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When it comes to buying cannabis flower, consumers have numerous choices from an ever-increasing menu of strains. In many legal cannabis states, there are literally hundreds of different strains offered for sale. Having options is almost always a good thing, so this abundance of strains allows cannabis consumers to evaluate and choose the specific flower type that best meets their medical or recreational needs. Regardless of whether it’s an indica or sativa strain, there is something for everyone.
Deciding on the best strain(s) for you is no simple matter. Most people have a decided preference for either sativa or indica strains, a preference based on the most obvious effects these two species of cannabis produce when consumed. Some people feel too wiped out by the deeply sedative feeling that results from indica, while others experience uncomfortable anxiety and feelings of panic from some types of sativa. The truth of the matter, however, is that most of the cannabis strains sold today are hybrids between indica and sativa, and there are relatively few true landrace strains of either species that are pure. Most hybrids behave like either indica or sativa in effect due to the varying terpene profiles present, and sometimes because of this, a sativa strain will act like an indica and vice versa. To further complicate things, some strains have two versions, with one being sativa dominant and other indica dominant—Bubble Gum and Lemon Skunk being two good examples. As the cannabis genetic deck gets reshuffled repeatedly, it’s truly remarkable that unique and interesting strains continue to emerge on a regular basis.
If you’re a cannabis grower and want to determine what sativa and indica strains your buyers will want, the following lists offer a reliable selection as far as strains which strains are in regular demand. If you own a dispensary or work in one, the strains that follow, assuming they were grown competently, will most definitely fly off the shelves of your dispensaries.
Not surprisingly, most of these strains are cannabis cup winners at various competitions, which always garners attention and accolades—and provides a marketing advantage.
Universally Popular Strains
Because cannabis now enjoys global popularity, with thriving markets in several countries, certain cannabis strains are popular internationally, while others are more restricted to certain countries, continents, or regions. Cannabis palates vary by country as well, with Amsterdam breeders often catering to the Dutch palate more than what Americans may prefer.
When it comes to sales, some of the most popular international strains obviously have universal appeal and are crowd pleasers wherever people smoke them. The following strains will appear on Amsterdam coffee shop cannabis menus as well as dispensary shelves in the United States.
Skywalker OG. A Northern California favorite, this indica-dominant hybrid has a pleasing balance of effects when consumed and a good yield when grown. As the name implies, this strain captures some of the best qualities of its Skywalker and OG Kush parents. When grown properly, potency levels are quite high.
White Widow. This iconic strains from Amsterdam made a big splash in the U.S. as well. Although not new by any means, you will still find versions of it on many Amsterdam coffee shop menus. Many variations of it are found, with the original credited to Greenhouse Seeds. The sticky flowers and balanced hybrid effects, hitting first like a sativa and then settling into a mellow indica high, lends a broad appeal.
Girl Scout Cookies. Like the real Girl Scout cookies that come in a box, everyone seems to love this strain. This balanced hybrid leans slightly to the indica side, with effects that combine some of the best of its sativa and indica genetics. The OG Kush and Durban Poison parents spawned an industry classic that has become a true legend in the cannabis world.
Blueberry. Originally an Oregon strain, Blueberry is very popular in Amsterdam as well, with various versions of this berry-flavored strain in circulation. Like White Widow, Blueberry has been used in multiple breeding projects to produce all-new, noteworthy strains, including heavyweights like Blue Dream.
Gorilla Glue #4. Like Girl Scout Cookies, Gorilla Glue #4 has had a tremendous influence on the cannabis space. The sticky flowers of this strain are a clear indication of its potency, which is considerable, with nicely balanced effects that lean to the relaxing indica side, while being highly interactive and functional.
AK-47. A sativa-dominant strain, AK-47 is a creation of Serious Seeds in Amsterdam that has remained popular for the past few decades. A unique flavor of sandalwood spice, and woody dankness, the balanced effects leave smokers relaxed, while maintaining cerebral clarity. AK-47 has good yield and crosses well, being used to create strains like Bubble Gun (Bubblegum x AK-47).
Green Crack. Although many people have an aversion to the name, Green Crack is an immensely popular strain wherever people enjoy cannabis. A strong sativa-leaning strain, Green Crack has an energizing potency that hits hard and lasts long. This strain’s lush, tropical-fruit flavors appeal to many people and belie its unusual name.
The American Market
With cannabis strains being developed in the research and development (R&D) departments of countless cannabis companies nationwide, so many new strains are emerging that it can become difficult to choose the best “flavor of the month.”
Let’s use Colorado as an example, since it’s one of the most progressive cannabis states in the U.S., and there is a lot of strain creation and development occurring. In cities like Denver and Boulder, there also are several cannabis cup competitions, including larger events like past High Times Cannabis Cups as well as smaller state events. Some of the local cultural publications, such as Westword magazine in Denver, that cover the cannabis industry conduct readership and dispensary polls to see what’s hot on the local scene. The following strains have been very popular in Denver and Colorado in general during the past year. On the following list, old standards rub elbows with relative newcomer strains.
Blue Dream. If ever there was a single cannabis strain to dominate the Colorado cannabis market—as well as enjoy great popularity in other states—Blue Dream would be it. Its balanced, uplifting effect has a mellowness that many people consider the perfect cannabis experience. If you haven’t grown or sampled Blue Dream, by all means take the plunge.
Citrus Sap. This combined effort from Crockett Family Farms and DNA Genetics has been the subject of justified attention since its introduction. Classic parents Gorilla Glue #4 and Tangie promote sweet stickiness with pleasing tangerine-citrus aromas and flavors. Don’t expect this strain to fade away any time soon.
Banana Kush. Yet another of the Kush family of strains, Banana Kush has staying power due its noteworthy Ghost OG and Skunk Haze parents. Once again, we have a pleasing hybrid with balanced effects that results in a strong following. The flavors of sweet, bright, tropical fruity flavors appeal to a wide audience as well.
Golden Goat. Perhaps this strain has such immense popularity in Colorado because it was created in Kansas, Colorado’s neighbor to the east. Regardless of its origin, Golden Goat is a great strain wherever it’s found. It leans heavily to the sativa side due to its Hawaiian Romulan and Island Sweet Skunk parents, and the flavors are deliciously complex, with sweet, tropical spiciness.
Alien Dream. As a nearly 50/50 hybrid, Alien Dream has fast become a favorite among Denver’s cannabis community. The balance in Alien Dream’s genetics makes itself known via relaxing-but-functional effects that seem to common to some of the best hybrid strains.
Cactus Breath. This strain is another hybrid that hits a perfect balance of sativa and indica effects, and the overall impact can be quite powerful. A cross between Cactus and Mendo Breath, Cactus Breath leans heavily to the indica side and has power that allows it to hold its own in any indica faceoff.
Killer Queen. This Canadian sativa strain is proof positive that the Canadian cannabis space is alive and well. The G13 and Cinderella 99 parents of this cross are enough to make any fan of fruity sativa strains smile. There is a tropical smoothness that makes Killer Queen particularly notable.