Ten states currently allow the use of recreational cannabis, and Illinois is likely to join them later this week. Thousands of different varieties of cannabis await shoppers, and the flower is purer and more potent than ever before. The breeding is on a high right now because there are so many collections of good stuff.
People want to sample the newest strains, so last year’s hottest vines are getting replaced by new crosses. Just like in the fashion industry, powerful consumer trends are forcing growers to adapt or go out of business.
“When we had only ten cannabis options for decades, it was exciting to try any new strain,” said Jake Browne, a cannabis critic and co-founder of The Grow-Off cultivation competition. But now, if you’re not constantly innovating, you are relying on other products that may be better.
Adult-use laws, lab testing, and investment capital have supercharged competition. Josh Del Rosso, founder of OG Kush and operator of Josh D Farms in Santa Barbara California told CNBC.
“Just like with tricks in motocross—for a while, we were just pulling elementary tricks, and then all of the sudden a couple of people started doing triple backflips,” he said. “The breeding is insane, there are so many good strains out there.”
“We might be living in the prime of a golden period for cannabis”, said Jeremy Plumb, director of production science for Pruf Cultivar in Portland, Oregon.“You are in the greatest period of all time for diversity with this plant,” Plumb said.
After smoking our way through the past year, we’re excited to see which cannabis strains soared in popularity. Through monitoring year-over-year growth in search interest for all cannabis strains, we now have answers.
These five adjectives best describe the hot strain of this season, especially Sundae Driver. This sedative cross of Fruity Pebbles OG, Grape Pie, OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Green Crack, and Cherry Pie has fruity flavors reminiscent of its ancestors. Sundae Driver is based in Colorado, which means that it’s weather and isn’t constrained by regional restrictions. Even so, Sundae Driver is still the best because of its force of nature in Cannarado.
Gmom Cookies is a cross of Chemdog and GSC. Its distinctive tangy garlic aroma makes it one of the most unique strains we’ve ever seen. GMO hype started at the beginning of 2019, with searches increases by 675% in this short time.
OGKB (OG Kush Breath) has mysterious origins, but it’s thought to come from GSC. Like many caryophyllene-dominant strains, this is potent and powerful. You will feel it for a few hours.
If you’ve smoked OGKB and you enjoy its effects, look for strains with a similar terpene profile. Above are some examples of how GMO Cookies have surged by a whopping 615% in 2019.
Gorilla Glue #4 has become Original Glue, causing a 349% trend in 2019. Another fuchsia flower, which reflects caryophyllene dominance, Original Glue will hit with a kick-you-in-the-back type of high that’ll have you Superman high. There’s a reason it’s called glue—because you’ll be stuck to the cizzouch.
Banana Split grew 330% in search interest between the time that ball dropped and the time you’re reading this article. Despite sounding like a flavor of ice cream, this strain is much more than just banana sherbert. Banana Split has an orange flower that gives off a hint of therapy, so it is much more powerful than its Skunk and OG counterparts.
As you may be familiar, there are some Gelato phenotypes on the market. There is Gelato 41, Gelato 45, and the increasingly popular Gelato 33. The search interest for this phenotype has grown by 230% in recent months and it’s one of the more energetic ones around.
One of the most common types of citrus on U.S. trees, a Mimosa (Clementine x Purple Punch) is recognized as one of California’s favorites. This blue flower has a citrus aroma and smoke to match it, which is no surprise considering its 225% increase in search interest. It contains myrcene dominance, so if you enjoy tasty strains, look for this one.
Another powerful fuchsia flower with a potent experience, Purple Punch crosses Larry OG with Granddaddy Purple. Among other factors, Purple Punch is also one of the most popular strains due to its rise in popularity. The buds are purple and white and have a grapey smell that also has some gassy and earthy undertones.
The popularity of FPOG’s fruity flavors caused this strain to increase in interest by 111% in 2019. Formerly known as Fruity Pebbles, this limonene-dominant strain will have you feeling uplifted and euphoric yet not too bogged down by the potency. Smoke it up.
The search interest for Watermelon increased by 101%. It’s fruity. We don’t know much about it, which may be why people are seeking information on it. For those looking for a grape- or grassy, hashy strain like Bubba Kush, this may be the one.
The 2019 strain of the year, Wedding Cake, has risen by 100% since the beginning of the year. Its terpene profile is very similar to the aforementioned FOG: dominant in limonene with heavy amounts of caryophyllene and myrcene. The effects you feel from this yellow strain are also similar, producing a euphoric high that can turn sedative the higher dosage level consumed.
Ice Cream Cake
The Cookies strain and branding craze of the past several years became more than just a passing trend, with Cookies now available as an extension to many dessert strains.
“Cookies hybrids are still representing the majority of what is selling at a reasonable rate on the West Coast,” said Plumb. “It’s a testimony to marketing genius and great genetics.” On this wedding day, a pink-frosted ice cream cake is like royalty—a cross between #33’s ever-popular Wedding Cake and Gelato. Ice Cream Cake is iced and dark purple, with a creamy, burnt vanilla and sugar dough taste that leaves you happy and sleepy. Bred by Seed Junky Genetics, Ice Cream Cake vastly improves on Wedding Cake.