5 of the Best Marijuana Strains You’ve Never Heard Of
The increasing legalization of cannabis means it is becoming ever more commercialized. Strains such as Blue Dream, Pineapple Express, and OG Kush tend to dominate the marketplace. Indeed, you will likely find dozens, if not hundreds, of strains in your local dispensary.
The price of cannabis varies according to the supply of the strain and where you live. Residents of Oregon, for example, may pay less than half of those living in Washington D.C. for the same strain! Those looking for an inexpensive high can opt for Northern Lights, Blue Magoo, or White Widow. On the other end of the scale lies Loud Dream, which sells for around $800 an ounce in some places!
And as much fun as it is to light up G13 or Blue Diesel, cannabis aficionados pine for more. Real lovers of weed do their utmost to seek out the world’s rarest marijuana. It is similar to drinking wine or spirits like rum. Yes, a drink such as Appleton Estate Signature Blend is enjoyable and welcome. However, rum lovers will ultimately seek Appleton’s 21-year old bottle for a luxurious experience. Then they will try to hunt down Bundaberg 18-year aged rum, and so on.
Marijuana users will go through the same process. There is a slew of ‘rare’ and remarkable strains out there. The trouble is, they are extremely tough to find! You need patience and a deep wallet if you want to complete your mission. Cannabis snobs will even suggest that ‘commercial’ strains aren’t particularly worthwhile. Perhaps they have heard of the following cannabis types. Most users probably haven’t, however.
1 – Malawi Gold
Quite a few people believe Malawi Gold is a figment of the imagination! We can tell you it exists! Native Malawian tribes originally grew it. This strain is widely considered as one of the most potent sativas in Southeast Africa. It is a landrace with a moderate THC content of 14-18%. You will find the best quality Malawi Gold in the nation’s Salima region. Reports suggest that it isn’t quite the same when cultivated anywhere else.
It is easy for the relatively low THC level to fool you. After all, there are commercial strains on the market with 25+%. However, Malawi Gold is pure sativa, so you can expect extremely potent effects that take you by surprise. Users say they feel extremely energized, uplifted, and stimulated when they have a few tokes. It is best compared to consuming a robust cup of coffee.
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on Malawi Gold, use it in moderation! Indeed, we don’t recommend it if you are a novice. Excessive use could result in paranoia or anxiety. In the unlikely event you get seeds, it grows best in a greenhouse. Otherwise, you need to ensure your indoor grow area has warm temperatures. Get everything right, and you will benefit from a significant yield.
2 – Parvati
You will find this cannabis strain in the Parvati Valley region of Himachal Pradesh. It is also the name of the Hindu Goddess of fertility, love, marriage, beauty, devotion, and several other things! The Real Seed Co. has bred the landrace Parvati strain, which is a sativa. It is an extremely resinous marijuana and is incredibly hard to find. Indeed, information on it, such as its CBD and THC content, is limited.
What we can tell you is that Parvati is an extremely aromatic black hash strain that likely has decent CBD content. It has a fruity and spicy scent, and you could probably use it during the day. What you may find is that Parvati provides a ‘traditional’ hash experience without the intensity and unease associated with some commercial strains.
Your best bet to get Parvati is to visit the Real Seed Company’s website. However, you will find that it is often sold out. Residents of Pakistan, Nepal, and India often use this wispy plant to create charas, a popular type of hashish. Alternatively, you can make the trip to Parvati Valley in early November and find it on the mountain slopes. The process involves climbing to an altitude of 10,000 feet. Then you have to get it past customs on the way home. It is probably better to periodically check the Real Seed Co. site!
3 – Idukki Gold
In all likelihood, you will probably never see this strain in your local dispensary. It is native to India’s Kerala region, but there is terrible news. Domestic police crackdowns mean Idukki Gold is endangered, and could one day vanish from the face of the Earth! Those fortunate enough to have sampled this strain say it is among the finest weed ever produced in Asia. It is prevalent in the region, though you need to brave dense forestry to see it growing.
What is surprising is how low the THC content is. At just 9%, it wouldn’t even meet ‘mid-shelf’ standards in North America or Europe. Nonetheless, people travel from all parts of India just to get a few grams of it. Some users say the high is so incredible that it causes them to cry with joy!
One issue is that sellers are starting to take advantage of the strain’s popularity. It is normal for them to bring other weed from states such as Andhra and Orissa into Kerala. They label these strains as ‘Idukki Gold’ and charge a premium! If you are ever in the Idukki district, you will see the strain growing in the Western Ghats mountains. However, the police don’t hesitate to shoot anyone at the site of a smuggling operation! Sadly, we can file Idukki Gold under ‘cannabis strains we’ll never get to use.’
