Hey there, fellow cannabis enthusiasts! We’ve all got our go-to ganja, but have you ever wondered which weed strains are the best?
Please pull up a seat and get cozy because we’re about to take you on a high-flying journey through the greatest marijuana strains of all time. From everyone’s favorite classics to the newest, buzz-worthy hybrids, we’ll dive into what makes each strain unique.
So stick around whether you’re an old-school stoner or a curious greenhorn. We’re lighting up the path to your new favorite smoke!
Best Weed Strains for Feeling Euphoric
The strain that started the cake craze, Wedding Cake, is relaxing with a strong body and head high, likely from its Kush and Cookies lineage. Triangle Kush and Animal Mints mix gives it a rich, tangy flavor profile with sweet cookie notes.
Why we love it: Have your cake and smoke it too—there’s a reason why this strain spawned many more cakes and was Leafly’s Strain of the Year in 2019.
GSC is a cross of a Durban Poison pheno (F1 Durb) and an elite OG Kush. Later marketed to acclaim by rapper Berner, GSC, or Cookies, became the foundation of one of the top cannabis cultivar families of the legalization era, spawning multiple strains like Gelato and pretty much anything with “Cookies” in its name.
The best GSCs look dense, dark, and glistening, with a complex and inviting smell, layers of grape and fuel, and scrumptious butter-sugar cookie notes.
Why we love it: GSC took the throne from OG Kush to usher in the dessert strain era, which continues today with Gelato and Cake varieties. Few strains will ever be as singularly influential.
Northern Lights is one of the most famous strains ever and has given rise to countless famous hybrids. It supposedly originated near Seattle, Washington, but was bred in Holland in the late ’80s by what is now Sensi Seeds.
An indica cherished for its resinous buds, the pungently sweet and spicy Northern Lights will relax the muscles and soothe the mind in dreamy euphoria.
Why we love it: It’s a storied Pacific Northwest transplant blanketed in starry, crystal-tipped trichomes.
With a mysterious origin and a slew of successful crosses, Chemdog (or “Chemdawg”) has secured a permanent place in the cannabis hall of fame.
Known for its distinct diesel aroma, you can smell a mile away, Chemdog is a parent to powerhouse strains like Sour Diesel and OG Kush, to name a few. Expect a potent, cerebral experience full of euphoria.
Why we love it: Chemdog is an influential and mysterious strain with a unique diesel flavor and high potency.
Classic sativas, Mexican and Thai, were bred with iconic indica Afghani to create the potent sativa-dominant hybrid Trainwreck. A Northern California staple, Trainwreck has a sweet lemon and spicy pine aroma and an intense rush of energy that hits like a freight train, awakening creativity and happiness.
Why we love it: The classic Trainwreck hails from a famous lineage and is still popular with its potent, uplifting effects.
A pungent offspring of Chemdog and GSC, GMO Cookies is savory, stanky, and strong and dumps hash for rosin. “GMO” may bother some, so you’ll also see it as “Garlic Cookies.”
Why we love it: GMO’s mix of chem and cookies unlocked a new world of Funk we’re all nodding to. When you get bored with dessert, join the salty adults puffing on pot’s equivalent of rowdy blue cheese. Look for other acquired tastes, like Everything Bagel (Garlic Breath x Peanut Butter Breath).
Mendo Breath is a heavy-hitting indica that offers a great way to end the day with its powerful body effects. Expect sleepy and relaxing effects and intense euphoria from its frosty buds fit for Instagram.
We love it: Mendo Breath is perfect for fall; its sweet vanilla and caramel flavors pair perfectly with a chilly autumn evening.
Breath strains are not to be taken lightly, and Motorbreath is no exception, crossing classics Chemdog and SFV OG. Potent, gassy, and earthy, you won’t forget the taste of this strain when your head’s in the clouds.
Why we love it: Not for the faint of heart, this unique strain’s got chem and kush flavors for days.
Forbidden Fruit has a unique high that starts between your eyes and slowly melts outward. The sweetness of its Cherry Pie parent balances out the sharp citrus Tangie to create a tropical burst of flavor and aromatics.
Why we love it: Forbidden Fruit tastes and smells incredible and is for anyone who loves tropical and citrus flavors and wants a mellow indica high that isn’t overwhelming.
Gushers mix new powerhouse Gelato #41 with the mythical Triangle Kush for a gassy and tropical fruit-flavored strain. Initially energizing and then sedating, Gushers is beautiful, multi-colored, dense, and glistening.
We love it: The smell jumps out of the jar and splashes your nose with astringent topical fruit as your brain says, “Dayam!” and your mouth speaks, “Yes, please.”
Rainbow Belts is packed with Zkittlez and Dosidos genes, a newer strain for making you happy and relaxed. This crowd-pleaser is best for the night’s end or hanging with friends.
Why we love it: This descendant of Zkittlez brings calming effects and sweet, tropical flavors to a new generation.
Best Weed Strains for Feeling Uplifted
Dutch Treat is a classic known for its cerebral effects that come on quickly and will leave you uplifted and euphoric. Its dense, sticky buds smell like sweet fruit mixed with pine and eucalyptus trees.
