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Gelato Weed Strain Review & Information



The Gelato strain has become a legendary cannabis strain adored by all, from cannabis beginners to cannabis connoisseurs. Gelato boasts a high THC potency and strong aromas that remind users of a sweet dessert.

No wonder Gelato got Leafly’s 2018 Strain of the Year award and it continues to gain fans. Gelato is an indica-dominant hybrid strain that will keep you energized, motivated, focused, and feeling good.

What Is The Gelato Strain?

The name Gelato conjures up a striking and tantalizing image of creamy and smooth Italian-style ice cream in a cup or cone. Gelato’s aroma and indulgent nature are a close representation of gelato ice cream’s richness and denseness.

Gelato marijuana strains have, on average, 17.5 percent THC content. The flower buds can range between 14 and 20 percent THC or slightly above and about 1 percent CBD. Gelato weed is a great cannabis strain for many reasons.

Gelato is also known as “Larry Bird,” in honor of the legendary basketball player who led the Boston Celtics to win three championships between 1981 and 1986. It comes from a long line of purple-hued phenotypes. Cookie Fam breeders settled on phenotype #33 as their favorite, which also coincides with Larry Bird’s NBA jersey number.

Gelato weed has won critical acclaim including Leafly’s 2018 Strain of the Year award. Leafly stated that in November 2018 alone, “online users spent nearly 435,000 hours looking at the strain details and availability of Gelato at dispensaries near them, more than any other strain.” Needless to say, Gelato is a rising star among flower consumers.

The Gelato weed strain produces a balance of calming and energizing effects that can be modulated to the user’s preference. While Gelato is one of the strongest indica weed strains around, Gelato weed can still be an ideal strain for first-time users who know how to dose strong THC strains.

Is Gelato Strain Indica or Sativa?

Gelato strain comes form a mix of Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie.

Gelato is an indica-dominant hybrid strain.

What is the Strongest Gelato Strain?

What’s the strongest gelato strain?


Gelato #45 has the highest THC content of the gelato strains, with a rather impressive 27 percent THC. 

Why is Gelato Strain So Popular?

Gelato is popular due to its terpene profile and high THC percentage. Gelato has also been made popular in the media by Rap artists.

Gelato Strain Terpenes

Gelato terpenes include:

  • Beta-myrcene
  • Beta-caryophyllene
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Terpinolene

Gelato strains feature a distinct sweet, fruity, and grassy aroma with other notes interspersed in its wide aromatic spectrum. Users may also notice berry, lavender, and earthy notes.

One of the most common terpenes found in Gelato is beta-myrcene, which can also be found in lemongrass, bay leaves, thyme, and hops. Gelato also features the beta-caryophyllene terpene, which has a spicy and earthy aroma.

Alpha-pinene is responsible for the piney aroma in Gelato strains. Limonene contributes its citrusy scent in the mix. Linalool brings a lavender-like aroma to the complex smell of Gelato marijuana strains.

Gelato may also have some terpinolene, known for its complex herbal, floral, and piney aroma. The hoppy-smelling humulene terpene can also be found in Gelato strains.

Is Gelato Strain Top Shelf?

Gelato strain is considered a top shelf strain at most dispensaries and is often a higher price point than most others.

Gelato’s Genetics

Gelato Marijuana Strain Information 2020
Gelato Marijuana Strain Information 2020

Compared to other iconic marijuana strains, Gelato weed is a relatively novel cannabis strain. Gelato hails from the Bay Area in California. The prodigious Cookie Fam group along with Sherbinski combined parents Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mint GSC) and Sunset Sherbet strains in the 2000s.

Cookie Fam marijuana strains are known for their dessert-like aromas.

25,000 square-foot cultivation facility is based in Los Angeles and continues to innovate in the cannabis breeding space. Other popular Cookie Fam hybrid strains include:

The history of the Gelato strain started when Sherbinski and Jigga’s Gelato began their pollinating project of Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint Cookies genetics. Nearly every phenotype they created was high-quality with a unique flavor and aroma. Throughout the project, they numbered each phenotype. 25 phenotypes made the final cut and 75 didn’t make the cut. The seeds from this project would create the now legendary Gelato strain.

In the beginning, Cookie Fam breeders Sherbinski and Jigga kept the Gelato weed strain close to the vest, but eventually released Gelato bag seed and Gelato clones into the world. Growers can find these online or in dispensaries in legal states. New growers should watch out for counterfeit Gelato seeds and clones.

Types Of Gelato Marijuana Strains

Cookie Fam’s line of Gelato marijuana strain phenotypes produce varying potencies and aromas. Generally, the Gelato marijuana strain refers to the #33 phenotype. Other popular Gelato phenotypes include the Michael Jordan (phenotype #45), in honor of Michael Jordan’s basketball jersey number.

Bacio Gelato (#41) is the strongest Gelato weed strain out of the lot. With a higher THC potency comes more sedation, which can be beneficial for some users who want to sink into their couch or bed. Bacio Gelato has a strong citrus, skunky, and earthy aroma. Gelato #41 is the perfect strain for high-tolerance users or those that want to relax all day.

Mochi Gelato (#47) has energizing effects that’ll get you up and moving. Users enjoy its fruity and minty aroma. It’s similar to other Gelato strains in terms of potency and smell.

Gello Gelato (#43) is a cross between Mochi Gelato and Bacio Gelato. The result is a piney and fruit-forward aroma and some earthy notes. Gello Gelato’s effects are more balanced than Bacio’s and more mellow than Mochi’s. It’s the ideal day or evening marijuana strain.

Acaiberry Gelato (#49) is a sativa-dominant phenotype with strong tropical aromas and flavors. Acaiberry Gelato provides users with a relaxing experience during any time of the day.