4 – Puna Budder
Those of you who lived through the 1970s probably have heard of Puna Budder. T.H. Seeds combined two wonderful landraces, Afghani and Hawaiian, to create this super strain. The power of a pair of remarkable strains means it offers a beautifully balanced hybrid to users. With a THC content of 19-22%, it is not a strain you should try if you have a low weed tolerance.
Finding real Puna Budder will prove difficult due to its rarity. It was extremely popular around 45 years ago. However, intense police crackdowns ensured that this strain was almost eliminated from North America. There are signs that it is making a comeback, though it remains hard to find. The grape and blueberry fragrance is enticing. As is the marvelous creamy butter, pine, and sweet berry flavor. Once you exhale, you will enjoy the smoothness of the smoke.
If you get to try Puna Butter, do so carefully! It acts incredibly fast, and the high begins with a cerebral rush of euphoria. Before long, you are grinning to yourself in the belief that the world is a beautiful place! Users often report feeling a surge of creativity soon after the intoxication takes hold. Eventually, the indica part of the plant takes over, and your limbs and muscles feel relaxed. Fortunately, it doesn’t cause couch-lock and actually makes it easier to move.
5 – Black African Magic
If you see companies offering seeds for this strain online, be wary! It is challenging to purchase genuine Black African Magic seeds, let alone doing so after a two-minute Internet search. Indeed, some experts wonder if seeds for this strain even exist! It is a marijuana strain shrouded in mystery. Some believe it isn’t a strain at all. Instead, the famed black coloring is merely a phenotype expressed in specific conditions.
Back in the 1970s, however, you could find Black African Magic with relative ease. That is, by the standards of the era. Remember, cannabis was prohibited, and being caught buying or selling it led to a severe penalty. Its THC content is as high as 22%, with approximately 0.5% CBD. For those who can handle the potency, it is an excellent strain for daytime use. You will experience a degree of control in the energetic cerebral high.
However, newcomers should stay FAR away from Black African Magic! Many experienced users claim it is the most potent strain they have EVER tried. The intoxicating cerebral effects are downright scary if you have never sampled strong weed before. Those with a high tolerance may feel it is a spiritual experience. For everyone else, it is a strain that will hit them far too hard and fast.
Final Thoughts on the Best Cannabis Strains You Have Never Heard of
It is typical for people to brag about their achievements and experiences. It is no different in marijuana culture. Those who have had the chance to sample rare strains most people have never heard of will let you know. These days, their boasts are easy to see all over the Internet. Therefore, you may see these strains mentioned on social media. However, even if you have, we hope that the information we have provided proves useful.
What all of these marijuana strains have in common is their rarity. You are unlikely to stroll into a dispensary and order half an ounce of Black African Magic. The trouble here is ascertaining whether the weed is even authentic, as we saw with Idukki Gold. If you are fortunate enough to find any of these strains, you will likely pay a lot of money for the privilege.
Other relatively unknown strains worth mentioning include Oaxacan Highland, Angola Roja, and Greek Kalamata. There are several more, but we don’t hear of them very often. In any case, if you have tried any of the above, let us know in the comments section!
If you're looking for an unusual bud, these are some of the rarest strains around. However, you'll be lucky to find them in your dispensary…
8 rare cannabis strains worth searching high (and low) for
I n our modern digitally connected world, pretty much everything rare and prized is also paradoxically readily available—at least if you have the means.
Want to chow down on the world’s rarest caviar , then wash it down with a glass of the world’s rarest fine wine ? Well, it’ll cost you a pretty penny (perhaps you can pay in 1944 Steel Wheat Pennies, worth over $110,000 a pop), but thanks to the internet, you’ll have no problem actually locating those items on the open market.
Looking to start your rare cannabis quest?
GET STARTED AT A DISPENSARY NEARBY
Here’s another paradox: Anyone seeking out obscure cannabis strains of the distant past—far flung exotic landraces that never made a commercial impact to begin with, or the hottest new hybrids that haven’t yet hit the commercial market—will like have better luck dusting off their old underground dealer rolodex and chasing after leads and clues like some kind of dank detective than they will driving over to their friendly local cannabis store.
Which raises two very significant questions worth addressing before you set off on your rare cannabis quest: Which hard to find strains are worth the effort? And how will you know it’s really the “real deal” once you find it?
What’s to stop someone from claiming to be in possession of a rare cutting of Pre-98 Bubba Kush when all they’ve really got is a run-of-the-mill OG? Nothing really, except honor, decency, and a desire not to be labeled a human paraquat and banished from the scene.
