HitchHiker from Connected

HitchHiker from Connected via Catalyst Cherry on 12/22/2021. THC tested out to 28.31%. Purchased for $80 out the door. After taking a break at the end of last year, I wanted to get back into the swing of things by grabbing some new hype, so when @nathan.avila gave me the heads up on this Hitchhiker drop at Catalyst Cherry I figured it fit the bill perfectly. 

The outward appearance of these light and fluffy shrub like buds are indigo and aubergine mixed in equal parts with shades of lime and parakeet green, sporadic bursts of shiny copper colored pistils flare along the ridges of the of the calyx and especially pop when contrasted against the richest purples of the nugscape, all of which is flocked in a fairly thick coating of white and egg cream colored triches. 

The nose out of the jar is a subtle floral sweetness, with a very minor touch of fruit, and what hits me as a cheesy lean. Busting open a bud there’s a deep musty funk that emerges, with a sweet yet sharp vaporous quality that zings the nostril, and is slightly reminiscent of the feeling I got from breathing in car exhaust when I was a kid. Breaking it down by hand my fingers are inundated with a very minty must, while the grinds themselves have a deep rich funk that comes off similar to GMO but less acrid, while a sweet vaporous mint keeps its presence known and battles for attention against that show stealing rank. 

The dry pull on the joint has a light grungy chem-like taste that hits as overall savory with a touch of floral sweetness and chalk on the backend. The inhale on the joint has a slight gassy bounce off the tongue, whereas on the bong it dials it back, and comes with a light gassy floral and a very distant hint of rubber. The exhale on the joint is a sweet chalky floral coupled with that vaporous zing, and a sweet musty exhaust aftertaste that brings a bit of a raw dough quality with it as well. On the bong there’s a grungy funk with a slightly musty dough aftertaste and an occasional, but not always present, muted minty tang. Cross checking the flavors on my GhostVapes MV1 at 170c I get an extremely strong minty zing on the way in, while the exhale comes out like a straight minty Pine-sol, with an aftertaste that stuck around my mouth for an inordinate amount of time, and only dissipated when I went back to drinking my coffee. Turning it up to 185c the strength of the mint wanes on the inhale, but becomes more pronounced on the exhale against the pine, yet it still retains that forceful chemical aftertaste. 

The headchange comes on fairly fast but is subtle in nature. Physically I felt a slight headband effect which translated to a haziness that sat on top of, and behind the eyes, while a touch of weight hit my shoulders and a chill vibe set in. There was also this feeling of lacking coordination, nothing too debilitating, but I wouldn’t want to be challenged to a fight or a foot race in that state exactly. Mentally I was alert and able to focus when needed, however there were occasional bouts of hardcore spaciness would take me off the rails, but they wouldn’t last all too long and when regaining presence it wasn’t too hard to get back on track. It also seemed to have a slight creeper effect where it took about twenty minutes to fully take hold, but wasn’t all too overwhelming or powerful even at its height.

Overall, this is a beautiful herb with a funky yet pleasing terp profile, and a gentle thwap that’ll stay with you for a couple hours. While I enjoyed it, I can’t see myself personally picking it up again at the current ticket as there’s a lot of fantastic herb out there within that bracket I haven’t tried yet, and there was nothing particularly unique about the smoke or effect that has me foaming at the mouth to get my hands on more. The vape experience was one of the most flavorful in recent memory though, so if your primary method of ingestion is a vape and you like what I’ve said about it, it might be right up your alley but it’s just a little shy of re-up status for me. 

Lemonatti from Connected

Lemonatti from Connected via Catalyst Santa Ana on 10/9/2020. THC tested out to 24.71%. Purchased for $85 out the door. In the distance, I could see huge plumes of smoke shooting out from the Hype Train, and today it was carrying Lemonatti. These foxtailed buds are a mix of deep aubergine and midnight blue along with shades of office and shamrock green, coupled with both fiery and cream orange pistils, and and a fortified layer of frost comprised by copious amounts of gently yellowing triches.

