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The best strains of all time: 100 top cannabis strains to try

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People always ask us what strains to try, and our answer generally depends on how a person wants to feel, what situation they’ll be in, and what other strains they like.

But there are some strains that everyone should try, like hearing some of the greatest albums of all time—life might not be complete without ever hearing Abbey Road, Are You Experienced?, The Chronic, or Enter the Wu-Tang, and the same goes for these buds. 

Here is our curated list of the 100 best strains as of 2021. We pulled in expertise from Leafly editors, staff, and subject matter experts, as well as did research on popularity data. We did not receive money or kickbacks for any listings.  

Our list is broken up into eight effects as commonly reported by smokers, but remember: Every person’s body chemistry is different, and one person’s chill strain can amp up another.

Under each strain you’ll find info on its lineage, type—indica, sativa, or hybrid—dominant terpene, activities its good for, backstory, why we love it, and where to buy it around you. Download our checklist and try them all.

100 strains list

Download our 100 best strains list here.


SLEEPY STRAINS

sleepy 100 strains
granddaddy purple marijuana strain

King among indicas, this flavorful bud is great for falling asleep at the end of a long day.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Purple UrkleBig Bud

Activities: Chilling on the couch, sleeping

Backstory: 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.

purple punch marijuana strain
(Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Larry OGGranddaddy Purple

Activities: Relaxing your mind and racing thoughts

Backstory: Purple Punch lives up to its name as the child of two heavy-hitting indicas. With high amounts of THC and the power to relax muscles, it might just knock you out—don’t make too many plans.

Why we love it: Purple Punch is good to have around when you’re committed to being home for the night. It goes best with your softest pajamas and a comfy nook with pillows.

Strain type: Indica

According to lore, government agencies in the ’60s gathered the best weed strains from all over the world and bred super hybrids at a secret installation.

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Unknown

Activities: Sleeping, relaxing, doing nothing

Backstory: G13, aka “Government Indica Strain 13,” is an earthy, potent indica probably best known for its urban legend. According to some accounts, in the 1960s, several government agencies gathered the best weed strains from all over the world and bred several super hybrids at a secret installation at the University of Mississippi.

Allegedly, a single cutting of G13 was liberated by a technician and then bred for the masses. Although likely not true, the strain is famous for delivering strong sedating effects like no other.

Why we love it: A fabled strain with a mysterious origin, G13 is a knockout indica. And if it was actually smuggled out of a government lab, we’re definitely glad it was.

The 100 Marijuana Strains You Must Try Before You Die | Leafly

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strain: OG Kush, likely Afghani

Activities: Chilling on the couch, napping

Backstory: 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 simply 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.

purple kush cannabis strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Purple Afghani, Hindu Kush

Activities: Relaxing around the house or getting ready for bed

Backstory: 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 at the same time, perfect for great sleep and chill dreams.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: LA Affie, Afghani

Activities: Stargazing

Backstory: LA Confidential fills your nose with notes of pine and hits your tongue with the taste of skunk. It relaxes the body thanks to its high presence of myrcene; don’t be surprised if you curl up for a snooze.

Why we love it: LA Confidential is a West Coast fav that has gained lots of popularity outside of California, probably because it’s calming but still lends itself to enjoying beautiful skies and great fireside conversation.

9 pound hammer marijuana strain

Like getting hit with a 9-pound hammer, this heavy-hitter has long-lasting sedative effects.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Gooberry, Hell’s OG, Jack the Ripper

Activities: Hangover relief, chilling out, sleeping

Backstory: 9 Pound Hammer is a heavy-hitting indica strain with dense buds coated in resin, offering sweet grape and lime flavors, and long-lasting sedative effects.

Why we love it: 9 Pound Hammer looks beautiful in the garden and has a unique sweet, funky smell and taste that lead to deep relaxation.

No boo-boo: Urkel found his Urkle. ​(Courtesy It's PurpL
(Courtesy It’s PurpL)

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Mendocino Purps

Activities: Chilling on the couch, napping, doing nothing

Backstory: 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 quick and are deeply relaxing and sleep-inducing, providing full-body bliss.

Why we love it: Its complex mix of flavors, stemming from a beautiful purple flower, lead to full-body relaxation.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Blackberry, Afghani

Activities: Best used after exercise or being on your feet all day

Backstory: Blackberry Kush, also known as “BBK,” is known for its strong body high. There is no waiting around for the high here—its effects will hit you straight away and have you feeling calm in all the right places.

Why we love it: With a low potency, Blackberry Kush is a strain that anyone can enjoy, no matter your tolerance. We also love that it tastes just as you would expect: bold blackberry notes that are sweet and earthy.

hindu kush marijuana strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: None; landrace strain

Activities: Meditation, relaxing, napping

Backstory: 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.

Pink-Kush-cannabis-strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: OG Kush

Activities: Getting a massage, relaxing, napping

Backstory: 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 aromas of sweet vanilla and candy perfume.