Gelato plants have also given rise to new and exciting cannabis strains such as The Bling cannabis strain, which is a cross between Humboldt Frost, Reserve OG, and Humboldt Gelato. Humboldt Seed Company painstakingly phenohunted for the most desirable and high-yielding Gelato-descended phenotype.

Bred by Noble Farms, VVS Chem is a cross between Chemdog D, Chemdog 91, and Gelato marijuana strains. Like other Gelato children, VVS Chem has a sweet and fruity aroma. VVS Chem also has a distinct gassy overtone paired with citrus and piney notes.

Wedding Gelato strain is a cross between Gelato #33 and Wedding Cake strains. Gelato Cake elicits a strong dose of energy and a pleasant hazy aura that can liven up any situation.

Glazed Apricot Gelato is a cross between Gelato #1 and Legend Orange Apricot. This cross produces a sweet and citrus aroma and sky-high potency. A heavy dose of this Gelato-related strain can lead to some serious couchlock.

Jet Fuel Gelato is a cross between Gelato #45 and (High Octane OG x Jet Fuel G6). This exclusive strain from Compound Genetics has Gelato’s signature purple hues and high resin production. Jet Fuel Gelato’s gassy and dessert-like aroma creates a pleasant mix. This indica-dominant hybrid strain produces a heady euphoria that’ll keep you happy and mellow.

Caramel Apple Gelato is a sweet-tasting and smelling strain that elicits relaxation and a boost in mood. Caramel Apple Gelato is a cross between Apple Cider and Jet Fuel Gelato strains. Users can enjoy its diesel and fruity notes and THC-rich trichomes.

Gelato Sunrise is a cross between Sunset Sherbet, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, and Gorilla Glue. The combination of these hardy genetics produces a sweet, fruity, citrusy, and piney aroma. Gelato Sunrise provides users with a blissful experience and full-body relaxation.

Pineapple Gelato is a combination of Gelato and Pineapple genetics. It is a heavenly blend of gassy, pineapple, and tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Pineapple Gelato is the perfect strain to wind down without feeling heavily sedated.

Los Angeles Kush’s Black Gelato marijuana strain combines their LA Sunset and Thin Mints genetics. Black Gelato has purple buds with a spicy aromatic kick.

Platinum Gelato is a cross between Gelato #45 and Platinum Candy (Platinum x Candyland). Platinum Gelato is named after its high resin production, which radiates like a polished platinum surface.


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Gelato Punch is a blend between Gelato #33 and Purple Punch strains. Bred by Elev8 Seeds, Gelato Punch can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Gelato Punch has notes of lavender, berries, and citrus fruits.

Gelatti is another Cookies Fam creation made by combining Gelato and OG Biscotti genetics. Gelatti produces dense and resinous buds with a diesel-like, musky, and minty aroma and a high THC content.

Lemon Gelato is an indica-dominant hybrid cross between Lemon Haze, Sunset Sherbet, and Thin Mint GSC strains. Lemon Gelato has a unique blueberry, lemony, and sweet scent.

Elev8 Seeds’ Strawberry Gelato combines Gelato #33 and Strawberry Snow Cone strains. Haute Genetique’s Strawberry Gelato strain is derived from Strawberry Cookies and Acai Gelato strains.

Elev8 Seeds has also bred other Gelato creations such as Gelato Sundae, a cross between Gelato #33 and Sundae Driver strains. Gelato Sundae delivers a high yield and pungent aroma.

Gelato Kiss is a cross between Gelato #33 and Sour Patch Kiss. Users can expect a tangy and sour flavor with sweet notes to balance the tartness.

Gelonade, a cross between Gelato #41 and Lemon Tree genetics, is one of the most flavorful strains ever. Users can expect invigorating effects that can instantly improve their moods. Its complex aroma of fruit, citrus, banana, and vanilla is quite a treat to smoke, vape, and dab.

Gelato Sorbet from DNA Genetics is a cross between Gelato #33 and Sorbet strains. The result are flower buds with vivid colors ranging from green to purple. Its aroma includes fruity and dank notes. Gelato Sorbet produces calming and blissful effects, the perfect way to unwind after work.

Gelato Mints is an indica-dominant strain from Exotic Genetix. This THC-rich strain is a combination of It’s It and Cookies and Cream genetics. Its gassy aromatic notes blend well with the lemon, pine, and kush flavors. Day or night, this strain provides relaxing and motivating effects.

Gelato Glue combines the genetics of two legendary strains: Original Glue and Gelato. This high-THC strain can make users feel euphoric, blissful, and giggly. On the inhale, users may notice hints of pine, diesel, and chocolate.

Dolce Gelato is a hybrid mix between Gelato and an unknown cannabis strain. For fans of strains with a pungent odor, this strain does not disappoint. You’ll notice sweet and woody notes on the inhale. Its effects are very balanced, so you can feel relaxed and happy without feeling sedated or paranoid.

Gelato Dream was bred by crossing Gelato #41 and Loud Dream strains. On average, THC levels are around 19 percent. Users report a sweet, citrus, and fruity aromatic profile and mellowing and euphoric effects.

Gelato Pebbles, a blend of Gelato #33 and Cookie Pebbles, comes from Green Team Genetics. This sweet-smelling strain has an aroma of berries, milk, and candy.

Runtz, one of the hottest strains as of late, is another Cookies creation bred by crossing Zkittlez and Gelato strains. Runtz boasts a strong fruity flavor that tastes just like candy. Runtz was named Leafly’s 2020 Strain of the Year. Users can expect energizing and euphoric effects.