The nose out of the jar is a sweet lemon with a zesty edge and a musty pastry-like back end. Busting open a bud, a sugar sweetness with a cookie undertone takes center stage, with the lemon being pushed far into the wings but remaining present. Breaking it down by hand I found a minty lemon stuck to my fingers, while the grinds themselves have a semi-artificial lemon slushie/slurpee scent, but it’s hard to pin down exactly because the lemon seems to widen out beyond citrus into more of a general fruit vibe to the point it comes off vaguely similar to a Simply Lemonade with Blueberry. The dry pull on the j has a muted sweet lemon that ended up being milder than I anticipated. The inhale is smooth, and has a sweet and musty lemon on the joint, where the bong is a much more muted lemon experience.  The exhale is a heavy grungy lemon with a minty pine aftertaste on the joint, where the bong has a lighter lemon quality with that muted pastry cookie undertone, and via either method it ends up tickling the septum just a little bit. Cross checking the flavor on my MV1 from @ghostvapesofficial at 170c, I get a slightly cool piney lemon that gives me some muted cleaner vibes, which finishes out by leaving the ghost of a lemon aftertaste on the tongue. At 185c, there’s a minor cooling effect that occurs with a lemony zing on the way in, while the exhale is an overwhelming lemon that has some staying power and rounds out with a paper like finish. The headchange comes on quick, is heavy on the eyes and forehead, and saps me of any sort of motivational momentum that I may have had just moments earlier. It leaves me feeling dough faced and pretty meh and wondering why this experience cost $85. I thought that maybe my disdain for the buzz was partially due to my state of mind at the time so I decided to write up my thoughts, shelf it until it was time for my final write up, and revisit it in earnest. Between that time and now I’ve come across a couple very high ticket batches from other brands that had such poor showings, that in comparison, it’s given me a newfound respect for this Lemonatti. In my original rough draft review that was posted to Patreon, I was much harsher in my final verdict, while now I’ve softened it up to this: While I am still not a fan of the near depression like headchange, the taste and overall quality was fairly superb, but I can’t say those qualities were enough to push me to the point of saying I’d cop it again for $85. There’s just too much good stuff out there for less. Sorry Connected, this was some quality herb, but it just missed the mark for me. 

Gushers from Connected California

Gushers from Connected California via Connected Santa Ana on 10/07/19. THC tested out to 24.33%. Purchased for $40 including tax (out the door). Gushers is one of those strains I’ve heard about for the past couple years but just never had the privilege of trying. More often that not it was just too expensive compared to other options on the table at the time so when I saw Connected had it on sale I swooped it up. I admit, I did have a little hesitation as I noticed that not only was it in a bag but it was coming up on being about a year old. The ticket was too good to pass up though so I pressed on. The nugs on this batch are extremely dense and only give slightly to an intense pinch. They hit the eye as a mostly dark green but on closer inspection I see it’s an intense patchwork of light and dark with orange pistils gathering in bunches and breaking through the surface where ever they can but mostly being stymied and stunted by the overall density of the bud. There’s a light yellowish dusting of triches that coat the herb but seem nearly lost amongst the darkness of the backdrop.

The nose out of the bag is fruity but sickly sweet. It’s close to that “foreign fruit market” smell but its muted. On the nug break the scent remains consistent which is kind of unusual as it will typically intensify at least some what on the break. Surprisingly on the hand break down the sweet scent seems to get even more muted but also carries with it just a slight hint of mint. Very strange to come across a batch that doesn’t get louder as it’s ground but that’s definitely what I experienced here. The inhale has a sour note and it a little harsh on the throat. On the exhale I catch a bit of fruit but it remains muted. The headchange is heavy on the head and eyes but is fairly middle of the road and nothing to write home about really. You feel fairly relaxed but not too spacey and while you’re not exactly couchlocked you won’t find yourself finding having motivation to do much either. While I was glad to pick this up on discount, if this is similar to what a fresh batch has to offer I can’t see myself repeating this experience, especially at the full ticket. Sorry Connected, even with this discount, this one was a miss for me.

Fuelato from Connected California

Fuelato from Connected California via Connected Bellflower on 9/25/19. THC tested out to 22.95%. Purchased for One whole American Dollar on special. It’s hard for me to do a review on a G but since I got this one on special I figured I’d give it a shot. From what I’ve been told, this is the same cross as Alien Labs Area 41 so I may draw some comparisons here and there between the two as I go. The buds here are a little squished from their journey in the bag which is really a point against bags. I know it might be cost prohibitive to put Gs in jars but I feel like it’s best for preserving the nug/triches overall. The surface is a familiar light green with dark brown hairs coupled with a similar layer of triches that give them a slightly yellowish tint. The buds themselves look more pine tree like as opposed to the shrub like buds found in the Area 41 jar.

Out of the bag, while faint, I do detect a slightly sweet lemon smell. On breaking the nug this sugary sweetness mildly dominates the scent profile with a very faint smell of lemon in the background. On the finger grind the sugary sweetness still takes center stage while that lemon is hanging out in the wings. Breaking it down by hand was a little more difficult than it was with the Area 41, which again, I’m going to pin on being squished in the bag. It also didn’t leave any sort of stickiness on the fingers nor lingering triches. The headchange is solid but nothing like the near one hitter quitter status I experienced with Area 41. I was able to smoke a couple bowls back to back and while it’s heavy, it’s not debilitating, and it does have a feel good euphoric aspect to it. You can function and focus if need be while still feeling that pressure behind the eyes and down into the body. It might be a little too heavy for a wake and bake but I’d say it’s a decent herb for any time of day. That said all things being equal, if it is indeed the same cross as Area 41, I have to give this one to Alien Labs. If not, on it’s own merits it’s a fairly decent herb but one I was glad to get on special and may be hesitant to cop at the full ticket, especially if it comes in a bag.

