Another Emerald Cup has come and gone, but this year’s outdoor cannabis celebration was like no other before it. We’ve got the strains that blew us away in the first legal edition of the outdoor marijuana world championship.
But first and foremost, it is worth noting that the number of flower options both available to purchase onsite and entered in the competition were down this year. The blame for that really can’t be placed on the Emerald Cup’s organizers. Surely if the bar for legalization set by regulators had been a bit lower for the many small farmers painfully close to making the cut, we can only imagine the number of strains available for purchase and entered for a chance at the grand prize would have been a lot higher. Nevertheless, it was an honor to browse the work of the cultivators who made it through this year. Not only did they navigate the treacherous regulatory waters that had pushed so many farmers out of the legal market, but in the turmoil, they retained the quality of their product.
Our process started with a weed walk early on Saturday as not to miss out on anything the masses might be dying to get their hands on. Cannabis Now Senior Editor Ellen Holland, Bong Appétit author Elise McDonough, former West Coast High Times editor David Bienenstock (also of The Great Moments of in Weed History Podcast) and I made up the initial squad of folks who toured the Emerald Cup’s cannabis, though a few reputable guests made appearances as we traveled. We started in one corner of the event and systematically made our way from booth to booth, jar to jar, while sampling many along the way.
Some booths were more exciting than others, but we visited every booth — no matter how fancy their décor. Personally, if I smelled the first couple of jars and they were at least of average quality, I figured it was worth smelling the spread. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a top-of-the-class strain, hidden within a spread of regular bud! And I’m glad I did, because a few booths had upwards of 15 samples, and it took time on certain occasions to get to the good stuff.
So based on this general methodology, these are some of the strains that really stood out to us at the 2018 Emerald Cup.
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Multiple phenotypes of Blueberry Muffin caught our attention this year. The first we came across belonged to the folks at Humboldt Seed Company. When opening the jar, we were hit with an array of aromas. But we could pick out the strain’s namesake — and one might even argue a sugary glaze went along with the blueberry smell. The next version we found came from Spring Creek Farm. Again, we were taken back to some of the best breakfasts of our lives when we opened the jar. Similar to the first, it was almost like the milk left over in the bowl after eating Boo Berry cereal.
Fig Farms offered up a rendition of Seed Junky Genetics Animal Mints that knocked our socks off. It was the first thing the team spun up and the hints of gasoline mixed with a ton of other spicey flavors were something to behold. Animal Mints pairs Girl Scout Cookies x Blue Power with Animal Cookies. What you get in the end is all the best of the cookies with a little bit of extra fuel on top to spice it up. We loved it.
Pineapple Upsidedown Cake
We return to the Humboldt Seed Company booth for the next installment on our list with Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. The HSC team spent last summer hunting through thousands of seeds to find this gem that brings together Pineapple Trainwreck and Cookie Monster for something that is definitely top class.
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The Wifi Mints quickly validated our suspicions that The Village was an absolute must-stop booth at this year’s Emerald Cup. Another one from Seed Junky Genetics, the Wifi Mints pairs Wifi 43 — the popular White Fire OG cut bred by OG Raskal and propagated from seed by the Jungle Boys — with the previously mentioned Animal Mints. When in the hands of experts, Seed Junky Genetics easily provided some of the best weed at the Emerald Cup.
It’s tough to pick a favorite from the Cookie Fam. Offerings like Snowman and Gelati had our mouths watering, but there was something about this year’s batch of Lemoncello that really caught our eyes and nostrils. While the lighting was dim by the Cookies booth, it was easy to see that we were dealing with something special as soon as the jar got anywhere near our face.
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The Elyon Cannabis booth had a few nice selections, but Animal Punch took the cake. It was like a Lamborghini in the corner at a BMW dealership. The jar smelled like some kind of cherry cotton candy concentrate that would give you diabetes with just a spoonful. We rolled it up within 10 minutes of smelling the jar for the first time and were equally impressed with the high.
