2022’s Leafly Strain of the Year is—Jealousy! - Read of Green
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2022’s Leafly Strain of the Year is—Jealousy!

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Source: Marijuana Moment

From the West Coast, over the Rockies, through the Midwest, and all the way out East, America’s most ardent weed tokers have spoken:

The Leafly Strain of the Year for 2022 is Jealousy!

Connoisseurs stuff Jealousy into joints, blunts, bubblers, and bong loads. The top growers farm it, and the best hashmakers wash and squish it into rosin and vape carts. Jealousy’s creator—industry-leading breeder Seed Junky Genetics—continues to feverishly re-mix the cultivar for even newer hits.

A few key facts:

  • In a little over two years, Jealousy has become a top 100 flavor on Leafly, out of 6,000 strains.
  • From 2021 to 2022, the strain went from being in about 90 stores listed on Leafly to over 1,500 stores and growing.
  • Jealousy flower, pre-rolls, seeds, clones, and cartridges sell from Long Beach, California, to Long Island, New York.
  • Seed vendors have sold out Jealousy at $750 per pack. Clones of authentic Jealousy have sold for $500 per cutting this year, and have drawn hundreds of buyers who’ve waited for hours.
  • Growers continue to win contests with the cultivar; it took second this summer in the California High Times Cannabis Cup.
  • The all-star strain made rival breeders so envious, it spawned counterfeits and rip-offs.

Let’s love up on Jealousy with a deep dive into the experience, origin, and impact of this blockbuster.

Love buzz: The experience of Jealousy

Remember the first time Gelato kissed your lips? Before it got all watered down and boring? Jealousy is a perfection of Gelato, a dominant varietal in weed.

Jealousy looks dramatic—it’s dark purple on the way to black, with dapples of bright green. It’s big, bulbous, weighty, and dense. Electric orange hairs arc out, and it’s frosted over and sleeted with crystalline, alien, otherworldly levels of trichomes. The bud looks good in any light—against white, black, blue, or pink.

Think of the best Gelato you’ve ever smelled, then imagine the exponent of that. Jealousy’s sweet, berry, creamy, and gassy dankness breaks down into notes of plum, Fruit Loops cereal, and citrus. Earthy bass notes of dank, pepper, pine, and diesel linger.

Connoisseurs roll this flower up in unbleached paper to get the most authentic taste, which can also reference honey, lilies, mint, and dough notes.

The effects take seconds—workday stress and tension release, jaws unclench, and you yawn, stretch, smile, giggle, and space out. Jealousy can test as high as 30% THC and slows time. It’s easy to forget to finish the bowl or joint. Euphoria comes on—that profound feeling of well-being. On Leafly, Jealousy averages 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 48 reviews and 1,692 likes. Reviewers worship it with comments like:

“I want to play my piano and sing! I want to make love to my husband and blow his mind! This strain should be called ‘World Peace’ rather than ‘Jealousy’ cos if everyone smoked it world peace would break out.”

Can you imagine how much good karma the breeder, Seed Junky Genetics has racked up?

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Zealots in the rocket factory: Inside Seed Junky HQ

The smell of exotic, perfect pot envelops the senses the second you step inside Seed Junky Genetics’ headquarters in Northridge, CA, a neighborhood of LA in the San Fernando Valley.

Behind a locked, eight-foot spiked iron gate patrolled by security guards, Seed Junky Genetics breeds, grows, and packages premium seeds, flowers, pre-rolls, and clones.

Even if you’re not smoking weed, you’d get giddy from the smell of the elite, high-octane harvest alone.

Seed Junky started in 2007 in the basement of co-owner ‘J Beezy’—a nom de guerre from the illicit days. Tall, buff, and always wearing black gloves, JB grew up in Southern California and has also lived in San Diego and the Bay Area.

“I guess I been through a lot in my life coming up. I wasn’t just passed a silver spoon,” JB relates in a 2022 video. “I just learned that you have to never give up, work super-hard, and grind. That’s how we got here. Everybody here worked super-hard and grinds. You have to be relentless. You can’t give up.”

