Here are the Worst Marijuana Strains of All Time

Based on personal experience
MarijuanaBreak Staff MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on July 3, 2019

Worst Marijuana Strains

If you’ve ever smoked marijuana, chances are you’ve encountered at least one low-quality strain. This is to be expected since you’ll never come across two marijuana harvests that are identical. The quality of bud depends on various factors, including the condition of the grow, the general strain quality, and the care provided to the plant during and after the harvest.

A couple of scientific studies have cast the spotlight firmly on an unsavory aspect of the industry. According to researchers, the marijuana strains they tested contained eerily similar levels of THC and CBD. This isn’t the biggest issue, however. The breeders marketed these strains as being entirely different from one another.

A 2015 study by Sawler et al., published in PLOS ONE, analyzed 81 marijuana and 43 hemp samples. The team discovered that the sativa and indica split rarely matched the genetic makeup of the strains. Overall, 35% of the strains tested by researchers had a greater number of genetic similarities to strains with different names than ones with similar names!

A study by Mudge, Murch, and Brown, published in Scientific Reports in August 2018, analyzed 33 strains from five British Columbia growers. On this occasion, the THC and CBD content were virtually the same in 24 of the strains. What’s troubling is that these strains were marketed with different levels of both cannabinoids.

This tells us a couple of things. First, we shouldn’t take the stated cannabinoid content at face value. Mudge pointed out that it was almost impossible to determine the precise level of cannabinoids in marijuana strains, and believes that breeders should clearly state that the displayed cannabinoid levels are estimates.

Secondly, we should also realize by now that cannabis is more than just THC and CBD. Sure, sellers are only obligated to disclose the content of the two most prevalent cannabinoids, but the effects you feel could depend as much on CBN, CBC, or another one of the 100+ cannabinoids in weed.

You might think that low-quality weed will carry a low price tag. Wrong! Some disreputable suppliers will try to pass off their garbage by selling it at the kind of price associated with medium or even high-quality marijuana. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to spot low-quality weed before parting with your cash. Here are a few things to watch out for.

Smell

Decent quality marijuana buds will have an easily identifiable smell which indicates a high level of terpenes.

In contrast, low-quality weed either smells of hay or has no discernible scent. This is a clear sign that the cannabis was poorly grown and/or cured. When looking for a sativa strain, check for sharp citrus notes. For an indica strain, check for a coffee or chocolate scent.

Structure

The type of strain dictates the structure. Sativa buds are typically light and fluffy whereas indica buds are dense and tight. In poorly grown indicas, you will notice visible stems and incomplete buds which make them look more like sativas.

Color

While cannabis strains have different colors, they should be some shade of green. It is important to note that some high-quality buds have tinges of pink, blue, or even purple, so don’t discount any marijuana containing those colors. However, if you notice that a bud’s color is majority tan, red, brown or yellowish, steer clear because it clearly came from an unhealthy plant. You should also avoid any buds that have a ‘bleached white’ color because they have ‘light burn.’

Trichomes

High-quality cannabis is loaded with ripe trichomes, and you can distinguish the trichome density pretty easily. Buds that have a ‘frosty’ appearance are covered in trichomes, and they sparkle like tiny crystals. Low-quality cannabis will have little or no trichome coverage.

You should also check for trichome ‘ripeness,’ but you will need a magnifying glass or a similar tool. With this device, look at the ‘heads’ of the trichomes. If they are white, you have a high-quality strain. If the heads are clear, the plant was harvested too early, and if they are entirely amber, the plant was harvested too late.

General Low-Quality Marijuana Strain Information

There is still a plethora of mass-produced junk on the market, which is also known as ‘Schwag,’ ‘Dirt Weed’ or ‘Ditch Weed.’ Not only is it produced in bulk, but the weed is also grown in poor conditions. You can easily spot this kind of rubbish by following the tips above, and it is imperative that you do. This type of low-grade marijuana is filled with pesticides and heavy metals and is about as harmful as cigarettes!

The main reason for the poor quality is because the plant is cured and dried improperly, and it is much older than its high-grade counterpart. Aged marijuana is high in CBN, which is a low-quality breakdown of THC. If your goal is to get high, you won’t succeed with this kind of cannabis!

If all of the above isn’t bad enough, low-grade weed will certainly lead to several coughing fits. Here is a quick overview of low-quality marijuana:

  • Contains seeds.
  • Crumbles easily because it is so dry.
  • Has a brown or reddish color with little or no green.
  • Poorly trimmed and manicured.
  • Not dense.
  • Contains little in the way of trichomes.
  • Is incredibly harsh to smoke, causes coughing fits and a pain in the chest.
  • Has a weak or musty smell.
  • Contains residual pesticides, mold, mildew, and possibly heavy metals.