Why we love it: For OG Kush lovers, this sugary-sweet strain melts away stress better than a massage.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Afghani, Maui Haze

Activities: Napping, chilling on the couch

Backstory: Afgooey, also known as Afgoo, is a potent indica strain believed to have descended from an Afghani indica and Maui Haze. Its sativa parent lends some uplifting and creative qualities, but ultimately, this indica will put you down at the end of the night.

Why we love it: With an earthy pine flavor, this indica delivers a one-of-a-kind buzz that will hug you to sleep.

A bowl of Romulan. (Courtesy Romulan Genetics)
(Courtesy Romulan Genetics)

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: White Rhino, North American

Activities: Spacing out, chilling on the couch, taking a nap

Backstory: This piney indica will send you to space to meet the Romulans. Known for chilling you out and putting you to sleep, Romulan is big, frosty, and popular in the Pacific Northwest.

Why we love it: Check out an alien race all from the comfort of your couch.


RELAXED STRAINS

relaxed 100 strains
og kush marijuana strain
OG Kush. (Courtesy of Billy Ellyson)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

The prodigious strain that gave rise to innumerable iconic West Coast hybrids.

Parent strains: Unknown; possibly Hindu Kush, Chemdog, and Lemon Thai

Activities: Chilling on the couch, doing nothing, hangover relief

Backstory: OG Kush makes up the genetic backbone of West Coast cannabis hybrids, but in spite of its ubiquity, its genetic origins remain something of a mystery.

Popular myth maintains that Chemdog and 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 (David Downs:Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Ice Cream Cake before bed just may be better than eating ice cream cake in bed.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Wedding CakeGelato #33

Activities: Listening to music

Backstory: The green and purple beauty of Ice Cream Cake is complemented by the sweet scent of vanilla wafting off its frosty buds. It’s truly a dessert strain, perfect for the end of the day when you are ready to turn in.

Why we love it: Who doesn’t need better sleep these days? Ice Cream Cake before bed just may be better than eating ice cream cake in bed.

Do-si-dos (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Face-Off OG, OGKB

Activities: Chilling on the couch, watching TV/movies

Backstory: What OG Kush was to 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, and it has spawned 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 much of anything while your mind wanders for a bit.

slurricane marijuana strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Do-Si-Dos, Purple Punch

Activities: Best enjoyed in backyard birthday party doinks that’ll get everyone nicely lit

Backstory: Crossing Do-Si-Dos and Purple Punch, Slurricane joins forces to form that cool new band everyone’s talking about. If Purple Punch doesn’t have enough punch and Dosi is too strong, Slurricane, with its layer of trichomes and grape candy gas smell, may be your answer.

Why we love it: It’s purple, gassy, and plenty strong yet manageable. It’s mega-fun, as pot should be.

Lumpy's Apple Fritter (David Downs/Leafly)
Lumpy’s Apple Fritter (David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Unknown

Activities: Getting ready for bed, chilling on the couch

Backstory: This potent hybrid will get your attention with its lumpy bud structure and colorful foliage boasting shades of olive green, orange, and deep purple. 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 great for experienced smokers with a high tolerance who need a little something extra to get a good night of sleep or to simply take the edge off.

Step aside, sweet Cakes. Savory peanut butter is talking. PB Breath grown by Luminati, via The Green Cross SF. (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

So dank it’s savory, like roasted, salted peanut butter. PB Breath is the first star in the trend of nutty strains. 

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Do-Si-Dos, Mendo Breath

Activities: Spacing out and watching the sea while dozing in a hammock

Backstory: Cannabis farmers love weed so much, their THC tolerances get high and their palates grow bored. Punching through that to deliver a dank delight, Peanut Butter Breath is a strong, savory cross of Do-Si-Dos and Mendo Breath.

Why we love it: It can smell and taste so dank it’s savory, like roasted, salted peanut butter. And then it’ll put you on your bum. PB Breath is the first star in the trend of nutty strains. 

grape ape marijuana strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Mendocino Purps, Skunk, Afghani

Activities: Chilling on the couch, watching TV/movies

Backstory: Grape Ape is an indica that crosses three powerhouse parents. Named for its distinct grape smell, its dense buds with purple leaves will give you carefree relaxation.

Why we love it: Grape Ape is a famous genetic collaboration that combines phenomenal cultivars by renowned breeders.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Wedding Cake, Kush Mints

Activities: Getting intimate, chilling on the couch, watching TV/movies

Backstory: LA Kush Cake is a potent hybrid that is smooth and 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.

Why we love it: LA Kush Cake has a reputation for making people aroused. Coupled with physical relaxation, this strain can set the mood for intimacy.  

(Courtesy of Urbols)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: OG Kush, Mazar x Blueberry

Activities: Spacing out, watching TV/movies

Backstory: Some weed strains start off 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 a 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.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strain: Hindu Kush

Activities: Chilling out, meditation, watching TV/movies

Backstory: 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 a sharp sensory awareness.

Why we love it: This heavy Kush has deep body effects without the hazy head high and is known for its fine genetics.

