4 weed brands Shavo Odadjian can’t live without

Celebrity cannabis brands have become so common they comprise their own genre of the industry. However, that’s not to say they’re all worth smoking. Most of these brands aren’t really brands at all, and simply slap a celebrity moniker on a jar of white label flower (weed that is bought from another brand or grow then rebranded and sold). These kinds of celebrity brands function more as a way to capitalize off mediocre bud using a celebrity’s image than anything else. 

Shavo Odadjian, bassist of the iconic 2000s metal band System Of A Down, had something else in mind when he founded his cannabis brand 22Red. With a hands-on, cannasseur approach to strain development and product execution, he’s setting a precedent for quality in a market that desperately needs it.  

Odadjian’s journey with cannabis began before his years with System Of A Down, his late-90s/mid-2000s metal band that garnered three number one albums, a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2006, and 40 million albums sold worldwide. 

His first experience with cannabis occured, fittingly, at a rock show. “When I first smoked I was at a Guns and Roses/Metallica concert at the Rose Bowl,” Odadjian told Weedmaps. “I had never gotten high before and all these people were smoking in front of me, so I jokingly said hey man pass it!”

He continued, “I was just joking and trying to be funny with the guys I was with because none of us had ever smoked, but then they passed it to me. So it was kind of like that moment of truth. I took the hit, and nothing really happened. I was totally cool. Then a year or two later I started playing with System and smoking a lot.” 

Touring the world with System Of A Down, Odadjian met famed strain hunter Arjan Roskam, who inspired him to hone his impeccable taste and collect genetics from all over the world, ultimately leading to the philosophy behind 22Red’s diverse array of strains. 

“I was at this strain hunters thing doing a harvest tasting with them at a High Times event in Amsterdam,” he said. “So I actually got to smoke the White Widow with the creator of White Widow, Arjan Roskam, and those guys kind of took me under their wing. You know how there are wine connoisseurs? Well I was starting to become a weed connoisseur. Instead of getting a couple ounces from these guys, I asked for a little bit of every strain they had. So the connoisseurship started right there, and through that I had the idea for 22Red in 2017.” 

22Red is now in three states — California, Nevada and Arizona — with lines of flower, prerolls, vapes, and concentrates (coming soon). Speaking from personal experience as a cannabis journalist who has tried like every weed brand ever, 22Red consistently has some of the best genetics and highest quality buds I’ve seen in any brand, celebrity or not. 

“Through my years I’ve learned it’s best to get involved in something you’re naturally good at, then practice. Then you’ll be really good at it,” laughed Odadjian. “So even starting from scratch, it was something I knew I was good at. I knew my taste buds. And now we’re in three states and there’s not one bad review.” 

Shavo Odadjian’s favorite weed

What does it take to turn Odadjian’s head? “Each strain that we approve and start growing is something special. It has to be special or I’d rather not have it in our roster. If it’s going to make our roster it needs to be something that is nowhere else. It should be smoked at certain times, or smoked a certain way, or offers a certain flavor. You know what I mean? It’s got to be something I can talk about.” 

Alongside 22Red, here are the weed brands Shavo Odadjian can’t live without. 

Originals Factory and Weed Shop

“Well I pretty much only smoke 22Red, but I really love Originals,” said Odadjian. “They have really good flower.” Originals Factory and Weed Shop is an East LA institution, part dispensary, part grow operation. “They actually grow some of our stuff out there,” he said. 

Founded in 2006, the pre-ICO collective is family owned and operated, and the flower for their corresponding Originals line is grown onsite by a team with over 100 years of joint experience. 

Jungle Boys 

“I also like Jungle Boys,” said Odadjian. Jungle Boys is one of the biggest brands in the industry, a collective of cultivators who started a humble grow in 2006, and have ballooned to a powerhouse with dispensaries, merch, and of course, next level weed. “They’re really dope,” he said. “Super fire.” 

Nature’s Lab Extracts 

“For concentrates, I really love Nature’s Lab. They have really incredible stuff.” Nature’s Lab Extracts is a boutique extraction company who gained notoriety by pioneering their stellar “sauce,” an extract that is a 50/50 blend of THC-A crystals and terpenes known as “Half High” terpene full-spectrum extract. Founded by Marcus Moates and Ross Normal, they specialize in small batch extracts like sauce, shatter and crumble. 

“Marcus is amazing,” said Odadjian. “He’s actually helping consult for our 22Red concentrates. He also helped with our vape pens and tinctures, because when I find someone that’s as good as he is, I’m gonna make that a team member 100%.”

22Red 

Last but not least, 22Red of course. When asked about his favorite of 22Red’s current product lineup, Odadjian had this to say: “I love our vapes because they’re really natural, steam derived, convenient, and great for work. I especially love the sativa Kinetic vape for the daytime because it’s like having a coffee.” 

