Strain Review: Mendo Breath Is a Taste of the Emerald Triangle

Over the last few years, Gage Green Group’s flagship strain, Mendo Breath, has found its way into the gardens of some of the best growers in the world.

It all started when Gage Green Group hit the market in 2010 with its initial lineup that included Mendo Montage, Blackberry Pie and an array of G13 Skunk crosses.

From the beginning, the cultivation group organized itself around the philosophy that cannabis can be creative and joyful. They named themselves after “gage,” the word that legendary musicians like Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Fats Waller used to refer to cannabis.

“The herb has brought countless people renewed creativity and joy,” the Gage Green Group explains on its website. “We cultivate inspiration through growing the finest gage.”

When it came to forming the California-based company, internet forums served as the catalyzing force for the creative partnership behind the Mendo Breath phenomenon.

“I have to give kudos to a guy I met on Craigslist back in 2007 who goes by Jojo Rizo,” Jeff of Gage Green said. “He was big on all those old boards. He was just very renowned for trying new things and working with ruderalis and landraces and he really had some good gear.”

Jeff and Jojo became friends and began trading genetics. Auspicious circumstances — Jeff had a mishap in his garden at the same time Jojo’s wife wanted him to thin out the pack — meant Jeff ended up with a large piece of Jojo’s prized collection of genetics.

“He gave me like 14 different purples, landrace seeds,” Jeff said. The lineup Jeff acquired included Mendo Purple, Killer Queen and Crystal Locomotive. Each was exceptional in its own right. Jojo told Jeff that breeding is where he was going to have the most fun, but warned him to be prepared for the challenges ahead.

Jeff started the first breeding project from those donated cuts in Oakland, California. Not long after, he dropped the first batch of Grape Stomper seeds.

The next big project involved crossing Jojo’s hyper-elite Mendo Purps cut with Crystal Locomotive. The Crystal Locomotive was a cross between Trainwreck and Aloha White Widow. When the Mendo Purps and Crystal Locomotive were paired, Jeff got a strain that he named Mendo Montage.

Jeff went on to cross Mendo Montage with various other winners for a few years. Finally, in 2012, Jeff and the Gage Green team began work on the Mendo Breath line.

In the earliest part of the project, the breeders only crossed one plant, resulting in a handful of seeds. They began to pop the seeds with their partner on the project, NorCal, a popular breeder on the forums back in the day and now the patriarch of NorCal Genetics. NorCal popularized OGKB, his own Cherry Pie Kush cut, and gave a cut of the strain to the Gage Green team. They were the only other people who had it besides him.

“We pretty much created Mendo Breath and Grateful Breath out of that collaboration,” Michael of Gage Green said.

In that first batch, NorCal’s OGKB female was pollinated by a Mendo Montage F1 male that would find its way into many of their crosses. They called that plant “the four-star male,” as he had already been a proven winner for them before they got their hands on the OGKB cut.

After splitting up the roughly 50 seeds in the Mendo Breath F1 stock with NorCal, the Gage Green team discovered multiple winners. As they went through both sets, killer moms and dads appeared, primed to take Mendo Breath forward.

They ended up with five star females that were at the top of the pack and cut the males down to one winner. This parentage line has gone into numerous strains in recent years like the Benevolence and Breath Work #1. They also, of course, bred the Mendo Breath F2 they would release to the public in 2013.

When this popular generation of Mendo Breath hit the market, it quickly established itself as unique for its gassy edge, topped by other aromas uncommon in purple strains.

“It definitely has gas,” said Michael of Gage Green. “The Mendo Montage is why Mendo Breath is not like any of the other [strains closely related to it] — Cherry Pie Kush, OGKB, whatever you want to call it. It’s kind of unique. It doesn’t taste like everybody else’s crosses.”

Michael’s reasoning is that the Mendo Montage side of Mendo Breath’s genetics — all the selection time and experience that has gone into each of its ingredients — is what allows Mendo Breath to shine better than other OGKB cross attempts.

Jeff said he can detect the purples coming through as a background flavor and he believed the resin quality was a result of the Aloha White Widow traits popping up. He called it the frostiest strain he’d ever seen.

Now, five years since that first public drop of Mendo Breath, Jeff spoke on seeing it in the gardens of some of the top cultivators on the planet.

“I think it’s incredible,” Jeff said. “It’s really nice to see the way people stack up some of the things you have done.”

Michael said that a sign of Mendo Breath’s new prominence is the number of growers who look to the strain as a cornerstone.

“You see people will have their main phenos, and Mendo Breath is like one out of five of them,” Michael said. “That, I think, is a really awesome statement to where and how far we’ve come.”

When the strain was just in their personal group, it felt like a team effort, but when the seeds got out, it turned into a community project, Michael said.

Today, the Gage Green team says they think other cultivators are doing a great job with Mendo Breath. Like most growers, the Gage Green team are very selective over the cannabis they choose to consume. Just because the jar has their strain’s name on it doesn’t mean they are going to puff it. That being said, the team said a lot of the Mendo Breath they’ve seen in the wild has been outstanding.

“There are going to be seeds that don’t come out good, that’s just part of every pheno hunt,” Michael said. “But honestly the Mendo Breath hits really well, and every variation of it has come out really unique. They’ve all been just beyond our expectations. We’re proud to see where it is.”

Mendo Breath Stain Statistics 

Lineage: OGKB x Mendo Montage
Profile: Indica-dominant hybrid
Flowering Time: 7-9 weeks

TELL US, what’s your favorite strain?

