Leafly honors the 50th anniversary of “4:20” (aka “420” or 4/20) this April with a celebration of legendary strain families. We’ve already covered famous Hazes, but now it’s time to get to know the legendary Tangie.
Some people wake up with a cup of orange juice while others turn to a bowl of marijuana strain Tangie, and both have become indispensable to humanity at this point.
Cannabis beginners all the way to serious hash heads have cemented Tangie’s place on the Mt. Olympus of modern strain families.
Since the ‘90s in California, Tangie’s unmistakable, deep, orange funk aroma—and its friendly energetic effects—have minted millions of marijuana fans.
Tangie’s rise offers a true American story of multi-generational family farming strapped to the rocket of medical marijuana legalization, the rise of butane hash oil, and the contemporary rosin movement.
Tangie’s breeders refined an aroma and effect that have become fundamental to any cannabis shop menu in 2021, said Oni Seed Co. founder and breeder of Tropicanna Cookies F2, Nick.
“It has its place in the pantheon as one of the best, most influential strains of all time. Whether people want to admit it or not, its hybrids are undeniable and they continue to this day,” Nick said.
Let’s take a sweet, tangy journey through time and space exploring the citrus dynasty of Tangie.
Crockett Family Farms conjures the DNA of Tangie
The Tangie family genealogy begins with a real family, The Crocketts of the Sierra Nevada in California.
Four generations of Crocketts have worked cannabis fields out near Yosemite during the depths of prohibition to today’s legal market.
In the sunny, hot, remote foothills, the Crocketts collected popular strains of the ‘70s and ‘80s—like California Orange (Cali-O)—and worked them through the ‘90s until today, always breeding seeds for the next year.
The main breeder who goes by “Crockett” grew up the son of a pot grower, and his great uncle also grew. Today, his son’s a grower, too.
Pot prohibition peaked in the late 20th century, and Crockett’s use of his last name only (or a made-up name) came from having to hide during prohibition.
Back then, making seeds wasn’t a hobby but rather a mandate, Crockett told Leafly. Federal and state narcotics officers raided grows regularly in the ’80s and ’90s, so the Crocketts didn’t keep “mother plants” in an indoor farm, from which to take cuttings or clones.
“It was very risky back then to have an indoor setup. You could go to jail or get in big trouble for a long time,” said Crockett.
Younger Crockett and the family seed patch
Crockett got his start growing and breeding as a youngster in the family, tending smaller patches of cannabis grown for the next season’s seeds, far away from the main crops.
“That’s what got me involved in making seeds and creating strains—through those genetics handed down from the family,” Crockett told Leafly.
The Crocketts, and the mountain they grew on, became famous for their orange-flavored family heirloom Cali-O, he said.
“People would come every year to get that specific terpene profile,” he recalled. “It was a way to differentiate our farm and our product from a lot of other people’s product. And we really liked it, and I liked it.”
Crossing everything to Cali-O
Each season, Crockett crossed Cali-O to dozens of different strains. One year, Crockett bred their Cali-O with a mix of Skunk and a family secret and found an instant hit, Tangie.
Amid the OGs, Sours, and Purples of the early 2000s, “Tangie was this unique strain. It was definitely a hit right off the bat,” said Crockett.
As medical marijuana took off in California in 2006-2008, the Crocketts were pumping out Tangie on their farm. Word spread of this intensely orange-smelling weed with gobs of flavor and an approachable daytime effect.
“If you put a lot of strains on a table that were equally well-grown, Tangie is just going to dominate the room with smell,” said the breeder “Nick,” founder of Oni Seed Co., maker of Tropicanna Cookies F2.
“When you smoke it, it’s unmistakable,” said breeder Vince, co-founder of Symbiotic Genetics, maker of Mimosa.
A friendly sativa
Crockett also said Tangies offered something different than the typical old school sativas, which got you so high you felt uncomfortable.
“In my mind sativas were like psychedelic, sweating paranoia,” he said.
Testing at 18-22% THC, Tangie never felt that way.
“The high isn’t as intense as a lot of these other sativas, and it doesn’t knock you down like an indica. It’s this in-between, enjoyable high—so you get high, it tastes good, and if you don’t get high enough, smoke another bowl.”
“It’s good for beginners and anyone who tires of the same old,” Crockett added.
DNA Genetics brings Tangie to other continents
Tangie won its first Cannabis Cup in 2011 and caught the attention of the globe’s leading seed distributors, DNA Genetics, based out of Amsterdam, where drug law loopholes nurtured a massive weed seed scene.
Crockett met up with Don Morris and Aaron Yarkoni of DNA Genetics, who added the seeds to their legendary sales catalog.
“We all hit it off real well, and they kinda helped me get into the seed game as far as what the seed game is now. That’s where Crockett Family Farms really kind of took off, and that’s where the genetics became available for the public to buy,” he explained.