He continued, “I’m also ridiculously pleased with our CBD tinctures. We include 3000 milligrams of CBD instead of 1000 milligrams like most CBD tinctures, so they actually affect you. They’re not a placebo like 95% of the tinctures out there right now. And they ship nationwide.” 

“Then for flower, we’ve been utilizing something really, really incredible. It’s called So Delicious. It comes from the Gelato  family but it’s not a common Gelato at all. It’s a cut I found a long time ago that we’ve curated and made better throughout the years. It was one of our first that became one of our best. It’s a 40/60 indica, so it keeps you there and doesn’t make you fall asleep, but has a super relaxing body high. It’s just delicious and beautiful. You can’t look at it and say it’s not beautiful. And when you taste it, it’s just as delicious as it sounds.” 



Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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10 shows about weed we’re watching right now

New Year, new streaming queue! As the pandemic continues, never has there been a better time for Hollywood creatives to keep pumping out awesome TV in addition to the usual classics that keep us company. 

There are so many great TV shows spotlighting weed that it’s hard to narrow them down. Plus, there’s something for pretty much everyone. Below, check out some of the best shows starring cannabis and get to binge-watching.

High Maintenance

This gem, now on HBO, started as video shorts on the Vimeo, and back in 2015 I interviewed show creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair. Openly inspired by cannabis consumption in New York City and The Guy (Sinclair) who delivers it to them, the series has been described as largely plotless, and shows a twisty and humane exploration of the people of New York City and their relationship with weed and each other. 

Watch High Maintenance on HBO

Disjointed

Surprisingly, this Netflix vehicle starring the eminently talented Kathy Bates,  never really caught on with viewers and was canceled after two seasons. The comedy series centered on Ruth Whitefeather Feldman (Bates) as she tries to run her Los Angeles-area cannabis dispensary with the help of young budtenders, including her son. 

Touching on serious issues that intertwine with the cannabis industry — including cannabis and mental health, activism, and misconceptions about stoners — the show also featured cannabis legends Cheech and Chong. 

Watch Disjointed on Netflix

Grace and Frankie

Though this show is not about exactly weed, the writers of this series are making at least one thing clear: all people of all ages consume cannabis. 

Starring comedy icon Lily Tomlin and actress and activist Jane Fonda, Tomlin’s character Frankie — a stereotypical throwback from the free love era — consumes cannabis with abandon and on the regular. And so do Grace’s children, the ferociously wry Brianna and mommy-worn Mallory. In fact, in sunny San Diego where the show is set, cannabis is as natural and normal as botox and yoga, and a part of life for the show’s characters. 

Watch Grace and Frankie on Netflix

Broad City

Created by and starring real-life friend duo Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Broad City ran on Comedy Central from 2014 – 2019 and was loosely based on their relationship and their attempts to “make it” in New York City. 

While shows in the past have offered many different takes on male stoner duos — think Cheech and Chong, Harold and Kumar, Jay and Silent Bob — Broad City presented viewers with something new: a female stoner duo. It also received loads of critical acclaim and maintains a cult following today. 

Watch Broad City on Hulu 

Dope State

This new series follows the adventures of freelance cannabis journalist Tyler Gopnik (Gabriel Sunday) as he covers California’s cannabis scene. A mockumentary lampooning the often overly serious coverage of vice reporting, the series is unafraid to dig in to some of the archetypes emerging in the current industry, including dealers turned “weedtrepreneurs,” overeager THC-infused beverage purveyors, slick and insincere influencers, and other poseurs orbiting the cannabis galaxy. 

Watch Dope State on Apple TV

Weeds

This dark comedy-drama created by Jenji Kohan premiered on Showtime in 2005 and ran until 2012. After the death of her husband, newly-widowed mother of two Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker) turns to selling weed to make ends meet. A show about a woman selling weed seems ahead of its time given its 2005 debut, but at the time it earned Showtime their highest ratings. 

Weeds also went on to win two Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Writer’s Guild Award, among others. Fans of its original run can cheer at the news that a sequel is in the works that will reunite Parker and co-star Elizabeth Perkins. 

Watch Weeds on Netflix

Bong Appetit

Fans of The Great British Bake Off might love this weed-flavored take on cooking under pressure. Initially, the show followed host Abdullah Saeed as he threw parties where chefs were tasked with preparing elaborate, multi-course cannabis-infused meals for party guests. 

Viceland, who produces the series, says that Bong Appetit features “the biggest selection of marijuana ingredients ever assembled.” Newer episodes take on both food and topics like social justice and feature a trio of hosts, including B Real, Vanessa Lavoroto, and Miguel Trinidad.

Watch Bong Appetit on Hulu

That 70’s Show

Even though the word “marijuana” was said only once on the show that ran from 1998 – 2006, it was about teenagers in the 70s who were down in their parent’s brown-paneled, shag-rugged basement, listening to music and smoking weed. 

