Which Cannabis Strain Breeders Can I Trust?
Don’t you want the best-of-the-best cannabis genetics for your next grow? You can help ensure you get a great strain by starting with a great breeder. This article shares some of the most popular and reputable cannabis breeders, including information and recommended strains for each one. I’ve divided this tutorial into two parts. First I’ll give a list of recommended breeders and strains, then the second half will discuss the current state of genetics in the cannabis world.
Recommended Breeders of American Genetics
– This is my favorite source of American genetics so far. They offer modern genetics, but unlike the two examples below, they actually stabilize each strain in seed form so you can get the consistency of growing the same strain every time. I want to be able to come back and order the same strain if I like it, and Seed Supreme is (so far) one of the first breeders of American genetics I’ve found that offers that option. – Mostly offers “crosses”, which means they breed two good plants together and sell the seeds without much (if any) stabilization or back-crossing. Even though they don’t offer stabilized strains and their yields/results are variable, I included them on the list for people who don’t care as much about consistency and want to hunt for new phenotypes using modern genetics with lots of variation. – I like the strains I’ve grown from this breeder, but the seeds are EXPENSIVE. My friend who gave me some of these seeds paid $200 for 10 feminized seeds. I wouldn’t recommend them unless you plan on taking clones and doing a breeding program as the strains are not stabilized (same as Ethos) but if you’re looking for lots of new phenotypes to explore with cutting-edge genetics, this is another great choice. They release their strains in “drops” and it can be difficult to get your hands on their seeds. I recommend following them on their Instagram account to learn when and where to buy seeds for the next drop.
The Seed Supreme version of Platinum Cookies is something special! But with THC levels that hit 28%, just make sure you don’t have anything else planned for the day.
Recommended European Cannabis Breeders
These breeders have good reputations and stabilized genetics, which means their strain descriptions can be trusted. Although some of them do source some genetics from the USA, they primarily breed with genetics that have made it to Europe. Some of these genetics are difficult to find in the US, but often offer unique or interesting effects compared to the trendy American strains. European strains tend to be lower in THC (under 20%, though not always), which is great if you want more classic effects, but not the best choice if you want to feel overwhelmed by the bud effects. If you’re looking for “Face melter” strains, then I recommend sticking to the section of American breeders.
– Barney’s Farm has been selling seeds out of Amsterdam since 1992, and they regularly develop new genetics and refine their lineup. In my experience, strains can be hit or miss, but I included Barney’s Farm on the list because they offer some real winners. When I’ve grown these strains, I’ve been consistently impressed: Acapulco Gold, Ayahuasca Purple, Cookies Kush, Liberty Haze (one of my favorite strains for daytime), LSD, Pineapple Chunk (best Pineapple strain I’ve grown) & Sweet Tooth. – Specializes in stabilizing strains to capture classic strains, clone-only strains, and other hard-to-find genetics in seed form – Sparkly strong buds (they also breed seeds under the name Reserva Privada) – Great all-around selection with something for everyone – potent, consistent results – delightful great-smelling buds
Pineapple Chunk is a quintessential European strain that continues to impress me I grew it in 2012, then 2015, and recently again in 2020. Every time the buds came out even better than the previous time. I personally think this may be Barney Farm’s best strain, and that explains why they keep refining it. This one was grown under an ES300 LED grow light in 2020 and smelled like a mix of citrus with a hint of strawberry. Buds came out dense and sparkly.
Recommended Autoflowering Breeders
Auto-flowering strains cannot be cloned and therefore have somewhat different breeding protocols vs standard (photoperiod) strains. On top of that, old auto-flowering genetics produce weak plants with low potency buds. Therefore it’s extremely important to use a breeder that’s got a high-quality (and current) auto-flowering breeding program. Many breeders produce great auto-flowering strains (Barney’s Farm, etc.), but the following breeders stand out for consistency and potency. Click the name of the breeder to see a list of their currently available auto-flowering strains.
– sparkly and potent buds – feel-good potency, great choice for growers who struggle with anxiety – Excellent yields, classic effects – Fast and potent – Consistent (auto-flowering only) – unfortunately, they can’t seem to scale up their operations and strains sell out constantly (keep checking back or sign up for the newsletter on the bottom of the Mephisto website to get updates when they release batches of seeds) – Buds always come out beautiful (they look just like the pictures) and smell great. – fast germination, auto-flowering plants grow fast and vigorous – Spanish genetics with beautiful and colorful strains like Cream Caramel Auto – Dense high-quality buds that look and smell like photoperiod strains
Cinderella Jack Auto by Dutch Passion makes extra-potent, rock-hard buds with above-average yields. This little plant produced several ounces by itself.
