Xeno from Alien Labs via Catalyst Belmont Shore on 7/25/2020. THC tested out to 30.95%. Purchased for $80 out the door. I happened to catch part of a live stream where @returnofthealien said that Xeno was the best thing smoking and he’d put it up against anything currently on the rec market, which is definitely a bold claim, so I got my hands on some in order to test it’s might. These beautiful christmas tree nugs are mostly a tea green with hunter green accents, shaggy pops of cinnamon orange pistils, and throngs of yellowing triches that are at points so thick it’s as if someone took a tiny trich trowel and smoothed over every crevice with it. Truth be told it’s a bit hard to pin down the coloring due to the swarms of triches completely obscuring a majority of the surface.
The nose out of the jar is a strong candy fruit sweetness, coupled with a deep musty funk and a hint of mint, all wrapped up in this thin candle wax smelling package. Busting open a bud there’s this burst of sweet fruit that nearly overwhelms all other scents but leaves just a bit of room for a creamy backend. Breaking it down by hand you really get a sense for its density, as well as the scent of sweet pine left on your finger tips, where the grinds themselves have a chalked out fruity candy sweetness that brings to mind the smell of warm Skittles and necco wafers while still maintaining that sugary cream in the background. The dry pull on the jay had a sugar sweet candy fruit quality that hit me like a mango hi-chew with a distant musty floral undertone. The inhale was smooth, and had a very unique fruit profile that came off like an overripe pear on the joint, whereas the bong was more of a sugar sweetness with a mint lean. The exhale on the joint is all over the place. It’s a combo of floral and sugar sweet with a chalky twist and a savory chaser that reminded me of the meat in a clam chowder. The exhale on the bong really brings out that sweet cream aspect with a bit of powdered sugar and another savory element that’s like a smokey ghost version of a cheeseburger patty. Cross checking the flavors on my MV1 from @ghostvapesofficial at 170c, I get a slight cooling sensation on the way in, as well as the taste of sweet minty pine that lingers on the tongue for a long while afterward. At 185c, that cooling sensation seems to get even stronger, while the flavor profile shifts to a sugar sweet floral with a piney back end. The headchange comes on quick with a little bit of energy and a nice spacey smack. It’s hard to keep focused, my mind is annoyed with the constraints of the task at hand, and it takes a considerable amount of will to keep productive. Every tiny distraction is an opportunity to take a trip down space cadet lane into a mini escape from your current responsibility. The first time I smoked it, I described it to a group chat as feeling like someone had cast “confusion” on me. My thoughts were all over the place, I couldn’t manage to focus for more than a few seconds before my brain jumped to a seemingly random port of thought deep in the recesses of my mind, so far from where I was and what I was just doing. After the initial thwap faded it became easier to stay on task, while I noticed a weight settled into my shoulders and the occasional ASMR like tingle ran up the back of my neck, while some feel good energy remained and made it a less of a chore to finish out my to-do list. In short, it’s true, Xeno is pretty damn good. In fact, I’d say it’s great. Is it the best weed I’ve ever had on the rec market? No, but it’s definitely up there and frankly there’s no way to answer that without being wholly subjective. Would I cop it again? Yeah, I would depending on the price I could find it at, but I’m not sure I’d grab it again for $80. $80 is lot, and while I believe Catalyst stores now have top tier Alien Labs at $70, I’ve seen it on menus for $100 and that’s pretty nuts. No 8th is worth $100 to me, at least not one I’ve come cross, but that is a very personal decision. I can’t speak for your wallet. This stuff is definitely top notch herb so if you’re ok paying $500 an 8th for that, who am I to stop you? Personally I’d rather grab some Malverde if we are talking straight bang for the buck. I’d put it up against Xeno and it’s half the ticket. That said, Xeno is extremely unique in its flavor and effects and I’d definitely encourage you to pick it up if you can find it at a ticket you feel comfortable with, but it’s not a ‘must have’ to the point you should break the bank over it. That’s if you can even find it really, as it was very short lived in the menus in this area, and I haven’t seen it make a comeback since. Great work on this one Alien Labs, it’s replaced Alien Mints as a personal favorite, and I’ll definitely savor the rest of the jar.