Starring people we still remember, likeTopher Grace and real life couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, the show also co-starred a member of the unofficial (and imaginary) Stoner Hall of Fame, Tommy Chong. 

Watch That 70’s Show on Amazon

Cooking on High

If you’re anything like me, every now and then you like to watch what I call “train wreck TV” because it’s so bad you can’t look away. Cooking on High, another cooking competition show, premiered on Netflix in 2018. It centers on preparing food with cannabis as an ingredient, and the guest chefs are cannabis professionals who use cannabis-infused foods as part of their larger careers as private chefs and medical marijuana educators. 

The series, hosted by famous YouTuber Josh Leyva, was widely panned, though cannabis activist and comedian Ngaio Bealum received high marks for his segments on the science of cannabis cooking and short blurbs on the “strain of the day.”

Watch Cooking on High on Netflix

Atlanta

A world away from Cooking on High is Atlanta. From creator and multi-hyphenate Donald Glover, Atlanta is a thoughtful and pointed exploration of trying to make it in the Atlanta rap scene that also features cannabis. 

In a 2018 interview with The New Yorker, Glover said that “anxiety, fear, and stress are all reasons why the characters in Atlanta smoke [weed].” It’s estimated that Glover’s character Earn is either rolling or consuming cannabis in 90% of his scenes. Another character, Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) sells cannabis among other drugs, but the show’s writers do not shy away from storytelling about the risks of working in illicit markets and the reasons why people might make those choices. 

Watch Atlanta on Hulu

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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4 weed products B-Real can’t live without

You can’t talk about weed culture without talking about Cypress Hill. It just wouldn’t be right. From songs like “Hits from the Bong” and “I Wanna Get High” to legendary moments like lighting up a joint on Saturday Night Live — and being banned forever — they’ve been here, advocating for legalization and free use of the plant since the jump. 

So when I had the chance to talk to B-Real, one-fourth of the hip hop collective, in celebration of his appearance on BET’s Smoke: Marijuana + Black America documentary, it was an immediate “yes.” 

“[BET] just asked for my involvement, and I was like yeah for sure. Anytime you get a chance to speak on behalf of the culture, in terms of cannabis, I’m always willing.”

B-Real has a very cool demeanor. He’s calm, collected, and ready for all the curveball questions, just like you’d expect from someone who’s been talking about legalization and the cannabis business for years now. When asked what cannabis culture means to him today, he told me, “Every part of it has a sub branch from the original shit. There’s the cultivator culture, there’s the brand culture. Cannabis and music always went together. People smoking, at any degree, most times, are rocking that shit with music. We were able to talk about cannabis in our music, so that’s a part of the cannabis culture.” 

Navigating legalization and how to keep the culture alive

Cypress Hill has been championing cannabis for over 30 years now. Since before Washington and Colorado even considered the thought of legal weed. “Back when we started, legalization was the big thing. To get to a point where people would be open to the thought of legalization — who knew what it would turn into?”

What it’s turned into is the majority of the United States having some form of legalized cannabis, and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue from it. 

“It’s great that we’re there in terms of acceptance, and the fact that we are the template with how it would operate. We’re the template to show that it either works or it doesn’t, and soon enough, most of the states will become recreational. Those old ways of thinking are breaking down,” said the LA native. “It’s just taking time because you have very conservative places that still, despite the information of how it would stimulate their economic flow, it’s always a hard sell on them.” 

Federal legalization, whenever it happens, is inevitable. With it, we can only hope that everyone gets to eat — not just the big corporations that will flood the market. When asked about his thoughts on the future of legalization, and the big-bank-take-little-bank business practices that are sure to exploit it, B-Real says that’s the big worry. 

“You’ve got to survive this tidal wave of shit, but I think it’s on your brand building. If you build something of quality and consistency that the consumers trust and know that it’s the shit, they will stand with you. Others, they might not be fortunate enough. You might have to white label and say fuck a brand, I’m just going to be a producer. But yeah, a lot of those operators are going to go away. They’ll probably sell their license to investment groups that are trying to get into cannabis.” 

Luckily for B-Real, he owns one of those companies that consumers stand behind. “Dr. Greenthumb” isn’t just one of Cypress Hill’s biggest songs, it’s also the name of B-Real’s chain of dispensaries, and web-series/podcast channel. The dispensary is known for their flagship strains: Insane OG, Insane Christmas Lights, Hindu Funk, and when it’s available, Ice Cream Cake. 

For now, Dr. Greenthumb has six locations spread throughout Southern California. The plan for the future is expansion into other states, and eventually other countries. “We want to plant flags in the United States and then eventually go over to Spain and plant a flag there. Because Cypress Hill has a fanbase there that is very supportive. So if we were to open a retail spot and take our genetics down there, it would go a long way. Our fans expect that experience, so it’s just a matter of time.” 

