The best new cannabis strains to grow in 2021
Americans smoke about 30 million pounds of cannabis each year, analysts estimate. All that dank ain’t gonna grow itself.
North America’s weed gardeners, big and small, have begun their annual run on marijuana seed stores. From California to Maine, ganja growers are racing to stock up for the spring thaw and planting season.
“We’re getting slammed,” said Nathaniel Pennington, founder of seed leader Humboldt Seed Company in California. They offer 57 strains in their 2021 catalog, available in California, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Maine. “We’ve never had this level of demand.”
California breeder and Equilibrium Genetics founder Jason Matthys works seven days a week right now. He drops seed packs at dispensaries from mountainous McKinleyville, CA, to postcard-perfect Pacific Beach, San Diego. “It’s really starting to pick up,” he said.
“Seeds are selling really well,” said Brian Smith, inventory manager at Satori Wellness, Humboldt County, CA’s leading genetics retailer. “It’s the peak of the [seed] season pretty much from January 1 through April. Come on down, because, yes, they are moving.”
“‘Corona year two’ is a superb year to grow,” said Matthys. “More people are checking out their backyard space, or setting up a little tent in their room to try something. They’re working from home, and remotely. It’s easy to check in on your tent when you don’t have to sit in traffic.”
Below, Leafly assembles its definitive, annual guide to the hottest pot popping off in America’s gardens. We mention 60+ strains, organized into six broad collections below.
Time to get growing, America.
- Easy-peasy autos and fems
- Friendly Tangie strains
- Cookies and Cakes, MAC and nuts
- OGs for the OGs
- Purples, Zkittlez, and Runtz
- Landraces, sativas, and throwbacks
Easy-peasy autos and fems
Growing can sound intimidating. So-called “autos” and “fem” seeds take the stress out of the learning curve. These two seed types are on track to upend regular seeds’ primacy.
Autoflowering seeds make your cannabis plant work like a clock. Put an auto in a 3-gallon pot, add water and sun, and in two and half months you’ll have finished bud, no matter the time of year.
Humboldt Seed Company’s boss says go for their Sour Apple auto this year.
“The Sour Apple is, I would say, our most beautiful autoflower that will really do well in any circumstance,” said Pennington.
Sour Apple in the fields. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)
Exotic Oakland, CA. clone and seedmaker Purple City Genetics touts its Saltwater OG Auto, which hits 26% THC.
“That’s extraordinarily high for an auto,” said Eric Rosen, Purple City Genetics sales director.
See also: Ethos Genetics’ Lilac AutoDiesel; Barney’s Farm Runtz auto, and Do-Si-Dos auto; and I Love Growing Marijuana’s Auto 2.0 mixpack
Ethos Genetics’ Lilac AutoDiesel runs auto-magically. (Courtesy Ethos Genetics)
Fems in season
“Fems” are short for “feminized seeds.”
If you’re growing weed to smoke, it’s a females-only party, and dudes ruin it. Only females produce buds. Statistically, five males will lurk in your standard 10-pack of regular seeds. That gives new growers anxiety, said Matthys.
“It’s a lot of newer growers that are afraid of males and they want to get something that won’t have male seeds,” he said. “People don’t like the experience of having to throw away plants that they don’t want.”
For 2021 fems, try to beat Humboldt Seed Company’s Jelly Rancher. This cross of Very Cherry to Notorious THC and Jelly Rancher Bx3 sparkles with resin and smells like blue cotton candy, strawberries, and grapes. Jelly Rancher grows to a medium size and ripens quickly.
Make ’em jelly: Jelly Rancher fem seeds are sweet, berry, grape hybrid-sativa fun for ’21. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)
They’re going to do great any place in California this year, said Pennington.
Exotic breeders Compound Genetics offer feminized seeds as well. Snap up Gummiez, Blueberry Octane, and Pink Certz fems from Compound at stores like Buds and Roses in the San Fernando Valley.
