For connoisseurs who prefer sungrown craft cannabis, Black Lime Reserve is the epitome of top shelf… The effect is electric. A gentle mental lift flutters in on the first puff, and after a quick hit of calming mood enhancement, a rush of energy comes thrumming down from the head and vibrates through the body, zipping along from lips to toes to fingertips. It’s an effervescent, invigorating, whimsical, sensuous high.

Swami Select’s sungrown Black Lime Reserve flowers are an absolute pleasure to smoke. This is truly artisanal, small-batch, handcrafted cannabis, masterfully produced under optimal conditions, from the best genetics available.

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Spyrock Sour, a Sour Diesel phenotype that has been developed and refined by Aficionado Seeds, reached the finals in the “fruit” category at the 2015 Golden Tarp Awards. The strain became available through Flow Kana shortly thereafter, for Flow Kana’s usual price of $50 an eighth.

These fluffy flowers have a yummy funky fragrance with overtones of sour citrus and sweet mint tinged with fuel, soil, overripe fruit, onion rings, menthol, and floral perfume. The zingy, mouth-puckering flavor — juicy lemon and lime carbonated tartness along with a layer of barnyard and dusty wood chips — stays amazingly tasty all the way through to the end of a joint.

The effect is strong but not overpowering. It’s uplifting, creatively inspiring, and functional, with a nice balance of energetic stimulation and mellow relaxation, and none of the anxiety, jitteriness, or paranoia that Sour Diesel sometimes provokes. This floaty high puts you in a slightly silly state of curious contentment, in which your body wants to move and your mind wants to think.

 

Aficionado’s Chemdawg Special Reserve won first place at the 2012 Emerald Cup, and according to “farm-to-table cannabis delivery platform” Flow Kana, the winning cut has not been grown since then, until now. Flowers from Flow Kana are $50 an eighth and tend to be drier than we prefer, but these felt fresh enough.

The aroma is a balanced blend of lemon, pine, and soil with a light trace of fuel, and the similarly sweet and earthy smoke develops into a rich chocolate stout with notes of chalk dust, moss, and spice.

Chemdawg Special Reserve hits hard and fast, with an instant head rush and an extremely relaxed yet energetic body stone. This stoic high relieves pain and silences mental noise, leaving us numb and dumb, detached and nonchalant.

 
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We had high expectations for Zkittlez, which we purchased directly from 3rd Gen Family at the Healing Harvest Farms farmers market in Laytonville for $45 an eighth. The flowers we received were small and unphotogenic, but a microscope revealed a gooey coating of trichomes.

Zkittlez stands out for its seductive aroma, which is not dissimilar to Skittles but is even more strongly reminiscent of Froot Loops, with a light powdery sweetness and bright layers of citrus, berry, and spice. That fruity fragrance carries through in the exceptionally tasty smoke: a zesty mix of orange, grapefruit, and lime, seasoned with pepper and herbs, finishing with a lingering tropical tang.

One puff is enough to elicit a euphoric buzz. Zkittlez is startlingly potent, with a tingly body effect that is eclipsed by an intense cerebral high. Clear and introspective, it inspires a creatively wandering mind and a sparkly sense of psychedelic enchantment. It is quite easy to unintentionally overindulge, which induces flighty discomfort and possibly lightheadedness or nausea.

Zkittlez is likely to impress the most avid cannabis consumers, but may be overwhelming for those with less experience and lower tolerance.