Update: We updated to on March 18 to show the winner of each matchup.
And the competition is well underway as the two wild card slots are now voted in. Congratulations to Purple Punch and Jack Herer for making it into two of the 8th seeds where they will face up against the 1st seeds, Biscotti and Acapulco Gold, respectively.
And thanks to everyone who voted in wild cards on Sunday. There were more than 1,030 submissions, many of which were expected (Jack Herer, SFV OG, Tangie), some of which were less than expected (Sunday Driver, Famous OG), and some that were out of left field (a decent amount of you really like Gary Payton).
A quick note on the submissions, we were advised against including any strains that could run up against some trademark infringement. This included a strain named after the hero of a classic space opera and some strains named after candy and cereal. Sorry, but that's the weed world we live in.
Quick thing: don't forget to vote on Weedmaps' Instagram stories. Polls will stay open until Tuesday 4:20 p.m. PST.
And with that, let's dive into the 16 first-round matchups and the 32 strains competing.
(1) Biscotti v. (8) Purple Punch
Biscotti is a clear number 1 and favorite among weed enthusiasts. Developed by the iconic Cookies Fam Genetics, founded by rapper Berner and grower Jigga, Biscotti is a descendant from GSC, Gelato #25, and South Florida OG. This strain has reached icon status in the last several years and isn't likely to go down without a fight.
Purple Punch is the strain that volunteered as tribute. Not that I'm trying to write Purple Punch's early obituary, but it would be a stunning upset to see it takedown Biscotti. But a couple of you felt it deserved a shot, and everyone loves to see an underdog. Do I smell an upset? Maybe, but it won't be easy.
Winner: (8) Purple Punch
(2) Sour Diesel v. (7) Kush Mints
Several of you predicted Sour Diesel going all the way, and I have to admit it's not a bad bet. Sour Diesel is one of those storied strains from the 90s weed scene that not only garners respect from longtime stoners and growers but manages to stay relevant among a sea of new strains and trends.
But make no mistake, Kush Mints is not to be trifled with. Originally bred by Seed Junky Genetics in Southern California, Kush Mints is named for its strong minty flavor and reported heavy effects.
Winner: (2) Sour Diesel
(3) Green Crack v. (6) AK-47
Despite the name, Green Crack is a staple in most retailers and delivery menus, so it's no surprise to not only see it in the competition but in a strong seed. Green Crack reportedly has ties to Snoop Dogg, which doesn't hurt when it comes to name recognition. We wouldn't be surprised to see it in the next round.
But that doesn't mean AK-47 is going down quietly. A staple from the early 90s, AK-47 has won tons of awards at various cannabis cups throughout the 2000s. Winning this round would be another notch on AK's belt.
Winner: (3) Green Crack
(4) Blue Dream v. (5) Gelato
A colleague called this matchup Duke vs. UNC and he couldn't be more right. Blue Dream is probably the most popular strain in the modern age of weed, which makes it also one of the most hated strains by weed snobs. Whenever I think of Blue Dream, this scene from the HBO series Crashing comes to mind. And while Blue Dream (probably) won't make you a genius, it's become so popular with your casual cannabis users that it could carry it out of this nail-biting matchup.
But Gelato has a major ally in its corner: the rap community. Rappers love name dropping weed strains, Gelato chief among them. Heck, a rapper is one of the people rumored to have originated the strain. Gelato is considered weed caviar, a strain to be coveted. I once bought an ounce of Gelato from Cookies in Hollywood and it really did wonders for my self-esteem.
Winner: (5) Gelato
(1) OG Kush v. (8) Pink Panties
OG Kush is perhaps the most storied and legendary strain in all of weed culture. Its origin story is one of the most discussed topics in weed and being able to grow it is a rite of passage among cultivators. OG Kush is renowned for its potency and effects and has stayed relevant on retail menus to this very day. But is that enough to carry it all the way to the championship?
But first, it will have to get through Pink Panties. A clone-only from legendary grower Mr. Sherbinski, Pink Panties is supposedly closely related to OG Kush. How poetic would it be if OG Kush were taken down by its descendant?
Winner: (1) OG Kush
(2) Mimosa v. (7) Northern Lights
Mimosa is celebrated for it's sweet and citrusy flavors and reported energetic and uplifting effects. Like the brunch drink it's named for, Mimosa is a popular strain for daytime-use that has been gaining traction in California weed circles. Is this its chance to break out into the mainstream?
And yet Northern Lights has been one of the most popular weed strains since the 1980s. While it's origins are hazy, it's associated with legendary breeder Neville Schoenmaker and Sensi Seeds in the Netherlands. Northern Lights still commands lots of love and it wouldn't be a surprise to see it knock off the new kid on the block.
