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Leafly Buzz: 12 sizzling cannabis strains of May 2021

Published on May 5, 2021 · Last updated June 15, 2021

With over 248 million vaccine shots in arms and the summer approaching, America’s lust for normal life is reaching critical levels.

Keeping pace with our excitement this May, cannabis breeders, growers, and sellers keep pumping out dank delights like ZimZims, Whoa-Si-Whoa, and Quest. And who has the details? Leafly.

Independently reported without fear or favor, Leafly Buzz highlights premium cannabis strains and branded flower products new to the shelf, trending up, and selling out west of the Rockies.

Sit back, pack one, and let’s go!

Data grinder

leafly buzz data grinder


A photo of Orangeade grown by Rimrock Farms via The Green Cross (David Downs/Leafly)
Refreshing Orangeade, grown by Rimrock Farms, via The Green Cross San Francisco. (David Downs/Leafly)

It’s morning in America, and we’re chugging Orangeade. Grab some sweet, citrusy, and grape-tinged THC power to wake and bake through weekend chores with this cultivar.

Symbiotic Genetics of California crossed Tangie and Purple Punch to make this hit hybrid. Strain traffic to Orangeade is up 14% month over month, closely pacing its cousin Mimosa (up 13%); both are perfect for that first girls’ weekend away.

A photo of Mimosa (David Downs/Leafly)
Bottoms up: Symbiotic Genetics’ Mimosa. (David Downs/Leafly)

Speaking of Tangie cross, Ethos Genetics’ Chemdog, I-95, Mandarin Cookies cross, Crescendo, has cranked up 89% in search volume this month.

On the decline: Cult Classic Seeds’ Cement Shoes drops 23% as Americans shelve the somnambulant indicas of pandemic hibernation.

Here’s the full data grinder:

●     Orangeade ⬆️ +14%

●     Mimosa ⬆️ +13%

●     Crescendo ⬆️ +89%

●     Cement Shoes ⬇️ -23%

New in the Leafly strain database

Each month, Leafly adds dozens of new cultivars to our strain database. Connoisseurs crave the flavors and effects of these new crosses of Zkittlez, Do-Si-Dos, and Gelato.

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A photo of CAM ZimZims 2021 (David Downs/Leafly)
Seed Junky Genetics-bred and CAM-grown ZimZims is in for May. (David Downs/Leafly)

Taste peak 2021 in strains with this Zkittlezbackcrossed to itself. ZimZims is bred by Seed Junky Genetics of Los Angeles and grown perfectly by woman-run, Colorado-transplant CAM in Sacramento. ZimZims’ tropical candy and fruit cereal smell and taste is as good as the bud looks. Perfect for perfuming up your first backyard barbecue.

Project 4516

A photo of Grandiflora Project 4516 (David Downs/Leafly
Secret weapon: Grandiflora’s Project 4516. (David Downs/Leafly)

Mysteriously named with an elite Gelato flavor, Project 4516 combines Gelato 45 and the rare Platinum Puff. This top-shelf strain from California indoor bosses Grandiflora promises gassy, cookies scrumptiousness that’s perfect for smoothing over plot holes in movies like Godzilla vs. Kong.


A photo of Who Si Whoa bud low res (Courtesy Top Shelf Cultivation)
Whoa Si Whoa. (Courtesy Top Shelf Cultivation)

If you like Do-Si-Dos, keep an eye out for Whoa-Si-Whoa. Bred by Cannarado of Colorado and selected by Top-Shelf Cultivation in California, Whoa-Si-Whoa earned a 2019 Cannabis Cup. Expect a big OG Kush bite and funk from this amped-up Dosi. Great for appreciating the special effects in the new Mortal Kombat. Finish him!

Modified Grapes

A photo of Modified Grapes. (Courtesy LitHouse)
Modified Grapes. (Courtesy LitHouse)

Save up for this sweet-savory splurge that’ll put you in da couch. Symbiotic Genetics of California crossed GMO to Purple Punch for this powerful meaty-onion and fruit combo perfected by growers LitHouse. Modified Grapes works great as a digestif after that first outdoor dining experience of 2021.

Strain highlights of May

leafly buzz new strains

New on dispensary shelves—Diablo Wind by Houseplant, CA

A photo of Houseplant Diablo Wind. (David Downs/Leafly)
Houseplant’s Diablo Wind has jack terps and energy. (David Downs/Leafly)

Actor Seth Rogen’s California launch of Houseplant defied “celebrity weed” critics to deliver big, terpy, awesome, top-shelf indoor nugs. Now in 17 inviting dispensaries, all three Houseplant strains pass muster.

Diablo Wind offers a bright, energetic counterpoint to all the Cookies out there. Diablo Wind is Jack Herer x G13 Haze. It’s similar to XJ-13, and that stuff is great for daytime activities—like a pottery class!