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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Weed Wordsearch – Strains of Bud

Today’s Weed Wordsearch is all about strains of bud! Don’t be fooled, this quest is not as easy as it seems. Fire up a doobie and get ready! To embark, search for the words listed below the puzzle.  When you find a word: Highlight the first letter by clicking on it once. Drag your cursor […]

The post Weed Wordsearch – Strains of Bud appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Thursday, January 16, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, January 16, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Congressional Hearing Exposes Marijuana Research Limitations Imposed By Federal Law (Marijuana Moment)

// New California-based marijuana strains drew a line around the block in Baltimore. Could more be coming (Baltimore Sun)

// Lawmakers Consider Ending Residency Requirement for Marijuana Workers (Denver Westword)


These headlines are brought to you by Green Worx Consults, a company specializing in project management, workflow mapping and design, and Lean & 6 Sigma process. If you could use help making your business better at business, get in touch with Green Worx Consults.


// Michigan pot shops sold $10 million worth of marijuana in first 6 weeks of legal weed (Detroit Free Press)

// Colorado Finally Files Bill to Protect Weed-Smoking Employees (Merry Jane)

// With a new CEO High Times looks to open dispensaries (Digiday)

// Vermont Governor Seems Open To Legalizing Marijuana Sales (Marijuana Moment)

// New Mexico Governor Calls For Marijuana Legalization In 2020 (Forbes)

// Curaleaf Upsizes Loan Facility To $300 Million Makes Progress in Utah (Green Market Report)

// 16% of cannabis vaping illnesses tied to store purchases CDC says (Marijuana Business Daily)


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The best strains for arousal, according to cannabis and sex experts

It’s no secret that a dash of weed will spice things up in the bedroom. In recent years, the legal market’s been awash with topicals, suppositories, and tinctures aimed at doing just that. But while these products are great — and work very, very well — puffing on a pre-roll or taking a bong hit of some spicy flower can be just as effective when it’s time to get down. 

However booming the canna-sexual market may be, it seems to be devoid of any smokable sex aids. While something is working with smoking pot before (or even during) a sexual experience, there is little data on what kind of flower lends itself best to enhance sexual pleasure. 

When it comes to sex and using flower, are there strains that specifically heighten arousal? Or, when it comes to sex, is all weed created equal? Is there such a thing as a “viagra strain” to kickstart your sex life?

So many strains claiming to enhance female arousal and male arousal with names like Atomic Northern Lights and/or high-THC content that claim to be “sure things” can be intimidating, confusing, and just downright mood-killing when they don’t work. Or, worse, make you get in your own head.

This kind of journey is personal, intimate, and determined by how the plant’s chemical makeup of terpenes and cannabinoids react with your individual endocannabinoid system, as well as how you react with your surroundings, so we spoke to some of the experts behind the canna-sexual uprising that’s rocking the weed world and bedrooms alike. 

While there’s no single strain that’s guaranteed to get your engines going, here are a few of their favorites. 

Mimosa 

“There is no such thing as the perfect strain for all…yet,” explains cannabis expert Jaron Gladstone, co-founder of CBCeuticals. “Think of shopping for condoms or toys. Often, you will find a variety of shapes and sizes to appease everyone’s interests. This tends to be — in part — due to the nature of our bodies each being psychologically and mentally unique. Answering the question of what cannabis strain is best is relative to what you like, what you need, and what the situation calls for.” 

While Gladstone’s personal go-tos are Tangie, Original Glue, and Bruce Banner, his favorite is Mimosa, a cross between Purple Punch and Clementine with high levels of the terpene limonene, known for its bright and uplifting effects, and myrcene, known for promoting calm and relaxation. 

“Mimosa is the crown jewel, if you can find it,” he raved. “Think of the Mimosa as doing spin art during Sunday brunch. It throws in a little energy, a little pep in your step, and takes all worries away, leaving you happy-go-lucky, euphoric, and free from anxiety.” 



Strawberry Cough

For Joe Vela, co-founder and CEO of Emojibator, a shame-free, accessible pleasure-tech brand debuting a CBD pleasure activator later this year, it’s all about Strawberry Cough. 

“I keep a steady supply of sativas and sativa-hybrids,” said Vela. “My go-to strain for arousal is Strawberry Cough. In addition to the sensual smell and taste of berry, this strain gives me creative energy and full-body relaxation.”

Strawberry Cough is a sweet, potent strain known for its heady high and hard, cough-provoking smoke. With a terpene profile high in caryophyllene and limonene with a dash of linalool, it produces a shimmering, euphoric high that is at once uplifting, relaxing, and perfect for getting freaky.



Trainwreck 

High in euphoria-inducing myrcene, uplifting pinene, and sedating terpinolene, Trainwreck is a fabulous strain for foreplay and beyond, according to our sex experts. While it hit its peak popularity about a decade ago, that doesn’t stop Laura Eisman and Allison Krongard, CEOs and co-founders of Her Highness, a brand of glamourous cannabis accessories, from enjoying Trainwreck’s hard-hitting cerebral high, surging euphoria, and creativity. 

“My absolute favorite strain for sex is Trainwreck,” said Eisman. “I love it in any form. Nothing is sexier than slowly smoking a Trainwreck preroll. It makes me feel completely euphoric. I get lost in the experience and every sensation is intensified.” 

Krongard adds, “Personally, the best pre-sex strain for me is whichever one I have available. Getting high before sex makes it better for me, and all strains deliver. However, if I had to pick just one or two notable pre-sex standouts, they would be Trainwreck and Red Congolese.” 