Friendly Tangie strains
If Autos and Fems are easy to grow, Tangie family strains are easy for beginners to smoke. They have bubbly, friendly effects that can go all day.
Found in fine Oregon dispensaries, Massive Seeds sells Yuzu Tangie, which is Tangie crossed to Lemon Pineapple, mixed to Orangeade. Breeders list lineage like a math equation: ((Tangie x Lemon Pineapple) x Orangeade).
Humboldt Seed Company enters year two of selling Squirt, which crosses an elite Blueberry Muffin to a superior Tangie.
“If you want to have a good time, smoke Blueberry Muffin, and smoke Squirt.”
Nat Pennington, Humboldt Seed Company founder
“If you want to have a good time, smoke Blueberry Muffin, and smoke Squirt,” said Pennington. “I pretty much only smoke Blueberry Muffin and Squirt when I’m going to be working with a group of people. It makes it fun.”
A pure Tangie resurgence continues as well, said original breeder Crockett, founder of Crockett Family Farms. The California team sells through DNA Genetics and beyond. Plant a field of Crockett’s new:
- Strawberry Fields (Strawberry Banana X Tangie)
- Sour Juice (Juice X Sour Chem),
- Tangieland (Candyland X Tangie)
- or BT7 (Banana Tangie #7 X OG#18)
Cookies and Cakes, MAC and nuts
It’s a Cookies and Cakes world. You just live in it.
That means scooping up leading California nursery Dark Heart’s fast-selling clones of Gelato (Ice Cream) Cake, Sweeties, or White Runtz.
“The Cookies and Cakes are very much in demand this year, for good reason,” said Dark Heart Nursery CEO Dan Grace.
Denver-based Ethos Genetics also gorges on cookie crosses with its End Game line, now in three varieties.
Thanos is a daddy: Ethos punches up Cookies with their “End Game” crosses. (Courtesy Ethos Genetics)
Also, try to get in on Purple City Genetics’ new, clone-only Gush Mints.
Gush Mints electrifies and colorizes the minty strain craze. It takes Kush Mints and crosses it with the fabled F1 Durban and Gushers. The result is, “creamy gas and kushy candy terps,” said Rosen.
Six types of Gush Mints crosses are coming in seed form in ‘21.
“Purple City Genetics is the very front tip of the spear. That’s us,” Rosen said.
Also in the exotic Cookies world, don’t miss Archive Seeds of Portland’s:
- Animal Biscuits (Animal Cookies x Dosidos)
- Cake Face (Animal Face x Faceoff OG)
- Doughlato (Dolato #41 x Moonbow #75)
- and Melon Fizz (Melonade x Moonbow #75)
And in the world of MAC crosses, breeder Capulator should have seeds for adult-use stores this year. Until then, Ethos touts their new MAC and Jack.
“It’s a very complimentary cross that checks all the boxes for almost every grower!” said Ethos.
Ethos Genetics’ MAC and Jack amps up the sweet sativa jack terps. (Courtesy Ethos Genetics)
Going a bit nuts
Quick note: a bona fide nutty strain craze is a-brewin’ in cannabis.
Demand for Peanut Butter Breath has gone crazy, according to major clone and seed provider Wave Rider Nursery in Salinas, CA.
Over at Humboldt Seed Company, their new Pistachio (Fortune Cookies x PistachioBx2 x P-61) “Smells just like burnt nuts to us; a roasted cracked-open pistachio,” said Pennington. “People will agree that it has a nutty flavor no matter what.”
Pistachio comes from intense hybridization, and luck. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)
OGs for the OGs
The biting OG Kush strain family lives in the shadow of Cookies, but it’ll never fade.
Keep your gas station topped up this year by growing some Knight’s Templar OG from Dark Heart Nursery. Dark Heart calls their newest OG their heaviest yet.
“People love the gas profile and the supreme relaxation that OGs bring,” said Grace.
Mission accomplished: Knight’s Templar OG from Dark Heart Nursery. (Courtesy Dark Heart Nursery)
OG Kush cousin Triangle Kush never goes out of style. Just look at Wave Rider Nursery’s Black Triangle (Triangle Kush x 88G13) via Bodhi Seeds.