Today, the company has roughly 100 employees and operates in three states. Seed Junky’s Northridge, CA, home base once housed a rocket factory, but for the last two and half years, J Beezy and co-owner “Wes” have built a different arsenal: Their strains have names like Gunnpowwder and Purple Octane. Walking into the flower room, massive quivers of shimmering white spears shoot toward the ceiling—all destined to burst into flame inside tens of thousands of joints that’ll send neon streaks across the mind’s eye.

No one’s cooking like Seed Junky. They have five flower rooms, plus three rooms just for their plant library, with hundreds of plants in each room. Rooms might include entire tables of commercial hits like Pineapple Fruz, as well as single rows of new tester strains, or even just a few plants.

J Beezy inspects a production run of the racy-feeling, tropical-smelling strain that’s Pineapple Fruz crossed to Mango. Wearing his trademark black nitrile powderless gloves, J Beezy stares deep into his work—looking at the color, bud size, plant shape, and smell. Late into the night, at home with family, he’ll smoke joints of new strains and write down flavor notes. Everything gets lab-tested for THC and terpenes.

“JB is a fucking animal about testing,” says Wes.

“Finding the new is just fun.”

J Beezy, co-owner, Seed Junky Genetics

“Nobody is spending $100,000 on labs to know what’s in our seeds like us,” JB says.

In an era of rampant THC score inflation, Seed Junky rejects fakery.

“We tell our labs, ‘If you lie to us, we’ll fire you,’” said JB.

JB keeps refining the platonic ideal of pot—elites that grow, look, smell, taste, and feel impeccable.

“Finding the new is just fun,” he says.

The name “seed junky” is an honorific for someone who spends all their time and money on weed seeds. Back in the online forum days of ICMag and THC Farmer, J Beezy would get together with about 30 other growers to review what seeds they popped and how they tasted.

“We would say, ‘So and so is a real seed junky. You’ll love him. He has everything,’” JB recounts.

Like most breeders, JB would cross two current hits, or a current star and an old-school classic to try and make something new. JB’s gift at selecting all-stars took years to hone through trial and error. He pops hundreds—and now thousands—of seeds for each new strain, then selects, tests, and repeats the process. The results dominate menus nationwide: Kush Mints, Wedding Cake, Ice Cream Cake, LA Kush Cake, and more.

The origin of Jealousy

The story of Jealousy’s explosion followed a similar arc. It started with GSC (aka Girl Scout Cookies), which the world’s No. 1 weed mogul Berner and his Cookies brand launched around 2012. GSC begat Sunset Sherbert by Mario “Mr. Sherbinski” Guzman, which begat Gelato. Then, Gelato became the Barry Bonds of pot—an undisputed powerhouse whose haters only prove its popularity. A version of Gelato would later fuel Jealousy.

Berner first linked up with JB and Wes at the Chalice Festival in Victorville, CA, during the late medical weed era, in 2017.

Berner calls JB “one of the most prolific breeders,” in the 2022 YouTube series “Inside the Bag,” saying: “I swear, bro, I work with a lot of people and you come through with new strains every couple of weeks. It’s almost hard to keep up.”

JB refined Sunset Sherbert by breeding it with itself and Animal Cookies to make Sherb bx1—where the “bx” stands for backcross. In 2018, JB hit the Sherb bx1 with not just any bagseed Gelato #41 or S1, but the so-called “Gel Bern” cut from Cookies’ main breeder, Jigga (aka Jai) himself.

“It’s the legit from Jai. And so was the Sherb as well,” JB says. “We know this is legit.”

JB recalls that when he brought Berner the resulting hybrid, and Bern said, “It smells like Gelato times 100.”

The name “Jealousy” contains the phonetic root “gel” from Gelato, but also refers to the chagrin of Seed Junky’s rivals.

(Leafly)
(Leafly)

“I like Jealousy a lot,” Bern says on video. “I called it Jealousy because I knew people were going to be Jealous when they saw that pheno, for sure.”

Jealousy debuted in adult-use stores in California in late 2019 as one of the lead-off flavors from The Minntz—a Cookies and Seed Junky Genetics collaboration brand. By mid-2020, Cookies could barely keep up with demand.

“We’re in competition with ourselves. We’re actually in the farm making strains, while [others] are making memes.”

