A lot of people ask us what strains they should search out and try. It’s one of the reasons Leafly exists. And generally, our answers vary widely according to the consumer, location, and situation.
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But there are some strains that everyone should try. Just like everyone should read The Great Gatsby, or watch Citizen Kane, the following 100 hold an appeal for any and every cannabis consumer. From the heaviest indicas through perfectly-balanced hybrids to the brightest sativas, all manner of strain types, effects, aromas, flavors, and origins are represented below. If you can only get around to trying 100 strains in your lifetime, the following are the ones you should choose.
Leafly editors, strain researchers, former budtenders, and subject matter experts Will Hyde, Bailey Rahn, Jeremiah Wilhelm, and Brett Konen collaborated on developing this list, and many others in the Leafly office contributed additional feedback. Below, find each strain’s name, type, lineage, backstory, and reasons why it made the list. Use the printable checklist to mark off each essential strain as you find and try it—you can use Leafly strain pages to find out where each one is available.
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Backstory: 9 Pound Hammer is an 80% indica strain whose dense buds are coated in resin, offering sweet grape and lime flavors. True to its indica heritage, effects are heavy and long-lasting.
Why we love it: “9 Pound Hammer is a chunky indica-dominant strain that really stands out when you see it growing next to other strains. Its flavors intermix and create a sweet funk that leads to deep relaxation.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: A sativa-dominant phenotype of the high-CBD cannabis strain Cannatonic, the most remarkable characteristic of ACDC is its THC:CBD ratio of 1:20. That ratio means that this strain induces almost no psychoactive effects. Tests have put ACDC’s CBD content as high as 19%, which is almost unheard of.
Why we love it: “A light-footed CBD strain with almost no THC to cloud your mind.” —Bailey Rahn
“AC/DC is one of my favorite high-CBD strains because of its THC-to-CBD ratio and surprisingly good flavor. As a dab, it’s the perfect nightcap. As flower, I use it to tone down THC strains that are too buzzy.” —Ben Adlin
Backstory: Afghani is a heavy indica strain named after its geographic origin, where the earliest varieties of cannabis are believed to have grown. Breeders worldwide have come to treasure Afghani for its heavy resin production.
Why we love it: “An Afghan landrace strain with famous sedation qualities and generous resin production.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Afgoo, also known as Afgooey, is a potent indica strain believed to have descended from an Afghani indica and Maui Haze. Its sativa parent lends Afgoo uplifting, creative qualities, yet this strain undoubtedly takes after its indica parent with relaxing, sleepy effects to go with its earthy pine flavor.
Why we love it: “This ultra-heavy indica delivers a sedative, one-of-a-kind buzz that hugs the body like a straitjacket fresh from the dryer.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Don’t let its intense name fool you: AK-47 will leave you relaxed and mellow. While its scent is sour and earthy, its sweet floral notes can only be fully realized in the taste. Created in 1992 by Serious Seeds, AK-47 has won numerous Cannabis Cup awards around the world.
Why we love it: “A hybrid strain with rich genetic heritage and bold, mood-brightening effects.” — Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Alaskan Thunder Fuck (also referred to as ATF, Matanuska Thunder Fuck, or Matanuska Tundra) is a legendary sativa-dominant strain originating in the Matanuska Valley area of Alaska. According to the legend, it was originally a Northern California sativa crossed with a Russian ruderalis, but sometime in the late 70s it was crossed with Afghani genetics to make it heartier. ATF presents large, beautifully frosted buds with incredibly strong odors.
Why we love it: “ATF is a classic. It is a hearty, sweet smelling plant with an outstanding, heady buzz.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Amnesia is typically a sativa-dominant cannabis strain with some variation between breeders. Amnesia’s genetic forerunners have passed on uplifting, creative, and euphoric effects ideal for putting you in a great mood, no matter the day, time, or situation.
Why we love it: “Forget your worries and woes with this clear-headed high: Amnesia’s sativa-dominant lineage make it a stimulating and functional strain that belongs in the bag of any cannabis consumer on the go.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: With a smell and flavor of overripe bananas, this hybrid definitely earns its name. Banana OG has tested at over 25% THC and has a reputation as a “creeper”—as in, its effects will creep up on you if you’re not careful.
Why we love it: “Banana OG smells amazing! It’s like an overripe banana peel full of pine needles, and it creates thick smoke that always gets me laughing.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Berry White is the offspring of parents of near-celebrity status in the cannabis world, and is famous in its own right for effects that offer shelter from stress and a sturdy sense of euphoria.
Why we love it: “I’ve never laughed so hard as I did after sharing a cartridge of this with my best friend.” —Brett Konen
“Berry White’s sweetness is my weakness. A few puffs and I’ll be giggling all night.” —Philip Bjorge
Backstory: Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid that originated in California, has achieved legendary status among West Coast strains. By crossing a Blueberry indica with the sativa Haze, Blue Dream balances full-body relaxation with gentle cerebral invigoration. Novice and veteran consumers alike enjoy the level effects of Blue Dream, which ease you gently into a calm euphoria.
Why we love it: “Without a doubt the most common and illustrious strain found across the United States today.” —Bailey Rahn
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Backstory: A true A-List cannabis strain. Blueberry’s legendary status soared to new heights after claiming the High Times’ Cannabis Cup 2000 for Best Indica. The long history of the strain is traced back to the late 1970s when American breeder DJ Short was working with a variety of exotic landrace strains.
Why we love it: “The indica that brought the distinct flavor of blueberry to the cannabis world. If you have the chance, be sure to also check out the West Coast version, DJ Short Blueberry—it’s one of the most aromatic strains you can get.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Bubba Kush is an indica strain that has gained notoriety in the U.S. and beyond for its heavy tranquilizing effects. Sweet hashish flavors with subtle notes of chocolate and coffee come through on the exhale as powerful relaxation takes over. Bubba’s stocky plant stature and bulky bud structure suggest Afghani descent, but its genetic origins aren’t certain: The breeder whom this strain was named after states that Bubba Kush emerged just after 1996, when an OG Kush hybrid pollinated an unknown indica strain obtained in New Orleans. The genetically ambiguous indica was simply called “Bubba.” Bubba Kush has flourished ever since.
Why we love it: “A crazy-popular tranquilizing Kush born and bred in the USA.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Cannatonic is a unique hybrid strain bred by Spanish seed bank Resin Seeds specifically for its low THC content (rarely above 6%) and high CBD content (6-17%). It produces a relatively short-lived, mellow high that is also uplifting and powerfully relaxing.
