’s hard enough to navigate sober and this strain will discombobulate you enough that rescue teams have to find you.


Grapefruit doesn’t refer to a single strain. Instead, it is used for two sativa-dominant strains: BC Grapefruit and Nectar’s Grapefruit. Both of them make users euphoric and energized, but Nectar’s Grapefruit also gets labeled exhilarating. There are, of course, other differences as well. The BC strain is good for talking and being social, while the Nectar’s strain tends to trigger more internal pursuits like deep contemplation. Nectar’s Grapefruit is a cross between an unknown sativa and Cinderella 99. We think it takes some of the best parts of the C99 and twists them a little, but it’s worth trying both strains — which is why they both appear here.

When you try the Nectar’s, avoid times when you want absolute clarity and focus on the world around you. It’s not great for that. But both grapefruit strains are great for creativity and finding connections between ideas in new and interesting ways. And they do have a great grapefruit flavor. If you want to sit in the sand and watch the surf before writing a song or poem, these are the strains for you. If you want to gather materials in nature for an art project, ditto.

Strawberry Dream

Strawberry Dream is fantastic because it takes the best parts of its parentage and blends them in a 50/50 hybrid. You get that Blue Dream potency coupled with the taste of fresh strawberries from Strawberry Cough. Some people even think it is the ideal strain in terms of aroma, taste, and potency for both experienced and new users. We certainly think it’s awesome. Strawberry Dream has a THC level around 16 percent, so users don’t face as much risk of getting knocked on their butts. Instead, they get a balanced high that is mellow with a strong head high.

Some users will feel euphoria and an urge to turn inward and contemplate. Others will find it impossible to keep a straight face. It’s best to try some before an outdoor outing so you have some idea how it impacts you. Chances are, whether you turn into a giggle monster or a sage, you will love the immediate calm and dreamy high.

This strain comes with some serious munchies, so whatever exploring you intend to do outside, bring snacks or make food part of the outing. Grab some brews and appetizers on a patio, have a barbeque, or pack a picnic and hit a local park.


This strain is a sativa-dominant hybrid that comes from a Bay Area Platinum Cookies strain and a Grand Daddy Purple strain, two very popular and tasty varieties. Originally, it was bred by Ken Estes who was involved in breeding the original Grand Daddy Purple. So it’s no wonder that Candyland is a little sweet and spicy on the ol’ taste buds.

This strain leans to its sativa side, causing a cerebral high with very little effect on the body. If you need your brain to be focused and engaged, this is a great strain, so consider it for social activities and imaginative ones. But be careful — using too much can cause the anxiety and paranoia associated with strong sativas to set in. If you avoid that, you will really feel your worries fall away and be open to communing with nature.

This would be a nice strain for an afternoon hike or tubing adventure with friends. You will have tons of energy and a real desire to chat and laugh. But beware because this strain can distract you. If you go off the trail because you saw a bird or drop your tube to go play with a dog, your plans can get messy in a hurry.

Purple Gorilla

View this post on Instagram

Joint + rock pools = a damn good hike 💨

A post shared by Selz (@queenselz) on

An indica-dominant hybrid, Purple Gorilla actually is purple. Well, that is to say, the leaves often have patches of purple in a range of shades. And though this coloring might make people expect this strain to smell like grape, it actually has more of an earthy, musky aroma. However, there are a few grape and cherry notes in the flavor profile, which also has some citrus and sweetness. There is even a bit of a peppery kick.

Purple Gorilla has a creeping high that takes a few minutes to fully evolve, but when it does, it can be overwhelming and leave users a little disoriented. Expect to feel some warmth in your cheeks and a slight pulsing around your eyes. Some people will get an alteration to their sensory perception, which can include difficulty gauging depth and time dilation. And don’t forget the physical effects, which are strong. This bud can make you feel like you have fused with your surroundings. As for your thinking, expect to fixate on single concepts and to feel an uptick in your free association. You will primarily feel relaxed and a little silly. It’s pretty ideal for people who are sensitive to THC as well because it doesn’t tend to kick in anxiety or paranoia. Instead, it’s just a nice enhancement to an evening get together with friends.

This obviously isn’t a strain that’s gonna help you power through some rock climbing or keep you buzzing on the trail, but it will enhance the fun of a chill social activity outside. Grab a flying disk and head to the park with some buds to throw it around in the waning sunlight of a summer night, or hit the drive in and prepare to laugh your ass off while you sit crammed in the back of a minivan or truck with eight of your closest friends.

Sour Alien

Sour Alien is a slightly indica-dominant hybrid with a complicated parentage. The folks at Cali Connection took an Alien Kush plant that was a cross of Las Vegas Purple Kush and Alien Dog and paired it with their strain of original Sour Diesel, composed of Sour OG and Sour Diesel. What these strains do in conjunction is make up a potent bud that comes on strong and fast and slowly fades into that stereotypical indica relaxation. There is some nice, uplifting cerebral inspiration, while you remain totally alert and focused.

Sour Alien finishes up the high with intense indica relaxation that’s hella soothing, but it takes about twenty minutes to come on — meaning you experience the cerebral head high exclusively that entire time. It’s less a balanced hybrid in the sense that you simultaneously experience both indica and sativa and instead a strain that lets them each take turns. And, yes, this weed does take some of the diesel taste and smell you would expect, but there is also a nice lemon peel flavor that helps even it out for people who aren’t big fans of that fuel taste.

Some people are fine using Sour Alien all day, but others are overwhelmed by the body buzz and may smoke it only to find themselves locked in the same position an hour later. If you are one of the former, then you can use this strain and be more active outside. Try taking advantage of the focus to go bird or wildlife watching. Or, smoke it before a leisurely skateboard ride. If it makes you feel too chill for any of that, stick to relaxed activities like hot tubbing under the stars.

White Durban

This sativa-dominant strain comes from a cross of White Fire OG, a hybrid, and Durban Poison, a sativa. And anyone who has been smoking weed for a while knows that Durban Poison has been popular for a long, long time. It’s great in hybrids because it contributes to mood elevation and an energy boost. When you give it a sniff, you’re going to get a woody, earthy fuel smell and the taste is a lot like that with a layer of sweetness. It is very pleasant. And pleasant would be an understatement when it comes to the effects, which are powerful.

It is electrifying. Its ability to wake you up makes it great for people who have chronic fatigue or suffer from mood disorders that leave them sleepless and sluggish. A little of this and you will be moving a warp speed, which is why you have to be a little careful in case you get overstimulated. The high hits hard and fast and sticks around for a long time. If you don’t go overboard, it’s a wild ride that is a lot of fun. Plus, you get to be baked out of your mind without the typical laziness associated with that. It’s perfect for getting outside and being active.

Morning hikes can be hard to get behind, but a strain like this will have you trotting down a trail like a dog allowed to go off leash for the first time. The high will spark you into motion, and you should take advantage of that, whether it means a brisk hike in the early morning hours or hitting an outdoor beer garden.