According to census data, a sizable majority of Americans live in states with access to legal cannabis. And in addition to all the social, political, and medical changes this brings, we’re seeing a stratifying of cannabis brands. Some are rising to the top—earning themselves loyal fans and devoted followers—while others struggle to maintain their market share.
Given that all cannabis brands sell essentially the same thing, figuring out what earns a brand recognizability and clout can feel puzzling, even frustrating to its competitors. But take it from us: It’s not rocket science. Becoming a top cannabis brand simply requires many of the same attributes and qualities that define any other market offering: A superior product, memorable branding and design, and a mission that tells a story the public can relate to.
While there’s no single and simple formula for success in the cannabis world, you’ll pretty quickly recognize some common elements and themes at work. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 25 most recognizable cannabis brands. They’re ranked not by popularity, but by buckets: Branding, Product, and Mission
25 Most Recognizable Cannabis Brands: Branding
Let’s begin by focusing on the topic of branding. Why? Much more than simply establishing the look of a consumer good, branding uses the language of design and art direction to instantly tell a story about a given product and the company that produced it.
Though copy and text play a major role, at its core branding is a language that transcends words. Good branding instantly telegraphs the essential information about a company, its mission, and how it will offer you value in your own life.
Lowell Herb Co.
With a look that hearkens back to the early history of cannabis as a folk medicine and hemp as a vital agricultural crop, Lowell Herb infuses all its products with a handmade, artisanal vibe. A glance at the company’s signature pre-roll packs tells you everything to know: The product is carefully arranged in alternating rows, and each old-fashioned paper case includes strike-anywhere matches. No wonder Lowell describes itself as California’s best-selling pre-roll!
With a focus on health, wellness and beauty, this CBD-only brand is all about comfort. We’re not talking about its product line here—though its gummies are indeed delicious, and contain the highest serving of CBD per serving on the market. Instead, the brand signals its accessibility and safety through simple but clever branding that recalls the design sense of classic 20th-century womens magazines. It’s a winning approach that’s earned the company high brand recognition.
Another California brand, ABX has carved out a niche for itself by pairing high-tech proprietary processing techniques with a purist approach to additives and flavorings. That helps explain the brand’s popularity and loyal following, but from our perspective it’s the company’s branding—focusing on the rugged outdoors and related activities—that reach its fans’ eyes (and hearts) first.
Even if you haven’t yet heard of it, this secretive cannabis brand is a very major player in California’s recreational cannabis arena. Operating out of a massive facility deep in Los Angeles, THC puts out some 70 signature strains, including its flagship XJ-13. It’s the branding that grabs you, though: Animations and product shots that recall a molecular gastronomy restaurant or the monitors on a luxury space ship.
25 Most Recognizable Cannabis Brands: Brands On a Mission
Papa & Barkley
This well-loved manufacturer of cannabis-infused edibles, topicals and tinctures has a highly polished and relatable backstory: The brand came to life when co-founder Adam Grossman stumbled onto a cannabis product that helped his ailing father move out of hospice care and into a more full, active and engaged life. There’s even a lovable dog in the story! But heartwarming stories aside, the brand his risen to the top by making quantifiable, data-driven approaches to healing and health central to its mission.
The message offered by this multistate company’s branding is simple and direct: Cannabis will improve the quality of your life. The approach and appeal are nothing if not broad: By offering several in-house subbrands designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers, the company’s aim is to increase overall market share and reach. And it’s working; the company’s “Blue Suede Zkittlez” concentrate is a massive and highly recognizable top-seller.
If you chanced upon this vape manufacturer’s site and mistook it for a line of high-end beauty products, you’re not alone. With an admirably tight and unified design sense, this well-regarded brand pushes the envelope when it comes to branding. But its mission is no less critical: Stung by the rash of vaping illnesses that began in 2019, the company underwent a complete redesign that year. The takeaway? Kurvana’s products are botanically based, pure and above all safe. The results are—as they say—highly impressive.
The joint creation—no pun intended—of international reggae superstar Bob Marley’s estate along with major cannabis equity firm Privateer Holdings, the Marley Natural brand plays off its namesake’s commitment to social justice and environmental protection and restoration projects. It’s a connection that lends credibility to the company’s tasteful, high-end accessories and cannabis products.
This Oregon producer has taken a relatively stock approach for cannabis brands—focusing solely on health and wellness products inspired by family members’ medical challenges—and created a thriving business around it. Using all-outdoor farming and relying on natural sun and rainfall with minimal intervention, Siskiyou Sungrown is a major player in the medicinal tincture industry.
25 Most Recognizable Cannabis Brands: What’s In a Name? Celebrity Brands
Another clever use of an already recognizable name, this cannabis brand plays upon country great Willie Nelson’s ubiquity as a cannabis avatar. Like the Marley brand, the focus here isn’t really on individual strains, but on the artist’s generalized association with cannabis culture as a whole. Not that it’s stopped Willie’s Reserve—or the Willie’s Remedy line of hemp-infused coffees, teas and balms—from becoming one of America’s most recognizable cannabis brands.
