In an ever-growing landscape of green, it’s hard to determine which new strains will stand the test of time. Cultivating a winning strain within the cannabis community and for the public takes a complex balance of fire genetics, unique flavors, and good marketing. There has yet to be a strain that has cemented itself so quickly and so unanimously than Runtz.
Barely six years into its release to the public, Runtz has climbed its way to the top of award podiums, into dozens and dozens of rap songs, and on dispensary shelves coast to coast. Created and popularized by the “Runtz crew” of Ray Bama, Nick, and rapper Yung LB, Runtz emerged at the 2017 Emerald Cup and promptly made waves. In 2020, we deemed it the Leafly Strain of the Year for its complex terpene profile and hard-hitting effects.
Not to mention the gorgeous purple kaleidoscope of its buds. It still wins awards to this day, most recently dominating at the 2022 Michigan People’s Choice Cannabis Cup.
Dozens of iterations and crosses of Runtz have since entered the market; the Leafly strain database currently hosts 36 Runtz varieties, and it’s only up from here.
Characteristics of Runtz Strains
Runtz combines two winners in their own right, Gelato and Zkittlez, for a hybrid that has the glistening bag appeal, pungent, layered terps, and the cosmic high of a new classic. Tastemakers like Cookies mogul Berner knew right away it would be a hit. Leafly reviewers agree that original Runtz is in a league of its own.
Its terpene profile mixes the pepper of caryophyllene, the citrus of limonene, and the dusky floral of linalool for an unmatched nose and taste experience.
“With Runtz, it looks amazing, it smells like candy, grapes, and gas, and you smoke it and it tastes just like it smells, which is [actually] kind of unusual.”
Ridgeline Farms owner, grower Jason Gellman, in southern Humboldt County, CA
The 10 best Runtz strains to try, according to Leafly reviewers
Paring down our list of the best Runtz strains is tricky, but not impossible. The most popular Runtz strains speak for themselves: they look great, smell great, taste great, and feel great. We used a methodology of how many reviewers endorse them, how accessible they are, and if they’ve won or contributed to award-winning strains.
This doesn’t include the original Runtz, which set off this entire cultural phenomenon. Keep in mind that even though Runtz is everywhere now, it’s still a premium product and you likely won’t find it at your local dispensary for less than $50.
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- White Runtz—The Cookies fam helped this Runtz phenotype blow up into one of the most popular and abundant options around. It’s a great, stony choice for recreational smokers and medical patients. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.6 rating based on 236 reviews.
- Tropical Runtz—Bred by Exotic Genetix, this Runtz baby is heavy on the fruit and heady buzz. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.8 rating based on 30 reviews.
- Black Runtz—Think of Big Boss Farms’ Runtz phenotype as a dark twin to White Runtz, heavy on the earthy notes and sedation. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.7 rating based on 60 reviews.
- Forbidden Runtz —Growers Choice’s Forbidden Fruit and Runtz cross pairs perfectly with a lazy day and fruit smoothie. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.3 rating based on 14 reviews.
- Coochie Runtz—The Cookies brand carries this ribald phenotype of Runtz, with an equally provocative mylar bag. But its popularity will keep growing. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.4 rating based on 19 reviews. One reviewer wrote: “Feels like Runtz, looks like Runtz. It’s Runtz with a hint of Coochie. Good shit!”
- Greasy Runtz—So sticky, it’ll be on your fingers for days. Exotic Genetix strikes again with Runtz x Grease Monkey. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.6 rating based on 14 reviews.
- Purple Runtz—Purple Runtz has a relatively lower THC count than its sister strains, but Leafly reviewers still gave it a 4.6 rating based on 53 reviews.
- Rose Gold Runtz—This Runtz hybrid brings the power of White Runtz and Apples and Bananas together. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.6 rating based on 13 reviews.
- Rainbow Runtz—Rainbow Runtz uses Dosidos instead of Gelato to cross with Zkittlez, for a flavor that veers more creamy vanilla. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.6 rating based on 27 reviews.