Granddaddy Purple

“I think, more than focusing on strains, something to think about, ask about, and look into is terpenes and cannabinoids,” said Anne Louise Burdett, co-Founder & CEO of TOCA, an organic CBD line of intimacy lubricants. “Different strains have different terpene and cannabinoid profiles which is what makes them unique, and if you know what you’re looking for, you can try out all kinds of different combinations.” 

She continued, “When it comes to terpenes, for example, if you want to be clear and focused, look to pinene. If you are wanting something more relaxed and sedating, myrcene or linalool, with limonene being more euphoric, creative. As far as cannabinoids, CBN is a major chemical that makes people feel kind of sleepy and dull, so likely best to avoid. THC is fantastic for pain relief and heightened sensation, and THCV is more stimulating. So overall, it’s a pretty idiosyncratic choice, depending on what you need to get aroused and how you like to feel.”

That said, her recent go-to has been Granddaddy Purple (or GDP), an indica-growing cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud that is high in relaxing myrcene, anxiety-curbing caryophyllene, and uplifting pinene. “Grandaddy Purple is currently the strain I use the most because I have very full days … a pretty regular obstacle to sex is the task of slowing down my brain and getting present and relaxed in my body at the end of the day. Grandaddy Purple is perfect for a longer, more languid experience. A sensual, relaxed time.” 



Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel, one of the most popular strains in existence, is a sativa-growing plant that took over in the 90s. This cross between ChemDog 91 and Super Skunk was cultivated by grower AJ Sour Diesel and launched a ton of beef between growers in the weed world at the time due to its diesel-y aroma and general prowess as the ultimate 90s dank. High in uplifting limonene, peppery caryophyllene, and fruity, relaxing myrcene, Sour Diesel made two of our expert’s lists, including Anne Louise Burdett above.  

Daniel Saynt, Founder & Chief Conspirator of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a private members club for the adventurous, agreed. “My choice strains for great sex are Sour Diesel, Afgan Goo, Blue Cheese, and Voodoo.” 

Saynt continued, “Just think about the experience you’re about to have and try to match the strain that best fits. If you’re looking for a Barry Manalo style, long and romantic sex experience consider going with an indica-based weed like Bubblegum Kush. Try other indica strains if you want to stretch out your sexual experience with more touch and massage, as these strains make that action feel amazing. If you’re looking for wild and crazy sex making, go for a sativa or hybrid-based strain like Sour Diesel or Jillybean. Both are great for getting the juices going and raising arousal.” 

“It’s not about getting insanely high when you’re mixing weed and sex. It’s about enhancing the experience, not overpowering it … much like great sex, it’s better to start slow and build up.” 



Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post The best strains for arousal, according to cannabis and sex experts appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Yes, you do like sativas

Whenever someone starts to say that they don’t like sativas, I want to interrupt them, “Shut up. Yes, you do.” 

Too many people love to say they hate sativas and that it makes them anxious. Take a look:

But it’s time we add some true context to that conversation — or else people will continue writing off an entire third of the weed types out there. Probably more when you really get into genetics. 

So gather round the fire, kiddos; it’s time to talk about sativas and why you probably do like them.

What are sativas?

Sativa, indica, and hybrid refer to the morphology of a cannabis plant. Cannabis sativa plants grow tall and lanky with long, fluffy flowers, cannabis indica plants grow short and bulky with thick dense flowers, and hybrids fall somewhere in between. Though the cannabis industry uses these plant species as a one-to-one system between strains and effects, these are truly just classifications of plants based on the way they grow, where they grow, and the structure of their flowers.

Most modern sativas can be traced back to the original Haze and Skunk genetics, which can then be traced back to landrace strains from all over the world. Sativas grew in the Middle East, Mexico, Africa — sativas grew everywhere. 

Those genetics went on to be crossed with all kinds of Afghani, Northern Lights, and other indica genetics from all over the globe, and that’s exactly why most of the cannabis strains on shelves today are some form of hybrid. We started crossing strains in the search for perfection and never stopped.


You’re probably smoking sativas and don’t even know it

Chances are you’ve smoked plenty of sativas and enjoyed them. With most products being hybrids, it’s just impossible to avoid them. When you smoke with people at a social function, you don’t ask for strain names (much less a certificate of analysis), you just smoke the weed and go. I guarantee you’ve hit some strange sativa in the wild, and I bet, not once, have you ever regretted it. 

OG Kush is a sativa-dominant hybrid, as are many Kush strains. Have you written off Kush? GSC is sometimes a sativa-dominant hybrid. Have you written off Cookies? To say that you don’t like sativas ignores how broad the world of cannabis can be.

The cannabis shopping experience is why so many people only think of sativas as upper, hyper strains that may make you feel racy and anxious. And indicas are deemed super sleepy strains that will be stronger and better because they pack the hardest punch. The shopping experience is all about getting customers in and out of the door in the fastest time possible, which leaves very little room to educate consumers on the nuance of sativa cannabis strains. From there, customers unwittingly move on with misinformation, and end up writing off the entire realm of sativa strains forever.

Why it’s silly to write off sativa strains

It’s silly to write off cannabis strains because the effects of cannabis do not solely come down to plant type. Nothing about this plant is 1:1. We love cannabis strains because you can walk into a store and choose whichever feeling you want to feel. Those feelings are exclusive to only a third of the products you see. 

If you want to feel sleepy, there are sativa strains that can make you feel sleepy. If you want to feel relaxed, there are sativa strains that can make you feel relaxed. If you want to feel hungry, there are sativa strains that can make you feel hungry. 

