Another year slips past like a weasel in a grease trap. While most things stay the same, cannabis is a constantly changing, ever-evolving, squirmy beast that refuses to be caged in by your feeble human imagination. After years of watching the medical cannabis industry in New Mexico, we've been the happy witnesses to a strangely undulating marketplace that never fails to delight with its limitless potential for novelty. They sell THC suppositories. People swear by them.
Navigating the mess of medicines and providers is a chore unto itself, and we know sometimes you just need a little help from your friends. These were our favorite Albuquerque strains and dispensaries this year:
Snoop's Dream—This strain is perfect for relaxing in the evening after work, but it won't put you to sleep or strap you to the couch. Its sativa and indica sides both shine through with a rare clarity. A cross between Blue Dream and Master Kush, Snoop's Dream will cause limbs to go all wobbly, back pains to ease and mental anguish to dissipate. The indica-dominant hybrid tastes woody and sweet, and smells tart and citrusy.
Cannatonic—There isn't much in the way of variety for those seeking low-THC, high-CBD strains yet. Luckily, Cannatonic is good enough to hold its own. With a satisfying sour punch and the smell of grassy summers, this hybrid is said to host a range of medical benefits including reducing pain, anxiety and inflammation. While there is a slight psychoactive effect that will be noted by those especially sensitive to perceptual changes, most won't notice a thing, making it perfect for morning or daytime use.
Sour Diesel—If you're coming to cannabis for relief of depression or social anxiety, Sour Diesel is calling your name. As the name suggests, it tastes like a gas station and burns all the way down. But once the coughing subsides, you'll be bright-eyed and ready to face the world with a grin and a giggle. Diesel punches you in the face with its powerful mood-enhancing attributes and euphoric effects. This can be an intense and overwhelming sativa for some, so tread carefully.
Nightmare Cookies—Here's another over-the-top sativa on the list: a hybrid of White Nightmare and Platinum Girl Scout Cookies, the dreaded Nightmare Cookies is a highly cerebral, highly creative strain that will put you in a strange place of euphoric relaxation. Great for helping with depression and general in-a-rutednes, expect to sit in one spot for hours, studying odd new interests or finishing that latch hook rug you bought for your kid 10 years ago (and they never even took it out of the box).
Purple Kush—Thank goodness this isn't a hierarchical challenge, because Purple Kush would probably start some serious trouble with some of the other strains. Bro. It's not a competition! (But it kind of is, and Purple should probably win.) Definitely the tastiest on the list, this indica strain is sweet and fruity, with an almost floral hint. It uniquely holds onto its flavor through an entire scorched bowl and carries with it a powerful sedative effect—“couch lock” would be putting it mildly. If you're the type that falls asleep from marijuana, you better get the pillows and the comforter ready, because you probably won't make it past a puff or two.
Urban Wellness—If you want variety and knowledge, don't miss out on what Urban Wellness has been cultivating for years. Its sleek and modern showrooms helped set a precedence in the area and (more importantly) it's staffed with the only budtenders in Albuquerque who have been able to answer every one of our undercover reporters' medical questions accurately.
Everest Apothecary—Everest has some of the most consistent flower available in the area. If you get locked in on any of their signature strains, you'll rarely run into problems finding it in stock and fresh. They also offer some of the city's best distillates and waxes and have a mean set of daily specials to top it off.
CG—To get the best bang for your buck, make sure to swing by CG. With some of the best strains in the area, the quality of their flower alone would have put them in the top five dispensaries. But they had to up the game by offering some of the best prices, too. You won't have to empty your wallet to get top shelf quality here, and that can make a real difference in choosing where to get your medicine.
Verdes Foundation—Verdes easily offers the best customer service in the area. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will always welcome you with a smile and a kind word (something that's sadly a rarity in this industry). The staff here really care about their patients and it's obvious. If being pressured or rushed at some other dispensary has put a bad taste in your mouth, rinse it out with a visit to the nicest folks in town, and try out their top notch buds while you're at it.
Southwest Wellness Center—Hands down the best buds in Albuquerque come from Southwest Wellness. You might have to stretch your dollars here and there, but you'll be paying for quality. Their buds glitter with trichomes, and even the old, throwaway sale flower is head and shoulders above some other dispensaries' product. Every visit has been rewarded with new experiences and amazing highs, and you have to go by at least once.