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Leafly Buzz: 8 cannabis cultivars trending up in 2021

Hundreds of thousands of cannabis lovers and newcomers, coast to coast, have an entire year of mega-flavors and potent, euphoric effects to explore in 2021.

The pace of innovation in cannabis keeps accelerating, and mouthwatering results are just a trip to a licensed dispensary away.

Just like sneakers and watches, different weed varieties and brands trend upward and downward across America—where one in four citizens now live in a legalization state. Search and sales data also agree: Americans show consistent, specific tastes in trendy, top-grade ganja.

For example, many of the national flavors of 2021 started with the Cookies cultivar five-plus years ago on the West Coast. Every strain listed below stands on the shoulders of past greats and reaches up into the future of weed Valhalla. Here are eight of the most well-liked trees in the US forest to try in 2021.

Gushers

Gushers comes from Gelato #41 crossed to Triangle Kush. In fact, four of the hottest strains going into 2021 are crossed with Gelato. Everyone loves Gelato, and you can’t blame them. Not liking it is like saying you don’t like pizza, because it’s gotten too popular. Don’t be that guy.

Gushers isn’t exactly a new strain—it took a 2018 Emerald Cup trophy—but the California staple continues to migrate across the US at a notable clip. Brand Connected Cannabis Co. in California offers a major source of Gushers, though other folks grow it as well.

Like all hot strains, Gushers packs in the THC. Its amazing smell comes from a hit trifecta of aromatic molecules called terpenes: lemon-smelling limonene, funky beta caryophyllene, and floral linalool.

Fans report getting relaxed, happy, and euphoric to manage stress and depression with Gushers, aka Fruit Gushers, and White Gushers.

And lots of seed breeders are also working the fruity Gushers line:

  • Colorado breeders Cannarado introduced crosses like Jolt (Vietnam Black x Gushers) and offspring like Frumpz (Freshwater Taffy x Grumpz).
  • In Cali, Oakland’s Purple City Genetics made Gusher Pie (Gushers x Rainbow Pie F2).

Gelonade

Like Gushers, Gelonade shows how strains typically debut on the West Coast and over several years become commonplace nationally in markets like Oklahoma and Florida. That’s a huge win for legal customers nationwide, as well as the influential breeders and growers still hard at work on California’s next big flavor.

Over at the highly sought after HENDRX Nursery in Humboldt County, owner Daniel Hendrix agreed Gelonade has got the goods. “It combines a new level of potency, purple, and gas with that intense fruit. It is so, so good.”

Connected Cannabis Co. of California made Gelonade from Lemon Tree crossed with Gelato #41—so it’s got gobs of sweet, thick, syrupy lemon terpenes mixed into the creamy berry and cookies flavor of Gelato.

So far that’s two strains that mention Gelato, and buckle up for more. Why did Gelato break away from the pack? Large-scale commercial cultivation, said Ted Lidie, founder of high-end cannabis brand Alien Labs.

“For strains to hit a certain level of notoriety, they have to have a certain level of supply,” Lidie said in an Instagram Live video, Dec. 29, hosted by Leafly freelancer Jimi Devine. “The reason Gelato #41 became so popular is it was the most widely grown exotic at the time.”

Sherblato

A veritable California relic from the Before Times of 2016, Sherblato gains more national fans in 2021 as Connected Cannabis Co. expands into other states, bringing their stable of thoroughbred pot to the masses.

Sherblato comes from crossing two classics Sherbert and Gelato. (Connected calls theirs “Sherbacio”). It’s got Pink Panties, GSC, and Sunset Sherbert in its lineage. Like its cousins, expect Sherblato to deliver a creamy, berry, fuel smell and flavor. As for the high-THC effects, Leafly readers report Sherblato makes them feeling relaxed, happy, hungry, and calm.

Apple Fritter

Let’s take a Gelato break, and celebrate the apple flavors on the rise in 2021.

Apple Fritter from Northern California’s Lumpy’s Flowers dates to pre-2018 medical marijuana era California, but it’s slowly climbing to the top of the adult-use era. It shows how hot strains don’t just fall out of the sky. They debut standing on the shoulders of past genetics, win over fans, seed the culture, then break out into mass recognition.

Speaking of ancestors, influential breeder/grower “Lumpy” bolted a killer apple smell onto a Cookies chassis—Apple Fritter combines Sour Apple (Diesel x C99) and Animal Cookies (GSC x OG).

Now that America’s Main St. customers are asking for Fritter, weed’s architects are at work on new crosses.

  • Lumpy’s released Lemon Trill (Lemonade x Reckless Rainbow) and Cherry Jane , and soon, LAX (Apple Fritter x LA Snow).
  • Lumpy’s also made Sherly Temple , which is Cherry Jane x Apple Fritter #39; plus, for the sativa heads, Lumpy made Sour Apple Haze (Super Silver Haze x Sour Apple).
  • Portland, OR’s Archive Seeds offers Fritter Licker—Apple Fritter to Face-Off.
  • California-based breeder/growers Compound Genetics sell a Grapple Pie #30 (Apple Fritter x Grape Gasoline).
  • Lastly, California’s Alien Labs grows the perfect strain— Atomic Apple (Triangle Mints x Apple Fritter); now on dispensary shelves.

How do you like them apples?

Kush Mints

2021 is all mints everything, and we’re here for it.

Dominating the strain game like Kobe did the NBA in ‘05-’06, Seed Junky Genetics of LA made Kush Mints by crossing Animal Mints with Bubba Kush. Let’s unpack all this good stuff:

Animal Mints draws on the power of GSC, OG Kush, and even some Blueberry. It’s a cross of Animal Cookies (GSC x Fire OG) and SinMint Cookies (GSC x Blue Power).

Stone-cold classic Bubba Kush comes from Northern Lights and Triangle Kush.

Kush Mints spawned its own minty lineage including LA Kush Cake (Wedding Cake x Kush Mints) and Pancakes (London Pound Cake #73 x Kush Mints #11).

And speaking of minty weed, don’t miss the sub-craze in The Menthol (Gelato x White Diesel x (High Octane x Jet Fuel), the hottest of which is Compound Genetics’ unofficial ‘Baby Yoda’ cut of Khalifa Mints (Khalifa Kush x The Menthol).

Jungle Cake

Los Angeles gets to have its Jungle Cake and smoke it, too, this year. Bred by Seed Junky Genetics, Jungle Cake crosses White Fire #43 aka Wifi43 (Fire OG x The White) and Wedding Cake (Triangle Kush x Animal Mints).

Jungle Cake looks so iced out and good, with light aromas of sugary icing and fuel. Indeed, the highest-THC consumers love Jungle Cake, because it is strong AF. The hybrid strain tests into the 30% THC range, assuring a powerful high; the antidote to life in the concrete jungle.

Garanimals

Colorado breeding kings Cannarado have one setting: beast mode. Their Garanimals have escaped the zoo and are running amok nationwide.

Built for Cookies fans out there, Garanimals infuses Animal Cookies with the cherry and grape flavors of strain Grape Pie (Cherry Pie x Grape Stomper). Garanimals is dark, dense, resinous, fragrant evening weed that pairs well with Netflix and your fridge.

In fact, all the most sought after strains in the US center around this relaxing, happy evening effect—as opposed to some racy, daytime, psychedelic vibe. You can’t blame people for just wanting to chill after 2020.

Ice Cream Cake

Lastly, Seed Junky Genetics strikes again with their indica cross of Wedding Cake (aka Triangle Mints #23) and Gelato #33.

Ice Cream Cake exemplifies when a virtuous cycle turns vicious: popularity leads to wider availability, inducing rampant growing, which eventually erodes quality control. Ice Cream Cake became such a sure bet, every Tom, Dick, and Heidi is having a go at it—with varying results.

At its best, this strain makes total sense, because Gelato crossed to Triangle Kush and Animal Mints makes total sense. They’re all awesome cultivars on their own. The combination is cakey, sweet and high-THC, with a fuel finish.

Still, it takes a master grower to tease out the best from Ice Cream Cake. In 2021, fields of not-so-nice cream cake are destined to become bargain B-buds, or, the horror, oil for vape pens.

As a strain, you either die a hero, or live long enough to become a villain to weed snobs.

And with that, we have arrived at the end. You’re probably feeling pretty stuffed on dessert strains, eh? We can already hear haters asking:
When, o’ Lord, when will savory flavors break the stranglehold of the sweet?!’

‘Where are my favorite sativas?’

Will the real old school classics please stand up?!

We got you, fam. Keep clicking on Leafly News, and we’ll keep pointing you to the best.

Padlock your fridge. The 8 hottest strains for the New Year include Gelonade, Gushers, Apple Fritter, and Ice Cream Cake.

9 weed strains to look forward to in 2021

Every year, we all look ahead and try to guess what might become the biggest weed strains for the next 365 days. It’s just the natural thing to do since we — as fellow consumers — are determined to stay on top of the freshest and hottest trends. For 2021, we scoped out which strains are sure to continue the momentum built in previous years, as well as some strains that are showing blow-up potential.

Here are 9 weed strains to look forward to in 2021.