J Beezy, co-owner, Seed Junky Genetics

Walking back through the drying room of Seed Junky’s headquarters, the world’s next iteration of elite weed stuns me. Other breeders might flex on Instagram with rented Lamborghinis, but Seed Junky Genetics puts all profits back into research and development. New strains finish every three weeks.

“We’re not here to floss,” says Wes, looking around the dark room.

“This is our Lambo,” adds JB.

“We’re in competition with ourselves,” he continued. “We’re actually in the farm making strains, while [others] are making memes.”

Covetous rivals: The impact of Jealousy

Growers, breeders, and smokers have adored, copied, and counterfeited the cultivar since its debut.

Seed Junky first sold commercial clones of Jealousy to other growers under license. One such grower, No Till Kings, in Long Beach, CA, jumped on it when it first came out. According to co-owner Jake Taylor, “Jealousy is a fire strain, and we’re only trying to grow fire.”

Cuttings of it and related crosses command top dollar. The December 2021 Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, CA, saw clones of Super Runtz (Biscotti x Sherb bx1 x Jealousy F2) sell for $1,000 each.

In June 2022, Cookies brand stores debuted Jealousy clones at $500 each. Hundreds waited hours in lines snaking out into the parking lot and around the block.

Trophies keep stacking up as well: In May 2022, a Jealousy x Banana Cream Cake took second place in ice water hash at The Emerald Cup awards show in LA. Grower LitHouse’s Jealousy flower took second in the greenhouse category as well.

In July, thousands of smokers across the influential LA market awarded Jealousy grown by LitHouse second place in the High Times Cannabis Cup People’s Choice SoCal 2022.

Anything Seed Junky releases goes into the rotation of breeders and growers, both big and small.

“Jealousy is a favorite,” Berner says on video. “People like that. A lot of people are growing that. Even the smaller growers just growing some heady shit—they’re growing Jealousy.”

It became clear during my visit to Seed Junky’s headquarters that the story of the strain touches a nerve for J Beezy and Wes. Other breeders started making seeds with relatives of it, or just straight-up counterfeited it.

“Ninety percent of stuff called ‘Jealousy’ is not it.”

J Beezy

“Ninety percent of stuff called ‘Jealousy’ is not it,” J Beezy told Leafly.

Marco at No Till Kings explains, “Any time a person has reached the level of fame that Seed Junky has, people are going to try and use that name for better or worse just to get attention. That’s why a lot of fake cuts are going around.”

Imitation is a form of flattery, Berner says on Inside the Bag. “It’s a compliment to your work, and you better just keep on breeding.”

Undaunted, Seed Junky keeps breeding new iterations of it, making it better, and adding it to other hits.

“Keep grinding. Don’t get lazy and just sit on it for 20 years,” JB tells watchers.

By 2021, Seeds Junky released a refined version called Jealousy bx1. “People got the real now. Before it was all the fake.”

The crew mixed it to established hit flavor Gary Payton, which re-launched this fall. As we head into winter 2022, and early 2023, Seed Junky is a wave machine that so many others surf in.

Baked-in desire: The chemistry of Jealousy

The Jealousy strain maxes out THC, the active ingredient in weed, and its aroma molecules, called terpenes. Consumers shop for high THC scores, but Seed Junky selects bud that tests high in both.

Lab tests on different batches top out at 30% THC—near the all-time high for cannabis.

While most lab-tested weed might have less than 0.5% terpenes, Jealousy regularly tests at several percentage points. These terpenes amplify and shape the high into the deep, long, multidimensional buzz that heads crave.

There are hundreds of different terpenes in weed, but this cultivar’s most prevalent ones map to the modern definition of exotic or “zaza” weed—the flower tests high in gassy beta-caryophyllene, citrusy limonene, and dank myrcene. Tests also note high levels of floral linalool, and earthy, woody, spicy humulene. You see this combo in Cereal Milk, Slurricane, Pink Runtz, Gelato #33, Gelato #41, Bubba Kush, and Animal Cookies.

If you like how the 2022 Leafly Strain of the Year smells and makes you feel, you can look for other buds that also rock that loud combo.

Jealousy genealogy: Varieties and descendants

Growing Jealousy or its hybrids, or stocking it on your menu, sends a message: “I understand the connoisseur cannabis conversation in the US right now.”

