Editorials and critiques of the best businesses and strains in the industry.
To honor the season, our editors have hand-picked their top-tested strain favorites in Colorado, all truly worthy of our coveted “Cream o’the Crop” designation!
Click on the strain below to discover which dispensary it came from. You can also click on the to read the associated CannaCritique. All percentages are THC. Happy hunting!
Death Star 26.52%
Girl Scout Cookies 24.37%
Bruce Banner (3) 22.65%
Grape Stomper 21.12%
Golden Goat 19.84%
Purple Cotton 20.33%
LA Confidential 19.24%
Chunky Diesel 19.06%
So many dispensaries now package their own cones or joints, but few have gone to the work of producing a product that actually discourages you from rolling your own. Leave it to quality-based Altitude Organic Medicine to put forth such a line: the wholesaleable Black Label takes their regular ground-nugget Canna Cones to a new level with Colorado Gold, their branded solvent-free organic hash. As the brand slogan accurately suggests, “Anything else is just a joint.”
Our sample pack had a nug base of Dr. Who. Fresh aromas exploded from the box, a mixture of citrus and organic tart of pine, half-sweet, half-sour. The taste also echoed of lemon; the entire palate of flavors followed-through, and thankfully survived more than just a few hits, as the cone made its way around the room.
The hash was well-distributed and smoked clean and clear for the full-duration with the perfect “punch.” First…
The nice thing about Dr J’s syringes of CO2 Cannabis Oil--other than their overall simplicity and sleek design -- was that the crisp, amber-colored liquid therein did not clog, but was still semi-stable enough to put on a dabber without leakage. One critic compared the oil to “illuminated honey” as it flowed from the vial; like the flashy package it came from, the syringe was a beautiful demonstration in the merging of science and alchemy.
RXtraction comes Indica, Sativa and Hybrid-specific, and we tried the indica version. Our first hit immediately sent us swinging through the jungle like a vicodin rush. A spicy release on the tongue, and beautiful orange-tangerine aftertaste. The first knee-jerk spasticity came with an chill and fast-growing undertow. The feet became heavy weights, but all other panic settled down in a calm. Breathing and heartbeat slowed. Aggression and frustrations slipped away. It was extremely peaceful.
Charlie Sheen may not be the cool superstar that he used to be, but the memory of his younger, vibrant self still lives on in Charlie Sheen OG, a social strain with a long-lasting high. It’s the the kind of bud you’d expect to find living it up on the shores of Malibu, and we got ours from the always-impressive RedEye Releaf.
The nug reeked like a spicy kush, tending to the chemmy side but certainly in a pleasant way. It wore a subtle purple hue and was covered in both dense crystal and blood orange hairs. Cracked open, the citrus aroma was overwhelming, like overripe mango - not the kind of bud to carry without smell-proof container. More lemon and lime emerged upon loading and spark.
Even after the first hit we were already shaky. The lightning riveted through the head powerfully and uniformly within seconds, jolting us…
The combination of Bubble Gum and Juicy Fruit (Fruity Juice) is the recipe for any sweet-toothed cadet, if not for the exotic, soaring effects, then at least for a taste that strikes you like ripping open a pouch of Big League Chew™. BubbleGum has been refined over the years to capture that exact palate, matched with head-in-clouds-high, and Juicy Fruit is the mouth-watering union of pure Afghani and Thai genetics in a quintessential hybrid. So you can imagine how pumped we were to sample a shatter version of the strain from Karmaceuticals, albeit with some OG thrown in for good measure.
The specimen’s clear amber hue was like a “sweet caramel sauce,” and “very candy-like,” but it was all-around stable and impressive. We were impressed by the expertly-achieved texture, like “hardened honey,” as the shatter held a thumbprint but without annoying stickiness. The sweet aromas of creamy citrus, reminiscent of…
Edible: Cherry Cheesecake StarBarz from Dr. J's (also comes in Dark Chocolate, Milk Crispies, and White Chocolate Raspberry)
Hands down, the Star Barz were tempting from the start. Dr. J’s uses some beautiful futuristic packaging - still very childproof -- but inside is the mouth-watering chocolate. Pulling out the creamy white bars, speckled with red cherries--we felt like kids at the candy store, enjoying a gourmet feast. And at 80mg, or eight 10mg servings, the candy bar was conveniently enough to split between two of our heavyweight critics for the ultimate test of potency.
