Forgive me if I’m skeptical when I hear about celebrity weed brands. From reality TV star Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl munchie-free weed to country legend Willie Nelson creating a chain of Willie’s Reserve dispensaries (and his general ambivalence over what different types of pot even are) to musician Melissa Etheridge’s canna-Cabernet, it feels like I’ve heard it all.
Then again, yesterday felt, in many ways, inevitable. Snoop went all in on his cannabis line of, well, just about everything when he launched his Leafs by Snoop products in Colorado, available for the next month at LivWell marijuana shops before expanding to other retailers.
A hefty presence
Walking into LivWell’s Larimer Street location, I noticed the only thing missing was a cardboard cutout of Da Big Boss Dogg himself. Half-pound jars of flower adorned with a gold “Leafs by Snoop” logo sat in every glass case, with stacks of his signature edibles, shatter and wax flanking each budtender like their own rap entourage. According to LivWell staffer Tom, “This is a long time in the making,” a fact that is lost on none of the eager stoners perusing the products around me.
They feel like products instead of pot, each resting in their custom-designed package that was undoubtedly vetted by a diligent marketing team in a downtown conference room. If other celebs dabbling in dope had been dropping mixtapes up until now, this was Snoop’s carefully crafted studio album that had been rumored for years. The boxes that each eighth of flower is housed in may give the appearance of quality, much like adding weights to Beats headphones, but “leafs” don’t lie. Are these strains any good?
I walked out with eight different grams of Snoop’s hand-selected flowers to find out. While I’ll have a smoke report coming for each, here’s how I’d rank them based on visual inspection and smell:
Recreational pricing: $13/gram, $40/eighth, $275/ounce
Medical: $8.57/gram, $30/eighth, $165/ounce
8. 3D CBD
Listed test results: 5.24% THC, 8.06% CBD
High-CBD strains are meant to fail the eye-test, as they can be brutally ugly plants capable of doing miraculous work. What I do expect, however, are decent terpenes, as these plant compounds can provide benefits for patients that extend beyond the cannabinoids present. Fresh-cut grass is the first aroma to hit my nose, followed by Bazooka Joe bubblegum and faint rubber. The smell of grass clippings is a huge red flag for me: generally, it’s an indicator of a rush job after harvesting.
7. Blueberry Dream
Listed test results: 14.60% THC
Usually a personal favorite for the robust berry notes that can sometimes fall flat in a straight Blue Dream, I couldn’t believe how dull this Blueberry Dream came out. While one of the more visually impressive strains in the line, a number of good squeezes weren’t enough to coax much more than soft rubber out of the nug. I can’t help but wonder if the curing process might have been rushed, as the terps just aren’t there. You might say it “leafs” something to be desired… I’ll show myself out.
Listed test results: 22.02% THC
Well, it’s not hard to attain the rank of reigning Banana Kush champion in my household, but this did well. Only, I’m hard-pressed to believe it’s Banana Kush. It could be any number of similar OGs: Skywalker, for example, would fit the bill. There’s a notable absence of fruit — tropical or otherwise — instead hammering home rubber and pine with each successive squeeze. Again, another run-of-the-mill Kush offering that shouldn’t get you particularly fired up.
5. Purple Bush
Listed test results: 21.32% THC
Seeing “Bush,” I immediately thought of comic Mitch Hedberg’s joke about potatoes showing up at the Pringles factory when they had intended to make tennis balls. Did someone misspell Kush and everyone is so laid back at Snoop Industries it got a pass? It’s hazy on how Purple Bush varies, if at all, from Purple Kush. It has all the trademark density and dark-purple flecks that that you’d expect from the latter, with this sample looking like it was straight out of NorCal. The smell is garden variety Kush with a touch of berry sweetness you’ll lose as soon as you find it. I have a feeling the only Purple Bush I’ll be remembering is when George W. choked on that pretzel.
4. Lemon Pie
Listed test results: 22.30% THC
Despite a representative’s claims the genetics are rooted in Diesel, that doesn’t bear out when inspected. Far from the pastry crust goodness of Pink House’s Lemon Pie, too, this has all of the spice and herbaceousness of a Lemon G with a scintilla of citrus floor cleaner in the end. I do find myself feeling for the trichomes on this one, as it’s been hacked up and then smashed in some kind of container that’s left it unnaturally flat.
3. Northern Lights
Listed test results: 17.38% THC
It’s hard to get excited about NL, as it’s been overbred on par with Labrador retrievers or Kardashians. Needless to say, I was both confused and elated to smell robust blueberries — overly ripe and sweet, like jam — and vanilla wafting out of the jar. That’s not the typical Northern Lights experience, where I’m expecting fairly boring forest notes of soil and pine. I’d wager they simply mislabeled the jar, as this is much more in line with what I’d expect from Blueberry Dream. Not that I can complain as the guy who came in and bought eight individual grams.
2. Cali Kush
Listed test results: 25.18% THC
The Cali Kush leaves me the most conflicted. Visually, this is Warehouse 101 weed, trimmed within an inch of its life and not particularly trichome laden. In a world without cannabis testing labs — revealing that whopping 25% THC — this might have been foregone for strains with actual jar appeal. The smell, however, is richer than any of its compatriots: This is what I imagine a 12-hour shift in a tire factory smells like. Snoop does Cali proud with this one, clearly the prize of the three Kush varieties in the LBS line of flower.
1. Tangerine Man
Listed test results: 18.27% THC
Aside from my misgivings over adding “Man” to the end of a strain for no apparent reason, Tangerine Man is the real deal. The ripe-orange citrus here stings the nose, and in a good way, with a thick sweetness reminiscent of cough syrup. The genetics look spot on, as well. Thin nugs with equally skinny leaves stretching up the nugs are coated with trichomes and will definitely be my first to sample.
Check back on The Cannabist’s strain reviews to see how each strain fared as I, as Snoop would say, put them in the air.