Since B-Real is such a figure in the cannabis world, we couldn’t hop off the Zoom without also discussing his weed ritual, habits, and favorite products. Here are some of the products the hip-hop legend and cannabis entrepreneur B-Real can’t live without.

Cypress Hill Phuncky Feel Tips

Cypress Hill’s Phuncky Feel Tips are B-Real’s brand of glass joint tips that produce a Cypress Hill series. “I cannot smoke a joint without those glass tips. It’s not the same for me. Once you smoke on a glass tip, smoking anything else just doesn’t seem right. That’s my number one shit right there.”

Flower

B-Real’s a flower man. He used to be heavy on the dabs, but he prefers to smoke joints over everything. When asked how much weed he smokes per day, he responded, “We’ve tried to count and we lose count. We smoke before we’re on the podcast, which is a two hour show, so we’re smoking 4 joints each for those 2 hours. And then there’s the 5 or 6 before the show, and the other 10 after the show. We’re smoking all day over here, it’s crazy.”

Dr. Greenthumb’s Insane Christmas Lights and Super Chief by RedLine Genetics are the strains he’s been smoking.



A grinder

With his abundance of good flower, B-Real can’t live without a good grinder.

Vibes Papers

Vibes is Berner’s rolling papers brand, and B-Real’s preferred roll-up.

Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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3 weed products Carlos Santana can’t live without

The magic of Carlos Santana transcends his status as one of the most legendary rock stars of all time. From shredding at Woodstock to winning ten Grammy awards with his pioneering blend of latin-influenced rock, all the while advocating for cannabis use and launching his own weed brand, the man behind the myth has always existed on a higher plane.

Named in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists” — coming in at number 20 — Santana shot to stardom from the creative nebula that was San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury in the late sixties. One of the many iconoclastic rock stars that rose from the hotbed at that time, Santana aligned with bands like The Grateful Dead and The Jefferson Airplane. After playing one the sickest sets at Woodstock, which included an 11-minute instrumental version of “Soul Sacrifice,” the largely unknown artist found his fanbase, and the rest is history. 

Known for pausing concerts to speak on the “spiritual use of cannabis” between songs, Santana views weed as less of the product-based commodity market it is becoming, and more as the medicine it’s always been. As a young child growing up in Tijuana, his first experiences with cannabis were in his mother’s garden. 

Santana’s cannabis history

“When I was a child my mom used to have this plant for medicine,” Santana told Weedmaps. “She would put it in alcohol and let it sit there. Then, you were able to take care of your knees for rheumatism or arthritis, any number of things.” 

He continued, “She was really proud of being a gardener and cooking. It was my mom’s fascination besides the family, the flowers that she had. She had beautiful roses and she noticed that the ants would come to get them because the roses were so beautiful and delicious and sweet. So she got the marijuana tincture and put it around the roses and the ants would get so high, they would forget what they were doing and turn around.” 

It wasn’t until Santana moved to San Francisco with his family and started playing music in the local scene that he began using cannabis as a spiritual tool for vibrating at an optimal creative frequency. 

“I didn’t start actually smoking it until ’65, ’66,” he said. “When I started hanging around Haight Ashbury, all that, you know the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver. That whole wave of consciousness awakening took place in the Haight Ashbury and at the Fillmore. That’s when it became normal and natural.” 

Santana believes cannabis is a tool for the artist to activate and realize imagination. “All artists need to stimulate their vision,” he said. “We say if you close your eyes and see it, you can paint it. If you hear it, you can play it. You know? So I think it is mainly for the creative process of stimulating, igniting, and activating your imagination on a whole other level.” 

Santana’s favorite weed

Santana’s lifelong love of weed has recently culminated in a new cannabis line, Mirayo by Santana. “It’s called Mirayo, and it comes from knowing that photosynthesis is a language that talks to plants,” he said. “There’s medicine, and then there’s drugs. Drugs humans make in a laboratory. Medicine, the sunlight makes with the earth.” 

Available in California, Mirayo features sungrown cannabis in a few different forms, 5-packs of half-gram pre-rolls and 7-gram jars of flower. Products are available in three different strains, or “categories of consciousness,” like Centered (indica), Radiance (sativa), and Symmetry (hybrid). 

He continued, “We want to emphasize how much photosynthesis plays a role with soil and water and sunlight to tell this plant to go and be this, so you can go and be you.”

In honor of the Mirayo launch, we spoke to the ethereal and seemingly all knowing being behind the brand on the kind of weed that takes him where he wants to go. 

Here are the three weed products Carlos Santana can’t live without. 

The Ice Cream strains 

While Santana’s relationship to cannabis exists on a broader plane than consciously sampling the strains and products du jour, he does list one of the trendiest product genres on the market today: Ice Cream strains. I like the ones called Ice Creams,” he said. “Do you know the ones I’m talking about?”