Lemon Cane from Archive California and Alien Labs via Catalyst Cherry on 6/25/2020. Purchased for $68 out the door. I’m a big fan of citrus strains so when I saw this batch of Lemon Cane getting some positive attention I knew I had to get my hands on some. These beautiful shrub-like buds are mostly comprised of a tea green with drab olive accents, cinnamon orange pistils, and an immensely thick layer of yellowing triches giving it that “snowy TV” look as if you’re seeing it on an old CRT with a bad signal.
The nose out of the jar is overwhelmingly lemon with a bit of candy sweetness and hint of mustiness kicking around in the background. On busting open a nug a freshness emerges, a mintiness really dominates the profile with a just a trace of pine, and struggles to push that juggernaut-like lemon out of the spotlight. Breaking it down by hand the grinds give off a lemon pledge scent in a brilliant euphony of citrus, mint and muted pine, while leaving a pleasant lemon scented stickiness on fingertips. The dry pull on the joint is a sweet lemon candy with a slight musty undertone. The inhale is smooth, and on the joint hits the taste buds like a lemon slurpee right at first but has a toasted lemon quality afterward, where the bong is more of a lemon zest with a deep must. The exhale off the joint is almost as if someone zested a lemon directly in your mouth whereas the bong has more of that lemon cleaner quality with a very fresh edge and a deep musty underpinning. Cross checking the flavor on my MV1 from @ghostvapesofficial at 170c, I got a very sweet piney mint that cooled the tongue like an old school York Peppermint Patty, and at 185c that lemon is unleashed with just a touch of mint and pine and will leave you with a long lasting aftertaste. The headchange comes on fast and with a nice dose of energy but also will make you hazy eyed as well as putting some weight on your neck and shoulders. I found myself leaning on it a few mornings as a pick me up but I admit I found myself spacing out more often than not, getting distracted fairly easily, but generally able to snap back into reality without missing a beat. I really liked this batch of Lemon Cane, it’s clearly expertly cultivated, and everything from the smell to the burn was enjoyable in every regard. That said, while I got it at a fair price I’m not sure I’d cop it again as there was nothing particularly standout about the effects themselves. I have seen it on some menus for over $100 there’s no way I’d ever pay that. It’s definitely a solid and satisfying smoke, and depending on what else is on the menu that day I might end up grabbing it again, but I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to get my hands on more especially at anywhere near $100. Ideally it would be at $65 out the door, but with the current climate I’d even say $70 is acceptable, and with the recent price adjustments at Catalyst I’d think they’d agree. Really though it’s not for me to say what the right price is for someone else, I can only speak for my own wallet, and if something is too high a price I simply don’t buy it. That’s the power we have as consumers. However, if a shop can kick $100 eights out the door successfully and sell out of all that stock who am I to hate on that? I just know I won’t be shopping there.
Moonbow smalls from Alien Labs via Connected Santa Ana on 11/16/19. THC tested out to 24.07%. Purchased 7 grams for $99 out the door due to 10% Happy Hour discount. Moonbow is definitely riding that hype wave right now so when I saw Connected Santa Ana had some smalls on deck I knew I had to get my hands on some. These light green near yellowish buds with burnt red pistils are tiny, full of sugar leafs, and lack density but are coated in a heavy frost.
