Pika Blu Chew from Babybuckettt and 12 Alarm Fire (Ted’s Budz)

Pika Blu Chew from Babybuckettt and 12 Alarm Fire (distro’d by Ted’s Budz) via @buttersantaana on 3/12/2023. Huge shout out to The Highly Rated Show and skeemxcream7 for making it happen. THC tested out to 35%. Purchased for $65 out the door with the 20% happy hour discount.  Back in March skeemxcream7 put this batch of Pika Blu Chew on my radar and told me if I could find a bag he’d handle the expense of the review. Never one to turn down a generous offer, I jumped on it and located a bag at Butter Santa Ana. 

I’ll start with pretty much the only bad news about this batch: the contents of this bag were essentially popcorn mixed with a couple of small buds. Not a great showing for a mylar that runs about $80 retail. The surface of these bitsy buds were a patchwork of deep indigo coupled with kelly and fern greens, sporadic petite arcs of copper brown pistils, and salted over heavily with white and muted egg cream colored triches. 

The nose out of the bag was very gelato-like up top. It presented as a sweet cream with a fruity lean that was hard to put my finger on, but it landed somewhere on a venn diagram between mango, peach and even pineapple, with a sort of waxy quality kicking around as well.  Busting open one of the largest buds I could find, I noted a burst of freshness, as well as the sweetness amping up in a particularly table sugar-esque way, pushing that fruit to the background slightly. Breaking it down by hand, my fingers were left with a sharp sweet freshness with a chalky finish, while the grinds themselves were a cacophony of sweet piney-mint and sweet fruit. The richness of the fruit played off of the brisk fresh aspect, and when taken all together, resulted in an overall beautiful candy like scent.

The dry pull on the joint came with a necco wafer-like chalky sweetness with that fresh quality fleshing out the background, and just a hint of fruitiness underneath. The inhale on the joint was sugar sweet from moment one, whereas the bong was much more nondescript. It was essentially just musty, although occasionally there would be a faint “wasabi” like bite, but it wasn’t consistent. The exhale on the bong was also lacking definition, there’s a mustiness that leaves a slight freshness on the tongue, but that too is inconsistent. The exhale on the joint also comes with a mustiness, albeit a more robust one, that also has a faint fruit quality hanging out in the wings. My GhostVapes MV1 is still out of commission for the time being but my guess would be that this would read heavy on the pine at low temps. 

The real prize of this strain is the headchange. Even one small bowl will leave you fairly smacked. Physically, there was an overall mild heavy feeling when it came to my limbs, and that seemed to increase slightly over time. Mentally, I kept losing the thread and making dumb mistakes here and there. I went to pack another bowl when there was already one packed. I went to check the mail and got a package, which was enough of a distraction to cause me to leave my PO Box keys hanging out of my mailbox as I went back to my apartment completely unaware. Luckily I realized what I’d done shortly thereafter and managed to recover the keys. When I was smoking the joint and taking notes, I had a few moments where I absolutely forgot that was my goal and just got lost in my phone. This one definitely threw me for a loop and ended up being a real mind eraser, but it also had a DGAF quality that allowed me to not care and just enjoy the ride. 

In the end, I have some really conflicting feelings about my experience with this bag. I admit when I first smelled it, I figured it was just another gelato in a cool mylar, but the effect really won me over here. Even though it absolutely sucks to get a high ticket bag with popcorn, and the smoke experience itself was not anything to write home about, but this batch of Pika Blu Chew absolutely smashed me in a way that was so enjoyable I went to grab another bag, and was hella bummed that by the time I tried, Butter had completely sold out. I would definitely pick this one up again if I could find it for $60ish as I did the first time, but at the $80+ it would have me thinking twice, especially knowing I might be taking a gamble on getting another bag of popcorn. Great shit though BabyBuckettt, would love to try out some “bigs” and see if the effect/smoke is even better, keep up the solid work. 

OG Kush from Elephants Growth

OG Kush from Elephants Growth via North County Terps on 12/18/2022. This has been up on the Patreon for a bit, and while this was acquired way back in December, the notes were compiled shortly thereafter when the batch was as close to fresh as possible. No testing info available as it’s traditional market. This eighth was $150, and while I have heard of people letting them go for around $130, it’s still a pretty decent sized price tag. After what felt like years of hearing the hype revolving around Elephants Growth OG, I finally managed to get my hands on some (huge thanks to North County Terps for making it happen!). For the uninitiated, this particular OG is known to be one of the most expensive flowers in the traditional market space, which often makes it the subject of debate amongst connoisseurs when it comes to what defines a reasonable spend on a single ounce of small batch cannabis. 

These fluffy trident-esque buds are thoroughly green, yet cover the entire spectrum of the color, ranging from the light end of tea and seafoam greens all the way to the depths of pine and sacramento greens, contrasted against numerous sporadic spindly rusty orange-brown pistils wildly weaving throughout the budscape, all of which is fully drenched in an impressive eye widening deluge of fully formed paper white triches. 