The 100 Marijuana Strains You Must Try Before You Die | Leafly

Afghani is believed to be one of the oldest strains and is a parent of many modern crosses.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: None; landrace strain

Activities: Chilling out, watching TV/movies

Backstory: 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.

ogkb marijuana strain
OGKB by Gnome Grown (Matt Stangel for Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: GSC, and likely OG Kush

Activities: Watching TV/movies

Backstory: The earthy, piney aroma of OGKB, aka OG Kush Breath, is enough to woo you into relaxation, but take it easy with this high-THC strain if you’re not ready for a head-to-toe experience.

Why we love it: OG Kush Breath is your herbal passport to physical ease, but don’t forget the munchies. Bonus points if you love Cookies strains.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Original Glue, Thin Mint GSC

Activities: Chilling on the couch, laughing at a silly movie

Backstory: With a unique flavor profile, Gorilla Cookies combines Glue and Cookies. The pungent glue scent dominates, with subtle sweet notes and relaxation underneath.

Why we love it: With these two legendary parents, you know the result is going to be top notch. Gorilla Cookies will send you over the moon with strong relaxation and a smile on your face.

Best new marijuana strains - Banana Punch
(David Downs for Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Banana OGPurple Punch

Activities: Listening to music, curating a playlist

Backstory: Banana Punch is obviously full of fruity, banana flavor, but it also carries notes of citrus thanks to high levels of limonene. This strain is a slow burn that can be enjoyed for hours.

Why we love it: Banana Punch will help you experience music in a new and exciting way—put on a familiar album and see if you can hear new layers in it.


ENERGETIC STRAINS

energetic 100 strains
sour diesel marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

One of the most well-known sativas, Sour Diesel smells just like its name.

Parent strains: Chemdog, Super Skunk

Activities: Going outside, housework, chores, hiking

Backstory: 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 marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Trainwreck, Hawaiian

Activities: Going outside, doing work, hiking

Backstory: Pineapple Express combines the potent and flavorful forces of its parent strains, 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.

The 100 Marijuana Strains You Must Try Before You Die | Leafly

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Hawaiian

Activities: Going outside, chilling out

Backstory: 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.

durban poison, cannabis strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Straight from Africa, Durban provides fuel for focus and creative thought.

Parent strains: African

Activities: Going outside, getting creative

Backstory: Hailing from the South African port city of Durban, Durban Poison is a sativa known for its sweet smell and energetic, uplifting effects, perfect for staying productive.

With chunky buds and a thick coat of trichomes, Durban is revered by hashmakers.

Why we love it: It provides fuel for focus and creative thought.

acapulco gold marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Mexican

Activities: Going outside, doing work

Backstory: A classic sativa from Mexico, Acapulco Gold comes in dense round, nuggets with orange hairs and aromas of burnt toffee. It’s known for a 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.

dutch treat marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Skunk 1

Activities: Exercising, getting outside

Backstory: 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 and will help you understand what cerebral effects are all about.

CRAFT Super Lemon Haze comes straight from the source in Amsterdam. (Courtesy CRAFT/SC Labs)
(Courtesy CRAFT/SC Labs)

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Lemon Skunk, Super Silver Haze

Activities: Doing work, getting outside

Backstory: Super Lemon Haze is an update of parent Super Silver Haze, with a zesty, tart, and 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 in every way.

super silver haze marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Skunk, Northern Lights, Haze

Activities: Doing work, painting, drawing

Backstory: 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.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: GSC, Tangie

Activities: Doing work, painting, drawing

Backstory: 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 bit of energy and not too much of a buzzy feeling.

white fire og marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Fire OG, The White

Activities: Getting creative, reading a book, getting outside

Backstory: 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.

(Courtesy of Utopia)

Hailing from Jamaica, Lamb’s Bread is said to be one of Bob Marley’s favorites.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strain: Jamaican

Activities: Meditating, hiking in nature

Backstory: 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.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Skunk 1

Activities: Doing work, getting outside

Backstory: 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 flavors of citrus and tropical fruit.


SOCIABLE STRAINS

sociable 100 strains
runtz marijuana strain

Short and squat, and sweet like candy, Runtz was Leafly’s Strain of the year in 2020.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Gelato, Zkittlez

Activity: Smoking with your friends, conversations

Backstory: Named after the sugary sweet candy, don’t let Runtz’s small buds fool you—this smooth, welcoming strain has a creamy taste and ranges in color from rich purple to light green. With easy, long-lasting effects and sugary smells right out of the bag, Runtz has already been crossed to make White Runtz and Pink Runtz, and more are likely to come. 

Why we love it: Combining berry and cookie flavors, it’s no wonder this dessert strain was Leafly’s Strain of the year in 2020. 

white widow marijuana strain
(Matt Stangel for Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

One of the most famous strains worldwide is White Widow, a hybrid first bred in the Netherlands.

Parent strains: South American, South Indian Indica

Activities: Hanging out with friends, drawing, painting

Backstory: One of the most famous strains worldwide, White Widow is a hybrid first bred in the Netherlands in the ’90s by Green House Seeds. In the years since its birth, White Widow has graced every Dutch coffeeshop menu.

Known for a layer of trichomes so thick it looks white, White Widow boasts a powerful burst of euphoria and energy, great for stimulating conversation and creativity.