It broke apart cleanly, magnifying the cherry tart in the air. To a surprising degree, the combination of that fruity resonance, and hues of cheesecake, both in aroma and pallate, masked the tetra-taste with delicious results. “Lightly the Cherry was speckled throughout the cream, and the bar itself worked for any dessert lover, even someone who…
Maybe it’s Purple Cotton’s diverse heritage that lends to its broad range of tastes and effects: you have all the signatures genetics and effects from Kush and Afghani landraces behind Purple Kush, juxtaposed upon the remarkably delicious global medley forming Cotton Candy’s lineage. Chronic Therapy supplied a delectable sample that delivered the entire spectrum we hoped for, from the full-body bliss to its lip-smacking sweetness.
The taste alone was enough to recommend from the start: the combination of genetics amounted to the spicy dark roast of spun sugar, pungent and intense. It was followed by second and third notes: berry, and citrus. Grinding the gorgeous bright nugs with neon orange hairs, more woody pungence filled the room. Even yet, the smoke was light and clear.
“Powerful!” one critic cried after the first puff. The world seemed to stop momentarily, as an eye-tingling, eye-watering banshee of a mind-racer knocked us far…
Every now and then, a strain emerges that has you scratching your head - why hasn’t anyone else thought of that? So it is with the nonchalant cross of the popular strains Blueberry and OG Kush; Blue OG is ultimately the match-making cadet’s way of saying, “We finally got those two together.”
Our specimen came in from Medibis, a quiet and dark bud, ruminating with spice from tiny pine cone clusters. The grind extracted some berry hues, with the musky sweet aroma of bellflowers. The taste was true to blueberry, but dried blueberry at that. We loaded a tall bowl and shared heaping rips - recommended through a giant waterpipe.
The 1st hit was head-jolting and attention-grabbing--the sort of hit that makes you stop and wait for the grasp on brainstem to work. There was a pleasant body associated, in fact--although the hits were cerebral, the ability to think and…
Chunky D is not just a diesel; it is a hybrid of polar extremes, the pure indica Deep Chunk and the invigorating sativa Sour Diesel. Both have distinctive hallmarks each to their own, exciting to witness right off the bat from our sample from Buddies Wellness. Dark, she wore splotches of indigo amidst mysterious green clusters of leaves, and full reddish beard. The bud was sweet and sugary, with the botanical tart of the Deep Chunk pine, musky spice and all. Her palate was woody, even like caramel chocolate.
From the first go, our heads skyrocketed into a spacy fog, a combination heavy weight, juxtaposed with the Sour D jolt of lightning at the same time. It was refreshingly unexpected. The first few minutes took an eternity to return to what felt like a functional normalcy, but not without a certain calm. We slowly returned to a fantastical mental plane…
In almost every issue we critique a strain bearing a moniker from Star Wars lore. Many celebrate the recognized icons like Skywalker and Death Star, while nerdier ganja gurus go for alien strains like Ewok, Chewbacca, and the aptly-named Ponda Baba. So we were excited to introduce ourselves to Wookie--signature bud from A Cut Above--and a furry, plump specimen with dark hues like eggplant, all shimmering in frost. “She was like a crystallized ginger tree with caramel tentacles,” wrote one critic. “Her aromas reminded me of sweet coffee and crisp air on a snowy morning.”
Wookie’s high was romantic and nostalgic, one for good friends and stories of yore. Like old wise folk we stood around a mid-afternoon fire pit to warm our winter chills. The camaraderie was immediately engaging and we couldn’t help but share personal memories, like tales of sneaking away to chief on birthdays and holidays in…