Three cultivation experts fill us in on what they are excited about as we enter the outdoor planting season. Discover the top 10 cannabis genetics companies to watch in 2022, and find out how you can grow the best cannabis from these seed breeders! More than 25 trending marijuana seeds and clones comprise 2022’s latest, greatest takes on Wedding Cake, Kush Mints, GMO, OG Kush, and more.
Hot Cannabis Seeds To Grow in 2022
Three cultivation experts fill us in on what they are excited about as we enter the outdoor planting season.
Luckily for us, cannabis was made illegal. After all, if the U.S. government had not decided to criminalize marijuana, starting with a tax for growing it, we wouldn’t have nearly as many different types. When cannabis growers and breeders were forced underground, they used male and female plants to create their own seedstock. The illegal distinction borne by the cannabis plant has led to it being one of the most diverse botanicals on the planet. When the War on Drugs meant Americans could no longer get landrace genetics like Acapulco Gold from Mexico, we looked further toward Amsterdam’s marijuana melting pot. The fusion of American cannabis enthusiasts and High Times legends like Sam the Skunkman, Ed Rosenthal, and Steve Hager with Dutch seed companies blessed the world with delicacies like Super Lemon Haze and provided the platform to promote them. Today, the worldwide cannabis seed market is a thriving industry.
Seed germination for outdoor growing starts in spring. Seeds require 10-15 days longer than clones, so the end of April is an excellent time to pop them to get the 2022 outdoor harvest outside by Mother’s Day. We checked in with three ganja growing all-stars to see what cannabis combinations they’re excited about this year.
Senior Content Manager, Leafly
What seeds are you excited about for this planting season?
For this planting season, I’m super-juiced to re-run Humboldt Seed Co’s Squirt (feminized) for year three. I can smoke that super-optimized modern Tangie cross all day, every day, and it makes a great salad with another sativa during the day or some gas at night.
I’m also hyped to bring back HumSeedCo’s Hella Jelly (fems) for year two as a super-agronimized modern sativa that finishes early and has mad cherry and cotton candy taste and zippy daytime effects.
I’m stoked to run Archive Seeds Dosi-Tree outside for the first time for that Dosi gas plus Lemon Tree’s size and syrupy lemon smell. Yum! Last year it was In-House Genetics’ Slurricane IX—that killed!
And lastly, I’m pumped to run Terp Hogz Geneticz Z3 for the first time this year! I think I’ll always want some Zkittlez in the garden, and Z3 is a way to get at the root of some optimized Z terps, as opposed to chasing new Z crosses. I can’t wait to have a pound of Z3 for Thanksgiving! Terp Hogz is selling seeds direct to your door on NXTLVL delivery in the Bay Area—if you don’t know how cool it is to shop, buy and get Terp Hogz genes delivered in a couple hours—now you know! It’s so clutch.
Do you typically grow from seed? If so, why?
Yes! I like the vigor of seeds, especially regulars—they get huge outside! There’s also less chances of a virus or pest infection from seeds vs. clones. I buy seeds all year and they keep well until it’s time to plant. (But I still might get a clone of Jokerz from Compound Genetics for this year, and if I do, I’m all about it!)
What does your grow setup look like?
I start popping indoors the first day of spring and raise babies inside where it’s warm, then sex the juveniles, and harden them on the porch in The City, before transplanting the keepers into 30-gallon fabric pots outdoors in the NorCal sun by Mother’s Day! We try and KISS (keep it simple, stupid). We use Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil plus amendments and well water on a drip timer. And BT to fight the caterpillars!
Are there certain types of cannabis or specific cultivars that do well where you are growing?
Yeah, I’m an outdoor NorCal Bay Area grower, and I’m deliberately running Humboldt Seed Co, Archive, and Terp Hogz because I think their gear tends to be tested and screened for outdoor runs. I know HumSeedCo does a bunch of mixed-light testing, and Terp Hogz in Mendo also works in mixed light. Archive’s stuff seems to be developed more indoors in Oregon, but I know that Lemon Tree has killed it outdoors in Santa Cruz.
