A Closer Look Into The Best-Selling Cannabis Strains of 2023

Terpene Belt Farms
Terpene Belt Farms

2023 has been one of the strongest years for cannabis, and the demand for premium-quality strains remains at an all-time high! The industry saw a lot of new strain crosses, long-retired strains emerging from the dust, and strains being renamed left and right.

But when looking into the Leafly Best-Selling Cannabis Strains of 2023, some strains are just plain superior, winning over customers’ hearts year after year.  But what sets them apart from the others? Is it their THC potency, effects, or perhaps the synergistic combination of terpenes and cannabinoids, also known as the entourage effect?  We broke down each strain on the list to look deeper into what makes them so unique.


Blue Dream

Surprise to almost no one, Blue Dream, a beloved sativa-dominant cannabis strain, secured its place as one of the top-selling cannabis strains of 2023! Born from the blend of Blueberry and Haze genetics, Blue Dream is known for its harmonious blend of uplifting cerebral effects and soothing bodily relaxation. This strain’s signature aroma of sweet berries hints at its dominant terpene, myrcene, well known for its deep relaxing properties. Paired with pinene and caryophyllene, Blue Dream’s terpene profile contributes to its stress-relieving and mood-enhancing effects, making it a favorite among consumers seeking a balanced and euphoric experience.


Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake, also known as Pink Cookies, emerged as another crowd favorite in 2023. This indica-dominant hybrid cannabis strain, a cross of Triangle Kush and Animal Mints, delivers a tranquilizing experience characterized by its vanilla-scented buds and euphoric effects. With high levels of caryophyllene and limonene, Wedding Cake may offer relief from anxiety, stress, and depression, making it a go-to choice for relaxation and introspection.



Gelato, renowned for its mouthwatering flavors and well-rounded effects, won the hearts and palates of consumers in 2023! The Gelato cannabis strain was born from the fusion of Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint GSC strains, carrying notes of sweet vanilla and mint that could have anyone asking for more after every puff.
With its balanced hybrid nature, Gelato can promote a euphoric high followed by deep body relaxation due to its caryophyllene, limonene, and humulene-rich terpene profile. Gelato’s popularity underscores the importance of terpenes in creating well-rounded cannabis experiences that cater to both mind and body. 


Granddaddy Purple

Granddaddy Purple, an old but gold indica cannabis strain revered for its potent effects and grape-like aroma, maintained its popularity in 2023. Created from the fusion of Mendo Purps, Skunk, and Afghanistan, this strain embodies relaxation and bliss. Its distinctive grape and berry aroma, attributed to its dominant terpene, myrcene, sets the stage for a tranquil and deeply relaxing experience.
Pinene and caryophyllene add depth to Granddaddy Purple’s effects, amplifying its pain-relieving and sleep-inducing properties. Whether used for unwinding after a long day, alleviating muscle pain and discomfort, or before bedtime, Granddaddy Purple remains a go-to strain for those seeking relaxation and relief.


Apple Fritter

In 2022, Apple Fritter made it to the best selling cannabis strain list in multiple states, but in 2023, it reached the top #10 cannabis strains list nationally! Apple Fritter, a true hybrid strain, is a cross of Sour Apple and Animal Cookies that may offer a potent and relaxing high, complemented by its unique flavor profile. Caryophyllene, limonene, and pinene combine to create a sweet and earthy aroma with hints of apple and cheese. Apple Fritter’s known effects of relaxation, creativity, giggly euphoria, and uplifted mood highlight how crucial terpenes are when shaping the cannabis experience.


Sour Diesel

And here we have another fire classic making the list! Sour Diesel, also known as “Sour D”, is a popular hybrid cannabis strain created by the cross of Chemdawg and Super Skunk. Sour Diesel’s diesel-like flavor and aroma, courtesy of its dominant terpene, caryophyllene, set the stage for a cerebral and energizing experience. Myrcene and limonene complement Sour Diesel’s effects, boosting creativity and mental clarity while relieving daily stress and fatigue. Loved for its potent effects and iconic flavor, Sour Diesel remains a go-to choice for those looking for an energy booster or creativity spark.


Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express, a sativa dominant cannabis strain that was born from the cross of Trainwreck and Hawaiian, remained a staple in cannabis culture year after year! Pineapple Express’ bright citrus notes infused with pineapple and earthy pine, are attributed to its dominant terpene, myrcene, which can evoke a sense of relaxation and euphoria. Caryophyllene and pinene further enhance Pineapple Express’s effects, promoting a clear-headed and energetic high that could combat stress and uplift the spirit. 


Ice Cream Cake

Last but not least, we have the indica hybrid strain Ice Cream Cake. Thist was created by crossing Wedding Cake and Gelato #33 and fascinated consumers nationwide with its creamy flavor and sedating effects. Caryophyllene, limonene, and linalool create a sweet, buttery aroma reminiscent of vanilla and sugary dough in Ice Cream Cake like no other! This Ice Cream Cake’s terpene profile can activate all senses in a wave of relaxation and comfort that could be great for those looking for a yoga companion or a peaceful night of sleep.


As we could see on the top-selling cannabis strains of 2023, it’s clear that these strains’ popularity goes above aesthetics or THC potency. Terpenes play a pivotal role in the entourage effect, creating a wide range of flavors, aromas, and effects that characterize each and every cannabis strain.

Now the question remains: What will be the best-selling cannabis strains in 2024? Will the cannabis industry invest in new strains with a complete terpene profile, or will they stick to the classics?


*** Remember to use this blog post as a reference only. Consult with a healthcare professional before consuming cannabis for medical purposes.

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