Why we love it: Simply put, it’s a potent and earthy resin queen.

cherry pie marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Granddaddy Purple, Durban Poison

Activities: Listening to music, hanging with friends

Backstory: 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.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: South American, Mexican, Thai, Afghani

Activities: Conversation, meditation

Backstory: Somewhat contradictory, AK-47 will get you relaxed and mellow while staying sociable. Its unique scent is sour and earthy with sweet floral notes.

Why we love it: This hybrid has rich flavors and great mood-brightening effects.

candyland cannabis strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Platinum Cookies, Granddaddy Purple

Activities: Conversation, doing art, painting, writing

Backstory: Candyland is a classic sativa strain that continues to impress cannabis connoisseurs of all levels. Known for its effects, this strain sparkles with thick trichomes and an amazing contrast of purple, green, and fire orange hairs.

Why we love it: We love Candyland for its happy effects, but we love it even more because of its impressive buds. It’s undoubtedly an Instagram-worthy strain you can’t resist. 

Strain type: Hybrid

FPOG is a fruity uplifter that actually tastes like breakfast cereal.

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Green Ribbon, Granddaddy Purple, Tahoe Alien

Activities: Laughing with your friends, hiking in nature, wake ‘n’ bake

Backstory: 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.

lava cake marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Thin Mint GSCGrape Pie

Activities: Hanging with friends, eliminating the Sunday scaries

Backstory: Lava Cake will give you an initial uplift that fades quickly into ease and bliss. Caryophyllene lovers will want to track this one down if they can handle its high THC content while they chill.

Why we love it: Sometimes you just need a little reassurance that everything is going to be all right, and Lava Cake can help you forget all your woes to be your best self.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Ghost OG, Skunk Haze

Activities: Conversations, hanging with friends

Backstory: 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.

gelonade marijuana strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Unknown (likely OG Kush)

Activities: Talking with friends, chilling out

Backstory: 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.  

gelonade marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: data not available

Parent strains: Gelato 41, Lemon Tree

Activity: Going to a party, conversations

Backstory: A citrusy and vanilla treat, Gelonade’s tingly and uplifting effects are great for laughing with friends and turning into a social butterfly. 

Why we love it: Its mellow head high is great for those who love heavy couch lockers and are looking to explore something with only a little bit of energy. 

Strain type: CBD-dominant

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Cannatonic

Activities: Chilling on the couch, conversations

Backstory: 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.

XJ-13 (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Happy and functional, XJ-13’s lightweight effects should make it a mainstay in anyone’s collection.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Jack Herer, G13 Haze

Activities: Conversation, drawing and painting, listening to music

Backstory: XJ-13 is a sativa-dominant hybrid known for its pain-relieving qualities and enjoyable euphoric buzz. Novices tend to like it, and it’s great for stimulating creativity and conversation. It has a strong citrus aroma accented by notes of earthy pine.

Why we love it: Happy and functional, XJ-13’s lightweight effects should make it a mainstay in any active cannabis consumer’s collection.


FOCUSED STRAINS

focused 100 strains
A Zkittlez bud by Pistil Point. (Matt Stangel for Leafly)
(Matt Stangel for Leafly)

Zkittlez has quickly become a new classic with its tropical flavors and uplifting effects, and it also makes an absolutely delicious dab.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Grape Ape, Grapefruit

Activities: Doing work, going on a hike

Backstory: 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 an absolutely delicious dab.

SFV OG Kush looks like a premium OG. (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strain: OG Kush

Activities: Doing work, going on a hike, drawing, painting

Backstory: Short for “San Fernando Valley OG,” SFV OG is a sativa-dominant hybrid with a heavenly piney and lemony aroma. It’s got great effects perfect for keeping focus and is best when consumed in a flower friendly vaporizer.

Why we love it: Its pungent, piney flavor and relaxing body effects make this a memorable OG cross.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Animal Cookies, Original Glue

Activities: Playing video games, doing work

Backstory: 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 rather than busy work.

papaya marijuana strain

The sweet, fruity flavor of Papaya will help take your mind to a tropical island getaway.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strain: Ice

Activities: Getting chores done, playing outside

Backstory: Papaya has a sweet scent with undertones of spice, the perfect companion to a charcuterie plate full of fruits and savory flavors. It also brings a mental calmness great for productivity.

Why we love it: Chill, fruity strains like Papaya will help take your mind to a tropical island getaway.

Let’s get tropical: Guava Jam is a sunny vacation in a bag. (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strain: Gelato

Activities: Netflix and chilling

Backstory: After Cookie strain Gelato became popular, variants came along including Mochi and Guava. Guava offers a more tropical, sweet variety of bestseller Gelato and is especially terpy when grown outdoors.

Why we love it: Cannabis genes from all around the world are packed into Gelato, and they recombine in the epic, surprising tropical flavors of Guava.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Unknown, likely Indiana Bubble Gum

Activities: Painting, drawing

Backstory: An indica-dominant hybrid that likely originated in Indiana in the mid-’90s, Bubble Gum is best enjoyed one hit at a time so you can fully enjoy the impact of each sweet, floral hit.

