In one of our most exotic strolls yet of the new year, we visited Node Labs’ R&D rooms to see what the next wave of heat is for 2022. 

Over the last few years Node Labs has firmly stamped its mark on the tissue culture and genetics games. A number of the state’s top nurseries source their original clean cuttings from Node before propagating them for the wider industry. This is important to prevent pests and diseases from running rampant across the state. 

But once you get past the fridges full of fresh plants ready for their next home, you get to the hype. As home base for Compound Genetics, there are few places more exciting at the moment in cannabis genetics. Node hunts down some of Compound’s most prized genetics at their facility in a few different rooms in hopes of finding something to spread out to the masses. 

Node Lab’s Chief Business Officer Dan Adler-Golden is truly one of the industry’s kingmakers. As he helps Compound and Node grow, he has first access to some of the strains the world is most excited about. In a sense, with these pheno hunts at Node, he and the team are essentially picking what the world is going to be excited about.

A lot of the weed we’re most excited about here at L.A. Weekly is spreadsheet weed. Before anything gets a flashy name, it might just be some numbers to keep track of everything. That’s where the real magic is. 2023’s biggest strain is probably somewhere on a spreadsheet right now making its way through a pheno hunt.


One of the stars of the tour was Chivo. We saw a variety of phenotypes, but number #5 tends to be one of the lucky numbers at Node Labs and you can see that hold up here with El Chivo #5. The strain pair’s NorCal_ICMag’s OGKB Blueberry Headband with Compound’s Grape Gas.

El Chivo stands tall among the other R&D projects

While arguably a sliver less gorgeous looking than the #5, anyone would be thrilled to smoke the El Chivo #20 in a few weeks.

The King Slayer was another standout from the tour. The bouquet of fragrances that covers the fingers when you check to see the aroma the plant’s terpene-coated nugs put off are new but have some classic notes from the prime purple era for sure. The King Slayer is a pairing of the Black Rose F11 with the Royal Kush F10.

Adler-Golden inspects the King Slayer.

The rooms run on different light cycles to minimize power usage at any given time. Here Adler-Golden inspects some plants using a green light that won’t impact their development.

It’s well-known we’re Jokerz enthusiasts here at L.A. Weekly. And while #31 is the top dog at the moment, there is always a chance at more magic. Currently, the Jokerz #99 is in testing to see if it can live up to the hype of its sibling.

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