Why we love it: “A CBD-rich variety providing relaxation without the mental fog, Cannatonic is immensely popular and perfect for beating anxiety.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Chemdawg has developed quite the name for itself over the years. Between its mysterious origin, ambiguous genetics, and the plethora of successful crosses the strain has produced, Chemdawg has secured itself a permanent place in the cannabis hall of fame. The original source of powerhouse strains like Sour Diesel and OG Kush, Chemdawg is known for its distinct, diesel-like aroma that you can smell from a mile away. Consumers can expect to have a very cerebral experience.
Why we love it: “Chemdawg is an influential and mysterious strain. There are many different phenotypes but all tend to share a gasoline-y flavor profile and high potency.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Chernobyl is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain that carries a unique lime sherbet smell. Originally bred by TGA Genetics, expect dreamy, long-lasting cerebral effects that will float you to a happy mood and relaxed mindset.
Why we love it: “A flavorful fusion of lemon and citrus that frees you from stress and bad moods.” —Bailey Rahn
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Backstory: With illustrious lineage, buds that are dense and full of orange hairs, and a touch of purple color, this strain smells of sweet and sour cherry pie. Its effects come on in minutes and stick around for hours.
Why we love it: “A delicious strain as its name suggests. Cherry Pie is a sweet flower with strong lineage. It makes a great joint.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: DNA Genetics developed Chocolope to create their homage to the Chocolate strains of the 1980s. The hefty sativa buds give off earthy, sweet coffee flavors and provide a dreamy, cerebral effect with a strong, euphoric mental shift.
Why we love it: “Relaxed, cuddly, and grin-inducing, this strain is adored by pretty much everyone at the Leafly office, and also happens to make a damn good concentrate.” —Brett Konen
“Chocolope blasts you into non-stop giggle fits. It’s a must-have if you’re looking to lighten things up and share some quality time with old friends.” —Nick Elam
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Backstory: Cinderella 99, otherwise known as C99, or simply “Cindy,” is a sativa-dominant hybrid bred by Mr. Soul of Brothers Grimm. She’s best known for her potent cerebral high, sweet fruity flavors, and epic yields. According to Mr. Soul, C99 was created using seeds found in a Sensi branded two-gram package of Jack Herer purchased at an Amsterdam coffee shop.
Why we love it: “Cindy 99 is a flavorful sativa hybrid. The sweet terpene profile and uplifting vibes make it great for an adventure outside.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Cinex, a mix of already popular parents, has a variety of flavors ranging from sweet citrus to earthy skunk. The effects are clear-headed and uplifting—perfect for building a positive mindset and stimulating creative energy.
Why we love it: “Cinex is a cross of Cindy 99 and Vortex genetics. What more could you ask for? Citrus flavors and a sativa kick make this strain one to try.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Dancehall, a 60/40 sativa-dominant hybrid, was bred by Reggae Seeds by combining Juanita La Lagrimosa (a Mexican–Afghani-Spanish hybrid) with Kalijah (Blue Heaven crossed with a Mexican-Afghani hybrid). Named after a style of Reggae played in times of celebration, Dancehall will lift your spirits to a happier place where creativity and social bonding thrive. As its flowers mature, vibrant shades of green, blue, purple, and red twist underneath its crystal trichomes while aromas both sweet and spicy dance from cracked buds.
Why we love it: “A truly classic clear-headed sativa. Dancehall’s massive CBD/THC ratio (upward of 20:1) is kind to cannabis consumers looking for healing effects and a touch of vigor.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
“It’s like the first combination beer-plus-nap after a long week. Relaxing, but you keep your wits about you. Perfect right before a concert.” —Saba Samakar
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Backstory: Dirty Girl is a sativa-dominant cross of a Trainwreck hybrid, known as Arcata Lemon Wreck, and Cinderella 99. The combination produces a tropical aroma of pineapples and citrus fruit with a sharp pungent note reminiscent of Pine Sol. The flavor of Dirty Girl is like sweet lemon candy.
Why we love it: “The first sativa that truly wowed me. Flavor, euphoria, tons of creative energy—this is an instant fave of anyone I share it with, and should be a go-to.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: The sativa-dominant hybrid Double Dream puts a unique spin on the famed Blue Dream by crossing it with Dream Star. With a complex flavor profile that synchronizes sweet floral notes with berries and spice, it’s a soothing and mentally invigorating strain that still allows clear-headed functionality. The dreamy, euphoric buzz is anchored by a deep, physical relaxation that mutes pain, anxiety, stress, and more.
Why we love it: “With all the best characteristics of Blue Dream and none of the market oversaturation, fans of that iconic strain will adore this fresh take.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: This pure sativa originated in the South African port city of Durban, from whence it has gained notoriety worldwide for its sweet smell and energetic, uplifting effects. Durban Poison is the perfect strain to help you stay productive through a busy day, explore the outdoors, or spark creativity. The over-sized resin glands make this strain a quality choice for concentrate extraction, and the buds are round and chunky with a thick coating of trichomes.
Why we love it: “Fuel for focus and creative thought straight from Africa.” —Bailey Rahn
“One of the best landrace sativas, older than most standing governments, closest to having mild psychedelic effects, and always a good pairing for creative pursuits.” —James Scott
Backstory: Over the years, Dutch Treat has become an essential strain of Amsterdam coffeeshops. The dense, sticky buds have an intense smell of sweet fruits mixed with pine and eucalyptus trees. The cerebral high comes on quick and leaves consumers feeling uplifted and euphoric while reducing stress and relaxing the mind.
Why we love it: “Dutch Treat has a sweet, candied flavor that is unique to the strain. A longtime favorite in Amsterdam and very potent. Dutch Treat make a great concentrate.” —Will Hyde
“My go to recommendation for first timers! It’s mellow and has a good mix of head and body high.” —Rocco DeVito
Backstory: Ewok was the Hybrid winner of the 2013 Seattle High Times Cannabis Cup. Bred by Alien Genetics, it’s a fast-growing plant with a short vegetative cycle that produces large yields of frost-covered buds as hairy as the Star Wars Ewoks themselves. Pungent fruity notes of tangerine and lemon introduce Ewok’s strong cerebrally-focused effects, which promote relaxation and stress relief.
Why we love it: “Ewok, a Pacific Northwest favorite, carries a pungent, sweet aroma and melts away stress.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Fruity Pebbles (aka Fruity Pebbles OG) by Alien Genetics was originally a limited-time offering from the breeder. This sweet hybrid borrows a mix of 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—pour yourself a bowl of Fruity Pebbles anytime.
Why we love it: “A mellow, uplifting hybrid strain whose aroma of fruity breakfast cereal is so distinctive, you have to try it to believe it.” —Bailey Rahn
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Backstory: G13 is a very strong indica strain that is the subject of many urban legends. According to some accounts, the CIA, FBI, and other agencies gathered the best strains of marijuana from breeders all over the world. At a super-secret installation at the University of Mississippi, they bred many new super-hybrids in the late 1960s. Allegedly, a single cutting of this plant was liberated by an unnamed technician and bred for the masses. And although the legends are probably not true, it’s absolutely true that G13 delivers effects like no other.
