After we ran our list of 100 cannabis strains to try before you die, we started getting a lot of strain ranking-related questions. Specifically, we had a lot of people curious if there were any strains that weren’t worth trying.
Our short answer to that question is: No. While individual consumers may like or dislike certain strains based on varying preferences in flavor, aroma, effects, provenance, strain reputation, and personal past experiences, just about any strain can be a world-class strain if it’s cultivated with enough expertise, passion, and care. Furthermore, just because a strain is overhyped doesn’t mean it’s bad—it simply means it gets a ton of love that could just as easily be going to other equally deserving strains.
Below, we’ve listed nine cannabis strains we believe to get a disproportionate amount of attention. And we repeat again—these are still great strains. Many of the following are also on our list of the top 100 to try, and deservingly so. So take this list with a grain of salt—and let us know in the comments if you agree or if you think other cannabis strains are more overhyped than these ones!
Why it’s overhyped: “No matter how great a strain is, if it’s the most popular strain in the nation, it’s going to end up with a target on its back—as Blue Dream has. Is Blue Dream good? Yes. Is it hands-down the best strain in the nation? Probably not. But the beauty of Blue Dream is that it’s a great place for cannabis beginners to start: It offers appealing flavor, balanced effects, and widespread availability. Among more experienced consumers, Blue Dream is less popular, and sometimes even vilified, but that’s to be expected. Take wine as an example: The easy-drinking red table blend that gets a beginner into wine probably isn’t going to pique the interest of a seasoned connoisseur with a penchant for Cabernet. And that’s completely okay. You do you, Blue Dream.” —Brett Konen
Parent strains: Hemp
Why it’s overhyped: “Day in and day out, Leafly hears from medical patients asking where they can get Charlotte’s Web, the famous CBD strain that catalyzed a massive shift in the public’s view of cannabis, beginning with CNN medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta. Charlotte’s Web delivered miraculous results for adolescent epilepsy patient Charlotte Figi as well as many others, so much so that it became the only strain CBD-seekers hunted. But Charlotte’s Web is the most talked-about strain you’ll probably never hold in your hand; it’s an incredibly rare CBD variety grown by a single farm in Colorado. So, know that there are many other fantastic CBD strains that are far more common, such as ACDC, Harlequin, and Canna-Tsu, and give them a try if CBD is what’s missing in your life.” —Bailey Rahn
Parent strains: Mexican
Why it’s overhyped: “Another nostalgic strain with a legend that has fueled the hype-train. Acapulco Gold became popular in a time when imported cannabis was all the rage. It influenced many baby boomers, leaving an indelible mark on the Woodstock generation as tales of its uplifting glory and stellar potency spread throughout the counterculture. A low-budget mockumentary named for the strain and a cameo in Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke added to the allure, introducing the strain to the masses. Truth be told, Acapulco Gold is a flavorful and compelling landrace strain that can lead to wonderful experiences when in the hands of a skilled grower, but it is also known to produce racy cerebral effects that can spark social anxiety for some.” —Will Hyde
Parent strains: Undisclosed
Why it’s overhyped: “Everyone, their mom, and their dog has an OG cross that they claim is ‘the real OG.’ A quick search query yields 493 different strains that mention OG on Leafly. That is an incredible amount of strains that claim to contain some part of this strain’s genetic code. It is all well and good to search out the favorable attributes in OG strains, but to use the OG branding as a means to grow hype around another product is just lame. OG firstly stands for Original, and that is the real irony—most of these OGs are anything but.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Why it’s overhyped: “Don’t get us wrong—Pineapple Express is a fantastic strain. That’s why it’s also on our list of the Top 100 Strains to Try Before You Die. This strain is overhyped not through any fault of its own, but thanks to the fact that it was chosen as the name of a major motion picture and, subsequently, became Hollywood-famous. Thanks to its eponymous movie, Pineapple Express has joined the canon of the world’s most iconic strains, which makes it capable of eclipsing many other worthy strains with its name recognition alone. You should absolutely enjoy Pineapple Express whenever it crosses your path—just don’t let its star power make it the only thing you reach for.” —Brett Konen
Why it’s overhyped: “To say the least, Sour Diesel is a polarizing strain. People seem to love it or hate it, but no matter how they feel they are passionate. Due to closely guarded genetics and the historically high price tag Sour D fetched in its native New York City, it has been counterfeited, knocked off, and forged for years. With the market flooded with bunk versions of the genetics, consumers are often misled and disappointed when looking for the real Sour. True Sour Diesel is well worth the hype if you are attracted to its palate of flavors—when grown well, the pungent aroma and sharp taste produces a gassy, diesel note that either entices to the point of obsession or repulses to the point of complete disgust. The effects of the strain are regularly described as energetic, upbeat, and euphoric, which can also spark paranoia and anxiety for some. Tl;dr: There’s a lot of hype behind Sour Diesel, some of it is even justified, but if you don’t know for certain that you have legit Sour Diesel there’s a good chance that hype train is headed right off the rails.” —Will Hyde
Strain type: Sativa
Parent strains: North American Sativa
Why it’s overhyped: “Alaskan Thunder Fuck gets a lot of cred just because the name is louder than the flower. Some cuts can blow half your head clean off, and to that point, sativa dominant strains aren’t for everyone. That is also to say, good sense doesn’t always cut through the hype, and just because this strain’s title is more profane doesn’t make it better. Do the research, understand the genetics, and go deeper than a strain’s name.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm
Why it’s overhyped: “The legacy of AK-47 paints it as a potent strain that is popular with new growers, but it comes from an era when hybrids were being selected more for their flowering time indoors than for compelling and distinct characteristics. Thanks to it being a staple of Dutch coffeeshops and the genetics being so widely available through seed banks, AK-47 ends up in the hands of many novice growers, and the results tend to be mixed. This makes it difficult to find truly exceptional varieties of the strain. The lack of any specific unique trait that would help it stand out makes the hype and nostalgia of AK-47 outweigh its experience.” —Will Hyde
Strain type: Hybrid
Why it’s overhyped: “Champagne is an overhyped naming scheme that has been tacked onto different strains to try and illustrate quality. It won’t smell like champagne, it doesn’t taste like champagne, but the notion of popping a bottle of bubbly is associated with celebration and luxury, and brands want to parlay that association to give certain strains greater value, whether they deserve those accolades or not. Also, wise up you fakers—if it doesn’t come from Champagne it isn’t champagne anyway.” —Jeremiah Wilhelm