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11 Unsung Cannabis Strains Worth Discovering

November 28, 2017
The Most Underrated Marijuana Strains | Leafly(Juanmonino/iStock)
As we explored recently with our list of 9 Most Overhyped Cannabis Strains, a few of the best-known cannabis varieties on the market are a little overrated. Correspondingly, it’s no surprise that there are some underrated cannabis strains out there, too.

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The following represent 11 varieties of cannabis that we think get less love than they deserve, based on Leafly review data, regional availability, and the personal experiences of our cannabis expert team. This is far from an exhaustive list—with thousands of strains available in the world, it’s virtually impossible to give all of them the attention we wish we could. Nevertheless, take the following as just a few recommendations of lesser-known types you should keep an eye out for—who knows? You just might find your new favorite strain among them.

Tahoe OG Kush

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains: OG Kush, SFV OG Kush

Why it’s underrated: “Tahoe OG isn’t underrated in the traditional sense of the word. In fact, most people I know who’ve come across this select OG Kush phenotype will share their excitement for the pungent, piney sweetness and the strain’s dynamic mix of deep relaxation and profound euphoria. However, when I think of the OG family tree, the Tahoe cut doesn’t seem to get quite the same notoriety that some of its relatives. The SFV, Larry, and Fire OGs manage to capture a lot of the buzz, while other cuts, like the Ghost and WiFi OGs, have somewhat cult followings. This leaves room for Tahoe OG to stand on its own, which is OK by me. I love its dank, complex aroma and the sedating effects, so the less hype there is for Tahoe OG, the more of this delicious strain is available for me!” —Will Hyde

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Lodi Dodi

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains: Undisclosed

Why it’s underrated: “This strain is a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest, but still flies beneath the radar outside the region. Sativa-dominant in effect, this unknown cultivar has been propagated throughout the Evergreen State for decades. Lodi Dodi’s airy physical lightness and uplifting mental buzz allow the consumer to metaphorically levitate two inches above their problems and their pain. I personally enjoy working out after consuming this strain for its stimulating aura and a mental haze that allows me to fade into my headphones and run forever. It’s equally satisfying on the dancefloor or in the bedroom, as long as you mind your dosage. Lodi Dodi came to party—it don’t cause trouble or bother nobody.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm

Chocolope Kush

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains:  Chocolope, Kosher Kush

Why it’s underrated: “This is, weirdly, one of the lowest-rated strains on Leafly (yep, a four-star rating is on the low end—Leafly reviewers give most cannabis pretty high marks), but riddle me this: How can a marriage of superstars like Chocolope and Kosher Kush possibly be bad? Those parent strains are two of our all-time faves (in fact, both landed on our Top 100 Strains list) and given that the apple rarely falls far from the tree, this super-low rating for Chocolate Kush is undeserved.” —Brett Konen

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Dancehall

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains: Juanita La Lagrimosa, Kalijah

Why it’s underrated: “Dancehall is an exceptional CBD-dominant strain that doesn’t get much recognition by comparison to CBD hallmarks like Harlequin, ACDC, Charlotte’s Web, and Cannatonic. With a near 21:1 CBD:THC ratio, Dancehall delivers soothing, easygoing effects with just enough sativa-dominant influence to elevate mood, which makes it a constant companion for consumers who like to stay level and clearheaded while enjoying cannabis. The terpene profile also offers deeper, skunkier notes than the usual grassy, hay-like aroma CBD strains are known for. Whether you’re enjoying it for what it is, or blending with your THC-dominant strains, Dancehall adds something special and drastically underappreciate to any joint or bowl.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm

Bay Dream

Strain type: Sativa

Parent strains: Blue DreamBay 11

Why it’s underrated: “Bay Dream is an uplifting strain with sharp citrus notes and subtle earthiness. It seems to be overlooked because of its polarizing parent strain, Blue Dream, but in combination with the sweet, skunky flavors and focused headspace of Bay 11 the mix is a pleasant surprise. I appreciate that Bay Dream trades some of Blue Dream’s fruit notes for a deeper, more poignant Kush-like palate of flavors. So, if you’re in the ‘Blue Dream is overrated’ crowd, don’t shy away from Bay Dream—you might be amazed by how much this strain expresses its individuality.” —Will Hyde

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Sour Urkle

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains: Sour Diesel, Purple Urkle

