Sour Apple Strain

Sour Apple in the fields. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)

Jelly Rancher

Make ’em jelly: Jelly Rancher fem seeds are sweet, berry, grape hybrid-sativa fun for ’21. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Company)

The best new cannabis strains to grow in 2021

North America’s weed gardeners, big and small, have begun their annual run on marijuana seed stores. From California to Maine, ganja growers are racing to stock up for the spring thaw and planting season.

“We’re getting slammed,” said Nathaniel Pennington, founder of seed leader Humboldt Seed Company in California. They offer 57 strains in their 2021 catalog, available in California, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Maine. “We’ve never had this level of demand.”

California breeder and Equilibrium Genetics founder Jason Matthys works seven days a week right now. He drops seed packs at dispensaries from mountainous McKinleyville, CA, to postcard-perfect Pacific Beach, San Diego. “It’s really starting to pick up,” he said.

“Seeds are selling really well,” said Brian Smith, inventory manager at Satori Wellness, Humboldt County, CA’s leading genetics retailer. “It’s the peak of the [seed] season pretty much from January 1 through April. Come on down, because, yes, they are moving.”

Why now?

“‘Corona year two’ is a superb year to grow,” said Matthys. “More people are checking out their backyard space, or setting up a little tent in their room to try something. They’re working from home, and remotely. It’s easy to check in on your tent when you don’t have to sit in traffic.”

Below, Leafly assembles its definitive, annual guide to the hottest pot popping off in America’s gardens. We mention 60+ strains, organized into six broad collections below.

Time to get growing, America.

Easy-peasy autos and fems

Growing can sound intimidating. So-called “autos” and “fem” seeds take the stress out of the learning curve. These two seed types are on track to upend regular seeds’ primacy.

Autoflowering seeds

Autoflowering seeds make your cannabis plant work like a clock. Put an auto in a 3-gallon pot, add water and sun, and in two and half months you’ll have finished bud, no matter the time of year.

Humboldt Seed Company’s boss says go for their Sour Apple auto this year.

“The Sour Apple is, I would say, our most beautiful autoflower that will really do well in any circumstance,” said Pennington.

Fems in season

“Fems” are short for “feminized seeds.”

If you’re growing weed to smoke, it’s a females-only party, and dudes ruin it. Only females produce buds. Statistically, five males will lurk in your standard 10-pack of regular seeds. That gives new growers anxiety, said Matthys.

“It’s a lot of newer growers that are afraid of males and they want to get something that won’t have male seeds,” he said. “People don’t like the experience of having to throw away plants that they don’t want.”

For 2021 fems, try to beat Humboldt Seed Company’s Jelly Rancher. This cross of Very Cherry to Notorious THC and Jelly Rancher Bx3 sparkles with resin and smells like blue cotton candy, strawberries, and grapes. Jelly Rancher grows to a medium size and ripens quickly.

They’re going to do great any place in California this year, said Pennington.

Exotic breeders Compound Genetics offer feminized seeds as well. Snap up Gummiez, Blueberry Octane, and Pink Certz fems from Compound at stores like Buds and Roses in the San Fernando Valley.