Frosty Gelato from Grower’s Choice is a cross between Gelato and Brain Damage strains. In 2018, it won 1st place at the Highlife Cup in the Skunk Strain category. This Gelato variety has all the flavor of the original with an even higher THC concentration.

Gelato Appearance

Gelato’s flower buds have a standard indica appearance. Generally, its buds are small and compact but are very dense. In terms of color, the flower buds have a vivid and striking array of colors. Its buds have a deep green color with purple accents.

Gelato Strain Effects

Gelato can make users feel the following effects:

  • Relaxed
  • Happy
  • Euphoric
  • Uplifted
  • Creative

Gelato’s even-keeled effects provide just the right amount of euphoria and relaxation. Users will experience a balanced blend of uplifting and mellowing effects. This strain can provide a potent dose of THC while maintaining mental focus and facilitating creative pursuits. Users can’t help but to feel happy, productive, and physically relaxed after consuming.

Strain Medical Benefits

Gelato can provide relief for the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Insomnia

Gelato’s strong and balanced effects have made it a popular strain among many medical patients. Patients have used this marijuana strain to relieve symptoms associated with a variety of medical conditions including depression, stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, inflammation, fatigue, loss of appetite, and more.

In terms of physical relief, it has been known to relax the body and help with muscle spasms, headaches, inflammation, and chronic pain. Some users with insomnia or other sleeping problems take Gelato at night to help them fall asleep.

Gelato also offers mental relief from anxiety, depression, and stress. For those with anxiety, we recommend a few puffs of it to reduce stress levels without causing overexcitement and paranoia.

Gelato Strain Side Effects

Gelato side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Dizzy
  • Paranoid
  • Anxious

Generally, this strain does not produce any intense negative side effects making it the ideal strain for those worried about “greening out.” Overconsumption of it, however, can lead to some mild side effects including dry mouth, dry eyes, dizziness, paranoia, and anxiety.

We recommend new users start off with a small dose of Gelato and slowly and gradually build up to their desired effects. Smoking too much too soon can cause mild anxiety and stress for new and low-tolerance users.

For more information on how to avoid overconsumption, read our blog post on how to avoid “greening out.”

Gelato Cannabis Products

Gelato cannabis products include:

  • Flower buds
  • Pre-rolls
  • Vape cartridges
  • Concentrates

Gelato flower buds are sold in varying quantities, but most brands sell 3.5 grams per package in a jar or other container. Consumers can also find pre-rolls for the ultimate convenience in flower smoking when you’re on-the-go.

Gelato’s prized genetics can be distilled into an array of cannabis-infused products that aren’t flower. Apart from flower buds, it can come in a variety of concentrate forms including vape cartridges, disposable vape pens, crumble, shatter, hash, sauces, and live resin. Gelato’s high trichome production makes it a valuable strain for cannabis extraction.

How to Grow Gelato Strain

Under optimal growing conditions, Gelato produces tight and chunky buds that can have a purple and blue tint when grown in cold weather. This strain produces a high amount of cannabinoids and terpenes and a moderate to high yield. The flower buds are spotted with striking orange pistils jutting from the bud and icy trichomes glistening from its leaves.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course

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Makes $24.50 @ THC +

Gelato can be difficult to grow, especially for first-time marijuana growers. Growers can buy seeds from online seed banks or a licensed dispensary. I Love Growing Marijuana lists feminized Gelato seeds in packs of five, ten, or twenty seeds. I Love Growing Marijuana also offers free shipping to orders to the U.S. and the UK.

Before ordering marijuana seeds, check with your state and country laws to confirm the legality of your purchase and delivery. U.S. customs can seize packages they suspect hold cannabis seeds, even if they are sold for “souvenir purposes.” The best way to obtain Gelato genetics is in mature legal marijuana markets such as California, Oregon, and Colorado.

In states with legal cannabis, users can buy Gelato seeds and clones from dispensaries. Users must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid ID to buy from a retail store. Make sure to check the home cultivation limit in your state to stay within the legal limit.

Gelato can grow both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, this strain produces a short and stocky plant. Gelato’s dark violet buds can mature within eight to nine weeks of entering the 12/12 flowering cycle. Outdoor growers can expect to see the strain mature by mid-October in the Northern Hemisphere. It prefers warm and humid outdoor conditions.

Gelato strains tend to produce large fan leaves that many many cultivators shy away from trimming, unless absolutely necessary. Some experienced growers may expose the strain to cold temperatures during the vegetative state to stimulate anthocyanin production that makes its leaves purple and blue.

While its pungent and sweet aroma is beloved by all, it can require growers to use efficient odor control techniques such as monitoring temperature and humidity levels, maintaining proper air circulation, and absorbing odors with products such as activated carbon filters. Read our blog post on “how to get rid of cannabis odor” to keep aroma under control.

Where To Find Gelato Flower and Concentrate Products

Cannabis consumers will have the most luck finding Gelato marijuana strains in mature cannabis markets such as Washington, Oregon, California, and also Nevada, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Arizona. As Gelato’s popularity grows, you will find it in nearly every cannabis market in the U.S.

According to Leafly, Gelato is most popular in the following cities: Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Oklahoma City, OK, Everett, WA, Vancouver, WA, Las Vegas, NV, Baltimore, MD, and Tulsa, OK.

Gelato flower buds can run customers about $60 per eighth or between $10 and $15 for a pre-roll. A gram of concentrate ranging from live resin to crumble to sauce can go for about $40 per gram.

Gelato Strain Price

Gelato strain price on average is $12-$15 per gram, $45-58 per 1/8th oz, $96-$108 per 1/4 oz, and $202-$212 per 1/2 oz.

