9 runner-up strains to Leafly Strain of the Year 2023 - Read of Green
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9 runner-up strains to Leafly Strain of the Year 2023

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Source: Marijuana Moment

The Grammy Awards have Record of the Year. Time Magazine has Person of the Year. And Merriam-Webster even does Word of the Year. You know what’s way cooler? Leafly Strain of the Year, and it arrives Tuesday, Dec. 5.

So let’s wet your bong with nine badass strains that ran in the front of the pack to become Leafly Strain of the Year 2023. We repeat: the strains below are NOT Leafly Strain of the Year 2023—but they performed admirably and they deserve plenty of shine of their own. 

Here are some all-star strains that did numbers this year—find and shop them on Leafly and take a fat rip of transcendence.

9th runner-up—Grape Cream Cake

Hundreds upon hundreds of dispensaries served up fresh Grape Cream Cake in 2023, making Leafly take notice, and add it to the short list of potential winners this year. Bred by Bloom Seed Co from Cannarado’s Grape Pie x Wedding Crasher, it should emit grape, cream, and cake smells and tastes, and elicit an indica hybrid effect. Colorado ate it up, and so did hash-makers—they’re always on the look-out for strains that squish well and release gobs of sticky rosin. All of these attributes proved fashionable and delightful in 2023. Congrats Bloom Seed Co on another flower in your crown—look out for more ooey-gooey goodness from Bloom Seed Co in 2024. We love their new Candy Fumez.

8th runner-up—GastroPop

Breeder Compound Genetics had a solid year with one of their royalty strains GastroPop—a cross of Apples & Bananas x Grape Gas. It’s purple with grape, fuel, and fizzy soda flavors that hits hybrid and can potentially help manage pain, depression, or stress. Also you will eat your entire fridge. Bred during the Chris Lynch era at Compound, Grape Gas itself has the winners Grape Pie and Jet Fuel Gelato in it. Apples & Bananas keeps winning with the potent parents Blue Power x Gelatti. Over the last year, we saw GastroPop start appearing on hundreds of dispensary menus nationwide, and generate significant buzz: two key attributes of any strain of the year contender. GastroPop crosses have had a solid year as well. Don’t miss Pink Certz, or Glitter Bomb. Even newer ones hit the grow rooms in 2024 like GastroPop S1, and GastroPop x Mellowz.

7th runner-up—Devil Driver

We’re keeping a close eye on everything the relatively new breeder Tiki Madman works on—especially after seeing the year that Devil Driver had. Tiki combined Cannarado’s heavy hitting dessert strain Sundae Driver with Midwest Best’s Watermelon Z x Lemon Tree #11 hybrid dubbed Melonade. Devil Driver looks sleeted with icy white trichomes over a dramatic, dark leaf—really helping set the bar for weed aesthetics in 2023. It’s a rockstar in the grow room, said large-scale high-end California indoor grower Anna Willey, founder of CAM. “I love it. It literally is the most beautiful plant growing ever, ever, ever.” Devil Driver tests sky-high in THC with sativa-leaning hybrid effects and a muted, coy lemon-citrus-spice smell and taste. You know Devil Driver’s a hit based on all the breeders working to make crosses of it. Budtenders nationwide also recommended Devil Driver often in our first annual Budtenders’ Choice Awards survey, the results of which go live on December 5th with Leafly Strain of the Year. See also: Dante’s Inferno.

And that’s three of the strains we short-listed on our search for Leafly Strain of the Year 2023. Come back Thursday and Friday Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 as we unveil the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st runners-up to Leafly Strain of the Year 2023.

And set your alarms for 6 am PST on December 5th when we announce Leafly Strain of the Year 2023—it’s gonna slap! 

6th runner-up—To Be Announced

We reveal the 6th runner-up to Leafly Strain of the Year 2023 on Thursday, Nov. 30.

5th runner-up—To Be Announced

Leafly reveals the 5th runner-up on Thursday, Nov. 30.

4th runner-up—To Be Announced

Leafly reveals the 4th runner-up on Thursday, Nov. 30.

3rd runner-up—To Be Announced

Leafly reveals the 3rd runner-up on Friday, Dec. 1.

2nd runner-up—To Be Announced

Leafly reveals the 2nd runner-up on Friday, Dec. 1.

1st runner-up—To Be Announced

Leafly reveals the 1st runner-up on Friday, Dec. 1.

How do we choose Leafly Strain of the Year each year?

Leafly Strain of the Year aims to bottle the essence of the connoisseur cannabis conversation unfolding across the country and online globally over the last year. 

We fuse two approaches to land on Leafly Strain of the Year each year: 1) a qualitative approach informed by 2) data from unparalleled quantitative insight into national strain trends.

The qualitative: Leafly has nearly full access to the qualitative aspects of weed. We smoke hundreds of new cultivars per year and travel the world interviewing breeders, growers, buyers, budtenders, smokers, and influencers to get a tactile sense of what’s smoking. We got literal file cabinets full of new weed.

… there’s no ChatGPT prompt that’ll ever hallucinate anything close to Leafly Strain of the Year.

The quantitative: We take all those smoking notes and insights and go back to our analytics looking for new strains that had a break-out year in terms of national menu penetration, sessions to the Strain Detail Page, and other data factors—similar to the NFL picking its Most Valuable Player each year. With nearly 6,000 strains in the database, thousands of store menus listed, and millions of monthly active users—only Leafly has this level of insight into both the data of modern cultivars and the sensory attributes of smoking them.

 As long as computers can’t walk the US weed beat, smelling, tasting, and getting high, there’s no ChatGPT prompt that’ll ever hallucinate anything close to Leafly Strain of the Year. So thanks for rocking with us.

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