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Top strains of 2020: Runners-up to Strain of the Year

Now that the cat’s out of the bag and the Leafly Strain of the Year for 2020 is out in the world, let’s talk about some of the weed strains that didn’t make the cut, but were on the shortlist.

These five weed strains, plus three honorable mentions, have been trending all year, and their flavor and chemical profiles reveal something about the tastes of weed smokers in 2020. 

As with picking the Strain of the Year, Leafly used a combination of data and editorial expertise to narrow down the finalists. We looked at what’s popular in stores and in different regions of the country, and how strains performed the past year. Our independent review excluded any input or influence from outside parties, as well as the Leafly sales team.

If our Strain of the Year wasn’t your top pick—or even if it was—check out these trending strains to see what else smokers have been lighting up in 2020. 

The Leafly Strain of the Year 2020 is—Runtz!

GMO Cookies

gmo cookies weed strain
GMO Cookies. (Cream of the Crop Gardens)

Don’t let the abbreviation for “Garlic, Mushrooms, and Onions” or its nickname, “Garlic Cookies,” deter you. GMO Cookies is a one-of-a-kind strain, for sure. Often described as a “savory smoke,” when you think about this strain, think sweet cookies drenched in gas – a result of parents GSC and Chemdog

This strong strain has a classic indica feel that won’t get you moving anytime soon, so don’t count on it. Sweet strain and gas lovers alike usually love GMO Cookies, and with two popular parents, it’s no wonder it keeps stinking up the charts in 2020. 

Ice Cream Cake

ice cream cake marijuana strain
Ice Cream Cake. (Aeriz)

Ice Cream Cake proves that smokers still love sweet strains. Crossing Wedding Cake (last year’s Strain of the Year) with Gelato #33 (a phenotype of 2018’s Strain of the Year), Cookies are in its lineage and dessert strains are still in.

Ice Cream Cake has been popular pretty much since it came out and has been lurking around our list of top strains ever since, eyeing the Strain of the Year trophy. But really, what’s not to love?

It’s sweet and easy, with a creamy flavor and hints of vanilla; plus it’s got a classic terpene profile full of limonene and caryophyllene. 


slurricane marijuana strain
Slurricane. (Meraki Gardens)

This relative newcomer to the charts has taken the strainosphere by storm. Slurricane crosses Do-Si-Dos and Purple Punch, so it’s got, you guessed it… more GSC in its roots. But deep in that Purple Punch there’s some Granddaddy Purple that shines through with a subtle grape and berry taste.

Extra sweetness comes from its Do-Si-Dos parent, and despite its name, Slurricane has a smooth relaxation that comes on slowly – probably something to do with the OG and Granddaddy Purp deep in its family tree.

This smiley indica will get you relaxed after a long day and make you not want to get up—not like you’ve got a giant stone on your lap, but more like a purring cat you don’t want to bother.  

Original Glue

original glue marijuana strain
Original Glue. (Leafly)

Good ol’ Original Glue, aka Gorilla Glue, or GG4, is alive and well in the strain world. Original Glue co-creator Joesy Wales passed away in 2020, but his legacy lives on and is thriving.

Named for its trichome density and stickiness—lore has it a phone stuck to Joesy’s hand after trimming the stuff, hence “glue”—Original Glue is a workhorse, and breeders have crossed it with anything and everything, including: Superglue, New Glue, Sister Glue, Purple Glue, Cookie Glue… the list goes on.

Original Glue has become a new standard with its sharp, distinctive diesel taste and hints of chocolate seeping into strains all across the spectrum. One-of-a-kind, it continues to stay at the top of the charts.

MAC (Miracle Alien Cookies)

MAC marijuana strain
MAC, aka Miracle Alien Cookies. (Aeriz)

The sweetness of GSC is everywhere, explaining why MAC has been steadily climbing the charts for some time now.

Boasting an impressive ancestry with GSC, Chemdawg, Starfighter, and Alien Technology, Miracle Alien Cookies is known for sending smokers into outer space. This powerful strain’s a solid daytime high, great for feeling euphoric and relaxed, but also productive.  

Known for dense, frosty nugs, high amounts of the terpene limonene give MAC a citrusy, orange taste, which mixes with a gassy musk. 

Honorable mentions

These strains didn’t make the top set but weren’t too far behind, so we want to show them a little love, too. Expect to see more of them in 2021.

mendo breath marijuana strain
Mendo Breath. (Matrix NV)
sundae driver marijuana strain
Sundae Driver. (Aeriz)
mimosa marijuana strain
Mimosa. (Maven Genetics)

Mendo Breath

Breath strains were hot in 2020, and Mendo Breath led the pack. Descended from OG Kush Breath, leave this one for the end of the night. 

Sundae Driver

Granddaddy Purp makes another appearance, buried in the FPOG genetics of Sundae Driver. This relaxing strain is great for chilling out on a Sunday afternoon with not much to do.


Another Purple Punch cross, Mimosa’s been a solid contender for a year or two now. Mimosa stands out because it’s high in the terpene myrcene. Give this one a toke for some sweet citrus and fruit punch flavors.

Pat Goggins's Bio Image
Pat Goggins

Pat Goggins is a senior editor who handles Leafly's informational content and specializes in cannabis cultivation after working for a commercial grower in Oregon. When not fixing typos, you’ll probably find him on a boat or in the mountains.

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