Recommended Cannabis Strains
Now that I’ve given some examples of recommended breeders, I wanted to share some examples of particular strains that my friends and I have grown over the years and recommend. These are all great for beginners unless otherwise noted, and produce excellent buds.
These strain recommendations are based on…
Potency – THC & CBD content, plus does it have the described effects?
Bag Appeal – Bud structure, color, density, smell
Consistency – Do strains grow the way the breeder says they will? Do plant characteristics vary a lot from plant to plant of the same strain?
Ease of growing – General hardiness of strains
Reputation – Has this breeder earned an excellent reputation over the years?
Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies is a famous clone-only strain from California that has spawned countless copycats and been incorporated into other famous strains like Platinum Cookies. BlimBurn Seeds has captured the magic in their version so growers can see what Girl Scout Cookies is like without having to find a clone.
The BlimBurn version of Girl Scout Cookies produces excellent buds. They don’t always turn purple, but cooler night temperatures towards the last 2 weeks of flowering can help bring out purpling.
I am a huge fan of Liberty Haze. The bud effects remind me of the unique psychedelic “day” (uplifting) effects of now-rare outdoor Sativa strains. You never see them anymore because they get huge and need long hot summers in order to produce properly. Liberty Haze gives you access to those bud effects yet is suitable to grow indoors. It still tends to grow tall and stretchy, but as long as you top the plants when they’re small (cut off the tops, which forces the buds to makes many buds instead of one), you can wrangle them indoors.
The left plant here is the 2nd time I grew Liberty Haze. As you can see it got a bit tall, which I’ve come to expect, but it was otherwise easy to grow and produced excellent yields. The Critical Kush on the right was also a good plant, but the Liberty Haze buds won when it came to effects.
Example of a Liberty Haze plant sent in by a reader
For the fruity lovers, Tangerine Dream smells great and produces beautiful buds.
This strain lives up to its name. Amnesia buds are known for making you forget what you were just saying. Not necessarily the best choice for social situations (unless you all just want to chill) but perfect for relaxation at the end of a long day.
Example of an Amnesia plant I grew in a hydroponic setup
Closeup of Amnesia buds. Dense and chunky!
Moby Dick is a whale of a strain. The bud effects let you swim through life with THC levels that can hit 27%. However, it also has a good amount of CBD (1%), which means it’s much less likely to cause brains to dive down into a state of panic or anxiety (especially compared to high-THC strains that lack the calming gentle waves of CBD). Smoke a bud and sail through your mental stress into a state of relaxation.
Okay, that’s enough whale jokes, but seriously this is an excellent strain that’s easy to grow and produces high-quality buds. The one downside is it tends to get a bit tall, but as long as you bend over and tie down any branches that are getting taller than the rest, it grows well indoors and rewards you with above-average yields.
Closeup of a Moby Dick bud
Critical Mass CBD Autoflower
Speaking of CBD, some growers would like to maximize the amount of CBD but aren’t looking for a strain with a lot of mind-altering THC. Critical CBD Auto is a great choice and comes in auto-flowering form, which means that it will automatically grow buds and be ready to harvest about 10 weeks from germination. A nice easy strain for someone who’s just getting started.
Example of bud from a Critical CBD Auto
I’ll be adding more details about the recommended strains below soon
Frisian Dew is a great choice for outdoor growing
Closeup of Frisian Dew bud
Example of a Durban Poison plant that was grown under fluorescent lights. Excellent yield for such low light levels!
A bunch of Master Kush plants
Example of a Northern Lights bud
Example of a small-but-beefy Aurora Indica plant
Example of Bubba Kush plant grown outdoors
Recommended Auto-Flowering Strains
Auto-flowering plants will make buds and be ready to harvest in 2-3 months from germination (check out the details on the page to see the exact estimate for each strain). Click here to learn more about auto-flowering strains.
Here’s the whole Auto Blue Dream plant
An assortment of different autoflowering plants from the breeders listed above
Importance of Strain Names
While we’re talking about breeders and strains, I want to talk about an important topic that affects all of us…
Just 50 years ago, cannabis was considered one of the most immoral and destructive drugs in the world, putting it at the top of illegal drug lists in many countries. Many people still live with this attitude.
But in some ways, things have changed.
These days, people are generally more accepting of cannabis, and laws about marijuana are slowly being changed for the better in many places around the world, especially the US.