Or even better—mix nuts and gas with PB Triangles from Equilibrium Genetics. That’s PB Breath to Triangle Kush.
Need more new OGs? Go with legit, original gangsta’ Bodhi Seeds’ Ancient OG:
“A heavy duty, true OG-dominant hybrid that takes things to the next level,” stated Bodhi. “Deep, earthy, forest OG aromas, with creamy, citrus kush undertones, like Goji OG without the berry and added lemon pledge.”
Hashmakers will want Dying Breed Seeds, who crosses everything to their OG Eddy Lep, including:
- Lemon Zest (Lemonade x OG Eddy);
- Ice Cream Bean (Blue Sherbert x OG Eddy).
This Colin OG RBX smells like a classic Sour OG kissed with cherry and grape. (Courtesy Ethos Genetics)
Purples, Zkittlez, and Runtz
Certain heavily stoned folks only smoke purple weed: GDPs, Purple Punch crosses, Zkittlez, and Runtz. This section’s for them.
Dark Heart Nursery claims to bring back the legendary Ken’s Granddaddy Purple from 2003 for sale this year.
“Anyone who remembers the old school, deep, and musky taste of purples should try this strain,” said Grace.
Dark Heart Nursery offers a 2003 Ken’s Granddaddy Purple this year. (Courtesy Dar Heart Nursery)
We’re huge fans of Do-Si-Dos to Purple Punch, called Slurricane—so we’re growing In-House Genetics’ Slurricane ix (Slurricane #44 x Slurricane #7) in our garden.
Wanna get crunk? Seek out Purple City Genetics’ clone-only Slurty3 ((Slurricane Cowboys cut) x Gelato 33). Crosses of it go into seed production later in the year.
Slurty3 smells like “grape, gas, and cream terps that have ‘new-new’ written all over it,” said Eric Rosen.
Caution, though. “This is heavy, dude. Not for the unsuspecting smoker,” he said.
Zkittlez and Runtz run amok
New Zkittlez crosses rain down upon us mortals. We’ve settled on growing Exotic Genetix’s Cookies cross Gazzungas (Zkittlez x Rainbow Chip). Up in Portland, OR, Archive Seeds hits gold with Rainbow Beltz 2.0 (Zkittlez x Moonbow).
Similarly, Runtz crosses are everywhere, but only Equilibrium Genetics crossed Runtz to their mold and mildew-resistant African Orange to create Orange Runtz. Great idea.
Another blingy Compound flavor: Rose Gold Runtz, a cross of Apples and Bananas to White Runtz.
Compound Genetics’ ultra-potent, tasty Apples and Bananas in your own backyard. (David Downs/Leafly)
“These guys who made this particular strain should be the gods of weed.”
—Leafly reviewer ‘a……..r”
One Leafly reviewer of Apples and Bananas said: “These guys who made this particular strain should be the gods of weed.”
Lastly, Compound Genetics recommends its latest collaboration with Colorado seed gods Cannarado. Look for Gastro Pop—that’s Apples and Bananas to Grape Gasoline.
See also: Savage Genetics’ Cheetoz (Cheetah Piss x Runtz); I Love Growing Marijuana’s Purple mixpack; Wave Rider’s cross of Wedding Cake Zkittlez x Modified Grapes.
Landraces, sativas, and throwbacks
The critics always tell me, ‘Play those old school jams, David. Where’s my landraces at? Those sativas? Where are my throwbacks?’
Equilibrium Genetics cannot be denied in the throwback, landrace, and sativa game. Look at their nearly sold-out Maui Pineapple, as well as their new Saturn Citrus and Pineapple Sonja.
Old-school Maui has billions of dollars of goodwill baked into the brand name, said Matthys.
“It’s crazy. Everyone wants that one. It’s such a wonderful strain to grow—very sativa with a sweet bit of cherry musk and funk, like a gassy funk,” he said.
