It has recently come to my attention that perhaps leaving Colorado out of our annual Strongest Strains on Earth feature (June 2014, Issue #473) may have hurt some feelings out in the Big D. Most notably, “the nation’s most prestigious weed editor,” Mr. Ricardo Baca, posted to his Facebook account this very question: “Why was there no Colorado pot on High Times Strongest Strains list this year?”
As both the High Times Cannabis Cup Competition Director and the author of the article in question, please allow me to explain. First off, my sincere apologies to the great state of Colorado. It was never my intention to bruise neglect one of – if not my outright – favorite state in the union.
But the truth is, at the Denver Cup in 2014, we had some issues with our lab results – or lack thereof. Without naming names (my goal is to never embarrass anyone, especially who aim to support us!), suffice it to say that our competition committee lacked enough confidence in the results we did get to utilize them in our scoring algorithm last year. This is not the worst thing in the world. Since the inception of lab testing in our Cannabis Cups in 2011, we have had a few hiccups with labs as the workload is an absolute beast and sometimes issues arise. So in the end, we simply went old-school in ’14 and allowed the judges’ scorecards to dictate the winners as we had done in the previous 23 Cannabis Cup we held pre-2011.
Why did I not write this in the sidebar to that article? Partially out of fear that some other outlet would jump down our throats and try to poke holes in our Cannabis Cup competition (there’s always a lot of that), and partially out of respect to those labs who tried dearly to support us, but for whatever reasons it just didn’t work out. The good news is that at our Denver Cannabis Cup this past April, we had great success working with a new lab for the first time! Charas Scientific conducted one of the best rounds of lab testing ever for one of our competitions, and I’d like to thank Mary Meek and the whole team over at CS for their help and support this year. They truly did a wonderful job.
Hopefully this clears the air a bit. And since this has become a bit of a hot topic, I figure honesty is the best policy here, so that is the skinny. And now, because I feel so badly about all of this (thanks everyone for the emails), allow me to supplement our Strongest Strains on Earth feature from our June issue, here and now. Without further ado (and without giving away all the goods for our next “Strongest Strain” feature), here are a few of my own personal selections of the DANKEST nugs in CO from the past year. Enjoy!
Denver’s 6 Dankest of the Year
Grimace from Next Harvest (2014)
Similar to the rush you get after chugging a can of soda, Grimace puts a tinge in your spine and lift in your head. A sativa-dominant cross between Blackberry Soda, an OG pheno and an unknown Haze, this strain has reportedly hit 23 percent THC and carries the flavor of a fruity pop. Grown indoors in coco, this flower goes eight weeks and leaves a floral after taste. Warning: Occurrences that are only mildly funny may seem hilarious after smoking this one.
Tangerine Diesel from The Health Center (2014)
Don’t let the name fool you – there is no “Tangie” in this Diesel cut (much to the delight of this author). A pure “Gold Coast ‘97” cut, this Sour Diesel pheno not only exemplified that citrus-fuely Diesel flavor, but is also mind-numbing on the potency scale. A clone-only Sour Diesel pheno, this one was grown indoors in Pro-Mix, with lots of hand-watered love and a professional nutrient blend from the fine folks at The Health Center. Flush and burn were second to none, and if I could have a zip of this in my desk at all times I’d need nothing more.
Chem OG from The Green Solution – Denver (2014)
A favorite among Chem connoisseurs, the Chem OG is a back-cross of the OG to her mother – the ever-potent Chem D. The result is a super terpy and flavorful smoke heavy in limonene, terpinolene, and linalool. This particular flower, entered by The Green Solution (Denver), was grown hydroponically and flowered for 67 days. Her stone is psychedelic and not recommended for amateurs.
Colorado Bubba from MMJ America – Boulder (2015)
Indica, 20.45% THC *
MMJ America has been on top of the medical marijuana scene since its inception in Colorado. And for the past two years, they have also been on top of the Cannabis Cup competition scene, taking home several Cups in both Denver and Amsterdam last year. This past April they took 1st Place in CBD Flowers with Tora Bora, 3rd Place in Medical Hybrid Flowers with OG KB Cookies, and 2nd Place in Medical Indica Flowers for their Colorado Bubba. A new twist on an old faithful in CO, this Bubba brought me to the perfect state for a Star Wars movie marathon (yes, all six).
Bio-Star from High Level Health (2015)
Indica, 29.18% THC
This is just one of many extremely potent entries from our good friends over at High Level Health. Their strain entries regularly tip the scales in the mid-20s on THC values and the flush on their buds is second-to-none with the buds burning down to a clean white ash. This particular strain is not only exceptionally potent, but also extremely flavorful as it is essentially a triple-backcross of the legendary Sensi Star x Bio-Diesel, where the BD is a Sensi Star x East Coast Sour Diesel. Both the Sensi Star (originally of Paradise Seeds) and the ECSD also have multiple phenos of Northern Lights encoded in their DNA. This is one epic strain, to say the least. And if you think hitting 29 percent THC is big news, wait until we unleash our annual Strongest Strains on Earth for 2015, as there might just be a few more big surprises coming out of Denver this year!
Cannatonic from Fresh Baked Boulder (2015)
CBD Flower, 12.74% CBD / 7.38% THC
This is a shout-out to the original CBD strain – Cannatonic. You may have heard about Charlotte’s Web, or R4, or any other strain high in cannabidiol, but nearly all of them started right here with the Cannatonic. And while this particular entry isn’t at all the highest CBD value we have seen from a flower (Editor’s Notes: That would be the Cannatonic X phenotype that went over 19 percent CBD at our Michigan Cup in 2012), this flower is noteworthy because it came closest to the 1:1 THC: CBD ratio that we strive for in medical use. High Times also uses the 1:1 ratio as a component in our scoring algorithm for CBD categories in our Cup competitions. Kudos to Fresh Baked Boulder for this excellent medicinal product.
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!
* Please Note: Labs results provided by Charas Scientific Labs (2015). As always, High Times deeply appreciates the excellent work and results provided by our partner labs at each Cannabis Cup competition. Be sure to always get your grow tested by a certified lab!