Best New Colorado Strain 2023 | Thunderdome | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Tyler Getz/Green Dot Labs

Trying to pick a favorite Green Dot Labs strain is like trying to pick the best Gatorade, but when it comes to cannabis flavor, we want straight gas, homie. Thunderdome, an exclusive release from Green Dot in 2022, mixes those fuel-forward qualities we love with a more modern garlic flavor, to incredible results. This puppy has so much octane that dirty glass will run like a Rolls-Royce when Thunderdome is in the bowl, and joints taste like fermented garlic dipped in gasoline. Yet it continues to evolve. A subtle candy-like sweetness and more funk appeared after a few extra days of curing — or maybe that was just our nostrils and tastebuds trying to catch up with Thunderdome's gauntlet of terps. Thunderdome is currently sold in dispensaries in dabbable and vapeable concentrates, but we hope to see more flower on the shelf soon.

As much as we'd like to pull a Ron Swanson and tell Home Depot employees "I know more than you" as they sheepishly walk up to offer uneducated help, that just isn't how our parents raised us. We don't have to worry about that at A Cut Above, though, where only Colorado's top growers can get on the shelf and the budtenders have probably tried everything in the inventory. Flower from esteemed growers like 710 Labs, Cherry, Green Dot Labs, Higher Function, Mesa Verde, Single Source and Snaxland is always within reach, as are newer cultivations like Bubba's Kush and Melody. The concentrates selection, though not as expansive, is still well chosen, with extractors like 710 Labs, Egozi, George Hashington, Green Dot, Lazercat and Mountain Select all regularly stocked. Whether you're a cannabis connoisseur or trying to impress one, you can't fail with this Cut.

Jacqueline Collins

So what if JAD's Mile High Smoke is the only licensed cannabis bar in the state, technically making it a winner by default? It took serious gumption to become the first cannabis-friendly venue with a sales license in Colorado — a very long time coming, considering that recreational pot was legalized over ten years ago. In less than a year, owners Josh and Stacey Davis have created a pub vibe in JAD's, complete with a full cannabis menu, flat-screen TVs, video games, a munchies menu and plenty of regulars who work in the cannabis space. Everyone might be too stoned to remember your name, but the Cheers-like surroundings make JAD's a comfortable hang, especially if you need a legal place to toke up.

Rosin has become so prevalent in Colorado that the price has dropped significantly over the past couple of years, but all of that competition has only nudged extractors into more innovation. And even with several hot new kids on the block, everyone is still chasing 710 Labs. The longtime heavyweight of extraction's first- and second-press rosin achieves gorgeous cream and golden color from 710's award-winning flower, and the outfit continues to push flavor boundaries through its deluxe line of Persy rosin and rosin sauce. Squeezed from finely refined water hash instead of flower, 710's Persy line is so intense on the tastebuds that going back to burnt flower might seem like a step down. If you can afford it regularly or feel like treating yourself, though, give Persy a call: Everyone should experience the best at some point.

Dabbing is cool. Dabbing is great. But some of us older users can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with: Some of us just want to watch the hash burn. And melt. And cover our bowls like ice cream sprinkles. Bubba's Kush bubble hash, loose and full-melt, looks like kief but tastes like rosin, and provides a high somewhere in between. The freshly frozen trichome heads, pulled from Bubba's strains like Super Boof and Sundae Driver, can be dabbed if you must, but our favorite way to use them is garnishing bowls and joints — usually on top of Bubba's flower of the same strain, to get the full flavor experience.

Apothecary Extracts is largely connected to its signature Ambrosia line of live resin, but the popular extractor and dispensary outfit has been producing in-house rosin vapes since 2021, and somehow they're still slept on. Disposable vapes are usually associated with a dip in quality, but Apothecary's 1-gram rosin vapes beat out cartridges from several popular counterparts, providing smoother and more potent hits with top-tier flavor. You can find them only at Apothecary Farms dispensaries, with a lone Denver store on South Broadway and the rest in southern Colorado. The Sour Papaya's mix of cheesy funk and Diesel is worth the trip, though, and Apothecary Extracts plans to crank up production if the vapes are a hit.

A family-run business, Egozi debuted in Colorado dispensaries in September to high acclaim and continues to impress. Founder Elias Egozi and lead extractor Mikey Dabs It insist on using prime starting material, quality press screens and laborious extraction techniques, creating fumey, delicious balls of space hash that sell out quickly. Despite virtually zero marketing, Egozi has become one of Colorado's most respected rosin brands in short order, thanks to mouthwatering extractions of Trop Cookies, Wedding Pie and so much more. With a new line of rosin syringes and vape cartridges dropping in March and a dispensary, Alto, as a home base, this small operation in southwest Denver is already acting like one of the big boys in 2023.

It's always nice to see a hometown hero make a name for himself on the national scene, and that's exactly what Cherry co-founder Jason MacLean is trying to do with his new seed project, Coool Beans. Cherry's reputation at the top of the cannabis cultivation chain has been solidified for a few years now, with the company recently expanding into rosin, pre-rolls and edibles, but nothing lights up MacLean's face like seed talk. In a short span, Coool Beans has released over forty genetics for home growers to buy online, including several popular Cherry strains, such as Dankarooz, NY Mayhem and Sprinklez, sold at dispensaries. Coool Beans is here to move cannabis genetics forward, according to MacLean, and that means chasing new and inventive creations that most breeders aren't producing. Colorado deserves more respect in the cannabis breeding world: Maybe the Coool kids on the block can get us there.

Wyld has figured out how to stand out in the world of weed gummies, a very impressive feat when you think about how many of them there are. We could visit the same dispensary for two weeks and buy a new brand of THC or CBD gummies every time, or simply stick with Wyld and be happy all the time. Each of the brand's ten flavors are sweet, scrumptious and offer taste devoid of any distillate or hash oil, with our favorites being the strawberry, pear and elderberry, all of which contain different CBD, CBG, CBN and THC combos. Wyld also now makes sour gummies, offering cherry and green-apple varieties at the moment, and just came out with a new line of rosin-infused gummies, Good Tide. Whichever batch of Wylds you end up with, the flavor meter will always be at ten.

Getting a taste of everything is nice, but squeezing cannabinoids like THC, CBD and CBN — all of which can have sedative effects — into one edible will knock most people out cold unless handled properly. Despite the cheeky name, Canyon Suck-Its are every bit as gentle as they are effective. Each Suck-It comes with 2.5 milligrams of various cannabinoids, but our favorite is the pink lemonade flavor. At 2.5 milligrams of CBD, 2.5 milligrams of CBN, 2.5 milligrams of THC and less than 1 gram of sugar per piece (with forty pieces per pack), these lozenges hit the bull's-eye if you use edibles to help you fall asleep but don't like getting too baked or feeling groggy the next morning.

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