With the rise of cannabis concentrates, cannabis vapes, and dry herb vaporizers, more and more cannabis strains are being bred to create unique flavors. It’s no surprise that candy-flavored cannabis strains have become a big hit with these new delivery methods that allow consumers to really taste all of a strain’s flavors. You’ve also probably heard some controversy over giving cannabis strains the names of popular candies. While some have concerns that this appeals too strongly to minors, legal cannabis users enjoy the convenience of knowing what type of flavor to expect judging by the strain’s name.
If you are looking for a candy-flavored weed strain, there are some great options to suit all needs. Many candy strains are hybrids, but there are also a few sativas, indicas, and CBD strains that are fairly common to find at dispensaries. Here are eight great candy-flavored strains that won’t give you a cavity!
The cannabis strain Nerds (aka Nerdz, Blue Nerds, Pink Nerds, Nerds OG, Nerdz OG, Blue Nerdz) is a hybrid that is known for its cerebral and euphoric high that can stimulate creativity. The Nerds strain is a cross of Strawberry Cough and Grape Ape that offers sweet and fruity flavors of grape, strawberries, and candy. Nerds is a great cannabis strain for daytime use and social activities since it is a sativa-leaning hybrid. The Nerds cannabis strain is rich in the terpenes caryophyllene, limonene, and humulene.
The cannabis strain Runtz is a newer strain that has already produced a staggering number of offspring strains like Pink Runtz, White Runtz, Greasy Runtz, and Banana Runtz. Runtz was originally bred by Cookies Fam and won the Leafly Strain of the Year in 2020. It is a cross of Zkittlez and Gelato that offers users the balanced high expected from a hybrid strain. Along with its long-lasting uplifting and euphoric effects, Runtz also boasts creamy smoke filled with sweet and sugary flavors. The Runtz strain terpene profile is dominated by caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene. Runtz typically has around 20% THC and its balanced effects make it suitable for moderate daytime use or evening use.
The Zkittelz strain (aka Skittles, Skittlz, Island Zkittlez) is an indica-dominant hybrid that was bred from Grape Ape, Grapefruit, and a third unknown strain. This strain has won multiple awards and is known for its less sedative effects. While typical indica strains can have heavy sedation, Zkittlez offers a relaxing body high paired with a calm but alert mental focus. Caryophyllene, linalool, and humulene are the primary terpenes in the Zkittles terpene profile. Along with minor terpenes, these give Zkittlez a flavor profile with notes of grape, berries, tropical fruit, and sweet candy. This strain has also produced many progeny such as Blue Zkittlez, Mandarin Zkittlez, Rainbow Zkittlez, and Sour Zkittlez.
The cannabis strain Gushers (aka White Gushers, White Gusherz) is a sweet treat with explosive tropical fruit and berry flavor. Gushers is a cross of Gelato #41 and Triangle Kush that was originally bred by Cookies Fam in the 2010’s. It typically features a very high THC content over 20% so this might not be the best choice for novice cannabis users. However, if you are an experienced indica lover, you’ll likely be a fan of the calming, euphoric, and sedating effects of the Gushers strain. The Gushers strain terpene profile is dominated by caryophyllene, limonene, and pinene.
SPK (aka Sour Patch Kids, Sour Patch) is a cannabis strain that features sour, sweet, and diesel flavors. The most common variety of the SPK strain is a sativa-dominant cross of Sour Diesel and Candyland. This cannabis strain is known for its uplifting and energizing high that is suitable for daytime use. However, there is conflicting information and a possible re-breeding of SPK from Sour Diesel and Sour Kush. This could explain why some individuals report feeling more indica-like effects. If you are interested in picking up some SPK, be sure to confirm genetics with your local dispensary and test out a small amount to see how you respond to this delicious candy-flavored cannabis strain. Likewise, you might also want to confirm the terpene content. The SPK terpene profile typically contains high levels of caryophyllene, limonene, and humulene.
- Juicy Fruit
The cannabis strain Juicy Fruit (aka Juicy Fruit OG, Fruity Juice) is a hybrid strain bred from Afghani and Thai landraces. These strong landrace genetics impart Juicy Fruit with double-sided effects that are not ideal for novice cannabis users. The Juicy Fruit strain has long-lasting effects and THC levels that might be deceptively moderate. While many enjoy the happy, creative, and energetic high that this strain provides, others can experience paranoia and headaches from this sativa-leaning hybrid. Despite this word of caution, the Juicy Fruit strain is well-loved for its tropical fruit and sweet citrus flavors. The Juicy Fruit terpene profile boasts high levels of myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. Most users will find this strain best suited for daytime use. Just be sure to test out a small amount to ensure it agrees with you.
If you are looking for an upbeat and euphoric high, the cannabis strain Starburst (aka Starburst OG, Starburst Kush) is a great option to look for. This strain is a cross of Pre-98 Bubba Kush and Fire OG. Starburst is a balanced hybrid, but some users may feel more buzzy effects than others. Along with being a great strain for daytime use and social endeavors, Starburst is also packed with flavors of tropical fruit, strawberry, and peach. With its Pre-98 Bubba Kush genetics, the Starburst strain typically has THC levels around 10% to 12% with CBD levels around 4% to 6%. This higher CBD:THC ratio makes it very suitable for novice cannabis users as well as medical marijuana patients. The Starburst strain features the dominant terpenes myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene.
- Cotton Candy
The sativa-dominant cannabis strain Cotton Candy is also known as Cotton Candy Kush which can lead to some confusion because it is not an actual “Kush (Afghani)” and does not have the typical sedative high associated with a Kush strain. Cotton Candy was bred from Lavender Kush and Power Plant. While Lavender Kush is considered an indica, it is calming but not typically sedative due to a sativa-dominant genetic background. Power Plant is a buzzy African sativa landrace, so this gives the Cotton Candy strain a high that is uplifting and energetic but not usually buzzy or overly stimulating. That said, it is often mis-marketed because of the “Kush” moniker. Overall, Cotton Candy is a great strain for daytime use or early evening and it is very user friendly for novices. It typically has moderate THC levels of 15%-19%. The Cotton Candy Kush terpene profile is dominated by myrcene, pinene, and limonene. Along with minor terpenes, these give this strain a signature flavor that is sweet and floral with notes of cherry and lavender.
Experience Candy-Flavored Weed Strains Yourself
The flavor profiles of candy-flavored marijuana strains can range from familiar sweet treats like cotton candy, bubblegum, and gummy bears to exotic fruits such as mango, pineapple, and strawberry. These strains often have a delightful aroma that entices the senses, making the cannabis consumption experience more pleasurable.
It is important to note that the flavor of cannabis strains is primarily determined by their terpene profiles. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants that contribute to their scent and taste. Cannabis strains rich in specific terpenes can evoke the flavors of candies and fruits. However, if a particular batch is low in terpene content, you will not detect as much flavor or aroma. Terpenes also shape the “tone” of a high. Energizing terpenes like pinene and limonene are commonly abundant in sativas while calming and sedating terpenes like myrcene are more abundant in indicas.
While candy flavored marijuana strains offer an enticing taste experience, it is essential to remember that the effects of cannabis are not solely determined by flavor. The potency, cannabinoid content, and individual tolerance levels should also be considered when consuming these strains. For new cannabis users, it is always recommended to “start low and go slow.” This means start with small amounts of lower THC products so you can gradually find what is right for you.
Sabine Downer is a scientist and cannabis writer with a passion for education. She has been writing for various clients in the cannabis space since 2015 and has worked in biotechnology since 2010. Along with content creation, she is also a knowledgeable resource on quality assurance, regulatory, and legal topics.