[Editor’s Note: This is a great resource for hot cannabis strains. Plus, find them in your local pot store. Some of the strain names seem silly now, but maybe years from now they’ll have the same name recognition as Cabernet or Chardonnay.]
This past year was a great year for cannabis. The popular strains and flavors that proliferated over the last 12 months offer such a variety that you can’t help but want to try them all. That is, if you haven’t already!
Looking at engagement data across Leafly, we’re able to see how interested people are in each strain, as well as where they’re shopping for these strains. Consumers who leave thoughtful reviews of strains and products also help paint a picture of which strains have been frequently purchased and enjoyed.
From pungent, gassy flavors to sweet, fruity blends, the top trending strains of 2018 offer a wide spectrum of tantalizing tastes and exciting experiences. The list below showcases strains that saw the largest growth in interest and popularity throughout the cannabis community in 2018.
(This doesn’t necessarily make them the best strains. In fact, the trendiest strains are often some of the more polarizing varieties. However, their prominence simply cannot be ignored!)
The Top 5 Trending Strains of the Year
5. Grease Monkey
Kicking off the countdown is Grease Monkey, a strain whose engagement grew nearly 270% over the course of 2018. Bred by Exotic Genetix, Grease Monkey is a cross of Original Glue with their prized Cookies and Cream. The result is a hybrid with a potent punch that makes incredible hash.
The sharp diesel flavors of Grease Monkey showcase its Original Glue lineage, but these are softened by an earthy influence and sweet finish from its Cookies and Cream heritage. The thick, soothing smoke brings an initial blast of euphoria that boosts the mood as it settles throughout the body and leaves you in a dreamy, relaxed state.
This popular hybrid originally sprouted in the Pacific Northwest where it remains a popular cultivar. The appreciation for Grease Monkey has spread far and wide throughout 2018, helping it gain popularity from Anchorage, Alaska to Baltimore, Maryland.
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4. Wedding Cake
With the all the hype over “dessert strains” recently, this is the year Wedding Cake stepped into the limelight, growing in influence on Leafly over 350% in 2018. Wedding Cake is a hybrid bred by Seed Junky Genetics that pairs the sweet doughy flavors of GSC with subtle fruity notes of Cherry Pie. A matchmaker’s dream!
Nicknamed Pink Cookies when it was first released, this strain is celebrated for its vanilla accents and confectionary sweetness that give it the unique dessert quality that many Cookies offsprings embody.
From San Diego to Seattle, the entire West Coast is celebrating the matrimony between Cookies and Cherry Pie. Wedding Cake has even sparked a hot spot of acclaim within the thriving cannabis community of Michigan.
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3. Purple Punch
A beautiful cross of Grandaddy Purple and Larry OG, Purple Punch is known for its stunning bag appeal. The entire surface of this purple-tinged flower is coated in a thick layer of sparkling white resin that really catches the eye. Its sweet berry aroma and tart grape flavors usher in a euphoric burst that tapers quickly into sleepy relaxation.
Purple Punch also has a reputation for its long-stalked trichomes—resin glands with smaller heads and longer stalks—and is sometimes criticized for its lack of potency. Regardless, its undeniable visual appeal and sweet flavors make this strain popular breeding stock. Purple Punch has influenced other rising varieties, like Mimosa.
One of the top strains of this year’s fall harvest, the popularity of Purple Punch swelled about 475% in 2018. This gorgeous strain is widely available up and down the West Coast, as well as southwestern cities like Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona.
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2. Blue Zkittlez
Interest in Blue Zkittlez, a strain popular throughout Oregon, grew almost 550% last year. This trendy strain was conceived when Dying Breed Seeds crossed the illustrious Zkittlez with the earthy, berry flavors of Blue Diamond. The result is a tasty flower exploding with sweet candy flavors.
The complex, berry-forward blend of flavors is accented with citrus notes and is one of the more memorable strains I’ve tried in 2018. Maybe it’s the name, but when I hit Blue Zkittlez all I can think of is a handful of chewy, fruity candy. Its happy, uplifting effects level off into comfortable relaxation and are appreciated by some for their arousing properties.
