They’ve been selling a lot of legal weed in Colorado and Washington, but they’ve been selling a whole lot of one strain in particular: Blue Dream. According to a report from Colorado-based retail pot industry number-crunchers BDS Analytics, the sativa-dominant hybrid originating in Northern California was the top-selling strain in both states.
The feat is even more impressive when you look at the top 10 best-selling strains in each state. Not only did the cross of the Blueberry indica with a Silver Haze sativa take first in both states, only one other strain, Sour Diesel, even appeared on both lists (3rd in Washington, 10th in Colorado).
But wait, it’s even more pervasive yet: According to the bud-finding website Leafly, using menu data from dispensaries synchronized with local search terms, it’s also the leading strain in California.
So what is in that makes Blue Dream so special? In a world with a bewildering variety of strains, how does this one become so dominant? It’s been an issue of some contention among the cannabis cognoscenti, but here’s what’s shaking out:
1. It’s good weed.Blue Dream is strong (17-18% THC) and it’s sativa-dominant (80%-20%), so the cerebral stoniness nicely balances the indica couchlock tendencies. Tokers end up with full-body relaxation and cerebral invigoration. And, given its Blueberry parentage, it unsurprisingly has a luscious sweet berry aroma. And it looks good, too.
Blue Dream also appears to have a lot of medicinal utility. Users say it works well to soothe headaches, anxiety, and even depression, and there is evidence it helps with menstrual cramps and related maladies. The high is uplifting, but not overpowering.
Leafly has more than 5,000 users reviews, with the vast majority categorizing Blue Dream as “exceptional” or “outstanding:”
“Yummy huge amazing fresh blue nugs sooo sweet and smooth got me over-the-moon high!…. zapped my anxiety and relieved severe hip/back pain for a few hours…a Kind blessing! Good for general laziness or cloud watching over the Red Rocks…Prime420 approved!” wrote one reviewer.
“Blue dream is a great morning or social strain. It literally gave me energy and made me talkative. I have bad anxiety and almost never want to speak but with this stuff I do. For me though I prefer to more feel my high rather than experience it. It just doesn’t get me very “high” it just alters my mood and perception mostly. Good for those lookin for a pick me up or something mild,” wrote another.
“I love this strain. GREAT day time hybrid. Makes u feel like u’ve just scratched a spot on your back that you could not reach for days and it’s been itching you like crazy. I am running out of words here to describe how good your whole body and mind feels after medicating with this. The high is on the border of “functioning and couch potato” and you can control it as you want and go either way. Beautiful stuff !!!” concurred a third reviewer.
Not everybody loves it, though. Some connoisseurs look down their noses at it, in part a hipster reaction to its popularity, but in part because it is not super strong. Others criticize not the strain itself, but the mass production of it, claiming that it is too often grown for the bottom line with “mediocre” or “generic” results. Still, everyone else seems to be buying the crap out of it.
2. It’s “open source.”Blue Dream is not a proprietary strain, monopolized by a handful of secretive growers. As High Times cultivation expert Danny Danko noted, “she’s a clone-only strain that isn’t hoarded or claimed by one particular group. Blue Dream is considered more ‘open sourced’ and cuttings are easy to find.”
Indeed, the clones seem to be as ubiquitous as the buds—and cheap. The Los Angeles BudTrader website has them for a very reasonable $8 each, and Clone Queen Marijuana Plant Genetics in Anaheim has them for only $5.
3. It’s a highly productive strain.As High Times’ Danko noted: “Growers rave about how Blue Dream is so easy to grow and also a big yielder. Two pounds per 1000-watt light is a fairly standard indoor harvest for Blue Dream and she’s notoriously resistant to powdery mildew. Clones of Blue Dream also root quickly and consistently as well, making it a cultivator’s dream plant to grow.”
Or, as Johnny Green at the Weed Blog put it: “Blue Dream is a very hearty marijuana strain, and has very consistent yields compared to other strains. That makes it very popular with growers since they can fairly easily gauge how much, and what quality, of yield to expect from their harvests. So it’s not that Blue Dream is the best strain, or is the most popular with consumers necessarily, as much as there’s just so many growers that grow it, and flood every outlet where they are allowed. That then leads to a higher volume of sales.”
4. It’s a marketing success.Writing for the Civilized website (“cannabis culture elevated”), Julia Wright let BDS Analytics point to the role of marketing.
“We have literally thousands of strains in our database, and Blue Dream is #1 in both Washington and Colorado,” said BDS founder and CEO Roy Bingham. “There’s clearly marketing around individual strains, and budtenders point consumers in the direction of a particular product. I imagine that soon there will be less opinion, and more science, around that.
Bingham says the market is now becoming more sophisticated, in terms of how cannabis products are packaged and sold.
Branding and marketing are already big in the edibles market, and we’ve already seen branding efforts for buds, especially around celebrities, such as Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, or the Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix estates.
“There’s an increasing trend toward branding, and that’s beginning to happen with flower as well,” Bingham continued. “I think we will see people branding flower as being better in different ways: more environmentally friendly, or closer to organic.”
5. It’s everywhere!This is Johnny Green’s theory, and it’s reasonable. “So if Blue Dream isn’t the best marijuana strain out there, or even close, why does it sell at such a higher volume compared to all other marijuana strains in Colorado and Washington? I don’t think it has to do with popularity. My theory is that it has much more to do with the fact that Blue Dream is EVERYWHERE!”