We love it: Dutch Treat is potent and has a unique sweet candy and pine flavor, making it a longtime favorite in Amsterdam and worldwide.
Short for “Miracle Alien Cookies,” MAC has beastly big, dense, and icy colas with blistering THC levels. Related strain MAC 1 came about when breeder Capulator nearly lost all of his Starfighter seeds in the laundry and named the survivor “Miracle.”
What’s to love? MAC has a complex cookie nose—the cannabis version of mixing all the sodas at 7-Eleven. MAC is taking over the country, with its offspring close behind.
Mimosa started as a small project in California and became a global multi-award winner. Its makers masterfully combine approachable, effervescent citrus tastes and sativa-dominant effects. Clementine brings massive yields to the strain, while Purple Punch brings a powerful bag appeal.
Why we love it: Mimosa grows coast to coast and is excellent for weekend wake-and-bakers who want to savor a lazy Sunday morning.
Just like a freshly baked tray of Blueberry Muffins, this strain is sweet, smooth, and creamy. Any descendant of the legendary Blueberry will make you relaxed and happy and erase the worries of your day.
Why we love it: We love how this strain looks and smells—why not start your day with a tasty Blueberry Muffin?
With so much Chemdog in its roots, Stardawg can’t help but have a heavy diesel funk with notes of pine and lemon. This happy strain relieves stress, and staring at its blanket of sparkling trichomes is like gazing at the stars.
Why we love it: We love Stardawg for its diesel bite but be sure to have a bag of chips around.
Super strong ’90s strain Bubba Kush combines with the excited Animal Mints to make bestseller Kush Mints. Its icy-dark, dense nugs smell like mint and Cookies and are great for growing in hydroponics.
Why we love it: For a Cookies smell so loud it’s minty, and for happy relaxation in a nug, Kush Mints is hard to beat.
Combining classics Lemon Skunk and Sour Diesel, Lemon Tree made a big splash in the 2010s. Nothing beats this green, spongy, pungent bud for an unforgettable modern lemon flavor that’s become endemic through offspring like Gelonade and Melonade.
We love it: Lemon Tree conjures warm, sunny beaches and the satisfaction of rolling around in the ocean.
Sour and sugary Grape Pie mixes classic Cherry Pie with some Sour Diesel—from the Grape Stomper. This looks like an old-school purp strain and will make you happy with a bag of chips on the couch.
Why we love it: Grape Pie’s sugar and sour taste and happy effects are one-of-a-kind.
OG Kush makes up the genetic backbone of West Coast cannabis hybrids, but despite its ubiquity, its genetic origins remain a mystery.
Popular myth maintains that Chemdog and the Hindu Kush parented OG Kush. However, we can’t be sure—the story goes that cultivator Josh D. started OG Kush from a bagseed from Florida.
There are many different phenotypes of OG Kush, including Tahoe OG, SFV OG, and Alpha OG. OG Kush is cherished for its ability to crush stress and chill you out with its heavy euphoria.
Why we love it: It’s a prodigious strain that gave rise to innumerable iconic West Coast hybrids.
Ice Cream Cake
What OG Kush was in the 1990s, Do-Si-Dos is becoming in the 2020s. Bred from multiple high-THC strains descended from OG Kush, Dosi’s classic OG relaxation has made it one of the top strains in the West, spawning modern strains like Slurricane.
Why we love it: It’s as gorgeous, intense, and icy as a double black diamond ski run. Don’t plan to operate heavy machinery or do anything while your mind wanders.
This potent hybrid will get your attention with its lumpy bud structure and colorful foliage boasting olive green, orange, and deep purple shades. The smell of Apple Fritter is extremely pungent, and the flavor is reminiscent of apples.
Why we love it: Because of Apple Fritter’s potency, this strain is excellent for experienced smokers with a high tolerance who need something extra to get a good night of sleep or take the edge off.
Peanut Butter Breath
LA Kush Cake is a potent hybrid that is smooth, easy to smoke, and leans heavily toward the indica side. Its effects might take a while to kick in, but you’ll feel your body relax and unwind in bliss.
We love it: LA Kush Cake has a reputation for arousing people. Coupled with physical relaxation, this strain can set the mood for intimacy.
Mazar x Blueberry OG
Some weed strains start under great names only to be subject to copyright laws later on, and Mazar x Blueberry OG is no exception. This potent hybrid is known for its spicy herbal scent mixed with jet fuel and will take you to a galaxy far, far away.
Why we love it: This OG is great at relieving pain and is reported to make smokers feel tingly.
Master Kush is a popular indica created from two landrace strains from different parts of the Hindu Kush region. Bred in the Netherlands, the plant has a subtle earthy hash smell with hints of citrus. This strain offers full-body relaxation and sharp sensory awareness.
Why we love it: This heavy Kush has profound body effects without the hazy head high and is known for its fine genetics.
Afghani is a heavy indica strain named for its region of origin. It’s believed to be one of the oldest strains and is a parent of many modern ones. Known for its heavy resin production, it’s great for making hash.
