The holidays are a time to spend with people you care about, people for whom you want only the best. Whether they're on your gift list or attending your holiday party, the cannabis consumers you'll be around this season deserve better than just any old strain. With the help of budtenders, industry insiders, consumers and yours truly, we've put together a list of four hot strains to try this holiday season, and where to find them locally.
"Every time I've smoked it, it's been really well done," says Jesse Rogers, purchasing manager at the Top Shelf. "Good smoke, good taste, good high. That one just keeps popping back up for me."
Spokane's own Redbird Cannabis produces its Grape Cake using an aeroponic growing method, which suspends the plant's roots in misty air rather than soil, allowing for greater oxygen absorption while reducing the amount of water used in the process. Redbird's Grape Cake is an indica-dominant hybrid strain developed as a cross of Grape Stomper, Cherry Pie and Wedding Cake F4. The Top Shelf • 1305 S. Hayford Rd., Suite A, Airway Heights • thetopshelfcannabis.com
Seattle dispensary Dockside Cannabis held an NCAA Tournament-inspired contest this past March, in which customers voted on eight strains to advance in a knockout-style bracket. The winner was Dutchberry from Lacey, Washington, grower Artizen. As the name suggests, this sativa-dominant hybrid and cross of Dutch Treat and DJ Short Blueberry has a fruity flavor combining berry and citrus. The sativa-dominant effects include increased energy and improved mood. Artizen's Dutchberry is grown using only pest control methods listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute, making it ideal for the more health-conscious consumers out there. Cinder Downtown • 927 W. Second Ave. • Cinder North • 6010 N. Division St. • Cinder Valley • 1421 N. Mullan Rd. • cindersmoke.com
Prolific Spokane Valley grower Phat Panda produces a ton of great products, which explains why they consistently land among the top-three in the Inlander's annual Best of the Inland Northwest readers poll in the best cannabis brand category. A personal favorite of mine is their Animal Mintz strain. The Vault sells $6 pre-rolls of the high-THC, indica-dominant hybrid that are perfect for smokers on a budget. Low-tolerance consumers can get even more bang for their buck as a 1-gram joint of this strong strain can last for multiple sessions — just make sure to store the leftovers in a smell-proof container. The Vault • 2720 E. 29th Ave. • thevaultcannabis.com
Leading cannabis industry publication Leafly named Jealousy the Strain of the Year for 2022. Leafly examines sales and online search data to find strains that are surging in the marketplace, which Jealousy has done since it was first introduced in 2019.
"If your local dispensary has Jealousy in stock, it's safe to say that they're savvy to the connoisseur cannabis conversation in the U.S. right now," says David Downs, the bureau chief of Leafly California in a statement.
A true hybrid, Jealousy is a cross between Sherbert and Gelato, winner of Leafly Strain of the Year in 2018. With caryophyllene leading the terpene charge in Jealousy, the smoke packs a peppery, somewhat spicy flavor profile. Cannabis & Glass • 25101 E. Appleway Ave., Liberty Lake • cannabisandglass.com ♦