I want to run stuff that’s been tested outside, for sure. Lots of the latest crosses are bred and tested inside and many breeders and growers don’t know how they’ll react to the variations in heat, humidity, etc. outside. I want stuff that’s hard to fuck up, as opposed to some diva that molds the second it rains, or some crazy sativa that won’t finish until November. But that’s just me! Everyone’s needs are pretty specific!
Horticulture Instructor, Oaksterdam University
What seeds are you excited for?
I am fond of recommending and growing varieties that produce well-rounded plants with new tastes and smells.
Do you typically grow from seed? If so, why?
No, but I have done so with Oaksterdam University students over the years often.
What does your grow setup look like these days?
A simple 4′ x 4′ area light up with LED lights in a larger room that I have found no need for AC to cool.
What has been your experience growing autoflowers?
To me, this is the best reason to grow from seed. They only come this way and are getting better varieties all the time.
Are there certain types of cannabis or specific cultivars that do well where you grow in Oakland?
We have a mix of urban growers that are survivors. Many obstacles to keep from having a successful harvest in tight city living. I grow inside due to this better neighborhood policy. I find less issues and arise with having long-term success. But I do know a few good areas that have outdoor gardens with little to no worry for either the garden or neighbors with bad smells.
Podcast Host, Shaping Fire
What seeds are you excited about this year?
Since I live on Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest, I have to choose seeds that will finish flowering fast enough during our short summers. I’ll mostly be growing autoflowers so I can germinate them on June 1 and harvest at the end of August before the rains start. I am excited to grow the Purple Pope collaboration between Gnome Automatics and Night Owl Seeds. The flowers smell of sandalwood, lemongrass, and yuzu. Northern Cheese Haze from Mephisto Genetics is always a winner for me too. It captures some of that fresh sunshine-dried linen sweet smell of haze with the bloomy-rind cheese funk that we love cheese strains for.
The most reliable photoperiod for where I live continues to be Mandelbrot’s famous Royal Kush from Mendocino, which will often finish in 50 days. There is a new collaboration between Emerald Mountain Legacy and Mean Gene From Mendocino called Royale with Cherries that blends the gas and shorter flower times with Mean Gene’s Cherry Lime Pop which contributes a complex Maraschino cherry sweetness. It is exquisite. Last summer, it finished well ahead of all the other photos. And it hashed well for us too.
How was the 2021 Autoflower Cup? Are you experimenting with autoflowers?
The 2021 Autoflower Cup was a great gathering. For so long, autoflowers really didn’t perform as we wanted. But the modern era of autoflowers are so much better tasting and yielding. And because they can be grown nearly everywhere in the U.S., they are quickly gaining a following. And, of course, since autoflower enthusiasts are so often ridiculed by photoperiod growers, it is nice to hang with a big group of people who share this special interest.
I am past simply experimenting with autoflowers at this point and have fully embraced them. Before this season, I have grown 156 varieties. I’m at the point now where I believe in them, understand their advantages and disadvantages and can really work with them to meet my cultivation goals.
Best Cannabis Seed Genetics 2022
This 2022 is going to be an exciting year for cannabis genetics. Keep an eye on cannabis breeders like MrSoul of Brothers Grimm Seeds, Mel Frank and Todd McCormick of AG Seed Company, and also Purple City Genetics, led by breeder Cowboy. While Purple City Genetics is new to seed production, they have been working on their genetics for years. The best is yet to come this 2022.
Since there are hundreds of genetics companies, seed breeders and seed banks, it can be hard to know who has the best of the best. Fortunately, we’ve researched throughout the year to identify the most reliable and potent cannabis breeders. Then we curated a list of the top genetics companies and seed breeders to watch. When you work with their genetics, you won’t be disappointed.
If you want to grow something new in 2022, then consider cannabis seeds from Brother Mendel or Green Bodhi. For growers interested in legacy strains, consider cannabis genetics from Brothers Grimm Seeds or SubCool. In 2022, official SubCool seeds will finally become available again. SubCool unexpectedly passed away on February 2, 2020, and ever since his seeds have been extremely hard to find.
Brother Mendel is the only company listed below that offers autoflowers. No matter which seeds you choose to grow, you will not be disappointed with our list of top cannabis breeders. It’s a lush garden of exotics and designer genetics, so go ahead, discover the best cannabis genetics this 2022.
Top Cannabis Breeders and Genetics Companies in 2022
Grow the best genetics this 2022. Maybe you’ll grow Cinderella 99 or Grimm Glue from Brothers Grimm Seeds, or some autoflowers from Brother Mendel. You decide. Whatever you choose, be sure to grow high quality genetics. You’ll reap world class, best-in-class cannabis as a result. Having the best genetics is a game-changer. Those who know, know. If you don’t know yet, get ready to find out!
After you stack up on seed packs or bulk seeds, don’t forget other important cultivation supplies. For indoor commercial growers, there’s AiroClean420, and for home growers, there’s Airo Home Hobby. You can also review our grow room checklist. Lastly, we recommend learning about the different ways home growers can prevent powdery mildew, the archnemesis of cannabis plants.
The world’s best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in ‘22
Good news, America: The nation’s army of weed growers in 2022 is going to fire up hundreds of metric tons of the most explosively tasty, time-stoppingly beautiful bud ever conceived on planet Earth.
Pot law liberalization has triggered a Golden Age of cannabis genetics—putting the loudest, most diverse ganja aromas and effects at the fingertips of gardeners big and small.
Major nurseries like Dark Heart Nursery in Oakland, CA, hold strain openings like fashion shows for the $18.3 billion legal industry. Los Angeles’ Seed Junky Genetics sold $1,000 clones of Super Runtz at The Emerald Cup on Dec. 11—200 of them. Champion breeders like Exotic Genetix have released $900 seed packs with NFT art direct to a rabid fanbase. It all sells out—powering more than 2,278 metric tons of legal US pot production annually.
Leafly’s annual “Best cannabis seeds to grow” synthesizes the quantitative with the qualitative: We pair strain search and menu trend data with breeder interviews, and event and store reporting; plus, we smoke hundreds of flavors, and grow a few pounds.
Leafly News’ product picks are independent, and cannot be influenced by advertising. We’d love to fill our garden with these cultivars—the newest of the new and those re-mixed from the best of the present and past.
Get ready for all the Cakes, Mints, Cookies, Zkittlez, GMOs, and sativas you could spend a lifetime trimming. Whatever you smoke, now is the time to score some awesome seeds so you can pop them by spring, and have a pound laying around by Thanksgiving. This is Leafly’s Best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in ‘22.
Cake and Mints varietals for ‘22
Best-selling Wedding Cake and Kush Mints cannabis families combine in Humboldt Seed Company’s filthy new Poddy Mouth, which is Humboldt Pound Cake x Mtn Top Mint.
Emerald Cup-winning Ridgeline Farms named and endorsed this outdoor-optimized exotic. It can test beyond 30% THC while looking bonkers and smelling like soft, sweet, minty fuel. Sheesh!
For ’22, Humboldt Seed Co. has 85 regular, feminized, autoflower, or combo seed products, from 45 strains, in six states. They’re emblematic of how West Coast breeders own the strain game, thanks to decades of experience, plus baseball field-sized farms to test out thousands of new varieties at once.
There are so many tasty mint and cake strains out there this year.
See also: Mint a pound with Tiki Madman’s mints crosses like Apple Fritter Bx or Gelatti Mints, available online; in California, get clones of Purple City Genetics’ Gush Mints crosses, or Hendrx Nursery’s Candy Chrome No. 5 (Runtz x The Menthol).
Contemporary GSC and Gelato strains
Strawberry, fuel, and cookies terpenes with a new level of exotic bling make Cherry Cosmo an early star of 2022. Highly regarded breeder Exotic Genetix has folded Cookies upon Cookies in his Baker’s Dozen strain (Milk & Cookies x Rainbow Chip). His Jan. 25 release of Baker’s Dozen crosses includes Cherry Cosmo (Red Pop x Baker’s Dozen), which promises an explosive, cosmic, indica-hybrid space trip.
Exotic Genetix’s breeder Mike (aka “Mr. Stimmy”) has a massive series of indoor grow rooms to experiment—constantly ratcheting up the definition of “Zaza.”
