In the last few years, Runtz has taken dispensary shelves by storm. A cross of Zkittlez and Gelato #33, this cultivar came to represent the epitome of exotic. Leafly’s Strain of the Year 2020, Runtz not only became mega-popular, but also the name slapped onto every pound of Purple Punch or Ice Cream Cake that needed a little sales push.
With this explosive popularity, any grower trying to stay ahead of trends had to add Runtz to their stable. Now, it’s a race of the Runtz crosses. And though the market is tiring of flavors like Runtz and GMO, we’re still insatiable for those profiles with a new or interesting twist.
Gassy Runtz is first on our list. Though this expression is slightly less colorful than your average Cookies strain, it has that same compact shape and bud structure. Excellent trichome coverage gives way to dense buds with a vanilla wafer cookie top note and sweet diesel center. Hints of raspberry, blackberry and artificial candy hang around the freshly ground herb. In a joint, the dry hit is nearly savory with a surprise umami pull. Lit, the creamy, gassy and melon notes are front and center.
Next, we add a gram of Greasy Runtz to the grinder – which struggles a bit with the resinous buds. The reflective trichomes catch and cast light, while the herb flashes off ultra-sweet notes of marshmallow and vanilla frosting. Gas is loud and present here with a nose-wrinkling, chemical-rich scent that fades to notes of crisp and clean honeydew.
Last up, Unicorn Runtz. Eschewing the round sweetness of the other two profiles, this cultivar stands out for being exceptionally sharp and sour. Those familiar with the classic Cat Piss profile (or maybe just those with pet cats) will recognize the stinging acrid note on the nose. Digging deeper, it’s easy to find fruitiness featuring grape juice and a hint of artificial grape candy. It’s sour… with just enough sweet to balance things out.
All around, each of these cultivars improves on the classic profile and offers something unique. Keeping an eye out for these strains is highly recommended – after all, 2022’s top pot just might be a Runtz cross.
This article was originally published in the February 2022 issue of Oregon Leaf.
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