Weedmaps' Strain Madness is well underway as the two wild card slots are now voted in. Congratulations to Strawberry Cough and Ice Cream Cake for making it into two of the 8th seeds where they will face up against the 1st seeds, OG Kush and Gelato, respectively.
And thanks to everyone who voted in wild cards on Sunday. There were more than 500 submissions, many of which were expected (Jack Herer, Bruce Banner, Skywalker OG, Cereal Milk), and some of which were less than expected (False Teeth, Pie Hoe).
A quick note on the Sunday submissions: Due to trademark concerns, we omitted submissions for strains named after the hero of a classic space opera, and some strains named after candy and cereal.
Quick thing: don't forget to vote for round 1 today, March 16, on Weedmaps' Instagram stories. Polls will stay open until Wednesday 4:20 p.m. PST.
And with that, let's dive into the 16 first-round matchups and the 32 strains competing.
(1) OG Kush v. (8) Strawberry Cough
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.
Strawberry Cough is the strain that you all know and love (and volunteered). A clear fan favorite, Strawberry Cough is rumored to have hailed from Connecticut and is an uplifting cross of Haze and Strawberry fields. But can it take down one of the most popular strains of all time?
Winner: OG Kush
(2) Wedding Cake v. (7) 24K Gold
Wedding Cake has become one of the go-to strains among weed enthusiasts. Famed L.A. growers Jungle Boys have put Wedding Cake on the map and into the conversation among the likes of Gelato and Biscotti. Last year Wedding Cake entered the tournament as a 4th seed but this year it jumped up to a 2nd seed.
A cross of Tangie and Kosher Kush, 24k Gold is a staple out of Amsterdam that has gone through a couple of name changes, so that may hurt its chances in the long run — but it's so delicious, it may just hold its own.
Winner: Wedding Cake
(3) Alien Kush v. (6) WiFi Cake
If you're feeling frisky, Alien Kush may be the answer. A true California native, its arousing and focused effects make it a clear contender for Strain Madness.
But Alien Kush isn't the only strain that can take you to space and back. WiFi Cake is a true match in this competition with superstar parents Wedding Cake and White Fire OG.
Winner: Alien Kush
(4) GDP v. (5) MAC
Granddaddy Purple is a mega-popular staple coming out of Northern California. Of course, it made its way — once again — to our annual Strain Madness battle. Can it take over the sleeper favorite MAC (Miracle Alien Cookies)?
(1) Gelato v. (8) Ice Cream Cake
Gelato made it all the way to the fire 4 last year, only to lose to the eventual champion, OG Kush. Like last year, Gelato is backed by the rap community. Rappers love name-dropping weed strains, Gelato chief among them.
But can it beat out a fan-favorite write-in?
Ice Cream Cake showed its true colors in the cannabis community as a strain to be reckoned with — you voted it in as adversary to popular Gelato.
(2) AK-47 v. (7) Wedding Crasher
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. But tasting like grapes and vanilla, Wedding Crasher shouldn't be discounted — it could win with its delicious makeup and euphoric effects.
(3) Banjo v. (6) Apples & Bananas
Hailing from Santa Cruz-based breeder Strong Agronomy, Banjo offers an ultra-uplifting high that may just overtake the unique taste of its challenger: Apples & Bananas. Both strains are first-time contenders in Strain Madness, and are an even match when it comes to strain favorites.
(4) Bubba Kush v. (5) Sour Diesel
Bubba Kush was produced accidentally in Matt Berger's garden in the 90s and is a cross between Northern Lights and Kush. Since then, it's become one of our most coveted strains.
Meanwhile, Sour Diesel is also 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. It's also well-loved among sativa enthusiasts, and we don't see that reverence ever diminishing.
These two strains make the ultimate 90s kids battle.
Winner: Sour Diesel
(1) Blue Dream v. (8) 13 Dawgs
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. Last year, Blue Dream suffered a disappointing loss to Gelato in the 1st round. This year the seeding placed it against a less challenging opponent in the opening matchup.
But don't overlook the creative and energetic effects of Canadian-bred 13 Dawgs — nothing's set in stone until it's all said and voted on.
Winner: Blue Dream
(2) Green Crack v. (7) Apple Fritter
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 after duking it out with delicious Apple Fritter.
Winner: Green Crack
(3) Forbidden Fruit v. (6) Purple Haze
Forbidden Fruit is all sweet, fruity flavor, and a day-to-day favorite for many consumers. This strain 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.
According to Sam the Skunkman, Purple Haze originated in Colombia, a phenotype of the standardized Haze cultivar he bred during the 60s and 70s. It's an excellent matchup to Forbidden Fruit where either strain could come out on top.
Winner: Purple Haze
(4) Mimosa v. (5) Super Lemon Haze
Mimosa is celebrated for its 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. On the flip side, Super Lemon Haze is also a celebrated day-time strain, so we're looking at two heavyweights in wake-and-bake circles for the first round of Strain Madness.
Winner: Super Lemon Haze
(1) Pineapple Express v. (8) Alpha Blue
Pineapple Express has so much going for it. Not only is it a solid strain with reportedly balanced effects and fruity flavors, it's also an A-list movie star that took 2nd place in last year's competition. But don't label Alpha Blue as an underdog here; it's a standout sativa that won second place as Best Sativa in High Times Medical Cup in both Denver and in San Francisco in 2011 and is still going strong.
Winner: Pineapple Express
(2) Biscotti v. (7) Bonkers
Biscotti is a clear 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.
Can Bonkers take on that fight? There are reportedly two versions of Bonkers on the cannabis market, one from Exotic Genetix who crossed Cookies and Cream with Lemon Tree, and the other from Next Generation Seeds who combined Grapefruit, Burmese, Purple Indica, and a ruderalis cultivar for their take on the unique strain. Bonkers could be a double take-down on popular Biscotti.
(3) GMO Cookies v. (6) Pink Rozay
GMO Cookies and Pink Rozay are two heavy-hitting strains with huge support from their fans, so it'll be a suspenseful knock-down challenge when it comes to declaring a winner.
Winner: GMO Cookies
(4) GG4 v. (5) GSC
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.
Meanwhile, GSC is a modern marvel in strain form. Another Cookie Fam original, GSC has won multiple awards and continues to be one of our most sought after strains. A true matchup if we've ever seen one.