Rocketing up the charts—Grape Octane by Alibi Cannabis, OR

A close up of Alibi Cannabis Grape Octane macro (Courtesy Alibi Farms; Photo by resinated_lens)
A dazzling close up of Alibi Farms Grape Octane (Courtesy Alibi Cannabis; Photo by @resinated_lens)

Woman-owned Alibi Cannabis of Clackamas, Oregon keeps delivering indoor quality to discerning smokers in the Beaver State. Their whole lineup is legit, but Cannarado Genetics’ cross of High Octane OG and Grape Pie is a guaranteed winner.

The gassy, diesel smell hints at grape and fruit and pairs well with the final season of the Kardashians, or a trance-like Minecraft marathon.


leafly buzz best sellers

Ballin out—Quest by Source, CA

A photo of Source's strains Quest on the branch. (Courtesy Source)
Source cannabis grows Quest in-house. (Courtesy Source)

The Quest for perfect California indoor is over at Source Cannabis. Source’s flagship strain is a variety of Original Glue (aka GG4; a cross of Chem Sister, Sour Dub, and Chocolate Diesel) bred by GG Strains. Buttery lemon and sharp pine aroma give this potent strain a lift that pairs well with chill hobbies like spring gardening, or Zoom poker.

In lab tests, GG4 is rich in astringent pinene aroma, supported by dank myrcene and caryophyllene.

Ballin’ on a budget—Lemon Cane YOLO, by Archive CA

A photo of Lemon Cane Yolo (David Downs/Leafly)
Penny pinchers rejoice: Lemon Cane YOLO. (David Downs/Leafly)

This bargain outdoor grown flower from Yolo County, CA keeps giving us life. Archive Seeds of Oregon/California crossed a Lemon Peel to a Do-Si-Dos for gobs of thick lemon syrup flavor with a mega-bodied fuel finish. The outdoor product (dubbed “YOLO”) rivals indoor for value, terps, and effects.

It’s great for numbing the mind and blasting through 1,000 unread emails. Better yet—delete all, and set your Vacation Reply to “YOLO.”

High Note: Patty Cake rosin, Kalya Extracts/Zenganic delivery

leafly buzz high note
A photo of Kalya Patty Cake rosin on dabber. (David Downs/Leafly)
A photo of Kalya Patty Cake rosin on a Puffco dabber. (David Downs/Leafly)

Prepare for a world-class extract that stones you to your core. Oakland-based Kalya extracts took 1st, 4th, and 8th place in solventless extracts in The Emerald Cup this April, winning with Patty Cake, a cross of Wedding Cake, and Gelato #33 grown by Landhammer Farms. Landhammer gently froze freshly harvested buds, then Kalya ice water-hashed out the plant’s trichomes, and cold-squeezed and filtered the pure reson.

The result looks like a sci-fi metamaterial and smells like the extracted soul of the flower: rich, deep, and sweet with GSC terps. Keep this expensive hash sealed and frozen below 32 degrees, and make sure to wait 15 minutes for the translucent Patty to come to room temperature before opening and dabbing at low temps. Then silently meditate in the woods for hours. Delivered by Zenganic delivery in Oakland.

Buzz back issues

The river of cannabis strains never stops flowing. Step into that same river twice—peruse our past West Coast fire flower roundups.

Catch up on March’s Buzz

Love Lemon Tree? Go even blingier with Lemonatti. (David Downs/Leafly)
Love Lemon Tree? Go even blingier with Lemonatti. Sold by The Green Cross, SF. (David Downs/Leafly)

Don’t miss February’s Buzz

Alien Labs Krypto Chronic (David Downs/Leafly)
Alien Labs’ Krypto Chronic is going to the moon. (David Downs/Leafly)

Relive January’s Buzz

Connected Gelonade is the Emerald Cup's best indoor flower of 2021. (David Downs/Leafly)
Connected Gelonade is the Emerald Cup’s best indoor flower of 2021. (David Downs/Leafly)

Replay November’s Buzz

Slurricane grown by SF Cultivators sold by Mission Organic Center (David Downs/Leafly).
Slurricane grown by SF Cultivators sold by Mission Organic Center (David Downs/Leafly).

Review October’s Buzz, and read along.

What goes into Leafly Buzz?

Who decides what’s in the Buzz? Not money or compliments. Each month’s Leafly Buzz picks come from:

  • Secret shopping in stores
  • Leafly staff and reader tips
  • Interviewing the biggest brands
  • Parsing Leafly search data
  • Lurking breeders on Instagram

Growers, breeders, brands, stores—got buzz for Leafly? We’re all ears. Email us at buzz@leafly.com.

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David Downs
David Downs
Leafly Senior Editor David Downs is the former Cannabis Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's appeared on The Today Show, and written for Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, High Times, and many more outlets. He is a 2023 judge for The Emerald Cup, and has covered weed since 2009.
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