Hot Strain Summer: 3 Must-Try Cannabis Strains For 2022

Cannabis consumers pay more attention than ever to the flower they smoke. It’s no longer just connoisseurs who follow the adventures of famous phenohunters, dig into strain lineages and savor the diverse effects produced by different terpene profiles. That greater level of education about cannabis genetics helps drive consistent consumer demand for novel products on dispensary shelves. 

This in turn means more cultivators are jockeying to figure out what the next must-try weed strains will be. So what’s top of mind for cultivators and tokers alike as we step into the summer of 2022? Here are three of our top picks from Hawaii-based 808 Genetics and Purple City Genetics out of California, with all the deets on what make them perfect additions to a winning strain library.


A close-up of Kushmints, one of the key lineage strains behind 808 Genetics’ Instagram and Purple City Genetics’ Gush Mints strains

The Strain: Instagram (808 Genetics)

Lineage: (Haloe Girl x Crippy BX2) x London Pound Cake #75 x Kush Mints #11

As Jake Britt of 808 Genetics explains, “Instagram was inspired by Berner while smoking Haole Girl with him on Kauai sometime in 2017 or so. The goal was to achieve a super photogenic yet extremely potent and tasty strain ideal for people that had chronic pain but wanted something that wouldn’t put them to sleep or make them too tired. It tastes great and gives you the desired pain relief and head relief so many are in search of.”

Grower Notes: Instagram starts slow and then explodes—it needs to be topped semi aggressively because of the stretch. With very little foliage, this is one of the easiest plants to harvest and trim. Growers can leave most of everything to the bottom. Instagram plants produce a blown-out calyx covered in extremely large trichomes and hard nuggets that turn on late. 

Don’t be deceived by the light amount of foliage or the size of the nugget, however, because Instagram’s weight is deceiving. This strain produces very solid numbers: up to 100 grams per square foot of trimmed flower. The longer it’s cured, the more pronounced the notes of chocolate and berry become on the nose. You can run Instagram in 60-70 days.

Smoker Notes: Instagram produces flavors not unlike Sweet Kush with added chocolate and blueberry notes. The jar appeal is impressive too. Just looking at Instagram’s silver, seafoam green, navy and purple hues distributed around a unique flower structure will make you pick this strain over the others. In addition to being highly recognizable, Instagram produces a functional high that is neither performance-enhancing or couch-locking. A sociable strain, Instagram gets you out of your own head. It’s good for bodily relaxation and a smile on your face, while producing a sense of ease and chill. 

The Strain: Vanilla Custard (808 Genetics)

Lineage: (Haole Girl BX x Wedding Cake BX2)

“Vanilla Custard was made trying to create the heaviest yielding, creamiest gas variety ideal for heavy pain relief as well as relieving anxiety and helping with insomnia,” breeder Jake Britt recalls. “It’s definitely more of a nighttime strain.” Vanilla Custard’s calming effect is perfect for sitting back and savoring the little things.

Grower Notes: Vanilla Custard is very cultivator friendly, with a predictable shape, thicker branching vegetation to support its accumulation of flowers and the ability to handle high volumes of heavy feed. With larger than normal trichome production and size, Vanilla Custard washes easily with a huge return, and stacks large flowers of true Kelly green and seafoam hues. One of the heaviest producers on the Next Big Crop cannabis genetics roster, a competent gardener can consistently achieve 100 grams of trimmed flower per square foot.

Smoker Notes: Vanilla Custard boasts a gym sock funk with gas and a little cream. This flower size is rather large, with that “classics” appearance set off by a silver-white shimmer from the overly large resin heads. This strain washes great—huge yield and a rosin hue reminiscent of vanilla cake batter and full of that funky gas. This is a potent strain that can leave the smoker in a reverie, appreciating familiar sights in a new way while subtly getting just a little more comfortable.

The Strain: Gush Mints (Purple City Genetics)

Lineage: Kush Mints x Gushers x F1 Durb

A favorite in California and beyond from Purple City Genetics out of Oakland, Gush Mints blends two perennially popular strains—Durban Poison and Kush Mints—into a fresh new combo that’s easy to grow and a pleasure to smoke. 

Grower Notes: Gush Mints’ super predictable shape with its thick branches, substantial flowers and large trichome production has everything cultivators are looking for in a reliable strain. Like Vanilla Custard, Gush Mints is a heavy producer that can reach peak harvests of over 100 grams per square foot of trimmed flower, with a 60-70 day bloom schedule. That versatility is great for growers seeking to produce several customer favorites in a facility with a challenging workflow. Testing is high, yields are high, and Gush Mints’ silvery shimmer over a base navy hue is pretty from near and far. No wonder every cultivator wants specimens like this in their lineup—this strain checks every box.    

Smoker Notes: With Kush-forward flavor and cake notes, Gush Mints is a clean and relaxing experience that pairs nicely with nearly any setting or mood. With a slight earthy funk, a sweet aftertaste and fresh mint notes, this strain pairs a flavor journey with a thick mouthfeel and appealing potency.

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