Sure, there are plenty of sativas out there like Jack Herer that may make you feel super energized, and if you’re a naturally anxious person, then their cerebral effects may be too much for you. But in the end, those effects are not to be blamed solely on a plant growing tall and fluffy. Instead, that all comes down to a plant’s genetics and chemical makeup i.e. a strain’s parents, cannabinoids, and terpenes. Educate yourself on these, and you’ll learn to shop past classification, opening your options to the entire world of weed.

Sativa strains to start off 

Three common sativas that perfectly illustrate why you can’t shop for effects solely by plant type are: Tangie, Candyland, and Lemon G. They all provide various experiences, dependent mostly upon how much of them you smoke.

Tangie

Tangie comes from a mix of California Orange and Skunk genetics. Skunk genetics are known for producing funky plants with heavy-hitting effects, so it’s easy to see why Tangie sometimes defies the one-size-fits-all nature of sativa classification. 

Smoke it initially and you’ll feel euphoric and uplifted, ready for the world. Hit another sesh, and suddenly that energy will turn into a lazy, stoned feeling that makes you want to chill. Keep smoking it, and your eyelids are going to need a 1-2 hour break from work.



Candyland

Candyland is another strain that can produce a wide spectrum of effects dependent on phenotype, consumption method, and dosage. Candyland was created by crossing the heavily sedative Granddaddy Purple with a Platinum GSC varietal, and the result gives us a plant that will absolutely lay you down if you smoke too much of it. Otherwise, it may bring you the perfect balance of relaxed euphoria and creative focus. Most consumers report the effects as happy, energetic, and relaxed. Realize that they mean all at once.



Lemon G

Lemon G is a third example of sativa cannabis strains that can provide a variety of effects. The name alone might be enough to scare off the no-thanks-sativas crowd, because many lemon strains and also strains high in limonene produce uplifting and energetic effects. Lemon G, however, can be very potent and provide a long-lasting euphoric sensation that pairs great with social activities.

Overall, the point is that you should not write-off cannabis strains because they’re on one side of a dispensary. It’s important to educate yourself on the types of cannabis strain and the genetics they come from. From there, you’ll be able to guide yourself towards the cannabis strains you’re supposed to be smoking. If you don’t, you’ll keep writing off thousands of weed strains that could ultimately provide the effects and experience you truly seek.

Find hundreds of strains and where to buy them on Weedmaps Strains


Featured image by Dre Hudson/Weedmaps

The post Yes, you do like sativas appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Rozé All Day: A Strain Review of Zkittlez’s Famed Offspring

Over the past six years, Zkittlez has emblazoned its name across the cannabis landscape among the upper echelon of top-shelf cannabis. Now in development for two years, its premiere offspring Rozé looks to follow mom’s lead in finding its spot among the best cannabis genetics in the world.

As always with the strains of folklore, we start with the parents. The aforementioned Zkittlez is the king of Northern California right now. Obviously, the city folk may point to more popular urban cuts not developed on the hillsides of the Emerald Triangle, but they’ve had their chance. With those strains, early generations leaked a bit out into the wild and into the hands of less savvy cultivators, leading to mixed results. When it came to unexpected offspring, for every Gelato #33 or Animal Cookies, there was a boatload of crap. To that extent, there were about eight kinds of Platinum Cookies floating around NorCal, all different, with varying degrees of quality.

That’s where the Zkittlez story really starts; it’s as much a story about preserving and protecting old-school genetics as it is about the quality of the pot. The genetics on the original Zkittlez is a mystery. Most important in the strain’s origin story is the fact that Zkittlez is clone-only and was discovered originally by NorCal cultivator Gas Station Bob. Bob put it into the hands of the now famous 3rd Generation Family via cultivator Fieldz. Not long after he received it, Fieldz passed the cut on to Tony Mendocino who gave it to Brandon, also of 3rd Gen, in the spring of 2014.

Photo TC

When the team at 3rd Generation Family, also known as the Terp Hogz or Dying Breed Seeds, got their hands on the cut things really began to take off. They had already achieved notoriety with their signature Eddy Lepp OG, named for recently released pot POW, legendary large-scale cultivator and Cannabis Now contributor Eddy Lepp, and took two Cannabis Cups for the effort in 2013. Little did they know the Zkittlez would launch things into the stratosphere.

Since getting their hands on the cut, every award possible has been awarded to this group of cultivators over the years, leading to great feats in modern cannabis. Last year, they won the Humboldt edition of The Secret Cup unopposed in the flower category. They also took home the prize for top oil at The Secret Cup the past two years. These accolades, on top of numerous Emerald Cup and High Times Cannabis Cup wins and podium spots, cemented Zkittlez place at the top.

“Zkittlez was one of those holy grail cuts,” Brandon of 3rd Gen told us, as we spoke on its rise. “It’s like a Sour D, OG Kush or Cookies now.”

It makes sense then that kids from Zkittlez would also be nothing to balk at. According to Brandon, when Tony ran his first batch of Zkittlez indoor all those years ago, something happened. While not 100 percent clear, it’s believed one of the Zkittlez plants became impregnated by another unknown strain in the room and a portion of the Zkittlez got seeded.

“Ultimately what happened was I went into the room, and it was the first time Zkittlez had been run indoor at all period, and I saw that it had some seeds in it,” said Brandon. “We never really found out what dropped balls because there was no male. The seeds that I ran to get the Rozé clone-only were all female renditions, meaning there was hermaphroditism in the room that made the seed.”

Undeterred, Brandon grabbed a couple ounces for his head stash and picked out 48 seeds. In early 2015, he started popping those beans to stress test the genetics prior to the summer growing season. This allowed him to make sure he was working with something special and he quickly realized that was the case.