Why we love it: It’s a landrace strain with famous sedative qualities and generous resin production.
Zkittlez is an award-winning indica with chunky light green colas and a sweet, fruity, and tropical blend of flavors. The effects of Zkittlez are surprisingly uplifting for an indica, leaving consumers focused, alert, and happy while relaxing the body.
Why we love it: Zkittlez has quickly become a new classic with its tropical flavors and uplifting effects, and it also makes a delicious dab.
Best Weed Strains for Sleep
Granddaddy Purple (or GDP) is a famous indica cross, inheriting a complex grape and berry aroma from its Purple Urkle parent, while Big Bud passes on a dense bud structure.
GDP flowers bloom with shades of deep purple, a beautiful backdrop for its snow-like dusting of white trichomes. Its potent effects are mainly felt in the body, and growers love GDP for its massive yields.
Why we love it: King among indicas, this flavorful bud offers berry flavors and pacifying effects; it’s great for falling asleep at the end of a long day. Its purple foliage makes it one of the prettiest buds out there.
This beast of a strain lives up to its name—it’ll hit you hard and put you down for the count. That is not surprising, considering White Rhino’s classic lineage with White Widow.
Why we love it: This heavy-hitter is great for the night’s end when you’ve cozied up, and sleep is close by.
Bubba Kush is an indica strain known for its tranquilizing, sleep-inducing effects. It has sweet hash flavors with subtle notes of chocolate and coffee.
Its genetic origins aren’t clear, but Bubba’s stocky stature and bulky bud structure suggest Afghani descent. It supposedly emerged in the mid-’90s when an OG Kush pollinated an unknown indica in New Orleans. The genetically ambiguous indica was called “Bubba,” and Bubba Kush has flourished ever since.
Why we love it: It’s a crazy-popular tranquilizing Kush born and bred in the USA.
Hailing from Oakland, California, Purple Kush has become a sensation all across the West Coast with its long-lasting euphoria and ability to put you to sleep.
Why we love it: Purple Kush makes us sleepy and euphoric simultaneously, perfect for great sleep and chill dreams.
Purple Urkle is believed to have come from a phenotype of Mendocino Purps with a complex flavor palate that blends skunk, berry, and grape notes. Its effects come on quickly and are deeply relaxing and sleep-inducing, providing full-body bliss.
Why we love it: Its complex flavors, stemming from a beautiful purple flower, lead to full-body relaxation.
Hindu Kush is a landrace indica named for the mountain range between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it originated. The harsh climate conditioned the plant to grow a thick protective layer of trichomes, making this strain great for making hash.
Why we love it: Hindu Kush has a subtlely sweet and earthy sandalwood aroma with hints of berry and induces a deep sense of calm.
True to its name, Pink Kush often has pink hairs bursting from its bright green buds, but not always. This Indica-dominant hybrid brings on a powerful body high through sweet vanilla and candy perfume aromas.
Why we love it: This sugary-sweet strain melts away stress better than a massage for OG Kush lovers.
With a long history dating back to DJ Short in the 1970s, almost any strain with “blue” in its name has Blueberry in its roots. This happy indica is known for its blueberry taste, aroma, and long-lasting euphoric and relaxing effects.
Why we love it: The indica brought the distinct flavor of blueberry to the cannabis world. Be sure to check out the West Coast version, DJ Short Blueberry—one of the most aromatic strains you can get.
Best Weed Strains for Feeling Energetic
Sour Diesel, aka Sour D, is a legendary sativa named for its pungent, diesel-like aroma. First coming out in the early ’90s, this fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy, and cerebral effects, perfect for going outside and getting the job done.
Why we love it: One of the most popular sativas still, Sour Diesel smells just like its name and promotes focus and productivity.
Pineapple Express combines its parent strains’ potent and flavorful forces, with a smell that mixes pineapple, mango, pine, and cedar. This hard-hitting sativa hybrid provides a long-lasting energetic buzz perfect for productive afternoons and creative escapes.
Why we love it: There’s a reason this strain is a fan favorite: The taste is delightfully tropical with a pleasantly mellow buzz that will leave you giggling. It’s also a versatile strain, great for both day and nighttime.
Maui Wowie is a classic sativa with tropical flavors that will take you straight to the shores of Hawaii. Known for its high-energy euphoria, stress-relieving qualities, and pineapple flavors, Maui Wowie has spread all across the world.
Why we love it: It’s a beloved tropical-tasting sativa straight from the rich soil of Hawaii.
A classic sativa from Mexico, Acapulco Gold comes in dense round nuggets with orange hairs and aromas of burnt toffee. It’s known for its motivating, stimulating buzz.
Why we love it: Acapulco Gold has a reputation as one of the best strains ever created—Cheech and Chong even have a song about it.
As its namesake suggests, Green Crack provides an invigorating mental buzz that will keep you going throughout the day. Tangy and fruity, with hints of mango, Green Crack is a perfect daytime strain.
Why we love it: This racy sativa emits sweet earthy flavors and will help you understand what cerebral effects are all about.