Now that you know what to look out for in low-quality marijuana strains, let’s check out five of the worst.

Please remember that this is our personal opinion. As has been pointed out by our readers, the cannabinoid receptors and body chemistry of each individual is unique. There will be strains on this list that certain readers won’t believe because they had a positive experience. As one reader has helpfully stated, all reviews are anecdotal rather than being scientific.

As a result, you can’t allow a single bad review, or even several, to determine whether or not the strain is right for you. If, on the other hand, EVERY review you read of a specific strain is negative, it should give you pause for thought.

It is also possible that we received strains on this list that were simply low quality. As the studies above suggest, there is even a possibility that the strains we tried do NOT contain the indica-sativa or THC-CBD ratios as advertised. Outside of paying for third-party lab reports (or requesting them from the seller or breeder), there isn’t much one can do bar growing the weed yourself, or seeking out a reputable seller.

One final point. The advances in growing technology, coupled with the increased legality of marijuana, mean that the days of outright bad weed are coming to a close. As long as the herb remains illegal in certain locations; however, there will always be a chance of buying schwag. The risk increases in places where weed is illegal, but can occasionally happen in a legal state or country.

Therefore, one could make the argument that there isn’t a marijuana strain NOT worth trying. A person’s dislike of a strain likely boils down to aroma, effects, flavor, personal experience, and even reputation.

Marijuana Break

1 – Pablo’s Gold (A Golden Marijuana Strain or Iron Pyrites?)

Pablo’s Gold is said to be a strongly sativa-dominant (70%) hybrid that’s a cross of Pablo’s Cheese and Colombian Gold. Its THC level is typically between 17% and 20%. Created by Breeder Choice Organization, you will do well to find this strain anywhere outside of the American Northwest.

It offers a potent cerebral high and begins with a boost of energy and an uplifted feeling. However, you soon realize that Pablo’s Gold is not a strain you use when seeking to get things done. It is often used to treat conditions such as insomnia, mood swings, arthritis, and glaucoma.

It doesn’t taste bad at all. The creamy, skunky, sweet flavor is relatively pleasant, and the cheesy, skunky scent, with hints of pine and citrus, isn’t off-putting either. The main issue is that Pablo’s Gold is almost TOO effective when it comes to sending you to sleep. It really is fool’s gold if you are taken in by the initial energy surge. I found it hard to keep my eyes open soon after using it. That said, you can’t fault Pablo’s Gold if you have chronic insomnia.

2 – Mango Pina (The Forgotten Marijuana Strain)

Mango Pina was another 90s favorite, and the mango cannabis strain has been around since the 1960s. Today, you’ll find that such strains are usually crossed with KC33 and that’s what you’ll find when you look for Mango marijuana.

However, the Mango Pina strain from the old days tasted pretty good but was weak as hell. At best, you’ll have a somewhat relaxed state of mind, but you will frankly never feel as if it was worth the effort.

If you want a marijuana strain that tastes like mangoes, try Mango Kush instead. It is a cross of Mango and Hindu Kush but doesn’t provide the heavy sedative high associated with its parents. Instead, you’ll feel an enjoyable high that sends you into a state of bliss. Mango Kush is a hell of a lot stronger than Mango Pina, tastes just as good, and is much easier to find.

3 – Blue Widow (The Uneventful Marijuana Strain)

Blue Widow is said to be a balanced hybrid and is a cross of White Widow and Blueberry. This strain tastes nice, and its citrus and blueberry flavors make it a good option for use in edibles. It has become a popular medical marijuana strain and is used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, backaches, and muscle cramps.

There is nothing specifically wrong with Blue Widow, but it is not a strain you should bother with if seeking a potent high. Its THC content is said to be between 12% and 17%, but it feels even less strong. Experienced users probably won’t get a great deal out of Blue Widow. The taste means you might persevere with it for a while, but eventually, you’ll get fed up using it and long for a more potent strain such as Girl Scout Cookies.

4 – Madman OG (The Marijuana Strain That Causes the Jitters)

Madman OG is marketed as a balanced hybrid and is a cross of OG Kush and LA Confidential. It has a THC content ranging from 16% to 24%, and it is even more potent than the THC level suggests. It was bred by Ocean Grown Genetics who may have fallen into the trap of believing that OG genetics are a panacea.

It doesn’t take much Madman OG to deliver a high that overwhelms the user. If you use just a small amount, you may find that it helps alleviate those negative thoughts that bring you down. However, when you overdo it, anxiety can quickly creep up. You may also experience a severe headache if you’re not used to the potency of the high. In many ways, the clue is in the name!