Ice Cream strains like Ice Cream and Ice Cream Cake are award-winning hybrids with a balanced high that’s at once alert and relaxing, making them perfect for creating. 

“You can do martinis or scotch, but if you take a toke, your music or writing and creative process become a little different because it’s not a depressant,” he said. “It seems like people who drink alcohol, they only write depressing songs about misery or victims or whatever. But people who smoke weed, they talk about changing the world, the Berlin wall coming down, or, you know, climbing out and telling the truth that the world needs to hear.”


Sativa strains

“Cannabis is like having a personal relationship with something that suits your own unique authenticity and individuality,” said Santana. “For me, it’s sativa strains because I like to be productive and creative. I can’t do something that all of a sudden I can’t function. So I want to be part of something that stimulates the creative process.” 

He continued, “I like to be able to promote a frequency, which is really what it is. A frequency that’s conducive to creativity. Whether you’re dreaming awake or you’re dreaming in your dreams, either way, you’re still dreaming.” 


Gummies

“Even though I’m 73, I’m still curious like a young teenager and want to experiment, to explore different levels of consciousness,” he said. “Right now, I’m still mostly smoking, but I’m investigating and trying a little bit of the gummy things, too.”

While he wasn’t sure what the brand was, they’re raspberry-flavored, square-shaped, and great for nibbling on corners. “The gummy things, I find those to be interesting, especially because I haven’t really done a lot of them. I’lI just take one little quarter and it helps me just to think like, ‘Oh, that’s what this is.’ It’s like filling in a piece of your curiosity.”

He continued, “For me, it’s still always about consciousness. Finding something to stimulate your creativity, and dive into different kinds of consciousness that can collectively awaken people to create more peace, unity and harmony,” he paused. “That’s what it’s all about.”  


Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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4 weed products rapper Doley Bernays can’t live without

Doley Bernays is a rapper from the Bronx, New York that you should be listening to right now. He popped up in my Spotify Discover a few weeks ago, since then, there hasn’t been a single morning that I haven’t played “New Bosses” like all my dreams are possible. Doley has that special gift of turning his real life perspective and  experiences into relatable content that the world can feel. It’s a style of  content that can only be described as “real shit,” which is something the Bronx native champions in his music.

On making music, Bernays said, “This woman had DMed me, she had lost her one-year-old son. I had this song called ‘I Know Pain because my son had epilepsy and in the song I was talking about that, just the battle of the mental state, this was when my son was a kid and was having seizures. And as a parent, you’re in a state of confusion, it’s not something you can plan for, or something I can block him from. She said she had a similar thing when her kid died naturally, and she listened to ‘I Know Pain’ on repeat every day for a year straight and it got her through it. And shit like that, I just realized, if you talk about your real life, you never know how many people are going to be affected by that. So I just try to keep it in that realm.”

Recently, Bernays dropped his newest album Lobby Tape Side A, which follows his journey through his projects in the Bronx, and honors the life of his late brother Muddy who was murdered in their project’s lobby. “The cover is in the building. That’s the real building, my [late] brother Muddy’s lobby, that’s where we were raised. I wanted people to get that feel for my hood, cause I come from a whole different place. I just wanted to really show where I’m from, I just wanted to walk y’all through my building. Literally, that’s what the whole tape is, I’m walking [people] through the projects, letting [people] know what that shit is like.” 

Bernays really wanted this album to have a gritty feel that matched the look of his lobby. Something people could not only hear and see, but also feel. “I try to craft my shit in such a musical way, but in this one I really wanted to tap into the Mac & Cheese era, the Dedication Wayne era. I’m going to do original beats, but I wanted it to sound as grimey as my lobby. I didn’t do the pretty mixes.”

Bernays’ Lobby Tape Side A is available on all streaming platforms now.

Doley Bernays favorite weed

In addition to making music, Bernays smokes hella weed. “I’ve been smoking so long that shit is my norm. It’s almost a part of my day, like getting dressed in the morning. Everything is normal for me when I’m high, I guess that’s the benefit. It makes me feel normal. I ain’t never had no reason to stop smoking since I started.”

When it comes to preferred consumption methods, Doley is all about the flower. “I seen someone take [a dab] and pass out early in the game. I was like, ‘I’m not smoking that shit.’ And honestly, I grew up around mad crackheads, so I don’t like pipes and shit. I don’t do edibles cause I look at them edibles like a roller coaster: once you on that ride, if that’s shit going bad and I feel like, ‘Oh nah, this getting me too high — I can put it out,’ I can’t do that with an edible. And vapes, I don’t even do that, cause why do that when you can do the real shit? I’m really just on some natural weed shit.”

Here are the 4 weed products that rapper Doley Bermays can’t live without. 

Fronto Leaf

“I smoke Gorilla Leaf with some papers. That’s how I do all my blunts. If I don’t got no Grabba leaf or some fronto leaf, just forget about it. I can’t smoke straight joints, I be feeling like I’m smoking air.”