Why we love it: “A fabled strain known for the legends of its origins. G13 is a knockout indica—and if it was actually smuggled out of a government lab, we’re definitely glad it was.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Gelato (also referred to as “Larry Bird”) is another tantalizing hybrid cannabis strain from Cookie Fam Genetics. This Bay Area native tends to bloom in dark purple hues illuminated by fiery orange hairs and a shining white coat of crystal resin. Novice consumers may want to approach this THC powerhouse with caution.
Why we love it: “A great dessert strain! Gelato is a sweet, floral bud with hints of fruit flavors that lead to extreme euphoria.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: First bred by Rare Dankness, Ghost Train Haze is a sativa cross, but unlike typical sativas, the plant grows dense buds blanketed in white, crystal-capped trichomes. With a sour citrus and floral aroma, Ghost Train Haze delivers a potent dose of THC.
Why we love it: “A potent, uplifting sativa from Rare Dankness. GTH is popular in Colorado and has an invigorating aroma that mixes citrus notes and floral fragrance.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Golden Goat was created accidentally in Topeka, Kansas, when a male Hawaiian–Romulan pollinated Mr. Dank’s Island Sweet Skunk mother. The strain is often light green and pink in color, which is indicative of its Hawaiian sativa side. The scent is described as being a combination of sweet, sour, and spicy, with a tropical fruit flavor. Effects are strong and felt from head to toe.
Why we love it: “Clear-headed and creative, this tropical-tasting strain was created by accident—and we can’t think of a more fortuitous accident.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Introduced in 2003 by Ken Estes, Granddaddy Purple (or GDP) is a famous indica cross: The California staple inherits a complex grape and berry aroma from its Purple Urkle parent, while Big Bud passes on its oversized, compact bud structure. GDP flowers bloom in shades of deep purple, a contrastive backdrop for its snow-like dusting of white crystal resin. Its potent psychoactive effects are clearly detectable in both mind and body, and growers particularly love GDP for its massive yields.
Why we love it: “King among indicas, this flavorful bud offers berry flavors and pacifying effects. Its purpled foliage is one of the most beautiful cannabis blooms out there.” —Bailey Rahn
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King among indicas, GDP’s purpled foliage makes it one of the most beautiful cannabis flowers. —Bailey Rahn, strain editor
Backstory: Grape Ape, propagated by Apothecary Genetics and Barney’s Farm, is a mostly indica strain that crosses three powerhouse parents. Named for its distinct grape-like smell, this indica is known for providing carefree relaxation. Its dense, compact buds are wreathed in deep purple leaves which darken as this indica reaches full maturation.
Why we love it: “Grape Ape is a famous genetic collaboration that combines phenomenal cultivars by renowned breeders.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: This potent sativa was developed by crossing Cinderella 99 with a fast-flowering sativa selected for its rich grapefruit flavor. The tropical, citrus smell of Grapefruit mixes with energetic effects to give you a happy stress-reliever.
Why we love it: “With a flavor that perfectly justifies the name, this sativa brightens the mood and elevates energy.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Don’t let the name fool you: This is pure cannabis. Few strains compare to Green Crack’s sharp energy and focus as it induces an invigorating mental buzz that keeps you going throughout the day. Green Crack has branched into two genetic lineages, the most common of which is its sativa line descended from Skunk #1. The 75% indica variety of Green Crack is said to have come from an Afghani strain. Because its name perpetuates a negative image, some people have taken to calling this strain Cush (with a ‘C’) or Green Cush instead. Whatever you call it, a tangy, fruity flavor redolent of mango make this the perfect daytime strain.
Why we love it: “Like the name suggests, Green Crack is a racy sativa and emits sweet earthy flavors. This is a great strain to help you understand what cannabis’s cerebral effects are all about.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Harlequin is a 75/25 sativa-dominant strain renowned for its reliable expression of CBD: Unlike most high-CBD strains, Harlequin almost always develops a CBD:THC ratio of 5:2. Flavors can range from earthy musk to sweet mango, but without a doubt, what draws crowds to Harlequin is its ability to relax without sedation and relieve without intoxication.
Why we love it: “Harlequin is an amazing CBD-rich strain that typically has about a 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC. This strain has a range of earthy flavors and can help manage pain and other ailments without the fear of intoxication.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Meet Headband, the love-child of cannabis’s power couple. The smooth, creamy smoke is accented by flavors of lemons and diesel while the long-lasting effects are great for pain relief and relaxation. Many report that the effects create a slight pressure around the crown of the head, which feels as though you’re wearing a headband.
Why we love it: “A prodigious pairing of OG Kush and Sour Diesel, Headband’s rich, dank smoke goes straight to the dome.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Originally bred by Woodhorse Seeds, Herijuana is a combination of the highly regarded Humboldt County Afghan indica and an outdoor hybrid from Kentucky. This combo was worked by breeders for 15 generations to create an inbred line (IBL), meaning that most of the seeds will grow into plants that are nearly identical. Herijuana produces large dense flowers on an open, stretchy plant, with aromas and flavors ranging from spicy earth and sandalwood to hashy fruit. THC levels have been measured at over 25%, and the high provides a heavy, almost numbing feeling.
Why we love it: “Herijuana’s knock-out potency and deeply relaxing effects offer the positives of narcotic sedatives with none of the negative side effects.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Hindu Kush is a pure indica strain named after the mountain range where it originated, which stretches 500 miles between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The harsh climate of its homeland has conditioned this strain to express a thick, protective coat of crystal trichomes cherished by hash makers worldwide. With a subtle sweet and earthy sandalwood aroma, Hindu Kush induces a deep sense of calm.
Why we love it: “A pure indica, Hindu Kush genetics are prized for their thick coat of resin and sweet, earthy flavors with hints of berry. A great strain for making hash.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Ingrid is a lesser-known indica, but it’s growing in popularity as consumers begin to discover this gem of a strain. The buds are dense, tightly bound flowers with very little loose greenery, and perhaps the most striking aspect of its appearance is the flowers’ neon green color. These neon buds emit a delectable skunky aroma and induce a reliable indica-strong body effect.