Why we love it: These colorful buds don’t just help with creativity; Bubble gum can help with headaches and pain relief, too.

Lemonnade Medellin (David Downs/Leafly)3
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Lemon OG, Gorilla Haze

Activities: Great for a morning wake and bake before getting work done

Backstory: Get ready for a bright lemon flavor profile with light floral notes in Lemonnade. Also called “The Original Lemonnade,” this strain is potent, so new smokers should take it easy.

Why we love it: Perfect for a classic wake and bake session, Lemonnade could easily replace your morning coffee with a mental clarity that’ll ease you through the day. 

harlequin marijuana strain

Strain type: CBD-dominant

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Harlequin is a well-known CBD strain with the ability to relax and relieve without sedation or intoxication.

Parent strains: Colombian Gold, Thai, Swiss Sativa

Activities: Doing work, listening to music, drawing, painting

Backstory: 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 jack marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Black Domina, Jack Herer

Activities: Playing video games, doing work

Backstory: The energetic effects of Jack Herer are checked by Black Domina 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.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Jack HererWhite Widow

Activities: Solving puzzle games

Backstory: Fruity, earthy, and sweet, Apple Jack isn’t easy to come by, and is great for uplifting, focused effects. It stimulates the mind while leaving the body rolling with relaxation.

Why we love it: Documentaries and crosswords have met their match with Apple Jack. It gives your mind the freedom to think big without leaving you couch locked or sleepy.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Landrace

Activities: Exercising, creative thinking, getting work done 

Backstory: Sometimes called “Red Congo,” Red Congolese is a sativa landrace from Africa. This rare strain is known for energy and focus.

Why we love it: We love this strain for its earthy and woody flavors and ability to attain mental clarity and work through creative problems.


CREATIVE STRAINS

creative 100 strains
Gelato circa 2015. (David Downs)
(David Downs)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Sunset Sherbet, Thin Mint GSC

Activities: Chilling on the couch, drawing, painting, playing or listening to music

Backstory: Gelato, also known as “Larry Bird,” is a tantalizing hybrid that was 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 with caution 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.

Blue Dream has always been easy on the eyes. (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

The legendary Blue Dream crosses Blueberry and Haze and balances full-body relaxation with a gentle cerebral invigoration.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Blueberry, Haze

Activities: Listening to music, drawing, painting, or writing

Backstory: The legendary Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant hybrid that originated in California. By crossing a Blueberry indica with a sativa Haze, Blue Dream balances full-body relaxation with a gentle cerebral invigoration. Novices and pros alike enjoy Blue Dream’s effects, which ease you gently into a calm euphoria.

Why we love it: Its berry flavor and calming effects continue to make it a classic strain, and one that can be found all over the world.

jack herer marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Jack Herer has gained as much renown as its namesake cannabis activist.

Parent strains: Haze, Northern Lights #5, Shiva Skunk

Activities: Drawing, painting, listening to music, chilling on the couch

Backstory: 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 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.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Strawberry Diesel, OG Kush

Activities: Drawing, painting, writing, playing music 

Backstory: A strain of many names, Bruce Banner, aka “Banner” and “OG Banner,” is known for its creative and euphoric buzz. This green monster is very potent, an ideal strain choice for experienced cannabis consumers.

Why we love it: With its lightly sweet and earthy flavors, Banner is great for anyone seeking a long-lasting head high and a kick of mental motivation.

tangie marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: California Orange, Skunk 1

Activities: Dancing, playing music, conversations

Backstory: 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 that provide euphoric yet relaxed effects.

Why we love it: It’s a high-energy sativa with unrivaled flavors of sweet citrus.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Banana Kush, Bubble Gum

Activity: Drawing, painting, crafting, listening to music

Backstory: Also known as “Strawnana,” Strawberry Banana combines the calming Banana Kush with the potency of a strawberry phenotype of Bubble Gum. Expect 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.

Headband, a cross of Sour Diesel and OG Kush, in 2014. (David Downs)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

The love child of a cannabis power couple, Headband has a smooth, creamy smoke accented by flavors of lemon and diesel.

Parent strains: OG Kush, Sour Diesel

Activities: Listening to music, drawing, painting, chilling on the couch

Backstory: 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.

amnesia haze marijuana strain

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: South American, Thai

Activities: Playing sports, dancing, going to a concert

Backstory: First taking root in Santa Cruz, California in the ’60s, Haze is a classic sativa that has parented many popular strains—pretty much anything with “haze” in its name. It’s known for its high energy and creative effects.

Why we love it: Smoking Haze is like toking a little piece of cannabis history. We give Haze bonus points for its spicy citrus flavor profile and energizing effects that come from a true sativa.

super skunk

Through an intricate breeding process spanning several generations, this genetic cornerstone of countless hybrids has influenced cannabis on a global scale.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Acapulco Gold, Afghani, Colombian Gold

Activities: Drawing, painting, listening to music

Backstory: Skunk 1 (or Skunk #1) is a hybrid that has influenced cannabis on a global scale since the late 1970s with its unmistakeable 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.

chocolope marijuana strain

DNA Genetics developed Chocolope to pay homage to the Chocolate strains of the 1980s.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Chocolate Thai, Cannalope Haze

Activities: Drawing, painting, listening to music, chilling on the couch

Backstory: 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 also happens to make a damn good concentrate.