Pineapple Sonja will reset the bar for thick pineapple flavor in California. It’s Pineapple Thai to another pineapple-smelling sativa from Maine, called Red Sonja.
Then strap in for a psychedelic rocket launch—Saturn Citrus is Super Lemon Haze crossed to Equilibrium’s African Orange.
Need more altitude? Wave Rider Nursery offers a unique Swazi Red Burmese that’ll get the heart racing.
And for a spotless mind, this year Bodhi Seeds has:
- Soar (Columbian Red x OMG)
- and Eternal Sunshine (Hawaiian Sativa x OMG)
Old school indica fans, we got you. Hash Plant lovers want to be sedated with Bodhi Seeds’:
Grandmas Hashplant (Irene x 88G13/HP)
- and Lemon Hashplant (Lemon G x 88G13/HP)
And speaking of sedation: set your phasers on stun—old school Romulan has landed.
“Our Romulan seeds are selling very, very well,” said Megan L., Romulan Genetics sales manager. “Nostalgia has been a pop-culture phenomenon lately, so anything that brings people back to their youth or high school years is a big hit with the Baby Boomer generation.”
This classic, high-THC indica can manage anxiety and PTSD, patients report.
“[The strain] leaves you feeling completely saturated but somehow still in control of your thoughts and actions,” said Megan.
Grow a bowl of Romulan this season. (Courtesy Romulan Genetics)
And that, folks, represents a fat slice of what’s going on out there in the cannabis seed world in 2021. It’s truly mind-boggling.
“There are so many amazing new strains coming out all the time it’s exhausting to keep up with,” said Conner Pollock, Wave Rider Nursery sales manager.
This epochal explosion in cannabis diversity only promises to accelerate, said Rosen. “It’s the most exciting time to be in cannabis. Even more so a day from now, and a week from now—it just gets more and more exciting,” he said.
2021’s Vanilla Cream Pie up close. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)
More than 60 trending marijuana varieties in seed and clone form: autoflowers, feminized seeds, OGs, Cookies, Purps, and old-school sativas.
Best cannabis seeds 2021
It is very easy to get lost in all the marijauna seed banks and options available to you, which is a problem that sites such as Trustpilot aid with insight from other peoples experiences buying cannabis seeds online. Here, users can review any website including most websites that sell cannabis seeds online. Using Trustpilot , as well as the popular platform Instagram, this list will highlight 10 of the best cannabis seed banks of the new year, with a special emphasis on banks that ship marijuana seeds online. In addition, please keep in mind that every site on this list comes with the wonderful promise of discreet shipping and accepting bitcoin, unless stated otherwise.
1.) Seed-city.com (1,329 Reviews) (4.8)
Seed City has been making waves on Trustpilot, quickly becoming the highest rated cannabis seed bank on the site. While this site doesn’t have the largest number of reviews (there are sites with thousands more reviews on this very list), for a site to retain such a positive rating with some many reviews is a big sign that Seed City is a site to look into. With a website started in 2010, Seed City arrived with the goal of sharing their love of cannabis seeds with the world, providing quality products and the best service on the market. While no site is without its flaws, Seed City has been able to garner hundreds of positive reviews. Here are just a few satisfied customers, and their experiences with the site:
The site is popular due to a combination of a wide selection of seeds (over 5000 types of marijuana seeds available for sale), competitive prices, and quality customer service. They have tamper-proof packaging, discounts for multiple products and payment methods (at the time of writing this, you can get 25% off on all Kera Seed purchases, as well as 10% off when you purchase using Bitcoin), and language translations for over 20 languages. On their Instagram page, they have pictures of their current and new products, including annual Cannabis Cup winners. On top of all of this, Seed City gets its products from many popular breeders, such as Cannarado Genetics, Bodhi Seeds, Humboldt Seed Company, and more. Make sure you look into Seed City for all of your marijuana seed bank needs.