Learn To Grow Weed Strains At CTU

Interested in learning more about the best cannabis cultivation techniques to start growing your own strains? Sign-up for Cannabis Training University’s renowned online cannabis college to learn all about marijuana growing and more cannabis topics.

Learn how to grow cannabis and hemp strains with the help of CTU’s online cannabis training program. Invest in your future with one-year access to the most up-to-date cannabis techniques and practices today.

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adult-use cannabis

December 2022 Leafly HighLight: Sour Diesel strain




It’s 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve night and you’re not going to make it to see the ball drop, or get a kiss.

Sure, you can do a shot and pay for it the next day. But you have a galaxy-level brain that thought ahead and brought a bag of the classic weed strain, Sour Diesel. One joint of Sour D and you’re dancing and playing the air flute, like Lizzo herself. Congrats, you just got rocked by the powerful, stanky Sour Diesel our Leafly HighLight for December.

Perfect for New York’s impending legalization launch, Sour Diesel has a 4.3 score out of 5 after 8,264 reviews and was one of the first ever to be reviewed on the site in 2010. Sour D gets its name for smelling like pungent, diesel gasoline, and skunk. Who’d want to smell that? Adventurous folks rewarded by its energetic, talkative, and creative effects—that’s who.

“Work of art crafted by God,” reads one SD’s top reviews.

Pictured—Uncle Jesse’s East Coast Sour Diesel. (Leafly)

A Sour Diesel bag keeps the party going—even if it’s a party of one for weekend chores. “It’s a great strain to talk to friends, and laugh,” one reviewer writes.

“Sour D had me bouncing off the walls. I deep-cleaned my entire house,” said another.

Lots of folks also report cerebral effects. “I am so high I could pass a pregnancy test right now. Like I’m thinking at such a high level that it’s basically like having two people inside me!”

Sour D is about more than fun and games, too. Medical patients report profound, life-saving relief with the D over the decades.

“Very comfortable. Saved my life from long-term pain relief.”

Leafly reviewer

“The pain after surgery, with swelling, soreness, depression, mental effects, and anxiety all were somewhat extinguished. Very comfortable. Saved my life from long-term pain relief.”

“This is where it is at!!! Severe PTSD over here and this is the cure for when you are down.”

That said, go slow with this 19% THC strain: Negatives can include anxiousness, cottonmouth, and dry eyes.

How much does Sour Diesel cost?

Princes and paupers alike puff tough on Sour D. Sour Diesel is a great barometer of local weed prices in your area. It’s so prevalent that prices are low, but it’s so good that it always commands a premium. You see Sour D in a lot of different modalities—especially pre-rolls, ounce bags, carts, pods, and dabs.

Low-grade Mid-grade High-grade
1g pre-roll $4 $14 $20
Eighth-ounce (3.5 grams) $25 $40 $55
1g vape cart $35 $50 $67


How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

Sour Diesel seeds

Wanna grow Sour Diesel? Badass idea. It crushes both inside a tent and outside in a field. Here’s the bad news: A classic strain this old and popular attracts all kinds of fakers and frauds. Your best bet? Go with a reputable brand name, like DNA GeneticsHumboldt Seed Co, or Humboldt Seed Org. According to DNA, Sour Diesel is a cross of ‘91 Chemdawg x Massachusetts Super Skunk and Northern Lights. That’s like Freebird on FM radio—totally classic. We’re back in the ’90s, sneaking around and buying weed by the gram.

Humboldt Seed Co has an automatic version of Sour D that’s auto-magic. There’s also like 10 generations of Sour Diesel crosses to explore. Massive Seeds has Yuki Sour. Mass Medical has Sour Pupil seeds for Christmas. And don’t forget that No. 1 strain Original Glue (formerly GG#4, ie Gorilla Glue) is a Sour Diesel project. Go apeshit on that gassy glue cross, bro.

Sour Diesel awards

Uncle Jesse's East Coast Sour Diesel. (David Downs/Leafly)
Uncle Jesse-grown East Coast Sour Diesel. (David Downs/Leafly)

Sour Diesel came out and crushed the competition like a traffic cone. It’s won as a sativa flower or seed for years, but nowadays you see its crosses also win in hash, and even CBD hemp. In the 2022 Colorado Connoisseur Cup, a Glacier Concentrates Lilac Diesel placed 3rd in the category recreation wax and butter. A frickin’ Diesel drink won a 2019 award in the Oregon Dope Cup.

Sour Diesel terpenes

Wondering what that skunky gas is that keeps stinking up dad’s garage? That’s the aroma of excellence, son. According to lab samples uploaded to Leafly, Sour Diesel has hecka beta-caryophyllene, as well as myrcene and limonene. It’s not a far stretch to be like, yeah that makes sense— those terps equal peppery/gassy, dank/rich/earthy, and lemony/sour.

You can actually search Leafly by these three terpenes and see what other strains are gonna match it. Go for Original Glue, or Chemdawg—it’s uncanny how this strain family’s terps match up. See also: Apple FritterOG KushBanner; and SFV OG.

Other highlights this December

Can’t buy our HighLight? Dry your tears with three related, seasonal picks that give energy, honor the East Coast weed scene, or just kick ass.

Strawberry Cough

Strawberry Cough. (DavidDowns/Leafly)
Strawberry Cough. (David Downs/Leafly)

Keep celebrating more of that good and classic East Coast energy with Strawberry Cough, a staple sativa that came from Vermont. It’s even more chatty that Sour D, and that strawberry smell makes a great salad with Sour D. It’s grown all over and vape-makers love it because the recipe is pretty dialed in and people love it. Shout-out to cultivation expert and personality Kyle Kushman for this one.