The nose out of the bag is very standard issue OG, it was actually a bit fainter than I’d expected so I jarred it up for a few days in hopes of capturing some of that off gassing to drill into the bouquet a bit more, but it remained a light sweet herbaceous freshness with a distant hint of lemon water. On breaking open a bud, the fresh herbaceousness shifted into more of a gassy mint, with that timid lemon quality still hanging out in the corner, which culminated into a very familiar OG scent. Busting it down by hand, my fingertips were left absolutely stained with that same scent, coated in a gnarly triche grime, while the grinds themselves smelled strongly of pine-sol with a lemony kick. 

The dry pull brings a sugary sweet floral that lingers on the palate, almost as if it infects the saliva around the tongue with a light version of that sweetness. That same sweet floral is consistent on the inhale from both the bong and the joint, with the former occasionally presenting a gassy undertone. The exhale however differs, with the joint producing a very light semi-sweet musty floral with a hint of spice, whereas the bong came with a musty cream combined with a very light floral sweetness and the occasional reminder of gas. My flower vape is still out of commission but my assumption, given the experience with the smoke, is that it would read heavy on the pine notes at lower temps. 

The headchange comes on quickly and has a bit of a pick me up to it. It’s the kind of herb that makes me stand up after I take a hit, but I’m not exactly sure why I’m standing up, the body just feels like it has to move in that moment so I comply before I even fully comprehend what I’m doing. Mentally I felt overall cognizant, I didn’t have any issues getting lost mid-thought nor did I space out much, it was very easy to stay on task and in the moment. Physically there was a slight ASMR-ish tingle in the shoulders that ran to the base of my neck, a bit of pressure behind the eyes, and a minor headband effect that sat right on top of that. It was a solid experience for sure, but one that’s familiar and none too unique, however it’s very satisfactory and scratches an itch out the gate that a lot of herb misses the mark on these days. 

OG Kush has an unusual place in its ubiquity, it’s sort of everywhere and grown at all scales and levels of care, and as a result the consumer experience with it can be extremely varied. It’s akin to fried rice at any given Asian restaurant. The fried rice at Benihana for example is pretty damn tasty and it’s been really consistent on my visits there over the years, but when it comes to Panda Express it’s hit or miss, sometimes there’s egg and sometimes there isn’t, sometimes it’s dry and inedible. Of course Mom and Pop’s are probably going to do it best, but you have to put time into finding those small batch gems, as small scale doesn’t always mean top tier. Surprisingly, the best fried rice I’ve ever had in my entire life came out of a corner market with a small kitchen attached run by a husband/wife team, he manned the store and she manned the grill, and in addition to the rice they had a variety of grease pit style foods made to appeal to drunk college kids as it was nestled in the neighborhood right behind UCR, and was the only outside source of food in walking distance. It unfortunately closed long ago but I still think about that fried rice on occasion. The ingredients were standard, rice, onions, carrots, egg, spices, but it was the precise amount of all of those, put together and cooked in the exact right way, that just made it absolutely jaw droppingly delicious and I have never come across a fried rice quite like it since. 

The reason I took you, dear reader, on that stroll with me down memory lane was to say this. I’d probably pay anything to get another plate of that liquor store fried rice. It holds a nostalgic place in my memory that makes it nearly priceless to me, and probably me alone. When it comes to Elephant’s Growth OG, others could have had a similar experience like I did with that fried rice, and in that respect, the ticket is of no consequence to them. I had a great run with this OG, it’s obviously well grown and meticulously cared for at every stage, and with it being traditional market, a lucky consumer can get their hands on it before some of the more nuanced volatile terps off gas leading to a powerful experience. However, when contrasted with readily available OG’s on the recreational market and respective rates for them, I can’t say I would have a reason to double dip on this. In the end I’m all about the bang for the buck, and subjectively speaking, there’s really almost not enough bang possible for the buck typically associated with EG OG. $150 an 8th or more than 1k a zip is a lot. That’s definitely not a knock on the quality here, it’s just that I’m not the right consumer for it, just as I’m not the right consumer for those BWDs from MSCHF. While people may feel comfortable putting out the dough they do for those, I don’t see the value in it personally, and I’m happy to stick to my Brooks Beasts as they are high quality and work really well for me, and come in a ticket I can comfortably afford.  

Ghost C@#&! from Royal Key Organics

Ghost C@#&! from Royal Key Organics via @catalyst_dtlb on 12/24/2022. THC tested out to 30%. Normally this goes for $60-ish after tax but I was able to get it for $30 with the Kushmas 50% off sale. The morning of Christmas Eve I found myself pouring over Catalyst Downtown Long Beach’s menu in preparation for the best sale of the year (Kushmas!), and while Royal Key was already on my radar, this Ghost C@#&! stood out to me for the weird name alone. There’s a lot of fun things you can guess that obscured word might be but it turns out the answer is pretty straight forward, it’s Candy, which apparently is one of a few words according to state law you can’t use on California Cannabis packaging.

