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Top 7 cannabis strains of the 2018 harvest season

Published on October 25, 2018 · Last updated November 17, 2020
illustration of croptober - marijuana harvest season at leafly


Croptober is in full tilt, bringing in thousands of strains of expertly cultivated sungrown cannabis by the millions of pounds.

While the massive amount of outdoor cannabis cultivated is a marvel on its own, growers also use the season to show off their genetic diversity. Some of our favorite strains are harvested to perfection either by fine-tuning an existing lineage or by crossing exotic genetics to create remarkable new offspring, dubbed phenotypes.

There’s a tension between growing surefire blockbusters, and something more original, experts said.

“A lot of growers are trying to do what everybody else does,” said Kym Kemp, cannabis industry expert in the cultivation heartland of Humboldt County, CA. “They’re trying to minimize problems. They need a name people will recognize. Gorilla glue. Some Gelato. Those are names you can pretty much know somebody somewhere is going to want.”

Direct from the farmers mouths to your eyes, here are the top cannabis strains of the 2018 harvest season.

Purple Punch

purple punch cannabis strain

Emerging as one of the best indica-dominant hybrids in recent years, Purple Punch lives up to its name by crossing two classic strains—Larry OG and Grand Daddy Purple. These buds are heavily frosted with trichomes and exude a potent aroma of fruit and candy. Its creamy, berry finish only compliments its heavy sedative nature, perfect for ailments such as nausea and depression, patients report. This particular strain’s resistance to mites, coupled with a moderate to heavy yield, also helps to make Purple Punch—and new crosses of it—stand out this harvest season.

Stephen Dillon, founder of True Humboldt in Humboldt County, CA said this year’s run of Punch is “just sparkly and beautiful. People think it’s indoor all day long.”

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Sunset Sherbert

The ever-popular Girl Scout Cookies strain, combined with the heavy-hitting indica Pink Panties make up the genetics behind Sunset Sherbert—a full-bodied indica-dominant hybrid identified by its sweetly inviting smell and dense, resinous buds. This phenotype is relatively quick to flower, making up for a moderate amount of difficulty growing outdoors. However, when cultivated properly the buds should pop with hues of orange and purple, just like a good Sherbert.

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For those who demand terpene-packed satisfaction, look no further than Zkittlez, an indica-leaning hybrid known for its comforting tropical fruit flavor and pleasantly uplifting stress relief. The cross between Grape Ape and Grapefruit is a joy to grow outdoors, as this strain is highly resistant to mold and mildew, and is preferably grown with lots of sunlight.

Out in the greenhouses of Salinas, CA. The Weed Brand and Paradiso farms finish curing new cuts of Zkittlez crosses from the award-winning breeders Terp Hogz.

The new crosses of “Cherry Zkittlez”, “OranZina”, and “Zmoothie” are “super icy, they’re chunky and they smell amazing,” said CEO Christina DiPaci. “That’s the holy trinity of what a grower can ask for.”

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Forbidden Fruit

You won’t send humanity into eternal damnation by indulging in this Forbidden Fruit. Instead, you’ll send yourself through a period of euphoric relaxation strong enough to melt away inflammation and symptoms of stress. The terp-heavy cross between Cherry Pie and Tangie is a breeze to grow in moderate conditions and carries a high resistance towards pests and crop-related diseases.

Flowerdaze Farms in Trinity County, CA  crossed a Forbidden Fruit with a purple cotton candy from their area Hyampom. It’s called Rose Lemonade and grower Jacob Johnson said, it “kind of smells like a drink. It’s this all-purple leafed flower with an amazing rose lemonade nose.”

(Destined for Solful in Sebastopol, Barbary Coast in San Francisco and People’s OC in Orange County.)

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Yet another child of Girl Scout Cookies genetics, Do Si Dos is also parented by the strong indica Face Off OG to provide a relaxing experience with just enough energy to keep creative. With a blissfully easy growing process and bountiful yields, some of the best sungrown Do Si Dos crops can be identified by glistening trichomes and deep purple colors. We’re starting to see crosses of Do-Si-Dos like Dosi-Punch (with Purple Punch) and Dosickeys (with Bickey’s Cookies).

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Original Glue (Gorilla Glue, GG#4)

original glue cannabis strain

Just like muscle cars and fizzy beverages, nothing beats a classic, and Gorilla Glue #4 has earned that status. Also known as Original Glue, this superstar strain is the product of a three-way between Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel. These chunky, aromatic colas flourish in warm and sunny atmospheres before giving way to ridiculously sticky, resinous buds that can do a number on trimming scissors. Expect lots of crosses of Glue through New Year.

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Key Lime Pie

This lip-smacking phenotype proves yet again that Girl Scout Cookies makes for a bedrock of solid cannabis genetics. The strain is accentuated by carrying sweet, candy-like notes of lime and mint, and wallops users with a wave of relaxation suitable for chronic pain and sleeplessness. Key Lime Pie isn’t the most forgiving plant to grow, however, leaving more experienced growers to unlock its full potential. Look out for Key Lime crosses this year as well. Flowerdaze Farms in Trinity County made a Lime Candy this year, crossing Key Lime Pie with their heirloom purple Hyampom ‘cotton candy’.

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Also Contributed: David Downs

What is your strain of fall 2018? We’re down for those Do-Si-Dos crosses. Let us know in the comments!

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Oscar Pascual
Oscar Pascual
Oscar Pascual is a journalist based in Southern California specializing in cannabis, entertainment, sports and sneaker culture. He is the editor of Smell the Truth and contributes to Cannabis Now. His accomplishments include an interview with the Beastie Boys and a smoking session with John Salley.
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