More than 25 trending marijuana seeds and clones comprise 2022’s latest, greatest takes on Wedding Cake, Kush Mints, GMO, OG Kush, and more. If you’re a cannabis connoisseur, you might want to learn more about these rare cannabis strains that are worth tracking down, if you can find them.
The world’s best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in ‘22
Good news, America: The nation’s army of weed growers in 2022 is going to fire up hundreds of metric tons of the most explosively tasty, time-stoppingly beautiful bud ever conceived on planet Earth.
Pot law liberalization has triggered a Golden Age of cannabis genetics—putting the loudest, most diverse ganja aromas and effects at the fingertips of gardeners big and small.
Major nurseries like Dark Heart Nursery in Oakland, CA, hold strain openings like fashion shows for the $18.3 billion legal industry. Los Angeles’ Seed Junky Genetics sold $1,000 clones of Super Runtz at The Emerald Cup on Dec. 11—200 of them. Champion breeders like Exotic Genetix have released $900 seed packs with NFT art direct to a rabid fanbase. It all sells out—powering more than 2,278 metric tons of legal US pot production annually.
Leafly’s annual “Best cannabis seeds to grow” synthesizes the quantitative with the qualitative: We pair strain search and menu trend data with breeder interviews, and event and store reporting; plus, we smoke hundreds of flavors, and grow a few pounds.
Leafly News’ product picks are independent, and cannot be influenced by advertising. We’d love to fill our garden with these cultivars—the newest of the new and those re-mixed from the best of the present and past.
Get ready for all the Cakes, Mints, Cookies, Zkittlez, GMOs, and sativas you could spend a lifetime trimming. Whatever you smoke, now is the time to score some awesome seeds so you can pop them by spring, and have a pound laying around by Thanksgiving. This is Leafly’s Best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in ‘22.
Cake and Mints varietals for ‘22
Best-selling Wedding Cake and Kush Mints cannabis families combine in Humboldt Seed Company’s filthy new Poddy Mouth, which is Humboldt Pound Cake x Mtn Top Mint.
Emerald Cup-winning Ridgeline Farms named and endorsed this outdoor-optimized exotic. It can test beyond 30% THC while looking bonkers and smelling like soft, sweet, minty fuel. Sheesh!
For ’22, Humboldt Seed Co. has 85 regular, feminized, autoflower, or combo seed products, from 45 strains, in six states. They’re emblematic of how West Coast breeders own the strain game, thanks to decades of experience, plus baseball field-sized farms to test out thousands of new varieties at once.
There are so many tasty mint and cake strains out there this year.
See also: Mint a pound with Tiki Madman’s mints crosses like Apple Fritter Bx or Gelatti Mints, available online; in California, get clones of Purple City Genetics’ Gush Mints crosses, or Hendrx Nursery’s Candy Chrome No. 5 (Runtz x The Menthol).
Contemporary GSC and Gelato strains
Strawberry, fuel, and cookies terpenes with a new level of exotic bling make Cherry Cosmo an early star of 2022. Highly regarded breeder Exotic Genetix has folded Cookies upon Cookies in his Baker’s Dozen strain (Milk & Cookies x Rainbow Chip). His Jan. 25 release of Baker’s Dozen crosses includes Cherry Cosmo (Red Pop x Baker’s Dozen), which promises an explosive, cosmic, indica-hybrid space trip.
Exotic Genetix’s breeder Mike (aka “Mr. Stimmy”) has a massive series of indoor grow rooms to experiment—constantly ratcheting up the definition of “Zaza.”
- Stank House
- Gas Basket
- Purple Pineapple
“He throws away plants that other breeders would kill to have in their garden,” said seed seller Luscious Genetics, in a Leafly interview. “That level of discernment is superhuman. He just knows his shit.”
There’s so many phenomenal GSC genetics out there.
See also: Compound Genetics Exotic² (Red Pop x Apples & Bananas); Ethos Genetics’ End Game R2; Seed Junky Genetics’ Jealousy crosses, like Zealousy; or Cookies+Compound Genetics Lemonchello 28 x Jet Fuel Gelato seeds; Wyeast Farms’ line of creamy, sweet, spicy, cinnamon-tinged Horchata crosses; Capulator’s Booty Clapper; and Lovin In Her Eyes’ Spanish Moon S1.