Winner: (7) Northern Lights
(3) Forbidden Fruit v. (6) GG4
A “beauty and the beast” matchup if there ever was one. Forbidden Fruit is all sweet, fruity flavor, and a day-to-day favorite around the Weedmaps office. Forbidden Fruit seems to have taken Tangie's place as the fruity strain of choice as of late, and it's cool to see it as a 3 seed.
GG4 is an absolute monster of a strain. Consistently on lists of high THC strains, GG4 is synonymous with potency and known for being one of the first strains to test at above 30% THC in the days when cracking the thirties was unheard of.
Winner: (6) GG4
(4) Wedding Cake v. (5) Cherry Pie
Wedding Cake is another one of those strains gaining a lot of traction among weed enthusiasts. Fame L.A. growers Jungle Boys have put Wedding Cake on the map and into the conversation among the likes of Gelato and Biscotti.
But Cherry Pie is a Cookie Fam strain with plenty of its own supporters. This should be a close matchup between two California strains that pits north against south.
(1) Acapulco Gold v. (8) Jack Herer
Acapulco Gold is another classic strain with mysterious origins. While it's best years are probably behind it, the fact that it made it into the competition is a big plus, and it felt good to give it a 1 seed, to be honest.
It's too bad it's getting matched up with the Jack Herer wild card. If there is one thing I learned from this exercise it's that you all really wanted Jack Herer in the mix. And so you got Jack Herer in the mix, and now it's matched up against poor Acapulco Gold, who I'm thinking might get taken down in this first matchup. But who knows, we'll have to see how you all vote.
Winner: (8) Jack Herer
(2) Peanut Butter Breath v. (7) Godfather OG
Peanut Butter Breath v. Godfather OG is one of those boring first-round matchups that not that many people are going to be excited about, let's be completely honest. I haven't had either, so I'll probably flip a coin. Don't @ me.
Winner: (7) Godfather OG
(3) 24k v. (6) Granddaddy Purple
This should be an interesting matchup. 24k is a staple out of Amsterdam that has gone through a couple of name changes, so that may hurt it in the long run. Granddaddy Purple is a popular staple coming out of Northern California and is fun to say. Go ahead, say it: Grand. Daddy. Purple. Both are solid smokes with plenty of supporters, so I'm curious to see who advances.
Winner: (6) Granddaddy Purple
(4) MAC v. (5) Pineapple Express
I've seen a few of you predict MAC making it all the way through the competition, which is a bold prediction, in my opinion. But then again, I've seen a lot of people swear by MAC in the last 6-12 months. And MAC stands for “miracle alien cookies,” so it has that going for it.
But Pineapple Express has so much going for it. Not only is it a solid strain with its reportedly balanced effects and fruity flavors, there is that whole stoner action movie that everyone is a pretty big fan of. I've got my money on Pineapple Express.
Winner: (5) Pineapple Express
(1) GSC v. (8) Alien OG
GSC is a modern marvel in strain form. Another Cookie Fam original, GSC broke into the mainstream when girl scouts started selling actual girl scout cookies outside of dispensaries. One of those art imitating life scenarios that results in GSC taking the 1 seed.
But Alien OG is a really strong contender. Some of you think it could go all the way, which I could actually see happening, too. While I think Alien OG is still a little too niche to overtake the mainstream appeal of GSC, if the weed enthusiasts come out in droves it might be enough to push Alien OG over the top.
Winner: (8) Alien OG
(2) Sherbet v. (7) Harlequin
Is it just me or is it surprising that Sherbet is still this popular? It's like when Beck comes out with a new album and you say “Oh what, Beck is still doing stuff?” and then you listen to it and it's still good and you remember that “Oh yeah, Beck is still cool.” Sherbet is like that.
Sadly, Harlequin is the only CBD-dominant strain in the competition. While I would love to see a CBD strain make it far in the competition, I just don't see it happening. Lock in Sherbet for the next round.
Winner: (2) Sherbet
(3) Afghani v. (6) Candyland
Afghani is a classic, landrace strain originating from Afghanistan and Candyland is named after a children's board game that requires no skill or strategy. Moving along.
Winner: (3) Afghani
(4) GMO Cookies v. (5) 9lb Hammer
One Instagram follower was so outraged not to see GMO Cookies in the competition that they missed the fact that GMO Cookies was indeed in the competition. It could have been the strong effects of GMO Cookies, or just the fact that people love this strain and want to see it do well. Either way, it's going to be a tough out of any challenger.
And that challenger is 9lb Hammer. Known for its heavy, sedative effects, 9lb Hammer is known for knocking out users not too long after they smoke a bowl or joint. It might pack enough of a punch to knock out the rest of the competition.
Winner: (4) GMO Cookies