Shopping List: Ten hot cannabis strains of the summer
America’s cannabis curious and aficionados alike are having quite the summer. Recreational sales began in Nevada on July 1. Washington, Colorado, and Oregon are doing brisk business over the summer holiday. And California’s industry is surging thanks to licensing of both its medical and recreational markets, coupled with newfound freedoms allowing adults 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of dried herb, and grow up to six plants (subject to local rules). Here’s ten strains that are lighting up the summer scene in 2017.
Cannabis comes in male and female varieties that offer endless varieties of genetic combinations, dubbed strains. Strains fall on a spectrum from full sativas to full indicas, and can be sub-grouped into families like the Hazes, Diesels, and Purples. Scientists are working to refine this folk taxonomy but until they do, the folk names are popular because they’re useful.
Summers are a time for sativas – considered the more energetic of two main types of cannabis. It’s hard to find a more appropriate sativa than this haze, named for Nevada’s legalization point-man Sen. Tick Segerblom. Segerblom Haze commemorates the launch of recreational weed sales in Nevada. Hazes are an elemental sativa cannabis family -- found in popular strains Super Silver Haze, Blue Dream and now, Segerblom Haze, which is a cross of Super Silver Haze and a strain called Dark Matter from Deep Roots Harvest in Clark County. At 27 percent THC, it’s only for veteran high-rollers.
Summer is also a great time for summer flavors – the whole catalog of fruits like orange, tangerine, peach, and cherry and as well as light, hazey grasses. Get outside and explore with Tangie – a dank citrus hybrid from Emerald Family Farms. The Northern California collective of farmers is a vision of the future: greenhouse-grown, high-potency, fragrant buds at bargain prices. Tangie is a mostly sativa cross of California Orange and skunk. It’s also great in blends with other strains. Sativas evolved to survive under the equatorial sun and rain, which subtly altered their chemical properties as well. Sativas can pump up colors and sounds, and can set thoughts aloft, which is why some depression patients prefer them; and they’re great for Frisbee golf.
Blue Dragon Desert Frost
It would be hard to find a more safe bet for Americans easing into cannabis flowers for the very first time in their life than Blue Dragon Desert Frost, found at Farma in Portland, Oregon. It’s 29:1 CBD to THC, meaning it literally can’t get you high, it just might treat your anxiety. Blue Dragon Desert Frost exemplifies the latest in high-cannabidiol (CBD) bud, and came from a single seed gifted by a patient to Yerba Buena Farm. Talk about ‘good herb’ -- the Clean Green-certified cannabis producer holds one of the first recreational licenses in the state of Oregon.
Shatki Pot #3
You know, it’s a myth to say, "Cannabis is stronger now than it was in the ‘60s." That’s an insult to the best growers of that time. To us, Shatki Pot #3 is what the best must have been like -- an outdoor heirloom strain from Swami Select Farms in Mendocino County, Calif. It doesn’t have a fancy genetic background. According to Swami Select, “In Sanskrit, Shakti means ‘energy’ and Pat means 'to bestow' so Shaktipat means the passage of spiritual energy from an evolved being to a seeker. A good strain to write poetry, do yoga or meditate, for example.”
Smells of sage and offers balanced effects with a complex exotic flavor.
Just like wine culture or haute couture – cannabis strains rise and fall in popularity. The strain of America in 2017 is Gorilla Glue #4. Meanwhile, the makers of this extremely high-THC, biting, chocolatey fuel strain have moved on to newer projects. Gorilla Glue creators GG Strains have bestowed one of but a few cuttings of "Purple Glue" to leading Washington cannabis company Phat Panda. Purple Glue is a cross of Gorilla Glue and Las Vegas Purple Kush, and is guaranteed to win admirers wherever you’d dare open the pungent bag. The Gorilla Glue line comes from a triple-back-crossed Diesel strain mixed with Chocolate Thai, and is so-named for its super-sticky resin, which will cause objects it comes in contact with to become sticky as though coated in gorilla glue.
Oakland-based delivery boutique Bay Area C.R.A.F.T. has high-potency connoisseurs’ summer crush – Sour Girl. The 2016 High Times Cannabis Cup 3rd Place Winner hypnotizes with a huge lemon-pine-fuel top note and scrumptious baked cookie bottom, but she’s not for the faint of heart. At well over 20 percent THC, Sour Girl tests at the top of the charts, causing immediate and strong euphoria that’s not sedative. Definitely great for an afternoon matinee with something fun like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or Baby Driver. For an opposite experience, try CRAFT’s “CBD OG” -- now a five-time Cannabis Cup-winner. It has extremely high levels of anti-anxiety cannabidiol, and relatively modest amounts of THC.
Don't hate -- Blue Dream became the number one strain in America for a reason. It's a perfectly balanced 50-50 hybrid of Blueberry and Haze -- great for brunch, dessert or late at night. It's also very easy to grow, which is why the market got saturated with mediocre versions of the staple. Triple-A-grade Blue Dream is a rarity these days, but a good place to start in Colorado is Bolder Cannabis and Extracts, found in Boulder.
Sometimes you don’t want to sit in the pool – you want to become one with the pool. For those times, try Goji. Spotted at The Green Cross in San Francisco for just $30 per eighth-ounce, Goji is a sativa-dominant hybrid cross of Nepali OG and Snow Lotus. “The flavor is as unique as the berry it's named after, offering a dynamic aroma including red berry, black cherry, strawberry, hawaiian punch, and licorice.” Such pungent, high-strength bud for half-off peak prices are a welcome sign of the market normalizing.
You’ll have to smell this strain for yourself to believe the olfactory capabilities of cannabis. True to its name, bright ripe strawberry aroma complements creamy banana notes in both the aroma and flavor of this tropical heavy-hitter. This indica-dominant indoor hybrid packs a fruity punch. Spotted at 420 Blackbirds delivery in Oakland.
<<Hot Summer Nightcap>>
Celebrity grower Kyle Kushman specializes in “veganic” growing, which means using no animal byproducts during cultivation including common nutrients like bat guano or fish emulsion. His results certainly speak for themselves. We picked up some veganic Hammerhead from Kyle Kushman’s team in June in Santa Rosa, Calif. and were blown away by the sour-berry-piney-fuel aroma and superb potency. Hammerhead is the elite strain OGKB crossed with the elemental New York varietal called Diesel. Other notes include maple syrup and citrus zest.
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