Fronto leaf is a whole tobacco leaf that people use to roll blunts. Bernays likes smoking Gorilla Leaf and Grabba Leaf brands.

King Size RAW Papers

Bernays always wraps his blunts in paper and it’s mandatory that they’re king size RAW papers.

“I can’t live without the Grabba Leaf, with papers. I gotta have some papers to roll with it, and it’s gotta be RAW, not them little shits. I hate when I end up with those little ass papers.” 

RAW is a smoking accessories brand that makes papers, cones, trays, and pretty much anything else you need to smoke.

Indica-dominant Hybrids

Bernays was smoking Gelato when we spoke, however, he doesn’t really have a favorite strain. Just a favorite type: indica-dominant hybrids. 

“Nowadays, [growers] just be naming [strains] anything. I need some strong OGs, some indicas, or indica-dominant hybrids. If I’m going to cop from a dispensary, I don’t even want to see anything under 30% THC, don’t even show me that shit. Give me everything over 30% THC that’s an indica all the time. Because the strains change all the time, and even with the strains, you might get a bad batch. And as soon as a strain starts popping, you start getting synthetic ones. No strain can go that long without motherfuckers making a fake one.”


Lighters

“And lighters — that’s all I need: some bomb weed, leaf, papers, some lighters, what else do you really need?”

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5 cannabis products electronic dance duo Hippie Sabotage can’t live without

Hippie Sabotage is an electronic dance music duo from Sacramento, California, made up of brothers Kevin and Jeff Saurer. Like most hippies, Kevin and Jeff love weed. It’s influenced their growth as humans, it’s influenced their music, and as they evolve, it now influences their merch.

Hippie Sabotage started smoking weed in summer camp as kids, and the relationship never stopped. Camp Counselors were down to blow and the hippies joined a few sessions. Around 16, they started smoking blunts when they started making music. It’s been a holy matrimony ever since, a love that translates into their newest product: the Devil Eyes OG pre-rolls. “It sounds corny, but we do have a passion for marijuana. As it becomes legal and more accessible — especially in California — we just wanted to participate in that.”

Currently, the brothers are gearing up for a social distance-appropriate tour across the country. “We’re doing a drive-in movie theater tour in mid-August. It’s going to be a very special ambient banger. Full of cool instrumental experiences at a drive-in, mostly projected up on a screen. Perfect time to bring out Devil Eyes OG.”

In our talk about their experiences with cannabis and their upcoming tour, we also spoke about some of the group’s favorite smokeables. Here are a few cannabis products Hippie Sabotage can’t live without.

Devil Eyes OG Pre-rolls

Quite obviously, Hippie Sabotage loves smoking their own product, and they love those classic Kush flavors. When asked how Devil Eyes OG tastes, Kevin says, “It tastes like an OG. I’m not a big fan of real strong berry or fruity flavors.” 

Named after their 2018 Devil Eyes EP, the duo told me that the main mission behind the joints is to keep strengthening the connection between the music and the fans. “We really just wanted to do a joint for our fans that we like smoking ourselves, that they could bring to the concerts. So they could know that they’ve had a similar smoking experience to us.”


Jack Herer

In addition to that classic OG flavor, when I asked about their favorite cannabis strains, Hippie Sabotage told me, “we love sativas, because we’re always making beats.” Of those sativas, they named two favorites, the first was Jack Herer.

Named after the legendary cannabis activist, Jack Herer, this strain is a well-known big daddy sativa strain that many associate with a super energetic and buzzy high. It’s old school and was bred by crossing Haze, Northern Lights, and Skunk genetics. For some, the rush of cerebral energy that comes with Jack Herer can be a little hard to manage; for the hippies, it’s a bridge to creativity that works wonders for their music.



Super Lemon Haze

The second sativa that Hippie Sabotage loves is Super Lemon Haze. Super Lemon Haze is a cross of Super Silver Haze and Lemon Skunk. As the name suggests, this sativa-dominant hybrid pushes out those classic skunky, citrus and piney haze flavors. The high, much like Jack Herer mentioned above, tends to be energetic and happy, fit for those who are seeking a strong cerebral high. 

Weed purists, the hippies may especially love Jack Herer and Super Lemon Haze, but truthfully, “we just love weed man.”



Otto Automated Cone Roller by Banana Bros

The Otto Automated Cone Roller from Banana Bros is an amazing product, straight up. I first saw it back in August 2018 when I attended Matt Barnes’ Athletes vs. Cancer event at Snoop Dogg’s compound. Set up sort of like a trade show/farmer’s market, the lot was filled with all kinds of products, and one clearly stood out amongst the rest: the Otto. I specifically remember watching Snoop’s son Cordell participate in its demonstration then yell, “Yoooooo, this the future right here, bruh!” The hippies caught one as a gift and they tell me they’ve made huge use of it. 

