Here's the thing! I wasn't there when the first "dudes" thought of using the cannabis they tripped over in the Afghan Kush. At some point lost in time, someone – barely out of a prehistoric stage that introduced fire – said, "Let's give this a try!" They may have been looking for fun or medicine, but they found value in a fix and handed it down through the eons that followed. So, you see, I may not have the authority to name the 25 most popular strains of all time.
On the other hand, some strains have stood the test of time for various reasons. We may not have the marketing metrics and statistics to make the case, but there is a history of user reports to argue for one strain or another. Moreover, the modern age has seen breeders select strains for their potency and medical benefits in addition to flavors and aromas. The consuming customer has driven the continuation of ancient and landrace strains and the development of hybrids that have revolutionized the market. Here are some of the most popular.
The 25 most popular strains of all times
Allowing for the infinite number of individual tastes, research among farmers, hybrid engineers, strain users, and budtenders, this list (in no particular order) offers some clues to identifying the preferred strains. Some of these strains are legendary, while some may be new to readers.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid delivers 19% to 24% THC.
Ancestry: Mexican landrace
Reputation: Acapulco Gold is a golden nugget with caramel aromas when broken up.
User highlights: Commonly available at a moderate 19% THC, this Mexican strain moved across the border with its long-lasting, stimulating, and mildly euphoric high. For most novice users, Acapulco Gold represents everything they had expected of cannabis.
Strain: Indica testing to 27% THC
Ancestry: Landrace strain originating in Hindu Kush mountain chain
Reputation: Bubba Kush remains a "gold standard" for many because of its sweet smoke and flavor and couchlock experience
User highlights: Centuries of cannabis users have enjoyed and returned to the Bubba Kush and its relatives for a total, numbing body lock. They use it late in the evening or right before bed to wipe out the day's stress and reduce problems with ADD/ADHD and sleeping disorders.
Strain: AKA Original Glue, Gorilla Glue #4, GG#4, Indica-dominant hybrid (60% Indica/ 40% Sativa) tests as high as 32% THC with minimal traces of CBD.
Ancestry: Gorilla Glue comes from a threesome of Chem's Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel.
Reputation: This hybrid garnered many trophies for its uniquely high THC potential to lay you flat.
User highlights: The Gorilla family is famous worldwide for its slow euphoric build before melting into a blissful stick to the couch. The chocolate flavor, cerebral lift, and full-body relaxation may wipe away symptoms of ADD/ADHD, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia, migraines, and more. Veterans know this is not a daytime strain, and newbies should not try this strain independently.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid (70% Sativa: 30% Indica) with 20% THC and 6% CBD
Ancestry: ACDC resulted from a mix of Cannatonic and Ruderalis.
Reputation: This strain has a universal reputation for its high soothing CBD effects with a touch of berries, cherries, and pine.
User highlights: The CBD potency overrides the moderate to high THC content for a sure mild energy and euphoria with a strong undercurrent that relieves anxiety, arthritis, depression, inflammation, and more.
Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid with 28% THC and 1% CBD
Ancestry: Durban Poison crossed with OG Kush
Reputation: A hugely popular strain offers sweet, earthy tastes and smoke for a long-lasting potent high.
User Highlights: GSC lifts users with a euphoria that hits hard and high before it reduces users with a full-bodied lethargy. The CBD content is the only thing that keeps a lid on the cerebral disorientation. Many consume Girl Scout Cookies for anxiety, depression, and chronic pain syndromes.
Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid (80% Sativa: 20% Sativa) with a potent 28% THC
Ancestry: Afgoo blends the well-balanced Maui strain with an unnamed Afghanistan Indica.
Reputation: The high THC potency makes this a great late evening treat, but THC power can also mean dizziness and paranoia.
User highlights: Cannabis veterans opt for this strain because they understand its power. Afgoo is not a strain for newcomers. It is not a strain to use for socialization. But if you can handle the potency, Afgoo may also treat depression, PTSD, chronic pain, and insomnia.
Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid boasting 20% CBD
Ancestry: This proprietary hybrid crosses industrial hemp and unknown cannabis strain.
Reputation: Charlotte's Web is well-known inside and outside cannabis markets for its exceptional medical benefit in treating pediatric epilepsy.
User highlights: This strain, with its minimal trace of THC, produces no psychoactive experience. However, breeders have engineered its CBD potency to treat epilepsy and other forms of involuntary spasticity.
Strain: Rather well-balanced Sativa-dominant hybrid with low to moderate THC of 13% to 20% offset by 1% CBD and 1% CBN.
