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Ask a (former) budtender: What’s the best weed in the US?

Back when I was a budtender, the question I got most often was “what’s hot right now? What are you loving?” 

Manning the dispensary bar in California meant that my answer to this question could change every day, depending on what I was smoking or consuming after work and what sales reps were bringing in the back. One of my favorite parts of the job was hearing from regulars about how my recommendations made their day.

Budtenders have a unique vantage point in the industry, especially when it comes to what’s hot and what’s all hype. They don’t just talk the talk, they also smoke the smoke.

The US has yet to federally legalize cannabis, which means states determine laws within their jurisdictions. This means that companies need multiple licenses if they want to operate in different states—California shop menus often look very different than what Oregon, Nevada, or New Jersey provide.

I tapped into my network to find out what products come up again and again with customers and patients, no matter what market they work in. Here is what’s winning coast to coast right now.

Jealousy

Seed Junky Genetics Jealousy (Courtesy Coookies)
Seed Junky Genetics Jealousy. (Courtesy Coookies)

Not picking up an eighth of this new Seed Junky hybrid will have you feeling like the green-eyed monster. As a Gelato and Sherbet cross, Jealousy embodies all the best characteristics of a Cookies family strain: a vanilla gas nose, deep euphoric effects, and smoothness all around. People are feeling “jealous” coast to coast.

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You can find Jealousy on menus in Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon, New Jersey, California, and Washington.

Pink Certz

Compound Genetics Pink Certz grown by Sense (David Downs/Leafly)
Compound Genetics Pink Certz grown by Sense. (David Downs/Leafly)

Will Compound Genetics ever miss? No, they won’t, and Pink Certz is proof: As a The Menthol and Grape Gasoline cross for the ages, this hybrid has found fans for both recreational tokers and medical patients. You get euphoria without sedation, and a flavor steeped in sweet and sharp terps.

You can find Pink Certz on menus in California, Oregon, Washington state, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Oklahoma. 

Apple Tartz

SF Cultivators Apple Tartz (David Downs/ Leafly)
SF Cultivators Apple Tartz. (David Downs/ Leafly)

It’s apple picking season, so you should pick up some Apple Tartz. The tang of Apple Fritters pairs beautifully with Runtz, especially for seasoned smokers who might be tired of straight Runtz. This is all gas, no smoke.

You can find Apple Tartz on menus in California, Oregon, Montana, Oklahoma, and Maine.

Stiiizy solventless pods

premium quality distillates, cannabis derived terpenes, premium cannabis vaporizer
(Courtesy of Stiiizy)

When I asked for vape recommendations, these came back with multiple fire emojis. I’m wary of most vapes, but I can never turn down a solventless product. Stiiizy’s solventless pods use proprietary tech, but they make up for it with potent, single-strain pods that hit like rosin should, smooth and with sabor

You can find Stiiizy products in Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, Washington State, and California. 

Infused prerolls

I couldn’t choose just one! Most prerolls can be underwhelming, shall we say, and finding one that consistently delivers is tough. I personally love a little hash or solventless extract in my joint for a day off, so here are some options. 

  • The Farmer and the Felon x Kalya Extracts collaboration joints pair quality rosin with a brand on a mission to get people incarcerated for cannabis out of jail. (California)
  • Sun God’s Herbal Blunts combine flower, THC diamonds, kief, and some additional medicinal herbs for a true full spectrum plant medicine experience. (Oregon) 
  • Nature’s Heritage knows you love flower and hash. They infused their prerolls because “why not both?” (Massachusetts)
  • Rove infused prerolls pack a punch, and come in pairs. (Nevada)

Wyld gummies

Wyld gummies. (Courtesy Wyld)
(Courtesy Wyld)

Sometimes cannabis products find themselves in a chicken or the egg situation—is it available everywhere because it’s popular or is it popular because it’s everywhere? For Wyld gummies, they shot to the top of menu staples almost instantly because they tasted good and worked. They also incorporate a number of niche cannabinoids in their formulas, including CBG and CBN. 

You can find Wyld gummies in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, California, Nevada, and Arizona.

710 Labs extracts

(Courtesy of 710 Labs)

Close your eyes and point to any of 710 Labs’ extracts. Any of them. Literally. I have never had a bad 710 dab, though it wasn’t exactly cheap either. Whether you like diamonds, batters, or rosins, 710 Labs has it—they have the juice.

You can find 710 Labs in California, Colorado, and Florida.

Amelia Williams's Bio Image
Amelia Williams

New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University's journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle's GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.

View Amelia Williams's articles