Basically, the Otto has two components: a grinder and a cone stuffer. The grinder is an automatic grinder that can also be used as a standalone. You split it open like an egg, stuff your weed in, and then press a single button and watch your flower fall on your coffee table. 

The second component is a cone tube for stuffing a joint. You put a cone in the tube, connect the tube to the grinder, press the button, and the weed falls directly into the cone on some Wiz Khalifa Day Today shit. The days of spraining your wrist while twisting an impossibly dirty grinder that you refuse to clean are over.

Axiom Solventless Hash

When it comes to the Hippie Sabotage smoking experience, the brothers are purists in that they prefer flower over anything else. Of other consumption methods, they said, “We like pretty much strictly flower; we [may] throw some hash in there. I’m not the biggest fan of blow torches or large fire devices; I prefer to keep it old school by smoking blunts, smoking joints, having a coffee with it.” 

When they do choose to toss some hash in a joint, versus dabbing it, the hash they favor comes from a Los Angeles-based company called Axiom. However, their relationship with hash started in Spain. “We first got into hash when we were in Barcelona. They had a lot of different hash blends. So when we got back to the states, we found this hash company called Axiom Hash. It’s solventless, so it’s supposed to be as pure as possible.”

In so many words, solventless hash is a form of cannabis hash oil that uses no solvents to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes you consume. They include dry sift, ice water or bubble hash, and rosin

Conversely, solventless-based hash do use solvents. Common forms of solvent-based hash oils are butane hash oil (BHO) and propane hash oil (PHO). Most extract fans prefer solvent-less because they’re cleaner and more natural. 

Axiom’s internet presence is pretty scarce, but a peak at their Instagram account shows that they produce a slew of concentrates including: solventless hash, temple balls, and a seemingly pre-roll alternative that is a tube full of their hash and pre-ground flower.


Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps 

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Best Movies to Watch While High

With most of the country under stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19, there is no better time than the present to grab your favorite strain, kick back in front of a great movie and forget the world for a while. 

While there are lots of movies out there that feature weed and iconic stoner characters, like 1993‘s Dazed and Confused, other movies to watch while high might not feature weed at all, but present compelling plots or visual storytelling that can be enjoyed on a distinctly separate level.

To learn more about what makes for the best movies to watch high, Weedmaps spoke with Steve Bloom, writer, editor and pot culture aficionado. Among Bloom’s many credits, he is the founder and publisher of CelebStoner, former co-editor at High Times, current editor-in-chief at Centennial Media (Marijuana Goes Mainstream), and co-author of the books, PotCulture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life and Reefer Movie Madness; The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide

Stoner movies through the ages 

“What makes a stoner movie, first and foremost, is pot. The more marijuana the better. Bongs, joints, lots of smoke, gags and jokes,” said Bloom. “A stoner movie is a comedy generally speaking, and the theme revolves around whatever characters — usually a couple of guys — and their marijuana use.” 

For Bloom, the granddaddy of all stoner movies is 1969’s Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper. But long before Easy Rider, there was the original Reefer Madness, the 1936 prohibition tale that focused on, from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), “a trio of drug dealers that lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to ‘reefer’ cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.”

And according to Bloom, Cheech and Chong defined the comedic stoner movies as we know them with the 1978 film Up in Smoke, followed by Nice Dreams, Still Smoking, Things are Tough All Over and Roasted. These movies not only provided the much-copied formula for stoner comedy, but laid the groundwork for actor/producers like Seth Rogen, whose credits are dominated by stoner films, and writer/actor/director/producer Kevin Smith, whose stony film Clerks put him (Silent Bob) and Jason Mewes (Jay) on the Hollywood map. 

Bloom’s picks and recommendations

You can check out all of Bloom’s top picks for The Top 25 Stoner Movies of All Time on the website CelebStoner, but here are some of his favorites: 

  • The Big Lebowski (1998): “The Dude is one of the great stoner characters. Jeff Bridges has had a career sort of defined by Jeff Lebowski. The guy just wants to smoke a joint and a bowl.”
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): “This is a great example of a stoner movie with no drugs in it. [It’s} considered to be one of the great stoner movies of all time because of the visuals.” 
  • Dazed and Confused (1993): ”There are so many great actors that came out of that movie. Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Parker Posey. It is really one of the true top 10 stoner movies.”
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008): “These are absolutely stoner movies. [Harold and Kumar are] Cheech and Chong-like in terms of culty weed roles with Asian stoners, they’re kind of reminiscent of the Cheech and Chong formula.”
  • Barbarella (1968): Bloom features this flick in the sci-fi section of his book. Starring a young and nubile Jane Fonda as space adventurer Barbarella, according to IMDB, she is assigned by the President of Earth to retrieve Dr. Durand Durand from the Tau Ceti planetary system. 
  • Half Baked (1998): Dave Chapelle does double duty in this film about three stoners who try to raise bail for their friend by selling stolen pot. 
  • Pineapple Express (2008): Seth Rogen and James Franco’s mid-2000s stoner classic made the stoner flick mainstream and a legitimate movie genre. Seth Rogen has been a weed icon ever since and the Pineapple Express strain has become one of the most popular strains in weed culture.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019): According to Bloom, this reboot directed by Kevin Smith is the best stoner movie of 2019. Featuring a reunited Jay and Silent Bob, the pair goes to Hollywood to stop ‘Bluntman and Chronic’ from being remade. 