5 – Top 44 (The Sedative Marijuana Strain)

One would expect a lot more from Top 44 since it was created by the breeders at Nirvana Seeds. It is probably harsh to place this strain in a ‘worst of’ list, but we are taking into account the level of disappointment users will feel afterward. It is a strong, indica-dominant hybrid that was initially developed in the Netherlands.

Top 44 offers a powerful skunky flavor with a fruity and spicy aftertaste. Initially, you can expect to feel euphoric, and the body high is supposed to kick in and make you feel couch locked. With a THC content of 8-15%, Top 44 won’t do much for experienced smokers, and the best you can hope for is a solution to your insomnia. Overall, the long-awaited intense body buzz doesn’t really materialize, and you wonder why you bothered.

Final Thought on Low-Quality Marijuana Strains

Whether you like it or not, you have to pay decent money if you want the kind of marijuana that makes you love life. However, you should never make a purchasing decision based on price alone, just in case the seller is trying to pull a fast one.

Take your time to inspect the weed to ensure it passes the color, trichomes, smell, and structure tests, along with any other criteria you have established. While many readers will disagree with the above list, we feel as if those strains either disappointed or failed to deliver on what they promised. When in doubt about the quality of a marijuana strain, you can’t beat the old-fashioned smoke test!

16 comments
  1. Germaine Peterson
    I am going to be away

    Yes, I have tried two of the above, and they literally put me into jitters. I think these are not bad strains, but meant for those who have a really really high tolerance to weed. But yes, I am going to stay away from these.

  2. PPPPP
    Color

    Not all brown, tan, or red weed is bad. Chocolate thai is a little browinish, but really good if grown right. Acapulco gold is tannish, yellow and is good. And Panama red is reddish and very good as well. Color and smell don’t always tell you right away.

  3. David Socia
    Violator Kush....sounds good huh?, My boy grew that same strain over n over for 2 years and he completely lost his customers because of the horrible quality.....🤢

    I really hate violator Kush!!!

  4. Alfredo Vestal
    Alternative use

    I would say Mango Pina is the weakest. But then it is not that bad, good for beginners, and good for mild relaxation when you do not want to lose it!

  5. Dee Aylor
    Good Tips, but Your List Is Rather Short Sided...

    All of the tips you are giving for spotting low-quality weed are helpful. However, the opinions about the strains you tried were a bit misleading, if only because each person’s body chemistry and cannabinoid receptors are unique. As someone who has run a dispensary for (cough) years, I will tell you that every single strain, high, mid and low, is somebody’s favorite. Overall, I have even seen experienced smokers react positively to lower THC, lower shelf strains that simply had a THC/CBD/CBN combo that inherently worked with their body chemistry.

    Buy from reputable sellers, inspect your cannabis and do your research. Websites like Leafly or AllBud can be brought up on your phone, and provide you with some background as to what a strain should look, smell and taste like, as well as its common overall effects. But remember, your body is a unique chemical composition, and what others experience may not match your reaction at all.

    Please remember that all reviews are anecdotal, not scientific, and based on a single perceived experience rather than any kind of reasonably sample sized case study. Don’t let any one anecdotal review decide for you.

  6. Virginia Vaughan
    Don't try Madman

    i think never smoke Madman OG at all, even if you don’t have anxiety, some level does exist subconsciously and this strain makes it worse. We were pranked by a group of friends and they gave us this strain saying it was AK47. And we were holding our heads for 3 days later on with the bad mood and severe low this weed gave us!

  7. Terry Kamps
    Major Violation

    Violator is the only place to taste true Malana hash. The fact that the flavor was the main criticism makes me doubt all aspects of this article.