Super Lemon Haze
Super Lemon Haze is an update of parent Super Silver Haze, with a zesty, tart, lemony taste and uniquely energetic, lively, and cerebral effects, and has become a modern classic.
Why we love it: A classic sativa with a citrus kick, SLH is colorful, terpy, and fantastic.
Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze was bred in the late ’90s by crossing Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze, giving us a beautiful, sticky sativa with an energetic and long-lasting head high.
Why we love it: A multi-award-winning sativa straight out of Holland, Super Silver Haze is a fragrant strain that fuels creativity and ensures unshakeable good moods.
A super flavorful sativa, Tropicana Cookies crosses sweet cookies and orange flavors for focused energy. Buds on this plant are a beautiful deep purple with orange hairs and smell great when you crack the bag.
Why we love it: This strain smells like a glass of orange juice and is great for a little energy and not too much of a buzzy feeling.
White Fire OG
White Fire OG, also known as WiFi OG, is a Sativa-dominant hybrid with energy and uplifting effects. It gets its sour, earthy, and diesel aroma from parent Fire OG and a coat of resin on top of dense buds from The White.
Why we love it: White Fire OG is a super potent OG variety that’s great when concentrated and dabbed. Its loud aroma and intense euphoria provide a solid knockout combination.
Lamb’s Bread, aka “Lamb’s Breath,” is a bright green and sticky sativa with effects known for giving massive amounts of energy and positive introspection. The plant hails from Jamaica, and it’s said that Bob Marley frequently smoked it.
Why we love it: This native Jamaican strain is known to bring thoughtful, peaceful serenity to the mind and is rumored to have been one of Bob Marley’s favorites.
Island Sweet Skunk
Hailing from British Columbia, Island Sweet Skunk, sometimes called Sweet Island Skunk, is a Sativa enjoyed for its energetic effects. Originally bred by Federation Seed Company in Canada, this strain descends from Skunk 1 and grows tall, straight, high-yielding plants. Some varieties of Island Sweet Skunk have a heightened CBD content.
Why we love it: This energizing Canadian strain is famous for its tangy aroma that blends citrus and tropical fruit flavors.
Best Weed Strains for Feeling Creative
Gelato, also known as “Larry Bird,” is a tantalizing hybrid of Leafly’s 2018 strain of the year. This Bay Area native tends to bloom with dark purple hues and fiery orange hairs, all shining with a white coat of resin. Gelato is known for a euphoric, relaxed, and creative high; proceed cautiously with this THC powerhouse.
Why we love it: A great dessert strain, Gelato is sweet and floral with hints of fruit flavors that lead to extreme euphoria.
Jack Herer has gained as much renown as its namesake cannabis activist, the famously outspoken author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. The strain captures both the cerebral elevation associated with sativas and the heavy resin production of indicas, all with a spicy, piney scent that has won numerous awards for quality and potency.
Why we love it: A Dutch staple that delivers euphoria with the uplifting scent of pine, Jack Herer continues to be popular among novices and seasoned pros alike.
Tangie is another fantastic offering from DNA Genetics in Amsterdam that quickly gained popularity and spread like wildfire. It has a refreshing tangerine aroma and sticky buds provide euphoric yet relaxed effects.
Why we love it: It’s a high-energy sativa with unrivaled sweet citrus flavors.
Also known as “Strawnana,” Strawberry Banana combines the calming Banana Kush with the potency of a strawberry phenotype of Bubble Gum. Expect a chill, relaxing body effects and an active mind.
Why we love it: This happy strain is great for a rainy day inside working on arts and crafts.
The love child of two powerhouse strains, Headband has a smooth, creamy smoke accented by flavors of lemon and diesel. It gets its name from long-lasting effects great for pain relief and relaxation, which supposedly create a band around your head.
Why we love it: A prodigious pairing of OG Kush and Sour Diesel, Headband’s rich, dank smoke goes straight to the dome.
Skunk 1 (or Skunk #1) is a hybrid that has influenced cannabis globally since the late 1970s with its unmistakable pungent blend of sour skunkiness and subtle earthy notes.
Why we love it: Skunk 1 is a cornerstone of countless hybrids, and its pungent, skunky smell and heavy-hitting effects continue to make it a classic.
Developed as an homage to the Chocolate strains of the 1980s, Chocolope is a hefty sativa with earthy, sweet coffee flavors and dreamy, cerebral effects.
Why we love it: Relaxed, cuddly, and grin-inducing, this strain is adored by many and makes a damn good concentrate.
As its name suggests, Vanilla Frosting has a thick layer of trichomes, making it look covered in frosting. With Gelato in its roots, this cake strain has a creamy and smooth taste with hints of vanilla.
Why we love it: This newer cake strain builds off Gelato’s legacy with a sweet flavor and potency that will take you to outer space.
One of the many descendants of Gelato, Biscotti stands out as a cerebral strain with a sweet cookie flavor and notes of diesel. Somewhat of a newer strain, it’s got attractive, potent buds with tinges of purple.
Why we love it: Known as a creeper, this strain’s great for relaxing or doing an art project.
