There’s no two ways about it – some strains are just legendary. Whether it’s because of their potent effects, the incredible stories behind them, or their unbeatable flavour, some strains are simply more popular than others.
Sometimes, strains have a meteoric rise before falling back into the dark, recesses of the unknown. Other times, they’re heavy-hitters that keep getting generation after generation of stoners high. We’ve tried only to include the latter category on this list – after all, strains need staying power in order to be remembered.
Check out our list of the 10 most popular strains of cannabis below. Some of them are newer strains, while some of them have remained unchanged since the 1970s. One thing’s for sure: they’re all household names.
10: Bruce Banner
Named after the Hulk’s alter ego, Bruce Banner lives up to its namesake. It’s big, green, and strong, with a THC concentration reaching somewhere around 20-22 percent. There are actually three different Bruce Banner phenotypes, all of which bear slight differences. Many stoners sweat that Bruce Banner #3 is the best example of this premium strain.
9: Acapulco Gold
One of the native North American landraces, Acapulco Gold was the only weed that many early stoners ever experienced. With its cerebral, euphoric sativa high, it helped fuel the 1960s counterculture with its iconic golden hues and effects.
Acapulco Gold is also known as Mexican Sativa, and was used as a genetic base for many popular strains that came out of it. Breeders mixed Acapulco Gold with newly-discovered indica plants from central Asia, creating the world’s first hybrid plants. Iconic strains like Skunk #1, DJ Short’s Blueberry, and all of the “Haze” family of plants. DJ Short himself was known to consider Mexican Sativas some of his favourite weed.
8: Jack Herer
Named after the legendary cannabis activist of the same name, Jack Herer is a much newer strain than Acapulco Gold. Dutch seed bank Sensi Seeds developed this strain during the 1990s to pay homage to Jack Herer, AKA the Hemperor. It’s a powerful sativa that makes smokers feel happy, uplifted, and energetic, according to users. It also provides the creative boost that sativas are known for.
Girl Scout Cookies, also known as GSC, may be a relative newcomer to the world of cannabis. However, the California strain is already carving a name for itself as one of the biggest things to happen to weed in the last decade.
The brainchild of a California cultivation collective called the “Cookie Fam,” Girl Scout Cookies is a pungent hybrid that provides both indica and sativa effects. The Cookie Fam generated this strain when they crossed two of the world’s favourite strains, OG Kush and Durban Poison. Girl Scout Cookies boasts a huge THC concentration, reaching nearly 24 percent during one High Times Cannabis Cup test.
Like Girl Scout Cookies, Gorilla Glue is a fairly new strain in the cannabis scene. Also known as GG4, Gorilla Glue is an indica-dominant hybrid that rose to prominence during the 2010s. Breeder GG Strains developed Gorilla Glue by crossing the genetics of Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel. Gorilla Glue boasts multiple Cannabis Cup wins, taking gold in Michigan and Los Angeles in 2014.
Although a hybrid, Gorilla Glue is known for having particularly sedative and relaxing effects. It’s a great way to kick back and chill out in today’s fast-paced, super-mobile world.
5: Hindu Kush
No list of the world’s greatest strains would be complete without Hindu Kush. This strain wasn’t developed by any breeder – it developed naturally in the wild over millions of years. It also serves as the genetic basis for nearly every strain today.
Hindu Kush is the original indica, a landrace strain that countless cannabis cultivators brought back with them from its native regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Growers introduced Hindu Kush into North America in the 1970s, and it inspired a massive boom that resulted in all of the indicas and hybrids we have today.
4: Durban Poison
Durban Poison is the only strain native to Africa on this list – and it deserves its high spot. Named after the South African city of Durban, Durban Poison is a landrace that grew naturally in South Africa. A powerful sativa, Durban Poison is renowned for its stimulating effects.
Like many other popular strains, Durban Poison emerged from the ether of the 1970s cannabis scene. Sam the Skunkman, one of the originators of the Haze family of strains, claims to be the one who brought Durban Poison to North America. He smuggled about 100 seeds back from South Africa, and chose the most robust phenotypes over the better part of a decade. What survives today is one of the best sativas in the world.
Before DJ Short was a world-famous breeder, he was a guy trying to solve a problem. He wanted a hybrid strain that was easy to grow inside (like an indica) but still kept the invigorating kick typical of sativas. He never actually set out to make a strain that tasted like blueberries – that was a happy accident.
The strain that he ended up with was so good, he wanted his name connected to it forever. DJ Short’s Blueberry is a living legend, one of the strains that developed during the 1970s and survived into the present day. It’s spawned numerous children over the years, including Blue Dream (which just barely missed making this list).
2: Bubba Kush
Bubba Kush doesn’t date back to the 1970s like many of the classic strains on this list, but it still boasts legendary genetics. Bubba Kush is the brainchild of Matt “Bubba” Berger, a cannabis breeder who cut his teeth in Florida before moving to California. Berger is credited with inventing the “OG” line of strains along with Bubba Kush in the 1990s. Bubba Kush is instantly identifiable to the trained nose, with a unique aroma composed of peppery, citrus, and herbal tones.
1: OG Kush
No list of the world’s most popular weed strains would be complete without OG Kush. OG Kush made a splash when it emerged in the 1990s. The strain’s origins are attributed to Matt “Bubba” Berger, the same breeder who gave stoners Bubba Kush.
The descendant of a Hindu Kush plant from Amsterdam, OG Kush would go on to found two famous families of strains. The OG line of strains boasts well-known members like Larry OG and SFV OG. OG Kush is also a parent to Bubba Kush, one of the most beloved strains of all time. Many other Kush strains are direct descendants of OG Kush.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best strains in the world – just the ones we thought were most significant. Think we missed any strains on our list? Let us know! And if you want to try any of these epic strains, you can find most of them in our online store.