Cannabis has the potential to heal the earth and the people at the same time. If it’s done right. But weed is a multi-billion dollar industry now and like any other industry, monetary gains often take precedence over environmental stewardship. Lines have been drawn in the sand between corporate mega-grows and the small farmers of the Emerald Triangle who pioneered this world and were persecuted heavily for doing so.
Right now, the market is flush with mids being turned out at a rate fast enough to drive the market price of a pound down to mere hundreds of dollars from thousands in years prior. It’s an intentional market consolidation, designed to eliminate small, organic, family-operated farms. These venture-funded grows are often in bed with politicians and power brokers, creating a landscape that is all but impossible to navigate, much less benefit the people who have grown the best weed in the world for generations.
The other issue with the corporate mids-mania we find ourselves in the midst of is this: the weed isn’t that good. This means the medicine people have access to is not nearly as effective as it could be. Sungrown flower from the Emerald Triangle has a much fuller terpene and cannabinoid profile, meaning its effects are radiant, nuanced, and all-encompassing in a healing way, as opposed to corporate indoor weed which provides a more one-note, THC-heavy high that is more suited for casual recreation than medicinal benefits.
In an industry riddled with greenwashing, it can be difficult (even for the savviest consumer) to discern from a real regenerative farm and an indoor grow claiming to cultivate with living soil while actually flushing plastic potted plants with nutrient salts and pesticides. But a new initiative called Weed Like Change hopes to help matters. The group is a coalition of more than 50 organic cannabis farmers, brands, partner dispensaries, allied businesses, and nonprofit advocacy organizations designed to save regenerative farms.
Aimed at increasing financial viability, improving market access, and raising consumer awareness about the way cannabis production can contribute to, or help mitigate, the effects of climate change, Weed Like Change was founded by Sun+Earth, a nonprofit certification given to farms that exhibit earth care and cultivation, human empowerment, and community engagement. Shopping for brands with the Sun+Earth Certification is a great way for consumers to know that they are getting not only the highest quality flower, but flower that has been cultivated in partnership with nature.
While most consumers don’t even realize the effect their choices have on the market at this pivotal moment in the industry, we have a choice every time we step into that dispensary. Do you want to support brands that you know are contributing to the healing of our planet? Or do you want to support corporate giants like Canopy Growth, whose 2020 emissions were equivalent to burning more than 65 million pounds of coal?
To get you started on your high vibe journey into sun-grown enlightenment, let’s check out five of my favorite strains right now. Money speaks louder than words. Make sure yours is going to the right place.
Morning Cuddles by Farm Cut (Briceland Forest Farm)
People tend to overlook the spiritual element of the cannabis plant. She’s an energetic entity that carries her experience into the high you experience from consuming her. The more love and care that goes into the plant, the better it will make you feel.
Plants from corporate grows aren’t loved individually and aren’t cared for in the same way that plants from small farms are. Nowhere is this more apparent than Briceland Forest Farm, whose love for the plant and the planet shine through in the warmest, most tender way with their strain Morning Cuddles, brought to us by the farmer-led collective Farm Cut.
Morning Cuddles is unique in every way, and the name says it all. This is a cross of Cuddle Bud, a strain they’ve been breeding on their land for a decade, with Koffee, which overlapped in characteristics they wanted to bring up. I always think the best way to tell good weed from great weed is if the smell alone intoxicates you in the way the flower will. The first scent sent me to the depth of a forest floor. Earthy and sweet with hints of cedar and pine, it’s a really complex profile.
To get a sense of where this flower is coming from, here is a quote I pulled out of an email the farmer, Daniel, sent to me earlier this week.
“I love that flower grown in this way — with the raw elements and fertility created by the abundance of life force the forest has to offer — connects people back to the source and all the goodness it is created with. I like to imagine we are capturing a little bit of the magic of the summer in the hills. The rainwater, the starry nights, the bird song and the buzz of bees.”
This is who you want growing your weed.
I took a rip from a little metal bong Para Shop sent me last week and exhaled sweet magic smoke. I fell back on the blanket, looking at the sky. It’s been moody in LA lately, sunny then not. The clouds eclipsed the sun, but I was floating down a warm river in the sunshine. The high is physically languid, euphoric in a Kundalini energy way where a shiver flutters up your spine when you’re in the presence of something that is purely good, kind of like hearing Pet Sounds for the first time.
Everything about this flower is pillowy. The bud structure, the high, the scent, all exist in an ethereal cloud-like state where you want to make breakfast and not care about anything that sucks. My mind was alive but my body was in a deep state of relaxation. Physical sensation was heightened. I felt thoughtful and creative. This flower feels like a hug from a redwood tree or the soft lull of dappled shade on a summer afternoon.
Smoke it with someone you love on a Sunday morning and then make blueberry pancakes.
Find it here:
$80 for the 1/2oz Jar.
Pineapple Wonder by Moon Made Farms
Pineapple Wonder by Moon Made Farms transports you to a dreamland forest of giant pineapple plants where intoxicating moisture hangs in the air and a rainbow stretches wide in the sky. You’re bright! You’re vibrant! You’re fucking alive!
I love all of Moon Made’s flower. This woman-owned brand grows by the sun, as well as the cycles of the moon, and is one of my favorite cultivators. All of their weed has a radiant effect that makes you a better version of yourself instead of a lesser, more stoned version of yourself. Well, you’re definitely still stoned, but in a way that heightens your senses and thoughts instead of obliterating them.
