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. 

Once is Enough from Amplified Farms

Once is Enough from Amplified Farms via Kannabis Works Orange County on 5/12/2022. THC tested out to 34.07%. Purchased for $100 out the door with first time customer discount. Somewhere around a year ago Amplified Farms was cool enough to reach out to me and ask if I wanted to try a couple of their flavors. I love digging into strains that are new to me so I quickly agreed. I got my original jar of Once is Enough, posted my first impressions and then, some time not long after, my account was disabled for the first time. With that and some other turmoil going on at the time, I ended up leaning too hard on that first batch, and it was so enjoyable that I managed to smoke through it without taking proper notes. Fast forward to earlier this year when I found myself at Kannabis Works in Santa Ana and I spotted this “Grower’s Choice” edition of Once is Enough on the shelf, so in an effort to right (and write) the past, I picked it up so I could finally finish out this review properly. 

These beefy nugs are dense as hell. The original batch was composed of only 2 nugs, one beaster and a companion to fill out the weight, but the 7g Grower’s Choice jar came with one sizable champion nug and two chunky buddies, any of the 3 being seriously impressive on their own if you’re one to care about bud size. The surface of the bud is fairly uniform in color across both batches, mostly comprised of chartreuse with some light variations and very rare touches of faded aubergine that you have to look closely to find, as well as sporadic tightly coiled bunches of dark copper pistils, and a glimmering layer of reflective egg cream colored triches. 

The nose out the jar is an extraordinarily sweet berry must that reads grape, and compared to the first batch, I noticed this one had a bit of a sugary candy aspect that wasn’t as present in the first. Busting open a bud that sweet grape widens out, and loses a bit of its mustiness while the sugary aspect remains, which I find very reminiscent of some old school big league chew. Breaking it down by hand my fingers have that sweet grape smell in spades but there’s a hint of something slightly chemical, like a body spray or an all natural air freshener, but I couldn’t quite nail it down. The grinds themselves remain extremely grapey as well, but there’s a fresh lilt, and the scent has shifted slightly where it hits me like grape jelly now as opposed to grape gum. 

The dry pull on the joint has a sweet grape-like berry tang that matches up with the nose perfectly and has a light floral filling out the background. The inhale also comes with that sweet berry goodness on the bong, whereas on the joint, it’s more of a quick sugary grape smack on the tastebuds followed up by a light minty yet peppery tang. The exhale from the bong is a  sugary grape must, whereas the joint comes with the same qualities reversed, a powerful must with a light sweet grape backend. I didn’t manage to save a sizeable enough sample for my Ghost Vapes MV1 with either batch so I apologize to any regular readers that this section is a bit thinner than usual. 

The headchange came on subtly at first but over a short amount of time I felt this dissociative effect kick in. It’s the type of high that makes you feel slightly outside of your physical self, you become much more aware that your consciousness and body are separate yet co-dependent entities, it’s as if you are the person piloting the mech that is your body. There was a slight numbness across the bridge of my nose and a touch of pressure in the eyes. I leaned heavily on this batch for its sedative effects as I consistently found myself being put to bed by this strain as it ran its course. Once is Enough, while a good companion for any evening you’re looking to unwind and escape the pressures of the day, functions extremely well as a nightcap and will especially help those in need of a solid night’s sleep. Great job on this one Amplified, this is some powerful unique heat that really stands out in the rec market, I’ll definitely be picking up more of this for my headstash in the future. 

Styrofoam Cup from Team Elite Genetics

Styrofoam Cup from Team Elite Genetics via West Clinik on 5/20/2022. THC tested out to 34.62%. Purchased for $55 pre-tax (so $70ish out the door). A few months back I saw @cali_bud_reviews getting a hype wave going on this Styrofoam Cup, and I love riding a hype wave and seeing what’s good, so I headed over to West Clinik and grabbed this jar. 

The surface of these fluffy shrub-like buds appear to be a mix of tea, fern and forest greens at first, but on closer examination, subtle hues of aubergine reveal themselves in abundance as they’re highly obscured from a distance by eye catching formations of heavily consolidated brilliant white triches and rusted twine pistils whipping wildly at the air.