You can find Jealousy or its hybrids at fine dispensaries nationwide, and there are more than a dozen official or knockoff crosses or children to look out for.

Seed Junky Genetics wants you to check out their personal favorite strain of the year, Purple Octane—on sale in California as flower and pre-rolls. Purple Octane crosses (Biscotti x Sherb Bx1) x Jealousy F2. You can see J Beezy building on his work.

A sister to Purple Octane, Permanent Marker (Biscotti x Sherb Bx1) x Jealousy F3 also exudes hype right now. Gunnpowwder, too.

“Purple Octane, all the sisters, that line is ridiculous—it’s got the gas, candy, and color that the new school wants,” JB tells Bern.

Cookies just launched another relative, Pacman, as well as The Glove, this fall—which is Gary Payton x Jealousy. Berner said in a November press release that these crosses embody not only the Cookies brand but cannabis culture right now.

How we pick Leafly Strain of the Year

SOTY22 winner notes (Leafly)
(Leafly)

Leafy has more than 6,000 strains in its database, as well as more than 3,000 dispensary menus on its website, plus millions of readers each month. We have the perfect vantage point to watch what’s poppin’.

Advertisers cannot buy a Leafly Strain of the Year. Leafly’s subject matter experts research the top-trending strains and decide on which one gets the trophy.

Leafly Strain of the Year equates to a Grammy Award for Record of the Year or Pantone’s Color of the Year. Readers demand a current and trending strain, not a Lifetime Achievement Award.

One key factor? Availability. It takes years for a cultivar to launch, take root, take over menus, and take off.

Related

The Leafly Strain of the Year 2021 was Dosidos!

Leafly Strain of the Year tries to strike a sweet spot between searing hype and commercial access. While we lean hard into hype, it’s clear that if the perfect flower grows in the forest and nobody smokes it, it doesn’t make a sound. Newer strains like Deo Farms’ Zoap hybrid, Opal, might command more clout with West Coast smokers this winter, but the Jealousy wave just hit many US stores, and it’s far from saturated.

This year, we looked at year-over-year changes in strain page views, menu availability, and orders. Instantly, you see new hybrids on the move. We generated a short list and dove into them. (See: Leafly Strain of the Year runners-up of 2022.) We debate their newness, uniqueness, pedigree, and story. We scrutinize the breeder, the strain’s effects, and where it fits into the market.

We visit and interview growers and breeders, as well as go to dispensaries, trade shows, and Cannabis Cups to see what’s popping. And we smoke all the nominees.

Related

The Leafly Strain of the Year 2020 is—Runtz!

Ultimately, the independent Leafly News team makes the most informed choice possible on what becomes our Leafly Strain of the Year.

In 2020, Leafly catapulted Runtz into the top 10 in the US. In 2021, we honored the singular impact of Archive Seed Bank’s Dosidos—sending it into the top 10 as well.

The future: A Seed Junky world

More than a dozen notable Jealousy crosses are coming—not only from Seed Junky but from other breeders riffing on the work. You can expect to find flower, pre-rolls, clones, seeds, and more awards to roll in from its breeder and others.

We can’t wait to taste what’s next from Seed Junky in the Jealousy F3 line and beyond.

As JB says, “Our goal is to just spread the dank around the world, at our pace.”

Credits: Thank you to everyone who made this story possible, including the staff of Leafly News, Seed Junky Genetics, Cookies, The Minntz, growers No Till Kings, Truleaf, Seven Leaves, and CaliSelect, and photographers Video.Macro Erik Mayer, Phil Emerson, and CannaPics.

David Downs

Leafly Senior Editor David Downs received a Literary Excellence Award from Oaksterdam University in 2022. On the cannabis beat since 2009, he’s published three books, including the best-selling cannabis crop science book ‘Marijuana Harvest.’ Downs guest lectured at the Loyola Marymount University Law School’s Journalism Law School, UC Berkeley Extension, and contributed to Continuing Education of the Bar’s Marijuana Law Hub, sponsored by University of California and the State Bar of California. Downs’ work has appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, Rolling Stone, The Onion, Columbia Journalism Review, High Times, Billboard, and many more. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara, and was a Fellow at the Medill School of Journalism’s Academy of Alternative Journalism in Chicago.

View David Downs’s articles

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