Wedding Cake

In 2021, Wedding Cake is sure to remain one of the most popular strains in the world.

Wedding Cake, also known as Pink Cookies, is an indica-dominant hybrid that was bred by Seed Junky Genetics. It’s a phenotype of a cross between Triangle Kush and Animal Mints that produces a sweet, dougy, vanilla-like strain — and it’s absolutely swept the cannabis world by storm over the past couple of years.

It’s showing the same potential as OG Kush and GSC, in terms of becoming the hybrid of its generation. Look out for it, and the many other strains that come from its genetics.

Runtz

We’ve all heard the whispers of the people hating on Runtz, but no matter how you feel about the strain, the hype around it will continue to surge. And from that, we’ll continue to get Runtz crosses and phenotypes while continuing to puff on this sweet, fruity, gassy plant that gets you dumb high if it’s from the right grower.

Runtz is a cross of Zkittlez and Gelato. It became famous for its frosty purple flowers and pungent sweet, fruity, and gassy terpene profile. Most people feel relaxed and happy after smoking it. Strains with its genetics include: Runtz OG, White Runtz, Raspberry Runtz, Pink Runtz, and the list goes. Even Exotic Genetix has a Rainbow Chip x Runtz called Runtz Buttonz.

GMO Cookies

If you were tired of Garlic Cookies before now, get over it, because it’s going nowhere in 2021. GMO Cookies is excellent, and we should all be thankful for the weed it has given us.

GMO Cookies is a cross between Chemdog and GSC. It’s always high in THC and will absolutely dominate you with both mental stupor and full-body relaxation. It’s named after its unique funky garlic scent and taste, and has led to many crosses, like Fatso and Donny Burger.

In 2021, you might see people smoking a lot of Dirty Taxi (GMO x Chem D x I-95) and Turpee Slurpee (GMO crossed with Orange Zkittlez) too.

Pink Rozay

Pink Rozay is one of three strains from the Rick Ross x Cookies Collins Ave collab. It’s seeing a huge increase in search interest, which makes sense considering people want to smoke like The Boss.

Pink Rozay is an indica with London Poundcake #75 and Lemonchello 10 parentage. Its THC content frequently soars past 20%. Pink Rozay has a distinct fruity scent and delivers strong, long-lasting effects that ultimately leave you feeling happy in the mind and relaxed in the body.

Apple Fritter

Apple Fritter has started to surge in search interest as growers and consumers alike become more interested in apple-flavored weed.

Lumpy’s Flowers made Apple Fritter from crossing Animal Cookies and Sour Apple. It’s said to have a sweet and earthy flavor, as well as a relaxing high that puts people in a chill and happy mood.

Kush Mints

Kush Mints has been around for a couple of years at this point, but search interest for it continues to rise.

Seed Junky Genetics, who by now you can see has blessed the game with so many legendary strains, gave us Kush Mints from a cross of Bubba Kush and Animal Mints. It has a somewhat citrus and minty flavor that gives way to a relaxing high.

WiFi Cake

As stated above, with Wedding Cake’s continued popularity, we’re sure to see even more hybrids with its genetics. Currently, you’re probably most familiar with Ice Cream Cake (Wedding Cake x Gelato) and Jungle Cake (White Fire #43 x Wedding Cake). In 2021, expect to see WiFi Cake push the Cake namesakes even deeper into cannabis culture.

WiFi Cake is a Jungle Boys creation that crosses Wedding Cake with the legendary White Fire OG, better known as WiFi.

Bonkers

Bonkers is absolutely fire and could definitely have a big year, and there’s a couple of versions of it out there.

One of them is from Exotic Genetix, and crosses their famous Cookies and Cream with Lemon Tree. It has a citrus, creamy flavor that produces a smooth and easy high. Another Bonkers is from Canada’s Next Generation Seeds. The BC seed company crosses Grapefruit, Burmese, Purple Indica, and a ruderalis to produce their Bonkers. It tastes like berries and creates a powerful body high that can glue you to the couch.

Apples and Bananas

Rounding out this list, Apples and Bananas is new from the first-ever collaboration of Compound Genetics and Cookies. According to their Instagram post, A&B smells fruity and gassy, but tastes more like its namesake.

To get that fruit-forward terpene profile, Compound crossed a Platinum Cookies x Granddaddy Purple plant with a Blue Power plant, and then crossed that hybrid with Gelatti to finally result in Apples and Bananas.

Grab it whenever you can as it’s sure to be one of those almost-always-sold-out Cookies strains.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

We scoped out which strains are sure to continue the momentum built in previous years, as well as some strains that are showing blow-up potential.