Best Weed Strains for Feeling Social
With an illustrious lineage of GDP and Durban, Cherry Pie has aromas of sweet and sour cherry pie, and buds that are dense, with orange hairs and a touch of purple. Its effects come on in minutes and stick around for hours.
Why we love it: This delicious strain is sweet and has long-lasting effects, perfect for a great joint.
Somewhat contradictory, AK-47 will get you relaxed and mellow while staying sociable. Its unique scent is sour and earthy with sweet floral notes.
We love it: This hybrid has rich flavors and great mood-brightening effects.
Fruity Pebbles (aka FPOG or Fruity Pebbles OG) is a sweet-tasting hybrid that mixes great genetics to create a tropical berry flavor reminiscent of the cereal it’s named for. The euphoric effects will keep you happy when you’re stressed.
Why we love it: It’s a mellow, uplifting hybrid whose aroma of fruity breakfast cereal is so distinctive you have to try it to believe it.
With lots of limonene, Banana Kush provides a good mix of mellow energy and euphoria. Its effects come on slowly, so be patient so you don’t smoke too much and get overwhelmed.
Why we love it: Banana Kush is an aromatic sensation: When you bust open the jar, your nose fills up with sweet, fruity, tropical smells and everything you’d expect from a banana strain. Come for the flavors. Stay for the euphoric relaxation.
A nod to three major weed-growing regions in Florida, Triangle Kush is thought to have come from an OG Kush from the Sunshine State. It’s known for making smokers relaxed, creative, and chatty.
Why we love it: Biting and gassy, TK can also have soft vanilla notes. Growers love it, and it’s got THC levels that can sedate a wild boar.
A citrusy and vanilla treat, Gelonade’s tingly and uplifting effects are great for laughing with friends and becoming a social butterfly.
Why we love it: Its mellow head high is great for those who love heavy couch lockers and want to explore something with only a little bit of energy.
One of the few CBD-dominant strains on our list, ACDC has a CBD: THC ratio of 20:1 and almost no psychoactive effects. It’s great for pain relief and chatting with your friends.
Why we love it: If you’re looking for a chill day and chill conversations, this high-CBD strain has almost no THC to cloud your mind.
High in CBD, Pennywise is great for bringing mental clarity to relax or sit down and finish a task. It’s one of the more popular CBD strains, with notes of coffee and pepper and undertones of lemon.
Why we love it: Don’t be fooled by its name, which nods to Stephen King’s It—this relaxing strain is full of calming CBD.
Short for “San Fernando Valley OG,” SFV OG is a Sativa-dominant hybrid with a heavenly piney and lemony aroma. It has great effects for keeping focus and is best when consumed in a flower-friendly vaporizer.
We love it: Its pungent, piney flavor and relaxing body effects make this a memorable OG cross.
The level-headed Zookies is as delicious as it is potent, with a flavor of sweet nutty cookies and a hint of diesel. It’s great for a strong head high that will get you moving.
Why we love it: With a unique Cookies and Diesel taste, this potent strain’s better for fun hobbies than busy work.
After Cookie strain Gelato became popular, variants, including Mochi and Guava, came along. Guava offers a more tropical, sweet variety of bestseller Gelato and is especially terpy when grown outdoors.
Why we love it: Cannabis genes from around the world are packed into Gelato, and they recombine in Guava’s epic, surprising tropical flavors.
Get ready for a bright lemon flavor profile with light floral notes in lemonade. Also called “The Original Lemonade,” this strain is potent, so new smokers should take it easy.
Why we love it: Perfect for a classic wake-and-bake session, Lemonade could easily replace your morning coffee with mental clarity that’ll ease you through the day.
Harlequin is another one of the few CBD strains on our list and usually expresses a CBD: THC ratio of 5:2. Flavors can include earthy musk and sweet mango, but without a doubt, what draws crowds to Harlequin is its ability to relax and relieve without sedation or intoxication.
Why we love it: Harlequin is an amazing CBD-rich strain that can help you stay focused and manage pain without intoxication.
Black Domina checks the energetic effects of Jack Herer in Black Jack. With light green nugs from Jack and a heavy dusting of trichomes from Domina, Black Jack’s an old-school strain that’s here to stay.
Why we love it: Never out of style, Black Jack provides focus and a clear-headed mood lift with a full-bodied sweetness that’s versatile for most days and afternoons.
Ghost Train Haze
Ghost Train Haze is a sativa descended from the legendary Neville’s Haze, an old-school strain from the Netherlands. Crossed with a Kush and covered in trichomes, this potent strain is great for concentration and creativity.
Why we love it: Dominant in rare terpinolene, Ghost Train Haze offers a unique blend of sour, citrus, and floral tastes with a potent euphoria.
