For several years now “candy” strains have taken over a lot of shelf space in the cannabis industry. Examine a grower’s strain offerings and you’ll find Zkittlez, Runtz, Lemon Cherry Gelato, or at least one of their many poly-hybrid offshoots. Runtz might still be the most recognizable strain from the candy wave, but one of its parent strains Zkittlez–now simply known as the Z–makes a strong case for providing superior flavor and effects while also being notoriously difficult to grow.
Some might claim that the genetic tree has been diluted by all these confection-like strains, but as years go by their original versions are harder to come by. The more breeders that have taken the original cultivar and watered it down to provide a better yield or an easier growing experience, the more you notice strains like Watermelon Z, Melonaid Zkittlez, or Purple Z instead of the original.
Just like most famous strains, the backstory around the original Z is murky to say the least. A cross of Grape Ape and Grapefruit genetics, it first came about in the 2010’s and emerged full on after taking first place at the High Times Cup in 2015 and the Emerald Cup in 2016. It has since continued to garner a reputation for being one of the best tasting flowers ever grown while giving an aromatic experience that lives up to the name. Pop open a fresh batch of Z and you will feel like you opened nature’s version of a bag of crushed up Skittles.
All this is what excited us so much about Parea cultivating a verified cut of the Original Z in their garden. The strain came to Parea in Pennsylvania by way of Sebastian Stalman, owner of B.A. Botanicals, a licensed cultivator and rosin producer based in Oregon. The Z is just one of several verified cuts of classic genetics that Sebastian brought to Parea as a part of their cross-country collaboration.
Sebastian got the Z cut in 2016 from Dookie Bros. after a treacherous journey up the infamous “murder mountain” in Humboldt. He told us he now considers it one of the most special plants of all time for its aroma and flavor but definitely not for its looks. It’s known for growing a little uglier than most and being extremely finicky in the garden but get it right and it’s an instant favorite for those in search of candy terps.
That profile is what we were looking for in Parea’s first batch of the Z and it did not disappoint. The Z may grow ugly, but the final buds are all larger in shape with a lighter green color that is studded in orange hairs. If you are a fan of sticky herb, this batch passed the test and was some of the stickiest we had seen in the program.
Once you open the Parea Mylar bag of the Z you are hit immediately with a blend of sweet, citrus, fruity, tropical aromas that punch your nostrils and clear your headspace. Strains that taste exactly how they smell quickly become favorites for us and that uplifting sweet aroma translates straight into its flavor profile. And while the taste shines, the effects will keep you coming back.
The Z provides versatile hybrid-indica effects that can bring a stimulated relaxation. Patients can expect to feel a great sense of focus mixed with a euphoric haze that can put you in a calming state of mind.
Overall, if you are looking for a full-on sensory experience this cut will provide you with that—from the smell to the taste, to the effects, the Z checks all the boxes for us.
Find the Z grown by Parea on select Medical Marijuana dispensary shelves across Pennsylvania now and be sure to check out some of the other strains in the Parea x B.A. Botanicals collab.