The nose out of the jar is a unique savory stank, I get a bit of a soy sauce vibe along with an acrid sour element, that when taken together does have a chemical sort of smell, so I can see how the name Styrofoam Cup is fitting. Breaking open a bud that soy sauce gets louder as the chemical scent separates and takes on more of a musty quality. Breaking it down by hand, my fingers are left with a surprisingly sweet floral smell with that savory stank in the background, while the grinds themselves are essentially amplified versions of the soy sauce and chemical attributes with the latter leaving a bit of sting in the nostrils. 

The dry pull on the joint comes in with a savoriness that leans peppery and has a light vaporous mint finish. In my notes I put “it’s strange but first thing that comes to mind is this tastes like how the bottom of a well worn leather dress shoe smells” which does, in fact, make sense to me but I am not sure how well that translates for everyone else. In any case, the inhale off the joint has a savory zing, whereas the bong is musty with a light touch of chemical sweetness. The exhale on the joint brings that savory spice even harder, along with a musty cream, whereas the bong has those same qualities, a very musty savory cream, but it’s stacked tighter together in the profile and there’s a light salty after taste. Cross checking the flavor on my Ghost Vapes MV1, I get a fairly powerful sour pine with a fresh finish that leaves a bit of that chemical taste in your mouth for a few minutes after. 

The headchange came on fairly quick and was pretty mellow. I found myself spacing out a bit and having a lot of those “what was I just doing?” sort of moments. My head felt slightly heavy, there was a touch of weight behind the eyes, and had a minor dissociative effect where my body felt loose and limber and not all together “at the ready”. I felt very sedated but not sleepy exactly. It feels like the type of herb that’s good for an evening in, watching a movie, or catching up on one of your favorite shows. 

Overall this was some well grown, beautiful looking, unique smelling/tasting herb with the only quality I was underwhelmed by being semi-lackluster effect. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really enjoyable, but I feel like it’s not stand out enough for me to double dip on, especially at the regular West Clinik ticket. That said, I think if you’re into novel savory flavors in your herb, and can find it at a ticket you’re comfortable with, I’d say you should give it a try.  

Circus Animals from THC Design

Circus Animals from THC Design direct on 01/24/2022 (Huge shout out to Edward at THC Design for making it happen!). THC tested out to 33.44%. This was gifted to me but I did find it on Kannabis Works Menu in Santa Ana going for $46 out the door, and with their first time customer deal you get 40%, so you can potentially get it for a killer deal. THC Design was the first cannabis company for whom I ever saw a billboard, and at the time it was such a foreign concept, I thought they were actually a graphic design company that was just jumping on the ever escalating canna-bandwagon. I quickly learned that was not the case and have been a fan ever since, so when my dude Edward at THC Design hit me up and asked if I wanted to try out a couple of their new flavors, I popped right over and picked them up. 

The color profile of these dense nugs vary from bud to bud but are essentially a mash up deep rich aubergine that shifts into midnight blue in parts, along with emerald and lime greens, tightly coiled veins of rusty copper pistils, and an extremely prominent surface-obscuring coat of of dazzling white and egg cream colored triches. 

The nose out of the jar is a creamy gelato like fruity sweetness along with a touch of chalky floral and a general mustiness kicking around in the background. On busting open a bud, the fruity sweetness takes a candy-like turn and also brings with it a touch of minty vaporousness. Breaking it down by hand there was bright candy sweetness with a fruity edge, but the fruit was difficult for me to pin down, at different times it read as berry, pear, or even as grape adjacent. One sniff in particular tickled my memory banks and reminded me of the time I accidentally drank Capri Sun Pacific Cooler concentrate as a kid (note: it was delicious). A strong freshness also remained present but was relegated to filling out the background. 

The dry pull on the joint comes with a sugary chalky sweetness and a touch freshness joined by a very vague fruity echo. The inhale on the bong has a very light sweet floral quality, whereas on the joint it’s more of a sugary slap that quickly bounces off the tongue. The exhale on the bong hits with a musty semi-spiced cream, whereas on the joint there’s a waxy sweetness (ala wax lips) with a hint of fruit, and a fresh underpinning that also carries a spicy bite. Cross checking the flavor at the one temp my GhostVapes MV1 is currently capable of, I got a light minty sweetness on the way in, and a predominately pine exhale with a mint cream finish on the way out. 

