The best cheese strains to try
With over 150 smell molecules called terpenes that can manifest in the cannabis plant, consumers can find just about any flavor profile under the sun to suit their personal palates. There’s fruity strains, gassy strains, earthy strains, and sour strains. But what about cheese weed strains?
Cheese weed and cheese as a flavor profile might sound weird, but in the ’80s and ’90s, UK Cheese, a phenotype of the classic Skunk #1, burst onto the scene to rave reviews, and cultivators soon started growing it on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. UK Cheese and its many successors not only have a nose that resembles a charcuterie board (cheddar, parmesan, gouda, brie, etc), they also evoke a unique kind of cerebral exhilaration while zapping physical ailments.
The Leafly strain database has over 600 cheesy cannabis strains. We’ve compiled the top 10 best cheese strains to mix up your next sesh and discover a weed world you may have never known you needed.
Frequently asked questions
While cake, candy, and fruity strains reign supreme now, the ’90s were all about the funk. Skunk strains boomed with customers, among them Cheese and UK Cheese. These two embody everything a cheese strain should be—stinky as hell, dense green buds, and a high that hits hard every time, no matter how often you smoke it. Based on history, genetics, and reviews from you, Leafly Nation, here are the best cheese strains.
- UK Cheese
The absolute king of cheese strains, UK Cheese’s debut decades ago showed the world that cheesy, funky cannabis strains could win Cannabis Cups and customers alike. It’s still available to this day. UK Cheese will have you cheesin’ with its unique blend of relaxation and giggly euphoria. Its 20% THC doesn’t seem high by comparison, but a little goes a long way.
- Blueberry Cheesecake
Despite its similarity to Blue Cheese, Blueberry Cheesecake brings a sweeter side to this combination of Blueberry and Cheese. In the words of one Leafly reviewer, “it smells amazing, it looks amazing, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint!!”
- Big Buddha Cheese
Big Buddha Cheese is a Cheese variety with some more Afghani. It smells like pungent blue cheese.
- Donny Burger
Skunk House Seeds knew what they were doing when they bred Han Solo Burger to GMO for a cheesy, garlicky indica-dominant hybrid. Donny Burger hits hard, especially when it comes to inflammation, and boasts an average of 27% THC.
- Blue Cheese
This Blue Cheese is all funk and no flunk. It’s a modest 18% THC in flower form, but it has that eye-watering cheesy aroma. One Leafly reviewer called it “disgustingly stinky, just one whiff will widen your eyes and you may just laugh at how much it actually resembles a slab of Gorgonzola.” Yum!
- Queso Perro
For non-Spanish speakers, this is Dog Cheese, a cross of Stardawg and UK Cheese bred by Cloud Cover Cannabis. This is a relatively sour and uplifting iteration of cheese weed strains, but its 27% THC still packs a punch. One Leafly reviewer, who admittedly prefers indica strains, compared Queso Perro to having “a grilled cheese sandwich on the beach.”
Confused? Cheese and UK Cheese sound similar, but they are not the same. Cheese also descends from a Skunk 1 phenotype, but introduced Afghani genetics for higher THC (still only around 18%) and a stonier body high effect. In addition to its pungent, gorgonzola terps, it also caused one reviewer to simply state “I have no clue where my shoes are.”
- Mac N Cheese
Combining The Mac with Alien Cheese, topped with 24% THC, makes a delicious dinner companion. As one Leafly reviewer put it, “There is nothing quite like a big fat bowl of Mac and Cheese,” in both the weed and literal sense.
- Hog’s Breath
Hog’s Breath is a classic. This early 2000’s strain combines Hindu Kush and Afghani and illustrates how old-school indica strains can contain savory, biting, sour aromas that register as cheese.
2022 in Cheese strains revolves around Compound Genetics crosses of Rainbow Cheddar. Specifically, look out for Perzimmon (Rainbow Cheddar x GastroPop). Rainbow Cheddar itself is Zkittlez x Cheese. Perzimmon marries the body and funk of Cheese with the bright, fruity syrup of Zkittlez for a charcuterie board in your mouth.
Cheese strains were considered strong for their generation when they debuted, and have only gotten stronger as breeders and cultivators play with genetics and growing conditions. Two of the strongest cheese strains on our list are Donny Burger and Queso Perro, which both test at 27% THC. Original cheese strains, like UK Cheese, don’t tend to manifest that much THC, but cheese weed’s unique properties mean you don’t need as much THC to soar. For newer consumers or those with sensitive tolerances, cheese is a great happy medium.
If you truly want that stinky cheese aroma in your weed, you have to go straight to the source. UK Cheese and straight Cheese will always take the cake for the funkiest flavors and nose, because they popularized it! One reviewer called UK Cheese “the smelliest weed I've ever encountered in my life.” They referred to the smell as “sour milk,” but most cheese weed lovers laud the sharp, pungent aroma and the euphoria that comes with it.
No. Skunk and Cheese are known for their creative, cerebral qualities, which can sometimes trigger anxiety in consumers who have pre-existing conditions. Cheese weed gets its aroma and effects mostly from the Skunk #1 strain (UK Cheese is a phenotype), itself a legendary strain that dates back to the 1970s. Skunk #1 combines landrace strains Afghani, Acapulco Gold, and Colombian Gold—the latter two are sativas.
While some cheese weed strains manifest as more indica-like and have relaxing properties, cheese weed may not be the best first choice for soothing anxiety. An indica cheese cross strain, however, like Blueberry Cheesecake, has the cheesy flavor and soothing properties to combat anxiety.
Much like the wide variety of edible cheeses on the market from across the world, everyone has a preference. If you want straight, funky cheese, sticking with the classics like UK Cheese or Lamb’s Bread ensures your next sesh is all queso. Blueberry Cheesecake offers a cheesy flavor with some fruity, sweet notes, and Queso Perro pairs cheesy terps with gassy, sour notes. Terpenes like myrcene and terpinolene help create that funky aroma cheese strains are known for.
As of publication, the Leafly database boasts 607 cheese strains or strains that have a significant cheesy profile. While there hasn’t been a new cheese weed strain in a while, you can still find plenty of cheese if you know where to look.
All cheese strains can be traced back to Skunk #1, a classic strain that combines the three landrace strains of Afghani, Acapulco Gold, and Colombian Gold. This combination of musky, sharp, and sour terps coalesce into the provolone, parmesan funk we know and love. Lamb’s Bread, while having a cheesy terpene profile, does not descend from these strains.
Thankfully, because cheese weed strains aren’t as common as they used to be, their genetic material is relatively intact. Besides the signature smell, cheese strains can be identified by their bright green buds with orange hairs and off-white trichomes. Buds are pretty dense with an oval shape.