As cannabis breeding evolves, so do the tastes of its consumers. Aside from a few staple strains, you can expect to see a mostly new set of names on the menus of dispensaries and delivery services every year. In fact, you may have noticed the strains you cherished just a couple of years ago are nowhere to be found today. The classics of their time—like Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Blue Dream—have survived, but they’re not as sought after as they once were. After analyzing data on the strains you searched for, requested and/or contacted us about, we compiled a list of the top 20 varieties that have you talking. These are the top trending strains of the year.
Do-Si-Dos is another child of the original Cookies strain. It’s a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Face Off OG. The strain has picked up in popularity since the Archive Seed Bank bred it in 2016. Do-Si-Dos is an indica-dominant hybrid that tastes like its parent Cookies strain with hints of pine and citrus from the Face Off OG lineage.
Bred by Symbiotic Genetics before making the rounds into other popular cultivars, Cherry Punch is a cross of Cherry AK-47 and Purple Punch F2. It’s great for an uplifting and fruit-flavored smoke.
Garlic Cookies a.k.a. GMO
Despite having “Cookies” in its name, Garlic Cookies, or GMO, is one of the only strains on this list without a sweet aroma. This strain reeks of garlic and gas. Its presence here is proof that the once-popular loud, gassy strains have not been entirely left in the past. SkunkMasterFlex of Skunkhouse Genetics created the strain with a seed, labeled “Chem D x GSC,” bred by Mamiko Seeds. According to SkunkMasterFlex, the name “GMO” came after the revelation that GMOs were used in the cookies from the Girl Scouts of America. It also hints at how the strain grows as if it were genetically modified.
Apple Fritter is a cross between Sour Apple (Sour Diesel x Cinderella 99) and Animal Cookies (GSC x Fire OG) bred by Lumpy Seeds. While it made our list of the Strongest Strains of 2016 and scored high in flavor and aroma with our judges at the 2016 Northern California Cannabis Cup, searches for this strain only began to peak late last year. THC percentages on Apple Fritter reach well over 20 percent, and the strain features a prominent and enjoyable flavor profile.
Biscotti is a cross of Gelato #25 and South Florida OG (a.k.a. Triangle Kush). This strain is one of the many original varieties brought to us by Cookie Family Genetics. Like most strains from the Cookie Fam, Biscotti is an indica-dominant strain. This tasty variety is named after the Italian almond biscuits with the same appellation.
Forbidden Fruit is a mix of two classic fruit-flavored strains: Tangie, by DNA Genetics, and Cherry Pie, by the Cookie Fam. The smell of musky oranges dominates the aroma of Forbidden Fruit with hints of sweet cherry in the mix. Forbidden Fruit can also be quite visually pleasing. Many batches display more purple coloring than green and contain plenty of frost.
Miracle Alien Cookies (MAC)
Miracle Alien Cookies is the result of several years of breeding from the popular breeder Capulator. He crossed Alien Cookies F2 #7 and Miracle 15. Alien Cookies F2 was bred by JAWS Genetics, and Miracle 15 is a cross between Colombian seeds and the Starfighter strain bred by Alien Genetics. Despite being around for years, searches for the strain are still trending, and people are waiting in line for hours at cannabis events to purchase the latest MAC crosses directly from Capulator.
Ice Cream Cake
Ice Cream Cake is one of the latest dessert-themed strains to gain hype status. There are multiple strains going by this name, but the one generating the most buzz is the Wedding Cake x Gelato #33 cross bred by Seed Junky Genetics. The strain grows a frosty coat of trichomes and has a creamy vanilla aroma and flavor when smoked.
London Pound Cake
London Pound Cake is one of the latest hits from Cookie Family Genetics’ roster of original pastry-themed strains. It is said to be a cross between Nip OG and Cookie Fam’s Sunset Sherbet. The early success of London Pound Cake has already led breeders to cross it with other popular Cookies strains. In fact, a new cross between London Pound Cake and Gelato named Candy Rain is already trending in its own right.
Slurricane is a cross between Do-Si-Dos and Purple Punch bred by In House Genetics. A berry aroma dominates from the Purple Punch lineage with notes of something earthier from the Do-Si-Dos parent. The strain is popular thanks to its high THC levels and fruity flavor.
Mimosa is a sativa-dominant hybrid with one of the tangiest orange flavors you can find in a cannabis plant. The citrus strain would complement brunch better than any alcoholic beverage. Since last year, the child of Clementine and Purple Punch bred by Symbiotic Genetics has been exploding in popularity with famed cultivators like the Jungle Boys bringing it into full production.
Purple Punch is a delicious cross of Grand-daddy Purple and Larry OG bred by Supernova Gardens. It’s considered by some to be the new Blue Dream. This is in reference to the hype Blue Dream has generated since it rose to prominence nearly half a decade ago. Since 2014, Blue Dream has been one of the best-selling strains in most states with legal marijuana, according to BDS Analytics.
Runtz is at the top of all recent strain searches. It’s a cross between Zkittlez and Gelato—two strains that have been trending over the last year or so. Runtz was made popular by rapper and co-owner of the Runtz cannabis brand Yung LB. The strain got its name from the colorful buds and sweet candy-like flavor users have reported. There is a White Runtz phenotype that has also been highly searched for.
Melonade has been skyrocketing in popularity since Alien Labs used it to take home the trophy for first place sativa at the last Central Valley Cannabis Cup. The strain was originally bred by Midwest Best before Alien Labs germinated dozens of the Watermelon Zkittlez x Lemon Tree #11 seeds to find a watermelon-dominant phenotype.
Sundae Driver is a hit strain bred by Cannarado Genetics, produced by crossing Fruity Pebbles and Grape Pie. The Jungle Boys were one of the first to bring the strain into full production. They settled on Sundae Driver #12 after popping and testing 500 different phenotypes of the strain.
Watermelon Zkittlez is one of several new crosses of the popular Zkittlez strain. The Watermelon variety is a refreshing twist on the already fruit-flavored Zkittlez. The original was brought to us by the award-winning breeders at Terp Hogz, and its Watermelon cross was bred by Dying Breed Seeds.
Gushers was bred by Kush4Breakfast using the Gelato #41 strain, from Cookie Family Genetics, and Triangle Kush, which was bred in Florida. This fruity, flavorful strain packs a surprising punch.
Wedding Cake (or Birthday Cake) is a cross of two popular Cookies strains: the original Cookies and Cherry Pie. The Cherry Pie adds sweet and creamy undertones to the earthy floral aroma from the original Cookies parent. The indica-dominant cross, bred by Seed Junky Genetics, won first place indica flower at the last High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Now the strain is being crossed to make new flavors that are just as popular.
Smarties is another candy-themed original bred by Kush4Breakfast. It was made by crossing Blue City Diesel into the original Cookies strain. Smarties is covered in a blanket of trichomes and, like the candy, it’s multicolored.
Zookies was originally bred by Alien Labs and pheno-hunted by Cannaman 707/Golden State Cultivators. This is one of the rare strains with a Z in the name that contains zero Zkittlez in the lineage. The key to understanding the moniker lies in the “Zoo”—its parents are Gorilla Glue #4 and Animal Cookies.
The trending strains of today could be forgotten tomorrow. Fortunately, many classics return in the form of new crosses. In fact, one strain that had a strong influence on this list is the original Cookies (GSC). It plays a part in the lineage of about half of the top 20 trending strains of today. Years ago, gassy strains like OG Kush and Sour Diesel were the most sought after. Today’s cannabis consumers appear to prefer sweeter strains or crosses that blend gas and fruit.
This feature was published in the May, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.