Madison Square Gumbo. (Courtesy Cookies)
Madison Square Gumbo. (Courtesy Cookies)

Proudly represent New York with this new all-star from the Cookies brand—Madison Square Gumbo. It hit all Cookies and Lemonnade shops in Cali Monday, November 14, and is a cross of Cookies & Cream x Secret Weapon. Gumbo brands founders Karim “Luka Brazi” Butler and Alexis Major help carry the banner for New York cannabis culture into the legal era. Our bag of Gumbo smelled super bomb and on-trend—wild, cakey, and cookie-like. Let’s just say it put our butts to sleep. When it’s time to sack out after the celebration, or nurse that Sunday hangover—pack a fresh bowl of Gumbo.

Cereal Milk

Cereal a la Mode photo by David Downs Leafly
Cereal Milk cross Cereal A La Mode from Fiore with Powerzzup makes a splash. (David Downs/Leafly)

OK, you had your classic Sour D, you made a salad with Strawberry C, and you repped NYC with Gumbo. Now it’s time to plot a course for the future of weed in 2023, Cereal Milk—SF breeder Powerzzzup’s Y Life (Cookies x Cherry Pie) to Snowman. The key here is The Y—an influential strain borne out of the Cookies movement. Lucky for you, the Y is set to launch a new generation of stars. Deo Farms is breeding with The Y. Powerzzup is working it, too. Meanwhile, Cereal Milk is the on-ramp—widely available in 1,865 North American stores on Leafly, a number that’s doubled since last year. The Y also has a unique thickness to its cookie smell, an aromatic body and goodness in its baked dessert flavor that’s going to become table stakes in modern weed.

OK, we’re going to reward ourselves with some Sour D for reporting and writing this. See you next year for more greatness from Leafly HighLight.

Hey, what’s ‘Leafly HighLight’?

Leafly HighLight helps US weed shoppers discover all-star strains on dispensary shelves. Each month, Leafly News’ experts spotlight a trending, top 200 national cannabis strain you should know.

We combine:

—Leafly Strain Database search data,

—dispensary menu data,

—dispensary visits,

—and smoke sessions

to select one cultivar that pairs with the season or mood. Leafly HighLight.

Read past Leafly HighLights of 2022.

Like Leafly HighLight? Fave this post, leave a nice comment and order some trees on Leafly.

David Downs's Bio Image

David Downs

Leafly Senior Editor David Downs received a Literary Excellence Award from Oaksterdam University in 2022. On the cannabis beat since 2009, he’s published three books, including the best-selling cannabis crop science book ‘Marijuana Harvest.’ Downs guest lectured at the Loyola Marymount University Law School’s Journalism Law School, UC Berkeley Extension, and contributed to Continuing Education of the Bar’s Marijuana Law Hub, sponsored by University of California and the State Bar of California. Downs’ work has appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, Rolling Stone, The Onion, Columbia Journalism Review, High Times, Billboard, and many more. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara, and was a Fellow at the Medill School of Journalism’s Academy of Alternative Journalism in Chicago.

View David Downs’s articles

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Star signs and cannabis strains: December 2022 horoscopes




Hello Stargazers! Happy Holidays and festive greetings. December is a happy time of year for many, but if the holidays aren’t your bag, do not stress. Whether you’re flying solo this holiday season or gathering with those you love, remember that this is a crucial month to take care of your health and well-being—as much as it is humanly possible to do! 

As for the stars, December is shaping up to be a warm (metaphorically speaking) and generous month. Mercury saunters into Capricorn on December 6, followed closely by a full moon in Gemini on December 7. Jupiter pays a visit to Aries on December 20, and of course, we celebrate the shortest day of the year on December 21—Winter Solstice!

Meditate on what will make this month most peaceful and satisfying for your soul. Can you expand your circle to include someone who will be alone this season? Will being with family fill your cup, or would you be happier spending it with friends? You do you, celestial rockstar. The rest will fall into place. 

Your December horoscope


Hooved archer on pale pink background with joints in the corners and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Solstice, and congrats on making it to the end of 2022, Sag! On December 3, Neptune returns to direct motion in sweet, soft Pisces. Just remember not to get tripped up by others’ expectations of you. Do your best—it’s all you can do!

A full moon in Gemini on December 7 will drudge up some complicated feelings for someone you’ve been talking to. Listen to your gut. Maybe this individual shouldn’t have a place in your inner circle in 2023. 

Your ruler, Jupiter, enters fierce Aries on December 20. Make space for a version of you that doesn’t people-please anyone. The Winter Solstice is on December 21, and there is a new moon in Capricorn on December 23. You’ll probably get this advice a lot at the end of the year, but…journal, journal, journal.

Truly, you have learned so much and come so far. Give yourself the gift of self-reflection. It will set you on the right path for 2023. 

December strain: Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Christmas Lights can get you in a festive mood. This hybrid strain leans more calming than energizing. Users report this strain offers strong body buzzes. Melt into your couch with a favorite flick and enjoy some downtime this month. 

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Horned goat on green background with cannabis border and the word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Solstice and happy birthdays, Caps! You made it to a Capricorn’s favorite time of year. Things kick off for your birthday month with Neptune leaving behind its retrograde in Pisces. Your thoughts might be more scattered the first week of the month, but things will sort themselves out. On December 9, Venus enters Capricorn for a hefty, if not boring, dose of realism. Just try not to get too bogged down in petty details. 

Saturn (your ruler) is in direct motion this month, meaning your decision-making skills will be at their best for the rest of the year. The Solstice and Capricorn season begin on December 21.

Make use of all this refreshing energy by spoiling yourself in whatever way feels best. Finally, the new moon in Capricorn on December 23 offers the perfect opportunity to reflect and recharge before 2023 comes roaring in. 