This particular jar also came with a complementary hair as spotted by a few followers with eagle eyes in my first impressions video. The fact is this doesn’t bother me too much especially when you think about the food standards the FDA has set forth for something like ice cream. There’s an allowable amount of rat poop that can be in your ice cream, you can safely eat a certain near untraceable amount of it I guess, so from that perspective one stray hair that some how made its way into this jar of Moonbow isn’t so bad. However it was there so I am noting it. The nose out of the jar is fantastic. It hits with a sickly sweet candy fruit smell coupled with mint, and the more I left my nose in the jar, the more it smelled like a lime lifesaver. It was hard to get a sense for the scent on a busting the nug as there were no buds substantial enough to break open, I tried, but it essentially smelled the same as out of the jar. When grinding it by hand I picked up on a sweet lemon lime scent with mint that seemed to approach near eucalyptus levels of pungency. It really smelled like some sort of muted citrus version of Vics vapor rub. The inhale is smooth and I really don’t pick up on more than a light sugar sweetness. The exhale is much more complex though and I detect elements of that sweet floral citrus that bring a bit of a zing with it reminding me of the flavor off a lemonhead candy. The headchange comes on quick and has a nice spacey thwap to it. I found it to be fairly middle of the road in terms of effect leaning only slightly on the heavier side. I feel it on the forehead and behind the eyes, it gives you that sort of heavy doughface, where it’s like you’ve been slapped in the forehead and eyes with a piece of slightly tossed pizza dough and you feel derped out. There’s also this motivation sapping effect to it, it wasn’t hard to think, I just didn’t want to do anything. I thought at first I might have just been tired the first couple times I tried it but there is this sort of “meh” feeling that sets in after the initial buzz wears off where you just don’t feel like doing much. Even to get motivated to finish this review was a bit of a challenge and I had to shake off that feeling with the aid of multiple cups of coffee. I don’t mind being slumped by any given herb, in fact I most often welcome it, but it felt more like being sad than being tired. Its not like it sent me into a depression but it’s just not a part of the headchange I enjoyed. While it’s a good looking, great smelling herb with a decent smack to it, I just didn’t find any aspect of it quite unique or enjoyable enough where I’d be jumping at the chance to pick up the non-smalls at the full ticket. If it were between this and the Alien Mints I had recently, I’d definitely lean towards the Alien Mints as I was stoked to cop more, which isn’t something I can say about the Moonbow. Is it good? Yes. Is it groundbreaking? If you asked me that about an hour after smoking some I’d probably just say “meh”.
Alien Mints from Alien Labs via Gulf Coast on 10/31/19. No THC levels indicated on the bag. Acquired for $50 donation. I’ve had some great experiences with Alien Labs so when I saw Gulf Coast was packing some unreleased heat I knew I needed to get my hands on some. These nugs are very dense light lime green boulders with forest green lilts and dark orange pistils wrapped in a heavy coating of triches that give the buds a slightly yellow tint.
The nose out of the bag is mint with a sugar sweet back end and just a hint of vanilla. On breaking the nug the mint really amps up and I detect some citrus notes lingering in the background. I had difficulty breaking this down by hand as it was incredibly dense and sticky. Once ground down I picked up on, you guessed it, a strong mint in the foreground with a surprising sweet lemon candy back end that combine into a beautiful scent that really zings the nostrils. The inhale is smooth and really hits you in the sinuses but I don’t get a lot of flavor off it outside of a subtle sweetness. On the exhale that mint makes a comeback and seems to finish out with a minor citrus aftertaste. The headchange is absolutely brutal as it will potentially decimate you in one bowl. Within a minute or two I felt that pressure in my eyes and on the top of my head trying to push me back into the couch as my ability to move seemed to lessen with each passing moment. This one definitely creeps. I had a few things to do but I suddenly became expert at coming up with excuses as to why they didn’t matter and being couchlocked was a good thing. Not even the idea of going to the fridge and getting some pizza was motivating enough to get me off the couch, and I love pizza, especially when I’m stoned so that speaks to the power of its binding effects. I found myself gravitating towards Alien Mints to end the night over most everything else in my current stash which also speaks volumes. For the ticket it’s a fantastic smoke and one I wouldn’t hesitate on picking up again. Excellent work to the crew at Alien Labs and big thanks once again to Gulf Coast for always carrying that unique fire power.
Star Dust from Alien Labs via Connected Santa Ana on 10/07/19. THC tested out to 23.95%. Purchased for $40 out the door. I spotted this Star Dust on the Connected Santa Ana menu at a killer rate so swooped in ASAP and picked it up. Unlike the Gushers this batch wasn’t too old as it was packaged back on 6/14 so I was surprised to see it at such a discount. This batch was comprised of a few bigger fox tail-ish buds. The surface was a light lime green with dark purple lilts made even lighter looking overall by the thick layer of triches that ran through every layer of the nug with only the occasional and rare appearance being made by some petite orange pistils.
