Edibles, Medical, Concentrates, Oh My! The Best Brands In Each Weed Category

Most smokers remember a day when they were happy to get whatever strain of weed they could find — but now that marijuana is decriminalized across much of the U.S. and legalized medically and/or recreationally in more than half of all states, stoners can afford to be a bit more discriminating. These days, cannabis lovers can enjoy a large and diverse selection of brands and products, from traditional flower to vape products, concentrates, capsules, edibles and more.

If you don’t want to waste your time trying lower-quality weed products, you don’t have to. Read on for recommendations for the best of the best brands in each product category.

medical weedMedical

Since medicinal marijuana has been legalized in more states than recreational weed, there has been more time for medical cannabis brands to grow and develop. While medical marijuana products vary in type — you can find medical bud and pre-rolls as well as edibles, vapes and more — we are separating this category because brands here have claims about their products that other weed brands might not. Specifically, medical cannabis tends to boast a higher quality of product and more controlled experiences, such as less euphoria and paranoia and more pain relief or relaxation. Some medical marijuana brands target specific medical ailments, like menstrual discomfort or arthritis, but here are the best general medical marijuana brands on the market:

  • Nature’s Medicines. Starting as a dispensary chain and now producing a line of unique, high-quality strains and concentrates, Nature’s Medicines is gaining national attention for its efficacy.
  • Trulieve. Offering flower, vape cartridges and a number of concentrates, Trulieve is an exceedingly accessible medical marijuana brand that places emphasis on safety.
  • KIND Concentrates. As the name suggests, KIND Concentrates specializes in concentrates, specifically capsules, vape pens, RSOs and the like, with high percentages of THC.

Flower

To those new to cannabis culture, “flower” (also called bud and nug) is the portion of the marijuana plant that contains the highest percentage of cannabinoids that create the mind and body high stoners (and other marijuana users) seek. While flower is ground up and refined in chemical processes to produce edibles, concentrates and other weed products, you can still purchase flower on its own to smoke in joints, pipes and bongs or to generate your own cannabis creations. However, flower can vary greatly in quality, so until you get a feel for finding the best buds in your local dispensary, you should stick to ordering from these brands:

  • Caviar Gold. Marketed as the strongest weed in America, Caviar Gold offers four types of flower, all of them considerably higher quality than anything else in the market.
  • Omaha Farms. Recently purchased by marijuana giant MedMen, Omaha Farms is wildly popular for its flower Salad Bowls, which should be widely available soon.

Edibles

Humans have long experimented with baking and cooking cannabis into all forms of food, with the result that the candies, baked goods, crackers and other treats now available tend to be exceptionally refined recipes that taste as good (or better) as anything you can find in a regular grocery store. The world of edibles is huge and truly deserves a post all to itself — after all, how do you compare a chocolate bar with beef jerky? Still, experts agree that you can’t go wrong with the following edible brands:

  • Kiva. It’s hard to mention edibles without bringing up Kiva, which was the first widely available edible brand that used professionally trained chefs and chocolatiers to produce high-quality treats.
  • Baked Bros. Baked Bros essentially set the industry standard for infused gummies back in 2014 when their Sour Kush Kids won the Cannabis Cup, and they continue to offer the best worms, rings, bears and more on the market.
  • LOL Edibles. Specializing in reimagining popular snacks as weedy treats, LOL Edibles offers pitch-perfect THC versions of Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Cheetos and more.
  • Kush Nuts. For potheads without a sweet tooth, Kush Nuts produces savory nut mixes seasoned with THC-infused oils. They look and feel fancy, but they’ll definitely get you high.

Vapes

Even amidst the concern about a vape-related lung illness, vaping remains one of the most popular ways to use cannabis. Vapes tend to offer a concentrated hit of CBD and/or THC that creates an immediate effect; plus, they are small and tend to produce less odor than traditional smoking, making them discreet for stoners on the go. Yet, it is becoming ever more obvious that quality is imperative in vape tools and products, so you should stick to these best vape brands:

  • Dosist. Setting aside the vape juice for a moment, it should be noted that Dosist produces some of the most attractive vape pens of all time. Perhaps this is why Dosist is becoming one of the fastest growing marijuana businesses in the country.
  • Willie’s Reserve. In truth, Willie Nelson offers all kinds of stuff in his line of marijuana products, but his vape cartridges are the cream of the crop.
  • Roots. Roots offers another stunningly beautiful vape pen as well as premium vape oil extracted from the highest quality cannabis plants.

You don’t have to settle for whatever weed you can scrounge up from the shady neighborhood dealer. If you try any one of the above brands, you won’t ever be tempted to go back to low-quality skunk; you’ll develop the refined marijuana palette that you deserve.

 

 

DOPE Cup 2017: Combatting the Myth of Flawed Cannabis Cup Judging

WASHINGTON: Cannabis cup judging – it’s been under scrutiny for years. The myth of a group of unqualified stoner judges sitting around, smoking strain after strain from a bong, persists to this day. Enter DOPE Magazine, a lifestyle publication dedicated to elevating every aspect of the cannabis industry. Chief Brand Officer of DOPE Magazine, James Zachodni, explains, “our mission in defending the plant everywhere includes not only covering the most relevant stories in cannabis but extends to defending the integrity of the entire cannabis ecosystem. Accuracy and quality of cannabis cup rankings fits into that.”

Six years ago, DOPE saw the need for a cannabis cup that mirrored the integrity and professionalism of the growing market. Now, The DOPE Cup is one of the most respected cannabis competitions in the country. Through a highly transparent and technical judging process, DOPE has moved past the era of unqualified, subjective judging. By maintaining a controlled 502 testing base across the board, as well as implementing objective standards that focus on the science behind cannabis quality, the DOPE Cup has raised the bar for quality, accurate grading.

