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. 

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.