The cold nights of Mendocino in early spring proved he was working with some hearty genetics, which are now obviously from a royal lineage.

“We put them through torture,” Brandon said. “I gave tallies to the ones that looked the strongest or smelled like something was really going on there. Sixteen phenotypes made it to the second round.”

In that second round indoors, things really began to take shape. The 16 were grown out and their individual traits began to stand out more clearly.

The naming process began, and despite running alongside killers like Dirty Zprite and Zlasagna, the name Rozé jumped to the head of the pack.

“The Rozé was the most frosted and had purple hues to it,” Brandon said of that second run — and it didn’t hurt the selection process that it was producing quarter pound plants at this stage of the research either.

The most notable element that made this strain stand out was Rozé’s unique terpene profile. The light rose water aroma is where it got its name. Tony Mendocino pointed out that cultivators working to develop new lines of genetics often miss terpene profiles their nose may not be familiar with. Rozé doesn’t have that problem, the unique aroma isn’t overpowering but clearly stands out.

The effect definitely had some body to it with a nice cerebral edge. It was a pleasure to wander one the world’s premier cannabis events after loading up a backwoods with Rozé. It generally stood out as some of the best cannabis at Chalice this year along with its mom, Zkittlez, Mimosa #26 from the Jungle Boys and Alien Labs’ fantastic rendition of Wedding Cake.

“I’m not trying to put out some Fugazi story, I’m all about the real deal truth,” Brandon said, “but the fact of the matter is the Rozé is special because I sorted through 50 different things to find something as different as it is. It’s usually a couple thousand, it was a lucky grab.”

He also has big plans for 3rd Gens’ 2017 releases and has called it the “Year of the Melon.” Keep an eye out for Gak Melon, Melon Ringz, Banana Pudding and the one we’re most excited for: Strawberry Kiwi.

Rozé Strain Statistics

Breeder: 3rd Generation Family/ Terp Hogz

Grown by: 3rd Generation Family/ Terp Hogz

Type: Indica hybrid

Genetics: Zkittlez x Mystery Hermaphrodite

Flowering: 56 – 63 days

Yield: High

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, have you tried Rozé? What do you think?

The post Rozé All Day: A Strain Review of Zkittlez’s Famed Offspring appeared first on Cannabis Now.

7 relaxing weed strains

It’s hard to quiet the brain. It’s hard to relax the body. For many people, cannabis is the tool they use to make both processes a little bit easier. Weed provides an escape from the bad days, and that’s why so many of us seek it out to release the built up anxiety and tension in our bodies. However, with so many products on the shelves, it can be tough for the average consumer to know which cannabis strains may provide relaxing effects. But don’t even trip, because we’re here to help.

What does relaxed mean?

Relaxed and sleepy aren’t the same feelings. And if you’re an inexperienced cannabis consumer, it’s important to know that, or else you may walk into a dispensary looking for something that helps you chill and reflect, but walk out with something that immediately ends your night. This is why it’s so critical to add nuance to the “indicas are the downer weed” conversation. The spectrum of cannabis strains is way too wide to limit yourself to just a third of them.

How would a budtender suggest a relaxing strain?

Stopped by Fweedom in Seattle to scoop up some smokeables for 710 Day. While there, I asked Baylee, my favorite budtender, how she helps people who are looking for a relaxing cannabis strain. She said the first thing she always asks is if they want to feel sleepy or if they want to feel relaxed, because those two are two completely different feelings. 

If they want relaxed, she may send them down the funnel of Glue and Kush strains. If they want to be sleepy, she may send them towards a GMO or Chemdog. Ultimately, it all goes back to your definition of the word. With sleepiness, you know that you are closing your eyes and playing dead for the next few hours. With relaxed, it can mean so many more things, and because of that, there are so many different types of cannabis strains that can make you feel at ease.

7 weeds strains that may help you relax

As always with strain suggestions, the most important thing to remember is that building your relationship with cannabis is a game of trial-and-error. If you find something you like, dig into the genetics of that strain and product, and then use that as a guide for what you might like smoking. If you don’t like something, also learn more about it, so you’ll know what to avoid.

GG4 

GG4, also known as Original Glue, was originally named after the couchlock sensation that leaves you glued to the couch. Since then, it’s gained a reputation as being powerfully relaxing. 

To Baylee’s point, the type of relaxation you get from a glue is like this: you come home from a long day with a bag of groceries and a backpack full of paperwork. All you want to do is throw everything on the floor and take your pants off. After stashing the groceries, you kick your shoes off, and fall directly on the couch. Now, you’re finally chillin’, but you still need something to transition you from the stresses of the day to the silence of the evening. The answer is GG4.


Bubba Kush 

Right after the Glue strains, comes the Kush strains. Kush is responsible for that stoney euphoria that we truly seek from cannabis. And honestly, anything with its genetics may be pretty potent and relaxing. That’s how we arrived at Bubba Kush. It comes from Afghani, Kush, and Northern Lights descent. 

The result is a sweet and earthy strain that leans towards the more relaxing side of Kush strains, while avoiding a direct-to-sleep kind of high. Instead, you’ll get a heavy ass cerebral buzz that eventually kicks down into your body, and turns you into a lazy pile of goo. It has a hashy earthy taste as flower, and a sweet floral flavor as a concentrate, so choose your fighter accordingly.


Blue Dream

Outside of the Glues and Kushes, you have to look at the Hazes and Skunks too. Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant cross of Haze and Blueberry genetics that makes most people feel happy, goofy, and in a positive state of mind.