Explore smoking hot crosses of Sunset Sherbert and OZ Kush (Zkittlez x OG Kush) this year to encounter unforgettable tastes and versatile hybrid effects that work day or night. That means finding some world-class Zoap from Deo Farms and checking out the “RS” line from Wizard Trees—RS#11 and RS#54. The pivotal parent here: Dying Breed Seeds’ strain OZ Kush. So re-visit OGZ and its aliases OGZ and ZOG. Oakland, CA, breeder-grower Deo Farms only works in small, perfect batches. That means eighth-ounce bags of authentic Zoap could easily fetch $80-$85 when diverted into the global market for exotics, like the clubs of Bangkok and Barcelona this year. Commercial US pot farmers will grow metric tons of the RS line and OZK for dispensary shoppers. Enjoy Zoap with a fellow cannasseur in a squeaky clean bubbler or a ball out with a big cannon.
Jealousy and friends
Jealousy rides a rocket into the stratosphere in 2023, even as it deploys new Jealousy hybrids and offspring. Seed Junky Genetics’ cross and selection of Sherb bx1 to breeder Jigga’s authentic Gelato #41 re-set the template for Gelatos in the 2020s. We’re all benefiting from this new level of look, smell, taste, and effect. Reviewers say Jealousy leaves them giggly, talkative, and relaxed—perfect for a night out with friends. See also: Banana Cream Jealousy, London Jelly, The Glove, Purple Octane, and Pacman.
The hype cycle has just begun for Goofiez—a new Compound Genetics cross of Jokerz and Apples and Bananas. Leafly already made Jokerz (Runtz x Jet Fuel Gelato) a Leafly Buzz strain to watch in 2022, and a runner-up to Leafly Strain of the Year. Now, Jokerz marries into the power of the Cookies strain Apples and Bananas. Goofiez has big, beautiful nugs with thick, tropical taffy smells and tastes; like a handful of Hi-Chew flavors. The Blue Power genes from the Apples and Bananas keep Goofiez’s THC scores and effect super-high.
Look out for and buy up work from Raw Genetics’ Zlushiez line (Zkittlez x Strawberry Fritter). The latest and juiciest? Grapefruit Zlushiez (Grapefruit Runtz x Zlushiez). Our test jar from California’s Ember Valley had the sweet, strawberry, citrus, and berry of a red and blue slushie, just with way more syrupy body, and a solid hybrid afternoon and evening effect. Hit Grapefruit Zlushiez before a movie or a gaming sesh for an even better time. See also: Unicorn Poop.
Oreoz had a banner year thanks to its icy, dramatic look and cookies-and-cream-like smell and taste. But not every grower could coax the sweet, chocolate cookie smell from Oreoz. A lot of it smelled like cardboard. In 2023, Cannarado’s Carbon Fiber (which also uses a Cookies and Cream parent) smells and hits as good as it looks. The California cloners at Phinest sell trays and trays of Carbon Fiber cuttings, which help build the wave. It’s one of the best gassy, dank GSC-type strains this year, and it also goes great with a couch and the end of the day, leaving reviewers talkative, aroused, and soaring.
Gary Payton and family
Gary Payton (The Y x Snowman) has won over America with its all-star cookie family smell and powerful indica hybrid effects that wrap around you like a glove. The multi-state brand Cookies will pump out tons of Gary Payton coast to coast this year, and it’s a staple strain in the making. While that happens, the Gary Payton family expands with several hit crosses like Blackberry Gary. Simultaneously—we’re trying everything else coming off the family line of The Y; like Cereal A La Mode. Smoke some Gary Payton and kick back with a playoff game, and plenty of snacks to get giggly, chatty, and chill. High-tolerance types can burn one and shoot mad hoops like the San Francisco breeder Kenny Dumetz, founder of Powerzzzup Genetics.
Pink Certz (Grape Gas crossed to The Menthol) comes to hundreds and hundreds of more stores in 2023. The Certz brand team in New York pushes out the Pink Certz back East in ’23, after the strain dominated California cannabis competitions in 2022. Compound Genetics’ core creator Chris Lynch has moved on to new project Cipher Genetics, but his Compound creations, including Pink Certz, should keep building for years. The Menthol line of ‘mint’ flavored cannabis family provides a sweet, herby, cool mint smell and flavor without actual menthol. The smell comes from cannabis’ aroma molecules, called terpenes, some of which we understand, but many we don’t. Pink Certz left our reviewers focused and energetic yet relaxed—great for blasting through busy work. See also: Khalifa Mints, and Gush Mints.
We have to include an OG Kush on every annual forecast. America loves its ‘gas’-smelling strains, and the lemon-pine-fuel of OG Kush never goes out of style. It’s been around for about a decade, but we’re seeing a variant of OG Kush called OG#18 add stores and sales every month for at least a year now. Someone likely hit the jackpot on OG Kush genes and started a new OG wave that’s giving people what they crave in the strain. OG’s don’t grow super-great, but their terpenes survive the abuse of drying and storage to deliver accurate, citrusy, piney gasoline to the smoker. Cypress Hill’s B-Real said he smokes the hybrid indica for breakfast. The rest of us mortals pair an OG with happy hour, appetizers, dessert, or the bedroom. See also: Legend OG.