December strain: You don’t have to be a fan of the jolly man in the red suit to appreciate some Christmas Tree. This hybrid strain has calming effects, and users report the buzz is nice and middle-of-the-road, so you can still get all of your online holiday shopping done after hitting a bong.

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Water flowing out of pitcher on blue sky background with the word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

It’s official—2022 is coming to an end, Aquarius. You’ve done a lot of growing this year, and it’s time to reflect on all of that. December 7 features a full moon in gregarious Gemini. This is something of a mixed-bag moon. On the one hand, you may be thinking of fun events that kept you refueled this year, and on the other, it might bring up some less-than-savory memories for you to chew on.

Whatever direction the wind blows, you can lean into it through meditative practice, journaling, taking a stroll, or whatever else feels gentle and right in the moment. 

Uranus (your ruler) is in retrograde this month, meaning emotions might be a little all over the place. Put that phone on silent, you beautiful stargazer. Don’t let the world get you too far down.

The shortest day of the year and the beginning of Capricorn season both start on December 21. On December 29, things round out for 2022 with Mercury returning to Capricorn in Retrograde for a second time this year. A fitting end to a challenging year. 2023 is already looking bright. 

December strain: Let’s face it, the best part of any holiday is the dessert potential. Have your pie and smoke it too with some Apple Pie. This hybrid strain boasts an impressive 24% THC—meaning you don’t want to make any huge plans after packing a bowl of this stuff. Users report this strain is a go-to if they have trouble sleeping. Medical patients also love it for its anxiety-busting effects.

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Mindfulness and marijuana: How breathwork and cannabis work together


Two fish swimming near each other with bongs on blue and pink background with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Pisces, you are always good at finding the silver lining in endings. Maybe it’s because you always round out the Zodiac calendar, or maybe it’s your emotionally intuitive nature. Either way, this month was made for a Stargazer like you. Things start with your ruler (Neptune) returning to direct motion in your sign. This is an auspicious end to a challenging year of growth for you. Take a moment to celebrate all of the personal wins you’ve had in 2022. 

On December 7, there is a full moon in Gemini. This might make you a little more emotionally charged than usual. Be wary of starting any fights you might regret come January. On December 20, Jupiter enters fiery Aries, giving you a confidence boost that will carry you for the rest of the year. We celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21, and there is a new moon in Capricorn on December 23. 

Both of these events challenge us to be reflective and very honest with ourselves. What worked this year? What didn’t? Who should join us in 2023, and who should we say a fond farewell to? These questions are best asked with a joint in hand and a quiet evening spent journaling on the couch. 

December strain: He was the fastest gun-slinger in the West, and you can be the fasted bud roller wherever you call home with some Doc Holliday.

This hybrid strain, named after the famed dentist-turned-sharpshooter, has a festive moniker, but don’t let the name fool you—the effects of this bud are just as strong as Doc’s aim. Users report this strain has great mood-boosting effects, perfect for mellow hangouts and casual get-togethers with friends. 

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Ram on pink background with blunts and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Winter Solstice, Aries! On December 3, Neptune leaves its retrograde in Pisces, making the beginning of this month the ideal time to invest in your art. On December 6, Mercury dances into Capricorn, where it will stay until 2023. Your communication will be focused and clear. 

There is a full moon in Gemini on December 7, calling on us to dive deep for that inner peace you’ve been trying to cultivate. Your ruler, Mars, continues its retrograde all of December, and the planet of love enters into Capricorn on December 9—love becomes a priority in the second week of the month.

The Solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year and the perfect time for setting those New Year goals/intentions. Batten down the hatches this month and get to work on yourself! 

December strain: Get festive with some Snow Leopard this holiday season. This is an indica strain with a modest 17% THC and 1% CBG. Snow Leopard is made by crossing the multinational genetics of Tigermelon and Snow Lotus. It’s got an earthy scent profile, and users report the effects come on slow, leaving them in a tranquil daze on the couch. 

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Leafly’s 100 best weed strains of all time


Bull head on light green background with cannabis border with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

The days are short, but the love isn’t this month, bulls. On December 3, Neptune returns to direct motion in Pisces. Make use of this creative spark to craft your own holiday décor or presents for someone you love. Your ruler (Venus) enters Capricorn on December 9, shifting priorities from luxury to practicality. Make the most of this period by getting your 2023 finances in order. 

The Winter Solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year, and then December 23 features a new moon in Capricorn—another chance to set better intentions for 2023. Finally, the year ends with Mercury going retrograde in Capricorn. While this might churn up some old feelings, hopefully, it also churns up some old lessons that need rehashing.

December strain: It’s cold outside, but it doesn’t need to be cold inside—spark a j full of Snow Dog for some festive and warm vibes. Snow Dog, a sativa, comes from the Chemdawg lineage. It’s citrusy, devilishly sweet, and users report this is a strain to “Get shit done!”

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two women looking at each other over sky background with pipes with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Sweet Gem, this month requires restraint! Financially, emotionally, and everything in between. You can blame your ruler—Mercury—for this shift. Speaking of Mercury, the planet enters Capricorn on December 6, marking an uptick in direct communication. It might seem a little dull, but the alternative is hurt feelings and bad blood. 

On December 17, Mercury in Capricorn trine Uranus in Taurus asks us to be open to the idea that good things can happen to us after all. On December 21, we celebrate the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year. This is a great time to flex those party-planning skills and throw a funeral for 2022. It had its ups, its downs, and frankly, it’s time to move on.

Celebrate with the people you love. On December 29, Mercury returns to its retrograde motion in Capricorn. Buck up, buckle down, and get ready to relearn some lessons 2022 tried to teach you a few times. 