Leafs by Snoop
A joint venture from legendary rapper Snoop Dogg and Canopy Growth, the Leafs brand is reputed to be the most recognized cannabis brand in North America. The only question is: Is it even a brand? Following an intellectual property lawsuit by the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, Snoop’s website has gone dark. Still the company is worth studying for its eye-catching and noteworthy design, which managed to successfully string together elements of Snoop’s gangster backstory with a visual appeal to upscale consumers.
Martha Stewart CBD
A partnership between the lifestyle maven (and ex-felon) and aforementioned Canopy Growth, this brand feels like a bit of a reach, given Stewart’s tart and prim presentation. Still, it floats by on her name recognition, as well as the infused pet treats and tinctures in artisanal-esque flavors like blood orange and Meyer lemon.
Tommy Chong’s Cannabis
No surprise here: As half of infamous ‘70s stoner-comedy pathbreakers Cheech & Chong, it was inevitable that at least one would attach his name to cannabis products. As with the Marley- and Nelson-branded lines, the focus is more on Chong’s iconic status than specific strains or any other signifiers of artisanal or craft cannabis. Is that an impediment? Apparently not.
Come on, you didn’t think we’d leave Cheech out, did you? Is it markedly different from his partner’s offering? Not especially. Still, he’s unavoidable when it comes to cannabis culture.
Amateur ceramicist—and oh yeah, actor—Seth Rogen is one of the world’s most visible cannabis activists, so no surprise he’d launch a brand. But with exceptional, funny and slightly retro branding—plus an up-front commitment to education and social justice—this vanity project really hits all the high notes.
Hip-hop giant Jay-Z lends his outsize presence to this premium line, but it may be the creative branding that truly sell it. From the numbered strains to the sleek black packaging, this truly feels like the Maybach of cannabis brands.
The brainchild of soccer sisters Rachael and Megan Rapinoe, this CBD-only company earns rave reviews for their healing salve stick and, more recently, gummies and tinctures as well.
25 Most Recognizable Cannabis Brands: All About The Product
An early entrant into the “cannabis tech” arena, this LA-based cannabis brand markets sleek, Apple-esque vapes and other devices that are designed with specific outcomes in mind (“sleep,” “bliss,” etc.). The approach—married with a focus on reducing Americans’ dependence upon opioid pharmaceuticals—has made Dosist one of the fastest-growing cannabis brands in the United States.
Somewhat like Nature’s Medicines, Wana’s branding takes more of a middle-of-the-road approach than high-design offerings like THC or Dosist. But the focus on a single product line—fruit-flavored, infused gummies—makes Wana one of the most recognized cannabis brands in the country.
No mistaking this up-and-coming cannabis brand’s focus: Cutting-edge, nearly clinical-seeming consumer products that blur the line between plant medicine and science fiction. With products designed for highly specific therapeutic outcomes and a logo that looks suspiciously like a spacecraft or a stealth bomber, Level is a company that is only rising to the top.
This unusual cannabis venture makes waves by not being recognized. Say what? The Clear is a cannabis concentrate that’s sometimes sold by the original manufacturer, and sometimes licensed by secondary makers. It’s an innovative—though by no means new—approach to propagating an already popular product through an established licensing structure (one which just so happens to conform to federal cannabis regulations). More than being just a manufacturer, the company offers various forms of support and leasing to up-and-coming manufacturers.
Though the branding references vintage ‘80s athletics—tennis, anyone?—the focus is squarely on harnessing the healing power of cannabis into highly customized topicals. The fashion media has taken to these non-intoxicating products with gusto, making Apothecanna one of the most written-about cannabis brands in North America.
The name, to be honest, is a little bit silly, a mishmash of two expensive-sounding words that have nothing to do with each other. But it’s Caviar Gold’s CEO Mike Brunson who’s laughing all the way to the bank: His patented distillate-dipped flower is widely regarded as the most potent cannabis product on the market, and it’s in every way a trendsetter when it comes to pushing the cannabis envelope.
Khalifa Kush Enterprises Oil
Though rapper Wiz Khalifa debuted a proprietary namesake strain back in 2016, he more recently launched a venture to bring KKE Oil to Canada. It’s difficult to discern the brand’s primary appeal here, whether it’s the association with Khalifa, the branding—eye-catching black-and-gold bottles emblazoned with the company initials—or the product, which appear to be more or less run-of-the-mill concentrates. Still, the product has earned decent brand recognition in the booming Canadian marketplace.
Again, it can be difficult to pick what’s most important for this Seattle-based confectioner: Their branding or their offerings. But while the branding is instantly alluring and memorable—recalling both the iconic Condé Nast Traveller magazine and Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory—the tip of the hat goes to Goodship’s signature CBD-infused chocolate “tokens” and pastilles.