Which Strain Breeders Can I Trust?

Updated Sep 04, 2019

by Nebula Haze

Interested in getting a best-of-the-best cannabis strain for your next grow? One of the best ways to ensure that you get great genetics is to start with a great breeder. This article shares some of the most famous and reputable cannabis breeders we’ve worked with.

This list considers…

  • Potency – THC & CBD content, plus does it have the described effects?

  • Bag Appeal – bud structure, color, density, smell

  • Consistency – do strains grow the way the breeder says they will? do plant characteristics vary a lot from plant to plant of the same strain?

  • Ease of growing – general hardiness of strains

  • Reputation – has this breeder earned a good reputation over the years?

Purple Girl Scout Cookies plant

Trusted Breeders
(in alphabetical order)

1.) Barney’s Farm

Barney's Farm cannabis seeds logoAward-winning strains:

  • Amnesia Lemon 
  • Blue Cheese 
  • Cookies Kush 
  • G13 Haze 
  • Laughing Buddha 
  • Liberty Haze 
  • Pineapple Chunk 
  • Sweet Tooth 
  • Tangerine Dream 
  • Top Dawg 
  • Utopia Haze 
  • Vanilla Kush 

More than 1/3 of the current strains offered by Barney’s Farm have won some sort of award. This breeder has earned a reputation for providing high-quality stabilized strains with high potency and great bag appeal.

The owner of Barney’s Farm Seedbank, Derry, started collecting cannabis genetics from around the world in the early 1980s. He then spent 3 years in the Himalayas with other breeders, cross-breeding and growing different strains of cannabis. They specifically bred plants for high THC content, taste and aroma.

In 1992 Derry returned to Amsterdam with the seeds he’d been experimenting with, and started creating new cannabis strains from these genetics.


2.) Dinafem

Dinafem cannabis seeds logo

Award-winning strains:

  • Bubba Kush 
  • Cheese 
  • Critical+ 
  • Dinachem 
  • Moby Dick 
  • Original Amnesia 
  • Purple Afghan Kush 

Dinafem first started breeding cannabis and creating new strains in 2002. Their mission statement is to provide 100% feminized, powerful, productive, and stable genetics.

Around the end of 2009, Dinafem began to incorporate auto-flowering genetics into their line of seeds. By 2010, Dinafem had developed 10 new strains, including 3 auto-flowering strains. Now Dinafem offers about 60 strains, and nearly half of those are auto-flowering strains.

While some auto-flowering strains are lackluster and disappointing, Dinafem has gained a reputation for consistent, high-yield and potent auto-flowering strains. In fact, Dinafem now offers auto-flowering versions of all their most popular and award-winning strains.


3.) Dutch Passion

Dutch Passion cannabis seeds logo

Award-winning strains:

  • Blueberry 
  • Californian Orange 
  • ComPassion (high-CBD) 
  • Desfran  (South American Sativa strain)
  • Gorilla 
  • Euforia 
  • Frisian Dew 
  • Jorge’s Diamond 
  • Mazar 
  • Power Plant 
  • The Edge 
  • White Widow 

Dutch Passion was founded in 1987 by Henk van Dalen, and has been developing strains and selling seeds ever since. Their mission statement is to be constantly upgrading their genetics so that they always offer some of the best and most cutting-edge strains, offering both feminized and regular seeds.

The award-winning genetics by Dutch Passion in the list above have been bred into many other famous and well-know strains, including strains from Barney’s Farm and famous clone-only strains like Skywalker OG.

In 1998 Dutch Passion made a major breakthrough for cannabis growers everywhere by developing a process to create “feminized” seeds. Feminized seeds produce only female bud-growing plants (instead of 50% male plants), and are created by breeding two female plants together. This feminization process is now used around the world by breeders everywhere.

Many growers (myself included) grow with only feminized seeds, and we have Dutch Passion to thank for pioneering this technique!


4.) Nirvana

Award-winning strains:

Nirvana has a relatively small selection, but every single strain is stabilized and high-quality. Nirvana’s founder was working at an Amsterdam grow shop in the late 1980s when he became inspired to start developing his own cannabis strains. He spent years traveling and collecting marijuana genetics, then spent started experimenting, growing, cross-breeding and developing new cannabis strains.

Nirvana (as we know it today) was officially opened in 1995, with a physical location located in Amsterdam.

In addition to their line of top-quality strains, Nirvana has been sending seeds discreetly through the mail for years and have earned a reputation as a trustworthy breeder.


5.) Reserva Privada (aka DNA Genetics)

Award-winning strains:

  • Reserva Privada cannabis seeds logoKandy Kush 
  • L.A. Confidential 
  • OG Kush 
  • RKS 
  • Silver Kush 
  • Skywalker Kush 
  • Sour Diesel 
  • The OG #18 

Reserva Privada is a sub-branch of DNA Genetics. DNA Genetics was founded in Amsterdam in 2004 and has won over 50 awards from prestigious cannabis events.

Reserva Privada's second logoDNA Genetics (including their sub-branch Reserva Privada) do not ship directly to the US. Therefore US residents must get their Reserva Privada strains from a seed bank that does ship to the United States.

Reserva Privada strains were created by a group of experienced breeders from California, and most of Reserva Privada’s genetics are indigenous to the US west coast. However, the actual shop for DNA Genetics is located in Amsterdam.

Reserva Privada’s potent strains have been well received by the growing community and at cannabis cups. Out of a handful of strains, nearly a third have won an award (or multiple awards). They only make relatively small batches of seeds, so it can be tough to get a hold of their most famous strains.

