The coasts of the United States have enjoyed a friendly rivalry since California joined the Union in 1850. These days, the coasts compete over just about everything, from the beauty of their beaches to the quality of their rappers — so now that cannabis is becoming legalized across the U.S., it makes sense that the East and West coasts would argue about who has better bud.
The West Coast’s cannabis culture is bigger and older, but the East Coast is working hard to offer its weed enthusiasts some outstanding strains. Here is a rundown of the best strains on each coast:
For more than a century, the West Coast has been the destination for people who don’t fit into established society, for one reason or another. Because cannabis consumption has long been stigmatized by Americans of European descent, and communities of marijuana users grew strong along the West Coast, bolstered by populations of pro-weed immigrants from places like the Middle East and Latin America. What’s more, much of the West Coast boasts a near-perfect growing environment for weed, with plenty of warm sunshine and a moderate amount of humidity. Many strains bred in the West Coast have become international favorites in the cannabis community, to include:
OG Kush. A legendary strain that has its genetics in almost every new cannabis variety, OG Kush is a hybrid with medium-high THC levels and an intensely skunky aroma. Though its genetics might come largely from a Florida breeder, it was Californian Josh D that made OG Kush what it is today.
Granddaddy Purple. One of the most famous purple strains, Granddaddy Purple (or GPD) is a complex indica with grape and berry flavors. GDP was primarily bred for medical marijuana users in California, and it remains popular there today.
GSC. Once known as Girl Scout Cookies, this strain has launched one of the most successful cannabis brands of all time, Cookies. An Arizona breeder in California created GSC and promoted it with the help of Cali rapper Wiz Khalifa. Users can find Cookies stores, products and merch in almost every state with recreational weed.
Gorilla Glue. Also called Gorilla Glue #4 — as it was the fourth phenotype of the crop — this award-winning hybrid strain has high levels of THC to provide a heavy, intense high. Surprisingly, the creation of this strain was pure accident, when legendary West Coast breeder Josey Wales accidentally cross-pollinated some pot plants.
Blue Dream. First cataloged in Santa Cruz in 2003, Blue Dream has become one of the world’s most beloved medical marijuana strains thanks to its ability to relax the entire body while stimulating the mind. Likely, the strain is much older than it seems as breeders in the area have been perfecting their strains since the early ‘70s.
While the West Coast has a reputation as the epicenter of American cannabis culture, the truth is that a few East Coast states legalized recreational cannabis consumption before California managed to update its weed regulations. In both Maine and Massachusetts, weed has been legal since 2016, and though cannabis growing conditions aren’t ideal in New England — the long, cold and dark winters don’t make weed cultivation easy — the East Coast does boast an active production scene with plenty of exciting experimentation. Some of the best strains from East Coast breeding include:
Chemdog. The story goes that the breeder named Chemdog first discovered this strain in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show in Indiana — but that he was able to cultivate three outstanding Chemdog phenotypes (Chem 91, Chem D and Chem’s Sister) at his home in Massachusetts. All three are pungent and potent sativa-leaning hybrids.
The White. Originally called Triangle, this mysterious strain comes from somewhere in Florida — perhaps from one of the three top weed-growing areas, Jacksonville, Miami or Tampa. Regardless, it is a nearly perfectly balanced hybrid that lacks the hard-hitting pungency of so many West Coast strains.
NYC Diesel. Only in New York could Mexican and Afghani landraces combine to generate this wondrously citrusy hybrid known for generating happy and talkative effects. Despite having a high THC content, this strain is all but guaranteed to be anxiety- and paranoia-free.
The competition between the East Coast and the West Coast will likely never end. Fortunately for cannabis consumers, that just means that both coasts will continue producing top-notch weed into the future.