While Crockett was making Tangie crosses with DNA Genetics, he approved of others doing the same. Unlike other breeders who hoard their genetics, Crockett correctly intuited that the pathway to the pot pantheon involves others walking that path with you.
“You can’t just be producing it for a small community. You have to make it available for the world to buy.”Crockett, Crockett Family Farms
“If you want to make a strain that’s recognized around the world, you can’t just be producing it for a small community. You have to make it available for the world to buy,” he said.
The Crocketts did not hoard their intellectual property.
“If you bought the seeds then they’re your seeds, and you can do anything you want with them,” Crockett said. “It’s better for me and my company because Crockett strains formed the base and foundation for others’ big hits.”
Tangie shatters expectations for BHO
Even though Tangie offers beginner friendly effects, the invisible hand of high-tolerance hash lovers really drove its adoption as well.
Tangie’s riotous aroma survives the intense, liquid-butane extraction process to make butane hash oil, aka BHO. In the late 2000s, influential connoisseurs sought out shatter—a type of solid, glass-like solvent-made hash.
“Back then, ‘if it didn’t shatter, it didn’t matter,’ the saying went,” said Crockett.
Whereas most shatters tasted the same, Tangie shatter tasted like Tangie.
“There was flavor there,” he said. “When there’s no flavor at all, and you get something that has a flavor—it’s a winner.”
“It came out at that moment that everybody was looking for flavor and terps, and even just discovering terpenes. It was a new time.”
Two more attributes gave Tangie the juice to go the distance:
- “Everybody loves to breed with it,” said Crockett.
- And Tangie crosses led to explosively flavorful “rosin”—a connoisseur-grade non-solvent hash that’s red-hot today.
Tropicana Cookies adds power and color
One of those many breeding hits? Tropicanna Cookies, first bred by breeder Harry Palms, then refined as Tropicanna Cookies F2 by Oni Seed Co. in Colorado.
Harry Palms crossed a Tangie male to the Cookies strain and gave out the crosses, and the so-called “Mountain (MTN) Trop” became a staple of Colorado through dispensary 14er in Boulder, CO., the first to stock Tropicanna Cookies consistently.
Soon after, Tangie hype peaked and fell back. Cannabis aficionados had smoked so much Tangie flower and hash, they got bored. Harry Palms moved on to breed the Papaya strain, but Nick at Oni Seed Co. saw more in Tropicanna Cookies.
“I said, ‘I’m going to bring Tropicanna back,’ and Harry said, ‘Don’t do it. It’s played out Tangie trash.’”
“Every time I’m in a room of different hashes to smoke, it’s there: Tangie, Tangie, Tangie.”Nick, Oni Seed Co.
“I said, ‘No sir, she’s a star. I’m going to do it, anyway.’”
Breeding Tangie to the primal Forum Cut Cookies gave it added potency and new colors. Tangie became strong enough for the elite.
“I am a long-time smoker of many decades—if it gets me super high after just the same strain all day long, it’s going to wreck people.”
Oni Seed Co.’s Tropicanna Cookies F2 came out in 2017 and sold out instantly, said Nick. It went on to win many flower and hash contests. “I pulled that girl out of the trash and made her a star,” Nick reminisced.
Oni Seed Co., as well as Harry Palms’ Bloom Seed Co., keep pushing the limits of tropical cannabis flavors, especially for making hash. Nick said tons of Tangie crosses masquerade as other names, but the hash aroma cannot hide.
“Every time I’m in a room of different hashes to smoke, it’s there: Tangie, Tangie, Tangie,” said Nick.
That love of great hashmaking strains also led to another essential Tangie cross: Mimosa.
Mimosa takes ova’
Cycles of interest in Tangie wax and wane, while waves of hype for Tangie crosses have become even more extreme. Clementine and Purple Punch cross Mimosa hit new heights of popularity for a Tangie. And it all started over a love of hash.
In Sacramento in the 2010s, a hashmaker introduced indoor grower Michael at The Village to an outdoor grower/breeder who went by “Budologist” and whose name is Vince, from San Jose, CA. Together they formed Symbiotic Genetics, intending to combine their genetic library for high-end hash and flower production.
One of the many strains the newfound duo started with was Tangie descendent Clementine, specifically because it grows huge outside and can yield a lot of hash.
“It washes, it yields, it’s extremely citrusy. We just loved everything about it. We’re all about the flavor. We love something that just coats your mouth in flavor like Zkittlez would or a citrus strain,” Vince told Leafly.
Selected by the Jungle Boys
Under just two grow lights in the back of a dispensary, Michael and Vince crossed Clementine to a special Purple Punch male. They sent the resulting unnamed seeds off for test growing to a friend in 2016. But not just any friend—Michael from Symbiotic had a personal friendship with Ivan from the Jungle Boys, Los Angeles’ indoor growing titans.
The Jungle Boys grew out Symbiotic’s tester seeds, selected the most pungent, potent, and pretty, and in 2017 sold the bud in stores, documenting their progress on Instagram.