- Stank House
- Gas Basket
- Purple Pineapple
“He throws away plants that other breeders would kill to have in their garden,” said seed seller Luscious Genetics, in a Leafly interview. “That level of discernment is superhuman. He just knows his shit.”
There’s so many phenomenal GSC genetics out there.
See also: Compound Genetics Exotic² (Red Pop x Apples & Bananas); Ethos Genetics’ End Game R2; Seed Junky Genetics’ Jealousy crosses, like Zealousy; or Cookies+Compound Genetics Lemonchello 28 x Jet Fuel Gelato seeds; Wyeast Farms’ line of creamy, sweet, spicy, cinnamon-tinged Horchata crosses; Capulator’s Booty Clapper; and Lovin In Her Eyes’ Spanish Moon S1.
Cookies+Compound Genetics serves piping hot seed packs in ’22. (Courtesy Cookies)
Zkittlez’s hottest progeny
Rainbow Belts 3.0
Grab some Cup-winning, hyper-giddy, candy-aisle terpenes for ‘22. Breeder Archive Seedbank has mastered the genetics of Rainbow Belts and Moonbow, and thus the future of Zkittlez flavors.
The smell? “Zkittlez plus limey, candied, petroleum-fumed dank,” Archive Seedbank stated in an email announcement.
The effect? Bright, neon flavor meets intense, face-melting, OG power.
“I’m always looking for that sweetness in the strains that I love to smoke,” said Ellen Holland, author of 2021 book “WEED: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis.” “I really like the zkittlez and that uplifting, bright, bergamot, fruity flavor that it brings to the crosses of zkittlez.”
Archive Seeds breeder Fletch knows the hash heads need resin, too. Rainbow Belts 3.0 seed packs contain “Dry, sandy resin phenotypes that are packed with Gobstopper, Blue Sour Patch, tropical Zkittlez overtones.”
Get your debit card ready. Rainbow Belts 3.0 (Rainbow Belts #20 x Moonbow 112 F2 #60) 12-packs of regular seeds go on sale Feb. 1 at Archive Seedbank and select sellers.
Tropical candy terps get even louder with Terphogz Geneticz cross of Z3 and Papaya—Zazaya. Lip-smacking, Hi-Chew flavor meets high-key glee in this next-level flower designed for hashmakers. Keep a close eye on these influential hash strain designers, as the broader market coasts on their wake, said Luscious Genetics co-owner David.
“Growers are looking at a plant and taking into consideration trichome head size and gland size because extraction is such a large portion of revenue,” he said. “The bigger the trichome, the thicker the stalks—they know it’s going to yield more extract.”
I mean, you stick with the Terphogz when you can. I do, anyways.
Ellen Holland, author, ‘WEED: A Connoisseur’s Guide’
“It’s going to be super-tasty—the smells going to be really intense on those ones—because they have so much more resin,” said Holland. “I mean, you stick with the Terphogz when you can. I do, anyways.”
The Terphogz team backcrossed the original Zkittlez with Hindu Kush to start their Z3 line—which includes Cakez (Z3 x Ice Cream Cake) and Grapefruit Zruntz (Zruntz x Grapefruitz). We’re hearing about feminized Terp Hogz seeds for spring ‘22.
See also: Masonic Seed Company’s Wilmint; Bloom Seeds’ Rainbow Guava; Clearwater Genetics + Tiki Madman project’s Devil Driver; and Swamp Boys Seeds’ Guava Now N Later (Now N Later x White91 x Guava Jelly).
Savory terps of today
Meat Breath crosses
Savory terps have gotten more acrid, funky, weird, and potent in 2022 to counterbalance all the sweet dessert strains. We’re here for it.
The modern savory terp movement has built a home base around GMO Cookies, OGKB, Mendo Breath, and their offspring.
“Anything GMO is going to get gigantic,” said Luscious Genetics.
Thug Pug Genetics breeder “Gromer” comes out of early retirement this winter with Meat Breath crosses, another successor to Peanut Butter Breath. Divisive and unforgettable, this is the modern analog to old-school Cheese or Cat Piss.