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1. Forbidden Fruit
Realizing nearly 825% growth in 2018, Forbidden Fruit is 2018’s top trending strain.
A Cherry Pie and Tangie hybrid bred by Chameleon Extracts, it emits a compelling blend of fruit aromas and flavors. The citrus mix is led by sour grapefruit notes that mingle with sweet cherry and berry flavors and finish with bright tropical highlights. The flavor profile reminds me of fruit salad or fruit punch.
Forbidden Fruit is a great “session strain,” often expressing only moderate levels of THC while maintaining its extremely rich terpene profile. Its relaxing, euphoric effects rise pleasantly without overpowering. Another popular strain of this past harvest season, Forbidden Fruit is especially popular in the Bay Area and Southern California.
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Other rising cultivars that populated bowls and dispensary menus throughout 2018 include these trending strains that just barely missed the top of the list.
6. Zkittlez, with engagement growing roughly 245% this year.
7. Do-Si-Dos saw over 200% growth in 2018.
8. Gelato, Leafly’s Strain of 2018, grew by more than 190% in the last 12 months.
9. Strawberry Banana increased its popularity by nearly 170%.
10. Orange Cookies’ popularity increased almost 160% compared to last year.
Original Post: Leafly: Counting Down the Top 5 Trending Cannabis Strains of 2018
[Editor’s Note: This just sounds like it tastes great and smokes even better! Learn how Woodman Peak Farms propagated Banana Jam.]
When we brave pioneers of Cannabis Now went booth to booth at the Emerald Cup on a quest to search out the strains of the moment, we were frequently impressed. But when we got to Woodman Peak Farms, things took on a whole new level of hype. We quickly determined we were going to need to look at all of their cannabis. It was well above average.
Then they offered us a glimpse of their Cup entries. There were two, but we can’t even remember what the other one was, because the Banana Jam simply absorbed all of our attention as soon as the mason jar cracked open. It felt like the scene from “Alice in Wonderland” where she falls down the hole, except this hole was some type of tropical daiquiri filled with Caribbean fruits we’ve never even heard of.
After we had a few days to collect ourselves following the Cup, Banana Jam’s breeder Michael Martin gave us the full tale of this strain we expect to make waves in the very near future.
The Genetics of Banana Jam: Mix and a Match
“Banana Jam brings together Symbiotic Genetics’ Banana Punch with our Strawberry Jam,” Martin told Cannabis Now. Martin was given 16 Banana Punch seeds by Symbiotic in the fall of 2016 and started them spring of 2017.
“We ended up with nine females, seven of which we kept, two of which we gave to close friends,” he said. Martin stress tested some of the cuts he held onto in a light deprivation situation. He flowered them out early to see what they were working with.
“But two plants were full-term plants in the main garden which didn’t finish until the first week of November,” said Martin. “Once the flowers started blooming in the dep greenhouse, they smelled so good!”
Martin found the resulting flowers to be very similar to the Strawberry Jam, “but less gassy, more fruit punchy.” Those initial phenotypes would range from super fruity to bland and super frosty.
“They reminded us of our Strawberry Jam, and we felt that those two would complement each other well,” Martin said. “Pollen was taken from our two Strawberry Jam males that we kept for breeding and dusted on the fruitiest plants of the Banana Punch.”
The Strawberry Jam Martin used came from a pack of Long Valley Royal Kush by Aficionado Seeds. Martin and his partner Ariel first started growing them out in Piercy, California in 2016.
“We started with 10 seeds and got nine females and one male. Royal Kush is typically a very gassy, piney smelling flower, but one of these nine females really stood out — it smelled exactly like Strawberry Jam.”
Martin notes a few others from that first run of the Aficionado seeds were unique, too. They put pollen on all of them, including the Strawberry Jam pheno. When it was time for harvest, they gathered the seeds, “and by spring I gave almost all of them away to friends, but still had 13 to start at our new farm, Woodman Peak, in the spring of 2017.”
