May 30, 2023


Gotta say—whipping up May’s Leafly Buzz feels like a breeze. When so many May flowers bloom, we just cherry-pick the greatness.

We’re tracking movement on newer strains like Fish Scale and London Pound Cake, as well as classics like Maui Wowie. Catching our eye—a slew of new blue cultivars like Blue Face and Blue Lobster. Fresh in stores, don’t miss Sense SF’s Money Maker, and Doja Pak’s Helium. And every good Buzz ends with some THC maximalism. This month, it’s award-winning Holy Rolls.

From Hippie Hill on 4/20, to Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa, to Cinco de Higho in San Francisco; from The Emerald Cup in Richmond, CA, to Portland shops and beyond—here’s what’s buzzin.

Data grinder

Strains surging on the West Coast this March. (Sasha Beck/Leafly)
Strains surging on the West Coast this March. (Sasha Beck/Leafly)

Looking at strain page traffic in the western US this month: Blue Dream hits No. 1 again for three months running. Original Glue, Apple Fritter, and Gary Payton are all up. Shockingly, Ice Cream Cake and Jealousy are falling off. And Granddaddy Purple climbs back into the top 10. Here are some more flowers doing numbers in May.

Fish Scale

⬆ 8.1%

Fish Scale the cannabis strain, grown indoors in living soil by Flora and Flame, Oakland, CA. Indica hybrid. ((David Downs/Leafly)
Fish Scale the cannabis strain, grown indoors in living soil by Flora and Flame, Oakland, CA. Indica hybrid. ((David Downs/Leafly)

Hyper-pearlescent, gleaming Fish Scale climbs 8.1% in the western US this spring—a more wholesome fish scale to break up on your coffee table. This minty dessert-tasting indica-hybrid is a Compound Genetics-bred cross of The Menthol and Gelatti; Gelatti itself unites Gelato and Biscotti. Oakland indoor soil startup Flora and Flame vaulted to second place in the state with Fish Scale during April 20’s King of Z Hill pot contest in San Francisco.

London Pound Cake

⬆ 5.6%

You dropped your crown, queen. London Pound Cake. Grown by Lyfted Farms, Modesto, CA. Indica hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
You dropped your crown, queen. London Pound Cake. Grown by Lyfted Farms, Modesto, CA. Indica hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

Watch the throne—London Pound Cake edges up 5.6% in Leafly views in the West. What’s the secret to this dessert strain’s stamina? Cake strains taste great, and tend to rank high for arousal. London Pound Cake combines Sunset Sherbert (GSC x Pink Panties) with an undisclosed parent—you might say it’s a sneaky link.

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Zkittlez

⬆ 1.4%

Exemplary Z. Grown indoors in living soil by MOCA Humboldt, CA. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
Exemplary Z. Grown indoors in living soil by MOCA Humboldt, CA. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

The Z era keeps shining this spring with the tropical fruity hybrid up a smidge higher—despite its already-dominant position. Why? Z has da juice. A Royal Budline-grown Z won the King of Z Hill pot contest on 4/20 in San Francisco. Then a Z rosin won The Emerald Cup on May 13. Z’s great for the longer spring days and some spring cleaning or a little frisbee golf.

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Maui Wowie

⬆ 3.8%

Get barreled on authentic Maui Wowie; packaged by UpNorth, CA. Sativa hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
Get barreled on authentic Maui Wowie; packaged by UpNorth, CA. Sativa hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

Put some respect on classic weed’s name with Maui Wowie—up 3.8% in views on Leafly this spring. This legendary sativa cross made from old school Hawaiian emits sweet pineapple and pine terpenes while packing a high-energy, wave-riding effect. Many artificial vape concoctions have tried to imitate this terp profile. But the UpNorth brand in Cali sells a lineup of restored, refurbished, souped-up classics that add modern bling, size, and density. Wowza.

New in the Leafly strain database

Fresh tree for ’23.(Sasha Beck/Leafly)
Fresh tree for ’23.(Sasha Beck/Leafly)

Blue Face

(Photo by Demetrius Daniels, courtesy of Fig Farms)
Blue Face. (Photo by Demetrius Daniels, courtesy of Fig Farms)

Oakland grower Fig Farms took first in The Emerald Cup 2023 with Blue Face—a selection from a pack of Seed Junky Genetics’ Animal Face seeds. Arguably the best pot in the world right now, Blue Face combines a blinged-out, blue-dappled look with intense, gassy pungence. It’s resinous, extremely potent, and heart-pounding. Lock the fridge, fire up some XCOM2 on Playstation 5, and blow right past bedtime on Blue Face.

Blue Lobster

Blue Lobster. (Courtesy of Maine Trees)
Blue Lobster. (Courtesy of Maine Trees)

The West Coast breeder Compound Genetics and their Apples and Bananas cross to Eye Candy has yielded the East Coast beast Blue Lobster. Maine Trees thrashed the competition at the East Coast Zalympix exotic pot contest on April 23 with this gorgeous bud. Owen from grower Maine Trees tells Leafly Buzz that the team hunted Blue Lobster from two packs of Apples and Bananas x Eye Candy seeds given to them directly by Compound. Blue Lobster will pinch ya—supremely pungent and gassy, and stellar overall. Here’s to poppin’ packs and finding keepers.

Blue Guava

Zatix Blue Guava debuts. (David Downs/Leafly)
Zatix Blue Guava debuts. (David Downs/Leafly)

This May, let’s welcome Blue Guava from Oakland brand Zatix and their debut in the recreational market. Transbay Challenge expert judges co-sign on this cross of Gelato #33 and OZ Kush project strain Pink Guava. That makes it somewhat of a Zoap cousin, and it’s indebted to three undeniable parents: Zkittlez, OG Kush, and Gelato. The tropical fruit syrup smell precedes a soapy, floral, sweet neon taste and a potent hybrid effect that’s smokeable from wake and bake until dinner time.

