Social distancing and mask-wearing restrictions are loosening around the country. Restaurants, beaches, and homes are slowly creeping toward pre-COVID capacity.  It actually FEELS like summer.  That’s both exciting… and a little bit frightening.  Cannabis may be able to help soothe some of the psychological and physical discomforts that the summer can bring, including:

  • Social anxiety
  • Pain
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort  
  • Sleep problems 

Preliminary peer-reviewed and anecdotal evidence suggests that the cannabinoids and terpenes in the following strains may provide relief for such summer-related conditions.  So keep reading to learn more about the 4 best strains for the summer!

ACDC – Best Strain for Social Anxiety

  • Average THC Content: 6%
  • Average CBD Content: 20%
  • Dominant Terpene: Myrcene 

Even if you didn’t have social anxiety in the past, there’s a good chance you may feel slightly more tense around people after socially isolating for so long. Smoking or consuming an ACDC cannabis product may assuage some of your socialization-related discomforts.   Few strains have more cannabidiol (CBD) than ACDC. A 2020 Journal of the American Pharmacist Association report found that CBD may be effective at reducing the symptoms of social anxiety disorder.  Such findings support the prevalent use of ACDC to manage anxiety.  As one Wikileaf reviewer put it: “There are times I've taken this and didn't even realize that I was sitting so tense until the tension was gone, and I stopped to think about how I just felt lighter. I haven't smoked this, but I imagine it would amplify the effects I've felt from vaping it, while also lasting slightly longer. Definitely have this on hand as a mental and physical health tool for tough days.”

Harlequin – Best Strain for Pain 

  • Average THC Content: 10%
  • Average CBD Content: 15%
  • Dominant Terpene: Myrcene 

There are a couple of reasons why pain may flare up during the summer: you may be more active outdoors during the warmer months and heat can trigger swelling, rashes, and other forms of painful inflammation. Containing moderate levels of both CBD and THC, Harlequin is a common solution for medical patients looking to manage pain.  Harlequin is one of the only strains naturally housing a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio. While research is limited, preliminary evidence reviewed in a 2008 Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management report suggests that this 1:1 ratio can be an effective way to manage chronic and acute pain with little to no unfavorable side effects.  If you experience chronic pain but worry about THC-induced paranoia, Harlequin may provide you the relief this reviewer describes:  “I am a long time pain patient who also suffers from bipolar. Medical marijuana is amazing for both, but I never used because I get SEVERE paranoia. I love everything about medical marijuana. The look, the smell, the taste but every time I tried a strain, I ended up giving it to my girlfriend because I wasn't going to use it due to me getting inside my own head. Well, that's over!! I bought a vape cartridge of Harlequin, and I'm floored!! The high CBD volume totally counteracts the paranoia 100%. Today is one of the best days of my life. I can actually now enjoy the benefits of medical cannabis without hating how I feel!!!” 

Sour Diesel – Best Strain for Gastrointestinal Relief 

  • Average THC Content: 19%
  • Average CBD Content: 0%
  • Dominant Terpene: Caryophyllene  

Between the cookouts, barbeques, birthday parties, and vacations to new places, chances are that you’ll have at least one gastrointestinal upset over the summer.  Fortunately, the cannabinoids present in strains like Sour Diesel target areas of the endocannabinoid system responsible for regulating gastrointestinal health. According to a 2019 Gastroenterology & Hepatology review, cannabinoids may be effective alternative treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.  In addition to gut-soothing and appetite-stimulating, consumers often describe this strain’s effect as energetic and productive. Take this review as an example:  “So I smoked some of this all yesterday. I love the way it tasted. I especially like that I was super high however still ready to do errands and household chores. I felt so happy the whole time smoking this, no pain whatsoever, and energized. Definitely recommend this strain.”  

Grandaddy Purple – Best Strain for Sleep 


  • Average THC Content: 23%
  • Average CBD Content: 0%
  • Dominant Terpene: Myrcene 

The summer brings longer days, vacations, and lots of changes to your normal routine. The result can be disrupted sleep. Unfortunately, falling into a poor sleep pattern can lead to an increasingly exhausting cycle. Some cannabis users use Grandaddy Purple to help them relax into sleep when their natural capacity to rest is disturbed.  According to a 2019 Journal of Psychoactive Drugs study, 74 percent of cannabis consumers use weed to promote sleep. Of those cannabis consumers, 84 percent found cannabis to be an effective sleep-aid, and 83 percent were able to reduce or stop using prescription sleep medications because of cannabis.  If your response to Grandaddy Purple is anything like this reviewer’s, don’t expect to get much work done after consuming:  “The first two joints I smoked got me into a good couch lock for about an hour or so. The third joint is the one that I lost some time with. I have no memory of getting undressed and going to bed or my neighbors playing loud music and me yelling, "Are you serious?" and the music shutting off. This is some really, really good weed.”

Know Your Body & Talk to Your Doctor 

The information presented here is not meant to take the place of a professional health care practitioner’s opinion.  Cannabinoids have proven medical benefits, but research is still limited and the reviews and literature we’ve discussed may not capture your situation. A strain that works for your friend may not work for you, so proceed cautiously.   Discuss your overall health, medical conditions, and interest in cannabis with a trained professional so you can make the most informed and safest choices for your health this summer.