Leafly staff picks: The best-tasting cannabis strains
Some people choose a cannabis strain based on its name. Others by its THC content. Personally, I’m a sucker for aroma and flavor; whether it’s a flower, dabbable wax, or an oil cartridge, bad/bland/harsh flavor is a big turn-off. And with flavors ranging from sweet roses to earthy diesel, who wouldn’t want to explore the vast spectrum of tastes and smells cannabis has to offer?
Although flavor has everything to do with how a product is grown, cured, stored, and processed, genetics play a role as well. Over the years, these strains have proven to be top contenders in the flavor game, consistently showing off rich terpene profiles that not only govern a strain’s smell, but enhance the strain’s effects as well.
Tangie is a citrus dream crafted by the masterminds at DNA Genetics. There’s no strain I’d sooner rely on for good flavor than this sativa; popping the lid of a jar of Tangie and filling your nose with the smell of fresh orange zest can be somewhat of a religious experience of wonderment. With the sweet smell of citrus and fruit medley, Tangie lets you drift upwards slowly and steadily into euphoria, where bad moods don’t stand a chance.
Kyle Kushman never would have guessed that the sad-looking clone he held in a paper bag would one day become the famous award-winning Strawberry Cough. But thank goodness he passed this one to his left and shared the strawberry goodness with all of us. This uplifting, creative strain smells like it grew wild in a strawberry patch, radiating with the distinct aroma of ripe berries and rich earthy soil.
Speaking of strains that smell exactly like fruit, this list would never be complete without the mention of Blueberry. Without Blueberry, there would be no Blue Dream, no Blue Cheese, no Blue Cookies; “Blue” hybrids simply wouldn’t exist. You’ll notice all of these strains carry a blueberry-like smell, but few can match the original Blueberry’s uncanny resemblance to a bushel of overripe blueberries plucked straight from the branch.
Flavors of lemon candy, sharp pine, and fresh herbs twist together to create the complex aroma of Dutch Treat. A budtender has never had to twist my arm when upselling Dutch Treat; it’s been hard to find a lackluster example of the flavorful strain after all these years. Beyond the obvious notes of citrus and pine, this strain endlessly offers subtle nuances of sage, mint, and pepper.
Bursting with flavors of lemon, lime, and pear, XJ-13 is a strain I can hardly ever turn down. Its aroma has a sour bite that seems to almost fizzle in your nose like a fruity spritzer on a hot summer day.
Lavender is a beautifully intricate strain that smells like–oh, you guessed it–lavender. Like an all-in-one bouquet, Lavender also offers up sweet accents of wildflower, rose, and violet underneath a layer of woody earthiness.
Grapefruit is a fantastic wake-and-bake strain not only because of its awakening, high-energy high, it also tastes like a bowl of ripe red grapefruit sweetened with honey. I don’t often see it on dispensary shelves, but it’s a cherished rarity, especially when enjoyed on warm summer weekend mornings.
Red Headed Stranger
Red Headed Stranger is a strain I’ve loved getting to know in both flower and oil form. Upon inhale, the palate is dowsed with sweet flavors that seem citrusy at first, but then you notice some of the quieter flavors of mint and pine giving the strain a fresh, herbaceous finish. Coupled with effects that soothe the body while letting the mind run unencumbered, Red Headed Stranger is a perfect afternoon smoke that can easily replace or enhance your favorite citrusy, hoppy beer.
Schrom is somewhat of a local legend here in Seattle, but I simply can’t find it in my heart to neglect mentioning this glorious sativa strain that smells exactly like 7-Up. Herbal notes subtly underscore the pungent, unmistakable flavors of lemon-lime so strong, they monopolize the palate.
These are the strains that have been kindest to my nose, but what strains have a smell and/or flavor that make you swoon? Let me know what I’m missing out on in the comments section below!
Explore this list of strains with exceptional aroma, flavor and terpene profiles, and share your favorite tasting and smelling cannabis as well.
5 Best-Tasting Cannabis Strains
If you’re seeking the benefits of cannabis, you don’t have to settle for an unpleasant tasting strain. Cannabis has changed so much throughout time, and these days it’s possible to find massive variety of flavors and aromas. The days are long gone when one had to sacrifice flavor or taste for potency and strength. Now cannabis consumers can enjoy the best of all worlds. Those with refined palates can still get a buzzworthy high without sacrificing savor and piquancy.
Those with refined palates can still get a buzzworthy high without sacrificing savor and piquancy.
Growers often use their considerable skills not only to increase yield but to maximize what hits our taste buds. Each year sees new strains that entice and tantalize. These terrific strains flourish under the watchful eye of cultivators for cannabis lovers around the country to enjoy.
It’s been a rough ride for cannabis these past few years. But with less stringent legislation and a push for marijuana acceptance, there is a recent explosion in the sheer volume of choices available. We’ve managed to whittle down all the options and zero in on five of the best-tasting strains this year.
5. Sugar Black Rose
This pungent strain by any other name would be just as sweet – and potent. Many users may yearn for the out-of-this-world experience guaranteed by THC-heavy strains like Lemon Alien Dawg. However, this strain is on the moderate side by today’s standards with 18% THC.
Instead, those looking for a beautiful, relaxing evening indoors can rely on the sedative-like effects of Sugar Black Rose. It gently lulls users into a dreamy, cozy state of mind while boasting heavenly flavors like lemon and pine. Consumers can also enjoy a hint of musky earth along with floral tones and sweet candy notes.
Sugar Black Rose is an indica-dominant hybrid descending from the Critical Mass and Black Domina strains. It boasts a flowering time of about 53 days and has a high yield.
4. Somango XL
Somango is built up of a sturdy kick of earthiness, with hints of tropical and berry, all coming together for a solid dank herb taste. Though the name itself doesn’t seem to imply the strain is appealing to one’s tastebuds, it is greatly loved by many of those who get to try Somango.
When the three potent strains of Big Skunk Korean, Jack Herer, and Super Skunk all banded together, they create Sommango XL. Its THC levels are incredibly strong, hovering around 17-28% percentage depending on the batch.
Somango’s parentage gives rise to a strain that is not only potent but incredibly buzzy. Its intense kick of energy-boosting trichomes provides a burst of mellow, sedative inducing essence.
It is about 75% indica and 25% sativa, making for an exciting melding of worlds. Somango is sweet and somewhat tart, but delicious on the tongue without a harsh aftertaste. Users enjoy its fresh, fruity notes and its deep, piney, and spicy flavors.
3. Lemon Shining Silver Haze
Lemon Shining Silver Haze is every bit as fun as it sounds. Its THC level reaches up to 25% and contains great lemony goodness. A symphony of other flavors also backs it, including vanilla, pine, candy, and sour dankness.
While its aroma and taste are delightful, many users claim it offers powerful analgesic effects. This suggestion is indicated in the relief of a litany of complaints, including low energy and focus, anxiety, stress, and muscle aches.
It’s a powerful and eye-opening energy booster, not a good fit for anyone looking for sleep. However, if you’re a night owl and want a creative edge with a tasty bite, this strain is for you.
Lemon Shining Silver Haze isn’t exactly a newbie in the cannabis arena. Instead, it’s an old favorite and a winner of the 2008 High Times Cannabis Cup. Growers prefer it because of a quick flowering time of only 8-9 weeks. Also, layers of sugary, frosty trichomes cover it.
2. Game Changer
The same thing day in and day out can become incredibly mundane and boring. The same goes if you smoke the same cannabis all the time. That’s why the Game Changer strain has an especially fitting name, offering consumers something different.
With THC levels reaching an outstanding 29%, those who don’t have much experience with cannabis will want to take it easy. For those who are searching for a new routine that breaks them out of their usual box, aim for this delicious and strong strain, with a succulent grape and candy flavor.
Purple Dragon and the lush Green Thai are the parents of Game Changer, and the two in unison produce a skunky and pungent profile. With a gentle cheesy zing blended with the juicy berry, this strain offers both sweet and savory.
Users also enjoy its hypnotic and relaxing charm, all while inducing couch-lock, relaxation, stress, and pain relief as well as substantial mood enhancement.
Game Changer is also eye-catching with purple hues, dark blues, greens, and reddish-orange nuggets. It is more on the indica side with a 60/40 split and has a quick growth time of 8-9 weeks.
1. Strawberry Cough
Don’t let the name fool you. It may sound like a seasonal allergy, but Strawberry Cough goes well beyond the pastiche of most strains. Instead, it draws inspiration from the sweet, red, ripe berry that is its namesake.
Users also get a swift hit of vanilla, with just a slight bit of skunk and deep earthiness. It’s an excellent strain for relieving stress, and with a THC level of up to 26%, it’s potentially intense and potent.
It is linked with mitigating other physical ailments, including depression, mental fog, along with bodily aches and pains. As a stimulating strain, users cite its energizing potential in many day-to-day pursuits, including creative endeavors and painting.
It is a relatively easy strain to grow and flourishes in a little under ten weeks. It is versatile and can grow both indoors and outdoors, making it a hit amongst growers.
Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
This strain has amassed a cult following for its strange yet intoxicating flavors. Thin Mint GSC has hints of sweet and sour, with a citrusy bite followed by aromatic pine. It is a bit too redolent for some users, although others rave about its chocolatey hints and earthy goodness.
With a THC level of 19%, it is potentially an exciting ride, though this strain isn’t exactly an all-around favorite. Many either love it, or they don’t.
Bubblegum XL takes consumers back to the times of playing with your friends on the streets, chewing bubble gum, and swimming on hot Summer days. Nostalgic, sweet notes leave a feeling of endless yearning, but its potent profile makes it a wonderful sativa with uncharacteristically slightly sedative properties if you need to relax and unwind but not fall asleep.
With a mild THC level sitting at 19%, Bubblegum XL gets you high but will not make you buzz and zip around the room. Bred from the strains Power Plant and Santa Maria, this sativa is a quick grower, taking just 8-9 weeks. This speed comes with a price, however, as you shouldn’t expect massive yields.
Blue Dream has become iconic amongst many cultivators. It has a high THC level (about 27%) and a low CBD level (around 2-3%). Its background includes the strains Blueberry and Haze. It is sativa-dominant, and though we don’t know much about it, it is popular in many circles.
Blue Dream combines sweet and crisp blueberry flavors with hints of vanilla, floral, and earthy undertones. Its high has a slow burn. It is cited as an energetic strain, great for battling cases of ennui without taking away from its soft, relaxing edge.
It is mostly an outdoor strain as it can top five feet. For anyone looking to grow in cramped spaces, this is likely a bit of a challenge.
Final Thoughts on the Best-Tasting Cannabis Strains of the Year
Cannabis isn’t your run of the mill “stinkweed” anymore. It has evolved and morphed into something more like a work of art. Time, patience, and incredible innovation have led the way in creating strains that taste more appealing than the standard decades ago.
No longer is the taste of rubber, industrial fumes, and skunk accepted as part of the marijuana experience. Nowadays, cannabis connoisseurs have developed refined palates and are looking for more than just a buzz.
Luckily, today’s options have what even the pickiest among us would want. From sativa to indica, there’s something for everyone.
Legislation is quickly turning a corner. Therefore, we can look forward to even more crossing of strains and the development of new and ingenious breeds.
The proliferation of delicious and tasty strains lends itself to a new way of thinking among cannabis users. Marijuana is no longer something bred and grown in the dark, in out-of-the-way places where no one’s the wiser. It is becoming more acceptable. And, with acceptability, has come a push to go past boundaries and create something that didn’t exist before.
The world is open for marijuana, and there isn’t a shortage in the varieties available. Cannabis has come a long, long way, and we probably won’t see a halt to its momentum for some time.
If you are looking for a cannabis strain that provides a tasty treat as well as a buzz, we've got you covered. Here are some of the best…