The 12 Strains of Christmas returns for 2022!

As is tradition, with this list we present a holiday-size helping of the heat we’ve found in the past couple of months following the harvest and trips to scope out the marketplaces in Vegas, abroad in the Canary Islands and Thailand. 

The 12 Strains of Christmas also is our most extensive flower list of the year. It’s always a pleasure to highlight some killers so they have one more thing to share with their families during whatever holiday they might enjoy together. 

Here are the strains you should leave out for Santa in 2022. 

Red Pop S1 #37 (Riddles) – Royal Key OrganicsRoyal key Riddles Red Pop S1 37

As with many strains from breeders that offer as extensive a catalog as Exotic Genetix, it can take a couple of years to get the full wind in their sales. Red Pop has had a fantastic 2022. Its offspring, Red Runtz, is entering its own hype wave, but the Red Pop is still elite and 2022 was the first year many had the chance to try it. One of our favorite phenos of anything Red Pop belongs to Royal Key Organics in Humboldt County. In particular, their Red Pop S1 #37 they named Riddles. It smells like buttery popcorn with cherry Kool-Aid sprinkled on top. 

Zkittelz – Alien Labs

The Alien Labs rendition of Zkittlez is tied with IC Collective for the best Z terps we’ve ever seen grown outside of Mendocino County. We got our first peek at it during Las Vegas Heat Quest on MJ Biz Con Eve. As people approached us with their versions of Z throughout the week, nothing else came close. Back home here in California, few can produce Z terps at this level commercially. 

Flowers of Zion – Fidels

flowers of Zion fron Fidels 2

Courtesy of Fidels

On the heels of his self-made docuseries and summer win at the Transbay Challenge I threw in L.A. for his KMZ, Flowers of Zion is the next one to keep an eye on from Fidel. The Flowers of Zion brings together Garlic Cocktail with Symbiotic Genetics’s timeless classic Mimosa. With his cultivation site operational, expect to see even more of Fidels Flower throughout the state. 

Banana God – Simpleeadam

Masonic Seed Co and The Compton Landrace took top honors at Ego Clash a couple of weeks ago on the eve of The Emerald Cup’s Harvest Ball, thanks to some ultra-elite hash from Simply Adam that topped the uber-competitive contest where many of the world’s best hash makers score each other. The Banana God is a pairing of Wilson and Banana OG. The version that won Ego Clash was a Banana God F2 that was done by @ibean_poppin2much and then grown by Simpleeadam. 

Cap Junky – Capulator x Seed Junky 

Cap junky courtesy of Capulator

Courtesy of Capulator

A collaboration between two Los Angeles heavyweights, Capulator and Seed Junkie’s CapJunky was certainly a favorite for us in 2022. It’s among the gassiest offerings from both breeders and is an absolute ripper. It has limited availability in town, but you can score some at Peace of Green at 1155 East Pico Blvd., in DTLA.

Stardawg x Gelato 41 – Doja Pak  

Ever since we first covered the original RS11 drop in LA a couple of years back, it feels like you’d need one of those NASA cameras that tracks the rockets after launch to keep pace with what they’ve been up to. While strains named after art supplies and animals are dope, we think the Stardawg x Gelato 41 was a pinch underrated during the hype storm this year and wanted to give it some extra love. 

Blackberry Gary – Serge Cannabis x Powerzzzup

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Courtesy of Serge Cannabis

Arguably the biggest strain to drop in California this fall, Blackberry Gary has lived up to the hype. The rare collaboration from Powerzzzup is an absolute killer. Most of the Cereal Milk and Gary Crosses out there are from reversals, but Serge was able to work with the real gear and get the Powerzzzup team’s blessings on the final product. It carries on the flavor and impact tradition of the Gary Payton line. 

DEO – 580

deo 580

Courtesy of DEO

580 is the most underrated strain from Deep East Oakland Farms. Everyone is tripping balls. I’m not saying it’s RS or Zoap, but saying it’s not special is batshit crazy to me. It tastes so much different from the rest of their pack. Now I love me some dessert weed, but the smell of nail polish is one of my favorite things. The freshest batches of 580 have it in abundance. It smashes into your sinuses when you open a bag. 

Red Bullz x Fishscale – High Rhythm Farm

The Santa Cruz-hunted version of the Compound Genetics heater was certainly on the podium for us at The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball. Few things came close in the quality of the terpene or look. The impact was great, too, when we got the chance to try it. We highly recommend keeping an eye out for this one. 

Prism OZ – Cipher Genetics

Prism OG

Courtesy of Cipher Genetics

An offering from the newest company on The 12 Strains of Christmas, Cipher Genetics is the latest project from Compound Genetics founder Chris Lynch. Our favorite offering from the launch drop is looking to be the Prism OZ. While we haven’t seen the finished product yet, we’re very excited for the recipe of SFV OG x ( Zkittelz x (Zkittelz x Gelato 41)). We’re convinced it’ll be a heater, much like a lot of Lynch’s past classics. 

OZ Kush BX1 – 3rd Gen Family


Courtesy of 3rd Gen Family

Numerous companies in the cannabis space got their start with a pack of 3rd Gen Family’s Dying Breed Seeds, and one of the strains that launched the most or helped take things to a new level was OZ Kush. It brought together the Eddy OG and Zkittelz and the first packs sold five years ago. As I look at their current lineup, if I’m a cannabis company desperate for an epic house flavor to help me stay afloat in the darkest times ever for the marketplace, I’m buying as many packs of OZ Kush Bx1 seeds as I can and finding myself a little bit of hope. 

Double Dawg – Dr. Dope Bangkok20221208 200337 e1671653839392

On our recent adventure to Thailand alongside High Times and High Rise TV, we went to a ton of spots and looked at a bunch of Thai weed. With the exception of the 100 Hands at Phandee in Japan Village in Bangkok, none of it could compare to what Dr. Dope was doing. I would say thanks to Dr. Dope’s Double Dawg, the best weed I’ve seen grown in Thailand is better than the best weed I saw grown in Las Vegas during MJ Bizcon last month. 

We hope you enjoyed The 12 Strains of Christmas.

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