2.) Nirvanashop.com (1,431 Reviews) (4.7)
With a deep history spanning all the way back to the 90s, Nirvana has been a big name in the cannabis seed distribution scene for a long time. Even though Nirvana Shop has a smaller selection of products (only about 90 types of marijuana seeds), it shares many similarities with Seed City. It has a very average amount of reviews compared to other websites on this list, and despite this it has one of the highest ratings on Trustpilot. Once again, we see a very large number of positive reviews, including the following:
As you can see, Nirvana Shop’s strengths have had a lasting impact on all of its customers, leading them to come back for more again and again. Fairly fast delivery, good customer support, and even a large number of free marijuana seeds provided with every purchase. Nirvana Shop also has a big advantage in its website usability. While its list of products is very similar to other sites, with a list that shows pictures of all of their products, the rest of their website is very clean and easy to access. Every option on the homepage is nice and big, with a little description for each option so there’s very little ambiguity. In addition, there are also several beginner friendly options, such as guides on how to grow your seeds and tips when shopping for new types of seeds. All these features make Nirvana Shop a must-go if you’re new to the cannabis seed bank scene. Also be sure to check out their Instagram, where you can view some of their booths at conventions, spreading awareness of their site and product, and see some of the wonderful people on Nirvana Shop’s team.
3.) Seedsman.com/en (16,865 Reviews) (4.2)
This online marijuana seed bank has a surplus of reviews, and it doesn’t disappoint. While Seedsman doesn’t have a lot of public history about their company, what they do have is a clear vision for the future of cannabis seeds. They believe that the history of cannabis genetics should be preserved for future generations, and that legal regulation will lead to many positive benefits for potential customers. A portion of their company’s profits is used to promote the need for legal reform regarding cannabis, attending conferences and supporting key political lobbying organizations. This shows how serious Seedsman is about its business, and that seriousness shines in their products and services.
On their Instagram page, not only will you find pictures of their products, but also messages thanking the community, Q&A’s from the team, and links to their blog page and competitions! Seedsman has over 16,000 reviews, with a vast majority of them positive. While this does give new people researching Seedsman plenty of experiences to help them make informed decisions, this also shows some of the bigger issues you may come across when buying from this website:
Regardless of these small issues, Seedsman is clearly a good website for purchasing marijuana seeds. This site caters more to the experienced growers rather than beginners, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A clean and easy website design, over 3000 types of marijuana seeds, and a loyalty program where you can write reviews to earn points for your next purchase. Seedsman even has a photo competition every year, so you can show off your own unique crops on their website. One big downside is that there are plenty of reviews from users highlighting some delays in delivery. Make sure to keep this in mind when exploring all of Seedsmen’s cannabis seed products and options!
4.) Sensiseeds.com/en (16,804 Reviews) (4.0)
Sensi Seeds, like Seedsman, has both a large volume of user reviews, ranging from amazing to average. Similar to Nirvana, there is also a deep history with this company, dating back to the mid-80s. This has given Sensi Seeds an advantage in knowledge of cannabis, so much so that it actually led to them opening the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in 1985. With over 500 types of marijuana seeds, Sensi Seeds has been able to deliver a large amount of variety to its customers, and that’s shown with a plethora of good reviews:
A high-quality selection of cannabis seeds, the support of many popular breeders, and top-notch customer service. They even post all of their new and unique strains on their Instagram. These are all clear signs of Sensi Seeds being an amazing cannabis seed bank. However, there are two small downsides to purchasing from Sensi Seeds, and that’s they only deliver to EU countries, and they don’t accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. So, for people in the US or people who plan to buy cannabis seeds using crypto, unfortunately you’re going to have to give this company a pass. However, if you’re a new or experienced grower who is in the EU, don’t miss out on the chance to purchase from one of the best cannabis seed banks in the business.
