There are hundreds of cannabis strains in Leafly’s database, and there are hundreds more if you look a little further off the beaten path. It would be impossible to try them all (even though I’d like to), so a perfectly well-informed “best strains of 2019” list is out of my reach. Plus, we have to keep in mind that not every individual responds to a given strain in the same way. However, those two caveats aside, 2019 had plenty of amazing strains to offer. Here are ten strains that I, and others, enjoyed the most this year:
Super Lemon Haze
One of my all-time favorite strains is also one of the first strains I ever bought: Super Lemon OG, a direct descendant of Super Lemon Haze. Since then, I’ve been a fan of all kinds of lemon-smelling strains, and Super Lemon Haze is one of the best. The citrusy lemon scent of these strains shows a high level of limonene, which provides me with an uplifting, energetic feeling that I often associate with sativa-heavy strains – which is what Super Lemon Haze is. This strain is usually around 16-25% THC, which puts it in the class of strains that are potent but won’t knock you out. It’s a great strain for daytime use, offering both relaxation and motivation.
ACDC is one of the most well-known CBD-dominant strains on the market. Its CBD:THC ratio is usually about 20:1, which means that users will experience a negligible-to-nonexistent high. This makes the strain a great choice for medical users or anyone who needs to alleviate some stress and anxiety. However, I think recreational users should consider strains like this as well. Getting high is a lot of fun, but I think that in today’s world, a lot of us have forgotten what it’s like to be truly, completely relaxed. Give this strain a try, and you might find out. It’s also a great strain to mix in with high-potency strains if you feel like you need to temper the experience those strains provide.
Chemdog (AKA Chemdawg) is a classic strain that’s been around for ages. As you might expect, there are plenty of variations around, but the classic, original Chemdog is a powerful but straightforward “stony” strain, high in myrcene and THC. It’s usually around 18% THC, and is the ancestor of several other famous strains, including Sour Diesel and OG Kush. If you have the chance, definitely give this one a try!
During most smoke sessions, there’s a sweet spot that we’re aiming for. If it’s a pre-work session, maybe the goal is to get just buzzed enough that work feels tolerable. If you’re smoking before an evening of video games or movies, maybe you want to get pretty stoned. There’s usually a sweet spot, but sometimes the goal is just to get as high as possible. For those sessions, Godfather OG is what you’re looking for.
Godfather OG may well be the most potent strain so far, with THC levels of 28-34%. However, potency isn’t the only thing this strain has going for it. Godfather OG has won 1st place for Best Indica at the High Times Cannabis Cup in 2013, and users report pleasant experiences – and caution new users to approach this strain carefully. With a THC content this high, it’s not the best strain in the world for beginners.
Shipwreck’s name is derived from its genetics: half Trainwreck, half Mothership. Shipwreck is what many would consider a classic sativa – uplifting, invigorating, and lucid. This strain is also known to produce a fairly strong body high as well due to its hybrid lineage, so users may experience some stoniness after the initial high.
As a rule of thumb, if a strain smells good, it’ll feel good. Blueberry Muffin smells amazing – like blueberries, obviously, along with the musky “cannabis” smell associated with a high level of myrcene. Leafly describes the strain as having a sweet berry flavor “softened by a smooth, creamy finish.” Blueberry Muffin is a cross between Blueberry and Purple Panty dropper, and comes with the smell of one parent and the cool purple-colored flowers of the other.
This is one of my favorites. It’s another lemony-smelling one, although limonene’s presence is less than myrcene’s in this strain. Venom OG is vibrantly colored plant, and smells like pine, lemon, diesel, and the classic cannabis skunk smell. It has a great, heavy body high, and is great for immersing in a movie or a night of stone-like sleep.
Bubba Kush is a famous, very popular strain. It’s dominated by caryophyllene, a peppery, earthy-smelling terpene. This is where it gets its rich coffee/chocolate taste. The effect and the flavor are similarly smooth and rich – this is a sleepy, stony strain. It’s great for a night on the couch, but maybe not anything that requires a lot of energy. This strain is a classic for a reason, so give it a try!
This is a strain I can personally vouch for, and I can tell you it deserves to be on this list. It’s another CBD-heavy strain with a CBD:THC ratio of about 3:1. Psychoactive effects are present, but not significant, and the CBD counteracts the sedative effects THC would usually have. This provides a very lucid, alert, clearheaded effect. Harlequin is a great strain for anyone looking for pain or anxiety relief, but recreational users will also enjoy the mellow, gentle buzz. It’s also a great strain to mellow out a heavier high, and it smells and tastes delicious.
This strain is uplifting, stimulating, and relaxing. It’s a great strain to smoke while working on a creative project, and can be a good strain to use as a social lubricant (unlike some strains that are more introspective, and are likely to make you feel a bit less sociable). Banana Kush is around 18 or 19% THC, and has a very even, mellow effect that is easy to manage and easy to enjoy.
All the strains on this list are great, but there are plenty of others that could just as easily have ended up here. One of the best things about cannabis is its variety. Even if you’ve narrowed things down to a few favorite strains, it’s good to try something new once in a while! If you spot anything on this list while you’re out at a dispensary, pick some up.