The 2018 Emerald Cup Winners
1st Place: Ridge Line Farms, Green Lantern
2nd Place: Rebel Grown, Double OG Chem #15
3rd Place: Tar Hill, Cherimoya
Rebel Grown, Double OG Chem #15
Licensed Mixed Light
1st Place: Tar Hill Family Farms, Pink Lemonade
2nd Place: Josh D, OG Kush Story
3rd Place: DEVI, Peanut Butter Breath
1st Place: JD Lee, Chili Verde
2nd Place: Paula Hudgins, Wedding Cake
3rd Place: Cory Rodgers, Cherry Punch 15
Personal Mixed Light
1st Place: Jett Jenetix, Pink Pixie
2nd Place: JD Lee, Carrot Cake
Regenerative Cannabis Farm Awards
Sun Roots Farms
Happy Day Farms
1st Place: Herer Group, The Original Jack Herer
2nd Place: Gold Drop/Lemon Tree/Blue River, Lemon Tree
3rd Place: Gold Drop/Bon Vivant/Blue River, Blueberry Muffin
1st Place: Peak, Huckleberry Zkittlez Amber
2nd Place: WildSeed, Candyland
3rd Place: Big Sur Extracts, Cloud Drop
1st Place: The Humboldt Cure with Murder Mountain and Joe Fasho Genetics, The Humboldt Cure Blend Diamonds
2nd Place: WildSeed with Cannabis Refined, White Recluse Diamonds
3rd Place: NUG, White Buffalo OG Live Resin Diamonds
Live Resin Carts
1st Place: Fieldz Extracts, Zkittlez Sauce Pen
2nd Place: Friendly Farms, Forbidden Fruit
3rd Place: Fiddler’s Green, Rogue OG Kush
1st Place: GDP Genetics with Candy Stripe Concentrates x the Boutique, Super Glue
2nd Place: Fieldz, Zkittles Premium Rosin
3rd Place: Field Extracts with Str8 Organics, Papaya Premium Rosin
1st Place: Humboldt Terp Council with Royalbudline, Zkittlez Cake
2nd Place: Raw Garden, Zookies
3rd Place: Summit Boys with Noble Farms, Sundae Driver
1st Place: Suprize Surprize with Arcata, Cherry Tangerine
2nd Place: Surprize Suprize with Woodman Peak Farms, Royal Kush BX1 “Badder”
3rd Place: Surprize Surprize with Biovortex, Holy Nana Crack Batter
1st Place: Frosty, Papaya 120u
2nd Place: Tar Hill and Frosty, Tar Hill Pink Lemonade
3rd Place: Papa’s Select in collaboration with Select Solventless grown by Emerald Queen Farms, GMO 1st Pull 120u Water Hash
1st Place: Utopia, Raspberry Macarons
2nd Place: SolDaze, Tropical Mango Bites
3rd Place: Budlette Confections, Mellows Black Sesame
1st Place: Alchemy Jane, Create THC Tincture
2nd Place: OM Edibles, Nighttime Elixer
3rd Place: Humboldt Apothecary, Love Potion No. 7
1st Place: Newell’s Botanicals, Deep Skin Penetrating Roll-On
2nd Place: OM Edibles, Lavender Bath Salts
3rd Place: CAD, Mimosa
CBD: ALL CATEGORIES
1st Place: Molecular Farms, Blueberry Banana Bread
2nd Place: Molecular Farms, Dr. Fizz
3rd Place: Molecular Farms, Garlic Jam
1st Place: Sublime, Sleep
2nd Place: Sublime, High-C
3rd Place: WildSeed, Heritage OG-CBD
1st Place: Gold Drop, Lemon Penny
1st Place: Somatik, Goji Berry
2nd Place: OM Edibles, CBD Gummi Melange
3rd Place: Space Gems, VITA Gems
1st Place: Humboldt Apothecary, Relax
2nd Place: Fiddler’s Green, ACDC Rogue Tincture
3rd Place: Humboldt Harvest, 13:1 CBD Terpene Rich
1st Place: OM Edibles Rose Geranium Bath Salt
TELL US, what was your favorite strain of the 2018 Emerald Cup?