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I’m still bloated from Christmas. My bank account is empty. My credit card is full. I’m participating in “Dry January”, but the Vancity weather is wet and cold. I’m swollen, skint, sober and soggy.Thank God there’s legal weed.For those of you who resemble the above remarks, I’ve rounded up a few budget-friendly offerings that are sure to lift your spirits. Nothing is over nine bucks per gram (before tax), and all are available through legal channels.One quick note—the more I enjoy (and share) cannabis, the more I see how it affects everyone differently, and sometimes dramatically. What I find to be a mild sensation may be overwhelming to others. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but always start low and go slow. Always.For your consideration, I offer White Shark, a sativa-dominant hybrid from Redecan in Ontario. A cross between Super Skunk (an indica-dominant hybrid), a Brazilian sativa and an unidentified indica from India, the small, lime green buds arrived with a fresh dusting of creamy trichomes. It released notes of sweet green Life Savers and dried pineapple when squished between my fingers like those Styrofoam packing peanuts. With my first taste, I experienced a subtle elation, likely because its two dominant terpenes (aromatic compounds), caryophyllene and myrcene, are both thought to provide a relaxed experience. But it’s the bud’s third most abundant terpene, limonene (in combination with 18.9% THC), which was responsible for that gentle lift. Pleasant.Next, I tried the Utopia from Doja, produced in Kelowna. Utopia is an indica-dominant hybrid that boasts an unidentified Afghani (indica) strain and DJ Short’s legendary (and eternally popular) Blueberry as its proud parents. Sadly, my gram arrived dry and dusty, and was shy to reveal its promised aromas. What I did receive, though, was a familiar scent of earl grey tea, maybe with a touch of cardamom. The flavours were similar, adding notes of freshly-ground coffee and dried apricot. At just 13.8% THC, I expected the experience to be mild. And it was.For a couple of reasons, I really wanted to like the 301 Napali CBD (aka God Bud), part of the 300-series from Haven St., a brand from Terrascend in Ontario. For one, I’m intrigued by the way they have differentiated each of their five product lines, dividing products not only by their predominance of THC and CBD, but also by each strain’s representation of terpenes. Please allow me to explain it on their behalf:Imagine you have two different strains, side by side. Both of them contain the same amount of THC, but their dominant terpenes are completely unique. One of the strains is dominated by myrcene, and the other one mostly features pinene. Since myrcene characteristically delivers a more sedate experience (along with aromas of tropical fruits and sweet earth), and since pinene is thought to offer a more upbeat feeling (accompanied by scents of pine and mandarin orange), we can predict that the intensity of each session (from the THC) will be the same, but the character of each experience will be distinct to each terpene. But I digress… back to the bud.God Bud is a classic BC Bud strain, one of those legendary cultivars that put our underground industry on the global map. The high-CBD version from Haven St., despite its dryness, radiated bright notes of pine, white pepper and mint as I ground it up in preparation for the pipe. It was perfectly-balanced for someone like me, featuring nearly 12% CBD and a modest 6.5% THC that kept me happily engaged.The Island Pink, an indica-dominant hybrid grown in Delta by Emerald Health, turned out to be the last offering in this value-driven session. The buds, compact and dense, were awash in seaweed green leaves, dotted with driftwood-coloured pistils. With just one puff, I felt its effects right away, but pleasantly, and sleepily so. Take care with this one – the blend of potentially sedating terpenes like caryophyllene, humulene (found in hops) and myrcene, combined with a relatively high percentage of THC (19%), could be a portend to an early bedtime. In fact, it was the perfect time for a short nap.Wake me up in March.The breakdown: White Shark by Redecan, sativa-dominant hybrid ($7.99 / gram); Utopia by Doja, indica-dominant hybrid ($8.99 / gram); 301 Napali CBD by Haven St., indica-dominant hybrid ($8.99 / gram); Island Pink by Emerald Health Therapeutics, indica-dominant hybrid ($7.99 / gram).