Martin grew out those seeds and ended up with eight new ladies. Two of those phenotypes were Strawberry Jam dominant, while the others took on the normal Royal Kush smell.
“Out of the males, we rubbed their stems and the male flowers to get a smell off of them and also judged them based off shape and health. Two of them smelled super jammy. We kept those males around as our keepers for breeding tools that year in 2017,” Martin recalled.
Martin soon found himself heading back to those two Banana Punch plants in the main garden he’d let run full-term. One was super fruity, and the other was super frosty yet lacking smell. “So we hit the fruity plant in the full-term, and out of the 5 plants in the dep we hit the fruitiest smelling one in there too with Strawberry Jam pollen,” said Martin.
How the Woodman Peak Farm Grow Goes Down
Martin always starts his seeds in spring in an inert soil mix, transplanting up into bigger, more nutrient-dense soil a few weeks later. The seeds are started in a greenhouse while it’s still cold and chilly in the spring. Then, when the plants get a few weeks old, they start feeding them nutrient-rich teas weekly or biweekly.
Good compost teas are one of the big deciders when separating the good from the great. The Woodman Peak team brew their compost teas using Drago nfly Earth Medicine plant-based powders and fish hydrolysate as fertilizer.
While the seeds are still sprouting and small, they work in the garden, tilling the winter cover crop back into the soil as well as adding additional amendments such as kelp meal, neem meal, shrimp/crab meal and a variety of rock powders: azomite, basalt, glacial rock, greensand, gypsum and oyster shell flour.
“We also source compost from our neighbor, who has a herd of animals — over 30 goats, sheep, horses, ducks, turkeys and chickens,” said Martin. “The goats wander his land eating up the tall grasses, which help during the summer’s fire season. It makes for some great compost too!”
Martin grew out the Banana Jam in fabric pots on a hillside above the pond they use to irrigate the garden.
“This year, we planted on June 12, just before the summer solstice,” said Martin. “They were small little babies, less than a foot in height, but blew up in the hot summer months, some of which topped 12 feet. Once the flowers began to set in the middle of August, we switched from primarily nitrogen-based teas to Dragonfly’s flower tea, Fat Flowers, and began to back off on our foliar sprays.”
Martin also said they do their very best to let the plants express themselves in shape and form by not topping, and minimally training the branches. “This helps us get an idea of the true shapes for breeding purpose,” he said.
When harvest time comes, they work to push the flowers to the closest they can get to peak ripeness and maturity. This gives the flowers a dense, fully swollen look that most people only achieve in greenhouses or indoor.
“We harvest with care, and hang-dry our flowers in dark, cold rooms for over two weeks, keeping the humidity low and slowly pulling moisture out of the flowers,” Martin said. “After that, the flowers are boxed up to be in a closed space with more of itself, which really makes the aromas soak in and bring out the subtleties.”
From this point, they hand off the flowers to Flow Kana, one of the main distribution companies working with legacy farmers in the region. Flow Kana then bucks, manicures, and packages the flowers for retail.
When they went back to pick out their seeds to start for the year, Martin said they almost didn’t grow out the Banana Jam because of the risks associated with putting time into a new cross you’re not quite positive on yet.
“We didn’t really know what to expect, but we’re all really glad that we did at the last minute,” said Martin, “They were such pretty little starts, we decided to put them in the garden.”
We’re definitely glad they did.
TELL US, have you tried the Banana Jam strain yet?
The post Strain Review: Banana Jam Hops Straight Out of the Jar appeared first on Cannabis Now.
Strain Review: Banana Jam Hops Straight Out of the Jar was posted on Cannabis Now.
Tutti Frutti Total Score: 94
Tutti Frutti is one of the seemingly infinite number of strains in the legal cannabis market. Most strains have either an upper or downer effect. Typically the effects are not that different from strain to stain. There usually isn’t a necessary connection. This is not the case with Tutti Frutti. These specific buds were obtained from an Ann Arbor, MI medical dispensary, Liv Cafe N Wellness.