Who wants gas? I mean, like, ‘Tear into your nostrils and abuse them a bit?’ MAC1 creator Capulator, and Jealousy creator Seed Junky Genetics unite their most influential strains for Cap Junky – Alien Cookies x Animal Mints. The seeds sold out quickly, and now we’re seeing it grown by LA Made in LA, and along the West Coast. Few strains can match the sleet of trichomes, pungence, and heart-pounding effects of this high-THC, high-terpene varietal. Buckle up and enjoy Cap Junky with a couch and a wall to stare at—you’re going on an inward journey. One-quarter of early reviewers used it to manage their bipolar disorder.
Citrusy, friendly Tangie and family have lots of fans as well as critics who want stronger effects from it. In 2023, look out for Super Boof, a Tangie, GSC, Black Cherry Punch project indebted to the so-called Mountain Trop (“Mtn. Trop”) selection of Tropicanna Cookies. It’s Tangie but with added cream and Funk, and indica hybrid body effects from the GSC line. Super Boof’s also massive and pretty like Black Cherry Punch, with an ironic name that’s fun to say. The California breeder Blockhead went from virtual anonymity to having his work in hundreds of stores coast to coast. Tangies remain versatile—you can work on them, do yoga, hike, handle chores, whatever. Blast some Tame Impala and a bowl of Super Boof—you’ll feel like a brand new person. See also: Trop Cherry, Terple.
First Class Funk
The savory, stanky, strong, and wrong GMO Cookies line has become an American mainstay. We wanted to shout out a rising star in the GMO constellation—First Class Funk. The Funk debuted several years back. Grower and smoker-tested and approved—it’s earned its spot on over 1,500 store menus nationwide. Compound Genetics added the bling, gas, and grower-friendliness of Jet Fuel Gelato to GMO—resulting in a Cup-winner and crowd-pleaser. First Class Funk reviews score high for soaring euphoria and party vibes. See also: GMO Rootbeer, and Gaschata.
The top of the sales charts for sativa lovers plays like classic rock radio: lots of decades-old gold like Super Lemon Haze, and Pineapple Express. Few new sativas break through to the main stage to play alongside the Gelatos and Zs hogging the limelight. One sativa that holds up to modern standards for size, bling, terps, and power—Pineapple Fruz from Seed Junky Genetics in LA. They grow it flawlessly in Northridge, CA at their “Farmacopeia” facility and they keep winning trophies with their closely held cross of Animal Mints bx1 x Zbx1. Seed Junky flowers sell in Michigan and beyond this year, so hopefully they’ll set the Fruz loose. Pineapple Fruz hits a little strong for breakfast, but a puff before the gym fights boredom—and it’s great at parties.
Original Glue, aka GG4, has a legion of fans nationwide clamoring for more from that line. However, the breeder Lone Watty died in 2020. The most active Glue offspring? The so-called White Truffle cut of Gorilla Butter (GG4 x Peanut butter Breath) from Michigan’s Fresh Coast Seed Co, and it’s spreading nationally into 2023. Can weed smell like an earthy, nutty, sweet, dank white truffle? You bet your snout it can. A whole Truffle line has sprouted up with Black Truffle and conflicts over the Truffle name. Reviewers got tingly, aroused, and relaxed on White Truffle—great for your favorite hobbies. Check it out for yourself and leave us a review on how White Truffle hits in your town.
Super Sour Diesel
Shout out to New York and the East Coast as more stores open and Maryland launches adult-use sales on July 1. Now you can get real “AJ’s Sour Diesel” from the real “Asshole Joe”—if that’s your thing. We wanted to have some gas as a counterpoint to the hazes in this classic section and Super Sour Diesel keeps delivering. The traditional market as well as licensed growers crush runs of Super Sour Diesel this season; top pick is Amplified Farms out here in California. Sour D offers that high-energy buzz to New Yorkers with no chill. Its pungent diesel and skunk smell helps benchmark the word “gas.” Reviewers say it most commonly helps manage stress, depression, and anxiety—causing energetic feelings of “meh, it’ll sort itself out.”
Big ups to Vermont and the Northeast for the Y2K haze varietal Strawberry Cough—still getting folks lit in the legal weed era. Strawberry Cough rates high for energy, with a light, sweet strawberry, and grass haze taste. People get energetic, uplifted, and talkative on Strawberry Cough—perfect for both pre-gaming and the party itself. Strawberry Cough’s popularizer is Kyle Kushman, who continues to grow and work the line. We saw great Strawberry Cough from Humboldt County this spring, and the legacy haze’s clear effect punches through the boredom of another dessert strain.
Smokers from Maine to Michigan to Medford, Oregon, will vouch for Trop Cherry—a surging Strain of Summer nationwide now in 456 US stores; up from zero last year. Breeder Relentless Genetics mixed Trop Cookies with Cherry Cookies and selected the biggest, most purple, sparkliest, and loudest one. Smokers will love the nugs’ huge size, dramatic purple look, and robust citrus, tropical, tea smells. The effects hit hybrid-sativa, making it essential for hikes, yoga, biking, and jamming with the homies. Reviewers get euphoric, uplifted, and creative. Trop Cherry keeps winning: Snoop Dogg released a batch on Death Row Cannabis in February. It won an Oregon Leaf Bowl trophy in May for Best Exotic Fruit.
