Runtz Strain

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Written By Rocky Horton

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The Runtz strain is a balanced hybrid marijuana strain created by crossing the strains Gelato and Zkittlez. First sold in Southern California in early 2018, the Runtz strain has rapidly exploded to nationwide popularity thanks to its high THC levels and intensely sweet, gassy smell and flavor.

Where Does the Runtz Strain Come From?

The Runtz strain was first developed by Ray Bama and Nick, who crossed the already well liked strains Gelato and Zkittlez to create the first Runtz plants. Together with Yung LB, who advertised the strain through his rap music, the three formed the Runtz Crew and began showing and selling the strain around southern California. The group received additional help and publicity from Berner, the owner of the Cookies brand and creator of the Gelato strain

When Did the Runtz Strain Come Out?

The Runtz strain first premiered in December 2017 at the Santa Rosa Emerald Cup, then became publicly available in spring 2018. The strain quickly exploded in popularity, and several phenotypes of the Runtz OG were soon released, including White Runtz, Pink Runtz, and Divine Runtz. 

Due to the high demand for Runtz seeds, a few years passed before growers outside of Cookies were able to experiment with the Runtz genetics. Within just the past few years, over a dozen hybrid strains based on Runtz have been created, including Tropical Runtz, Blue Runtz, Banana Runtz, and more.

What Does the Runtz Strain Look Like?

Runtz is known for its petite, wispy buds that are drenched in sticky, pungent trichomes. The buds range in color from lime green to deep purple, with many orange hairs interspersed throughout. Although the buds are smaller than some other strains, the heavy trichome coating means that these little Runtz pack a strong punch.

Although Runtz is a 50/50 hybrid strain, its growth habits and bud shape are more similar to a classic sativa, with tall plants that produce long, wispy buds. Since Runtz buds are less dense, they may be more prone to drying out during storage, but unlikely to become moldy.

What Does the Runtz Strain Taste Like?

Runtz has managed to capture and merge the essential flavor profiles of both parents into one strain. The sweet, creamy, and gassy notes of Gelato mix with the fruity flavor of Zkittlez to create a distinct flavor profile that is both fruity and gassy, with notes of grape and citrus. The strain produces a smooth smoke that will leave a sweet aftertaste in your mouth.

What Does the Runtz Strain Smell Like?

Runtz has a strong but pleasant aroma reminiscent of fresh fruit, diesel, and sweet candy.

Although most smokers find the fruity, gassy smell of Runtz to be enticing, its strong smell makes Runtz a difficult strain to smoke discreetly. It is best enjoyed around others who also appreciate the smell of cannabis.

Is the Runtz Strain an Indica or Sativa?

Runtz is a hybrid strain with approximately 50/50 Indica and Sativa genetics. Its parent Gelato is another balanced hybrid, while its second parent Zkittlez is an indica dominant hybrid. 

The effects of Runtz are very balanced, with users reporting feelings of euphoria and deep physical and mental relaxation, often accompanied by sedation and increased appetite.

What are the Different Variations of the Runtz Strain?

Several phenotypes of Runtz have been released, most notably White Runtz, Pink Runtz, and Devine Runtz. 

White Runtz has dense green buds with a dusty white coating of trichomes and a sweet, fruity flavor that reminds some of ice cream. The buds average about 24% THC and are currently only available through the Cookies brand.

Pink Runtz has dense, colorful buds with a sugary sweet, fruity aroma. This strain has around 28% THC and 2% CBD, making it one of the most potent offerings in the Runtz family. It is currently only available through Cookies in California.

Devine Runtz has beautiful, multicolored buds and a tropical, candy-like flavor. The buds average 26% THC with low CBD levels. This strain is very new to the market and can be difficult to find even within California. 

How Strong is the Runtz Strain?

Runtz is considered a moderate to high THC strain, with relatively low CBD levels. While Pink Runtz is the strongest phenotype in the Runtz family, all Runtz phenotypes have THC percentages in the mid to upper 20s. This strain is best enjoyed by more experienced smokers who can enjoy the effects of a higher THC bud.

How Much THC in the Runtz Strain?

Runtz averages 24% THC, although some batches have tested as high as 29% THC. 