Tutti Frutti Strain Review
Tutti Frutti – Appearance
The buds were small and highly compact with lots of little orange stigma all over them. It’s a cute bud, in a way. There were visible frosty trichomes all over the flower and there wasn’t much leaf left. Mostly there were just potential seed sacs and their attached hairy stigmas. Small is sometimes beautiful and in this case it is. I deducted points for the size of the buds because I knew them to be from the bottom of the plant. The only other down side was the buds being a little dry. A day or two with a humidifier packet to 62% should solve that issue.
Appearance Score: 18/20
Tutti Frutti – Aroma
WOW! After grinding, the flower the scents were amazingly clear and strong. Highly scented with aromas of plum, cherry, and even orange. Not a lot of lemon (limonene) in the aroma, but super fruity and complex.
Aroma Score: 19/20
Tutti Frutti – Taste
The fruit aromas were strongly reflected in the taste. This isn’t typically the case with other strains, but the taste in my pipe before lighting up was kind of surprisingly close to the aroma. It tasted so good, I didn’t want to light it up. It was just that good.
Taste Score: 19/20
Tutti Frutti – Effect
This is a case of – ‘wait for it’ – as the high took a little bit to come on. And then bam, you’re very high. At first I waited a few minutes and nothing happened. I decided to take another puff. Then at about the 15 minute mark, it came in a heady rush that went to a certain level, and hung on for the first hour. And that was only two puffs, about 15 minutes apart. It was potent cannabis. I never looked at the THC content percent because I don’t believe it’s relevant. but going back to the Liv site, I noted it was listed as a hybrid, but there was no THC content on the page.
After about 2 hours, came the surprise; For the first 1 1/2 to 2 hours of the effect was very sativa like. I got a lot of work done, like cleaning the kitchen. After about 2 hours, I got very sleepy. This must have been the ‘indica’ part of the ride. I was already in the sack and planning on consuming a little indica to sleep. But, I didn’t need it. Tutti frutti put me in a very somnolent state and I slept like a baby all night. Sweet. The sativa buzz wasn’t my favorite…I only come across that about once a year, but it was really nice and creative and the latter part of the buzz was really nice and sleepy. Because of the sativa/indica effects, this was a 2 for 1 deal.
Effect Score: 18/20
Tutti Frutti Summary
Tutti Frutti is a strain well worth seeking out if you want something that can propel you through an evening into the sleepy zone of relaxation and rest. I don’t believe I’ve ever had any bud before that had this many strong effects. I liked it a lot. A whole lot. Given this strain’s immense complexities and strong effects, this flower is easily worth a pretty high score.
Tutti Frutti Total Score: 94
Ed. Note: Getting into the swing of Halloween is fun! Check out these 4 strains that will make your spooky day even more fun than it already is.
Happy Halloween, Leafly readers! The spooky season is here along with all the mini candy bars, haunted attractions, and full costumed events that accompany it. To help you celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of our top spooky strains currently available in Canada.
Check out our top picks to elevate all your eerie fun.
Ghost Train Haze
Turn off all the lights and light up Ghost Train Haze for a marathon session of suspenseful screen time. The sativa known for its cerebral haziness delivers a potent dose of THC conducive to binge-watching “The Haunting of Hill House.”
Harness the creative and uplifting properties of Full Moon as you transform into full costume–If we’ve learned anything from YouTube recently, it’s that getting high and doing make-up equals magic. The spicy smoke from this sativa will leave you ready to embrace your inner creature and let the werewolf out this Halloween.
Itching for a fright? Let White Widow lure you through a corn maze with its earthy, woody aroma. The potent effects of this famous hybrid strain include powerful bursts of euphoria and energy–just what you need when creeping and crawling through a haunted attraction.
More treat than trick, Blue Dream is a sweet berry-scented, sativa-dominant hybrid offering the full-body relaxation you’ll crave after the doorbell stops ringing and all the monsters are finally tucked into bed.
Original Post: Leafly: Boo! 4 Spooky Strains for Celebrating Halloween Night