The nose out of the jar was a musty pepper with an extremely faint sweet citrus in the background. It was so faint it was really hard to pin down but I did detect something other than just pepper. On the nug break the pepper was still ever present and seemed to dominate the scent profile. On the hand break down I picked up on a subtle sweet citrus that got closer to the foreground but was still playing second fiddle to that musty peppery scent while the triches were left feeling like big grains of salt running between my fingers. The inhale was smooth and I of course caught the slight taste of pepper as you might expect. On the exhale I pick up on a fresh aspect, it hit my tongue as vaguely mint. The headchange comes on quick and brings a little bit of energy and a sense of well being with it. It’s a great middle of the road hybrid as you can focus for the most part and get things done if need be but you stray off path even just a little you might find yourself spacing out and getting pleasantly lost in your own thoughts. While I really enjoyed Star Dust, and would be a buyer all day long at the discounted ticket, I’d have to say I’d be much more hesitant at the full rate. While it’s great any time herb that’s no doubt cultivated masterfully, there’s nothing particularly unique about it where I can justify shelling out for it again at the normal rate.
Area 41 from Alien Labs via Connected Bellflower on 9/25/19. THC tested out to 25.89%. Purchased for $80 minus 20% first time patient discount. It seems like every review I’ve read on Area 41 has been overwhelmingly positive so when I saw Connected Bellflower had it on deck for their Grand Opening I figured it was time to jump in and see what’s what. The buds in this batch are beautiful light green shrub like boulders with dark reddish brown hairs that are fairly numerous but nearly go unnoticed at points as they’re camouflaged by a dense layer of triches that give the surface a slightly yellowish hue.
On opening the jar the scent nearly leaps out and bops you on the nose with a gorgeous bouquet of sweet fruits that I’ve come to describe as “that foreign fruit market smell” with just a hint of citrus in the background. On breaking the nug I pick up on a lemony sweetness that really zings the nostrils. Breaking it down by hand it really widens out into an array of citrus scents while it also leaves so many huge triches on your fingers they nearly feel like grains of salt between them. The inhale is smooth and I don’t detect really any sort of a taste but the exhale is something else. Not only is it this delicious lemon fuel but it’s the only herb I can recall that leaves such a strong aftertaste in your mouth. I feel like I was tasting it for a good 2-3 minutes after I’d taken my last rip. The headchange is a real wallop and I can understand why it has such a positive reputation amongst my reviewer buds. After only two rips I found myself absolutely lost in the sauce. Watching TV I started to space out so hard at points that I’d go literally slack jawed and only on snapping back into reality for a few brief moments at a time would I realize it. I’d say it’s good herb to smoke any time you want to get sent straight to space as It does indeed smack like a mack truck. Area 41 really is a fantastic herb and while I would have a hard time paying the normal ticket on the regular I think I’d be down to splurge on it now and then. If I ever find it on sale, I’m definitely going to be there in a heart beat. Fantastic work on this one Alien Labs, you more than killed it on this batch, you murdered it threw it in a ditch and lit it on fire.
Baklava from Alien Labs via Puffy on 7/3/19. THC tested out to 26.2%. Purchased for $60 pre-tax, normally $90 according to the Puffy website. After having a good experience with the smalls, I wanted to try out a real deal indoor eighter and see if it was worth the higher ticket. On opening the jar I realized how apt a name “smalls” is as these nugs look very similar structure wise to their tiny counterparts. Big chunky green boulders crusted in beautiful triches.
The nose is extremely sweet with a slight bit of musty spicy freshness. Smells like walking through a foreign fruit market where you’re unfamiliar with all the fruit but it smells great. The inhale and exhale are both smooth as expected and yield a bit of that sweet fruity taste. The headchange comes on quick and sits on your head in a way that’s hard to describe. It feels like someone took a warm fuzzy damp towel and wrapped it around your brain. I found myself pleasantly drifting off into my own thoughts, not exactly feeling sleepy, but drifting off miles away where you then snap back to reality and have to ask yourself “what was I doing?”. In short, it’ll leave you hella spacey which is appropriate given the source. The effect has a significant staying power, as where if I managed to finish a bowl, I wouldn’t be reaching for another one for quite sometime. It’s definitely deserving of a top tier ticket as Baklava brings a unique top tier experience. Would I pay $90 for this? No, I honestly can’t say I would. I don’t fault Alien Labs for the pricing as that’s not within their control, but I do think this is the unfortunate side of effect of an emerging market. If you don’t shop smart, you’ll end up paying too much, but I suppose that’s true of retail in general. If you can find it at a ticket you feel comfortable with and like what you’ve read in this review then I can’t recommend it enough. Another great effort by the folks at Alien Labs!