As far as reducing tension goes, Blue Dream is a great option for anyone looking to relax, yet still be upbeat and spry. But don’t let its uplifting effects fool you, if you smoke the right amount of Bluey, you’ll definitely be kicked back with your feet in the air. 


Black Cherry Soda 

Black Cherry Soda is a middle of the road hybrid that tastes great and makes you feel chill without being too overwhelmed. The flower looks beautiful with an array of green, purple, and red colors throughout, and the flavor has a red wine and cherry essence that’ll have you like, “Damn, this is the one.” 


Harlequin

There are 1:1 balanced and CBD-dominant cannabis strains that can help you settle down. Harlequin is one of the more well-known ones. It comes from a complex mix of several landrace strains, which results in a pretty underwhelming flat sour citrus flavor.

The effects are what has it on this list though. No one can definitively say a strain can treat anxiety, we’re not there as an industry yet; but Harlequin comes highly recommended from those seeking mental and spiritual healing.


Remedy

Remedy is another CBD-dominant cannabis strain that many seek when melancholy. It has a reputation for being more relaxing and heavier than other CBD strains. With that said, it’s really tasty too. If you came into this list looking for something light and flavorful to vape, this is the one to scoop up. Remedy kicks out a sweet, woody, and earthy aroma that skips directly to the sweet and earthier side of flavors in oil form. A few farms I’ve visited had this growing in bunches simply to send it straight to the processor to end up in vape cartridges.


Zkittlez

Zkittlez is a fruity cross of Grapefruit and Grape Ape that people hold as one of the more flavorful strains out there. If you came here wanting to skip the effects, and instead seek out the terps, here you go. Zkittlez gives off a super sweet, berry, and fruity smell that transfers directly to the smoke when inhaled. Past the flavor, the effects are potent and relaxing.


Featured image by Dre Hudson/Weedmaps

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Candyland Is the Daytime-Friendly Child of Granddaddy Purple

Purple, according to Ken Estes, is more of a taste than it
is a color. “When you smoke Granddaddy Purp, the taste is so unique,” Estes
says over the phone.

“I don’t call it sweet. I used to call it dank. It’s not so
much sweet as it is kind of tart, but not sour,” he says. “I used to say,
‘That’s what the flavor is — purple.’”

This explanation may not satisfy terpene hunters looking for exact numbers of myrcene and limonene content, but before you judge, it’s well worth considering Estes’ resume.

The original and legendary GDP, once and for a very long time the signature strain in medical cannabis collectives in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, is his strain. He (and his genetics) survived a federal raid way back in 2008, as well as a half-decade’s worth of city-level red tape woes in order to grow and sell it, along with a small family’s worth of crosses.

Candyland is a strain that was developed by Ken Estes by crossing his Grandaddy Purp with a Bay Platinum Cookies.

For Estes, the work is a labor for which he’s been rewarded with a literal armload of cannabis breeder awards: cups, trophies, plaques and cred. Post-legalization, when many medical-marijuana era titans are fond memories and not much else, Estes is still here, still cracking seeds.

But sometimes, the original is still the best. Other times, even when the original is what you’re pretty sure you mostly want, it’s not quite the right fit. That’s when you get to crossing.

A Purple Star Is Born

Back in 2011, before the Cookies craze became the cannabis world’s runaway marketing success and took over menus from San Diego to Seattle, Estes was looking for a daytime-friendlier version of the heavy, sedating GDP that also had better resistance to mold.

GDP “had so much moisture in it,” he explains. “I was just
trying to find a good mixture.”

At the time, Cookies and its many varieties were known to
breeders but had yet to take over the market. Estes picked Cookies not for the
name, but for its traits: a lighter high than GDP, better mold resistance and
friendlier in the grow room.

Candyland is the daytime-friendly offspring of the heavily sedating Granddaddy Purple.

Crossing a male GDP plant with a
female pheno of Bay Platinum Cookies yielded a sweeter, easier-to-grow,
lighter-on-the-head plant striped with “nice, deep veins of purple” that clocks
in at about a consistent 23-24% THC.

And so, Candyland was born — almost by mistake, at least in the name. “I did a bunch of phenos, and I really fell in love with it,” Estes says. “I really liked the way the plant grew. It’s real branchy.

“I had so many crosses, I just called that one Candyland,”
he adds. “I wasn’t crazy about the name. I was trying to find [another name]
that nobody could say was attractive to children. We just called it that due to
a lack of names. But it was the best strain that evolved, so we stuck with the
name.”

“Be careful what you name them,” he says, chuckling.

Candyland grows out deep purple leaves.

A grower’s delight, Candyland consistently yields up to 5
pounds outdoors, according to Estes, who cultivates both greenhouse and outdoor
in the Emerald Triangle. Under the lights — the only place Estes grows GDP
these days — it’s a quick finisher, ready to cut and cure at eight weeks.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?

So where can you get some? Candyland is available all over much of the West Coast, including at TreeHawk Farms in Washington state — that is, the real Candyland is available there, which is no guarantee other places.

“They got the Candyland seeds from me,” says Estes,
bestowing the official seal of approval, without which someone unfamiliar with
how purple is supposed to smell and taste could be taking home a purple-colored
impostor.

“A lot of stuff on the shelf that says GDP or Ken’s GDP or
Candyland are not the real McCoy. It’s just people using the name,” he says.
“You can’t stop the real McCoy.”

But eliminating pretenders might take a while yet. Estes says he’s patented the name “Granddaddy Purple” and is working towards mapping the strain’s unique genetics so that once strains themselves are readily patentable, he can lay claim to all true GDP cuts as well as ownership of the name he created.

