We’re clearing our pallet for 4/20 and saying farewell to our favorite strains from when we were stuck in the house with no end in sight. So let’s take one last look at the best cannabis we smoked during the first year of lockdown and get ready for all the new hype next month.

Compound – Jokerz

Photo: Jimi Devine

During the Summer of Lockdown, we social distance visited Compound Genetics to get a peek at a propagation that featured a ton of their newest creations. While the table was certainly full of magic, we kept going back to look at five different phenotypes of the White Runtz x Jet Fuel Gelato cross that each took our breath away. In the months since it originally dropped, people who were lucky enough to score some seeds are all absolutely raving on it. Expect to see it hit the market hard at some point.


Alien Labs – Atomic Apple 

Photo: @Chewberto420

We love apple weed. We like to think we were ahead of the curve here at L.A. Weekly as Apple Fritter enthusiasts, but this new generation of work from the lineage we’re starting to see is a banger. Among the top of the list Alien Lab’s Atomic Apple. It was difficult to select between Atomic Apple and their Zkittelz x Kush Mints offering Xeno as our favorite from them during the pandemic, but the apple gets the nod. Go check out our recent look at their garden.


Royal Key Organics – M-Con 8

Photo: Royal Key Organics

Malawi Confidential #8 is easily the rarest thing featured on the list. From the heart of Humboldt County, the indoor rendition of Equilibrium Genetics Santa Cruz-bred stunner is like nothing else. With limited capacity to produce flowers for both the jars and their legendary concentrates, it’s easy to see why real deal L.A. heat enthusiasts kept an eye on menus for its arrival.


CAM – Triangle Mints 

Photo: Chewberto420

Despite CAM’s ridiculous lineup of hitters, Triangle Mints is often the first empty shelf when they do a big drop. We have it edging out the Oreoz as our favorite from the lineup. The TK x Animal Mints cross is rockstar pot from one of the best cultivation teams in the state. Founder Anna Willey was recently featured in our International Women’s Day coverage of the best female growers in California.


Jungle Boys – SFV-TK 

Photo: Jungle Boys

We smoked a lot of kush from the Jungle Boys over the years with zero regrets. They started dropping some of their work with the TK line a few months before the pandemic started, but the SFV-TK held up for us through the pandemic. In a sea of people trying to put a new twist on the gas, SFV-TK hits every note you want to hear when you open up the jar. It’s similar to a symphony of pine and OG notes blasting through U2’s tour speaker setup. I’ve heard other people say it put them down, but I found it pretty uplifting.


Cookies/Powerzzzup – Gary Payton

Photo: Kenny Powers

The mylar version of the famous hitter from Kenny Powers won best weed in Colorado last year. Understandable, as the Snowman and the Y were standouts on their own. I had some Snowman Rosin once with a hyper-competitive terpene profile, right up there with the stuff I just looked at in the Emerald Cup. The Y has found itself worked into various heat over the years.  We were lucky to sample a bunch of Powerzzzup Genetics’ new heaters a couple of months ago that included some epic Gary Payton straight from the mothership. After smoking great versions of it grown at a full production level, Kenny’s headstash version only took it up another notch. Keep an eye out for our interview with Kenny for 4/20.


Your Highness – Shady Apples

Photo: Your Highness

Your Highness was the only company that had two strains make our Best of 2020 in November. But when we put the Shady Apples and Lemon Mints head-to-head, our heart goes with the Shady Apples. The Apple Fritter x Kush Cake cross is for sure at the top of the legal market and must be in the conversation when you’re talking about the best pairing with the Apple Fritter to date. Expect the nose to be a bit more Fuji-esque than Granny Smith.


Fig Farms -Figment 

Photo: Kandid Kush

Fig Farm’s work with Animal Mints has been spectacular in recent years, but one of their latest in-house projects to Purple it up a bit has proven a standout for connoisseur grade smokers during lockdown. That strain is Figment, a pairing of Fig’s award-winning Purple Fig and Animal Mints 199 #4. This grapey variation on Animal Mints is a must-try import from the Bay. You can also check out our podcast with Josh D & Fig Farms last fall.


DEOFarms/Doja Pak/Wizard Trees – RS11

Photo: Doja Pak

Last October when RS11 hit L.A., it came into town like a prime Mike Tyson. Wizard Trees hunted down the phenotype from seeds that came from DEO Farms’ RS line. DEO also clarified the genetics to L.A. Weekly from when we first wrote about RS11, saying it’s a Sunset Sherbert he hit with some Pink Guava pollen. Doja Pak would get it out to the legal market. You have to give the whole trio of participants in the effort seats at the table when you talk about the pandemics’ biggest winners after having the biggest strain drop that wasn’t attached to a celebrity fanbase. Other things built up steam through the pandemic, but the RS11 hype crashed into the station and kept going. We’ll be talking to DEO Farms in the not-too-distant future about all their current breeding work. The Zoap represents his 4th generation of their work with the RS line.


Connected – Lemonatti 

Photo: Connected

We got our first look at the Lemonatii last October when Connected did its first limited batch of the Gelonade and Biscotti sensation. Now that it’s starting to hit the marketplace in bigger numbers, we expect to take off just like its parents did in recent years. The way the lemon terps smash together in such a balanced way with the Biscotti is something you have to experience for yourself.

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