The surface of these dense buds are mostly a mix of tea and persian greens with sporadic patches of rich aubergine, coupled with flares of ubiquitous apricot pistils busting out in all directions, awash in a glistening sea of white and egg cream colored triches.

The nose out of the jar is a semi sweet cream that smells very MAC “adjacent”, there’s also a hint of nutmeg-esque spice, and a solid musty underpinning to it all. The first time I broke open a bud, for a millisecond, it smelled nearly like I’d just opened a bag of Golden Crisp, so much so in that moment I quietly sang that old familiar jingle “can’t get enough of that Golden Crisp” to myself. While in subsequent sniffs, it still retained that cereal like vibe, there’s a solid pine quality in the mix as well, accompanied by a musty creamy gas filling out the back end. Breaking it down by hand my fingers were left with a scent of light cream and distant pine-sol , while the grinds themselves still have that cereal quality coupled with a fruity scent that was difficult to pull apart. At first it hit me almost like an artificial cherry, but as I dug in, I got some mango and berry-ish components too, and even a touch of banana, all wrapped up in a pine-like freshness. It’s very complex, and even in that sprawling description, I’m not sure I really did it justice. 

The dry pull on the J comes with a honeysuckle sweet freshness uptop that takes a quick acrid turn to more of a general sweet floral. It was a familiar flavor to me being half Peruvian, it tastes very similar to Ambrosoli de Chicha that are abundant down there, which I realize may not be informative to non-Peruvians, but I can’t think of a more widespread item that has the same exact flavor. The inhale on the joint comes with a floral freshness that leans into pine territory, where the bong is similar but also brings a doughy must along with it. The exhale on the joint presents as a creamy floral with a tinge of an acrid electric (tongue on a 9volt) lilt, and a chemical pine backing, whereas the bong comes with a musty dough interwoven with deep vaporous tones, and that same electric/metallic quality echoing the distance.

The headchange comes on quickly and with a satisfying thwack. Physically there’s a pressure that settles in right on top of the eyes, as well as some weight that pushes down on the shoulders, which didn’t make me seek a seat immediately, but did encourage an easily observed laziness in my stance and gait. Mentally I felt relaxed but fairly cognizant, I was able to think clearly and strategically about the day’s tasks ahead of me and plan accordingly. Although I ought mention there was this hazy IDGAF goblin hanging out in the background of my thoughts, and if I were so inclined to give in, I could see myself just hanging out, smoking more, and marathoning the rest of The Afterparty to get through it before my Apple TV+ trial runs out. 

All and all I really liked this Ghost Candy from Royal Key, which is really not surprising, as I’ve had nothing but solid experiences with everything I’ve gotten from them so far. While I picked this up partly due to the killer deal I was able to get on it at Catalyst’s Kushmas, for the caliber of smoke, I think $60 after tax is an extremely reasonable price for top shelf. While I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to get my hands on more ASAP, I could see myself picking it up again if I came across it and were in the mood for a rainy day type smoke as I think it’s well suited to staying in, and in So. Cal we’ve no shortage of rain lately, so I might find myself re-upping sooner than later. Great job on this one Royal Key, keep up the solid work!

Zkittlez from Alien Labs

Zkittlez from Alien Labs via Gulf Coast Delivery on 11/11/2022. THC tested out to 31.77%. I got these two jars for free, however I was finding them for $30 out the door back in December due to some specials that have since expired, it was awesome though. After a less than stellar experience with a batch of Lemon Fuel OG, @returnofthealien was generous enough to send a couple jars of this Zkittlez my way, and my dude Chase at Gulf Coast Delivery was awesome enough to make the drive and drop some off to me down here in the OC. 

Breaking with my traditional format, I admit uptop, I really loved these late 2022 batches of Zkittles from Alien Labs. Not only did I smoke through these two jars with the speed of a fiend, I went through at least another half zip (if not more) that I sought out and picked up on my own, and if I saw it on a menu today I’d no doubt pick it up again. @ThePristineGreen smokes more Zkittlez than anyone else I know personally, and he agrees that Alien killed it with these batches, and that it’s perhaps some of the best Zkittlez widely available on the recreational market.  

The surface of the bud is mostly mix of sage and emerald greens that occasionally dip into darker shades of hunter and forest, with copious amounts of cinnamon tinted orange creamsicle pistils so plentiful it looks as if they’re infesting the budscape, second in number only to the mass amount of egg cream colored triches splattered across every nook and cranny of the nug like butter on a Thomas’ English muffin. 

The nose out of the jar is natural orange with a slightly musty yet fresh mint-pine backend. Busting open a bud, that natural orange remains, but the sweetness amps up slightly as the mustiness drops off and that freshness intensifies. Breaking it down by hand left a mild sweet citrus zing on my fingertips, while the grinds themselves smelled lightly of orange hard candy with just a touch of musty freshness rounding out the background. 

The dry pull on the joint matched up well with the grinds, coming through with that same light orange hard candy vibe. The inhale on the bong has a quick hit of that orange hard candy that comes through so briefly, I described it as “the ghost of orange hard candy”, whereas on the joint it’s more of a light sweet floral with an acidic zing. The exhale on the bong is a mix of sweet citrus and must with a hint of cream whereas on the joint there’s more of a musty floral cream up top, with the citrus echoing in the distance, which manages to boomerang back and by the end had my tongue coated in a lemon lime that stayed with me for a few moments after smoking. While my GhostVapes MV1 is slightly out of commission, I can guesstimate that this likely would read heavy on the pine and mint aspects when vaped at lower temps. 

The headchange comes on quickly and hits with a satisfying middle of the road “hybrid” type slap. Physically, there’s a touch of weight that hits the shoulders and upper back, while a pressure settles in on top of the eyes as they start to gleefully glaze over. Mentally, I’m a bit spacey and forgetful, which might be slightly annoying depending on the task at hand, but there’s also a feel good component that instills a devil may care attitude about any challenge you might face whilst in this particular state. At times I found myself looking wistfully into the distance while tumbling down a rabbit hole of introspection, only to snap back to reality moments later, and able to pick up where I left off fairly quickly prior to getting lost in the recesses of my own mind. 

As stated previously, I really dug these late 2022 batches of Zkittlez, and at the tickets I was getting them for at the time I really couldn’t have asked for better quality smoke. Even at the current rates it’s still a solid deal, and if you’re a Zkittlez fan in general, I’d say you can’t go wrong. Excellent job on this one Ted and the gang, you guys crushed it and I can’t wait to get my hands on more. Keep up the fantastic work!

Zushi from JoshWax (an AI Generated Review)

I have heard a lot about ChatGPT and AI in general in the news lately so I was curious as to what it could do and if it were possible to get it to write a weed review. What follows is the result of feeding the free version of ChatGPT 4 of my fully written reviews, and then supplying it the notes from which I write my own reviews. While I can’t say the result mimics my style exactly, it’s extremely impressive for something that took only about 10 minutes to pull off, and it made some really interesting choices that I myself would not have made but found pretty amusing. And without further delay, the worlds first AI generated weed review:

Yo, it’s your boy westcoastweedreviews back at it again with another fire review. Today, we’re gonna be taking a look at the Zushi from JoshWax via Catalyst Santa Ana that I picked up on 9/27/2022. Before we get into the nitty gritty, let me just say that this bag of Zushi is some of the most expensive herb I’ve picked up on the rec market to date. But, my dude @inspector_of_all loves it, so when he asked me if I could grab him 2 bags while I was at the shop, I knew I had to grab one for myself too and see what was good.

First off, let’s talk about the appearance of this bud. When I opened the bag, I was hit with a patchwork of lime and forest greens, with rusty copper pistils and a good amount of white bird spike like trichomes. It’s a real nice lookin’ bud, and you can tell it’s been grown with care and attention to detail.

Next, let’s talk about the smell. The bag aroma is brilliant and natural smelling orange, like backyard musty orange but also bright like orange juice. The sting of orange zest bleeds over into a “freshness” quality, but orange stays dominant. Breaking it up, the smell amps up slightly, orange turns a bit more candy and has more defined mint/fresh finish.

Grinding it up, the bud is dense and difficult to work down by hand, no trich grime but fingers smell of musty orange mint. The smell of musty backyard orange gas is prominent, and the mintiness really hits with the sting of citrus. It’s hard to pull them apart and they work in tandem to amp each other up.

When it comes to the taste, there’s a sugar sweetness that comes in over light candy orange taste. It’s like a wisp of candy orange, with a touch of herbacious mint underneath. On the inhale, you get a light orange must on joint. Light musty backyard orange and minty edge on bong. On the exhale, you get a backyard orange must with a razor sharp mint edge. As the joint goes on, a slightly savory/salty flavor emerges, but the musty orange remains throughout. On the bong, there’s a subtle cream as well. (Take two on bong: has candy orange with musty edge, slightly acrid finish, like tonguing a 9v, or maybe a quick hit of savory soy sauce) (take three, backyard orange is strong, has slight candy touch, but also comes with the minty gas)

Finally, let’s talk about the headchange. The effect is decent, allowing you to think straight, with a touch of energy (might be from coffee/snickers). There’s a light headband effect and hazy eyes. I wanted to smoke more but held back due to the cost and not wanting to pick up more to review.

All in all, this Zushi from @JoshWax via @catalyst_saa is some top notch herb. The appearance, smell, taste, and effect are all on point. It’s pricey, but if you’re looking for a premium experience, it’s definitely worth it. Just make sure to hit the link in my bio for a 100% uncensored review. Keep it green, folks.

Unicornz from THC Design

Unicornz from THC Design on 8/26/2022. No THC testing info on the box as this was given to me right before it dropped. I was gifted this but I spot checked a couple menus and it looks like THC Design is going for around $50-55 out the door in my area. Maybe a bit less if you place those first time discounts right.

A whopping 3 months ago (nearly to the day) I was lucky enough to get my hands on THC Designs Pheno Hunt drop (huge shout out to my dude @edwardfairchild for making it happen), and in the interim, due to a lot of my energy needing to be diverted away from this project, I’m only now giving this batch of Unicornz it’s fair due. I did manage to take notes on this batch when it was fresh but it takes me a while to assemble a final write up. I apologize for the lag and hope that I’ll be able to get into a regular review release cadence again soon. 

These fairly dense semi-spiky trident-esque buds are comprised of an uneven patchwork of deep rich auburgene, lime, forest, and sacramento greens, all contrasted against veins of rusty pumpkin orange pistils and hordes of brilliant white triches so abundant at times, they look as if they’re jockeying for position in a rush to find any available remaining space on the exterior of the nug. 

The nose out of the bag is fruity but comes with an earthy mint quality as well. It has a light pineapple candy vibe but there’s this grungy mentholated aspect that tones down the sweetness of the scent just a touch. Busting open a bud, the pineapple really brightens up and comes off more like a pineapple fanta, with a very faint sweet musty dough kicking around in the background. Breaking it down by hand, that pineapple soda quality is still present, but seems to back off a bit and give way to that sweet musty dough. The scent is still sweet overall but has more of a “dirty” aspect to it. 

A dry pull on the joint came with a candy fruity sweetness that read as a faint pineapple hard candy. The inhale however was devoid of any sort of sweetness, in fact it just came across as a musty sweet paper taste on the joint, whereas on the bong it just had a very subtle mustiness to it. The exhale on the joint had a lightly sweet waxy sort of fruit taste to it but was also heavily musty. As I made my way through the joint, the mint property became more dominant, and by the end, it left me tasting nothing but a musty mint. The bong comes mostly with a sweet mustiness as well, at times there are hints of a light grungy fruit, but it’s superseded by this powerful must and occasional mint tang. I did not get around to testing this out in my (now retired) GhostVapes MV1, I’ll work on getting a new flower vape in place soon, however my guess is that it would be extremely minty when vaped at low temps. 

The headchange kicks in near immediately, comes with an uptick of energy, and if you’re at all near a meal time, a renewed exuberance for what you’re about to eat. Physically, there’s a headband effect with most of the pressure centered directly in the middle of the forehead, accompanied with this want to get up and go, but that wanes rapidly and eventually you’ll feel your body shift into more of a chill mode. Mentally there’s this euphoric sort of “woohoo, I’m lit” feeling at first, coupled with a positive can do attitude that really makes you feel like you’re going to cross everything off your to-do list that day, but unfortunately that feeling is fairly fleeting and is quickly replaced with an “IDGAF sort of vibe” that leaves you wanting to just kick back on the couch, and take advantage of that free AppleTV+ trial that you signed up for over the Thanksgiving Holiday. It’s not so sedating that you won’t be able to fight through it if you have some tasks to complete you truly can’t put off, but it’ll put your will power to the test with any chores you consider “optional” that day no doubt. 

All and all, while I enjoyed my time with this batch of Unicornz, I can’t say there’s anything about it that particularly stands out to me. If the taste aligned just a bit more with the nose, and the headchange was able to sustain those more energetic aspects, I’d be in again in a heartbeat as finding a good “sativa” in today’s recreational market is tough. As it sits, I may be persuaded into picking up another batch if it were around $40 or less out the door, but I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to get my hands on more. That said, I applaud THC Designs efforts here and their attempt to uncover some unique genetics on their own, I hope they (and other producers) continue to do so as consumers really need to be exposed to more strain diversity on the California legal market. 

Super Gremlin from Champelli

Super Gremlin from Champelli via Bonafide Maywood on 9/18/2022. THC tested out to 32.65%. This cost about $70 out the door with a first time discount in play. It goes from $60-70 pre-tax at a couple shops I have seen in the area so you are looking at around $80-95 out the door unless you play those discounts right. I was on my way to LA to kick it with an old smoking buddy and was in the market for a hashhole, so I hit up LA Family Farms to ask if they had made any fresh drops, and they directed me to Bonafide in Maywood. I scanned the menu for anything that might pique my interest and when I spotted the rad artwork on this bag of Super Gremlin from Champelli, in the ultimate custy moment, I decided to roll with it based on that and that alone. 

The surface of these semi fluffy shrub-like buds were mostly a mix of mint and emerald green, that at times dipped into dark shades of forest, and even deeper still into scattered tones of violet and aubergine, coupled an ubiquitous netting of rusty yam orange pistils, and a light flocking of white and egg cream colored triches. 

The nose out of the bag comes off as a savory GMO like funk with a semi sweet minty edge backing it. When breaking open a bud, there’s a really beautiful mix of that chem scent and a near eucalyptus like mint doing a capoeira style dance as they harmoniously battle it out for supremacy, with a hint of sweet floral watching from the sidelines. Busting it down by hand left my fingers inundated with a minty triche grime, while the grinds themselves had a fresh semi-sweet mint gas, as well as waves of that gmo-ish funk which amplified the decibel level of the scent overall, giving it this extremely gassy funk with a savory soy sauce vibe. My notes say “somewhere between gum and gasoline, with savory soy sauce lilts rolling in like a mini-wake after the passing of an old slow boat”. Usually I don’t seek out the information on genetics prior to finishing up a review, but I was surprised to learn there was no GMO in this given the smell, and from what I read on @thefirescale ‘s page it’s actually a cross of Zkittlez and Gusher Pie.

A dry pull on the joint came through initially as what I’d describe as a supermint gas, the mint is firing on all cylinders and really steals the show, and even lingers for a bit afterward. The inhale had a slightly funky mint on the joint whereas on the bong it was more of grungy gas that quickly morphed into sweet mint. The exhale was a semi sweet floral mint, where the sting of the funk and gassy mint started to coat the tongue over the course of the joint, while the bong came off musty and creamy as first but also had this freshly cracked pepper jolt along an herbaceous pop that was reminiscent of sarsaparilla. I did not try this one out on the vape, but I’d imagine that the mint would have come through in spades as that’s what I seem to experience most often at those lower temps.  

The headchange comes on fairly heavy at first, taking the wind right out of my sails, making anything I’d hoped to achieve that day a distant memory as IDGAF mode settled right in. Physically, I felt pressure on the bridge of my nose that got gradually more intense as it moved into the center of my forehead, while also feeling lighter and generally more buoyant in the upper half of my body. I found myself wanting to kick back and not really have to pay too much attention to anything, I put youtube on the TV and just let it run through random music playlists as I let my mind wander in a similar way. I was really on the fence about the effect down to the very last bowl. I set out to see what I really felt about the headchange, one last attempt in earnest, so I smoked the last of it in two back to back bowls and promptly forgot my previous intentions. It wasn’t until 20 minutes later or so I remembered and thought to myself “well, if that doesn’t prove how damn good it is, I can’t say what else will”. About 20 minutes after that I started to fight the urge to smoke another bowl of something else. The effect seems to stay with you for a bit, but after that first 40 minutes or so the volume goes low enough where you still feel it, but it’s not quite enough to keep from wanting to scratch that itch again. 

Overall I enjoyed this batch of Super Gremlin, I’m glad I picked it up, and I think it was a solid first introduction to Champelli’s current offerings That being said, at the standard rate it goes for at a couple different places I’ve spot checked out there, I’d have a hard time justifying a re-up as there are just way too many awesome flavors available within that bracket, and the temptation to try something new out weighs a replay in this particular case. However, if for some reason I found an awesome deal on it out there somewhere, and could get it at around $50-55 out the door, I admit I’d pick it up again with little hesitation. 

Giant Fuyu from Turtle Pie Co

Giant Fuyu from Turtle Pie Co via Catalyst Downtown Long Beach on 7/22/2022. THC tested out to 28.95%. This was about $35 out the door with Catalyst’s #weedforthepeople discount, normally it goes for $75 out the door. The Turtlepie/GreenDawg/BluePrint gang made their way down to Catalyst Long Beach for a meet and greet and to run a killer promo with Catalyst. They were a solid group of folks and I had a great time chatting them up. I asked @barneyhastheblueprint out of flavors Catalyst had in stock which one he would recommend, and without hesitation he said “Giant Fuyu”, so I decided to roll with it and see what’s good.

The surface of these semi-dense mini-trident shaped buds are a patchwork of tea and emerald greens that rapidly shift into deep rich aubergines, coupled with sporadic bursts of ginger orange pistils snaking their way across the budscape in small spurts, all of which is heavily frosted over in a vision obscuring blizzard of mellow yellow triches. 

The nose out of the jar is extremely fruity sweet, but has these grungy and minty aspects as well, which when taken together gives the scent a bit of a sweet yet spiced quality. I admit, I have never smelled a fuyu persimmon before so I have no basis for comparison when it comes to this experience, but I will say that there’s something in this scent profile that is mildly reminiscent of the shell of a Peruvian granadilla which is one of my favorite foreign fruits. Breaking open a bud the sweetness takes it up a notch, it’s a bit difficult to describe, but essentially it feels like the sugariness goes up an octave and maintains that higher pitch while that natural grungy fruit element remains firmly present, which pushes that mint towards the background. It almost comes off like a honeydew with a grungy and musty tinge. Busting it down by hand, my fingers stay with that sweet minty honeydew smell, whereas the grinds have more of a waxy fruit sweetness. It comes off similar to a melon hi-chew with a light minty gas edge. 

The dry pull on the joint has this fruity sweetness with a table sugar touch that dug up an ancient memory for me. When I was in 4th grade or so we’d walk by this patch of flowers on the way back from the bus stop, pick them and suck the ends of them and they tasted sweet in this exact same way. We called them honeysuckles but that looks to be incorrect as I’ve searched around on google, and I think they were morning glory’s from what I’m seeing, but no one seems to talk about sucking on the ends of them so I’m not entirely sure. It could just be a weird thing us group of 4th graders just started doing. In any case, it has a very pleasant near honey sweet taste. 

On the inhale from the bong I get a slightly acrid yet grungy sweet sensation, whereas the inhale on the joint has a musty dough like sweetness, the “sour” aspect of the dough comes through as well, signed off by a minty lilt. The exhale on the bong hits with a musty sweet semi-fruity floral that had occasional inconsistent echoes of savory bbq, whereas the joint had a deep musty fruit that was enveloped by this gassy exterior, which at times dipped into this grape-ish brandywine like flavor. My notes say that “the mustiness and sweetness seem to alternate as if they are helicopter kicking my tongue on the way out” and that the fruitiness lingered for a good few minutes afterward, with that aftertaste coming off exactly the same way as if I had eaten a melon hi-chew just moments ago. Cross checking the flavor on my GhostVapes MV1 at the one available temp I have left, I get a fruity sweet inhale with a mint pine backing, whereas the exhale comes off as pure piney floral. 

The headchange comes on quickly and has a bit of get up and go initially and some solid forehead pressure. Mentally I didn’t feel any worse for wear, I was fully functional and able to focus with no issue, and it put me in a positive state of mind so I was able to tackle tasks I’d been putting off with a fresh perspective and a better attitude. It mellows out a bit later and comes with a very chill vibe that lasts a ridiculously long time. As I write this, I smoked the last bowl of the batch about 3 hours ago, and I’m still feeling as if I smoked a bowl of average herb just a few minutes ago, so that’s some really impressive staying power. 

All and all I really enjoyed this batch of Giant Fuyu, it’s some extremely well grown herb, the nose translated near perfectly to the taste, and the effect managed to stay with me for hours. Without a doubt I’d pick this up again in a heartbeat at the rate it went for that night with Catalyst’s #weedforthepeople discount in place. I still can’t get over that ticket and I’m kicking myself for not picking up a couple more jars. At the normal rate I’d be a bit more hesitant as there’s just so much potential within that bracket, but I’d say Giant Fuyu definitely earns that spot on that top shelf, and if not for the deal I would have made my way to picking it eventually and I would have been equally satisfied. My wallet however would have been a bit sadder heading out the dispensary door. Great job on this one Turtle Pie Team, I’m definitely looking forward to getting more of your stuff up on the page, keep up the great work! 

Duck Sauce from EastSide Eggroll and Ted’s Budz

(Heavy) Duck Sauce from EastSide Eggroll and Ted’s Budz via Catalyst Downtown Long Beach on 7/21/2022. THC tested out to 35%. Normally goes for $69 out the door at Catalyst. This batch of Duck Sauce had just hit the market, and my buddy @inspector_of_all was looking to get his hands on a bag, but it was selling out left and right at every store it landed. Not being one to miss a hype train, I saw a fresh drop hit the menu at Catalyst Downtown Long Beach, so I put in an online order for two of them and was able to virtually secure the bag for us both.

Speaking of the bag, this is the first time I’ve ever come across a clear mylar and I have to say I dig it. Being able to see the nugs in a bag before you walk out of the shop with it is a nice change of pace. The surface is an amalgam of forest, sage, fern, moss and even the occasional speck of Sacramento green which appears so dark at points it nearly comes across as midnight blue. Even the inconspicuous pistils, while mostly a dark twine color, appear olive green at times and nearly go unnoticed as they mesh with the background, especially when juxtaposed against an abundance of glittering egg cream colored triches that cram themselves into any available space. 

The nose out of the bag is very candy-like up top, the Zkittlez really comes through at first, but it also has a very fresh vaporous backing that becomes more and more prominent the longer you try to work through the other scents. It’s a bit of a hostile nostril take over. Breaking open the bud you get a sense for its mild density, it’s not super fluffy but has a good give to the squeeze. The nose gets slightly brighter but is essentially the same as the bag, it has that candy sweetness trying to take the dominant spot but the vaporousness is just holding it down at every turn. It does seem to have a more lemony lilt, but there’s a touch of orange as well, so it’s overall very citrusy. Busting it down by hand leaves a strong presence of candy sweet vapor on the fingertips, while the grinds themselves bring the scent into its final form and it becomes the very definition of fruity candy gas. The harmony in the fruity candy scent feels like it cascades across my sense of smell, unfolding like an accordion, bringing that fuel and a slightly distant perfume like floral as well. I really love this scent and if I could somehow move into it and live there I would. 

