San Francisco’s Bay Area has given us several varieties of some of the most renowned and sought-after cannabis in the world. With legendary names like Blue Dream, Cookies, and Grand Daddy Purp coming from the region, it’s no doubt that the Bay Area is a fantastic environment for growing incredible weed. One such strain to come from the birthplace of medical marijuana is Candyland.


Candyland is a stimulating sativa-dominant cross of two Bay Area greats: Grand Daddy Purp and a cut of Bay Area Platinum Cookies. The sweet strain capitalizes on the pain-relieving medicinal traits of GDP while offering its own unique electric buzz. Candyland’s breeder is credited as Ken Estes, a prolific breeder who also led Grand Daddy Purp’s original breeding and development team. Grand Daddy Purp is an icon in its own right, and fortunately for enthusiasts, there are people like Ken who are always looking to improve. With Candyland, Estes sought to breed a high-yielding cultivar with mold resistance. He also wanted the crop to contrast GDP’s heavy, stony effects and offer a stimulating, uplifting experience without sacrificing Grand Daddy’s miraculous pain-relieving properties. A Platinum Cookies mother was pollinated by a GDP male and of the many phenos that resulted, one sweet, colorful, trichome-drenched cut was favored. The name Candyland was chosen in haste, but ended up sticking due to the strain’s quick rise in popularity. The strain wound up on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s infamous list of banned strain names because they claimed it “marketed to children''. We’re sure this will prevent the totally plausible scenario in which a minor stumbles into a dispensary and begins a lifetime of marijuana consumption because a strain was named after their favorite Hasbro game. Nevertheless, Candlyland has been recognized in numerous competitions, including a gold medal at the 2012 Denver KushCon, and top prize at the 2018 Arizona ERRL Cup. 

In a 2018 interview with Skunk, Estes states that of all the strains he has created, he’s most proud of Candyland, which really means something when you consider the acclaim surrounding the rest of his work.

Vintage: circa 2011

Lineage: Grand Daddy Purple x Bay Area Platinum Cookies 

Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Breeder/Pheno Hunter: Ken Estes

Candyland Strain Effects: Indica or Sativa?

Candyland is a 70/30 sativa-dominant hybrid that is known to energize and uplift. The strain is said to be creatively inspiring and stimulating, and is best suited for engaging situations, like socializing or creative endeavors. As mentioned, Candyland was created partly in an effort to improve on the high of Grand Daddy Purp. GDP melts away pain and physical tension, but can make for a pretty lazy, sedated experience, whereas Candyland does the opposite; it alleviates pains and aches, but also provides an invigorating brain buzz that will boost your mood and make you want to keep your hands busy. The strain usually tests at a little less than 20% THC, but Candyland is unique in that it offers higher-than-average concentrations of an entirely different cannabinoid: cannabichromene, or CBC. CBC is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with a plethora of medicinal benefits, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is a proven pain reliever and powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Studies on CBC have shown that it has the capacity to block pain from ailments such as osteoarthritis. As is the case with other cannabinoids, CBC might work most effectively as part of the entourage effect — the mutual benefits that are created when cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, or CBC are used together. Candyland’s levels of CBC working in tandem with its energetic sativa-like effects makes for a unique experience. Strains that act as analgesics are commonly associated with brain fog, couch lock, and other such potentially undesirable side effects, but Candlyand breaks that mold. These characteristics make Candyland an excellent selection for tokers looking for a strong daytime smoke. It should be noted that when there is potential for mental stimulation, there’s also potential for paranoia. Candyland is a strain that reminds us of the importance of pacing oneself and testing the waters rather than diving right in. In the appropriate doses and setting, Candyland could be the right choice for just about anyone, but racing thoughts or a general uneasiness can take hold when higher levels of consumption meet a lower tolerance.

Candyland Strain Characteristics and Terpenes

The overall aroma of Candyland buds consist of sweet sugary notes of berry candy and hints of spice, over a backdrop of rich, earthy funk. On the inhale, the strain lives up to its name as the sweet berry flavor dominates and leaves a pleasant mouth coat. The hints of spice can be attributed to its dominant terpene, the peppery caryophyllene. Other terpenes commonly found in the Candyland strain include citrusy limonene and hoppy, earthy humulene. 

The buds themselves are beautiful and vibrant, showcasing a myriad of greens, oranges and purples. As opposed to the very light green seen in your average sativa, Candyland often presents deeper shades of green, covering the small, dense buds in an almost camouflage-like pattern. Combine this with striking patches of plum-violet, blazing orange pistils, and a trichome-frosting only appropriate for a strain named Candyland, and it’s really a sight to behold. 

Candyland Strain Seeds and Grow Tips

From seed to harvest, Candyland growers can expect a roughly 56-day growth period, which is relatively quick for a sativa. Towards the tail end of growing, Estes’s efforts in breeding a higher-yield crop shine through, as the weight piles on to the towering plants. Indoor growers can expect around one and a half to two ounces per plant, while outdoor growers have reported incredible yields of two to as much as five pounds. Estes’s genetic genius isn’t only present at harvest time — Candyland growers will be happy to know that this strain is incredibly resistant to mold and disease. Between the volume it puts out, its resistance to undesirable conditions, and general good temperament, Candyland is a viable option for less experienced growers.