The headchange came on quickly and consistently made me seek out a seat. There was this near instantaneous form of calm that obliterated my anxiety and threw me into introspection. Why was I in such a rush? Why was I so anxious? Was it helpful to me in any way? It allowed me to get some perspective on the situation, reprioritize, and then execute my new plan for the day without that sense of annoyance due to having so much to handle in the first place. I was fairly cognizant, although I did notice it was hard to recall some words on occasion, but I wasn’t so stunted that I couldn’t work around it. Physically I found myself with some pressure behind the eyes and general slump to my stature which contributed to that take a seat feeling I alluded to earlier. 

Overall, I’d say this is a beautiful looking, delicious smelling, decently tasty afternoon or evening smoke for when you want to relax and kick back but still keep your wits about you somewhat. I could see myself picking it up again if I were on the hunt for that sort of buzz, but truth be told I feel as if this particular set of effects is fairly common with herb on the rec market these days, so the ticket would really be the determining factor for me personally. I did a spot check of some menus in the area, and came across a batch of this at Kannabis Works in Santa Ana going for what I’d consider a good rate, especially when coupled with their killer first time customer discount. If you liked what I’ve had to say about this batch, and if you’re anywhere in the OC area, I’d say swing through and you’ll be leaving the shop happy. Great job on this one THC Design, definitely my favorite of the bunch!

Gemini from Alien Labs

Gemini from Alien Labs via Catalyst Santa Ana on 3/11/2022. THC tested out to 27.59%. Alien Labs is now going for $62 out the door at Catalyst shops, if you go on Tuesdays you can get 15% off of any flower, bringing it down somewhere into the 50s. A couple months back I saw that Alien Labs was dropping some new gear, and seeing the hypewave build I couldn’t help but get in on it, so I put in my online order at Catalyst Santa Ana and was fortunate enough to snag the very last jar. 

The surface of these fairly dense buds are a mix of lime, fern and forest greens with aubergine accents so dark they appear pitch black at points, coupled with dark amber and honey orange pistils wildly whipping their way through calyxes which appear as though heavily fortified by multiple battalions of tall white and egg cream colored triches. 

The nose out of the jar is a combination of sweet chalk, cream, and a grungy freshness all wrapped in this sort of general old wooden chest type of mustiness. Busting open a bud I get a sweet freshness with a gassy zing, approaching a near eucalyptus sensation in the nostrils, accompanied by a light fruitiness that’s hard to nail down as it’s obscured by those more powerful top notes. Breaking it down by hand my fingertips are left with a light sweet floral mint, whereas the grinds are an amalgam of sweet fruit and freshness, along with a savory gassy sting. It put the image in my mind of spraying some old school Binaca on an all-natural mango Mamba of some sort, the fruitiness is not cloyingly artificial, and plays well off of that mint-pine freshness. 

The dry pull on the joint comes off as an extremely light version of root beer candy. It has a certain sweetness, but it’s followed up with a dirty astringent quality that comes off near savory. The inhale from the bong was surprisingly nondescript given the nose, I even went so far as to reclean my bong and bowl on subsequent attempts to pick up on any subtleties, but a very light floral sweetness was the best I could come up with. On the joint I got a bit of musty dough on the inhale, whereas the exhale came with a hoppy gassy floral wrapped around a semi-grungy melon taste with a nice minty echo that lingered on the tongue, which over time settled into a general mentholated mustiness. The exhale on the bong had a gassy chalky sweetness followed up by a musty cream and peppery zing that gave off just a hint of that root beer candy on the finish. Cross checking the flavor on my Ghost Vapes MV1 at 170c there’s a slight cooling sensation on the way in with a strong pine which gets even stronger and more pronounced on exhale, leaving a pinesol like after taste lingering in my mouth for a good minute afterward. 