5.) Mephistogenetics.com (1 Review) (5.0)
Mephisto Genetics is known for it’s high-quality marijuana seeds, despite how small the actual company is. They are actually such a small company that a majority of their promotion is via word-of-mouth, so you may have missed this company in your search for cannabis seed banks. This is reflected as well in their review on Trustpilot. Yes you read that right, there is only 1 review of this company on Trustpilot, but I think that this reviewer puts how good Mephisto Genetics is best:
As Tim stated, this company really excels in the autoflower department. You can see many pictures of high quality products on their Instagram. If any of these products interest you, however, you may need to wait a while before ordering. Due to the insane amount of demand for Mephisto Genetics’ products, they sell out a lot of times and must restock. At the time of writing this article, the US store is closed again temporarily, but keep this company on your radar for when it opens back up!
6.) Barneysfarm.com (42 Reviews) (2.8)
Going on to the site of Barney’s Farm, one thing you’ll notice is just the visual contrast between it and other websites on this post. There’s an air of simplicity to it, and the color scheme was very unique. This contrast can be seen on their Instagram page too. Each picture displayes their products almost looks like it’s a professional headshot, emphasizing the best features of each plant. With a history spanning roughly 30 years, Barney’s Farm has had plenty of time to develop its brand, providing new and unique types of cannabis seeds. With 170 different strains of marijuana seeds, there’s a ton of variety to choose from as well. Barnet’s Farm didn’t make as big of an impact on Trustpilot as other sights, but they nevertheless garnered several positive reviews:
This site currently has mixed reviews on Trustpilot overall, mostly due to some inconsistencies for some customers. However, there are just so many benefits about Barney’s Farm that it had to be on this list! If you want even more unique variety, speedy delivery and quality product, look no further!
7.) Flavourchaserseeds.com (Not Reviewed)
Flavour Chasers is the first of four websites on this list that isn’t on Trustpilot. While this is unfortunate, this doesn’t take away from the quality of any of these recommendations. Their cannabis seed bank only features about 30 strains of marijuana, but this is due to Flavour Chasers favoring quality over quantity. Each of their strains is guaranteed to be a quality product that’s delivered quickly. Their Instagram highlights several of the new strains they are experimenting with, as well as some memes to help lighten the mood (you should visit this Insta for the memes regardless!) Check out Flavour Chasers for some seriously high quality!
8.) Thecaliconnection.com/seeds/all-seeds.html (Not Reviewed)
Next up is the Cali Connection, an interesting site that needs more recognition. Once again this site doesn’t have any reviews on Trustpilot, but to compensate it has two Instagram pages for you to look into. By going to their first and second Instagram pages, you can view pictures of products, events and conventions, and the Cali Connection team traveling. What makes this cannabis seed bank stand out, other than it’s strain line containing about 40 of the is that it has one of the easiest to access and extensive grow guides out of any of the other sites on this list. Cali Connection gives details on determining the gender of your seeds, nutrition and pruning for the flowering phase, even proper temperatures for growing your own cannabis seeds. On top of a grow guide, they also give recommendations on the best products to use to help with growth. This is another site that caters to new growers, and I highly recommend these new growers go to Cali Connection, pick up some seeds and learn a trick or two for their new cannabis seeds.
9.) Jungle Boy Seeds
If you’re lucky enough to be in LA, we want to encourage visiting one of the Jungle Boy dispensaries and check if they have any of their marijuana seeds in stock. They have an instagram page that’s filled with their many super exotic strains, and demonstrate their talent at cultivating marijuana. They have close to a million followers on their cannabis instagram page. They do not ship their marijuana seeds, so you need to go into one of their legal dispensaries in California to purchase.
10.) Purple City Genetics Seeds
This is another company that does not ship their cannabis seeds and you will need to buy from an authorized seller in the Bay Area. But we had to mention these super talented growers, because they sell cannabis seeds with premium genetics. However, these breeders represent some of the best marijuana breeders in California. Taking a look at the Purple City Genetics instagram page will quickly show you why these cannabis cultivators are some of the best in the world.
Best cannabis seeds 2021 It is very easy to get lost in all the marijauna seed banks and options available to you, which is a problem that sites such as Trustpilot aid with insight from other