Have we crossed the halfway point of 2019 already? That means we've profiled over 26 strains so far this year — and smoked a few dozen more just for fun.
Each strain of cannabis carries a unique flavor profile and range of effects, which are only amplified by plant genetics and growing conditions. Despite all of the variables, Colorado cannabis growers have been pumping out fire since legal recreational sales began in 2014, raising the bar for flavor and potency every year.
Customer infatuation with Cookies and Glue strains continue to influence dispensary selection in 2019, but there's still plenty of diversity in local stores. To help narrow your choices during weed shopping, here are our eight favorite strains from the first half of the year.
Bubble Jack’s parents create relatively consistent cannabis effects: Bubble Gum is known as a calming, restful strain that tastes just like it sounds, while Jack Herer is an uplifting but disorienting hybrid that carries notes of pine and citrus. Their child’s flavor profile might be layered, but the effects are more of a blend.
Lilac Diesel can serve more than one purpose, as long as you know what you’re getting into. I got a short burst of energy — no more than twenty or thirty minutes — followed by groggy, unfocused giggles and intense munchies. Hardly what I expected from a Diesel, but it turned into a good strain for neck pain, an upset stomach and winding down before bed.
The most popular version nationally is bred from Platinum Girl Scout Cookies and Face Off OG, but I’ve also smoked versions created from Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie, and Girl Scout Cookies and Star Dawg. The Cherry Pie take is initially upbeat, with a candy-like flavor profile, but the other two — while still sweet — are almost immediately calming, with piney, earthy tones.
Definitely a nighttime smoke, but still calm enough for you to walk the dog or enjoy an hour or two of TV without drooling or getting overly anxious. Strawberry Milkshake reminds me a lot of another great relaxing strain, Tiger’s Milk, with its sugary flavor and gentle, lulling comedown, which is a good sleep aid and appetite inducer while also relaxing the body.
A cross of Snow Cap and Suge Pure Kush by Colorado breeder 303 Seeds, Bear Dance is usually considered a daytime strain or even a near-hybrid by dispensaries, but it’s almost always a sedative high for me. The strain’s fruity, cheesy notes are made for an after-dinner smoke, and the effects are sufficiently calming and euphoric to relax a tired, full body.
Like most strains with syrupy grape aromas and purple buds, Purple Punch is best enjoyed at night. Don’t let the early energetic effects trick you into going out long: It almost always brings users down in the end, causing loose limbs and excessive yawning.
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Every chunk I’ve ripped off this Pineapple has put me down inside of an hour, keeping my head and eyes foggy the entire way. However, I’ve heard of the strain giving some users a youthful spark of energy, or an up-and-down roller-coaster ride. Be mindful of those teetering effects when trying Pineapple Chunk for the first time — and make sure you have a clean palate to enjoy the spread of fruity, funky flavors.
What Strawberry Diesel's high lacks in energy, it makes up for in focus. Delicious and uplifting without pushing you over the edge (though you can certainly do that yourself), the high is productive without heightening the nerves, allowing you to be creative, finish chores and deal with boring conversations.