While the debate concerning the best cannabis in L.A. would be lengthy and likely require an event series, we can assure you this quintet of cultivars is not too far from the top of the mountain. They also represent a cross-section of fantastic genetics, both old and new. So whether it's fresh and exciting or has stood the test of time, this is all absolute certified heat.
With vape pens and prerolls welcoming new users with simplicity and flashy branding, the entry bar of the boutique market is where it all starts for many of the consumers who have been the backbone of the market for the last 20 years. That's not to say the price of boutique cannabis should remain $60 an eighth. There is a valid argument that consumers still pay gray-market prices at legal outlets, even after the disappearance of much of the risk they were originally compensating cultivators for.
But you won't have to worry about bang for the buck with this group of strains. While price points will differ, the value is assuredly there for the quality of experience you'll get from these farms and genetics every time.
Jungle Boys' Purple Punchsicle at Los Angeles Farmers
It's a true purple party over at the newly relaunched Los Angeles Farmers off the 10 on 17th Street. The Jungle Boys are known for great, unique cuts (or phenotypes), and Purple Punchsicle is the latest and greatest. 2017's strain of the year, Purple Punch, was developed from the lineage produced by Symbiotic Genetics after the original breeders at Supernova Gardens in Oregon gave their blessing. The original Purple Punch was good. The second, more stabilized generation is as elite as it gets. And this new killer phenotype, Purple Punchsicle, is the Jungle Boys' Purple Punch #20 crossed back again with Purple Punch.
The fact that it was hunted down by a team that does a great job popping seeds means it is tough to not get hyped about. While some people are about that purple-all-day life, Purple Punchsicle is going to be a lot heavier than most things you can get on the shelf in L.A. Once you get past the smell of blue Powerade when you open the jar, you're hit with a couple of sweeter notes hidden on the inside of the nug as you break it up. You've been warned, so it won't be the weed's fault if you're stuck to the couch for a few hours.
Alien Labs' Melonade at Greenwolf
Melonade is one of the three strains Alien Labs used to sweep the Sacramento Cannabis Cup earlier this year, no small task given the number of high-end growers that headed to the state capital for good deals on the commercial real estate within its borders. The strain was originally bred in Oakland by Midwest Best before Alien Labs went on to germinate 30 seeds of the Watermelon Zkittlez x Lemon Tree #11 pairing. Anyone with a clue about elite pot would love to get their hands on either of those two parents, but the new watermelon-dominant phenotype of Melonade easily gives both a run for their money, with the way the watermelon flavor cuts through everything else. Some would no doubt call it better than either half of its lineage, and the trophy case is starting to prove that. This summer was Alien Labs' first go-round with Melonade on the competitive circuit; expect it to win plenty more hardware as the event scene opens up in 2019.
Pistil Point's King Louie O.G. at AHHS WeHo
Alternative Herbal Health Services in West Hollywood has been stocking its board with top-shelf strains since 2002. It's certainly keeping up with the practice in the age of legalization. One thing proving this is the level of distribution company AHHS works with. In the past it could buy direct from the farmers, but regulatory elements have forced middlemen into the industry. So AHHS must work with the best to maintain the standard it has set, and companies such as Pistil Point are an awesome place to start. Pistil Point is distributing a boatload of award-winning genetics from up north — and not the fake awards Billy and the bros came up with, we're talking Emerald Cups. While King Louie hasn't taken home the biggest prizes the scene has to offer, it's a solid O.G. Kush. Pistil Point has found a way to stand out in Oregon's saturated market, so we expect similar results in California over the next few years.
3C's Kush Cookies at Delta 9 THC
The folks at 3C Farms have done a lot of hunting over the years in search of their wide spread of genetics, and they currently rank their Kush Cookies among the best in their pack. The pairing of 3C Illuminati O.G. x 3C Thin Mints offers a blend of Cookies' dynamic flavor profile on top of that classic, musky O.G. Kush fuel smell (well, the good O.G.s, anyway). If you can't get your hands on the Kush Cookies, 3C's Sasquatch Sap is one of the best versions anywhere of the strain formerly known as Gorilla Glue. A quick-draw Cannabis Cup was held by Cannabis Now magazine at the 2017 National Cannabis Industry Association annual conference, and 3C came in a very respectable second place to Tahoe Wellness Cooperative.
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The House Collection's Trainwreck at LAPCG
While few true classics still exist — many were lost as more commercially viable cuts with quality to match took off — LAPCG's Trainwreck is a survivor. It's also arguably the best representation of the strain still in existence on the planet. LAPCG has carried this A-grade phenotype as part of its House Collection for years, along with some other notables like Pincher's Creek. This particular Trainwreck is a legit panic attack–inducing cannabis variety. While generally uplifting like any good sativa, it has a much harder and fast-paced edge to it, similar to a vintage NYC Sour Diesel. The way it jumps out of the jar is almost offensive, and when the smell hits your nose you're transported to some kind of accident at a gas station before you get a soft tickle in the back of your sinus bringing you back to reality — possibly even with a sneeze!