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.

 

 

The Dirt On Growing Green: What’s This Organic Matter?

By Sunny Kaercher

Perhaps one of the most prolific, and misused, words of the past decade, organic, appears as if it is here to stay.  This article is not about organic cultivation methodologies — or even any certifying body that might confirm that regulate it —  but rather, organic matter in the soil (and/or “grow media”). Organic is the backbone of growing hearty plants naturally, and the key to understanding nutrient cycling.

If you aren’t cultivating via aeroponics or the variety of hydroponic mediums like rockwool, hydroton or lava rock, then you are growing in some form of organic material, and this article is relevant to your operation.

Organic matter is decomposed organic material. And what is an organic material? Essentially, anything carbon-based qualifies as an organic material. A few of our favorite sources for organic material are leaves, grasses, kitchen scraps (aside from animal products & oils), manure, woody materials and root balls. Though they are all carbon-based, each has a unique amount of Nitrogen within their composition. Measured as the C:N ratio (carbon to nitrogen), materials can casually be categorized as either “green waste” (nitrogen-rich) or “brown waste” (carbon-rich).  Anyone who composts probably knows that you want a specific balance of green to brown waste to build rich organic matter. The process of decomposition is beautiful and complex. A fleet of microbes, primarily bacteria and fungi, can take credit for the break down.

Soil microbes consume carbon for energy, and nitrogen for protein (building blocks). As they consume materials, they have the ability of converting it to plant-available nutrients – either in their waste or immobilized in their bodies. Organic matter is valuable as more than just a nutrient source. It has a high water-holding capacity, resists compaction, and encourages aggregation of particles. All of these characteristics benefit both microbes and plant roots.

Referring back to the first Dirt on Growing Green, a native soil comprises of approximately 5% organic matter. However, the soilless medias that are exceedingly popular in the cannabis industry (and traditional horticulture) have much more organic matter/material. Pumice, perlite, or any other rock-based component aside, they are entirely organic materials. Peat moss, coco coir, forest materials, compost, worm castings; they are all carbon-based. All of these materials should be stable (compost as a ‘humus’), meaning they have gone through the majority of the decomposition process. However, there is likely more to be done, and the break down will resume as roots grow and soil microbes thrive. In other words: as your plant grows, nutrients will continue to become plant-available (mineralization).

So what’s the magic recipe of organic matter for growing cannabis? Well, it entirely depends on your situation. But regardless of your situation, if you are growing in organic material, you will want to replenish organic matter often. Either with fresh grow media, or top dressing to integrate the benefits. Top dressing can range from applying humic acids, to mulching, to spreading mature compost. Effectively, you are feeding the microbes so that they can feed the plants. Old leaves turning in to new leaves. What better demonstration of the interconnectedness of this world?