  8. DC
    What's happened the grow world

    ALL of these strains on the market now are total junk, I’ve been growing for over 10 years, am very scientific about my work (such as my water goes through an RO system and then 2 resin canisters) to produce the water that I’ll use that is STRICTLY below 002 PPM, I run 2 batches concurrently and pull a harvest every month, I grow 12 plant batches and have produced over 110 of them, I am not an amateur and am considered by my peers to be the best of us all (not worldwide just with my peers some of whom have been growing for 25+ years), I have been growing my dual 12 plant system for over 10 years, I started out with 2 donor clones, 1 Alpha and 1 Blueberry Diesel, untill they were fully grown into mothers I was running seeds like Creem, Skywalker, Cheese, Chemdog, Lemon Skunk Diesel and Sour Diesel, even after getting my two regular strains mothers grown out and have everything fully operational I still would occasionally get seeds while I was growing new mothers for my system just to throw a little variety into my customers lives, I’m not saying this for the sake of bragging but to assure readers of this, that I am an accomplished grower that’s been told plenty of times by people that they’ve never had anything like what I can do including other growers that will give me a cutting of something they’re running just to see how I can make it come out and develop a good program for them, point is I know what I’m doing, not that’s it’s doing me any good because my finances have been ruined the past 4 years looking for a replacement strain for my original 2 because after 6 to 7 years they finally lost their vigor, for 4 years I’ve been beating my head off the wall trying to find something decent to work with, the older strains I was familiar with are all fakes now by start up breeders, these breeders and seed banks nowadays are so unscrupulous it’s disgusting, I’ve bought strains that claimed 350-400 grams per square meter, not only not a single one has come even close to it but every strain I’ve tried has been horribly unstable without a single plant per batch that would fit the description they were sold with, everytime with every strain I’ve tried I’ve had at least 3 or 4 different pheno’s in each batch of 12, some plants stay bushy at ×2 their height after switching to 12/12 and other ones will go ×3+ up into the highest i can adjust my lights and have to be tied over, and make only nuggets the size of Hazelnuts at each lanky node, one of the biggest problems in this occupation nowadays is all these hobbyists who get on forum sites that only grow a couple of plants in a tent and give a review of their grow, and of course they’re dying to share their excitement about smoking something that they grew themselves, and say things like “Man it’s dank” and “Dude it’s budalicious” and “The grow was sweet”, when in fact if I look at their pictorial grow diary I can assure you that their grow didn’t go nearly as well as it could have and 99% of the time I can taste the fertilizer just looking at the grow and listening to how they said they flushed and dried it, IF YOU DON’T GROW IN BATCHES OF AT LEAST A DOZEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, so please if someone on a forum asks if anyone has any experience with a certain strain or is asking to be recommended one and you grow in a tent or closet and don’t grow entire batches KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, also if someone asks about a strain please everyone keep from jumping in with all the “Just ordered mine, Got mine yesterday, Gonna order mine tomorrow, Just put my seeds in, Some are starting to germinate” lines that some poor guy will get bombarded with, he’s asking if anyone has experience growing out the strain and what he can expect from it, not whether or not people have ordered seeds or are about ready to, now back to the original point of this message to you all, this entire seed and strain industry has gone to hell, all these seed banks only quote what the breeders tell them to so they can sell them and let me tell you these breeders nowadays are a bunch of liars, everyone’s chucking pollen from one famous strain on to another trying to come out with the “latest thing” (because hey, that’s what all of you react to) and not only are they not back breeding them enough to stabilize them but they’re also hybrids of hybrids of hybrids of hybrids of hybrids and the natural vigor of the original wild plants that all of it started from is gone, these punks that call themselves breeders nowadays need to get off of their lazy asses and get into the wilds of Mexico and the Kush mountains etc and get new seed stock to start new breeds from, I’ve been growing for over 10 years and have been around it even longer than that and I can tell all of you that all of these new strains are rip offs and the people selling them to someone who’s relying on them to make a go of things in life are just plain unscrupulous and should be ashamed of themselves, I have watched this world deteriorate into the back stabbing thing it is now over the past 4 years or so, I pretty much got myself to where I wanted to be with possessions and finances 3 years ago and have been trying to save just 4 or 5 thousand so I can move 2 states away and start a job that’s at my disposal so I can get back to a normal life (I started this because I got wiped out in life about 12 years ago), but instead for the past 3 years I’ve been getting ripped off with these junk strains from these scam artist breeders and seed banks and now my finances are ruined, as a result I’m going to have to sell some of the possessions I’ve worked so hard to get replaced in life, I’m 53 years old now and this was my chance to get caught back up in life but it got stolen out from underneath me by a bunch of low lifes, but hey they got that money off of me and that’s the most important thing, to everyone who’s done this to this business over the past 4 years thanks a lot jerks, you and your BS strains, once again folks I didn’t write the things I did to brag about my abilities, I’m merely trying to shine some light on what’s going on in the grow world so you can try to keep the same thing from happening to you.

  9. Ce
    You need to check the facts

    Dude like everyone one of these strains is surprisingly good thc levels, all above average indica/sativa level and get you stoned. For example, Top 44 is a great strain and it’s thc levels can reach 7.5% higher than average indica.

  10. 420

    Violator Kush is amazing ,Maybe the growers product you tried wasn’t up too the standard of a quality flower. I recommend violator Kush. One persons experience doesn’t mean its a bad strain

    1. Ys
      Loved Violator Kush

      I agree! I’ve had the pleasure of trying some organic Violator Kush from B.C and it was amazing. Everything about it was good. Smelled great, tasted great, nice nugs, high THC. But it was EXPENSIVE… Idk if it was OG Violator Kush or not though, could’ve been.

  11. Captain

    Violater if done well is an amazing spicy purple. It does make you sleepy but that’s the point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *