Weed Coast: New Strains to Try for a New Year

Enjoying more joints was your resolution for 2019, right?

More than any other form of cannabis consumption, including inhaling through a pipe, bong or vaporizer, or ingesting it in an oil or capsule, a perfectly rolled joint is arguably one of the most celebrated ways to enjoy a new strain.There’s just something so convivial and social about standing outside with a group of friends, huddling together in the fresh, crisp, west coast winter air, as you puff, puff, pass (on the left-hand side). Shared experiences tend to be the most fulfilling, don’t you agree?Should you choose to sample a new variety or two via the handy pre-roll method, here are a few new suggestions:Rest is a proprietary indica-dominant hybrid (similar to Pink Kush) produced by Cove, a BC brand that is part of the Ontario-based Peace Naturals Project. Breaking the package seal, I was greeted with rich aromatics that included notes of Turtles chocolates – you know, caramel, milk chocolate and nuts, with a hint of something more savoury, like cardamom. The one-gram joint was high in THC (just shy of 20%), and featured flavourful terpenes such as myrcene (sedating), limonene (energizing) and caryophyllene (balancing). A few draws gave me a quick energy boost, not unlike the simmering rush of being pulled uphill on a rollercoaster before the first big drop. What followed was a long, gentle, and measured descent into relaxation that lasted about 90 minutes overall. It tasted great, too.I was curious to sample the Rio Bravo (Wabanaki) half-gram pre-roll from Edison Cannabis Co, produced by Organigram in Moncton, New Brunswick. A sativa-dominant hybrid with 15.9% THC (what I consider mid-range) and terpenes that included terpinolene, myrcene and caryophyllene, it delivered spicy flavours of parsley and cedar. Giving proof that mindset and setting can influence the effects, I tried it on two separate days with completely different results. The first day, I had a quick puff as I sat down for some online research, hoping for a creative catalyst. Perhaps because I was under time pressure for an impending deadline, I felt spacy and unsettled, not enjoying the experience. The following evening, I gave it another try, this time while enjoying an “intellectual” comedy on Netflix (BoJack Horseman). Much better. My already relaxed mindset allowed me to happily settle into the session without feeling dazed and confused.To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from a joint priced at just $4.20 (get it?) but was rewarded with a surprisingly enjoyable, relaxing and calm experience from the THC BioMed SativaLandrace” half-gram pre-roll, grown in Kelowna. Relatively high THC levels (approx. 19.7%) were paired with terpenes that included caryophyllene and terpinolene, two compounds thought to provide soothing effects. The flavours were pleasant as well, lightly herbal, with fruity overtones of honeydew. My only issue here is with the confusing naming convention. By definition, a landrace is a strain that evolves naturally, without human intervention, rarely found in a commercial setting. Consider a landrace more like an heirloom, or the mother of all mother plants, which I don’t think this is. It’s more than likely a proprietary strain or a blend of mixed sativa plants. I suggest that it would be more useful to an increasingly-educated customer base for people to know the lineage of their favourite strains, which can guide them more effectively towards a desired outcome.Finally, the floral, minty, fruity, sweet orange-and-apple-y aromas of Ace Valley’s Sativa half-gram pre-roll had me predisposed to enjoy it. And I did. Grown by The Flowr Group in the Okanagan for moderate THC levels (17.62%), it was balanced by terpenes that included caryophyllene (there it is again) and limonene, which provided those aforementioned citrus and minty flavours, and a mildly energetic lift. Perfectly pleasing.As a side note, I should mention that Cove and Ace Valley are just two of the few cannabis brands that pride themselves on non-irradiated product. Considered generally safe, the use of gamma irradiation is widely used in both the food and cannabis industries to eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms that might cause mold and mildew. However, mounting evidence suggests that irradiation degrades the efficiency of the terpenes, leading to a reduction in flavour and potential effect. With a little extra effort, giving love and care to each one of those special plants, top quality producers should rarely have to irradiate. The breakdown: Rest by Cove, indica-dominant pre-roll ($10.99 / gram); Rio Bravo (Wabanaki) by Edison Cannabis Co, sativa-dominant pre-roll ($6.99 / 0.5 gram); THC BioMed Sativa “Landrace” pre-roll ($4.20 / 0.5 gram); Ace Valley Sativa, sativa-dominant pre-roll ($7.99 / 0.5 gram) 

 Find more cannabis stories and reviews with our Weed Coast column archives here!