Pineapple Wonder’s terpene profile pops from the tin with tropical vibes. The flavor is like fresh-cut pineapple, fruity, piney, and lemony, all at once.
I gave this to some of my sister’s boomer hippy friends at a dinner party last Sunday. They took like one poof each then were locked in such a state of exuberance that they danced salsa into the night and texted me the next morning to thank me for their “psychedelic experience.” This weed really is that special!
The genetics of this strain are unknown, which I think is cool. Tina Gordon, the badass woman behind Moon Made, discovered Pineapple Wonder in 2016 among 20 other unknown genetic varieties and continued to foster the strain through back-crossing, refining dominant pheno-expressions. When they sent the strain in for testing, it wasn’t relatable to any other genetics in the library, which is insane! A lightning bolt strain that only struck once, we are lucky to be able to experience her.
This is a flower of excitement, expression, and thought. Perfect for every morning!
Find it here:
$30 for 4 grams
Mom’s Weed by Huckleberry Hill Farms
Mom’s Weed by Huckleberry Hill Farms is a terpene goddess who deserves our utmost respect. This is one of those flowers that when you show it to people, their mouths pop open and they look back at you wide-eyed.
Every sensory attribute of this flower is fucking insane. Visually, she’s purple, silver, orange, and every shade of green. There are so many trichomes sparkling with tiny psychoactive diamonds that it looks as if it was rolled in a fine granulation of sugar.
The scent is a dense, fruity maze of floralia. Mom’s Weed is the sister strain of Whitethorn Rose, another terp juggernaut that has long been a Humboldt favorite and recently has become one of the most sought-after strains in the LA scene of in-the-know stoners.
This strain is grown by Johnny Casali of Huckleberry Hill Farms, a legacy operation started by his mother fifty years ago. Fitting, as the sweet, deeply comforting high of this flower is literally like getting a hug from your mom. The fruity sorbet, herbal magic of her smoke melts all anxiety, fear, and any forms of malaise on the exhale. It works immediately, and the feeling lasts a long time.
Fantastic for healing activities like yoga, breathwork, and sound therapy, as well as coming down from the stresses of life, this is without a doubt some of the most special flower on the planet. She will change your outlook on cannabis forever! Seek her out, and enjoy the essence of life.
Find it here:
$40 for 1/8th
Headband by Sol Spirit
This Headband by Sol Spirit has been one of my favorite cultivars since Walter and Judi, the husband and wife team behind Sol Spirit Farm, gave me a couple nugs a few months back. I was so blown away that I immediately located the flower, drove to the dispensary, and bought it myself. When you have as much weed as I do from this line of work, that’s saying a lot.
Headband was my favorite strain in high school, so I was beyond hyped to see them cultivating it. Genetics like this are beginning to disappear because corporate brands are more concerned with grabbing consumer attention with micro-trending proprietary genetics than taking the time to foster the medicines we know are great. Headband is a cross between two super iconic strains, OG Kush and Sour Diesel, giving it that gassy, skunky, lemon-smell, and mellow yet uplifting high.
This expression is one of the most epic I have ever come into contact with. The first time I smoked it I thought, damn, I haven’t had Headband this good since high school, which is funny, because back then, the weed where I grew up in Ojai, California, was that good because it was all coming from farms like the ones on this list.
Headband is called Headband because it’s heady as fuck. Diesel, skunk, lemon this flower has an extremely deep and intoxicating aroma. The band starts forming around your head before you even smoke it.
I took a hit from the little metal bong and immediately felt underwater like a mermaid, swimmy, floaty, giddy, and high. This is a super social and fun flower, great for hanging around a kitchen table drinking wine and being silly with your friends or watching a movie and chilling out, as it makes you mellow, whimsical, and relaxed without making you tired.
In terms of genetic preservation, incredible terpene profile, and, perhaps most importantly, how totally fun the experience of being high on this weed is, this is one of my top five favorite cultivars of the year.
Find it here:
$38 for 1/8th
Lavender Kush by Radicle Herbs
Last up we have another favorite on this list of favorites, Lavender Kush by Radicle Herbs. I was lucky enough to be introduced to this brand at the 420PPM (an environmental advocacy event) that took place in Venice on 4/20, and immediately fell in love. The farm, the farmers, and the flower they produce are all equally inspiring.
Radicle Herbs is a biodynamic, family-owned farm where life is cultivated in the most harmonious way possible. They grow vegetables, herbs, animals, tiny humans, and of course, really good weed.The first time I tried this flower, I was extremely hungover from partying on 4/20. I smoked a bowl and felt the sick, icky feeling of the morning after too many substances melt into a lightness of ease and relaxation.
The smell of this flower is dynamic and alluring. It pops with a tart, juicy sweetness, like the first bite of black cherry in June. Taking a hit now, as I finish this article, the anxiety of the deadline feels far away, allowing me the space to finish it and have the ideas flow to completion without being stunted by the stress of creating them.
The high is flowy and fun. I feel light and in tune with the world around me in a playful, exuberant way. My mind has softened from the grinding high of the giant coffee I drank earlier, and I feel free from the chains of my own anxiety.
The energy of love, fun, and compassion that went into growing this flower burst forth from your heart and spirit when you consume it. Perfect for exploring nature, spending time with family, and waiting for the first star to appear after the sunset.
Find it here:
$64 for 1/2oz