Galactic Gas (Smalls edition) from Alien Labs via Connected Santa Ana on 5/28/19. THC tested out to 16.58% total. Purchased a 7 gram jar for $93 after tax. I picked this up at Connected the same day I picked up their Galactic Gas Outdoor (aka YOLO) so I could contrast and compare. On opening the jar, the smell is very evident, but the visual difference is stunning. The smalls live up to their name size wise but appear mighty. The surface is heavily fortified with extremely rich trich coverage obscuring the deep purple hues and dark greens that comprise the meat of the nug. There are hairs but they are so tiny they appear as small orange spots.
The smell is extremely unique, it’s a mix of sweet and fruity, with little bits of floral and mint when finger ground. In the jar it has almost a sickly sweet quality to it, very similar to a rotting tropical fruit smell, but in best way possible. The smoke is smooth and does carry a bit of that sweetness on the exhale. The headchange is Clark Kent. That is to say, hella mild mannered. This definitely doesn’t kick like it’s outdoor cousin, it’s a very even headed high that doesn’t leave you too spacey, it gently takes you up to a cruising altitude. Sometimes it’s nice to have an herb that doesn’t hit you too heavy, but has a little staying power. I’d say this would be good to smoke before an afternoon lecture or a boring meeting, it’ll not overwhelming to the point where you’ll be paranoid about people knowing you’re high but will help you pleasantly drift through a boring task that requires focus. If you’re looking for straight bang for the buck, I’d say reach for the outdoor/YOLO variant. If you’re looking for a great smelling beautiful weed that doesn’t smack too hard, then the Galactic Gas smalls might be exactly what you need. Personally, I may buy this again if the price was brought down to something like $70 out the door, but I’ll definitely be checking the label going forward. I feel foolish to admit it, but I didn’t compare percentages of THC on the labels between the smalls and the premium indoor. Justacusty informed me that his batch of Galactic gas tested out at a whopping 28.94% and is some of the best bud he’s ever smoked so I may get spendy with it if I come across a batch like that in the future. Overall a pleasant experience but not one I’m sure I’d repeat at that price point.
Galactic Gas (YOLO/Outdoor edition) from Alien Labs via Connected Santa Ana on 5/28/19. THC tested out to 25.31% total.Purchased for $28 out the door. I had seen Galactic Gas on instagram as of late so I checked Connected Santa Ana and noticed they have 3 variations. Premium indoor, indoor smalls, and this outdoor which they have termed “YOLO”. All of which descend in pricing fairly dramatically. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this outdoor variant. The nug itself looks very non-suspect, just average run of the mill outdoor, light yellowish green with tiny unpronounced hairs and just a slight dusting of triches.
Its not going to win any beauty contests on looks alone, but we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and this Galactic Gas is definitely top bottom shelf. The smell from the bag is a musty sickly sweetness, a bit of rotting fruit kind of smell, with a bit of pine in the background. When you grind it up, something magical happens, and it unlocks the smells deep within the nug. I highly suggest finger grinding just a little bit of this nug if you pick it up so you can experience it. It’s a beautiful sweet fruity candy mix of scents and it starts to give you that finger hash feeling as soon as you pinch down hard. What’s really awesome is that smell carries over to the taste of the inhale/exhale. This is really great outdoor. The headchange comes on quick and leaves you comfortable and spacey but not too sedated. You can focus on a task if need be, but you’ll want to save this for a free afternoon where you just want to kick back and listen to music, maybe have a bbq or another activity where you feel comfortable going on autopilot as you may find yourself going into that mode quiet a bit. While I would like to see this at something like $20 out the door eventually, in today’s recreational market, for a brand name it’s a pretty good bargain. Great outdoor showing from the Alien Labs team!