Vanilla Frosting (Courtesy Dark Heart Nursery)
(Courtesy Dark Heart Nursery)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Humboldt Gelato, Humboldt Frost OG

Activity: Listening to music, crafting

Backstory: As its name suggests, Vanilla Frosting has a thick layer of trichomes, making it look like it’s 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 of Gelato’s legacy with a sweet flavor and potency that will take you to outer space.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Space Queen, Orange Velvet

Activities: Dancing, playing music, conversations

Backstory: Jillybean is 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 the day.

Why we love it: Immensely fruity and flavorful with maroon leaves, the lively high provided by Jillybean is something everyone will enjoy.


UPLIFTED STRAINS

uplifted 100 strains
dutch treat marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Terpinolene

Parent strains: Northern Lights, Haze

Activities: Hanging out with friends, conversations, chilling on the couch

Backstory: Dutch Treat is a classic known for its cerebral effects that come on quick and will leave you uplifted and euphoric. Its dense, sticky buds have an intense smell of sweet fruit mixed with pine and eucalyptus trees.

Why we love it: Dutch Treat is potent and has a unique sweet candy and pine flavor that has made it a longtime favorite in Amsterdam and across the world.

(Photo by Resinated Lens; Courtesy of LOWD)
(Photo by Resinated Lens; Courtesy of LOWD)

The cannabis version of mixing together all the sodas at 7-Eleven, Miracle Alien Cookies barely survived a laundry accident.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Alien Cookies, Starfighter

Activities: Eating an entire bowl of popcorn while watching a silly movie

Backstory: 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.”  

Why we love it: It’s got a complex cookie nose—the cannabis version of mixing together all the sodas at 7-Eleven. MAC is taking over the country, with its offspring close behind.

A photo of Mimosa (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Clementine, Purple Punch

Activities: Brunch pre-gaming with your friends

Backstory: Mimosa started as a small project in California and turned into 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 great for weekend wake-and-bakers who want to savor a lazy Sunday morning.

strawberry cough

This potent sativa is known for its strawberry scent and ability to make even the most seasoned smokers cough.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Haze, Strawberry Fields

Activities: Hanging out with friends, conversations, chilling on the couch

Backstory: A potent sativa known for its strawberry scent and ability to make even the most seasoned smokers cough, Strawberry Cough will capture your senses with cerebral, uplifting effects that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Why we love it: This exceptionally delicious sativa will have you inhaling a lungful of fresh strawberry flavor.

cheese marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Pinene

Parent strains: Skunk 1

Activities: Making dinner with friends, conversation

Backstory: Cheese has always been a standout thanks to its fragrant, cheesy scent. This indica-dominant hybrid from the UK came onto the scene in the late ’80s and continues to inspire munchies everywhere.

Why we love it: How can we deny an odorous gem like Cheese her props? The smell is iconic in its own right. Think of it as the special ingredient to elevate your taco night to a similarly incredible status. 

Blueberry Muffin. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)
(Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)

Strain Type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent Strains: Blueberry

Activity: Listening to music, hanging with friends

Backstory: Just like a freshly baked tray of Blueberry Muffins, this strain is sweet, smooth, and creamy. Any descendant of legendary Blueberry will make you relaxed, 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? 

Strain Type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent Strains: Chemdog #4, Tres Dog

Activity: Chilling on the couch, stargazing, hanging with friends

Backstory: 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 is great for getting rid of 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. 

Kush Mints (Courtesy Cookies)
(Courtesy of Cookies)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Animal Mints, Bubba Kush

Activities: Listening to music, hanging with friends

Backstory: Super strong ’90s strain Bubba Kush combines with the amped up Animal Mints to make bestseller Kush Mints. Its icy-dark, dense nugs smell just 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.

orange creamsicle marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Orange Crush, Juicy Fruit

Activities: Chilling on the beach, hanging with friends

Backstory: Orange Creamsicle offers classic, old school genetics that are still going strong—it’s got California Orange, Blueberry, and Thai deep in it, bringing out a creamy citrus smell and taste.

Why we love it: This strain is a creamy orange treat and we are here for it. Its mild daytime effects appeal to novice smokers as well as nostalgic old-timers.

key lkime pie marijuana strain
(Courtesy of Flowerdaze)

For cookie lovers who want something a little mellower and tangier, grab a slice of Pie.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: GSC phenotype—OG Kush x Durban Poison

Activities: Playing video games, watching TV/movies

Backstory: Key Lime Pie is a phenotype of GSC, so it has similar effects but is a little more subdued. What will be different is its flavor, which tastes like fresh squeezed limes with sweet undertones.

Why we love it: Who doesn’t like key lime pie? For Cookie lovers who want something a little mellower and tangier, grab a slice of Pie.

Love Lemon Tree? Go even blingier with Lemonatti. (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Lemon Skunk, Sour Diesel

Activities: People watching, getting outside, hanging with friends

Backstory: 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.