Cookies+Compound Genetics serves piping hot seed packs in ’22. (Courtesy Cookies)
Zkittlez’s hottest progeny
Rainbow Belts 3.0
Grab some Cup-winning, hyper-giddy, candy-aisle terpenes for ‘22. Breeder Archive Seedbank has mastered the genetics of Rainbow Belts and Moonbow, and thus the future of Zkittlez flavors.
The smell? “Zkittlez plus limey, candied, petroleum-fumed dank,” Archive Seedbank stated in an email announcement.
The effect? Bright, neon flavor meets intense, face-melting, OG power.
“I’m always looking for that sweetness in the strains that I love to smoke,” said Ellen Holland, author of 2021 book “WEED: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis.” “I really like the zkittlez and that uplifting, bright, bergamot, fruity flavor that it brings to the crosses of zkittlez.”
Archive Seeds breeder Fletch knows the hash heads need resin, too. Rainbow Belts 3.0 seed packs contain “Dry, sandy resin phenotypes that are packed with Gobstopper, Blue Sour Patch, tropical Zkittlez overtones.”
Get your debit card ready. Rainbow Belts 3.0 (Rainbow Belts #20 x Moonbow 112 F2 #60) 12-packs of regular seeds go on sale Feb. 1 at Archive Seedbank and select sellers.
Tropical candy terps get even louder with Terphogz Geneticz cross of Z3 and Papaya—Zazaya. Lip-smacking, Hi-Chew flavor meets high-key glee in this next-level flower designed for hashmakers. Keep a close eye on these influential hash strain designers, as the broader market coasts on their wake, said Luscious Genetics co-owner David.
“Growers are looking at a plant and taking into consideration trichome head size and gland size because extraction is such a large portion of revenue,” he said. “The bigger the trichome, the thicker the stalks—they know it’s going to yield more extract.”
I mean, you stick with the Terphogz when you can. I do, anyways.
Ellen Holland, author, ‘WEED: A Connoisseur’s Guide’
“It’s going to be super-tasty—the smells going to be really intense on those ones—because they have so much more resin,” said Holland. “I mean, you stick with the Terphogz when you can. I do, anyways.”
The Terphogz team backcrossed the original Zkittlez with Hindu Kush to start their Z3 line—which includes Cakez (Z3 x Ice Cream Cake) and Grapefruit Zruntz (Zruntz x Grapefruitz). We’re hearing about feminized Terp Hogz seeds for spring ‘22.
See also: Masonic Seed Company’s Wilmint; Bloom Seeds’ Rainbow Guava; Clearwater Genetics + Tiki Madman project’s Devil Driver; and Swamp Boys Seeds’ Guava Now N Later (Now N Later x White91 x Guava Jelly).
Savory terps of today
Meat Breath crosses
Savory terps have gotten more acrid, funky, weird, and potent in 2022 to counterbalance all the sweet dessert strains. We’re here for it.
The modern savory terp movement has built a home base around GMO Cookies, OGKB, Mendo Breath, and their offspring.
“Anything GMO is going to get gigantic,” said Luscious Genetics.
Thug Pug Genetics breeder “Gromer” comes out of early retirement this winter with Meat Breath crosses, another successor to Peanut Butter Breath. Divisive and unforgettable, this is the modern analog to old-school Cheese or Cat Piss.
“There’s something intriguing about pungent odor, especially if it’s related to an existing bodily musk. We’re drawn to that,” said Luscious Genetics.
Humboldt Seed Co.’s Nat Pennington has come around to pungent garlic terps, he said. “It’s funny because I was resistant at first. Of course, you try GMO and you understand.”
“If you’re in that savory category, that’s gonna be probably stronger and more fuel forward and gassy,” said Holland.
Need more stank? See also: Humboldt Seed Company’s Garlic Budder (GMO x Fortune Cookies); Swamp Boy Seeds’ Maconga (White Uchem x GMO/TK Skunk); Archive Seedbank’s Show Time (NorCal Cat Piss x Dosidos); Rebel Grown’s Double OG Chem S1.
Super stellar sativas
Super Lemon Pupil
Enough with the dense, dark, sedative Cookies strains. Give us longer, lighter, brighter sativas, too, in ‘22.
Got a foggy garden? Sativas can be more mold-resistant and far more unique than the next version of Gelato, Holland said. “They don’t have as gigantic of buds and don’t get problems like mold on the inside you can’t even see, or a caterpillar crawling halfway through it.”