Blue Nerds

SoHum Royal Blue Nerds. (David Downs/Leafly)
SoHum Royal Blue Nerds. (David Downs/Leafly)

There are at least two Blue Nerds now. The first one? Classic Nerds, aka Blue Nerds. Then there’s SoHum Royal’s newish Blue Nerds (a cross of Forbidden Fruit x Watermelon Z)—which just finished among the top 20 mixed-light flowers in the entire state of California. The buds smell, taste, and smoke indeed conjure the sweet sugar pebbles of blue raspberry from the namesake confection. Southern Humboldt County does it like no other.

Picks of the dispensaries

(Sasha Beck/Leafly)
(Sasha Beck/Leafly)

New on shelves

Money Maker

Sense, SF
Sense Money Maker. (David Downs/Leafly)
Sense has a Money Maker on its hands. (David Downs/Leafly)

San Francisco’s leading indoor growers Sense Cannabis have readied their selection of breeder Exotic Genetix’s Money Maker (Bakers Dozen x Jigglers). Exotic Genetix’s Mike added a dash of Red Pop to this refined GSC line that includes parents Gelato, Sunset Sherbert, and Mint Chocolate Chip. Money Maker looks dramatic: big, spiky, blingy, dark, and bulbous. It’s a crime to break it up. Dense and perfectly dried, it coats the fingertips in gassy cookie resin. Grinding unveils a Red Pop top-note and a bottomless fuel and cookie back. Wash your glass to fully savor the dank gas smoke with a hint of grape, and a minty kush finish. Shut up and take our money.

Burning up the charts

Helium

Doja Pack, CA
Helium by Doja Pak has lift. (David Downs/Leafly)
Helium by Doja Pak has lift. (David Downs/Leafly)

A strong, partylicious, uplifting effect complements the strain name Helium from LA indoor connoisseur brand Doja Pak. We got bag notes of Z and OG Kush—both fruity and spicy—with a yummy pine and orange Z smell when ground. Helium hit tropical and Z—fitting right on Doja Pak’s newly announced online menu Doja Direct. Amid rampant counterfeiting, Doja Pak’s Ryan emphasized the new direct ordering from the website. Licensed dispensaries in the Bay and Southern California fulfill the orders for pick-up. Sort of like a secret menu thing.

Best-sellers

Ballin out

White Truffle

The Crop Shop, OR
White Truffle, grown by The Crop Shop. Hybrid. (Ryan Herron for Leafly)
White Truffle, grown by The Crop Shop. Hybrid. (Ryan Herron for Leafly)

White Truffle delivers all of the funk-forward flavors of its dirt-dwelling and prized namesake. A BeLeaf selected second-generation cross of Peanut Butter Breath and Gorilla Glue, this clone-only offering is both powerful and pungent with glittering trichomes and pops of deep purple.

The crew at The Crop Shop have been dialing this one in, producing jars full of finger-length nugs that showcase flavors of rich soil, diesel, and fresh wild onions. In a joint, these flavors carry over to both the inhale and exhale—the fading aroma hangs thick in the air. Rich and potent, White Truffle is a hidden gem worth searching for.

Ballin’ on a budget

Pink Certz

Wave Rider Nursery, CA
Pretty in Pink Certz by Wave Rider Nursery. (David Downs/Leafly)
Pretty in Pink Certz by Wave Rider Nursery. (David Downs/Leafly)

Wave Rider Nursery of Santa Cruz moves thousands of jars of Pink Certz for $30 per eighth out the door, making it a key value buy at the recent Hall of Flowers showcase in Santa Rosa. You get a sweet sugar-grape, mint smell and indica-hybrid effect from the Compound Genetics cross of The Menthol and Grape Gasoline. Pink Certz broke out on the 2022 contest circuit. Now it’s time to mega-crop it, promising Pink Certz in every bowl.

High Note

Amaretti HolySmokes infused joints

Holy Water, CA
HolyWater makes HolySmokes—1,000-unit, collaborative batches of infused exotic flower dogwalkers. (David Downs/Leafly)

A regular pre-roll? Think ‘mysterious Costco hot dog.’ A HolyWater HolySmokes? That’s like a spicy, fresh-ground pork Italian sausage slathered in Kansas City, Missouri’s Gates BBQ sauce; served on white bread with a pickle and a strawberry soda. 

The HolySmokes fruit-salad-tasting Amaretti, featuring La Coz genetics, became my first smoke of The Emerald Cup Awards show on May 13. The small legacy Bay Area team went on that evening to take first in hash joints, first in butane hash, and second in rosin rolls—for all of California. Most excellent.

Good till the last hit—you can rely on HolySmokes this summer to deliver heavy-hitting dogwalkers that pack authentic exotic terps in a sleek functional hardcase. 


That’s a wrap for May’s Leafly Buzz. Never miss the latest heat—download the Leafly App (Android, iOS) and turn on notifications to scoop those flavors first. Here is your May vibes in an IG Reel:

About Leafly Buzz

So good they steal it—the popular, monthly strain review roundup Leafly Buzz is in its third year. We report independently on the connoisseur cannabis conversation, focusing on strains and branded flower of the US west. Reporting includes:

  • review samples
  • dispensary shopping
  • grow visits
  • events
  • Leafly search data
  • staff and reader tips, and more

Read back issues of Leafly Buzz

Freelancer Ryan Herron (OR) contributed to this report.
You can contact Leafly Buzz by emailing david.downs@leafly.com





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