Why we love it: Lemon Tree conjures up warm, sunny beaches and the satisfaction of rolling around in the ocean.

Strain Type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent Strains: Cherry Pie, Grape Stomper

Activity: Chilling on the couch, watching TV/movies

Backstory: Sour and sugary Grape Pie mixes classic Cherry Pie with a little bit of 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.

marijuana harvest strains Lolo's Mango Brulee—just as good as indoor, if not better. (David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Afghani, KC 33

Activities: Exercising, stretching after a workout

Backstory: Mango is known for its juicy, fruity flavor and for the way it helps the body relax. It can help with soreness after a workout, but it’s also known for boosting your mood and sending you into a chill day with just one hit.

Why we love it: Stretching is a great way to connect with your body. If you can’t stretch your body, you can always use Mango to help stretch your imagination to new heights or just vibe out on its tropical scent.


EUPHORIC STRAINS

euphoric 100 strains
original glue marijuana strain

Known for its stickiness and ability to glue you to the couch, GG4 is a modern classic with a unique flavor.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, Chocolate Diesel

Activities: Spacing out, chilling on the couch

Backstory: Known for its potency and ability to glue you to the couch, Original Glue, better known as “Gorilla Glue” or “GG4,” has long been one of the most searched for strains on Leafly. The love for Glue is strong, and breeders continue to cross it to make new and exciting strains with unique flavors.

Why we love it: We love Gorilla Glue for its classic, unique flavor and potency. You can’t have a best strains list without it.

wedding cake marijuana strain

Have your cake and smoke it too.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Triangle Kush, Animal Mints

Activity: Chilling on the couch, hanging with friends, spacing out

Backstory: 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. The mix of Triangle Kush and Animal Mints gives it a unique rich and 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 marijuana strain
(David Downs)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: OG Kush, Durban Poison

Activities: Chilling on the couch, hanging with friends, spacing out

Backstory: 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 marijuana strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Northern Lights is one of the most famous strains—an indica that has given rise to countless hybrids.

Parent strains: Afghani, Thai

Activities: Chilling on the couch, doing nothing, hangover relief

Backstory: Northern Lights is one of the most famous strains of all time 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 pacify the mind in dreamy euphoria.

Why we love it: It’s a storied Pacific Northwest transplant blanketed in starry, crystal-tipped trichomes.

chemdog marijuana strain

With a mysterious origin and a slew of successful crosses, Chemdog has secured a permanent place in the cannabis hall of fame.

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Unknown (likely Nepalese and Thai)

Backstory: 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 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.

Strain type: Hybrid

A quintessential sativa-dominant hybrid, Trainwreck’s intense rush of energy hits like a freight train.

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Mexican, Thai, Afghani

Backstory: 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 famous lineage and is still popular with its potent, uplifting effects.

gmo cookies weed strain
(Cream of the Crop Gardens)

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Chemdog, GSC

Activities: Chilling on the couch, spacing out

Backstory: 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 whole new world of funk we’re all nodding our heads to. When you get bored with dessert, join the salty adults puffing on pot’s equivalent of rowdy blue cheese. Keep an eye out for other acquired tastes, like Everything Bagel (Garlic Breath x Peanut Butter Breath).

(Courtesy of Phantom Farms)

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Caryophyllene

Parent strains: Mendo Montage, OGKB

Activities: Relaxing at night, spacing out

Backstory: 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.

Why we love it: Mendo Breath is perfect for the fall season; its sweet vanilla and caramel flavors pair perfectly with a chilly autumn evening.

gushers marijuana strain

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Limonene

Parent strains: Gelato #41, Triangle Kush

Activities: An after-hours dessert treat

Backstory: Gushers mixes 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.

Why 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 says, “Yes, please.”

blueberry marijuana strain

Strain type: Indica

Dominate terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Afghani, Thai, Purple Thai

Backstory: With a long history dating back to DJ Short in the 1970s, pretty much any strain with “blue” in its name has Blueberry in its roots. This happy indica is known for its blueberry taste and aroma and long-lasting euphoric and relaxing effects.

Why we love it: It’s the indica that brought the distinct flavor of blueberry to the cannabis world. Be sure to check out the West Coast version, DJ Short Blueberry—it’s one of the most aromatic strains you can get.

2020 Best of Harvest collectors box - Forbidden Fruit(David Downs/Leafly)
(David Downs/Leafly)

With a unique high that starts between your eyes and melts outward, Forbidden Fruit balances sweetness and sharp citrus for a tropical burst of flavor.

Strain type: Indica

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Tangie, Cherry Pie

Activities: Watching cerebral TV/movies, spacing out, chilling on the couch while scrolling TikTok

Backstory: 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. 

Strain type: Hybrid

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: Tahoe OGAlien Kush

Activities: Doing chores, spacing out, creative projects

Backstory: Hailing from California, Alien OG was created to deliver intense effects to the head and the body. This potent strain will take everybody to outer space.

Why we love it: Alien OG is a sativa-dominant hybrid that will make you feel like you’re on holiday while you’re doing yardwork or brainstorming your next creative project. 

