Can you taste it, Leafly nation? 2023 is nearly here. This was an excellent year for weed and weed lovers, both in the cultural and political sense, and it’s only up from here. The new year is the perfect time to clean out that bong and prepare it for new things.
With dozens of cannabis competitions held this year, from the High Times People’s Choice Cups to the east coast Cultivators’ Cup to the Cowboy Cup to the insiders’ Transbay Challenges, winners of 2022 have emerged with a flourish. Here are some of the best strains, edibles, and dabs of 2022, and where you can find them.
The golden state remains the gold standard for craft cannabis. This year, we surveyed winners from all palates and walks of life, including the Emerald Cup, LA and SF Transbay Challenges (organized by Leafly contributor Jimi Devine), the SoCal High Times Cannabis Cup, the Farmers Cup, and the California State Fair.
Boutique brand Wonderbrett’s Orange Banana was the clear Farmers’ Cup winner, sweeping first place overall in addition to best aroma, effect, taste, and highest cannabinoids.
The People of SoCal spoke with their whole chest when they chose Top Shelf Cultivation’s Woah Si Woah and Sense Cannabis’ Pink Certz (also the SF Transbay challenge winner) as their indica and hybrid flower winners. Team Elite Genetics snagged the sativa trophy with Pearadise. Our 2022 Strain of the Year, Jealousy, grown by LitHouse, placed second.
Fig Farms had a great run at the Emerald Cup, nabbing both the indoor flower crown and the breeders’ cup with Animal Face and Holy Moly! For sungrown flower, Lemon Sponge Cake by Farmer and the Felon came out on top.
MOCA Humboldt also won half a dozen placements for terpenes and cannabinoids at the CA State Fair for their Wookies, Grape Cookies, and ZOG strains.
Oregon’s Growers’ Cup shows off the best of the Beaver State’s buds. Kapricorn’s Candy Rain won for indoor flower, while Cannassentials’ Spritzer clinched sungrown. Avitas won both the people’s choice award and placed second in prerolls.
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Colorado loves its fruit-forward strains this year, and evidently, it’s Runtz.
While DENREC’s Purple Monkey Face Slap won best flower overall at the Connoisseurs Cup, their Zkittlez Kush Mints also won best sativa. A straight Runtz by Lit Dispensary won for hybrids, and Merakicanna’s Dry Ice was deemed the indica winner.
In a twist, Harmony Extracts’ Original Glue beat out Runtz for best rosin concentrate. Meanwhile, the Colorado Cannabis Cup dubbed High Level Health’s Runtz the hybrid winner, along with the brand’s Cookie Monster for Indica and Sour Orange Zkittlez by Veritas Fine Cannabis for sativa.
Colorado’s commercial Grow Off strain was Super Soldier Serum #3, which Growlytics clinched for highest cannabinoids and second place for terpenes.
The competition is heating up in Arizona for its second year of recreational sales. The Errl (that’s oil) Cup was the perfect stage for Trumed to assert their dominance with two winning strains, Rainbow Sherbert #11, and CK Jb’s Cut.
In the Prairie State, big multi-state brands and grower-retailers still mostly reign supreme at competitions. Rythm’s Brownie Scout took gold and Revolution Cannabis’ Gorilla’d Cheese won for both hybrid flower and concentrates. To our surprise, Bay Area-based Fig Farms won the sativa category with Figment.
2022’s Leafly Strain of the Year is—Jealousy!
The High Times Cannabis Cup (people’s choice edition) landed in Michigan, a state we love for their deep-rooted cannabis culture. Despite a long, cold winter, Michigan loves its tangy, tropical terps as Society C’s Spritzer and Hypha’s Tropical Runtz beat the competition.
Massachusetts knows how to mix the old with the new. Bountiful Farms dispensary won the Cultivators Cup with Slap n Tickle, while Happy Valley scored in two Cannabis Cup categories for Super Lemon Haze and End Game Cookies.
Yee haw! The Oklahoma Cowboy Cup saw Skye Flower’s Larry Bird and Bar-H-Industries’ Royal Kush lasso their way to victory.
New York loves its classics. The NY Harvest Fest was full of cannabis lovers that will hopefully soon be on shelves as the state’s first recreational dispensaries come online. While these strains weren’t attributed, Blueberry Muffin beat out all competitors.
11 runners-up to Leafly Strain of the Year 2022
Montana is for (weed) lovers! The Lovers Cup held its inaugural competition that longtime Leafly contributor Max Savage Levenson called “a DIY celebration of the best weed for sex, the chillest strains for our long winters, and a much-needed opportunity to raise a glass to our unparalleled community of craft growers.”