Some people choose a cannabis strain based on its name. Others by its THC content. Personally, I’m a sucker for aroma and flavor; whether it’s a flower, dabbable wax, or an oil cartridge, bad/bland/harsh flavor is a big turn-off. And with flavors ranging from sweet roses to earthy diesel, who wouldn’t want to explore the vast spectrum of tastes and smells cannabis has to offer?
Although flavor has everything to do with how a product is grown, cured, stored, and processed, genetics play a role as well. Over the years, these strains have proven to be top contenders in the flavor game, consistently showing off rich terpene profiles that not only govern a strain’s smell, but enhance the strain’s effects as well.
Tangie is a citrus dream crafted by the masterminds at DNA Genetics. There’s no strain I’d sooner rely on for good flavor than this sativa; popping the lid of a jar of Tangie and filling your nose with the smell of fresh orange zest can be somewhat of a religious experience of wonderment. With the sweet smell of citrus and fruit medley, Tangie lets you drift upwards slowly and steadily into euphoria, where bad moods don’t stand a chance.
Dominated by gassy, diesel notes you might be surprised to enjoy, Gorilla Glue #4’s aroma is balanced by sweet-and-sour skunk and refreshing pine. The smell of well-grown Gorilla Glue can completely conquer a room when opened, so if you’re practicing discretion, consider holding off on GG4 until you reach open air.
Kyle Kushman never would have guessed that the sad-looking clone he held in a paper bag would one day become the famous award-winning Strawberry Cough. But thank goodness he passed this one to his left and shared the strawberry goodness with all of us. This uplifting, creative sativa strain smells like it grew wild in a strawberry patch, radiating with the distinct aroma of ripe berries and rich earthy soil.
Speaking of strains that smell exactly like fruit, this list would never be complete without the mention of Blueberry. Without Blueberry, there would be no Blue Dream, no Blue Cheese, no Blue Cookies; “Blue” hybrids simply wouldn’t exist. You’ll notice all of these strains carry a blueberry-like smell, but few can match the original Blueberry’s uncanny resemblance to a bushel of overripe blueberries plucked straight from the branch.
Flavors of lemon candy, sharp pine, and fresh herbs twist together to create the complex aroma of Dutch Treat. A budtender has never had to twist my arm when upselling Dutch Treat; it’s been hard to find a lackluster example of the flavorful strain after all these years. Beyond the obvious notes of citrus and pine, this strain endlessly offers subtle nuances of sage, mint, and pepper.
Bursting with flavors of lemon, lime, and pear, XJ-13 is a strain I can hardly ever turn down. Its aroma has a sour bite that seems to almost fizzle in your nose like a fruity spritzer on a hot summer day.
Lavender is a beautifully intricate indica strain that smells like – oh, you guessed it – lavender. Like an all-in-one bouquet, Lavender also offers up sweet accents of wildflower, rose, and violet underneath a layer of woody earthiness.
Grapefruit is a fantastic wake-and-bake strain not only because of its awakening, high-energy high, it also tastes like a bowl of ripe red grapefruit sweetened with honey. I don’t often see it on dispensary shelves, but it’s a cherished rarity, especially when enjoyed on warm summer weekend mornings.
Red Headed Stranger is a strain I’ve loved getting to know in both flower and oil form. Upon inhale, the palate is dowsed with sweet flavors that seem citrusy at first, but then you notice some of the quieter flavors of mint and pine giving the strain a fresh, herbaceous finish. Coupled with effects that soothe the body while letting the mind run unencumbered, Red Headed Stranger is a perfect afternoon smoke that can easily replace or enhance your favorite citrusy, hoppy beer.
Schrom is somewhat of a local legend here in Seattle, but I simply can’t find it in my heart to neglect mentioning this glorious sativa strain that smells exactly like 7-Up. Herbal notes subtly underscore the pungent, unmistakable flavors of lemon-lime so strong, they monopolize the palate.
These are the strains that have been kindest to my nose, but what strains have a smell and/or flavor that make you swoon? Let me know what I’m missing out on in the comments section below!