“If you’re going to grow it yourself it might be easier to start with something that has a more sativa-leaning profile,” Holland.
Mass Medical Strains is a proud, old-school sativa lover, and has proclaimed 2022 the #yearofthehaze. First in their string of releases: Super Lemon Pupil—a Franco Loja-selected cut of Super Lemon Haze crossed to Mass Medical’s Star Pupil.
Super Lemon Pupil buds get big but stay mold-resistant. (Courtesy Mass Medical Strains)
Lemon, lacquer, European haze, and citrus will perfume your grow room. It’s super zippy—with a very sharp and uplifting profile.
“The power of the Haze mixed with the vibe of the Pupil is simply perfection,” Mass Medical Strains wrote to Leafly. “Effects can border on psychedelic, inspiring new ways of thinking and enhanced perception and awareness.”
Ready for a spirit journey? Mass Medical also touts Thug Pug collaboration Anaphylaxis (PB Breath x Deadly Sativa). “If you are struggling with anxiety or depression this one might be best avoided, it could be tough to handle unless you feel ready for the intensity.”
Mass Medical Strains award-winning, powerful Anaphylaxis (PB Breath x Deadly Sativa) (Courtesy Mass Medical)
There’s way more landrace, or legacy, strain work out there. See also: Aww yeah, Hendrx Nursery’s Santa Cruz Blue Dream x Old Dave Skunk; Archive Seedbank’s Island Girl, combining Dosidos to a mix of Malawi, 95’ NL5, Haze F2, Sensi Star, and Molokai Frost; and Masonic Seeds’ Wilson the World landrace uses the hash-dumper strain Wilson to bulk up to Kishkak, Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, or Saipan.
Here’s a high-yield, farming-friendly, modern sativa for the hash heads. Raspberry Parfait is raspberry and vanilla yogurt-flavored yoga fuel. Humboldt Seed Co.’s unique sativa-dominant cross of Truffula Tree x Shiska Berry bursts with long sesquiterpenes, giving it extra-robust shelf life, and making for phenomenal extracts.
Humboldt Seed Co. did a Raspberry Parfait extract collaboration that they hope will take home an Emerald Cup in 2022. You can take home Raspberry Partfait seeds from California stores.
Our ‘22 motto is: “Smoke the weed you want to see in the world,” and man, we’ve missed Strawberry Cough.
Major clone seller Dark Heart Nursery agrees. This year they’re bringing out Starberry Cough—a Kyle Kushman-selected cross of the fruity euphoria of Strawberry Cough with the energizing rush of Stardawg.
The cross gives old school Cough some modern bling, terps, and yield, marrying the sweetness of strawberries with the gasoline of Chemdog. Dark Heart Nursery clones are available at licensed California retail stores.
OK—we’re leaving out some legendary breeders and essential new crosses, but we don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Look out for more 2022 Leafly seed guides focused on autoflowers and high-CBD strains, and heck, maybe even pure throwback nostalgia strains. (Anyone got some solid Blue Dream or Urkle cuts? Asking for a friend.)
8 rare cannabis strains worth searching high (and low) for
I n our modern digitally connected world, pretty much everything rare and prized is also paradoxically readily available—at least if you have the means.
Want to chow down on the world’s rarest caviar , then wash it down with a glass of the world’s rarest fine wine ? Well, it’ll cost you a pretty penny (perhaps you can pay in 1944 Steel Wheat Pennies, worth over $110,000 a pop), but thanks to the internet, you’ll have no problem actually locating those items on the open market.
Looking to start your rare cannabis quest?
GET STARTED AT A DISPENSARY NEARBY
Here’s another paradox: Anyone seeking out obscure cannabis strains of the distant past—far flung exotic landraces that never made a commercial impact to begin with, or the hottest new hybrids that haven’t yet hit the commercial market—will like have better luck dusting off their old underground dealer rolodex and chasing after leads and clues like some kind of dank detective than they will driving over to their friendly local cannabis store.
Which raises two very significant questions worth addressing before you set off on your rare cannabis quest: Which hard to find strains are worth the effort? And how will you know it’s really the “real deal” once you find it?
What’s to stop someone from claiming to be in possession of a rare cutting of Pre-98 Bubba Kush when all they’ve really got is a run-of-the-mill OG? Nothing really, except honor, decency, and a desire not to be labeled a human paraquat and banished from the scene.
