:: matchstick's match-picks: top ten cultivars in twenty-eighteen

Updated: Jan 5, 2019

albeit, this list is entirely one-sided and biased towards my personal preferences but that is exactly the point of this blog. there is no formal rating system or standardized testing for these outcomes beyond that of how it makes me feel when reminiscing about these varietals. like netflix, i have exceptional difficulties making any final decisions when it comes to "the best" but there are definitely cultivars that stand out in the crowded space of quality cannabis. i say "crowded space" as much of my cannabis is sourced from the "silver market", or otherwise known as the "black market". i find this designation unfair for many reasons, the least of which how it stigmatizes and criminalizes some of canada's most talented pioneers in this global community. this space is crowded with quality options unlike those of the regulated system.

so without further ado, i present to you the matchstick match-picks for top cultivars in twenty-eighteen.

ten. rainbow rider (bc weed co. :: topleaf)

strain information unavailable

high-thc hybrid

rainbow rider was a varietal cultivated for pride and was a limited release in mid-july to prepare for vancouver’s august long celebration. what was worth celebrating about rainbow rider were the layers of savoury terps that inspired your palate. on occasion, you will pick up on notes of moroccan beldi olives and subtle basil not to mention a beautifully manicured cluster of nugs from which they hail. i genuinely hope this varietal will be revived in twenty-nineteen.

nine. kermode cloud (kootenay craft)

sativa dominant hybrid

hats off to kootenay craft for consistently being one of canada’s best craft growers. kermode cloud was a calyx-filled burst of bright greens and frosty nugs. the only thing challenging about kermode cloud was rolling a joint that wasn’t caked with resin by the end or that was too tight to smoke. spinning dizzies from trichome-rich cannabis requires a certain finesse to ensure proper airflow. beware the gooey trichomes of the kermode cloud cultivar when handling, rolling, and smoking.

eight. sour diesel grapefruit (bc weed co. :: topleaf)

sour diesel x grapefruit


what a way to end twenty-eighteen! truly inspiring from every angle, sour diesel grapefruit is a home run if there ever was one! this cultivar celebrates some of the nicest calyxes in canada, trichome-rich, hand-trimmed, and packed with a bouquet of subtle, sour, citrus notes. the diesel is unmistakable in the finished product and on the dry pull, you’d think you’re taking hits right out of a fuel nozzle. i find the effects to be inspiring and motivating given the lineage, yet sedative enough to tether myself to relevant productivity.

seven. tangilope (bc weed co. :: topleaf)

tangie x chocolope


twenty-eighteen was truly the year for the citrus terps. when i say this, i am referring specifically to the orange terpene profiles. tangilope from bc weed co. was one of two very heavy hitting orange-dominant varietals from this past year. this led to what i affectionately refer to as the “tangilope stroke” – a complete disintegration of demeanour and character whilst melting into the face-punching profile of tangerine zest. this is how i would start most of my days if i could start most of my days with cannabis.

six. slurricane (ce)

do-si-dos x purple punch

indica dominant hybrid

ce is known in the underground as some of, if not the best cannabis grown in canada. ce distributes for a cooperative of growers in bc’s okanagan and interior geographies. the varietals coming from ce are not found just kicking around other grow ops. despite some of their cultivars being the same as what is touted from other growers (do si dos, slurricane), ce does it a little to a lot better than everyone else that has it on their menu (although i have had some exceptional private reserve from select growers that can hold their own next to ce). slurricane has a meaty yet fruity profile that is oftentimes lost on most grows but you’re guaranteed a robust and balanced terpene expression that is sticky from stem to leaf.

five. mandarina (bubba kings :: canmedi)

mandarina x ruderalis


and the award going to the most curious nose of all varietals trialed in twenty-eighteen goes to manderina from bubba kings and available from canmedi. despite the profiles sounding contradictory, the intensity of the orange zest rivaled by various cheeses - from blue to sharp cheddar - create a refreshing bouquet to challenge and arouse even the most gifted of connoisseurs. any time a terpene profile withstands the burn of a joint, i take stock and i would take and make stock with manderina!

four. unicorn (grön labb)

sativa dominant hybrid

what’s not to love about grön labb’s unicorn flower? a rare grow employing veganic practices, the resulting unicorn flower was remarkable in it’s terpene profiles and hit sharp and swift with citrus notes. unicorn has the sour sensation of a lemon haze combined with sharp notes of golden goat. this flower is no longer in production nor is the unicorn rosin it was used to produce. we waved goodbye to the final crop of unicorn in december of this year. living up to her name, unicorn was just that – almost mythical in form less those fleeting moments when her veil is lifted.

three. violator kush (coastal wildfire)

malana x hindu kush


violator kush – also known as “vio kush” – is an award-winning varietal from coastal wildfire. with dutch origins, this cultivar boasts pure indica lineage which is rare. the nose on this is exactly what one would expect coming out of the kush universe except that it packs a noticeably stronger terpene punch versus that of its peers. this all comes down to how it is grown and from which seed. coastal wildfire goes to great lengths to preserve the integrity of their grow and their violator kush is a billboard for their altruism.

Jeremiah Jacob and Andrea Dobbs at The Village Bloomery in Vancouver

two. sunshine blue dream (sunshine growers :: the village bloomery)

blueberry x haze


like space queen, sunshine blue dream is a fruity and herbaceous bouquet inspiring some of the most intense responses to terpene expression in twenty-eighteen. i pick up on subtle notes of sweet india basil and with the backdrop of the other notes found in blue dream, it is a layered web of sensation when taking in sunshine blue dream. the varietal i celebrate is specific to sunshine growers although other islands off vancouver’s coast yield similar profiles. this can currently be found at the village bloomery but like most boutique cultivars, will be hard to find once our dispensaries have turned to retail outlets and our cannabis has gone from craft to corporate.

one. strawberry cream (bc weed co. :: topleaf)

(northern lights five x blueberry)

x purple voodoo


strawberry cream takes the “steamroller” approach to your senses and unleashes a symphony of terpenes from the second you crack a can. to this day, i have not found a cultivar that expresses such dominant profiles with a mosaic of terpenes. "strawberry" doesn’t even begin to describe how intense the fruity notes are and to some, it is simply too intense to even engage. i suggest that this cultivar is used with caution when introducing naïve users to cannabis as i’ve experienced many a “virgin” that has turned up a nose to the intensity of this bouquet. rest assured, you have on my full authority that strawberry cream will garner the admiration and delight of the most seasoned cannabis aficionado. if the world could smell like strawberry cream from bc weed co., we would all be ok.

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