The year is almost over, and it's time we try to remember everything we smoked. (And we really do mean try.) But it's hard to forget how popular strains like Lilac Diesel and MAC became at dispensaries in 2019, or how hard it was to stand up after sessions of Bubble Jack and Strawberry Milkshake.
While it's impossible to try every cannabis variety, we certainly burned through our fair share. After the smoke cleared around various cuts of Cookies, Kush, Diesel and anything in between, we picked these ten as our favorite Colorado weed strains of 2019 (in no particular order):
Chem De La Chem
Sessions with Chem De La Chem consistently produced a short-lived energy with a long-lasting euphoria, leaving me incapable of giving a shit about answering emails and texts or taking the trash to the curb. Such a vacation from life can be detrimental if taken all the time, but every once in a while, it enables useful self-help retreats at home over the weekend.
This frosty nighttime strain is about as intimidating as flower can get, quickly cloaking storage jars with layers of resin and blasting your hair back with a stanky gust of weed, fruit and sourdough every time you dare unscrew the top and open one. My first meeting with Papaya Cake eventually led to a messy, unsuccessful attempt at making a pineapple upside-down cake to satisfy my munchies — probably because my nose and tastebuds felt like I’d just broken up and smoked a tropical dessert. However, its bite wasn’t too bad, allowing me to stay high and happy all day without becoming a stoned puddle of giggles.
Able to force its way through dirty glassware and flavored blunt wraps, MAC’s flavor is very similar to the smell, both in clarity and chronology, with initial sweet and sour notes of Diesel, rubber and oranges followed by a subtle cheesy funk and topped off by a powerful earthy-Kush aftertaste. MAC’s euphoric, uplifting effects help relax the mind while empowering and energizing it, creating a great high for weekend mornings and after-work activities. However, the strain’s high THC content can make the effects debilitating for low tolerances, so start very slowly with this one. Medical patients have used MAC for chronic pain, fatigue, stress, headaches and eye pain, with high-tolerance users able to enjoy the strain without an extreme increase in appetite.
A cross of Blue Dream and Sour Diesel, two of the most popular commercial strains in Colorado, Sueño is known as a daytime strain with mostly cerebral effects, touted by budtenders as offering the best of both parents. Personal experiences with the hybrid have proved relatively reliable, creating a productive daytime buzz with a manageable comedown and no appetite induction for my high tolerance. While hardly enough to ensure vivid dreams at night, the strain is at least the foundation of a good daydream.
Mendo Breath is a child of OGKushBreath and Mendo Purps, an older hybrid with Trainwreck and White Widow genetics. The potent nighttime strain has a similar lineage to that of Girl Scout Cookies, with a sweet Durban Poison influence in its background. Unlike Cookies strains, however, Mendo Breath is quite zesty, with a layer of citrus, and leaves no question about what time of day it should be consumed. Some cuts of Mendo Breath carry hints of vanilla, chocolate or caramel — making the Cookies comparisons more sensible — but I usually pick up stronger suggestions of orange, citrus zest and wet pine needles. The flavor is fresh and enjoyable, and sure to out me the next time I try to sneak in a toke before sleeping over at my girlfriend’s.
A child of Chemdog and Girl Scout Cookies from Divine Genetics — a seed bank known for Cookies strains — GMO Cookies is both pungent and sweet, gassy and spicy...and very dangerous. One bowl too many of this strain is like dropping your brain in a wood chipper, slowing you down to half the pace of the rest of the world. Sometimes you’re happy with that, because the tangy, alluring smell makes it hard to turn away. Even when used in moderation, GMO can be disorienting for low tolerances. Know your limits, though, and it can calm tension and upset stomachs.
Aromatically alluring and extremely dangerous, Lilac Diesel is a sedative cross of several strains, including Citral Glue, Forbidden Fruit, New York City Diesel, Cherry Pie and Super Lemon Haze. The combination results in an intoxicating odor that somehow showcases a slice of each parent strain. Smoking Lilac Diesel brought a similar experience, giving me a gust of joyful energy for about thirty minutes before throwing me on the couch for good, not counting several trips to the fridge that killed the first two weeks of my late-spring diet.
Sage N Sour
Like the flavor profile, Sage N Sour’s high is a well-balanced mix of its parents’ strengths. A burst of enthusiastic energy hits my body immediately while loosening my limbs, but the Afghani influence from SAGE keeps that energy in check, allowing me to focus on creative or laborious tasks without a major comedown.
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Bubble Jack’s parents create relatively consistent cannabis effects: Bubblegum 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. Each session of Bubble Jack brought on a sense of bewilderment that didn’t die off for a solid twenty minutes, and my decision-making wasn’t exactly sterling after that.
A mix of Strawberry Soda and White Fire Alien OG, Strawberry Milkshake (also called Strawberry Milk in some stores) is usually labeled a 50/50 hybrid or nighttime strain by breeders and dispensaries. The strain’s thick, creamy notes of berries, chalky sweetness and sour, resinous hints of new rubber and soil combine for a lovely dessert smoke, with calming effects to match. I typically feel gradual relaxation in both mind and body after an initial (but short-lived) lift, but the relaxation isn’t overly sedative or stupefying unless overdone. Strains that taste like lemons, limes and grapefruits get too acidic after a while, and anything “grape” or “banana” usually means a quick knockout. Strawberry strains are more varied, though, usually with a middle-ground high that works during most times of day.