(AJ Miller/Greenleaf Wellness)

Whether you love or hate its name, ATF is a classic strain with intense aromas and an outstanding heady buzz.

Strain type: Sativa

Dominant terpene: Myrcene

Parent strains: North American Sativa

Backstory: One of the few strains from Alaska on our list, legendary sativa Alaskan Thunder Fuck, aka ATF, originated in the Matanuska Valley area of Alaska. According to the legend, it was originally a Northern California sativa crossed with a Russian ruderalis and then crossed with Afghani genetics to make it hardier. ATF is known as a creeper strain with intense euphoric effects and smells of pine, lemon, menthol, and skunk.

Why we love it: Whether you love or hate its name, ATF is a classic strain with intense aromas and an outstanding heady buzz.


How we chose the 100 best strains

Weed tastes change and new strains come out all the time to fit those trends. Our first 100 strains list was published in August, 2015—six years ago. Weed has changed a lot since then, and our new list incorporates those new trends.

From our old list of 100, we kept 47 strains and replaced 53 with new entries. Here’s why we picked what we did. 

Why we added these picks to the 100 best strains list

Cookies and Cakes

Sweet and dessert strains dominate today’s market, so you’ll see a lot of Cookies and Cakes added to the list. You’ll of course see the past two Leafly strains of the year, Runtz and Wedding Cake, as well as some of our favs: Gelonade, Candyland, Lava Cake, Tropicana Cookies, Vanilla Frosting, and of course Do-Si-Dos. For some different Cookies crosses, check out GMO Cookies, Kush Mints, MAC, and Peanut Butter Breath.

Tropical flavors

Tropical flavors also soared in popularity, giving us a whole slew of great new flavors in weed. How can you resist Guava, Papaya, Mango, or Forbidden Fruit? We still can’t decide if the food/drink or weed is better: Key Lime Pie, Orange Creamsicle, and Mimosa. While they don’t seem new, Purple Punch and Zkittlez have only gained in popularity in the past handful of years.

Pungent strains

Not for the faint of heart, strains with, shall we say, unique flavors have also become super popular. These pungent, skunky strains have a bite and shine in their own stinky way: Original Glue, Mendo Breath, OGKB, Bruce Banner, and Slurricane.

Why we kept these on the list

We kept nearly half of the strains from our previous list. Combining smell, flavor, effects, and reputation, you can’t have a best strains list without classics like Blue Dream, Durban Poison, Dutch Treat, Gelato, Granddaddy Purple, Jack Herer, or Sour Diesel.

These old-timers go back several generations, the matriarchs of several families: Afghani, Chemdog, Haze, OG Kush, Northern Lights, and Skunk 1. 

And we just can’t stop smoking some other tried-and-true classics with iconic flavors: Cheese, Cherry Pie, Chocolope, Grape Ape, Strawberry Cough, Super Lemon Haze, and Tangie. 

As for effects, Maui Wowie and Pineapple Express are still some of our favorite high-energy strains, Headband still feels like a band around your head, and you still probably don’t want to operate a vehicle with Trainwreck.

Why we removed these strains from the list

Some strains have had their time in the sun but aren’t really shining anymore. A lot of these strains are still great, but not “best 100” quality. 

There are a lot of better OGs around these days, so Larry OG, Mango Kush, Obama Kush, Presidential OG, Shiatsu Kush, Sour OG, and others didn’t make the cut.

Some strains have been surpassed by their children or new crosses, like Space Queen (Jillybean), Sunset Sherbet (Gelato), and Juicy Fruit (Orange Creamsicle). Kosher Kush may have ruled the ‘90s and early ’00s, but today it’s just an OG Kush. Ghost Train Haze will still get you lit, but newer sizzling hazes await. 

Balanced CBD/THC strains, aka “Type 2” strains, never really took off, hence why Sour Tsunami and Cannatonic didn’t make the cut. Maybe they will someday.

We also took off strains with questionable names: Old school Herijuana may pack a punch, but is outdated. And Chernobyl? Stick to the HBO series.

Some classics are just retired for now, nothing against them:

  • Berry White—we appreciate your service, but bigger berry flavors are out there
  • We haven’t seen Lavender since before medical took off in California
  • Grapefruit is mythical and foundational, but alas, mostly gone
  • Growers liked Ingrid in the 2010s, but it never broke away from the pack
  • Many strains come from the mythical ‘90s Mendocino Purps, but few strains actually are authentic Mendo Purps these days
  • Panama Red? 1975 called and wants its weed back
  • Purple Haze might be all in your brain, but you won’t find this ancient sativa on shelves; try some Super Lemon Haze instead

And there are many other strains we haven’t mentioned here, but in the end, people aren’t smoking them so growers aren’t growing them. Check out our old list below and take a tour through weed’s past. 


Our 2015 100 strains list

The 100 Marijuana Strains You Should Try Before You Die | Leafly
(Amy Phung/Leafly)

Find the best marijuana strains

Want to learn more about weed strains? Explore thousands of marijuana strains on Leafly.

This article was originally published on August 8, 2015. It was most recently updated on August 23, 2021.

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Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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