Why it’s underrated: “Sour Urkle is the potent union of pungent, polar opposites. Created from Sour Diesel and Purple Urkle, this funky and surprisingly affordable bud packs the best of both strains into one frosty package. This strain emits an odd floral and chemical aroma that is contrasted against a latent but tangible sweetness brought forth by the fruitiness of Purple Urkle. This flavor profile can be challenging for some, but the effects are undeniably heady while draping the body in a soothing, mellow aura.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm

Presidential Kush

Strain type: Indica

Parent strains: Bubble Gum, OG Kush

Why it’s underrated: “Easily one of the more picturesque strains I’ve come across, Presidential Kush (also known as Presidential OG) expresses itself with deep green and purple hues. A thick blanket of trichomes adds another dimension to the strain’s aesthetic, but PK is so much more than just a pretty flower. It’s a potent, complex, and flavorful experience that only takes a puff or two before you feel the comforting weight of deep relaxation wash over you. The piney, diesel flavors make it hard to put down, and I still find myself embarking on epic journeys just to track down this beautiful bud. In my opinion, genetics this compelling should be easier to find and should be garnering more attention in the cannabis community, so for that reason, I’d like to encourage more growers to add this strain to their stable, and if you find it at your local dispensary as a consumer, definitely do not overlook it!” —Will Hyde

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Durban Poison

Strain type: Sativa

Parent strains: African

Why it’s underrated: “Landrace strains, including Durban Poison, are hard to find and often faked. As such, many people have had a less-enjoyable-than-average experience with a strain they believed, mistakenly, to be the landrace advertised on the packaging. Durban Poison is a fantastic pure sativa that many people, including myself, loved at first smoke, so if Durban Poison didn’t wow you the first time around, give it another chance—that first batch might have been something else that was merely masquerading as this iconic strain.” —Brett Konen

Apple Jack

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains: Jack Herer, White Widow

Why it’s underrated: “Apple Jack hasn’t gained much in the way of ratings on Leafly, but that doesn’t mean it’s a dud. It blends two well-known cuts together (Jack Herer x White Widow) to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Apple Jack’s initially clear-headed high relieves stress while elevating the mind and encouraging creativity. The happy effects and accessible THC concentration make it a friendly flower for consumers of all potency levels. And even though its flavor doesn’t always live up the name, Apple Jack’s sweet, earthy terpene profile still offers satisfying flavors alongside a productive buzz.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm

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Plushberry

Strain type: Indica

Parent strains: Black Cherry Soda, Space Queen

Why it’s underrated: “Plushberry is an incredible strain that’s underrated simply because it hasn’t appeared to travel beyond the Pacific Northwest. Wrapped in beautiful lavender foliage, it smells like sweet wildflowers and mixed berries, and if you have the chance to try it while you’re in the area, Plushberry is a strain you won’t soon forget.” —Bailey Rahn

Skunk No. 1

Strain type: Hybrid

Parent strains: AfghaniAcapulco Gold, Colombian Gold

Why it’s underrated: “Even if you don’t love the flavor of the flower itself, you’ve got to respect a strain that’s given us so many of our favorites on the market—I’m talking Green Crack, Island Sweet Skunk, Amnesia, Pineapple Chunk, UK Cheese, and so many more. Skunk No. 1 is a true original among cannabis strains, and while its skunky flavor is an acquired taste, you’re smoking a piece of history with Skunk No. 1—so respect your elders.” —Brett Konen

Brett Konen's Bio Image

Brett Konen

Brett is a former editor at Leafly who loves travel, craft cocktails, and shining a spotlight on unique lifestyle trends.

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  • davidaquarius

    Can’t believe Durban Poison is underrated. It is my ‘get up and do shit’ strain. I actually vacuumed my apt., did the dishes and walked the dog by 10am one morning. Any other strain would have had me still contemplating my ‘to do’ list at noon. Whenever I can find a DP wax or oil, I swoop on it right away. A few of the growers here in the NW like to grow it so it should be available regularly.