Why we love it: “One of my personal favorites. If it’s inner peace you’re after, look no further than this California underdog—it brings on a subtle, meditative high that makes everything feel soaked in sunshine.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Island Sweet Skunk, sometimes called Sweet Island Skunk, is a sativa strain that users enjoy for its energetic effects. Originally bred by Federation Seed Company in Canada, this strain is a descendant of 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 flavors of citrus and tropical fruit.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Jack Herer has gained as much renown as its namesake cannabis activist, the famously outspoken author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Sensi Seeds created Jack Herer in the Netherlands hoping to capture both the cerebral elevation associated with sativas and the heavy resin production of indicas. It was later distributed by Dutch pharmacies as a recognized medical-grade strain. Since then, the spicy, pine-scented sativa has taken home numerous awards for its quality and potency.
Why we love it: “A Dutch staple delivering euphoria with the uplifting scent of pine, Jack Herer never stops getting more popular among novice and seasoned consumers alike.” —Bailey Rahn
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Backstory: Jean Guy is a hybrid from Canada with intensely cerebral effects and a sour citrus smell. Frosted dark green leaves hide pastel buds loaded with golden crystal trichomes. Hints of lemon and pine come through in Jean Guy’s flavor, providing a gentle launch into jolting sativa effects. Its energizing and uplifting qualities makes Jean Guy a perfect strain to start the day with.
Why we love it: “A renowned Canadian strain, Jean Guy lends all the energy you need to fuel creativity, conversation, and good moods.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Jillybean is described as being an upbeat and happy hybrid, with flavors of tangy orange and mango. This strain is a top choice for creative minds and social butterflies looking for unencumbered euphoria during daytime hours. She often expresses herself with deep hues of maroon on the leaves.
Why we love it: “Immensely fruity and flavorful, the lively high provided by Jillybean is something everyone should experience.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Also known as Fruity Juice, this cannabis strain was developed by Sensi Seeds. The plant is large-leafed and thick-stemmed, and as buds are broken up, colors of lavender, orange, and amber-purple flow throughout the trichome heads and into the stems. The strain’s aromas range from tangy and sweet, sort of like fruit punch and lemons, to a blend of piña colada and plums.
Why we love it: “A true ‘old school’ strain. Juicy Fruit has a tropical mix of sweet flavors and a fantastic balanced high.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Kali Mist is well-known for delivering clear-headed, energetic effects that can verge on psychedelic at times. Despite having an unknown genetic history, Kali Mist is believed to have originated in the 1990s through crossing two sativa-dominant hybrids. This lightweight strain is a perfect choice for consumers looking to maintain focus and productivity throughout their day.
Why we love it: “Few strains sharpen creativity and encourage productivity like this classic sativa.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Kosher Kush, offered now in seed form from DNA Genetics, originated in Los Angeles as a clone-only strain. Winner of High Times Cannabis Cup’s Best Indica in 2010 and 2011, as well as Best Strain in 2011, Kosher Kush produces staggering levels of THC, with some samples testing over 29%. Known as one of the most odiferous OG Kush-related strains, it has a unique yet familiar smell reminiscent of rich earth and fruit, and is considered by many to be one of the tastiest smokes around.
Why we love it: “This award-winning indica is famous for its potency, flavor, and effectiveness. Enjoyed by recreational connoisseurs and medical patients alike, the flower smells like a gas can full of fresh oranges.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Also called “Lamb’s Breath,” Lamb’s Bread is a bright green and sticky sativa strain. The effects have been known to give mass amounts of energy and positive introspection. The plant hails from Jamaica and it has been reported that Bob Marley himself frequently encountered this wonderful slice of cannabis genealogy.
Why we love it: “This native Jamaican strain is known to bring thoughtful, peaceful serenity to the mind, and is rumored to have been a favorite of Bob Marley.” —Bailey Rahn
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Backstory: Larry OG, also called Lemon Larry, is yet another member of the famous ocean-grown family. Originally created in Orange County, this indica produces a potent yet easy body buzz that will allow you to relax while getting things done.
Why we love it: “Larry OG is another exceptional Kush cross that turns the citrus flavor and euphoria up to 11.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Laughing Buddha is an award-winning sativa (2003 High Times Cannabis Cup) from Barney’s Farm. An earthy cross with a sweet, fruity smell that is broken up by hints of spice, it provides a rich pungent smoke that will leave consumers happy, upbeat, and giggling. The oversized colas are full and frosty, and buds cover practically the entire plant.
Why we love it: “This cross of Thai and Jamaican genetics lives up to its name, always inducing a laughing fit. We like it so much at Leafly, we named one of our conference rooms after it.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Built of strains from around the world, Lavender by Soma Seeds (sometimes referred to as Lavender Kush) has dense buds that give off a floral and spicy aroma. It has a dark purple coloration that stretches all the way to the ends of its leaves.
Why we love it: “One word: relaxation. The linalool-laden terpene profile that gives this strain its name and aroma washes over the consumer like a bubble bath.” —Brett Konen
“Lavender is wonderfully mellow indica, pleasant and soothing. It will give you a warm sensation that spreads through your body—a really lovely high.” —Lisa Rough
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Backstory: Lemonder is a body-heavy hybrid with an outstanding aroma. The strain offers alert mental clarity and relaxing physical effects, while the buds glitter with trichomes and are tangled in orange and bronze hairs. Its aroma smells like lemon peel, pine needles, and a sprinkling of earthy spice. Consumers have come to expect smile-inducing euphoria and a calming, carefree body buzz from this specialty strain.
Why we love it: “Lemonder brings the best of both worlds—full-body relaxation that recalls an indica with a mental kick like a killer sativa.” —Brett Konen
“This is the best tasting strain I have ever had. It carries heavy indica characteristics that you don’t normally get with a lemon strain. Not only my favorite but my favorite by far.” —Bennett Kaplan
Backstory: Lodi Dodi is a sativa-dominant hybrid popular in Washington State. Exclusively bred by The Clone Zone, the genetic heritage of Lodi Dodi is undisclosed and closely guarded. The strain’s flavor tends toward tropical fruit and fresh wildflowers, and the pungent aroma leads the way towards a cerebral buzz known to turn any task into an adventure.
Why we love it: “The PNW’s own, Lodi Dodi combines uplifting mental effects with an effervescent body high perfect for work or pleasure.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
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Backstory: Mango Kush tastes like an actual mango fruit, with a distinct Kush flavor and notes of pine on the exhale. Its buds are extremely dense and covered with orange pistils. Mango Kush is a favorite with both indoor and outdoor growers, and grows with thick shiny trichomes which are readily evident when the bud is broken apart.
Why we love it: “There’s quite simply nothing like inhaling a mouthful of silky-smooth mango smoke—and Mango Kush provides exactly that.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Master Kush is a popular indica cross created out of two landrace strains from different parts of the Hindu Kush region. Bred by the Dutch White Label Seed Company, located in Amsterdam, the plant produces a subtle earthy, citrus smell with a hint of incense, which is often described as a vintage flavor. The taste of cured Master Kush is reminiscent of the famous hard-rubbed charas hash. This strain offers a superb balance of full-body relaxation without the mind-numbing effect that many indica strains produce; instead, Master Kush offers a sharpened sensory awareness that can bring out the best of any activity.
Why we love it: “A heavier Kush varietal, Master Kush’s deep body effects and permeating relaxation make it a natural stop on an exploration of fine cannabis genetics.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Maui Wowie (not Maui Waui) is a truly classic sativa. Its tropical flavors and stress-relieving qualities will float you straight to the shores of Hawaii, where this strain was originally born and raised. Since its beginnings in the island’s volcanic soil, Maui Wowie has spread across the world to bless us with its sweet pineapple flavors and high-energy euphoria.
Why we love it: “A beloved tropical-tasting sativa straight from the rich soil of Hawaii.” —Bailey Rahn
“Brings on relaxation, good spirits, and a good night’s sleep with no grogginess whatsoever in the morning.” —Rebecca Kelley
Backstory: Mendocino Purps, or Mendo Purps, or even just The Purps, comes out of Mendocino County in the famed Humboldt region of Northern California. Winning one of the Top Ten slots in High Times’ Strains of the Year in 2007, Mendocino Purps began as a clone-only plant, but BC Bud Depot developed a stable cross to make The Purps seeds widely available. The delectable flavor has been likened to caramel coffee and woodsy pine.
Why we love it: “Big, classic purple buds from cannabis’s proving ground. Mendo Purps is a flower with sweet berry flavors and deep purple colors. A very happy and relaxing strain.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Middlefork is a hybrid strain that unites two extremely flavorful parents. Bred in Washington state between the fork of two rivers, Middlefork has become a local favorite known for its potency and effects. Creativity and energy are ushered in by sweet berry and tangy citrus notes inherited from the strain’s illustrious lineage.
Why we love it: “A Pacific Northwest staple strain. This Blueberry–Dutch Treat cross sparks imagination and entices those lucky enough to acquire it with an earthy, citrusy blend of flavors.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Northern Lights stands among the most famous strains of all time, a pure indica cherished for its resinous buds that has given rise to famous hybrids like Shiva Skunk and Super Silver Haze. Rumor has it that Northern Lights first sprouted near Seattle, Washington, but was propagated out of Holland after 1985 at what is now Sensi Seeds. Pungently sweet, spicy aromas radiate from the crystal-coated buds, which sometimes reveal themselves in hues of purple. Northern Lights’ psychoactive effects relax the muscles and pacify the mind in dreamy euphoria.
Why we love it: “A storied Pacific Northwest transplant blanketed in starry, crystal-tipped trichomes.” —Bailey Rahn
“It helps my social anxiety so I love to get this in cartridges for when I go out and about, whether it’s hanging out with a bunch of friends or running errands.” —Skye Hunter
Backstory: This unique indica appropriately channels its namesake president’s famous message of ‘Change’ as it invigorates and inspires. Daughter of an indica and a sativa-dominant hybrid, Obama Kush sets itself apart from other indicas through its cerebral stimulation and euphoric rush. This strain is recommended for all levels of patients looking for a balanced experience. The flowers are frosty with a purple hue and reddish hairs.
Why we love it: “Named for the president, this strain has undeniable bi-partisan appeal. Its chunky flowers, thanks to its Afghani lineage, create a sweet, floral aroma that produces cerebral stimulation and a euphoric rush.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: OG Kush makes up the genetic backbone of West Coast cannabis varieties, but in spite of its ubiquity, its genetic origins remain something of a mystery. Popular myth maintains that Chemdawg and Hindu Kush parented OG Kush; however, we can’t be sure because OG Kush first came from bag seed in the early 90s. The earliest propagators (now known as Imperial Genetics) are said to have brought the seeds out of Florida to Colorado and southern California, where it now flourishes. 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 under the weight of its heavy euphoria.
Why we love it: “The prodigious strain that gave rise to innumerable iconic West Coast hybrids.” —Bailey Rahn
“I’ve tried this strain in flower, oil, edible and vape cartridge form. It never lets me down. I made the joints for my wedding from OG Kush. There were people who don’t smoke often in social situations, and some people who’d never smoked before, but OG Kush went over very well. It’s just a super solid strain.” —Kelly Bennett
OG Kush makes up the genetic backbone of West Coast cannabis varieties, yet its genetic origins remain something of a mystery.
Backstory: Panama Red is best described as an old-school cannabis classic. Originating from Panama, this pure sativa rose to stardom in the late 1960s thanks to its effects: speedy and intense, bordering on psychedelic. As cannabis cultivation matured, Panama Red, which has a lengthy flowering time of at least 11 weeks, was left behind for faster-growing strains and increased profits. However, those who fondly recall days of its prominence love its smooth experience and call for its revival. If you can get your hands on this sentimental throwback, do not hesitate.
Why we love it: “A classic cannabis strain and a piece of cannabis history, Panama Red remains a foundational element in the popularization of cannabis around the world.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Permafrost, bred by Rogue Buds, is named for its frosty coat of crystal trichomes and fresh pine aroma. While many believe Permafrost to be the love child of Trainwreck and White Widow, others claim it comes from Kali Mist and Trinity Snow. True to its hybrid genetics, Permafrost’s relaxing effects are balanced between mind and body. Larger doses demonstrate the strain’s potency: As sensory detail peaks, attention becomes transfixed, and a full-body calm takes over.
Why we love it: “Permafrost is awesome—a level-headed hybrid that elevates mood while focusing the mind, letting you keep your eye on the prize with a smile on your face.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
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Backstory: Pez is an indica daughter of Afghani and Pakistani strains. These sweet, frosty buds offer the relaxation and rich body buzz typical of indicas without the drowsiness, making it great for daytime use.
Why we love it: “Pez is a classic strain whose popularity is particularly rooted in the Seattle area. It emits a sweet, piney aroma and creates a happy, euphoric headspace and a calm body high.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Pineapple Chunk, bred by Barney’s Farm, is an indica-leaning hybrid that induces heavy full-body effects and a fast-paced head buzz. This THC-rich strain combines a Cheese and Skunk #1 cross with Barney’s Pineapple, and you can almost smell its lineage through sour notes of tangy skunk, earthy cheese, and sweet pineapple. Optimally, Pineapple Chunk will deliver a small dose of CBD along with its crushing THC content.
Why we love it: “A rich mix of genetics. Pineapple Chuck expresses itself with big chunky buds that get even better when you grind them up.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Pineapple Express combines the potent and flavorful forces of its parent strains. The smell is likened to fresh apple and mango, with an overarching flavor profile mixing pineapple, pine, and cedar. This hard-hitting sativa-dominant hybrid provides a long-lasting energetic buzz perfect for productive afternoons and creative escapes.