Guava from Connected California

Guava from Connected California via Connected Santa Ana on 7/9/19. THC tested out to 21.66% Total. Purchased for $28 plus tax. The smell out of the bag is fruity and sweet which is no surprise given the name Guava. The nugs themselves are dark green little boulder looking shrubs that are fairly dense but still have the slightest give to the squeeze. There are dark orange hairs that seem nearly vacuum sealed to the surface with the way they cling to it.

On the finger grind you get a really sweet fruity candy scent, it has this artificial sweetness zing to it that kind of reminds me of old school Fruit Stripe gum or grape Big League Chew. You also get a little bit of that sticky finger hashy feeling on the touch. The inhale is slightly harsh and there’s not a lot of taste on the exhale except for a hint of fruity mustiness. The headchange comes on in a mild way and doesn’t hit too hard. This is nice mellow hybrid that will allow you to focus if need be, but is much better suited to an afternoon kicking back and watching movies. It doesn’t exactly lock you down, but it hits you behind the eyes in that way where you really don’t feel motivated to do much, except maybe take a nap eventually. It’s a fine hybrid at a fair ticket on the rec market but it’s nothing to really write home about.

Gelonade (Smalls Edition) from Connected California

Gelonade Smalls from Connected California via Connected Santa Ana on 6/14/19. THC tested out to 28.2% total. Purchased for $93 out the door for a 7 gram jar. I decided to give the Connected Smalls another shot after checking out the testing results on this batch and it being on par with the top shelf indoor batch. The nose on this run is incredible, it smells like straight lemon peels, there’s maybe a hint of sweet in there but it’s definitely steamrolled by the glorious zing of citrus. The Lemon Tree heritage really shines though. The nugs themselves are tiny but look fantastic. Mostly light green with patches of dark while the brownish orange pistils grip the surface of the bud and also fill in any cracks in the nug structure. The triches are small and plentiful, an even coat of frosting giving the herb nice hazy sheen overall.

The inhale is smooth and you catch lemon flavors on the way in but especially on the way out. The headchange is quick and strong and fairly complimentary to whatever activity you may be doing. To use now outdated terminology I’d say it’s a sativa leaning hybrid. At first it semi racey but doesn’t have a paranoid edge, you can focus on and stay on task but it’s easy enough to get sucked into the couch, especially about 30-45 minutes in when the initial punch starts to wear off. I think this is a really great any time smoke that packs a good punch and has a fairly long lasting intensity. This experience has definitely redeemed Connected/Alien Labs Smalls in my opinion, and while I’ll definitely compare labels going forward, it’s a great way to get a taste of the top shelf at a more mid tier ticket.

Sugar Cone (YOLO/Outdoor Edition from Connected California

Sugar Cone (YOLO/Outdoor Edition from Connected California via Connected Santa Ana on 6/14/19. THC tested out to 24.23% total. Purchased for $28 pre-tax. After my last positive experience with Connected/Alien Labs outdoor, I decided I’d give the entire line up a go since they come in at a bargain ticket on the rec market. I asked the budtender for her recommendation and she pointed me in the direction of this Sugar Cone and I’m glad she did. From what I’m told it’s Cookies and Cream crossed with Gelato #41. In my first impressions video I said the bag smells like an empty vanilla ice cream container that’s been left out at room temp for a couple hours, it was the first thing that came to mind when smelling it and I stand by that impression. When you break it up by hand the vanilla smell is still there and it’s accompanied by sweet and spice, specifically cinnamon, oddly enough it smells vaguely like Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Clusters. It’s not extremely overwhelming but the scent is there and I really dig it. The bud itself really looks great. It’s very dense and there’s a nice coating of shiny triches that grip tightly to the surface.

The smoke is smooth and you catch a bit of that sweetness on the exhale. The headchange comes on quick but doesn’t thwap you too hard at first, but will cause you to start spacing out if you’re not actively doing something. You could almost get away with wake and baking on this strain but it leaves you just a little too floaty for focus based activity. If you have some light housework or a walk to go on, or any other activity you can go on “autopilot for”, this strain would be a good compliment to that sort of day. It’s a very pleasant and uplifting high that can wash away the remants of a bad day without leaving you too floored. Great experience over all and really makes me confident the next batch of outdoor I pick up from Connected will not disappoint. Excellent work by all those at Connected who were involved!