Cannabis growers continue to experiment with genetics, releasing new strains that keep aficionados and occasional smokers constantly on the lookout for the latest and best bud. Whether it was developed to create a powerful euphoric high or as a natural remedy for anxiety with minimal THC content, innovators always keep the end user’s experience at the top of their mind. Many of the most popular cannabis strains were created by crossing the most in-demand varieties (sometimes by accident) to produce new complex flavor profiles, preferred effects, and various combinations of cannabinoid potency. These strains’ continued popularity and frequent use in cross breeding has solidified their place in cannabis history.
The prominent sativa effects of this hybrid strain brought it to the forefront of the medical cannabis industry in the 90s and it remains a household name today. Sour Diesel, also called Sour D, gives smokers a slight energizing body high with a pleasant mental euphoria. At 19% THC, Sour Diesel is a great choice for daytime smokers and creatives who don’t want indica’s calming effects.
Amsterdam based seed producer, Sensi Seeds dreamt up a party strain that would produce a clear-headed, joyful, and inspiring high. That dream became the Jack Herer strain, whose genetics are traced to a haze hybrid crossed with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk hybrid. The strain’s namesake was an American cannabis activist who spent most of his life fighting for legalization and decriminalization as well as promoting industrial hemp use. The Jack Herer strain has won many awards and accolades for its quality as well as being a grower favorite for its high yield and resinous buds.
This Northern California native is the cross between two classics, Blueberry and Haze, giving the herb a slight berry scent. Blue Dream has 19% THC with minimal paranoia and sedative effects often associated with potent sativas. There is an almost immediate invigorating, yet focused mental clarity that boosts creativity, making this hybrid a prime choice for day use. Originally created for medical marijuana patients, you’d be hard pressed to find a dispensary today that doesn’t carry Blue Dream, especially in the West Coast.
Runners up: Green Crack, Strawberry Cough, AK-47
Also known by simply GSC, this slightly indica-dominant hybrid is one of the most sought after strains due to its balanced, uplifting effect. Some smokers report a mint undertone, which might be a nod to thin mint cookies, a Girl Scout classic and also the name of a GSC phenotype. This strain is thought to be created by breeding the renowned OG Kush and Durban Poison, so it had a lot to live up to from the start. Luckily GSC didn’t disappoint since it continues to be a staple at dispensaries throughout the U.S. and beyond.
This strain will quickly teach you to never underestimate the power of a skywalker. Just like the skilled Master Jedi, the Skywalker OG can easily take you out when you least expect it with its extremely potent indica-dominated effects. The highly relaxing and near mind numbing high produced by this weed is often used by smokers who have difficulty getting a good night's rest. As its name suggests, Skywalker OG is a cross between the Skywalker and OG Kush strains and is best used when you have no responsibilities due to the drowsiness and couchlock it induces.
GG4 as it’s commonly known has one of the highest concentrations of THC available, floating somewhere around 27-30%. It is definitely not for beginners. GG Strains created this highly sought after hybrid by crossing Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel for an uplifting and powerful high that often ends in being glued to the couch. This particular strain has won numerous awards around the world including multiple High Times Cannabis Cups thanks to its multifaceted flavor profile and high levels of TCH. Since it hit the market in 2013, this indica powerhouse continues to top the sales charts around the world.
This world renowned 90s strain can be distinguished by its dank smell and flavor that tends to linger long after your last hit. Its creation story is a thing of urban legend, though one thing is for sure, OG Kush is the granddaddy of West Coast cannabis. This California staple has fathered countless other strains and phenotypes that have been just as successful in their own right, two of which have already been mentioned. Cannabis enthusiasts are drawn to its 24% and up THC count which generates a relaxed body high that is complemented with a level head high for a wholesome experience.
Runners up: Northern Lights, Gelato
This sativa dominant phenotype comes from the Cannatonic strain and is popular with the medical marijuana crowd for its numerous health benefits. ACDC has a 20:1 CBD to THC ratio (virtually no THC) so there is no psychoactive effects or high associated with its use. This specific low THC weed is in demand by those who suffer with pain, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and side effects from chemotherapy as well as non-medical users who want to reap the health benefits of CBD.
This hybrid is great for those who want a mellow high without the sometimes negative effects associated with smoking weed like anxiety, headaches, and paranoia. These common adverse effects are counteracted by Harlequin’s high levels of CBD. It only has around 5% THC and a roughly 5:2 CBD to THC ratio so users will still have a soft clear-headed high along with a healthy dose of beneficial cannabidiol.
Runners up: Harle-Tsu, Charlotte’s Web, Ringo’s Gift, Lifter
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