“There’s something intriguing about pungent odor, especially if it’s related to an existing bodily musk. We’re drawn to that,” said Luscious Genetics.
Humboldt Seed Co.’s Nat Pennington has come around to pungent garlic terps, he said. “It’s funny because I was resistant at first. Of course, you try GMO and you understand.”
“If you’re in that savory category, that’s gonna be probably stronger and more fuel forward and gassy,” said Holland.
Need more stank? See also: Humboldt Seed Company’s Garlic Budder (GMO x Fortune Cookies); Swamp Boy Seeds’ Maconga (White Uchem x GMO/TK Skunk); Archive Seedbank’s Show Time (NorCal Cat Piss x Dosidos); Rebel Grown’s Double OG Chem S1.
Super stellar sativas
Super Lemon Pupil
Enough with the dense, dark, sedative Cookies strains. Give us longer, lighter, brighter sativas, too, in ‘22.
Got a foggy garden? Sativas can be more mold-resistant and far more unique than the next version of Gelato, Holland said. “They don’t have as gigantic of buds and don’t get problems like mold on the inside you can’t even see, or a caterpillar crawling halfway through it.”
“If you’re going to grow it yourself it might be easier to start with something that has a more sativa-leaning profile,” Holland.
Mass Medical Strains is a proud, old-school sativa lover, and has proclaimed 2022 the #yearofthehaze. First in their string of releases: Super Lemon Pupil—a Franco Loja-selected cut of Super Lemon Haze crossed to Mass Medical’s Star Pupil.
Super Lemon Pupil buds get big but stay mold-resistant. (Courtesy Mass Medical Strains)
Lemon, lacquer, European haze, and citrus will perfume your grow room. It’s super zippy—with a very sharp and uplifting profile.
“The power of the Haze mixed with the vibe of the Pupil is simply perfection,” Mass Medical Strains wrote to Leafly. “Effects can border on psychedelic, inspiring new ways of thinking and enhanced perception and awareness.”
Ready for a spirit journey? Mass Medical also touts Thug Pug collaboration Anaphylaxis (PB Breath x Deadly Sativa). “If you are struggling with anxiety or depression this one might be best avoided, it could be tough to handle unless you feel ready for the intensity.”
Mass Medical Strains award-winning, powerful Anaphylaxis (PB Breath x Deadly Sativa) (Courtesy Mass Medical)
There’s way more landrace, or legacy, strain work out there. See also: Aww yeah, Hendrx Nursery’s Santa Cruz Blue Dream x Old Dave Skunk; Archive Seedbank’s Island Girl, combining Dosidos to a mix of Malawi, 95’ NL5, Haze F2, Sensi Star, and Molokai Frost; and Masonic Seeds’ Wilson the World landrace uses the hash-dumper strain Wilson to bulk up to Kishkak, Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, or Saipan.
Here’s a high-yield, farming-friendly, modern sativa for the hash heads. Raspberry Parfait is raspberry and vanilla yogurt-flavored yoga fuel. Humboldt Seed Co.’s unique sativa-dominant cross of Truffula Tree x Shiska Berry bursts with long sesquiterpenes, giving it extra-robust shelf life, and making for phenomenal extracts.
Humboldt Seed Co. did a Raspberry Parfait extract collaboration that they hope will take home an Emerald Cup in 2022. You can take home Raspberry Partfait seeds from California stores.
Our ‘22 motto is: “Smoke the weed you want to see in the world,” and man, we’ve missed Strawberry Cough.
Major clone seller Dark Heart Nursery agrees. This year they’re bringing out Starberry Cough—a Kyle Kushman-selected cross of the fruity euphoria of Strawberry Cough with the energizing rush of Stardawg.
The cross gives old school Cough some modern bling, terps, and yield, marrying the sweetness of strawberries with the gasoline of Chemdog. Dark Heart Nursery clones are available at licensed California retail stores.
OK—we’re leaving out some legendary breeders and essential new crosses, but we don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Look out for more 2022 Leafly seed guides focused on autoflowers and high-CBD strains, and heck, maybe even pure throwback nostalgia strains. (Anyone got some solid Blue Dream or Urkle cuts? Asking for a friend.)