Mendo Breath
Zeki Farms, Northern California

AKA: No known aliases.

Backstory: An indoor-grown, top-shelf strain. The origins of Mendo Breath are murky, increasing the mystery and desirability of this rare, potent bud.

Type: Regarded as a “rollercoaster” for the slow build it takes from ingestion to the sudden onset of its strong sedative effects.

Genome: A fusion of OG Kush Breath (also known as OGKB, the rumored elder ancestor of the Cookie Fam Genetics family) and the difficult-to-find Mendo Montage strain.

Attributes: Compact, vibrant, minty-green, heavy flowers glazed with frosty trichomes. Light, fluffy, orange threads underline the conical shape of the buds. Keep your stash in an airtight container, as Mendo Breath has an inescapably strong perfume that can overwhelm a large living room and linger long after it’s been put away.

The unbroken buds give off a robust piney scent reminiscent of herbs, such as rosemary and sage, with a surprisingly sweet smell on the back end. Like caramel, the buds are gummy. Scissors or a reliable grinder should be used to break them apart; fingers won’t cut it. The lush, sweet smell of Mendo Breath becomes even denser as the buds are broken down, resulting in a strong aroma that inundates the senses, as if you’d stepped into a fragrant candy shop. The satisfying smoke is thick and peppery, with an astringent head feel. A light citrusy taste lingers on the tongue after exhale.

Mendo Breath is a strong strain, testing at 20.43 percent THC. A couple hits provide a deeply sedating, heady buzz. Even a heavyweight will want to save this one for after dinner. The Mendo Breath high can be immobilizing—be prepared to sink into the couch. As you would with any edible, give it some time to take effect before consuming more; the buzz creeps in slowly before wholly consuming your evening.

Cost: $40 an eighth, a great value considering that a similar experience from top-shelf and private-reserve strains can cost up to $60 or more. Available at select dispensaries throughout California but can be found in other legalized recreational and medicinal cannabis states.

Pair with: A bag of savory gourmet chips or sweet specialty cookies. Mendo Breath works up a bottomless appetite.

Great for: A nightcap after a stressful day in order to get a relaxing night’s sleep. Perfect for people with ailments ranging from insomnia to chronic pain, especially if that restlessness is due to physical discomfort.

—Kirk Novak