The Decade’s Biggest Cannabis Strains
The last ten years in cannabis genetics have been wild.
In this list, we highlight some of the strains that not only caught our attention throughout the 2010s, but also caught the attention of the entire cannabis community. Maybe not every strain on this list is an award winner, but that doesn’t mean Americans weren’t flooded with it at some point over the last ten years.
Most importantly, this is not a ranking, but a group of strains we believe has a seat at the table when discussing the cannabis genetics that made the most waves over the last decade, and it’s meant to acknowledge their place in history where the cannabis genome continues to expand to bold and tasty new places.
At the turn of the decade, a cut of the original Cookies was considered the newest holy grail of cannabis genetics. In a world that loved OG and various Purps, Cookies crashed onto the scene like a tidal wave. It wasn’t just another OG, it’s wasn’t one of the wild Amsterdam cuts that didn’t meet the production requirements of the California market, it was a new creature. And while Florida will always get to hold a little piece of OG Kush’s legacy, Cookies was born in San Francisco only a few miles from where Dennis Peron and his comrades worked to pass Proposition 215, legalizing medical marijuana in California. Cookies is attached to the ethos of good California cannabis forever.
As Cookies continues to have global impact to this day, it seemed like it’s first famous offspring Gelato took the hype torch for a bit after. What also makes Gelato unique is it’s the only strain to catch fire in a crazy way twice this decade. First after Jigga and Sherbinski bred it, then again many years later when the Gelato #41 hit the world. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Sherbinski back in the day to get the whole story of how one of the premier cuts of the decade came to be. Also, shout out to all the Gelato offspring we love, like Gelonade, Area 41 and who knows how many others.
When AC/DC hit Northern California, it was the CBD strain we knew we had been waiting for. Some of the original cuts of AC/DC produced phenotypes with a CBD/THC ratio between 16 to 1 and 20 to 1, and they showed the most promise and potential for the entourage effect around treating a variety of issues. Other strains with public relations teams may have stolen the spotlight, but make no mistake about it: AC/DC was the first of the second generation of CBD strains that helped start the CBD revolution.
The official strain of the FIFA Men’s World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, Durban Poison carved a place in people’s hearts for a few years after and still floats around to this day in some capacity. The landrace African Sativa provided a completely different terpene profile than what American and European consumers were used to and they ate it right up.
Apart from Cookies and Gelato, it’s tough to argue anything else on this list reached the hype level of Zkittlez in the last decade. One immediately thinks of the work that 3rd Gen Family and Terp Hogz did to bring it to the forefront of modern cannabis. But the strain is so special that others were also able to ride its magic to the top of the mountain, such as in 2016, when the Dookie Brothers took home the Golden Tarp and the Emerald Cup for their legendary batch of light dep Zkittlez. This year, the Terp Hogz again added to Zkittlez trophy shelf, taking home first place in the Emerald Cup Liquid BHO category. When we spoke with Brandon of 3rd Gen Family about his Roze cross that won The Emerald Cup’s Breeders’ Cup in 2017, we dove in a little on Zkittlez.
To be honest with you, Forbidden Fruit was never really my thing. Sure, it smells cool and different and looks insanely purple, but just isn’t for me. Nevertheless, the masses have spoken and I would be firmly mistaken if I did not include this Cherry Pie x Tangie cut among those that made the biggest impact in the last decade. We spoke with Chameleon Extracts about breeding it.
There were so many great cuts over the last decade that made me think I was smelling some kind of industrial accident at a gas station. I loved it. I wish I had enough room to list all that fuel, Petrol and whatever Elon Musk uses. But know that if you grew gassy OG, Sour Diesel, and Chems, I appreciate you. And your art is timeless like a fine wine or pizza.
Nothing defines your cultural impact quite like a lawsuit, and so you know the strain formerly known as Gorilla Glue #4 will be etched in stone forever. Even without lawsuits, people loved awesome Gorilla Glue and the various names it’s called now by people who don’t want to get sued. We loved versions we saw from 3C Farms and Tahoe Wellness in recent years. They were absolutely elite.
While Seed Junkie Genetics gave us plenty of hitters in recent years and although I probably like the Animal Mints the best personally, it’s tough to argue against the Wedding Cake having the biggest impact of Seed Junkie strains on the cannabis world. One of the sure signs of its dominance was all the killers you saw growing it early before the blowup that happened like so many of the strains on this list. Versions of Wedding Cake from the farms of Alien Labs and Str8organics are among the best ever cultivated.
From rap songs to the most recent Emerald Cup winner, the times have certainly proven we are now properly prepared to Runtz up our lives. Like any ultra-hype strain, Runtz took a little bit to get the wind in its sails, but after helping Humboldt County defend the Emerald Cup this year from the killers in Salinas and Mendocino Counties, it’s in a hype storm of its own creation. There is a solid argument to be made that Runtz carries the brightest cannabis hype torch into the next decade.
Bred by Supernova Gardens and further stabilized and spread to the masses by Symbiotic Genetics, Purple Punch was so good it was cursed by its own fame. So many people bought a pack of seeds and then selections from things it would be debatable to call propagations hit the shelves. But when you saw a real all-star Purple Punch cut grown out by someone like The Village or The Jungle Boys (won Chalice with a Purple Punch pheno), you knew how special it was.
Super Lemon Haze
After conquering Amsterdam with back-to-back Cannabis Cup wins in the late 2000s, Super Lemon Haze fully crossed the pond in the 2010s. For the last ten years, it’s been one of the best natural limonene profiles available plus a dash of haze. For many, it’s likely been a spark of creativity or an excuse to eat a sandwich. The best phenotype in the U.S. is grown by C.R.A.F.T. at sea level in California where marijuana doesn’t turn into dust, but we appreciate you, Colorado!
In some of those middle harvest seasons this decade, you would be hard-pressed to find a strain there was more of floating around than Tangie. Some of the most ridiculous farm pictures of the decade where people laying in giant piles of Tangie because they just didn’t care since they had so much of it. Also, it was a wild terpene profile available when we really started figuring out how to best preserve them in sauces.
Miracle Alien Cookies
The Capulator-bred sensation Miracle Alien Cookies (commonly shortened to MAC) is only a few years old, but in that time, few strains have garnered so much deserving enthusiasm. As evidence, it was clearly one of the most popular strains among outdoor farmers this year, with many producing rockstar versions that got some purple hues during the chilly nights of early October. It’s absolute flame and we look forward to smoking it well into the next decade.
The Sensi Seeds standout is a holdover from the 2000s, named for one cannabis most beloved activists. Thankfully, Herer got to try it himself before he passed away in 2010. But the masses, even if ignorant of how important the man it’s named for is to them smoking pot, love their Jack Herer. While we admit we haven’t seen an all-star version in some time, Jack is timeless, and sales data from across the country confirms consumers still love it.
Boy, the Midwest folks love Blue Dream, and California is more than happy to cater to their wholesome flyover tastes. The Blueberry x Haze legend is a big yielder. One of California’s biggest weed companies started because they had a Blue Dream pheno that was producing two and a half pounds a light and they had a ton of trim. Missouri is especially deep Blue Dream country from what I understand. I honestly did see an all-star Blue Dream once by the same guy that grew the best Bruce Banner I ever saw.
TELL US, what is your favorite strain of the 2010s?