Because of better attitudes about cannabis around the world, we get…
Fewer people are getting their lives ruined or going to prison because of a simple plant that’s more harmless than Tylenol
But good things don’t come easily. We still have a long way to go, and the cannabis legalization movement highly scrutinized. The image we create now is going to set the tone for the rest of the world.
We are the face of the cannabis community. When people think about legalizing cannabis, they’re looking at our actions. As growers, every one of us has a responsibility to represent the growing community in a positive light.
Politicians around the world are trying to decide whether removing penalties for cannabis will have a positive effect. We are at a critical turning point, and it could go either way.
We’ve come to an important fork in the road
I believe that making cannabis legal and available to adults and medical patients is incredibly important. Whether someone uses cannabis for a medical condition or just because it helps them relax, I believe that everyone should have fair and equal access to this miraculous plant.
Yet with change comes responsibility. I believe that, as growers, we have a responsibility to present a good image to the public about growing cannabis. We must earn a better reputation to prove to the world that cannabis is not only a safe source of medicine but also that cannabis is less dangerous than cigarettes or alcohol. I believe adults and medical patients deserve the freedom to use this plant responsibly.
The world is watching us, and the way we act now is going to decide whether cannabis ever gets fully legalized. That’s why I’m ashamed of some of the most popular strain names…
I am ashamed the cannabis growing community has popular strain names like…
I know a lot of these strains have great genetics; in fact, some of them are award-winners!
But do these strain names bring to mind the image of peace-loving and laid-back growers and consumers which make up the majority of the cannabis community?
I believe we must improve our public image. I have chosen to no longer grow strains that carry an offensive name. Growers, I encourage you to do the same. Strain breeders, I’m begging you! Please be mindful of the cannabis movement when naming new strains.
Don’t Let This Happen To You!
I just received this slightly alarming email, and I had to share. Don’t let this happen to you!
This is supposed to be Auto Bubble. 4 weeks in from seed. What is the deal? What is this plant?
This is NOT a marijuana plant! Unfortunately, this person got ripped off
Seeing a case like this is a huge reminder of why it’s so important to buy your seeds from a trusted seed source!
View GrowWeedEasy.com’s list of trusted seed vendors here: https://www.growweedeasy.com/seeds
Our list only contains seed banks who have proven themselves over the years with high-quality seeds from trusted breeders, discrete shipping, and reliable delivery.
Best cannabis seed breeders
This 2022 is going to be an exciting year for cannabis genetics. Keep an eye on cannabis breeders like MrSoul of Brothers Grimm Seeds, Mel Frank and Todd McCormick of AG Seed Company, and also Purple City Genetics, led by breeder Cowboy. While Purple City Genetics is new to seed production, they have been working on their genetics for years. The best is yet to come this 2022.
Since there are hundreds of genetics companies, seed breeders and seed banks, it can be hard to know who has the best of the best. Fortunately, we’ve researched throughout the year to identify the most reliable and potent cannabis breeders. Then we curated a list of the top genetics companies and seed breeders to watch. When you work with their genetics, you won’t be disappointed.
If you want to grow something new in 2022, then consider cannabis seeds from Brother Mendel or Green Bodhi. For growers interested in legacy strains, consider cannabis genetics from Brothers Grimm Seeds or SubCool. In 2022, official SubCool seeds will finally become available again. SubCool unexpectedly passed away on February 2, 2020, and ever since his seeds have been extremely hard to find.
Brother Mendel is the only company listed below that offers autoflowers. No matter which seeds you choose to grow, you will not be disappointed with our list of top cannabis breeders. It’s a lush garden of exotics and designer genetics, so go ahead, discover the best cannabis genetics this 2022.
Top Cannabis Breeders and Genetics Companies in 2022
Grow the best genetics this 2022. Maybe you’ll grow Cinderella 99 or Grimm Glue from Brothers Grimm Seeds, or some autoflowers from Brother Mendel. You decide. Whatever you choose, be sure to grow high quality genetics. You’ll reap world class, best-in-class cannabis as a result. Having the best genetics is a game-changer. Those who know, know. If you don’t know yet, get ready to find out!
After you stack up on seed packs or bulk seeds, don’t forget other important cultivation supplies. For indoor commercial growers, there’s AiroClean420, and for home growers, there’s Airo Home Hobby. You can also review our grow room checklist. Lastly, we recommend learning about the different ways home growers can prevent powdery mildew, the archnemesis of cannabis plants.
5 cannabis breeders to follow on Instagram for hot new strains
With a new weed strain popping up seemingly every single day, it can be difficult to know who has the true real deal Holyfield Louisiana sweet heat dropping consistently, or what’s going to be the next big hype strain. How do you keep up with the best new strains in cannabis?