    • Fun Please

      PNW is a great place for ganja, no doubt

      • Silverado

        Remember that tribal recreational shop called Elevation run by the Squaxin tribe south of Shelton at Kamilche on US-101, I was telling you about Frak?? I went in there today to buy a half ounce of some Blueberry they had on sale for $50 and when the budtender was showing a couple of samples he mentions that they “have some ounces that the tribe grew” that are available that must have been an unadvertised special or something. He showed me 4 different strains their growers had grown one of which was Blueberry and it was high test and looked excellent. Of course this was fully taxed and packaged and sealed and fully legal in every way. But when I asked how much? He says $50 an ounce!!! I about fainted and couldn’t get my money out fast enough. When I got home and did a closer inspection boy AM I PLEASED!!! Grind a bud or two and the smell of blueberry is strong and unmistakable. Fully tested it’s running 21+% total THC. I’m sorry but I didn’t really catch the other 3 strains. One was another indica and two were sativa’s and ALL were worth more than $50. There’s your tip of the day. See ya there…:-)

        • BenSamizdat

          The cool thing about Blueberry phenos is they evolved from Pineapple phenos. Who knew they were related? I find it rare that a Blueberry strain actually smells or tastes like Blueberry. I don’t like making liars out of people, so I just suggest that some strains are so delicious, they rarely make it to the dispensary.

          • Silverado

            Boy, this one reeks! Especially after you get done grinding some. It’s smells more than some of the spendier Blueberry strains that cost a whole lot more. For the price I’m still impressed. It tests at total THC at 23.4% too. Oh and my grinder is over running with pollen in the bottom chamber. So all the way around that was the best $50 I ever spent on legal weed.

          • Pelu Maad

            If only it wasn’t such a long drive from Georgialina…..

    • Sander Ael

      Dutch Passion seedbank has this strain (durban poison) in their feminised list, It is a very potent and strong sativa tree. It was the latest to harvest but the biggest plant. NO mold or nothing even with a cold and wet climate ( Lowlands, europe). Love it!!

    • BenSamizdat

      Jack Herer, or just about any Haze really, is good for energy bursts. If a strain is harvested early when the trichs are white, you get more energy. The darker the trichs the more psychotropic effects and couch lock you get, because the terps are evolving but also because the acids are degrading into CBN.

  • Jeff Hudson

    Reading articles like this make me want to move out of my state.

    • Jeff Lane

      Me too.

      • Silverado

        Here’s a great way to get popular in a hurry. Check Elevation’s (Shelton Washington) menu out NOW right here at Leafly and you’ll find 7 different strains available RIGHT NOW for $50 an ounce fully taxed and out the door. They are:

        1. Cenex
        2. DJ Shorts Blueberry (and I’ll vouch for the goodness of this one)
        3. Royal Kush
        4. Lemon OG
        5. Tavo
        6. Strawberry Cough
        7. Sour Tsunami

        I’m going tomorrow and buy another one. The tribe has got this one right and deserves your support…

    • dkf1219

      It is hard to express how freeing it is to live in a legal state if you imbibe. I have no worries about lingering odors if the Dish person is coming, no worries about plants in the backyard when I call the plumber, no worries about a pipe and baggie left out on the end table.

  • Fun Please

    Plushberry – nice champagne color, fruity smell, great potentcy – winner. Give it a try.

    • Silverado

      $50 ounces at Elevation tribal recreational shop south of Shelton today FYI with 3 more strains priced the same. I bought Blueberry and WOW nice ounce really nice for $50!! Peace 🙂

      • Jeff Lane

        Silverado, where can I get some of that stuff for $50.oz?

        • Silverado

          At Kamilche off of US-101 across the street from their casino they call Little Creek south of Shelton Washington a few miles and a few miles north of Olympia at the tribal recreational shop they call Elevation. Which is listed here on Leafly. While I do check their menu before driving up that way I have not seen these $50 ounce deals before. But that ounce of Blueberry I bought yesterday is beautiful and well worth their selling price of $50. Good luck!!

  • Kenneth Aaron

    Weird list of strains. Probably local to the writer’s area. Plushberry was a good one, but the seeds are all gone.

  • Firecop

    I wish KC33 would have made the list. It’s an easy one to grow outdoors, especially in the colder parts of the PNW. It will take temps below freezing, even during flowering. The high is relaxed, but still functional. Good painkiller, I can work all day.

  • DCBC

    I thought we would be talking about older strains, you know before lots of stupid names came out. The Durban and the Skunk belong in the list but the rest a lot of people haven’t even heard of in the first place.

    • Keith Gustafson

      Where is northern lights#5!!!