Michael at Symbiotic named the strain Mimosa, explaining, “We were smoking a joint of it, and it was very orangey and citrusy, and we were trying to come up with a cool orangey, citrusy name. And Michael just looked at me and said, ‘How about Mimosa?’ And we said, ‘Yeah that sounds great,’ and we called it Mimosa.”
“It just kind of freely happened, and I feel some of the best things in life, that’s how it happens.”Breeder/grower ‘Budologist’ Vince, Symbiotic Genetics
Some of the greatest artistic achievements come easily to those who’ve put in the homework, he said. Think of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks writing the smash hit song “Dreams” in about 10 minutes.
“It was something that wasn’t forced. It just kind of freely happened, and I feel some of the best things in life, that’s how it happens,” said Vince.
Breaking sales records, sweeping contests, crashing websites
When Symbiotic released Mimosa seeds (along with four other hybrids), they did it at two dispensaries—TLC Collective in Los Angeles, and South Sacramento Care Center (SSCC)—“there were literally lines around the corner on 4/20, and it blew our minds,” said Vince. “People lined up for hours, and then it broke the records at SSCC for sales in a single day. It was just this crazy buzz.”
In 2017, Mimosa swept the influential Chalice Cup in San Bernardino, CA, winning 1st Place Sativa, 1st Place in Concentrates, and Best Overall Flower.
“The win was huge,” said Vince. “It was a dream come true, honestly. Me and Michael are connoisseurs and we’re really into the whole cannabis industry; we live it. We’ve watched all these other people become successful, so to see something we created reach that height—it meant everything to us.”
Since then, Mimosa has took home one cannabis award or another every year to this day. Netflix’s Cooked with Cannabis features Mimosa heavily in its first episode. Seed sales for the “Mimosa V6” crosses this March crashed the website of seller Horror Seeds.
When Vince thinks back to their beginnings in the back of a Sacramento dispensary, he recalled, “It’s crazy to see that some small, two-light room that we started in has caused this type of vibration through the whole entire industry.”
Tangie love and haterade today
To this day, some smokers will pooh-pooh Tangie, saying it doesn’t get them high or its grapefruit smell is so intense it borders on rank.
But reports of Tangie’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Colorado stores might not stock straight Tangie, but Montana’s newly legal smokers are blown away, said Nick at Oni Seeds.
“You got to understand, some places are light years behind Colorado,” he explained.
Tangie’s children took home three trophies in 2021’s Oregon Cannabis Cup, voted on by Oregon smokers. Mimosa grown by PDX Organics took First Place in sativas. Tropicanna Cookies grown by Deschutes Growery took Third Place in sativas.
Crockett said Tangie “is more popular now than people like to admit. I’ve been getting hit up for it all the time.”
He said commercial growers want the terp profile and sativa hybrid effects in a plant that flowers faster than other sativas.
And taste remains subjective. “People who don’t like super strong-tasting Grapefruit flavor don’t like Tangie,” said Nick at Oni Seed.
“It’s something that’ll always be on menus somewhere. It’s been time-tested already and something that people want.”Vince, Symbiotic Genetics
But for every upturned nose, Tangie creates two new acolytes.
“I think the terpene profile is never going to go away,” said Vince at Symbiotic. “It’s something that’ll always be on menus somewhere. It’s been time-tested already and something that people want.”
Not sure? Put some Humboldt Seed Co. Squirt seeds in your garden this spring, or look out for Oni Seeds’ first seeds and flowers in licensed California stores later in 2021.
A timeline of Tangie cannabis strains
- 1980s: The multi-generational Crockett Family farms cultivate cannabis near Yosemite, CA
- 2000s: Crockett crosses everything to their Cali-O (California Orange) strain, including a Skunk crossed to a family secret. The result? An instant hit: Tangie.
- 2006-2008: Crockett pumps out Tangie in California, earning regional acclaim; a DNA Genetics partnership brings Tangie to breeders worldwide
- 2009-2011: Medical marijuana era California dispensaries introduce Tangie to the masses
- 2011: Tangie’s first Cannabis Cup win
- 2012-2015: The rise of butane hash oil (BHO)—especially so-called “shatter”—benefits Tangie, which remains uniquely aromatic in solid extract form
- 2016: Symbiotic Genetics in Sacramento, CA crosses the Tangie child Clementine to Purple Punch to make Mimosa. Symbiotic Genetics gives seeds of the then-unnamed cross to Jungle Boys to test.
- 2017: Mimosa wins three Chalice Cups in California, cementing its arrival; Oni Seed Co. debuts Tropicanna Cookies F2 in Colorado
- 2018-Present: Mimosa wins or places in cannabis contests every year
- 2020: Humboldt Seed Co. introduces Squirt, a highly refined cross of Blueberry Muffin and Tangie
- 2021: Two Tangie hybrids (Tropicanna Cookies, and Mimosa) win The Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice