As our resident Stoner, Herbert Fuego reviews a different strain every week, taking you on a journey through past and present smoking experiences and documenting what you can expect when you try some of the best strains out there. Here's a list of favorites — not Fuego's (although the descriptions are his), but yours: These are the most popular strain profiles published in 2016. You're sure to see some old friends on this list, and it might inspire you to make some new ones.
A strain that took its name from the famous adhesive should have the same brute power, and Gorilla Glue (the strain) definitely does. Its family lineage is basically a soda-fountain suicide concoction: A Chemdawg phenotype, Sour Dubb and Chocolate Diesel came together for a three-way that birthed some of the best trichome-producing buds on the planet.
As with Blue Dream, however, the effects of Gorilla Glue can vary — but at least this strain has a number attached to it. Gorilla Glue #1 is an indica-dominant phenotype of the plant, great for sleep, pain and very heavy relaxation. Sativa-dominant Gorilla Glue #4 is much more readily available throughout pot shops and basements, but don’t let the word “sativa” fool you: Gorilla Glue #4’s THC levels regularly test over 20 percent if grown correctly, so those with a low tolerance can still get zooted after just one or two hits.
Girl Scout Cookies’ genetics comprise Durban Poison and OG Kush — a genius combination that makes you think, “What the fuck took so long?” Rooted in the Bay Area, the Cookies didn’t take long to cross over into Arizona, Washington, Colorado and so on. The West Coast might’ve gotten a jump start on the strain, but it’s now blown up across America. The first two results of a Google search of the term “Girl Scout Cookies” nets references to the Girl Scouts of America, but guess what number three is? The Leafly page for the Girl Scout Cookies strain.
It would be unfair to pigeonhole Strawberry Cough as just a sentimental strain fueled by nostalgic effects, because if it’s grown and cured correctly, it’s one of the most delicious strains out there. Unfortunately, it’s all too often overlooked, which shows just how spoiled we’ve become.
Although it won an award at the Emerald Cup in California, Cherry Lime Haze isn’t the most widely recognized strain around town — but it’s definitely one worth adding to the library, especially for daytime smokers. The sativa-dominant hybrid hails from unknown origins, like a mysterious Russian fighter that so many of our ’80s heroes had to face, but unlike Ivan Drago, Cherry Lime Haze won’t knock you out. A cross of Haze, Cherry Pie and an unknown strain, this delicious cup of tea will gently wake you up in the morning and leave you with most of your wits.
Also known as Larry Bird in some circles, this Bay Area strain is a transplant that Colorado natives might actually want here, bred with Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and Sunset Sherbet genetics for a silky but debilitating high. It’s also a fox in the looks department: My roommates thought my buds were wet because of the way the dark, purple buds and oily resin glands contrasted with each other in the afternoon light — or maybe they were just that thirsty to smoke it. Lucky for them, I shared the wealth.
Many purple or resin-coated strains can impress in the looks department, but few have the nostril-hit rate of SLH. Gorilla Glue might be more potent, but if it were placed next to SLH in a room full of random people for a blind test, SLH is going to win that Pepsi Challenge every time. Potheads often enjoy smells that others don’t, like those of diesel fuel or skunky rubber — but the average toker still likes weed that smells like other things, such as pine trees, citrus, lavender and so on. I’ve watched as the scents of SLH, Strawberry Cough and Tangie entice newbies to try smoking pot for the first time, and they all did so for the same reason: The strains smelled more like fruit than pot.
I like to consider myself a manly man in most regards — I drink my coffee black, like my beers strong and consider V-necks a stain upon society. But when it comes to marijuana, I’m pretty much a yoga-pants-wearing wimp holding a pumpkin-spice latte: I like my strains sweet, sugary and rich. Seeing a jar labeled “Alien Rock Candy,” “Birthday Cake Kush” or “Vanilla Kush” makes my mouth water as if my mother had just taken a pie out of the oven.
Kandy Kush gets me off like that, too. The sour strain can taste like a box of Lemonheads — but despite its young and innocent name, it can knock out seasoned tokers after a rip or two. Kandy Kush’s parents aren’t quite as sweet, but they’re pretty sexy in their own right: OG Kush and Trainwreck birthed this indica-dominant hybrid (there are some sativa-leaning cuts, but they’re rare), giving Kandy Kush one imposing pedigree.
Sharing weed stories has become commonplace over the past ten years or so. As with sexcapades, drunken stupors and fisherman’s tales, everyone has a story about some one-hitter strain that took them higher than they’d ever been. More than half the time, those stories begin with the words “This purple stuff....”
Grape Ape is the quintessential purple stuff. When stock-image companies start taking photos of (real) purple marijuana for random ads and articles, this flying purple people eater will be the perfect candidate. The classic strain can hit a 10/10 in the presentation category, which pairs naturally with its heavy effects, making it a potent but familiar bud for amateurs and veterans alike.
The Stones and Springsteen have both remained relevant despite decades of new fads, but how much of that is because of greatness — and how much because of nostalgia? That’s what I’m trying to figure out with Hindu Kush. On the one hand, it’s a landrace indica with pure genetics that have been around since long before the hybrid strains dominating menus today. On the other hand, it’s never gotten the same love as Durban Poison or Afghan Kush, for reasons I don’t understand. The strain hails from the vast Hindu Kush mountain region that includes the western Himalayas, and it’s one tough sonofabitch, growing short and stocky with unusually heavy trichome coverage to overcome harsh winds and cold temperatures.
Lucky for us, Maui Wowie has been able to protect its roots and reputation while still being accessible to every socks-and-sandals-wearing goober in the United States. The sativa pakalolo (that’s Hawaiian for “weed”) hails from Hawaii, gaining notoriety for its up-tempo yet smooth high in the 1960s and really branching out in the mainland at some point in the ’80s. Although cross-breeding and inevitable variances in phenotypes have muddled most of the cuts of Maui Wowie you’ll come across nowadays, the genetics are generally very sativa-dominant, and the energetic effects and fruity flavors are nearly the same.
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And the Champ: Bubba Kush
Bubba Kush is one baaaaad strain. Bubba Kush will grab your money, knock you out and leave you weak in the knees when you finally wake up. Bubba Kush will take your mother out for a nice dinner and never call her again. Bubba Kush don’t give a fuck. Bubba Kush.