Confused by all the cannabis strain names? There are hundreds of them, including one-time varieties named after Jeff Sessions and Peyton Manning. And even strains bearing the same time-honored names can be completely different depending on growing conditions and genetics.
But over the years, I’ve come to recognize that you can depend on the quality of certain varieties, for better or for worse. Here’s a handy guide to which strains deserve their reputations...and which don’t.
There’s a reason that Blue Dream is always on sale. The strain is pushed by dispensaries because of its high yields and resilience to hot temperatures and powdery mildew, and has easily been the highest-selling strain since retail sales began in 2014. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, though. The looks, flavor and smell of Blue Dream vary heavily from store to store, and the high, while strong, is rather listless. Such a Chad strain.
More like God’s Meh. This is neither from God, nor is it a gift to any seasoned toker. Luckily, God’s Gift isn’t that popular in Colorado dispensaries anymore, but street dealers still carry it. Keep religion out of cannabis!
Tastes like butt, and there are plenty of other CBD strains out there. Try them instead.
No disrespect, but find me a science lab that says “This is definitively OG Kush,” and I’ll show you Zeus’s dick. We’ll never turn down something stanky that’s labeled “OG,” but the name itself encompasses too much.
Funny movie, average strain.
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I really like Girl Scout Cookies, along with just about any strain the potent hybrid has bred, like Granola Funk, Wedding Cake, Do-Si-Dos, Gelato (the list goes on), but by now the concept is overkill. There are other strains out there.
It pains me to put this strain on the list because, like Girl Scout Cookies, Durban Poison is a worthy classic. However, some dispensaries have diluted its value, hawking versions that are far from the pure-sativa landrace genetics that made it loved. Durban also makes me a yawning, cranky little shit during the comedown (my problem, not yours).
Nothing wrong with it, but no strain name is worth a lawsuit. You can’t argue with Gorilla Glue’s potency or the list of children it has spawned — but why does every dispensary need to carry it? Also, I’ve never sought out Gorilla Glue for the strain’s flavor. Just saying.
Tired of buying Cookies strains? Then open wide for some Cherry Pie. This giggly daytime strain carries a sweet, syrupy flavor of cherry pie filling with grainy notes of dough and soil. Anyone who likes a Belgian kriek or cherry sour beer will find it delicious. Cherry Pie’s child, Grape Pie, also carries a fine pastry flavor.
I’ve never understood why this hasn’t gotten bigger with nighttime smokers or the medical crowd. Tiger’s Milk’s Bubba Kush influence can knock you out inside of ninety minutes, but not without first reminding you of French vanilla, with a sweet and zesty smoke that deserves more shine.
Packers fans who toke, wake up. Although solidified as a multi-generation strain, U.K. Cheese still doesn’t get the love of a Sour Diesel, Bubba Kush or even Bruce Banner. Someone needs to tell Arsenio Hall how good this fucking cheese is.
Melon is an underrated flavor for pot. Cannalope Haze, a mix of original Haze and a Mexican landrace, is one of the first strains to pull off that sweet and tangy flavor. I’m not saying you should smoke it in the morning...but what if I did?
Another simple, underrated flavor that breeders don’t focus on enough. Bubblegum hails from Indiana, but don’t hold that against it. Magnifying the bubblegum notes that so many classic indicas from the Eastern Hemisphere are known for, Bubblegum is supremely sweet, but not nearly popular enough with breeders.
No worries if you haven’t heard of Flo OG yet — it was developed by House of Dankness and is slowly spreading across Denver — but the mix of Flo and Rare Dankness #1 is a piney, sour delicacy that works any time of the day.
Is it just me, or do things that taste like blueberries taste better than blueberries themselves? Add Blueberry pot to that list. A solid relaxer with timeless flavor. Respect.
Not much explanation needed here. Like other popular strains, Sour Diesel can vary from dispensary to dispensary, but the strain’s smell, flavor and effects are all easy to recognize after just a few sessions. Sometimes I prefer a joint of Sour D to a cup of coffee — and almost always feel good about the choice two hours later.
The famous cannabis activist may be gone, but at least the piney, uplifting strain bearing his name lives up to his lively reputation.
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From a 2016 review I wrote: “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.”
A Skunk lineage with a sweet-lemon flavor that leads to shit-eating grins for hours. What’s not to like? It’s a popular strain, and it should be.
This is a very popular daytime strain that really gets ya goin’. Like the trashy-but-attractive girls I’ll swipe right on from time to time, Golden Goat is here for a very good time, but not necessarily a long one. And I’m fine with that.
It smells exactly what it sounds like. Never again.