Why we love it: “A hybrid strain so good, they made a movie about it.” —Bailey Rahn
“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, and it’s one of the more versatile strains, wonderful for both day and nighttime use.” —Lisa Rough
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Backstory: Pink Kush, as coveted as its illustrious relative, is an indica-dominant hybrid with powerful body-focused effects. In its most exceptional variations, pink hairs burst from bright green buds barely visible under a blanket of sugar-like trichomes, with traces of a sweet vanilla and candy perfume in the aroma. The potency of this strain could be considered overpowering, and often small doses are all you need. Growers have to wait 10 to 11 weeks for Pink Kush’s flowering, but high yields of top-shelf buds are worth the wait.
Why we love it: “For lovers of OG Kush (and there are plenty), this sugary-sweet strain begets body-focused effects and stress relief that are better than a massage.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: Plushberry is an 80% indica strain bred by TGA Seeds. The Black Cherry Soda lineage lends this strain an aromatic berry scent, while the Space Queen genetics promote heavy resin production. Plushberry induces a deep relaxation in the mind and body, with calming qualities that melt stress away. There are two main phenotypes of Plushberry: one that grows smaller, pink-tinted plants, and another with bulkier, more indica-like formations.
Why we love it: “One of my personal favorites. A functional indica that both relaxes and motivates alongside a sweet berry, floral flavor.” — Bailey Rahn
“Plushberry is an anomaly among indica strains: While heavily indica-dominant, it doesn’t put you to sleep or cloud your brain. Instead, Plushberry allows you to focus inward. You’ll find yourself pondering deep revelations about life and the universe, which inspires incredible conversations and thoughts.” —Lisa Rough
Backstory: Presidential OG by Royal Queen Seeds is an indica cross that definitely knows how to get your attention with its intense citrus-pine smell. As far as taste goes, it maintains the pine flavor and heads into more earthy terrain. Almost purely indica, this strain hits hard and fast with a sedative effect that make it a popular choice among consumers.
Why we love it: “The Commander in Chief of Kush strains offers heavyweight physical effects and rich earthy flavors suited for heads of state (and everyone else, too).” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Popularized by Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 classic, Purple Haze delivers a dreamy burst of euphoria that brings veteran consumers back to their psychedelic heyday. This nostalgic sativa staple remains cherished for its high-energy cerebral stimulation that awakens creativity and blissful contentment. Purple Haze is believed to have descended from parent strains Purple Thai and Haze, which pass on a mix of sweet and earthy flavors underscored by notes of berry and sharp spice. Purple Haze buds typically acquire vibrant hues of lavender that justify the name of this strain.
Why we love it: “The classic! Its deep purple color is almost black, and it has a unique Haze flavor that’s just a little sweet. Always loved it for my migraines.” —Will Hyde
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Backstory: Purple Urkle’s history is as complex as its flavor palate. A California strain, its origins are believed to stem from a select phenotype of Mendocino Purps, while its essence is a blend of skunk, berry, and fresh grape aromas and flavors. The quick-onset effects are deeply relaxing, sleep-inducing, and a great option for full-body bliss.
Why we love it: “A California strain, Purple Urkle grows into a candy-sweet flower entangled with purple hues. Its mix of berry and grape aromas captivate and lead to full-body relaxation.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Raskal OG smells of lemon and pine with a musty and grassy taste. Bred by Cali Connection, the THC levels range up to 17% and the CBD is up to 0.86%. With dense light and dark green colored buds, this sticky strain is soft when broken apart.
Why we love it: “A cross of OG Kush and SFV OG from SoCal breeder Raskal. Its intense fuel-like aroma mixes with flavors of lemon and citrus and makes for a great bong toke.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Red Headed Stranger is an energizing sativa strain named in homage to the 1975 album by Willie Nelson. A cross between Tom Hill’s Haze and William’s Wonder, Red Headed Stranger offers a jolt of cerebral vigor that fuels creativity and focus. True to its Haze heritage, RHS takes on a sharp spicy aroma with subtle herbal notes.
Why we love it: “A bright sativa strain that inspires creativity and conversation alongside its signature flavor.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: S.A.G.E. stands for Sativa Afghani Genetic Equilibrium. Generally containing over 20% THC, it took second place in the blind test at the 2001 Cannabis Cup. Spicy sandalwood flavors combined with a long-lasting, uplifting high make this a plant for those who like the best.
Why we love it: “A hybrid of potent sativa and Afghani genetics, SAGE combines polar opposites to create an exceptional strain.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
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Backstory: Schrom is a 70% sativa strain that delivers a clear-headed buzz with a pungent lemon and lime aroma. Its genetics are subject to debate, but many believe it was parented by Romulan and either Silver Haze or Santa Marta Colombian Gold. Its aroma fills the room with an enticing citrus bouquet, but arguably Schrom’s greatest merit is the mental clarity and functional buzz to come. Schrom relaxes the body without slowing the mind and leaves you alert enough to focus on the day’s tasks; however, enjoying this strain late in the evening may be even better.
Why we love it: “Another of my favorites. With a lemon-lime soda flavor, this is a light, uplifting strain that allows you to stay functional and active.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: SFV OG by Cali Connection is a sativa-dominant hybrid. As the name indicates, this OG Kush relative originates from California’s San Fernando Valley. The flowers are fairly small and may not look impressive, but what this strain lacks in looks it makes up for in heavenly aroma. It’s best when consumed in a flower-friendly vaporizer.
Why we love it: “One of my favorite OG varietals. Its pungent piney flavor and sharp diesel aroma are nostalgic and makes me think of SoCal. Twist one up!” —Will Hyde
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Backstory: From the island of Amami Oshima comes Shiatsu Kush, a powerful hybrid strain brought from Japan by BC Bud Depot. Bred in secret for potent relief of pain, tension, and stress, Shiatsu Kush has a sterling reputation in Japan’s cannabis underground. With an aromatic fusion of pine, vanilla, and cedar, Shiatsu Kush induces a heavy relaxation that calms the mind and body.
Why we love it: “A rising star, Shiatsu Kush is a meditative and centering strain that tenderizes the mind and soul.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Skunk No. 1 (or Skunk #1) is a hybrid strain that has influenced cannabis on a global scale, parenting a horde of Skunk crosses since it first bloomed in the late 1970s. Sacred Seed Co. originally bred it using diverse genetics from around the world, which converged through an intricate selective breeding process that spanned several generations. Finally, the genetic cornerstone of countless cannabis hybrids was born. The original Skunk #1 gave rise to several variations that were later harvested in the gardens of Sensi Seeds, Dutch Passion, Flying Dutchmen, Nirvana Seeds, and Royal Queen Seeds. As its name suggests, Skunk #1 buds radiate with an aromatic blend of sour skunkiness and subtle earthy notes.