But anyway, putting all that unpleasantness aside, I recently indulged in a pleasant little thought experiment by asking some of the world’s leading cannabis connoisseurs two questions:
- What’s the rarest strain you’ve ever had the pleasure of smoking?
- What’s the one rare strain you’ve never tried but would really love to track down?
Culling through their responses—plus some “big data” supplied by Leafly’s in-house researchers—I put together this highly-subjective list of rare and highly sought after cannabis varietals. Consider this only the start, so please add your “holy grail” strains in the comments. And yeah, if you happen to know where to track down a nice nug or two of Kali Mist , I can be reached via Twitter: @pot_handbook
The history of the Chemdog line of cannabis strains is long, convoluted, and fascinating , with an origin story that dates back to bag seed salvaged from an ounce of primo bud sold on a Grateful Dead tour back in 1991. Perhaps most famous for its incredibly potent progeny—including Sour Diesel , OG Kush , and their many variants and offspring—the original Chemdog varietal (now known as Chemdog 91) remains among the most potent, flavorful, and sought after cannabis cuts of all time. Known for its earthy, skunky, diesel aroma and euphoric high, it’s often imitated, but rarely located these days.
Check to see if someone’s got Chemdog 91 near you.
Direct from the Emerald Triangle—Northern California’s famed cannabis growing region—comes Mendo Purps, one of the classic purple strains with a flavor profile redolent of caramel coffee and woodsy pine. A harbinger of the “Purps” craze that drove the underground weed market in the mid-2000s, the purple pride of Mendocino County started life as a clone-only cutting and remains in sadly short supply.
These dispensaries say they got the Mendo Purps.
As any cannabis enthusiast in California can attest, there’s no shortage of OG Kush crosses on the market, but one of the oldest and best has largely slipped off the radar. And that’s a shame, because Bubba OG—a hybrid of Pre-98 Bubba Kush and Ghost OG from Canadian breeders Dr. Greenthumb Seeds—delivers the former’s flavor and the latter’s potency, a truly winning combo. BOG (as it’s known to those who remember) can work wonders for chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, and insomnia.
We heard you can find Bubba OG at these shops.
Named for its four parents—three distinct landrace strains hailing from Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, plus the legendary Skunk #1 —Four Way is one of the most pungent strains of all time, while also delivering a potent cannabinoid profile with up to 20% THC and 2% CBD. Predominantly indica with creeping sedative effects, this beloved but elusive strain retains the spicy, hashy taste and aroma of its exotic parentage, plus notes of pure stinky skunk.
These shops allegedly carry Four Way.
This classic indica-dominant hybrid was on top of the world after bringing home 1st place at the 2001 High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, but nowadays satisfying your Sweet Tooth will take some serious searching around. A remarkable blend of landrace strains from from Afghanistan , Hawaii , and Nepal , the buds come coated not in sugar, but in resin, and deliver a truly sweet smell of flowers and berries.
We’ve heard tales of Sweet Tooth’s availability at these shops.
Winner of five Cannabis Cup trophies back in the early 2000s, NYC Diesel was bred by Soma Sacred Seeds and is a slightly sativa-dominant cross of Mexican and Afghani landraces that retains highly cerebral effects and deep body sedation. Distinguished by its powerful lime and grapefruit aroma, it’s an uplifting, creative, buzzy varietal that doesn’t spark anxiety, making it ideal for social situations.
Find out if NYC Diesel made its way to a dispensary nearby.
Winner of two Cannabis Cups for top sativa (more than a decade apart), Amnesia Haze has ironically been all but forgotten today. Still, it retains a place of high honor in the memory of anyone lucky enough to have sampled the strain’s citrus flavor and experience its uplifting, energizing, buzzy effects. A hybrid of South Asian and Jamaican landrace strains, it became a sensation in Amsterdam more than a decade ago as the featured menu item at a coffeeshop named after the strain.
Or was was the strain named after the coffeeshop?
Explore dispensaries stocked with this coffeeshop classic.
The Original Haze strain dates all the way back to the earliest cannabis breeding efforts of the late 1960s, and remains the standard bearer for all sativa strains to this day. Hawaiian Snow combines the genetics of three of the best Hazes of all time— Neville’s Haze , Pure Haze, and Hawaiian Haze —into one incredible varietal with the smell of spicy-incense accented by hints of citrus and eucalyptus. It also delivers a soaring cerebral high with THC levels that can reach 23% when properly cultivated and harvested a peak potency.
If you’re a cannabis connoisseur, you might want to learn more about these rare cannabis strains that are worth tracking down, if you can find them.