- Obama Runtz—It’s unclear if this strain even exists! After a 2020 viral video, Obama Runtz was making waves in cannabis circles. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.4 rating based on 61 reviews.
Strongest Runtz strains by THC content
We at Leafly love to smoke strong, but we know THC isn’t everything. The brain-shattering high that comes with Runtz is more likely due to its constellation of terpenes, but it’s also known for high THC numbers. Runtz has a huge fanbase in long-term smokers because its distinct high doesn’t fade over time, but it might not gel with newbies.
Here are ten of the strongest Runtz strains on the market right now, based on numbers collected in our strains database and market research. You might see some of these on the list above.
- Strawberry Runtz – 32% THC—Strawberry Runtz is a White Runtz hybrid heavy on the fruit terps and light on couchlock. Leafly reviewers gave it a 5.0 rating based on 2 reviews.
- Coochie Runtz – 29% THC—Cooochie Runtz packs a punch. Bring your A-game. Reviewers gave it a 4.4 rating based on 16 reviews.
- Runtz Muffin – 29% THC—Barney’s Farm’s Runtz Muffin pairs Runtz with Orange Punch for a fruity, sativa-dominant twist. One reviewer said it gives you the “high that you used to get when you were smoking at 16.” Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.7 rating based on 7 reviews.
- Greasy Runtz – 28% THC—This Runtz cross is hard to wash off your hands. Greasy Runtz by Exotic Genetix brings out the best in parent strains Grease Monkey and Runtz. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.8 rating based on 14 reviews.
- Red Runtz – 28% THC—Red Runtz is a stony strain with a soda pop sweetness. Exotic Genetix have combined Red Pop and Runtz, both award winners, for a strain that will couchlock you with a candy palate. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.8 rating based on 12 reviews.
- Grape Runtz – 27% THC—There’s a lot going on here. Grape Runtz has three parents in Grape Ape, Runtz, and OG Kush. This Runtz is a little more lax than the original, with an earthy note to accompany the grape and citrus. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.5 rating based on 16 reviews.
- Gruntz – 27% THC—Gruntz is a hybrid of Gushers and Runtz by Nasha Genetics. Leafly reviewers applaud its body high and mix of tropical and earth flavors. They gave it a 4.6 rating based on 30 reviews.
- Rose Gold Runtz – 32% THC—Rose Gold Runtz from top breeder Compound Genetics crosses Apples & Bananas with White Runtz for even more power and flavor. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.6 rating based on 13 reviews.
Other popular Runtz strains of 2022
Believe it or not, there are still over a dozen Runtz strains we haven’t put on the lists above that are worth your attention. You may not know these names now, but we promise that you’ll be seeing and smoking a lot more of them in years to come. We at Leafly work consistently to keep you updated on the best new genetics from breeders coast to coast. Help us out by leaving reviews for your favorite (or least favorite) strains!
- Devine Runtz—Help us learn more about this new Runtz! This strain does not have any reviews or ratings.
- Watermelon Runtz—Who needs candy when you have a super sweet cross of Watermelon Zkittlez and Runtz? Leafly reviewers gave it a 5.0 rating based on 1 review.
- Cherry Runtz—She’s my cherry pie! Runtz and Cherry Pie unite for a euphoric banger of a strain. Leafly reviewers gave it a 4.6 rating based on 19 reviews.
Sources and research:
- Leaf Magazine, Ray Runtz and the Runtz Crew, March 1, 2022
- Leafly, The Leafly Strain of the Year 2020 is—Runtz!, Dec. 8 2020
- Weedmaps, Where did Runtz strains come from, May 2, 2022
- Respect My Region, Runtz strain: A staple of the hip-hop and cannabis crossover world, June 6, 2022
- 420 Expert Advisor, 10 best Runtz strains for a sweet high, June 29, 2022
- Leafly, 28 grams of game: How Runtz’ Yung LB smoked the industry, March 31 2022
- Leafly, What is Obama Runtz?, Dec. 10, 2020
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