A sugar concentrate made from the Candyland strain.

“The names of the strains are more important than before,”
he says, identifying one of the main paradigm shifts in modern cannabis. This
condition is a stark contrast to the state of affairs a decade ago, when nearly
every dispensary could be counted on to stock a purple, an OG and maybe not all
that much else.

Soon, Estes says, dispensary patrons will be able to load up
on strains sold under the umbrella of Ken’s original GDP, Ken’s Kush, the
CBD-rich Sandman, and Candyland, the sweeter, less stoney and easier to grow
progeny of a legitimate medical-marijuana era legend.

Cannabis Now had just one more question. What does purple —
flavors of which run through Candyland, GDP and every other child of the
granddaddy — really taste like? “I really haven’t found the words to describe
it,” Estes says.

Sometimes, it seems, it’s a color that’s worth a thousand
words.

TELL US, have you ever tried Ken Estes’s Candyland?

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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Patriotic Pot: 10 Strains For the Fourth Of July

Today’s the day to show off your chef skills and help keep everyone’s spirits high with a nice strain or two inspired by the holiday. Take a look at some of these options and see which Fourth of July inspired strains you’d like to try to give your celebration that extra edge.

Red Haze

Stay excited and inspired with this uplifting and euphoric sativa made from a cross of Neville’s Haze and Columbian Red. It’s great for dealing with body pain and also helps to alleviate stress, making it a good option for a carefree day.

White OG

If you’re planning for a chill weekend around the house, this relaxing indica will keep you happy and peaceful. It has a strong, pungent aroma with a tasty, lemon flavor profile that assists with beating the blues and issues with insomnia.

Blue Train

Two classics came together to make this deliciously sweet and fruity hybrid. Thanks to Trainwreck and Blue Dream, Blue Train has all the common characteristics of a super dank strain with a pleasant high and calming body stone.

Americano

Piney and musky, this Canadian strain is a good pick for an end of the night smoke for people who need help getting to sleep. Go for Americano after the fun of the day has died down to help mellow out.

Morning Star

If the idea of entertaining a house full of guests seems overwhelming, Morning Star can help reduce some of the stress associated with hosting holiday shenanigans. Deliciously sweet and potent, this hybrid strain is good for dealing with pre-party jitters.

Obama Kush

Like the current commander-in-chief, this strain is known for its balanced high. Made from a cross of Afghani and OG Kush, this indica offers both cerebral and physical effects for a relaxing and euphoric experience.

Danky Doodle

Give your palette something new to try with this nutty, earthy strain with hints of coffee that helps combat depression, anxiety and stress. Perfect for a small, intimate gathering of people who are looking for a low-key way to celebrate.

Big Bang

This power-packed indica combines not two, but three potent strains into one mega strain. Skunk, Northern Lights and El Nino make up the trinity that is the Big Bang, a sweet-smelling, pain-reducing flower that soothes the body and calms the mind.

Kaboom

Keep your energy up with this mood-boosting, creativity-inducing strain known for its enjoyable cerebral buzz and ability to get rid of headaches, fatigue and nausea. It has a zesty, citrus smell thanks to its parents: Jack’s Cleaner and Vortex.

Presidential OG

This strong indica has a highly sedative effect, making it a good choice for people who like strains that hit hard and fast. With deep, earthy flavors and piney undertone, this patriotic strain will have you pleasantly sleepy in no time.

TELL US, what are you smoking this Fourth of July?

The post Patriotic Pot: 10 Strains For the Fourth Of July appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Quarantine showed me the beauty of indica strains

The hardest thing about being a cannabis journalist is balancing productivity with all the weed I consume. While writing about weed for a living is a dream gig, I’ve lost countless days to overconsumption. Spiraling into the lazy vortex of bong rips and bad TV means deadlines begin to pile up like the emails in my inbox. The only thing I manage to answer on those days is a shameful “Yes” when Netflix asks if I’m still watching. 

Before quarantine, I had been a sativa-only stoner for over a decade. Like many, I viewed indicas as a productivity-inhibiting treat reserved for after work or before bed, a desert but never a meal. Though I was aware of the controversy surrounding the incorrect labeling of flower as indica or sativa, the market doesn’t reflect the weed world’s relatively new aversion to this kind of distinction, and I didn’t realize just how incorrect I was. As someone who has adhered to that method of categorizing intoxication since high school, it was branded into my brain, an inherent bias I had yet to eradicate.

Then, quarantine hit. Things slowed way down. In trying to navigate the overabundance of free-time, I found my sativa-dominant lifestyle was no longer cutting it. The same strain that used to fill me with energy to run errands and finish my articles was turning me into a ball of anxiety with nowhere to go and no one to interact with outside of my own negative thoughts. 

I began incorporating indica strains into my daily routine, realizing that the type of strains I’d written off due to their categorization as indicas held the key to balancing my productivity all along. Exploring this relationship in these months of isolation has forever changed the way I look at flower. 

The mislabeling of indica and sativa

“Labeling strains as indica or sativa ultimately is a disservice to patients and consumers because it sets up false expectations around experience,” said Emma Chasen, a cannabis educator and industry consultant with a degree from Brown University in Medicinal Plant Research. 

“Indica and Sativa are species designations for cannabis plants. Species are defined by their genetics, the physical manifestation of the organism, not how an organism might make a person feel when consumed.”