If watching movies featuring stoner high jinks isn’t necessarily your thing, Bloom suggests checking out movies that feature captivating visuals. He suggests movies in the realm of science fiction or animation that are visually exciting. “It’s a fun experience to watch a movie that’s taking you places visually,” said Bloom. “It could be a Star Wars movie, anything that’s turning you on in terms of the visuals. You could do whatever movie you want, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing drugs or not. There are tons of movies you could watch while high.” 

While 1999’s Fight Club and 2010’s Inception turns up on many “movies to watch while high” lists, Bloom believes it’s probably best to stay away from films heavy on the violence, especially when compounded by the strange and anxiety-inducing world we currently inhabit. 

Featured image from Shutterstock

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I Curated my own Oscars Swag Bag with Weed Products

Awards season is coming to a close this weekend with Hollywood’s biggest night: the Oscars. 

For us mere mortals, that means oohing and ahhing at all the glamorous red carpet looks and seeing if our favorite films and actors won. While only a select few get to take home a glistening gold statue, all the nominees in the acting and directing categories get to walk away with one of the most enviable packages on earth: the Oscars swag bag. 

Sometimes referred to as the “Everyone Wins Gift Bag,” the Oscars swag bag is intended to be a consolation prize for the nominees who didn’t win (although it’s distributed through a third party and not affiliated with the Academy). The 2020 lineup is looking even more grandiose than last year’s, with items including an Antarctic cruise, bullet-resistant doors, and Botox treatments (Stars: They’re just like us!).  

Like last year, the bag has a gift from the luxury edibles brand Coda Signature. This year the brand is providing a “Cannabis-Infused Chocolate Culinary Experience worth $10,000,” which seems appropriately glamorous and very L.A. But the world of weed has a ton of products that would appeal to filmmakers and actors, alike. Ahead, I’ve rounded up my own carefully curated selection of cannabis treats available in the Los Angeles area for my own version of the Oscar swag bag.

Caliva —​ Dogwalkers Pre Rolls

If it’s good enough for Jay-Z, it’s good enough for the rest of us. That’s right, HOV himself is the chief brand strategist for this L.A.-based brand, which produces a wide array of flower, edibles, topicals, vapes, and pre-rolls. The latter category is where Caliva shines, with expertly packaged joints that are generously rolled with top-shelf flower. This particular container almost looks like a mint tin, so you can carry it around safely and inconspicuously. 

Price: $15

La Familia —​ Churro Rice Krispies 100 milligrams

Churro. Rice. Krispies. Need I say more? Coated in the essential churro seasonings of cinnamon and brown sugar, these delectable treats double as your daily dose and your after-dinner dessert. As a bonus, there’s little to no detectable “weed flavor,” so you can munch on these without feeling like you’re chomping on some raw flower. 

Price: $20

Relief​ ​by​ ​Dosist​​ ​—​ ​Dose​ Pen​ ​200

Calling all fitness enthusiasts and gym rats: This one’s for you. If your last sweat session left you with some serious soreness and all-over aches (or maybe you just got up off the couch too fast), this little device could offer the relief you crave. With its 2:1 ratio of THC to CBD, this recyclable vape pen touts dose precision as one of its main selling points — through its streamlined, aesthetically pleasing design is certainly noteworthy too. Similar pens are available in other “moods,” including bliss, sleep, calm, arouse, and passion.

Price: $60

Papa & Barkley —​ Releaf Balm 3:1 CBD:THC 600 milligrams

Topicals are a dime a dozen these days, with every other company claiming to have concocted the most magical formula known to man. But often, these balms can be hit or miss depending on a variety of factors like dose, scent, and texture. Fortunately, this offering from Papa & Barkley is dependably good. Regular users rave about its ability to help with severe muscle pain and migraines, as well as its soothing fragrance and not-super-sticky consistency.

Price: $90

Alkhemist — The Overnighter Shirt in Natural

Garment makers have been using hemp as a material for decades. But the real challenge has been helping hemp shed its only-for-hippies reputation and turning it into something with broader commercial appeal. Enter Alkhemist, an L.A.-based clothing line that weaves hemp into some of the most luxe pieces of apparel currently on the market. This oversized shirt has that borrowed-from-the-boys feel without looking sloppy, and it can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Versatility for the win!

Price: $172


Featured image from Shutterstock

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