Backed by the Cookies brand, Red Velvet leads among strains growing in searches, menus, and orders, making it a solid pick for a trending Strain of Summer. Oakland, CA, breeding hitmakers Grandiflora crossed a Lemon Cherry Gelato to a Pina Acai to make this enticing dessert hybrid. We’ve had selections of Red Velvet that smelled like straight-up cinnamon red hots. Reviewers get aroused, tingly, and uplifted by Red Velvet, helping propel its rise. Red Velvet is on sale from LA to New Mexico to New Jersey and beyond. Pack a pipe bowl of Red Velvet on the beach with your boo, and explore those tan lines.
Lemon Cherry Gelato
Step aside Runtz and other dessert strains—Lemon Cherry Gelato’s time to shine. This varietal of the best-selling Gelato has ascended to the top of the charts on the East Coast this summer and is set to reign supreme for the launch of Maryland legalization and beyond. Popularized by Backpack Boyz, “LCG” has a huge street presence and a royal pedigree. Gelato helps set the bar for bag appeal with a resilient, iconic creamy-berry-gas nose and versatile hybrid effects. Newbies—welcome to the party. Haters, cope with Malibu (below).
Berry Cream Puff
The summer thaw seems like the time to get up to Canada, order some weed off Uber Eats (partnered with Leafly), and have fun. Taking over shelves this year is Puresun Farms’ Berry Cream Puff. That’s a dessert strain from a cross of Cake Crasher (Wedding Cake x Wedding Crasher) to an unlisted strain. The first reviews are trickling in, and we’re not surprised to see some folks getting aroused on Berry Cream Puff. The grandparent Wedding Cake has very high arousal scores. Tastes like berries, diesel, and butter. Puff on that Berry Cream yourself and drop us a review.
Paddle into the lineup of world-class exotic cannabis with Malibu, Seed Junky Genetics’ more tame rename of its cross of Zkittlez x Animal Cookies Bx2, aka Giraffe Pussy #1. Malibu took home the silver in the LA Zalympix 2023 exotic weed contest on June 17. The Z adds tropical Hi-Chew notes and loudness, while the Animal Cookies Bx2 brings gas fumes and potency. Malibu is gorgeous, big, strong, and hard to beat. Roll up a fat nug of Malibu, lay a rosin worm down to make a hash hole, crank some classic Queens of the Stone Age, and worship the sun poolside. Seed Junky has expanded beyond California to Michigan and New Mexico.
We end our Strains of Summer 2023 with That Badu—singer Erykah Badu’s namesake strain on the Cookies line. Berner and Badu push That Badu hard this summer in Cookies stores amid Erykah’s Unfollow Me Tour. That Badu is a mix of Lemonnade’s Limoncello and Compound Genetics’ Jet Fuel Gelato—adding lemon to the fuel-forward dessert strain. Sorry to overshare, but this is some baby-making botanicals. It’s euphoric, relaxing, and therapeutic, and Ms. Badu told Leafly she released it with “women in mind.” That’s Badu!
Best Weed Strains FAQs
What are some of the most popular weed strains in the world?
The world of cannabis offers a wide variety of popular weed strains. Some of the most well-known include the classic OG Kush, the enticingly sweet Girl Scout Cookies, the potent Gorilla Glue, and the energetic and uplifting Sour Diesel. These strains have gained popularity not only for their distinctive flavors and aromas but also for their potent effects and high THC levels.
What is a hybrid cannabis strain?
A hybrid strain of marijuana is a mixture of the two main types of cannabis – Indica and Sativa. Hybrid strains aim to offer a blend of the best traits from both types. For example, the Girl Scout Cookies strain is a hybrid known for its strong euphoric effects and full-body relaxation.
Could you talk briefly about the medicinal benefits of high-THC weed strains?
High-THC weed strains are often used for medical purposes. THC, the principal psychoactive component, is known for its ability to relieve chronic pain, increase appetite, reduce nausea, and help with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Strains with high THC content,, like the Indica-dominant strain Gorilla Glue, are often recommended for these therapeutic uses.
Is there a difference between Sativa and Indica strains?
There is a difference. Sativa strains provide more energetic and uplifting effects, making them ideal for daytime use. On the other hand, Indica strains often provide more relaxing and sedative effects, which is why they are typically used in the evening or at night. Hybrid strains, like Girl Scout Cookies, combine the effects of both.
Can you tell me about some strong Sativa strains?
Some of the strongest sativa strains include Sour Diesel and Haze varieties. Sour Diesel is known for its energizing and dreamy cerebral effects and pungent aroma. At the same time, Haze strains are appreciated for their long-lasting, energetic highs and rich, citrusy flavors. These strains are famous for their high THC levels, making them highly favored among cannabis connoisseurs.
Which strains of cannabis are the most potent?
Some of the most potent marijuana strains worldwide include Gorilla Glue, Girl Scout Cookies, and White Widow. These strains have consistently high THC levels reaching above 20%, with Gorilla Glue often hitting up to 30%. This makes them some of the strongest strains on this list and in the market.