      • Silverado

        Northern Lights was also developed in Seattle way back when and is kind of an iconic strain around western Washington these days. There’s a LOT of tokers here. I see it occasionally in shops around here once and awhile but I’m sure it’s different than you and I remember. Next time I see some I’ll buy an eighth for old times sake…

  • Sativa53

    can attest to Durban Poison.. the red soil of Africa has its magic

  • PatrickMonkRn

    Just about anything from Ringo, if you can find it.

  • Kristoff S.

    If anyone gets the chance, TahoeOG is wonderful, using it now and it’s a very strong, semi-couch locking Indica.
    You still have the urge to bounce out of your seat and go do something because of how good it makes you feel.

    I’ve been using this strain for about two months now because my selection is very limited.
    It’s a darker green/brown bud with orange hairs and when you bust it open, it’s lighter green and there are small hints of purple, it smells kinda’ musky/danky.

    Cheers

  • dkf1219

    A strain that I absolutely love and never see anywhere is Satori by Mandala Seeds. I never understand why it is not more popular. Everyone I turn on to it just loves it. A great “get up and do something” strain that doesn’t take 14 weeks to finish.

  • BenSamizdat

    Skunk #1 has an interesting history. Neville Schoenmakers couldn’t allow Dave Stewart aka “Sam the Skunkman” to sell it because originally the Netherlands didn’t allow hybrids to be sold, and Dave admitted Skunk #1 had gone through at least four iterations from its original strain. But it had already been elevated to “World Strain” status, so they couldn’t very well rename it “Skunk #4” could they? Shanti-Baba gave an interview where he informed us that Dave’s Seed Bank backstock was lost after the basement he kept it in was flooded. This forced him to retrace his original paths for obtaining these strains, and to rebuild Skunk #1 he went to Southern Oregon, where the Modoc Indians had been growing Skunk for millenia. The Modocs I talked to said they had obtained the strain from their cousins in Oklahoma.

    • Silverado

      Some of the largest & prettiest buds grown outdoors I’ve ever seen were from Skunk #1 plants. They even finished before October 10th (which is pushing it due to the fall rains that usually start about then) too which here in western Washington & Oregon is a MUST. There were several that were probably 18 inches in length and bigger around than a banana. And they smelled heavenly and really…skunky. Many plants finished by producing well over 1 pound per plant which they said was about average for their outdoor (and “hard to hide”) Skunk plants. Impressive genetics…

      • BenSamizdat

        I love the smell of Skunk, but dispensary owners hate it because it makes their entire place reek like two Skunks having a Spray-Off. I can see their point, but Skunk was, is and always will be one of the best, most uplifting, most healing strains in the world. The plants produce strong terps and esters to either attract pollinators or to mark predators so they can be tracked by other predators, making the deer etc want to avoid cannabis in the wild.

  • Silverado

    I’ve grown both of these strains many years ago and because of the highly successful conclusion to both of these grows and final product I’m still haunted that I didn’t get or keep any seeds. Here’s my two “I wish I could rediscover strains”.

    1. Orange Spice – A commercially available strain though I can’t remember who the seed company was that made this one. Not particularly a huge yielder with short stocky plants but what you got was some of the prettiest, tastiest and stoniest premium red-haired and heavily frosted home grown one could have imagined. While I thought it to be excellent especially the taste, I still get asked by some of my friends that were lucky enough to have gotten some of this legendary smoke if I have ever ran into that strain again. Nope…

    2. Herijuana – Starting with 10 seeds given to me by a friend I never met off one of the many boards way back when, I finished with one sole surviving female plant that I grew out on my deck with a southern exposure and full sun all day long in a 8 or 9 gallon container. The plant finished on my late mother’s birthday of September 15th (and in the days before digital cameras) at about waist high absolutely loaded with thumb sized rock hard nugs. I got over 14 highly marketable ounces off this one plant!! Between the quality and the heavy yield I feel like I did when I just missed the Bitcoin uprising too. When I failed to pollinate at least one bud for some future genetics. I got serious about my growing after that though I still shake my head and look towards the ground when I think about this. Those were the days…

  • Markas Alan

    Some skunk #1 from the early 80’s is still some of the best bud I’ve ever sampled. I wish more growers would focus on the great landrace and vintage strains from the early years of modern cannabis cultivation. I’ve smoked many super high THC strains that are modern hybrids that just don’t have that “give you tunnel vision blackout mid first hit” that some of the great strains of the past packed despite the fact that they likely had lower overall THC/THCA levels. I suspect that selective breeding for THC and THCA has been at the expense of other more potent cannabinoids known and possibly unknown.