Why we love it: “Skunk #1 has impacted cannabis worldwide, parenting and influencing many modern varieties. The pungent skunky smell is undeniable and the heavy-hitting effects have made Skunk #1 a staple in Amsterdam coffeeshops and beyond.” —Will Hyde
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Backstory: Hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg’s fame in the cannabis community is practically peerless. Given his status, Snoop’s Dream is a strain that has a big name to live up to—and this indica-dominant hybrid does not disappoint. The illustrious parent strains are purportedly two of the rapper’s favorites, and they beget sweet blueberry flavors and a pine aftertaste that takes over on the finish.
Why we love it: “A Blue Dream–Master Kush hybrid with a seal of approval from the Doggfather himself. This cross presents sweet blueberry flavors with a smooth Kush finish.” —Will Hyde
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Backstory: This West Coast strain has developed quite a legacy for itself. Snowcap is a potent sativa with a gorgeous lemony scent backed by a hint of menthol. The effects are decidedly cerebral and should trigger creativity, happiness, and a case of the giggles. Believed to be a hybrid of Humboldt Snow and an unknown Haze, the poorly documented genetic history leaves some mystery surrounding Snowcap. One thing everyone can agree on is the all-around flavor and potency of this robust strain.
Why we love it: “Another West Coast classic. Snowcap is a potent sativa hybrid with an effervescent aroma, and I love its creative buzz and hazy cerebral effects.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Sour Diesel, sometimes called Sour D, is an invigorating sativa-dominant strain named for its pungent, diesel-like aroma. This fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that have pushed Sour Diesel to reach legendary status. This strain took root in the early 90s, and it is believed to have descended from Chemdawg 91 and Super Skunk.
Why we love it: “Perhaps the most popular sativa hybrid, Sour Diesel smells just like its name and promotes focus and productivity.” —Bailey Rahn
“I love dank, musty, skunky weed. I love when you get a whiff of a bag that is so stanky it immediately overrides all other priorities and replaces them with, ‘Find that bag and stick your nose in it.’ Sour Diesel tends to do that for me. It’s a weird strain; it’s got a weird genome. It’s weird like huffing jet fuel with a mouth full of Warheads would be weird. I like weird.” —Fermin Romero III
Backstory: Sour OG is a 50/50 hybrid strain that is a real favorite among those who love a balanced sativa/indica buzz. As a cross of two of the most popular and widely available strains in the world, Sour OG has been available in clone and seed form for quite some time. Most samples express dense, round, OG Kush-type buds laden with large, sticky trichomes. The odor and taste are usually an equal mix of both parents, with sour lemon, pine, and fuel notes accented by a distinct Kush undertone (though some versions have a more fruity flavor profile). Often described as a “one-hit-quit” strain, Sour OG starts with an energetic head high that gradually gives way to a relaxing body stone.
Why we love it: “Sour OG is a cross between two heavyweights, Sour Diesel and OG Kush. If you like either of those strains, definitely give this one a rip. The dank mix of diesel and pine create a rush of euphoria and flavor that will have you coming back time and time again.” —Will Hyde
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Backstory: Sour Tsunami is a strain famous for being one of the first specifically bred for high CBD content. The result is a wellness-focused strain that avoids producing a significant THC-induced high. Lawrence Ringo of the Southern Humboldt Seed Collective bred this strain over four years of hard work by crossing Sour Diesel plants with NYC Diesel.
Why we love it: “Sour Tsunami was bred specifically for its high CBD ratio, yet the sour and slightly tropical flavors stand out when compared to most other high-CBD varieties.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Space Queen is a legendary hybrid created by famed breeder Vic High of the BC Growers Association. It begets a wide array of phenotypes, all of which possess great potency and some variation of a fruity aroma. The most sought-after of these is a large, resinous, high-yielding plant that smells of apples, vanilla and cherries, and has a delicious cherry taste when properly cured. Although it is a hybrid, Space Queen will give users an intense, trippy, speedy buzz that is characteristic of strong sativas.
Why we love it: “A really beautiful sativa hybrid with sweet earthy flavors and a true sativa kick to the mind.” —Will Hyde
“My go to for bad migraine days. Tastes like cherries and heaven.” —Natalie Bernstein
Backstory: Known for its sweet smell of fresh strawberries and an expanding sensation that can make even the most seasoned consumer cough, Strawberry Cough is a potent sativa blend with mysterious genetic origins. The skunky, berry flavors will capture your senses while the cerebral, uplifting effects provide an aura of euphoria that is guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.
Why we love it: “An exceptionally delicious sativa that will have you exhaling a lungful of fresh strawberry flavor.” —Bailey Rahn
“Strawberry Cough brings you an instantaneous rush of energy and euphoria. Great for making it though the day, whether you are a writer, a musician, or your average Joe.” —Gage Peake
Parent strains: Omitted due to copyright concerns.
Backstory: Heir to the throne of its illustrious predecessor is Sunset Sherbet (sometimes spelled Sunset Sherbert), an indica-leaning hybrid with intoxicatingly potent effects. Sunset Sherbet inherits the genetic lineage of its powerhouse parent, whose parentage in turn includes the famed strains OG Kush, Cherry Pie, and Durban Poison. Crossed with an indica known as Pink Panties, Sunset Sherbet exhibits powerful full-body effects elevated by a jolt of cerebral energy. A complex aroma colors Sunset Sherbet with notes of skunky citrus, sweet berry, and a candy-like smell. Stress, tension, and sour moods melt away with the carefree mindset and physical relaxation that comes with this rich hybrid.
Why we love it: “Blissful, tranquil, and euphoric at once. This strain lives up to its name and gives everything a golden glow.” —Brett Konen
Backstory: A sativa-dominant hybrid and two time Cannabis Cup winner from Green House Seeds, Super Lemon Haze is a kief-caked, multi-colored wonder. As the name states, this strain has hefty lemony characteristics: The smell in particular is zesty, citrusy, and a little sweet. As for the taste, it’s everything one would expect from the namesake; tart and sweet like lemonheads candy, but not quite as sharp as one might expect. The effects, meanwhile, are uniquely energetic and lively.
