Blue Dream, the most illustrious strain from East Coast to West, can be found in nearly every cannabis shop in Washington state. Pop open a menu and you may even notice several different Blue Dreams from different growers. But when faced with multiple choices of producer, how do you choose between them?

While price can be a good indicator of quality, it can be impossible to know which bud is best without the ability to smell the cannabis or remove the buds from their packaging. So we rounded up five experts from the cannabis industry to vote on which farm’s Blue Dream had them most impressed. Using a 10-point scale, our judges rated anonymous strain samples based on appearance, aroma, flavor, and effect.

Every batch offered something special and different. We encourage you to read into the qualities and merits of each and acknowledge that there’s a subjectivity to cannabis and the experiences it brings us. But cannabis craftsmanship is both an art and science, and so we celebrate the industry leaders who strive to raise the bar with every harvest.

Let’s get into it.

The Critics

Meet the Contestants

#6 | Pioneer Nuggets, $14.00/gram

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Ripping open the package, your nose is met by the subtle but unmistakable scent of ripe blueberries. Small buds tumble from the bag, their trichomes catching light with a slight glimmer. Although the judges didn’t know it, these were nuggets were from Pioneer Nuggets. Founded in December of 2013, these growers have been raising hand-watered, hand-trimmed, and hand-manicured buds from outside the small town of Arlington.

Though this take on Blue Dream didn’t rack up as many points as its running mates, our critics certainly found praiseworthy attributes.

  • “Nice, sweet taste. Crescendo high peaking at 45 minutes with an easy ending.” – Ariana
  • “Uplifting and happy.” – Tera

But other judges were a little harder to please.

  • “Reminded me of the first weed I’d smoked – but nostalgia isn’t a factor unfortunately. Otherwise unremarkable.” – Maria
  • “Little to no smell, but looks pretty good. Good flavor, not much punch.” – Will
  • “Just overall not very tasty or stoney.” – Mike

Although the gentle effects of this Blue Dream might be a little too underwhelming for some, there’s still something to be enjoyed in its fluffy, mellow euphoria – especially if you prefer a milder psychoactive experience.

#5 | Buddy Boy Farms $90.00/quarter

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Hiding inside a stash jar wrapped with holographic art is Buddy Boy’s take on Blue Dream. Bright amber pistils hug the rounded buds, their structure maintained and un-squashed by the glass container (a common problem with flat, plastic packaging). With over 40 years of cultivation experience, the small team of growers at Buddy Boy raise their plants organically and with fresh, clean spring water in a quiet Eastern Washington valley.

Our critics had plenty of nice things to say about this earthy, piney smelling sample, despite its somewhat “outdoor” appearance.

  • “Best tasting to me by far. This would be my go-to in the group. I’d want this in pre-rolls on standby for sure. Guess looks aren’t everything.” – Maria
  • “Very relaxing and great flavor.” – Tera
  • “Looks like outdoor, but tastes better than expected.” –Mike
  • “Nice milky crystallization, true blueberry flavor, and straight-to-the-point uplifting high.” – Ariana

Still, there were a few knocks on the flavor, curing, and grooming.

  • “Hazy, grass-like smell. A little too dry. Not my favorite. Smoked a little better in a joint.” –Will
  • “Fluffy buds, needed a tad more trimming.” – Ariana

What this strain lacks in appearance, it makes up for in effect and flavor. As per the advice of our judges, roll this one up and consider taking it with you on your favorite hike or while catching some sun.

#4 | Rootworx, $12.00/gram

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Working from a clone of the original Snoop’s Dream cut, the cultivators at Rootworx have spent years developing their Blue Dream “recipe.” Pristine conic buds shimmer with white crystal trichomes in an impressive display behind the glass walls of their packaging. Priding themselves in proper climate control, lighting, and curing, the Rootworx Blue Dream is a beauty to behold, but what did the critics think of the overall experience?