The dry pull comes with a very light candy sweetness, but it was difficult to get a solid pull as I left the material chunkier than usual, and I was getting a bit of a mummified look on the joint before lighting it. The inhale on the joint comes with a sugar sweet citrus, with an emphasis on that sugary aspect, while the bong comes with an extremely light lemon lime that was not consistent and often read as non-descript. The exhale on the joint comes with a tasty candy gas that widens out into a nice orange-like finish with just a touch of lime, whereas the bong comes through with a musty sweet cream and a hint of chalk. The fruitiness does make its way through on the bong occasionally, but it’s as if it’s riding sidecar, and the cream is the one laying on the gas from the driver’s saddle. 

The headchange is unfortunately the least distinctive aspect of this batch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s solid, it’s just that there’s very little wow factor involved in the effect. Mentally I felt present, and there was a noticeable calm that washed over me as my anxiety faded ever so slightly, but that anxiety still remained within mental arms reach. It saps motivation in a way that made me feel annoyed if I had to deal with any tasks to which I wasn’t looking forward to tackling. It’s the type of herb that’s very sigh inducing as dealing with life became a chore in itself. I also found myself making consistently making dumb little mistakes, like putting my keys away in the wrong place, which added to that annoyance upon correcting those mistakes. Physically I felt a slight decrease in energy but that’s about it, strong enough to make me want to kick back on the couch, but not to the point where I felt in danger of knocking out.

All in all, I really liked everything about this Duck Sauce outside of the slightly unremarkable buzz. It checks nearly all the boxes and I would be down to give another batch a shot. If I could find it at a slightly more affordable ticket I’d jump in again without hesitation, but at it’s current rate, there is just too much out there piquing my curiosity to double dip at the moment. This was a solid introduction to EastSide Eggroll and the Ted’s Budz line up and I’ll definitely get into more of their offerings asap.

Wendy from Squints

Wendy from Squints and Foreign Genetics via From the Earth on 7/8/2022. THC tested out to 23.8% on the first batch. Initially purchased for $35 because of some awesome delivery deal, when I went back to the physical store I still ended up getting it on sale, but for a pricier $55 out the door. After hearing Squints talk about Wendy on the @firstsmokeoftheday podcast I felt compelled to do a hype check and I started searching around for a bag in my area. I came across a pretty killer delivery deal at From the Earth so I hit that order button without delay. 

These buds have very little give to the squeeze, so they would probably fare ok in the mylar on their own, but I love how their integrity is preserved with the help of a small plastic tray. The surface of the buds is a mix of sage and forest greens, with abundant patches of deep rich aubergine that dip into midnight blue, and even appear near vantablack at points. Spiced orange pistils tightly grip the budscape while a blizzard of white triches obscures the view of them so heavily they nearly go unnoticed on some nugs. 

The nose out of the bag hit me like a peppermint milkshake at first. There’s a very sweet candy aspect but there’s also this chalky necco wafer element with a touch of cream which is all enrobed in a minty vaporiousness. Breaking open a bud that vaporiousness really takes it up a notch and approaches Vick’s VapoRub levels of stinging the nostril but that candy chalky sweetness is still making its presence known along with a sweet musty quality. Busting it down by hand, my fingers smell of a powerful greasy must couped with gas, while the grinds themselves come with a sweet chalky fuel and a light fruity underpinning. Overall it’s very sweet but that eucalyptus-like gas aspect is truly overwhelming and makes the rest of the scents difficult to pin down. 

The dry pull on the joint brings a strong chalky sweetness with a minty gas edge while a taste reminiscent of a sugar cube quickly slaps the taste buds. The inhale on the joint is sugar sweet to the point it tastes vaguely like toasted marshmallows with a hint of vapor, whereas the bong has a vague musty mint-like zing. The exhale on the joint presents a musty gas with a touch of sweetness, whereas the sweetness hits hard uptop on the bong, and then quickly winds down into a flat chalkiness. Cross checking the flavor on my neutered Ghost Vapes MV1, at the only available temp, it comes with a strong mint pine combo on the inhale and comes out with a strong pinesol sensation that leaves your tongue coated in pine for a couple minutes afterward.  

The headchange is fantastic. It comes on quickly and brings a happy go lucky vibe that can really turn your frown upside down. There are two times I can distinctly remember absolutely losing my shit in a giggle fit over some genuinely funny circumstances, but the way with which I could not control my laughter in those moments is what sticks out the most. While this didn’t happen every single time I smoked Wendy, I definitely have to mention it, as the level to which I could not compose myself was servere and not something I can recollect happening with any other strain in the past few years. This feel good aspect does not lend itself to staying on task though, and it will bring on a strong case of the IDGAFs if you’ve got any chores you’re looking to tackle, but are not exactly looking forward to doing. I’d say your best bet is to save this smoke for days where you don’t have a strict itinerary and the only thing on your agenda is going with the flow. No matter what you get it up to, you’ll find it difficult to have a bad time with Wendy by your side. 

This is one of the rare instances where I double dipped before finishing up the review as I enjoyed the smoke that much. I have to admit, I had a bit of a sticker shock on that second batch purchase, but it was still worth it. Excellent job on this one Squints and Foreign Genetics, looking forward to getting into more of your library and seeing how other strains hold up in comparison, keep up the great work.