The DOPE Cup is the first cannabis cup in the nation to adopt these fair practices through the Trichome Institute’s TAG lab, using a double blind grading procedure done by experts, an SOP and a cannabis grading calculator app. Outside of the judging process, DOPE made it their mission to give those involved a national platform, making it easier to stand out in the crowded cannabis market.

As a company, it’s a priority for us to further validate our industry and its credibility by supporting a cannabis cup that ensures a fair and scientifically-backed judging process. In order to continue to fuel the industry’s integrity, and further elevate the plant, MJBA supports the DOPE Cup and encourages those dedicated to the advancement of cannabis culture to participate in the upcoming DOPE Cup on April 23, 2017.

DOPE is accepting entries through April 5th. Fill out the DOPE Cup entry form and participate in the future of cannabis cups!

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Emerald Cup Marijuana Festival Draws 21,000 To Sonoma County Fairgrounds

CALIFORNIA: The Emerald Cup, the celebration of cannabis culture now in its third year in Santa Rosa, wrapped up its two-day run at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Sunday with its biggest attendance ever, showcasing some of the best outdoor organic marijuana in the world and the industry the plant has spawned.

The weekend event drew more than 21,000 people, according to organizer Tim Blake, compared to 13,000 last year and 7,000 in 2013, the first year it was relocated from Mendocino County, where it had its humble, more clandestine beginnings 12 years ago.

Billed as the equivalent of the Oscars for the cannabis industry, the event draws many producers from the so-called “Emerald Triangle” of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties, a business that organizers claim is the largest agricultural crop on the North Coast, and will grow even more with outright legalization — perhaps as soon as next year.

High Times Cannabis Cup Organizers Say They Can’t Find Suitable Portland Venue

OREGON:  As soon as Oregon voters said yes to marijuana legalization last year, High Times announced it would host a Cannabis Cup in Portland.

But those plans have hit a snag, prompting the publication to delay the event until September, said publisher Mary McEvoy.

The issue: the Oregon Liquor Control Commission won’t allow cannabis consumption at venues that hold liquor licenses. The policy, which the agency spelled out in a recent letter to all liquor license holders in the state, means bars, restaurants and any other venue authorized to serve alcohol can’t allow marijuana consumption in their establishments.

“We have made the decision that any place with a liquor license is public and there is no consumption of marijuana at public places so allowing people to consume marijuana at a place that has a liquor license puts the liquor license in jeopardy,” said Tom Towslee, a spokesman for the liquor control commission.

 

Cannabis Cup Highlights Marijuana’s Latest Products, Policy Developments

COLORADO:  With 420 approaching, it’s time for our annual reminder: Don’t do anything that might bring shame to Denver, Colorado, or marijuana legalization in general.

This weekend’s Cannabis Cup, a trade show for those in, or interested in, the bud industry, is doing its part to keep the jackassery to a minimum by disallowing and sales or giveaways of weed-related intoxicants. This should put it in stark contrast to the Great American Beer Festival, which every October floods our downtown streets with loopy, pretzel-necklaced nimrods.

The Cannabis Cup will unfold like a typical trade show, with representatives from all over the country in town to showcase their latest wares and forge new business alliances. Among the dozens of companies that will attend are Duby (get it?), which will debut its newest app that allows marijuana users to share their experiences anonymously with other enthusiasts and make recommendations about products and vendors. Mary’s Medicinals will be displaying its range of MMJ products, including its newly released Rescue Tonic, which promises to combat the effects of the overconsumption of edibles. And just ahead of the show, go-to reviewer Leafly has released its latest list of Denver’s top retail outlets.

Cannabis Cup: Denver Holds Festival In The Shadow Of State Capitol

COLORADO:  Once the province of activists and stoners, the traditional pot holiday of 20 April has gone mainstream in the first state in the US to legalize recreational marijuana.

Tens of thousands gathered this weekend in Colorado for cannabis-themed festivals and entertainment, from a marijuana industry expo called the Cannabis Cup; to 4/20-themed concerts at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater, where acts included Slightly Stoopid and Snoop Dogg; to a massive festival in the shadow of the state capitol where clouds of cannabis smoke were expected.

The festival in Denver’s Civic Center Park is the most visible sign of the transformation. It started as a defiant gathering of marijuana activists, but this year the event had an official city permit, was organized by an event management company and featured booths selling funnel cakes and Greek food next to kiosks hawking hemp lollipops and glass pipes.

At California Pot Convention, Business Is Strong – And Potent

CALIFORNIA: Working from a small booth on the fringes of a trade show packed with thousands of enthusiasts, Sean Donahoe says these are heady times to be in the marijuana business.

“In a gold rush, you sell picks and shovels,” says Donahoe, deputy director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. The young organization is trying to become in effect the Chamber of Commerce of the marijuana business in the nation’s largest state. [Read more…]

The Kinds Of Things You Might Eat From State Pot Stores

WASHINGTON: When you’ll be able to buy marijuana in a state-licensed store (21+ locations possible for Seattle alone!) sometime in 2014, there are a surprising range of things with THC in them that you might be able to buy for eating, smoking or vaping. [Read more…]

The Kinds Of Things You Might Eat From State Pot Stores

WASHINGTON: When you’ll be able to buy marijuana in a state-licensed store (21+ locations possible for Seattle alone!) sometime in 2014, there are a surprising range of things with THC in them that you might be able to buy for eating, smoking or vaping. [Read more…]