But anyway, putting all that unpleasantness aside, I recently indulged in a pleasant little thought experiment by asking some of the world’s leading cannabis connoisseurs two questions:
- What’s the rarest strain you’ve ever had the pleasure of smoking?
- What’s the one rare strain you’ve never tried but would really love to track down?
Culling through their responses—plus some “big data” supplied by Leafly’s in-house researchers—I put together this highly-subjective list of rare and highly sought after cannabis varietals. Consider this only the start, so please add your “holy grail” strains in the comments. And yeah, if you happen to know where to track down a nice nug or two of Kali Mist , I can be reached via Twitter: @pot_handbook
The history of the Chemdog line of cannabis strains is long, convoluted, and fascinating , with an origin story that dates back to bag seed salvaged from an ounce of primo bud sold on a Grateful Dead tour back in 1991. Perhaps most famous for its incredibly potent progeny—including Sour Diesel , OG Kush , and their many variants and offspring—the original Chemdog varietal (now known as Chemdog 91) remains among the most potent, flavorful, and sought after cannabis cuts of all time. Known for its earthy, skunky, diesel aroma and euphoric high, it’s often imitated, but rarely located these days.
Check to see if someone’s got Chemdog 91 near you.
Direct from the Emerald Triangle—Northern California’s famed cannabis growing region—comes Mendo Purps, one of the classic purple strains with a flavor profile redolent of caramel coffee and woodsy pine. A harbinger of the “Purps” craze that drove the underground weed market in the mid-2000s, the purple pride of Mendocino County started life as a clone-only cutting and remains in sadly short supply.
These dispensaries say they got the Mendo Purps.
As any cannabis enthusiast in California can attest, there’s no shortage of OG Kush crosses on the market, but one of the oldest and best has largely slipped off the radar. And that’s a shame, because Bubba OG—a hybrid of Pre-98 Bubba Kush and Ghost OG from Canadian breeders Dr. Greenthumb Seeds—delivers the former’s flavor and the latter’s potency, a truly winning combo. BOG (as it’s known to those who remember) can work wonders for chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, and insomnia.
We heard you can find Bubba OG at these shops.
Named for its four parents—three distinct landrace strains hailing from Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, plus the legendary Skunk #1 —Four Way is one of the most pungent strains of all time, while also delivering a potent cannabinoid profile with up to 20% THC and 2% CBD. Predominantly indica with creeping sedative effects, this beloved but elusive strain retains the spicy, hashy taste and aroma of its exotic parentage, plus notes of pure stinky skunk.
These shops allegedly carry Four Way.
This classic indica-dominant hybrid was on top of the world after bringing home 1st place at the 2001 High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, but nowadays satisfying your Sweet Tooth will take some serious searching around. A remarkable blend of landrace strains from from Afghanistan , Hawaii , and Nepal , the buds come coated not in sugar, but in resin, and deliver a truly sweet smell of flowers and berries.
We’ve heard tales of Sweet Tooth’s availability at these shops.
Winner of five Cannabis Cup trophies back in the early 2000s, NYC Diesel was bred by Soma Sacred Seeds and is a slightly sativa-dominant cross of Mexican and Afghani landraces that retains highly cerebral effects and deep body sedation. Distinguished by its powerful lime and grapefruit aroma, it’s an uplifting, creative, buzzy varietal that doesn’t spark anxiety, making it ideal for social situations.
Find out if NYC Diesel made its way to a dispensary nearby.
Winner of two Cannabis Cups for top sativa (more than a decade apart), Amnesia Haze has ironically been all but forgotten today. Still, it retains a place of high honor in the memory of anyone lucky enough to have sampled the strain’s citrus flavor and experience its uplifting, energizing, buzzy effects. A hybrid of South Asian and Jamaican landrace strains, it became a sensation in Amsterdam more than a decade ago as the featured menu item at a coffeeshop named after the strain.
Or was was the strain named after the coffeeshop?
Explore dispensaries stocked with this coffeeshop classic.
The Original Haze strain dates all the way back to the earliest cannabis breeding efforts of the late 1960s, and remains the standard bearer for all sativa strains to this day. Hawaiian Snow combines the genetics of three of the best Hazes of all time— Neville’s Haze , Pure Haze, and Hawaiian Haze —into one incredible varietal with the smell of spicy-incense accented by hints of citrus and eucalyptus. It also delivers a soaring cerebral high with THC levels that can reach 23% when properly cultivated and harvested a peak potency.