American cannabis lovers, put some celebratory smoke in the air.

The dark ages of prohibition are waning. Weed’s legal in 15 states—the most anywhere in the world—including now Virginia and Connecticut. A national super-majority supports legalization. The Senate Majority Leader is tweeting “happy 420.” And Supreme Court Justices are all but saying “legalize it.”

The long, party-rich July 4th holiday is also one of the biggest weed sales weekends of the year—and the main focus is on fire flower. July 4th weekend cannabis sales soared 80% above average for any given Thursday-Friday-Saturday in Colorado in 2020, according to cannabis market analysts BDS Analytics.

Nearly 7 in 10 legal cannabis products sold in 2020 were flower, and almost half (45%) of every dollar spent on legal weed in 2020 went toward a flower purchase, BDS Analytics told Leafly June 30.

People shop heavy on buds for the 4th because nugs are a party-forward format: pack bowls for your friends, roll joints for outings, and titrate your high with quick-onset puffs. (By contrast, edibles have a time-delayed fuse of about 90 minutes and then Boom.)

Consequently, Leafly elevates Independence Day by big-upping nine super-hot strains exploding on the scene this July 4th—from sea to shining sea.

Patriotic zaza

Red Zlush

Seven Leaves Red Zlush (David Downs/Leafly)
Seven Leaves’ Red Zlush in Cali. (David Downs/Leafly)

Red Zlush from Seven Leaves in California has the name and pedigree of the moment. Who doesn’t want a slushie during a heat wave? Speaking of heat, Red Zlush combines the It strain families of the moment, Cookies and Zkittlez (which many are calling “Z” for trademark reasons). Red Zlush rocks Gelato #25 crossed to not just any Z, but the real deal from Emerald Cup-winners Terp Hogz.

Cindy White

The Green Solution's Cindy White in CO. (Courtesy The Green Solution)
The Green Solution’s Cindy White in CO. (Courtesy The Green Solution)

Not exactly exotic, but keeping it patriotic—Cindy White from The Green Solution in Denver, CO offers a zesty, motivating in-house sativa cross of some rare classics: Cinderella 88 and Princess. Get your river float on.

Blue Zushi

The Ten Co. Blue Zushi via Greenwolf Zalympix (David Downs/Leafly)
The Ten Co.’s Blue Zushi via the Greenwolf Zalympix. (David Downs/Leafly)

Keep your eye on those cookies and Z crosses. Blue Zushi took Best Overall and Best Tasting in the June “Zalympix,” an exotic cannabis contest hosted by Los Angeles dispensary Greenwolf. Besting 15 challengers, The Ten Co.’s Blue Zushi crosses Z and Kush Mintz for mega-terpy tropical fruit flavor—yummy lemon, raspberry, and cookie—and strong hybrid effect.

Party bowls

Rum Punch

Esensia Rum Punch from Solful (David Downs/Leafly)
Esensia Rum Punch from Solful. (David Downs/Leafly)

The terp-forward Sebastopol, CA shop Solful gets the party started with Emerald Cup award-winning Esensia Gardens and their Rum Punch. It’s an artisanal, sun-grown, special cross of Merlot and Honey Dew #36 that tastes of fruit cocktail and lifts mood without adding anxiety. Rum Punch is exclusive to Solful, but anyone can tap energetic cannabis vibes with the marijuana aroma molecule terpinolene.

Bahama Mama

The Source Bahama mama (Courtesy The Source NV)
The Source’s Bahama Mama. (Courtesy The Source NV)

Every lazy river is better with a Bahama Mama. CAMP’s Bahama Mama from The Source+ in Nevada mixes Tropicana Cookies and Black Banana for that daytime tropical cookie energy.

Slap N Tickle #7

Freddy's Fuego Slap N Tickle 7 (Courtesy Freddys Fuego WA)
Freddy’s Fuego Slap N Tickle #7. (Courtesy Freddys Fuego WA)

Sun and tan lines stir our ardor for Freddy’s Fuego Slap N Tickle #7. Colorado breeder Cannarado crossed GMO to Grape Pie for the first Slap N Tickle. Freddy’s Fuego popped seeds to hunt down #7, which delivers a fruity funk fest for the mouth and brain.

First Class Funk

LOWD FirstClassFunk (Photo by resinated lens courtesy LOWD)
LOWD First-Class Funk. (Photo by Resinated lens; Courtesy LOWD)

Found across Oregon, LOWD-grown First-Class Funk crosses GMO X Jet Fuel for a savory, pungent, biting, rocket ride into, say, the new season of Rick and Morty. This funky delight is also grown by Glentucky Family Farm in California.


Best cannabis strains of summer 2021


Wedding Sherb

Wedding Sherb Grow from Revolution in Illinois (Courtesy Revolution)
Wedding Sherb on the vine from Revolution in Illinois. (Courtesy Revolution)

Bring a couchmate to this sweet vanilla and tangy cookie treat. Wedding Sherb crosses two stone-cold classics, Wedding Cake and Sunset Sherbert, making it super popular for Independence Day from Revolution, the award-winning grower/stores in Illinois.


Alien Labs Biskante via Greenwolf Zalympix (Photo by David Downs/Leafly)
Alien Labs Biskante via the Greenwolf ‘Zalympix’. (David Downs/Leafly)

The people have spoken, and they have spoken for gobs of sweet, tart, scrumptious gas terps riding a phaser-beam of stone—Alien Labs’ Biskante. The Sacramento-based team worked with two current Cup-winning elite strains Melonade and Biscotti #6. The project’s result tests at 29.31% THC and hits fruity and thick with a Gelato bottom. It’s the best of what the people want right now, and is the only exotic, must-have jar that comes with movie-sized launch posters.

And that’s nine fire strains to fuel a spectacular finale for any sesh. Finding any single one might be tough, but everybody in the weed freedom states is a tap away from great Cookies, Z, or something else tasty.

Hit that Leafly Map and leave a review if you scoop any of that zaza!

David Downs's Bio Image

David Downs

David Downs directs news and lifestyle coverage as the California Bureau Chief for Leafly.com. He’s written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and is the former cannabis editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the author of several cannabis books including ‘Marijuana Harvest’ by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

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