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A Journal of Cannabis and Culture

Pot Top 5

Pot Top 5

MedMen’s cannabis curator, Josh Shlenker, surveyed the strains of the season and picked his favorite five, then a team of EMBER cannabis experts reviewed each for fragrance, quality, and effects. Without further ado: the best cannabis strains. Enjoy!

RATINGS ARE BASED ON CRITICS’ COMBINED REVIEWS OF EACH STRAIN FOR AROMA, POTENCY AND EFFECTS.

GHOST OG
“balanced, mellow, chocolaty”

This powerful yet balanced hybrid smells chocolaty and sweet. The high is mellow, inward-directed, and delivers what might be best described as the ideal late-afternoon high: everything is deeply interesting, everything unveils its nature to you, and you are a part of it all. If the thoughts in one’s head feel a bit syrupy on Ghost, they also possess their own kind of clarity. One reviewer noted that after smoking Ghost OG, she saw that “the tree branches nodding in the breeze were speaking to each other, and they admonished her for not noticing so more often. The entire experience felt healing.” Another reported “mild euphoria,” while a third wrote: “It makes you feel comfortably enveloped in a 360-degree hammock.” The final reviewer described it as “a billowy, pillowy experience,” adding: “I’m not usually this positive, so if this isn’t a good strain, there is no good strain.”

ANIMAL COOKIES
“productive, relaxing, airy”

This strain and its cotton-candy high—which is sweet and airy, with a pleasing body awareness—was unanimously praised by all reviewers. One yoga aficionado believed he could feel precisely which kind of stretches his body needed, another danced to a Spotify playlist, and a third found it a relaxing gateway to excellent sex. “This is the weed you bring to a party,” wrote another, “perfect for enhancing an already good situation.” Yet another reviewer reported that it put him in a “relaxed but productive state of mind, making a mountain of small tasks that was piling up feel not-so- insurmountable after all.” As an end-of-day wind down, Animal Cookies gives way to a peaceful sleep and no fog after sleeping for eight hours, which may be why it is renowned for easing pain and insomnia.

MENDO BREATH
“energizing, crisp, long-lasting”

Energizing, crisp and upbeat, this is a frosty-looking, sweet-smelling strain. At first it is akin to a shot of espresso. Colors appear more vivid, and your mind will be flexible enough to get lost in a begonia leaf or in a sentence you are writing; focus and concentration are possible, at least internally. If alone, you might experience a contemplative high, but one that is not lethargic. Sociability is possible for at least an hour or so. Later, a more mellow mood creeps in. Mendo Breath is a long-lasting hybrid, and can take you from early evening all the way to bed with a pleasant feeling, sans any sign of morning hangover. “This is a chill-ass strain,” wrote one reviewer: “Serve with chicken or fish.” Mendo Breath is also recommended for chronic pain and discomfort.

ROSÉ
“social, relaxing, upbeat”

This indica-dominant strain is social, relaxing, and upbeat. A burst of energy might be followed by a “long chill” which can result in a nice, deep slumber with no grogginess the morning after. One reviewer played poker after smoking it, had no trouble with focus, and enjoyed the company of her fellow card players without feeling like she needed to contribute much. She imagined roses when she smelled it, but then again, she is highly suggestible. Another reviewer wrote, “Once this strain starts to kick in, it relaxes you and melts away your stress. I enjoyed two bong bowls after I was done working out for the day, and I had a great stretch with a foam roller, then listened intently to an audiobook. I felt in tune with the moment, which is great for peace of mind after a long day.”

GELATO
“pungent, graceful, trippy”

This indica-leaning hybrid is extremely suitable for alone time; it produces a solid state of well- being. However, the grace felt within may be unavailable to your physical body. Gelato is not ideal for activities that require extreme focus. One reviewer tripped over ... nothing. Do not operate heavy machinery. Another reviewer noted and advised: “This is a good strain for liking yourself a little bit more. Just delete the selfies after.” “I feel cute and I feel nice,” echoed another, adding, “I can’t feel my feet.” The word pungent came up often (or, rather, “PUNGENTTTTTT”). In fact, growers tend to use air filters or exhaust fans when growing these indoors.

A Journal of Cannabis and Culture
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