Importance of Strain Names

While we’re talking about breeders and strains, I want to talk about an important topic that affects all of us…

Just 50 years ago, cannabis was considered one of the most immoral and destructive drugs in the world, putting it at the top of illegal drug lists in many countries. Many people still live with this attitude.

Cannabis growers have historically been locked up and put in prison for growing a simple plant

But in some ways, things have changed.

These days, people are generally more accepting of cannabis, and laws about cannabis are slowly being changed for the better in many places around the world, especially the US.

Silhouette of an outdoor cannabis plantBecause of better attitudes about cannabis around the world, we get…

  • Easier access to expert growing information, specialized equipment and seeds
  • Less people are getting their lives ruined or going to prison because of a simple plant that’s more harmless than Tylenol
  • Medical patients are better able to get strains that offer relief for their specific symptoms
  • More people are able to get safe and reliable access to cannabis

But good things don’t come easily. We still have a long way to go, and the cannabis legalization movement is being scrutinized. The image we create now is going to set the tone for the rest of the world.

We are the face of the cannabis community. When people think about legalizing cannabis, they’re looking at our actions. As growers, every one of us has a responsibility to represent the growing community in a positive light.

Politicians around the world are trying to decide whether removing penalties for cannabis will have a positive effect. We are at an important turning point, and it could go either way.

We’ve come to an important fork in the road

We've come to a fork in the road, which way will we go? Do we want cannabis legalization, or should we accept the status quo?

I believe that making cannabis legal and available to adults and medical patients is incredibly important. Whether someone uses cannabis for a medical condition or just because it helps them relax, I believe that everyone should have fair and equal access to this miraculous plant.

Yet with change comes responsibility. I believe that, as growers, we have a responsibility to present a good image to the public about growing cannabis. We must earn a better reputation to prove to the world that cannabis is not only a safe source of medicine, but also that cannabis is less dangerous than cigarettes or alcohol. I believe adults and medical patients deserve the freedom to responsibly use this plant.

The world is watching us, and the way we act now is going to decide  whether cannabis ever gets fully legalized. That’s why I’m ashamed of some of the most popular strain names…

I am ashamed the cannabis growing community has popular strain names like…

  • Agent Orange
  • AK-47
  • Cat Piss
  • Strawberry Dog Shit
  • Cheesy Dick
  • Donkey Dick
  • Purple Fuck
  • Dirty Girl
  • Stinky Pinky
  • Road Kill Skunk
  • Matanuska Thunderfuck
  • Green Crack
  • Herojuana
  • L.S.D.

I know a lot of these strains have great genetics, in fact some of them are award-winners!

But do these strain names bring to mind the image of peace-loving and laid-back growers and consumers which make up the majority of the cannabis community?

I believe we must improve our public image. I have chosen to no longer grow strains that carry an offensive name. Growers, I encourage you to do the same. Strain breeders, I’m begging you! Please be mindful of the cannabis movement when naming new strains.

A gorgeous cannabis bud - sparkling with trichomes!



Great Auto-Flowering Breeders

We’ve talked about great breeders who have earned a reputation, but the auto-flowering scene is a bit different. Autos are a relatively new variety of cannabis that has different properties than “regular” cannabis strains.

Many growers find auto-flowering strains simpler to grow because no special light periods are needed to get buds. Basically all auto seeds are feminized so there’s no chance that you’ll put effort into growing a plant only to have to throw it away because it’s male and doesn’t produce any bud.

Auto strains also tend to take much less time to grow than regular strains, and are generally ready to harvest about 3 months after sprouting from seed.

Learn more about auto-flowering cannabis strains here:

Cannabis auto-flowering plant - this one has grown out of control!

So when it comes to auto-flowering strains, which breeders can you trust?

If you’re interested in growing an auto-flowering cannabis strain, I recommend getting your strains from a reputable breeder who has years of experience developing autos; a breeder who has already created several generations of well-received auto strains.

Each breeder in the following list has been researching and developing auto-flowering strains longer than most other breeders. They offer some of the best-of-the-best auto strains which perform well, produce consistently impressive yields, and achieve great potency.

Trusted Auto-Flowering Breeders

These breeders stand consistently out among the rest, with auto strains that are more stable, more potent, and produce bigger yields than most auto strains from other breeders.

Many growers ask me about high-CBD auto strains. In addition to high-THC strains, there are finally a few high-CBD auto strains available. For medical users, autos can be a great choice, but until now there haven’t been a lot of options that are high in CBD.

Want a high-CBD auto-flowering strain?

Here is a list of high-CBD auto-flowering strains:
(this includes auto cannabis strains that produce more than 2% CBD)



Don’t Let This Happen To You!

I just received this slightly alarming email and I had to share. Don’t let this happen to you!

This is supposed to be Auto Bubble. 4 weeks in from seed. What is the deal? What is this plant?

Rip off marijuana seed is growing into some unknown plant

Close-up of the plant growing out of the ripoff marijuana seed

This is NOT a marijuana plant! Unfortunately this person got ripped off 🙁

Seeing a case like this is a huge reminder why it’s so important to buy your seeds from a trusted seed source!

View GrowWeedEasy.com’s list of trusted seed vendors here: https://www.growweedeasy.com/seeds

Our list only contains seed banks who have proven themselves over the years with high quality seeds from trusted breeders, discrete shipping, and great delivery rates.

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