Ancestry: Somewhere along the line, they blended Afghani, Columbian, Mexican, and Thai with perhaps a little ruderalis.
Reputation: AK-47 creates a mellow chill, a relaxing mental buzz early on.
User highlights: Growers like its bright green color and wispy orange hairs. Users seek its relaxing high to relieve anxiety, chronic pain, depression, stress, and cramps associated with PMS, tension related to PTSD, and general social anxiety.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid (60%: 40%) with up to 24% and a significant 2% CBD
Ancestry: A California hybrid of Blueberry and Haze
Reputation: Breeding produced one of the most popular and demanded strains across the U.S. and Europe for its rich blueberry taste and aroma, as well as its dreamy effects.
User highlights: Blue Dream produces a slow body relaxation following a mild uplifting euphoria. Its gentle but full impact makes it an excellent strain for first-time users and those seeking relief from inflammation-related pain, sleeping disorders, and chronic stress and depression.
Strain: Heavily Sativa-dominant hybrid test at 22% THC with negligible CBD.
Ancestry: Allen Wrench out of Washington State married NYC Diesel and Trainwreck.
Reputation: Its pervasive, lingering, sour aroma belies the bright, fresh fruit flavor.
User highlights: That high THC will energize you, lift your mood, and boost your appetite without loss of focus.
Strain: An Indica-dominant hybrid with THC as high as 27% over 1% CBD
Ancestry: The rich banana aroma comes from the Banana strain bred with OG Kush.
Reputation: Banana OG is popular around smoking circles, in part because it leaves users laughing as it sneaks up on you.
User highlights: Veteran users have been Banana OG fans for a long time with its full cloud of smoke as it energizes the brain by relaxing the body thoroughly and deeply. Veterans avoid the couchlock new users may encounter, but this strain produces the smiling chill most associate with cannabis.
Strain: A Sativa strain, a 60: 40 hybrid with 17% to 21% THC and 1% CBD
Ancestry: Bay 11's parentage is a breeder's secret, but it may have developed from the Appalachia strain.
Reputation: Potency lies in the heavy amber trichomes with their pleasant fruity aroma.
User highlights: This strain's popularity lies in its rich taste, fragrant smoke, and early, heavy hit. The experience is happy and uplifting, clear and focused, but relaxing and social. Plants harvest with moderate yields of buds that reduce pain and insomnia.
Strain: Award-winning Indica with up to 25% THC
Ancestry: Parentage is uncertain, but it is genetically related to OG Kush.
Reputation: Blessed by a rabbi, Kosher Kush packs a risky potency.
User highlights: People use Kosher Kush for its sweet orange taste and super potency. It may relieve anxiety and depression, but this strain is not for beginners. In addition to the usual side-effects of dry eyes and headache, it may cloud your thinking and vision.
Strain: Sativa with 24% THC, 1% CBD, and 1% CBN
Ancestry: Discovered in Durban, South Africa
Reputation: Popular for its sweet smell and powerful brain-body high, Durban Poison has spawned several hybrids.
User highlights: Durban Poison will lift you high with a lasting euphoria that will not ruin your day. Users report a potent early hit that energizes their day, activities, and creativity, but newcomers may experience paranoia.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid with 25% THC, >1% CBD, 2% CBN
Ancestry: Complex hybrid of Lemon Skunk with Super Silver Haze which comes from a combination of (Skunk #1 x Haze C) x (Northern Lights #5 x Haze C)
Reputation: Rich lemon candy taste accompanies high THC potency.
User highlights: Rich Lemon Haze is a stoner's delight with laugh out loud euphoria and creative energy. It will chase away anxiety, fatigue, and pain, but veterans like this strain for the fun of it.
Strain: Indica-dominant strain with 20+% THC
Ancestry: Breeders mixed Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and Sunset Sherbet.
Reputation: Gelato has a WOW factor that is tough to beat, tasty, and manic at the same time.
User highlights: The 20% THC will not go unnoticed. This potent strain will leave your head high and heavy with a long-lasting euphoria that avoids couchlock with slightly focused energy. Blueberry, orange, and lavender tastes lead to full-body buzz that masks muscle spasms, chronic pain, and migraines. Gelato is no strain for beginners, but it is a classic among veteran users.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid with >295 THC, 1%^ CBD, 1% CBN
Ancestry: OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel
Reputation: This potent strain recalls the soft-spoken, mild-mannered man who, when provoked, turns into the Incredible Hulk. Bruce Banner cannabis has become as legendary as the comic book character.