December strain: Sharpen up those rolling skills because the best winter hibernation routines involve a bowl full of Snow Ryder. This is an indica strain with gorgeous, almost sparkling buds and a fruity-yet-woody flavor profile.

Users report this strain hits between the eyes and relaxes tense muscles. Don’t make any plans when you smoke Snow Ryder; call it a snow day. 

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7 weed strains for winter hibernation


Crab on blue watery background with glass rigs in border and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Solstice, Cancer! This is the darkest month of the year, but people forget the dark is a beautiful thing—dark skies reveal more stars. Keep that in mind this month. Your ruler is full in Gemini this month on December 7. Think long and hard about the relationships you cultivated this year. Who should make the 2023 roster?

On December 9, the love planet saunters into Capricorn for a visit. You’ll be feeling especially protective of your finances and your good name at work. 

Jupiter enters Aries on December 20, and we celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21. Prepare for the coming New Year by journaling the lessons 2022 has taught you. On December 23, there is a new moon in Capricorn. Use that beautiful, clear night sky as a canvas to visualize what the next year will look like for you. How do you want to grow? 

December strain: Be reserved, not frosty this month. Protect your energy with some Frosted Flakes. This strain is a hybrid with a big 24% THC, so you can expect powerful body effects and a strong head buzz. Users report this as a great strain for spending the day on the couch and reading a good book or doing something artistic. 

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Lion on pink weed leaf background with joints and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy December, lions! December, with its low and limited light, comes down pretty hard on a Leo’s spirit. Keep yours bright by leaning into astrology to plan your creative bursts and rest periods. On December 6, Mercury enters Capricorn. Communication will be stellar, if not brief, at the beginning of the month. Use this time to let your colleagues know what you’ll need to finish the year with success. 

On December 7, the Sun (your ruler) in Sagittarius opposition to Mars in Gemini is one aspect you won’t want to ignore. Keep an eye out for that friend who has been extra quiet lately. Something big might have just dropped in their lap. Be a ray of hope for them in a dark time. On December 21, the sun enters Capricorn and we welcome the Winter Solstice. 

While others may be out drinking and celebrating the shortest day of the year, you might consider hunkering down with a good book or catching up on any end-of-year journaling you’ve been meaning to do. Things might get a little overwhelming this month, but trust your gut on when to tap out. Y

ou should wrap up the year feeling refreshed and refined. 

December strain: Is your family over? Are you ready to change your name and move countries? Fear not, Frosted Cake is the perfect companion for those hard-to-get-through holiday gatherings.

This is a hybrid strain with a modest 13% THC and 9% CBD. Users report this strain tastes like cereal and leaves them with a relaxed, balanced buzz.

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Virgo maiden on light green background with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

It’s the end of 2022, Virgo! You did it. Whether it was the toughest year or the smoothest one, you should feel proud to have come as far as you did. This month, things start off with Neptune leaving its retrograde behind in Pisces. Things could get a little dreamy for an even-keeled stargazer like yourself.

Ground the people around you by continuing to ask real and important questions. Your ruler, Mercury, enters Capricorn on December 6. Expect communication to be brief but clear. 

On December 21, we celebrate the shortest day of the year. Here’s to endings and new beginnings—equally important bookends in our stories. On December 29, Mercury returns to retrograde in Capricorn. Don’t panic just yet; this celestial combo is great for journaling and reflecting. Just don’t over-exert yourself by trying to please everyone at the end of 2022. 

December strain: Take the sweet with the sour this month, Virgo. Frosted Lemons can help get you there. This hybrid strain has 18% THC, meaning you’ll probably get respectable body and mind effects. Users report this strain is great for soft focus and the perfect companion for a quiet day spent inside.

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Scales on yellow and blue sky background with pipes in the corners and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy end of 2022, Libras! The month kicks off with Neptune returning to direct motion in sensitive Pisces. You’ll be especially in tune with the emotional energy in your home. Make sure to limit distractions in the first week of the month to preserve your own vibes. Mercury enters Capricorn on December 6, followed by a full moon in Gemini on December 7. These promise a sort of yo-yo communication style the second week of the month. 

Your ruler (Venus) enters Capricorn on December 9. Planning out the first month of 2023 will be especially fruitful on this day. Jupiter enters Aries on December 20, and on December 21, we celebrate the shortest day of the year. The time for 2022 reflection is dwindling—soon, you’ll have to set your sights on the future.

The new moon in Capricorn offers just the perfect space to do the journaling you’ve been meaning to do. What was 2022’s biggest lesson? Only you know! 

December strain: Your tree (if you have one) isn’t the only thing that needs to be festive this holiday season. Get lit yourself with some Blue Lights. This indica-dominant strain features a 21% THC profile and heavy sedating effects. Users love this strain for its appetite stimulation and strong, earthy smells.

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5 cannabis strains for people who love earthy flavors


Scorpion on blue tie dye background with word
(Scorpio by Savina Monet for Leafly)

The new year approaches, Scorpios. How has 2022 treated you? This is the month to reflect on it! We kick off with a full moon in Gemini on December 7. You’ll feel a pull to journal and reflect—follow this urge. On December 20, Jupiter enters Aries. Make time and space for your creative calling. It’s been quietly knocking on your door for a while now. Open up and embrace the unknown! 

Your ruling planets are a mixed bag this month with Mars being in retrograde and Pluto being direct. Don’t make any grand future plans just yet. Stick with reflection and the slow path forward. It can be hard not to speed through this last leg of the year, but do your best to be present with the feelings that come up. 

