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California is the home of some of the most exotic strains of weed that marijuana lovers can get their hands on. Once upon a time, you had to travel to the coffee shops of Amsterdam to taste, smell or smoke the finest weed. But since California’s cannabis legalization, growers have been right on point. There must be something special in the soil in California that makes it the perfect place to grow some of the most beautiful buds that we have the privilege of smoking (or whatever ways to smoke weed you use).

So what makes a strain of weed exotic? We think it has to do with more than just making you high. We are so far past the days of smoking whatever skunk the dealer has to offer. With dispensaries all over the country and people literally dedicating their lives to growing the dopest dope on the market, we have more to enjoy than just getting stoned. Delicious and exotic weed is tasty, has a unique smell and can even have a unique aesthetic.

A marijuana connoisseur knows that the flavor and smell of the weed are equal in importance to its strength (although, sometimes they want to know how to get rid of weed smell…). Weed can even be a tactile experience when you think about it. I know that I love to get my fingers sticky by finger chopping and letting the aromas seep out of the bud and let the cannabis on my skin. Weed is a completely sensory experience, and the most exotic strains of weed are those that completely excite the senses. This is a list of some of best California’s finest buds in all of the ways that make a strain of weed an exotic user experience.

What are Exotic Cannabis Strains?

Exotic weed strains are a bit difficult to define. While there are thousands of options out there, which ones get to be labeled as “exotic marijuana” are often subjective.

As a general rule, however, exotic weed strains are hard to find and/or have unique properties that make them stand above the crowd. So if you’re fairly cannabis-savvy and come across a strain name totally foreign to you, there’s a good chance you found an exotic one.

what is a weed exotic strain
weed exotic strains

Physical characteristics also play a role in determining whether or not a strain is exotic. Marijuana isn’t easy to grow (if you don’t believe us, you can check our ‘Growing Weed for Beginners‘ guide). It takes time, patience, equipment and skill to get a really good quality yield. This is why superficially attractive strains tend to grab people’s attention. Anyone can grow a standard green bud. But when a plant pops up with a mix of purple, green and blue hues covered in a dense layer of crystal, it’s guaranteed to turn heads.

15 Exotic California Weed Strains

Here’s a list of our favorite sativa and indica exotic weed strains, they might not be the rarest or the most expensive weed strains, but you should try them:

Super Silver Haze

There’s more than one reason that this strain has won the Cannabis Cup repeatedly. Super Silver Haze is the offspring of parents Northern Lights, Skunk and Haze. This strong sativa has one of the most characteristic citrusy aromas. I know there are many strains that boast a lemony flavor and smell, but this one is probably one of the strongest. Plus, it leaves that sticky residue on my fingers that I love so much!

God's Gift

If you’re holding some of God’s Gift in your hands, you’ve definitely come across some exotic weed. It was probably given its name for its extremely high THC content, but what makes it God’s Gift to us is its grape taste and aroma. According to some people, it even tastes like hash at times. It’s a strong indica, so use it wisely!

Purple Kush

purple kush exotic strain

There’s something that everybody finds exotic about purple weed. It’s interesting because purple buds don’t necessarily mean stronger ones. In fact, a lot of the time the strength is compromised to grow delicious looking, purple buds. Purple Kush has the reminiscent flavor and effect of Kush while boasting super beautiful, purple buds. It is indica dominant, too, showering the mind and body with a profound relaxation.

Strawberry Cough

The genetic beginnings of Strawberry Cough are kind of unknown, which makes this strain a little bit mysterious. The taste and smell of strawberries is almost strange – how can burning plant material smell and taste so much like my favourite berry? And as the name suggests, it’s famous for making people cough when it is smoked. Strawberry Cough also happens to be a potent sativa, giving the user an extremely uplifting high.


Diablo gets a lot of its genetics from Grapefruit and Blueberry strains. So you can just imagine how fruity and tasty this weed is. Although it has a pretty decent THC content, most users love this strain for its tastiness! It also has really beautiful purple buds that growers love to show off in their gardens.

OG Kush

og kush exotic strain

If you know anything about breeding in California, you know that OG Kush forms the foundations of basically all the breeding programs. Almost every strain that comes out of California hails some genetics from OG Kush. It’s the OG. It literally is that earthy, piney smell that screams out “this is some serious dope”. Its buds are covered in that characteristic layer of indica trichomes, but has the cerebral euphoria of a sativa strain. Everything about OG Kush takes us back to the OG - the original weed!

Banana Kush

Banana Kush is a super beautiful strain of weed to smell and to look at. Yes, it smells just like a fresh bushel of bananas fell out of the tree. You can probably put this one in your smoothie and enjoy the taste! Its exotic weed buds have a characteristically light green colour and interesting shape and texture. This West Coast creation is definitely on the list of exotic strains!