User highlights: The strain works during the day because it produces a significant body boost and cerebral creativity. Many users seek the power to fight pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, but newcomers should be warned about the risks of paranoia and dizziness in this potency.
Strain: Sativa with 23% THC
Ancestry: Sativa combines a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 crossed with Shiva Skunk.
Reputation: This strain honors Jack Herer honors the renowned cannabis activist, author, and presidential candidate. Moderately potent, it is a happy, bubbly, euphoric, energetic, and creative head high.
User highlights: Jack Herer suits those who want a strain to brighten their while sweeping aside bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, PMS, and neurological disorders. The marked taste and smell of forest soil and evergreens are pleasant if not empowering.
Strain: Sativa-dominant strain testing at 26% THC, 2% CBD, 4% CBN
Ancestry: Controversial option between Super Skunk X Chemdog or Mexican sativa and Chemdog phenotype.
Reputation: Sour Diesel deserves its legendary status as a source of brainpower. It is recommended for use early in the day for its electric stimulation and creative energy, enough to last throughout the day.
User highlights: Users point to the heavy diesel smell barely underlined with a touch of lemon. However, it can make you ignore the anxiety, fatigue, and stress that otherwise would govern your day.
Strain: A 60% Indica/40% sativa hybrid with >25% THC
Ancestry: This strain mixes of Cherry Pie and Girl Scout Cookies strains
Reputation: New to the market, this strain ups the ante on Wedding Cake by continuing its marvelous sweet and flowery notes with potent calming elements.
User highlights: Wedding Cake hits quickly with a lasting euphoria that surrenders to a creeping, heavy, couchlike calm that erases anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and insomnia.
Strain: Sativa-dominant strain with 24% THC
Ancestry: Amnesia originated in Cinderella 99, Jack Herer, and Skunk, with roots reaching Jamaican Landrace and Southern Asia. It is a parent to several other strains.
Reputation: It smells and tastes of loamy soils and citrus, and it delivers a potent package that has won many awards.
User highlights: The THC brightens the day with a quick, energetic body achieved without confusion or lethargy. The perfect balance proves beneficial for patients seeking relief from anxiety, depression, and migraines.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid with 18% to 25% THC
Ancestry: They bred this strain by mating Mexican X Thai sativa strains with an Afghani Indica.
Reputation: The sativa levels the Indica for a creative brain and mellow body high.
User highlights: Pine and citrus mark the medical benefits for stress, pain, and PTSD. Its legendary medical therapies complement its powerful cerebral ride. Trainwreck is the "gold standard" for frequent users, but new ones should slowly titrate up to this classic.
Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid with 16% to 21% THC and >2% CBD
Ancestry: Tangerine Haze is a proprietary strain created by Devil's Harvest Krew, a group trading in internet genetics. Analysis suggests the strain belongs to NYCD X G-13/Haze.
Reputation: The strain replicates the taste and smell of fresh tangerines.
User highlights: Tangerine Haze will refresh and rejuvenate, making it great for daytime use. Tasting fresh, it still calms nerves and muscles to treat anxiety and pain related to inflammation and neurological disorders.
Strain: Sativa-dominant hybrid testing between 20% and 28% THC
Ancestry: Hawaiian origin lacks clearly identified genetics.
Reputation: Maui Wowie (aka Maui Waui) is a flavor fest of citrus, lavender, and pine. It provides benefits for recreational and medical cannabis customers alike
User highlights: Maui Wowie lets you remain active with daytime use as energy buzzes through the body without interfering with focus or concentration. You can fight pain and depression while remaining alert and active.
Strain: Indica-dominant hybrid (90% Indica/10% Sativa) with 20% to 24% THC, 1$ CBD, and 1% CBN
Ancestry: Master Kush unites two landrace strains from the Kush region; others attribute its botany to Hindu Kush and Skunk #1.
Reputation: This strain delivers multiple award-winning experiences popular on the banks of canals in Amsterdam. Home growers and breeders like Master Kush, and it remains a favorite of Snoop Dogg.
User highlights: Users get past the strong skunk smell and earth taster to prepare for its high euphoria. The bliss will soon give way to a thorough body relaxation. Master Kush will knock you back a step, but followers also like its relief of anxiety, migraines, and sleep disorders. As a "master" Kush, it has parented an additional list of hybrid strains.
One absolute guarantee!
Your favorite strain may very well not list here. Northern Lights, Cinderella, Death Star, and others belong here. However, space only permits these unforgettable memories and experiences. Feedback on new and old strains are welcome.