Because of the relative rarity of Runtz buds and seeds, a fair amount of the Runtz products being sold outside of California are other strains being put in fake Cookies packaging. These counterfeit strains often have lower THC and worse flavor than the Runtz buds produced by Cookies, so be sure to check the packaging carefully before purchasing this strain locally.

How Much CBD in the Runtz Strain?

Runtz is a low CBD strain, containing less than 1% CBD. While most other phenotypes and hybrids of Runtz have CBD levels between 0-1%, the Pink Runtz phenotype has the highest CBD levels in the Runtz family at approximately 2% CBD.

What is the Terpene Profile of the Runtz Strain?

The main terpenes in Runtz include Beta-Caryophyllene, Linalool, and Limonene, although a variety of other terpenes are present in Runtz in smaller quantities. 

Beta-caryophyllene, which is also found in many common spices like black pepper, allspice and cinnamon, adds a spicy, cookie-like scent to the buds. Beta-Caryophyllene is also believed to help reduce inflammation when ingested.

Linalool, also found in lavender, jasmine, and thyme, adds a sweet, floral aroma to the buds and may also increase the strain’s sedative effects.

Limonene is a common terpene famous for giving citrus fruit its distinctive scent. In the Runtz strain, Limonene is a strong contributor to the tropical, fruity smell and taste of the buds.

What Effects Does the Runtz Strain Have?

Runtz produces calming and relaxing effects in its users, with a pleasant tingly sensation that progresses into sleepiness. Runtz is also known to increase appetite, making it a great strain to pair with your favorite candy or snacks. 

Less experienced users may want to use Runtz with caution, as smoking too much with a low THC tolerance can lead to dry mouth and eyes, excessive sedation, or paranoia.

What Conditions is the Runtz Strain Good For?

The calming effects of Runtz make this strain an excellent choice for battling anxiety and reducing stress. Runtz can also be used to relieve pain, especially muscle aches. Runtz can also help people struggling with lack of appetite or insomnia with its hunger inducing and sedating properties.

What is the Runtz Strain Flowering Time?

Runtz takes about 8-9 weeks from germination until flowering. However, seeds of this strain can still be very difficult to find for sale, and most growers who wish to grow a crop of Runtz start from clones

How Tall Does the Runtz Strain Grow?

Runtz produces a tall, narrow plant that can grow to heights of 180 cm, or around 6 feet, although plants grown indoors rarely exceed 4-5 feet in height. Many growers use the screen of green method or other training methods to produce a more manageable, horizontal shape in this plant and increase harvest size.

When to Harvest the Runtz Strain?

Wait until about 8-9 weeks after inducing flowering, then begin inspecting the trichomes on the buds or sugar leaves regularly with a handheld magnifying glass. The buds will be ready for harvest when the trichomes are 50% milky white and 50% amber in color. Buds with transparent trichomes and little stickiness are underdeveloped and not ready for harvest yet.

Buds can be harvested a little early or late to subtly change their effects. Buds harvested earlier have a lighter, more energetic effect, while buds harvested later have a more sedating, body focused high.

How Much Does the Runtz Strain Yield?

When grown indoors, Runtz typically produces 15-16 ounces of bud per plant. Your Runtz buds will likely lose about 70% of their weight in evaporated water during the drying and curing process, leaving you with around 4.5-4.8 ounces of dried and cured bud.

Runtz Strain Summary

First introduced in 2018 in southern California, Runtz has rapidly gained national attention for its unique scent and flavor, as well as its deeply relaxing high. Runtz was created by the trio Ray Bama, Nick, and Yung LB by crossing the strains Gelato and Zkittlez. The resulting strain had a unique flavor profile that combined the tropical fruitiness of Zkittlez and the creamy sweetness of Gelato.

Runtz have smallish, green and purple buds with a heavy coating of trichomes. Their aroma is described as candy sweet and tropical, with an underlying gassiness. The strain has average THC levels of 24%, with low CBD. The high produces feelings of euphoria and relaxation that are effective at combating anxiety, aches and pains, appetite loss, and insomnia.

To learn more, check out the Best Marijuana Strains for Pain.

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Rocky Horton


Rocky Horton is an experienced cannabis grower and the founder of IndoGrow. The IndoGrow editorial team has over four decades of combined growing experience. Learn more.