(Really I’d say 3.5, but if the option is 3 or 4, I’ll lean towards 3). First, a note: Lifter (from Oregon-based Gold Standard CBD) is the first strain of CBD buds that I have tried. Prior to picking up an 1/8th of Lifter, I had tried CBD oil and two varieties of CBD CO2 hash oil, but I have tried many strains of regular THC-containing cannabis, so it’s regard to everything except the effects I have plenty of frame of reference for comparison. To get to the actual review: Lifter is an extremely potent CBD strain, with CBD content around 19%, by far the highest of any strain available at the CBD store I shop at. This was my main motive for trying it. Smell: When they allowed me to smell their jar at the store, I wasn’t blown away— it was pleasant, but not particularly memorable (I tend to prefer very striking scents, from sweet strawberry, mango, lemon, and blueberry to funky diesel). The smell of Lifter is summed up quite well on it’s Leafly page— the primary notes are indeed earthy, lemony, and similar to fragrant wood. I would also describe it as somewhat skunky or mossy... A pretty soft, rounded stink. Pungent, but certainly not reeking. It’s a decent smell, and it’s pretty strong, as you’d hope from legal/medical-grade cannabis, but I’ve had many strains which would reek right through their container and this isn’t one. The intensity of the smell is perfectly fine, but the particular aroma just strikes me as pretty average typical of unifentified weed sold as mid-grade, but a bit stronger. The typical Haze scent comes through (a genetic endowment of its Suver Haze parent), but not in the delightful way it does with some other Hazes. Usually I prefer the smell of Hazes which blend the earthy, herbal Haze scent with something a little punchier, like a sweet fruit. Appearance: Its appearance is one of Lifter’s strong suits. A fairly even hybrid (the product of Suver Haze and Early Resin Berry), Lifter definitely reflects some of the visual qualities of both. The buds are fairly dense, but also pretty oblong for the most part. Quite professionally cured and pretty well-trimmed. Lifter is a middle-tone of green with some areas looking a little darker, which small orange-brown pistils scattered throughout. The most striking thing about Lifter’s appearance is seen particularly under bright light: it is coated in a gorgeous layer of dark gold/light amber trichomes. At the bases of some flowers, these trichomes are piled so thickly that the flower appears yellowish; if anyone tries this stuff I strongly recommend looking at it under a bright light and/or under a microscope, because it looks like a forest of yellow crystal trees— the last strain I remember having this appearance was Mr. Nice, a descendent of Hash Plant, I will be uploading photos that show what I mean. Ultimately, Lifter looks pretty Sativa-esque— after smoking some, the best way I could think to describe how they looked from a distance, sitting in my hand, was “funky jungle buds.” Very wild and tropical looking. Taste: This is where the strain really fell short for me. The buds themselves smell pleasant enough (if you like generic cannabis smells)... But as soon as you start to burn it, the smell and taste is pretty bad. I love strains where you go to smoke, and the smoke itself smells and tastes sweet, or perfumey, or otherwise striking and pleasant. This stuff is closer to some strains I’ve had which taste kind of rich and bold, almost like the smell of smoked meat... But Lifter isn’t even that flavorful. It just tastes and smells like burning. I’m not sure what else to compare it to... Just burning plant matter. Slightly surprising, as I’d expect that a hashy taste would come through with so many trichomes all over, but if it does it takes the back seat to a pretty overwhelmingly bleh flavor. Honestly, I try to just get smoking it over with, which isn’t a great sign. Effects: The effects are good enough that I’ve still been enjoying it despite the taste. As the 20% CBD content would suggest, it is a pretty potent strain if it’s CBD effects you’re seeking. Something interesting I’ve noticed is that, compared to the Grandaddy Purp CBD CO2 wax I’ve been vaping, the effect of the Lifter buds is actually more obvious (the wax is from Extract Labs, and it’s the only brand I’ve tried so it’s possible that it’s just not great stuff). The Lifter buds are 20% CBD and the wax is more like 80%, so I wonder if it’s the terpenes and terpenoids that give Lifter it’s very noticeable effects. When I smoke a bowl or two of Lifter, the relaxation is immediately noticeable after the first few hits. I have bad generalized and social anxiety, and I start to feel much more at ease... If I smoke and then go out somewhere, I feel as though I over-think much less and can interact with people more effortlessly. My appetite is definitely stimulated (I get quite hungry maybe 20-30 minutes in), and my body feels loose. Using Lifter, the effects are very familiar as a part of the effects I’m so used to from regular cannabis, but absent a lot of the things I dislike about it (anxiety, heart pounding/racing, paranoia, getting uncomfortably high)... Obviously CBD cannabis doesn’t get you high, per se, but after I smoke in the evening (to use it for insomnia), I usually wrap up in a blanket and listen to some music, and there have been multiple occasions where I get so cozy and relaxed and anxiety-free that it actually gives me the giggles a bit. For someone with anxiety, having it reduced significantly is a euphoric experience, and one that I tend to be very grateful for. I look forward to trying other CBD strains to compare, because I don’t know whether it’s the smoking route of administration or something about buds in particular, but comparing to the vaped wax and sublingual CBD oil, Lifter’s effects were less subtle. There was an obvious bodily and psychological feeling of relief and relaxation to it, whereas when I use the wax (which I think has a lesser diversity of terpenes) I have to ask myself to what extent I’m actually feeling it. If I can find a strain which has these obvious effects and similar potency, but tastes/smells better, I will switch to it, but the effect of Lifter is worth putting up with some of its so-so qualities if you need a reliably potent CBD strain for medicinal purposes. No particular loyalty to it, but it’s strong and I’d use it again. Lifter might be good for making CBD edibles, tinctures/oils, etc., making use of its high potency without having to deal with the unpleasant scent (even vaping it might smell a lot better that actually combusting it). Credit to the shopkeeper at the CBD store— he did explicitly warn me that the other strain (Suver Haze, one of the parents of Lifter) they had available tasted better, but they smelled very similar, I went for potency. At $26 for 3.5g, such an effective strain was a good buy— probably a better value than 98% of what they have at the store). If you’re going for strength and affordability, it’s not a bad option. If you’re going for a top shelf gourmet strain that’s going to be a pleasure to smoke then this is probably not the one. I’ve heard that Sour Space Candy, another strain sold by Gold Standard CBD, has a taste and smell that would appeal more to me; it’s a bit lower in CBD (14-15% I believe), but I’ll probably try that next if it’s back in stock. Will be uploading the photos soon— if nothing else the stuff is a joy to look at.