Luckily, social media exists and is the best way to know who’s creating what, and more importantly, when and where those new products will debut.
That said, here are some of the best breeders creating some of the best cannabis genetics today.
Seed Junky Genetics
Famous strains: Wedding Cake, Ice Cream Cake
As far as top names in the genetics game go, right now there isn’t a single one that rings off as loud as California’s Seed Junky Genetics. So many heavy-hitters that we are all smoking right now were created by that boy JBeezy, a famous cannabis geneticist who has been in this game for over 15 years.
Seed Junky has created Wedding Cake, Ice Cream Cake, Jealousy, LA Kush Cake, Kush Mints, and—I mean, do I really need to keep going? He is also co-owner of The Minntz, in collaboration with Cookies.
Right now, Jealousy is starting to bubble up as a highly coveted and demanded strain. I knew it would way back at the top of 2021 when I first saw him putting out pics of the cultivar on Instagram.
To know what cultivars and flavors are coming next from him, as well as potential seed drops, peep JBeezy’s main page and his backup page. Right now, both accounts have been pretty much wiped of cannabis strains and flower shots, probably because Instagram has been on an absolute rampage of shutting down cannabis accounts.
Famous strains: Cereal Milk, Gary Payton
Kenny Powers of Powerzzzup Genetics is another long-time breeder from the Bay Area who’s been moving heavy in the game for a cool minute now. He’s an OG Cookie Fam member and the mastermind behind Cereal Milk and Gary Payton, two strains from Cookies that have absolutely blown up in the past couple of years.
Especially that Gary Payton, oooohweee. First time I smoked that GP was in April of 2020 and it instantly put me into a super cerebral high and extremely good mood. I’ll never forget looking at that joint like “Oh wow, that’s how Cookies getting down out here?”
As far as what’s coming next from Powerzzzup, it looks like he’s gearing up for a big drop of a cultivar/flavor named 2090 Shit. Something futuristic. Follow Powerzzzup’s Instagram to see when, where, and how you can cop it.
Famous strains: White Runtz, Apples & Bananas
Founded by breeder Christoper Lynch, Compound Genetics out in California is the creator of bangers like Jet Fuel Gelato and Legend Orange Apricot—parent strain of Flavor Crystals, one of the best strains I’ve ever smoked. They’ve also collaborated in breeding Apples & Bananas with Cookies and White Runtz with Runtz.
While known for dropping absolute heaters in the flower game, what I really rock with about Compound is how Lynch stays connected to hip-hop culture, which is pretty damn important. Any strain that takes off with rappers is immediately in high demand from the stores.
Peep Compound’s Instagram and you’ll see him dropping packs to people like 2 Chainz and Young Dolph. Compound also called with Cookies to bring forth Quavo’s Pavé strain.
Famous strains: Cookies and Cream, Grease Monkey
Falcon 9 (Courtesy Exotic Genetix).
Mike from Exotic Genetix out in Tacoma, Washington really does this breeding shit. Like, really, really does this. He’s been in the game since the medical days and he’s famous for creating more strains than I can really name: Cookies and Cream put him on the map, but also Grease Monkey, Rainbow Chip, and Strawberries & Cream.
So anytime I see him come with a new seed drop, I anxiously await the time it’ll take growers to get it in and out of their gardens, onto shelves, and into my king size Ultra Slim Vibes rolling papers (the best ones, by the way).
Currently, he’s dropping a fresh line of Red Runtz crosses with popular strains like Apple Fritter and Biscotti. Peep his Instagram for details on their September rollout.
Archive Seed Bank
Famous strains: Face Off OG, Do-Si-Dos
Do-Si-Dos. (David Downs/Leafly)
Archive Seed Bank is a legend when it comes to breeding cannabis strains. They’re one of the longest running seed banks, with decades under their belt. They’re based in Portland, OR, but the Archive genetics can be found all up and down the West Coast.
They’re famous for creating Face Off OG and Do-Si-Dos, as well as Duct Tape, which feels like the newest rendition of GG#4. Rainbow Belts from them is already bubbling up as one of the next big strains, especially for hashmakers. Recently, a friend from Refine, an extractor out in Seattle, Washington, told me to keep my eyes peeled for its emergence over the next year or so. You can too, by following Archive Seed Bank on Instagram.
Additionally, if you’re looking for clones to grow yourself at home from this genetics juggernaut, their website says Breeders cuts are coming soon. Because they’ve all sold out. Because that’s how high quality and in high demand Archive Seed Bank strains are.