Ok marijuana enthusiasts – if you’re looking for really unique and exotic weed, this one basically takes the cake. It’s so strange, it almost doesn’t even look like weed. It can be more hairy than it is weedy – if you know what I mean. Its little brown pistil hairs are so abundant that the green of the buds gets lost beneath them. And it almost has a menthol flavor? There are definitely hints of lemon in the taste and smell of this weed, but it is overall unique. It has made quite a name for itself in California, boasting its hybrid qualities to both relax and uplift.


trainwreck exotic strain

Most smokers love Trainwreck because it does exactly that - makes you a trainwreck. It is a popular strain for having an extremely strong effect. But for breeders, this is a beautiful strain to grow. It is covered in trichomes, making it super pungent and sticky to touch. It induces exactly the tactile experience that marijuana connoisseurs are looking for, plus its ability to make you feel like you’ve just been hit by a freight train. Its lineage comes from everywhere - Mexican, Thai and Afghani indicas, and it has basically become a staple in dispensaries across California.

Master Kush

In fact, Master Kush was created by Dutch breeders – surprise surprise! But after making its way to Californian soil, it flourished and has now become an important strain to have in dispensaries. It is a pure indica and is the offspring of two landrace parents. It smells and tastes a lot like Indian hash and has the characteristic indica quality that we have come to love from Kush strains.

Sweet and Sour Widow

This strain was created for the purpose of containing “both sides” of the marijuana coin. It has a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC, making it something a little bit unique on the marijuana market. As the name suggests, it is equal in its parts of sweet and sour, making it perfectly balanced. It is indica dominant, but its cannabinoid ratio means that its effects are quite mild. This is also the same quality that makes it somewhat unique and exotic on the marijuana market.

Platinum OG

platinum og

The abundance of orange hairs and THC crystals are probably what has blessed this strain with the name, Platinum. Even more valuable than gold, this strain is popular for getting people completely stoned. It almost always scores higher than 20% THC levels, meaning it is not for beginners! It hails Kush in its genetics, meaning that the smell and taste are reminiscent of that earthy smell we love

Granddaddy Purple

This is another strain that growers love to have in their garden for its mysteriously purple color. Its parents are Purple Urkle and Big Bud, which means that its oversized buds are another reason that growers love to grow Granddaddy Purple. Its purple buds look like they’ve been dusted with icing sugar, too, because of how thick the layer of trichomes is. It is a delight to smoke Granddaddy Purple for the grape taste that it gets from its Purple Urkle parent.

Ah, this strain is exotic on so many levels. It even has a very affordable flowering time, flowering in just 60 days if it is grown indoors. A grower can harvest huge yields of beautiful purple buds, which is why it exists in abundance in Californian dispensaries.

Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush is exotic for its deliciously sweet flavors and aromas. It also has an extremely tranquilizing effect, which West Coast Americans have come to love. When you smoke Bubba Kush, you can enjoy the smells and taste of chocolate and coffee, something you don’t usually come across when smoking buds. Like Strawberry Cough, this strain also has a little bit of a mysterious genetic lineage. It is said that an OG Kush hybrid pollinated an unknown plant, which was later speculated to have been Northern Lights. In any case, no one really knows where this strain gets its genetic story, but Californian growers and dispensaries have loved it ever since it took root there.

Green Crack

green crack exotic strain

The name of this strain says it all. If ever there existed a crack for potheads, this strain is it. It is an extremely powerful sativa strain that Californians love. There is even a variation of this strain called God’s Green Crack. Basically anything that is holding the genetics of Green Crack comes from God - or at least Californians definitely feel this way. The flavor of it is tangy, and exciting, sometimes tasting like mango and at other times harbouring a citrusy smell. In fact, this strain became so popular that they created an indica counterpart, which is basically just the indica version of Green Crack!

Exotic Weed Strains: FAQs

Most frequent questions and answers

In most cases, home-growers will want to purchase feminized seeds. This is because female marijuana plants are the ones who produce the flower used for smoking. Feminized seeds have been manipulated to produce female plants almost 100% of the time, guaranteeing a better yield. You’ll find more information about exotic strains in this article.

If you want to grow exotic weed strains at home, you can try to create your own using male and female plants (not recommended, given the time and training required) or simply buy your favorite exotic strains as feminized seeds. 

Because the definition of “exotic” is subjective, there’s no way to know exactly which breeder offers the most exotic plants. 

However, some breeders known for their unique creations are DNA Genetics, Jungle Boys and Seed Junky – to name a few.

Again, there’s no way to tell what the “most exotic” strains are. However, some interesting ones that gained attention are:

  • Four Way
  • Blue Cheese
  • Jamaican Lion
  • Panama Red
  • Mendocino Purps
  • Blue Dream
  • Black Beauty

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