Why we love it: “A classic with an additional citrus kick, bump this tasty strain to top of your list. Super Lemon Haze is colorful, terpy, and fantastic in every way.” —Brett Konen
“I like Super Lemon Haze for the creative, euphoric buzz I get from it. Sativas tend to make me feel a little anxious but with this strain I am happy and relaxed, especially in social situations. It also smells amazing!” —Emi Nellenbach
Backstory: Super Silver Haze, bred by Green House Seeds, was the first prize winner at the High Times Cannabis Cup in 1997, 1998, and 1999. It also won awards at the High Times Harvest Festival. By crossing the genetics of Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze, we are left with a beautiful, sticky sativa blend that boasts an energetic, long-lasting body 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.”—Bailey Rahn
“Like silver lining on a cloud, Super Silver Haze can reach deep into my soul and pull happiness to the surface. Great post-work strain to shift into social, goofy, energetic vibes and not get anything done but smile.” —Diana Rocha
Backstory: Tahoe OG, or Tahoe OG Kush, is super-strong and fast-acting—so much so that you may not want to consume this strain if you’re planning to leave the house. Tahoe OG has made a name for itself among other indicas as a top nighttime strain, providing an extremely lazy, heavy body sensation. Due to superb breeding, Tahoe OG embodies all of the typical indica effects with an added euphoric, sativa-like kick. This strain features an earthy, lemon taste, and is a must-try phenotype of OG Kush.
Why we love it: “Tahoe OG is the perfect rainy day strain. It’s a stoney, heavy indica pheno of OG Kush with deep green hues and a tangible hint of sweetness.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: This winner of the 2010 Cannabis Cup was created by the illustrious Barney’s Farm and is by all measures a strain for connoisseurs. Its ability to knock out physical discomfort while increasing energy is what makes Tangerine Dream so special, and while too much Tangerine Dream may leave you stuck on the couch, this strain was handcrafted to meet the demands of busy consumers. Uplifting and euphoric, it provides users with mental clarity while deeply relaxing the muscles.
Why we love it: “The orange citrus spark of Tangerine Dream will have you vibing with newfound energy. Its sweet finish will invariably make you want more.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Tangie is another fantastic offering from DNA Genetics in Amsterdam that has quickly gained popularity in its home area and is spreading elsewhere like wildfire. This strain is a remake of sorts of the popular version of Tangerine Dream that was sought-after in the 1990s. This strain’s citrus heritage is most evident in its refreshing tangerine aroma, while its sticky buds provide euphoric yet relaxed effects.
Why we love it: “A high-energy sativa strain with unrivaled flavors of sweet citrus.” —Bailey Rahn
“A good Tangie flower has one of the most unique fragrances of any cannabis flower I’ve smelled. It’s incredibly citrusy, but not overly lemony. It’s got a very warm and well-rounded tangerine smell. It’s a great high. Not especially strong, but very friendly and uplifting.” —Kelly Bennett
Backstory: Trainwreck is a mind-bending hybrid with potent sativa-leaning effects that don’t pull any punches. Classic sativas were bred with iconic indicas to produce this Northern California staple, and they pass on a sweet lemon and spicy pine aroma. Trainwreck begins its speedy hurtle through the mind with a surge of euphoria, awakening creativity and happiness.
Why we love it: “One of the quintessential sativa-dominant hybrids, Trainwreck’s intense rush of energy hits like a freight train.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: UK Cheese is a popular hybrid strain known for its potent, balanced effects and signature musty cheese smell. The flavor is also unique, with notes of berries and spicy cheese (a characteristic that may just have to be tasted rather than described). This strain is thought to be a specific phenotype of Skunk No. 1 that was originally cultivated in the early 1990s by a UK collective group known as Exodus. As a result, this strain is also known as Exodus Cheese. It became popular for its energetic, euphoric head effects combined with its impressive pain relief potential, and quickly spread beyond the borders of its British homeland.
Why we love it: “A UK strain with a unique, funky, and yep—you guessed it—“cheesy” aroma that’s definitely worth experiencing.” —Bailey Rahn
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Backstory: White Fire OG, also known as WiFi OG, is a 60% sativa hybrid with uplifting and comfortable cerebrally-focused effects. This strain combines the best features of its parent strains: the sour, earthy, diesel aroma of Fire OG and the high resin production of The White. Many phenotypes of White Fire OG exist, some with dense, barrel-like buds and others with pointed, conic formations.
Why we love it: “Also known as WiFi, White Fire OG is a super potent OG variety and is great when concentrated and dabbed! Its loud aroma and intense euphoria will provide a solid knockout combination.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: Among the most famous strains worldwide is White Widow, a balanced hybrid first bred in the Netherlands by Green House Seeds. In the years since its birth in the 1990s, White Widow has graced every Dutch coffeeshop menu. Its buds are white with crystal resin, warning you of the potent effects to come. A powerful burst of euphoria and energy hit the consumer immediately, stimulating both conversation and creativity. White Widow’s genetics have given rise to many other legends like White Russian, White Rhino, and Blue Widow.
Why we love it: “The potent and earthy resin-queen hailing from Amsterdam.” —Bailey Rahn
Backstory: Willy’s Wonder, or William’s Wonder to the more formal, is one of those cannabis strains of legendary status that you’ll just have to try to fully appreciate. Indica-dominant, the flowers are colorful with all possible hues of green, yellow, and red. The strain’s aroma is an equally diverse mix of tropical fruit and citrus, all of which also come through in its sweet and sour taste. It was originally developed in the 1980s and has only grown in popularity and potency since then. New patients be warned, however: This strain may be one to work up to.
Why we love it: “Willy, as his friends call him, is an indica-dominant strain with a heavy Afghani influence. The bulbous buds and thick layer of trichomes will catch your eye, while the pungent, earthy notes and citrus flavors will captivate your senses.” —Will Hyde
Backstory: XJ-13 is a sativa-dominant strain cherished for both its therapeutic potency and enjoyable euphoric buzz. This cross induces unencumbered cerebral effects perfect for stimulating creativity and conversation. As if we needed another reason to love this lightweight sativa, XJ-13 consistently exhibits a strong citrus aroma accented by notes of earthy pine. Novice consumers looking for an easy, paranoia-free experience can depend on XJ-13 as a surefire hit.
Why we love it: “Happy and functional, XJ-13’s lightweight effects should make it a mainstay in any active cannabis consumer’s collection.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Backstory: Zkittlez is an indica-dominant mix of Grape Ape and Grapefruit that is crossed with another undisclosed strain to produce this candy-flavored cannabis bred by 3rd Gen Family and Terp Hogz. The award-winning combination took 1st Place at the 2016 Emerald Cup and 1st Place Indica at the 2015 Cannabis Cups in San Francisco and in Michigan. Its chunky colas explode in a spectrum of light green hues and emit a sweet, tropical blend of fruit flavors. The effects of Zkittlez are surprisingly uplifting for an indica, leaving consumers focused, alert, and happy while relaxing the body to help the consumer unwind.
Why we love it: “A newer candied strain that has quickly become an award-winner. Zkittlez emits sweet, tropical, fruity smells and has sort of a berry flavor to it. The strain makes great rosin and is an absolutely delicious dab.” —Will Hyde
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