As a bad year comes to a close, Smoke Signals considers the best strains of 2016. The strains making the list are both strong sellers in Bend, Portland and elsewhere in Oregon, as well as those that have increased greatly in popularity over the past year.
Blue Dream is what's known as a "sativa-dominant hybrid," meaning that it is a cross between a more stimulating Cannabis sativa strain (Haze) and a more relaxing Cannabis indica strain (Blueberry). Blue Dream is popular for treating ailments such as pain, depression and nausea without the sedating effects of an indica strain. Like many Benditos, it originated in California, but is now seen all over the West Coast.
Gorilla Glue #4
Another sativa-dominant hybrid, Gorilla Glue #4 is named for one of its more common side effects, gluing the user to his or her couch. It's a very potent strain that has won multiple awards for creating a euphoric and creative high. Its quality seems to come from multiple popular predecessor strains including Chocolate Diesel, Sour Dubb and Chem's Sister.
Purple Hindu Kush
Purple Hindu Kush is a classic indica, producing deep relaxation and aiding in sleep and pain relief. It's a cross between two classic strains, Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani, and its bright orange pistils, dark leaves and sour grape and citrus flavors give it a unique and intriguing appearance.
Fun fact: Purple Hindu Kush was once known as "Jager" in Oregon, until the folks who make Jagermeister had their lawyers send a letter requesting a name change.
This author's personal favorite workout assistant, Green Crack, was named by Snoop Dogg (the rapper and now pot entrepreneur) after he found that it generated a large number of returning customers. The strain is legendary for creating a stimulating high, perfect for high-energy activities such as hiking, exercising, housework or physical labor. Green Crack can be difficult to find in Bend, but comes in both sativa—and indica-dominant hybrid varieties.
Another powerfully—stimulating sativa, Durban Poison, is well known for creating an uplifting, energetic and creative high that some users refer to as "trippy." Users also enjoy the piney smell and sweet taste, and the large resin glands make Durban Poison a popular choice for concentrate extraction.
There are numerous "OG" strains floating around, many of which are quite popular, but Goji OG is distinguished by its distinctive and powerful flavor and aroma, which users describe as tasting like white wine, tart berries and earthy spices.
Named after the legendary cannabis and hemp activist and author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," Jack Herer is a classic strain dating all the way back to the 1990s, when it was created in Amsterdam. Descended from Northern Lights, Haze and Shiva Skunk, it has remained so popular thanks to its potent, clear-headed, creative high and earthy-spicy flavor.
The biggest trend in cannabis strains this year is the emergence of high-CBD strains. "Smoke Signals" has previously highlighted CBD, or cannabidoil, for its effectiveness in treating epilepsy, chronic pain, and other illnesses in humans, as well as certain ailments in dogs and cats. Growers and retailers are responding to the demand for CBD by selling strains such as Harliquin, Critical Mass, Charlotte's Web, Valentine X and Ringo's Gift, all of which are often available in Bend. Unlike THC, CBD is considered "nonpsychoactive," creating a feeling of relaxation rather than a "high" like THC.