On December 29, Mercury returns for a second retrograde in Capricorn. Prepare to have everyone else in your life suddenly go deep into their own feelings. That’s okay! Remember, this is the time to focus on your own learnings from the past year. 

December Strain: Deck the halls with buds of holly. Or, rather, buds of Northern Lights. This old-school strain remains one of the most ubiquitous cannabis strains in the world. With its indica-dominant, 18% THC profile, Northern Lights offers a moderate, happy, and sedating buzz. So, decorate the house, make some apple cider, and let the season be merry and high. 

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Check out last month’s horoscopes.

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Maeva Considine

Maeva Considine is an award-winning journalist and author of “Cat Zodiac: An Astrological Guide to the Feline Mystique.” She’s a Taurus who loves traveling, canceling plans, and dessert. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

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Leafly holiday gift guide 2022: Massachusetts




Give the perfect present with this curated weed gift list created with Massachusetts in mind.

Looking for the perfect plant-based gift for the cannabis lover in your life? Well, Massachusetts, we’ve got you covered! Instead of leaving your holiday shopping to the wayside, you can choose from some of Leafly’s favorite weed products on the market right now.

Whether the person on your list prefers smoking, eating edibles, or doing dabs, these picks are available at dispensaries across Massachusetts and will help everyone to relax, get cozy, and enjoy the holiday season.

(Blue River Terps/Leafly)

There are so many different concentrate consistencies out there, but for the dabber on your list, why not try Blue River Terps’ wintery snow rosin?

Blue River Terps calls its snow rosin the “world’s healthiest dab” because it’s created through a completely solventless process—no ethanol, butane, or other chemicals touch this concentrate. The name “snow rosin” comes from this rosin’s consistency. It’s light and flaky, breaking apart and dissolving like ice into water.

Each batch is derived from a single source and is strain specific, and the concentrate regularly tests in the high-90% range for total active cannabinoids. Terpenes make up between 1-3% of that.

Dabbers can either fire it up in a traditional dab rig or break it up and sprinkle it onto a joint or bowl for a terpy and potent boost.


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With a reputation for its potency, Intergalactic from matter. is an indica-dominant strain ready to take seasoned explorers on a ride that’s out of this world.

The citrusy, sweet strain is known to spark creativity, so it’s the ideal holiday companion when it comes to decorating, baking cookies, or crafting homemade gifts. And creativity isn’t the only thing Intergalactic inspires—consumers report it can give a serious lift to appetites, as well.

Keep it handy for all your festive feasting this season.


RYTHM grows great bud, hands down. Their nugs are always full and coated in trichomes, offering smooth, terpy hits. Brownie Scout, however, is a standout strain in RYTHM’s impressive lineup.

This strain is a hybrid that leans heavily on the indica side, and RYTHM growers claim Brownie Scout is one of their densest strains. With hefty purple buds coated with specks of orange and white crystals, they’re almost as nice to look at as they are to smoke!

Regularly testing around 30% THC, just a few hits of this potent flower will give you a euphoric feeling and encourage you to get some sleep. It’s perfect for de-stressing and settling in on a cold winter night.

Brownie Scout’s dominant terpenes include limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene. Upon exhale, it tastes sweet and earthy with a kick of spice.


Cannabis-infused drinks have taken hold of the Massachusetts market, and Levia is at the forefront. Founded in early 2021, Levia was one of the first cannabis seltzer brands in the state. Its drinks are formulated in Georgetown, MA, with local bud and other natural ingredients.

The company’s original unique flavors each clock in at 5 mg of THC, making them easy to dose. And these zero-calorie drinks start working a bit quicker than traditional edibles since the THC is partially absorbed sublingually when you drink one.

Bring a few cans to a holiday party or wrap them up as a gift, and you’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


Since Fernway‘s inception in 2018, few have been able to compete with its potent, flavored vape products. The brand is constantly innovating, and the Traveler disposable vaporizer rolled out in July. Along with all other Fernway products, it’s recyclable at partner dispensaries that sell them.

These vaporizers combine pure, distillate cannabis extract with botanical terpenes to make flavorful vapes with great effects. And they certainly pack a punch with the concentrate inside measuring at nearly 80% THC.

Fernway’s Cranberry Jam flavor is the perfect present for the vape-lover on your holiday list. The flavor is tart and crisp, earthy and unprocessed. Once you try one, you won’t want to smoke anything else.

The Traveler hardware comes fully charged and has a sleek, slim shape you can easily toss in a bag or pocket. Each comes pre-filled with 0.3 grams of cannabis extract, perfect for the friend who’s on the go—whether they’re new to vaping or a seasoned smoker looking for a high-quality, delicious option.

(Nature’s Heritage/Leafly)

This strain is perfect for winter, and not just because of its name. Nature’s Heritage flower bursts with terpenes and sports bright, beautiful colors, and Snowball is no exception. Its name comes from the brilliant, glittering crystals that coat its fluffy nugs.

Snowball is an indica-dominant hybrid that crosses The White and Chem 4. The White’s hybrid qualities balance out Chem 4’s high-testing indica traits, providing a solid head and body high. This strain typically tests in the low-20% THC range, making it perfect for a cozy, relaxing evening toke that won’t knock you out immediately.

The dominant terpenes in Snowball are myrcene and limonene, which provide an aroma of sweet citrus mixed with pungent gas. Expect a diesel-heavy hit on the inhale, followed by flavors of sweet, fruity cream. Pair a bowl of Snowball with a mug of hot cocoa for a heavenly, snug evening at home.

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Grace Griffin

Grace Griffin is a journalist based in Massachusetts with recent work in The Boston Globe, Adolescent US, and The Austin-American Statesman. To see more work or cat photos, follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.

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