While most consumers associate sativa with an energized high and indicas with a sleepy “in-da-couch” vibe, the indica/sativa distinction is actually based on the physical characteristics of the plant. Sativa-dominant plants tend to have thinner, sharper leaves with seven or more leaf blades per leaf and take longer to flower. Indicas tend to be squatter with five broadleaf blades per leaf and experience a shorter flowering time. 

“The chemical compounds, or chemotype, of the plant is what has influence on the experience. Those compounds are subject to environmental factors just as much as they are coded for by the plant’s genetics,” Chasen said. “Therefore, there is no guarantee that something labeled as an Indica will make someone feel sleepy and something labeled as a sativa will make someone feel energized.” 

Chemotypes, terpenes, and cannabinoids

The chemical compounds, or chemotypes, that Chasen is referring to describe the terpene profiles and cannabinoid ratios in the flower. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these terms, terpenes are the organic compounds responsible for the plant’s flavors and aromas. They influence the experiences cannabis will produce, as well as potential medicinal benefits. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds like THC and CBD. Each strain has a unique cannabinoid makeup with accompanying effects.

When it comes to determining how a strain will affect you, every plant is unique and there are numerous factors at play. While it depends on the chemical makeup of the plant itself, it also depends on how those cannabinoids and terpenes react with your endocannabinoid receptors, as well as how you react with your surroundings. While cannabinoids like THC or CBD put you on a specific roller coaster, terpenes determine what kind of ride you’re going to have. 

“Effects differ from plant to plant,” said Justin Heady Monster, a legendary grower responsible for the genetics behind some of the most iconic strains in existence, my personal favorite being Pink Starburst. “In the past decade or so, we have found that the terpenes present play a larger role in determining the high than the growing characteristics.” 

Because traditional indicas tend to contain terpenes like myrcene and terpineol, they are associated with couch-lock. If you’re like me and associate that spicy, piney smell with a sativa high, it’s because pinene (pine smell) and limonene (citrus smell) both have energizing effects. These characteristic highs have nothing to do with the plants being sativa or indica, as any of those terpenes could just as easily be found in a plant with the physical characteristics of either one. 

“Pink Starburst is a great example of this situation,” Monster noted. “It grows identical to your stereotypical ‘indica’ plant, however, the dominant terpene limonene gives the high something that is euphoric, creative, and what would be described by most as more of a sativa effect. Then you have some hazes, (hazes are categorized as sativas), that start out racy and intense before becoming a crashing, sleepy high due to the amounts of myrcene present.”

How to pick the right indica for you 

Throughout these months spent quarantined with a large variety of “indica” strains, I’ve gained a far deeper understanding of the cannabis plant. Never have I had so much control over the way I utilize the plant medicinally and recreationally. Instead of falling victim to taking a huge bong hit of a “sativa” that happens to be high in myrcene early in the morning — and spending the day bleary-eyed and slow, bumbling around the kitchen — I can now tell by smell alone how a flower will make me feel. 

When shopping for flower with specific effects, there are a few different methods you can employ. One is to pick a strain you like and look up its lab results. Take note of the dominant terpenes and cannabinoid ratios, then find strains with a similar chemotype. Another much cooler way is to take the time to learn your terpenes and train your nose. The smell of a strain’s dominant terpenes will provide you with a much more accurate depiction of the high than labeling ever could. 

The beaches are closing, Americans can’t go to Europe, and no one wants to order a cute seasonal salad next to a two-gallon jug of hand sanitizer. This summer is clearly shot. We all have a ton of free time coming up, so use this time to educate yourself as a consumer. To get you on your way, here are some  “indica” strains with terpene profiles that produce a broad spectrum of effects, and which helped me handle the ups and downs, closings, openings, and then re-closings. 

Also, strains I’ve recently tried

22Red: Caramel Gelato  

Red22 is a new cannabis brand by Shavo Odadjian, who was not only the bassist of System of a Down but clearly knows his shit when it comes to weed. One of my favorites from this list, Caramel Gelato is sweet and fruity with a bright, fun high that’s as much of an upper as it is a downer.

What it’s best for: late mornings, early movies, and tricking yourself into having fun cleaning the house.

Available: California


Caliva: Alien OG and Venom OG

Here is a perfect example of two indicas with drastically different effects. 

Caliva’s Alien OG has a pungent, sour pine smell, meaning it has high levels of pinene which is a terpene that increases alertness and focus. The high reflects that, as there’s an energized overtone to its euphoric, mellow effects. 

What it’s best for: sex, editing articles, hanging out on Zoom.

Caliva’s Durban Poison falls at the spectrum with its fruity berry smell, berry chocolate flavor, and dark purple buds. As intoxicating as it looks, this flower produces a lackadaisical high that is comfortable and chill.

What it’s best for: menstrual pain, bedtime, dealing with boredom.


Lowell Farms: Strawberry Banana 

The name Strawberry Banana says it all. Fruity and flirty, Lowell Farms’ “indica” tastes exactly like strawberries and bananas. Euphoric and silly, the high is exciting, making everything and everyone around you feel more fun. 

What it’s best for: socially distanced socializing, playing with pets, daydreaming.


Aster Farms: Rainbow Chip

This spicy, herbal strain has a decadent and complex flavor, with an air of black cherries or chocolate. The high is focused and clear but also very intoxicating and heady, like an astronaut flying weightless in outer space. 

What it’s best for: after work, after sex, after hours.

Available: California


STIIIZY: Rosay

This floral, fruity strain from vape god STIIIZY’s new line of flower is more of an upper than a downer. When it comes to Rosay, the high is light enough that it doesn’t interfere with my productivity, but heavy enough to take the edge off the monotony of existence. 

What it’s best for: work, errands, motivation.

Available: California


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