It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through the summer, but with more states legalizing cannabis, this year is more exciting than ever to explore the top cannabis strains! There are so many new cultivars and genetics to be discovered, but what makes each one qualified to be called the best? For each of these cultivars, it comes down to the soil. Much like terroir affects wine, living soil grows the healthiest cannabis plants, which in turn leads to incredibly complex aroma profiles and effects.
To help guide our list, we asked a group of Certified Ganjiers (Ganja Sommeliers) for their professional opinions. Let’s take a nose dive into some of the most popular weed strains of 2023, according to industry-certified experts.
The Pancakes cultivar is a wonderful strain to review because it’s exactly what you’d expect. There is a warm, buttery smell with sweet berries and a flavor to match, along with lingering effects. Kellie Frederick, Ganjier student, raves, “I don’t feel any pain, I feel elevated, talkative, giggly. Gorgeous strain.” This expression of sun-grown Pancakes was sourced from Sunnabis in Humboldt County.
Maracuya is a sun-grown flower high in Terpinolene, so if you like Jack Herer, Dutch Treat, or Trainwreck, this will allure you! The nose is lavender and honeysuckle, followed by fermenting pineapple, sweaty socks, and coriander, with the slightest bit of sweet wintergreen showing up in the flavor. This Mendocino cultivar keeps getting better every year, thanks to the love and dedication of Esensia Gardens, who have had multiple wins in both the Emerald Cup and California State Fair the past two years.
3. Strawberry Guava
Strawberry Guava offers a “long-lasting euphoric, happy high that slowly leads to complete relaxation,” according to MaryRose White, CG. “This flower will fill a room with a strong, sweet strawberry flavoring aroma with hints of lime and kiwi, eventually turning to a strong citrusy cleaner smell.” Top cannabis strains aren’t limited to the Emerald Triangle, as this particular strain review came from the Keystone State.
4. Crazy Hazy
Crazy Hazy is a delicious “heavy hitter for arthritis and pain.” Greg Manning, CG enjoyed the “sweet lemon OG and pine flavor” as well as an extended duration of effects lasting a couple of hours. This strain’s genetics were from Archive Seed Bank, and this batch was grown indoors and assessed in New York.
5. Pink Boost Goddess
Pink Boost Goddess easily places in the top cannabis strains with consecutive wins in both the Emerald Cup and California State Fair this year. Emerald Spirit Botanicals is the proprietary grower of PBG. Known for an extremely rare profile high in THCV, its creamy, herbal strawberry aroma and energizing, color-enhancing effects are the “result of 18 years of dedicated breeding by a multigenerational regenerative sun-grown farm in Mendocino” said Caleb Chen, CG.
Jealousy is a descendant of the Gelato line and is quickly becoming a farmer favorite this season. With dessert and gas lines gaining popularity, this is a definite stand-out with frosty purple buds and bronze hairs. There is a peppery, forest-floor taste with a whiff of sweet stone fruit at the end. But what really makes this one of the most popular weed strains of 2023 is the rare experience: it’s physically relaxing with an uplifting mental effect that melts into a euphoric state. Expect to see Jealousy on most dispensary menus soon.
Element was chosen by multiple Certified Ganjiers as one of the top cannabis strains for one reason: its depth of aroma complexity. However, This California State Fair winner for total terpene content is also an Emerald Cup winner! DC Fluegel, CG noted the “very engaging flavor profile” and described Eucalyptus, currant, dark berries, mint, and hazel. It tends to provide a mentally uplifting and physically relaxing experience, great for social gatherings. Sol Spirit Farm in Trinity County is the source of this masterfully grown cannabis.
8. Red Lebanese x Puck BC1
Red Lebanese x Puck BC1 f2 selection (second generation) is second to none. Handpicked and personally grown by Kevin Jodrey, Ganjier Instructor, this year in Humboldt County, it’s a “fantastic combination of flavor, taste, and effect. Exotic cinnamon poured over a musty, damp basement. Beautiful balance to the high. A stellar example of the breeder’s skill set.” These genetics were sourced from Crickets and Cicada Seeds.
9. Warp Speed
Warp Speed has an “ultra-gassy, chemical-rich, nose-wrinkling scent and sweet fruity” flavor that creates “dynamic and highly potent experiences,” said Callahan Powell, Ganjier student. This strain review highlights Güd Gardens, a female-founded sustainable cannabis farm in Oregon.
10. Razzleberry Creamcake
Razzleberry Creamcake is a storyteller. Its crispy, creamy, fruity, and woody notes yield balanced effects and evolving flavors. Jeremy Alcock, Ganjier student, talked about the journey of discovery and shared hints of “slight rose with peppercorns, grape molasses, lavender, and saddle soap.” This sun-grown flower is regeneratively grown by Moon Gazer Farms in Mendocino County.
Top cannabis strains of 2023 — which is your fave?
There are many more cultivars that deserve a place here in our most popular weed strains of 2023. Top-shelf quality can be found anywhere, and the best cannabis is the kind that works for you. When accessibility is an issue, growing your own is very rewarding! Cheers to another 6 months of finding the best cannabis strains of 2023. Happy rolling!
This article was written for CannaCon by Certified Ganjier Justin Hoegenauer and edited by Ganjier student Bri Smith, along with help from the noses of fellow Ganjier students. Ganjier is a first-of-its-kind rigorous, multi-tiered, comprehensive cannabis trade certification training, created and taught by the most respected names in the field with the sole intent of producing an entirely new class of cannabis professionals – the Ganjier.