The headchange came on fast, and brought with it just a touch of uplifting energy at first, but that dissipated rather quickly.  Physically, I felt a slight pressure build up right between the eyes, as well as an ASMR like tingle in the cheeks that made its way down into the chest and gave me a sort of buoyant feeling. After a bit, a tired wave set in to the point where I felt it’d be a good idea to take a nap but it never quite put me all the way to sleep, however it took the wind out of my sails to the point I might have well have just knocked out as I wasn’t good for much else. Mentally I felt fairly cognizant until I tried to speak, at which point I found myself constantly stumbling over my words. In my head I could form a sentence and start the process to project it, but when it got to my mouth the words would get hung up on certain syllables, or I’d use the wrong ones entirely. I found myself having to focus a bit harder than normal on my pronunciation to avoid that lag. Even then, my vocabulary recall was shot and I had a hard time bringing forth words I wanted to use in the moment, settling for poor substitutes, and having to go back and correct myself when the word I was actually looking for manifested itself. This is definitely not a strain anyone should kick off their day with unless their day consists solely of kicking back and marathoning through The Tourist on HBO Max (it’s pretty good). 

All of that said, while I’m not chomping at the bit to get my hands on more, I could see myself picking this up again if I were in the market for day ender type herb, especially at the $60 price point that Alien Labs is going for nowadays. This was a beautiful, well grown batch with a long lasting motivation stealing thwack that’s perfect for relaxing after a hard day you’d rather forget. If that sounds appealing to you and you can find it at a rate you’re comfortable with I’d say you can’t go wrong. Great job once again Alien Labs, keep pumping out that heat!

Wakanda from Farmer and the Felon

Wakanda from Farmer and the Felon via Cannacraft direct on 10/29/2021. THC tested out to 34.28% (thanks to Jim Walsh for making it happen!). I was gifted this but it looks like a typical 8th at Catalyst goes for $28 out the door. I was lucky enough to get a huge Croptober box from Farmer and the Felon last fall, but due to my account being disabled for a bit and other pressing life issues, I wasn’t able to get around to this bag of Wakanda until now. 

The outside of these rather dense nugs are a patchwork of tea, pear and forest greens, with tightly coiled clusters of dim bronze pistils, and an average amount of beat up white and cream colored triches. 

The nose out of the bag is herbal and earthy combined with a touch of perfume like floral and an added dirty garlic tang far off in the background. It almost smells similar to hiking on a usually dusty trail shortly after it rains and it manages to amp up the scents all around you. Breaking open a bud a warm sweetness emerges, it’s a near apple baked good sort of quality, and also brings with it a minor minty zing. Busting it down by hand there’s a chalky mint sweetness that makes itself known, it smells like a mint necco wafer if one of those exists, while also maintaining a more muted version of that sweet apple skin quality, and a bit of sweet cream in the background. Almost comes off, although vaguely, as milk left over from cinnamon toast crunch but with a minty component as well. 

The dry pull on the joint has a light savory garlic-like tang with a musty hint of mint. The inhale on the bong comes with a musty spice and a muted creamy edge on the bong whereas the joint has a really muted floral with a light mint echo. The exhale on the bong is a very general floral sort of taste that seems fairly devoid of nuance while the joint isn’t much better, coming with a light yet mustier floral with a touch of sweetness, but it’s extremely muted. It should be noted that the ash burned very dark, was fairly harsh, and would not stay lit. Cross checking the flavor on my GhostVapes MV1, at 170c I got a mint pine floral taste with the mint lingering around just slightly. 

Toward the end of the review process I was looking for a small blue dot on one bud that appeared in a couple of my pictures, as I was curious as to what it was, when I came across what I believe may be mold. It is very unfortunate that I went through most of the bag before finding it, and I hope there were not less noticeable spots of mold on the nugs I already smoked. I have put the suspected piece back in the bag for further evaluation down the line. 

The headchange came on quickly enough but sort of hit with a thud. It’s about as generic a high you can get, I felt mildly lit but totally cognizant, and it starts to slowly but surely siphon off your energy without offering much in exchange. It left me with some tired eyes and a “meh” sort of feeling, not only about the herb, but about life in general. In tech there is a concept of a minimum viable product, something that’s just good enough to go out the door and be used by beta testers, and when it comes to the buzz offered by this batch of Wakanda I’d say it’s sort of serving a similar purpose. It’s good enough, it’s perfunctory, and that’s about it. 

It’s unfortunate, but outside of the potential low ticket, I’m not really finding any redeeming qualities in this batch. The poor smoking experience coupled with the lackluster headchange, and the very real possibility of having inhaled mold, leaves me with the inability to recommend this for any reason. Sorry Farmer and the Felon, despite some pretty awesome experiences in the past with your flower, this one was an absolute miss for me.