It won over a few fans, especially with regards to its looks and effects.

  • “Nice bud structure. Woodsy aroma and piney sweet taste. Got me into my creative zone, lasting about an hour and transitioning into a mellow state.” –Ariana
  • “Smells great, definite berry aroma. Good head buzz.” – Will
  • “Chattier feeling with this one. Definitely made me feel more uplifted.” – Maria
  • “Great terpenes – could taste the myrcene and pinene. Very creative and flavor was delicious.” – Tera

But there were a few points of criticism.

  • “Flavor was earthy and bland.” – Will
  • “Visually appealing, but smoke is rather harsh.” – Mike

With a THC content pushing past 29%, this Blue Dream is decidedly the heavyweight of this bunch. The buds may be a little dry and earthier in flavor, but overall, Rootworx’s Blue Dream is a perfect companion for creative projects and social gatherings. Consider vaporizing this one for the smoothest delivery.

#3 | Monkey Grass Farms, $35.00/eighth

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From the family-owned and operated indoor farm in Wenatchee, Monkey Grass’ Blue Dream boasts a competitive price point while still holding on to fragrance and potency. Our third place winner clocks in at over 25% THC with a pronounced terpene profile that excitedly bursts out of the bag. This hybrid, however, had somewhat polarized reviews from our judges.

Some of them raved about this one’s aromatic attributes and smooth euphoria.

  • “Best smelling to me. The flavor profile danced beautifully with this flower’s aroma. Very soothing effect. No laziness.” – Maria
  • “Sweet scent, amazing flavor (great terps). Clear, uplifting high. Motivating and creative.” – Tera
  • “Glittery, pillowy, sweet-smelling, and honey lemon taste with strong, long-lasting elevation. A balanced high without any heavy sedation on the decline.” – Ariana
  • “Good mix of berry/sweet aroma with Hazy, earthy notes. Solid head buzz, nice flavor.” – Will

Mike, our toughest critic, didn’t agree.

  • “Bad taste, bad look, bad smell.” – Mike

Perhaps pickier consumers will want to reach for the topmost shelf for their Blue Dream, but for just $35/eighth (a nostalgic price tag for us medical customers), it would seem that Monkey Grass is a damn good deal. After all, this Blue Dream scored highest for aroma.

#2 | Emerald Jane’s, $17.50/gram

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Sitting high up on the top shelf, you’ll find Emerald Jane’s Blue Dream wrapped in elegant packaging and a price tag that might make some wince; for over $17 a gram, you better hope they stuffed these fancy bags full of herbal gold. Referred to as “boutique cannabis,” Emerald Jane’s takes pride in their small-batch product, focusing on quality over commercial quantity. As our second place winner, it’s clear that Emerald Jane’s isn’t just cannabis wrapped in frills, but a treat for the connoisseur willing to pay an extra buck (or seven bucks) for well-raised and lovingly crafted bud.

Here’s what our judges loved.

  • “Sweet smelling and fruit flavor with a quick, cheery and energizing effect that lasts about 30 minutes. Capped with a sleepy finish.” – Ariana
  • “Instantly calming, loosened shoulders. Happy ‘mmm’ high.” – Maria
  • “Sweet berry scent. I could feel the sativa effects.” – Tera

Oddly enough, our guys didn’t pick up on the smell.

  • “Visually appealing, but aroma was non-existent. Flavor could have been better.” – Mike
  • “Pungent, but not much berry smell.” – Will

There were clear differences in perception of this strain’s aroma and flavor, but it proved to be a well-rounded, strong contender in this race. You can trust that what you find in this bag will be a solid rendition of Blue Dream, a frosty vessel of deep relaxation and sparked imaginations.

#1 | Artizen, $13.25/gram

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Artizen, the indisputable champion of this round of Critics’ Picks, lifts the top shelf up to a higher plane. A dustbowl of crystal resin gives the flower a well-earned hue of gold as an enticing tangle of blueberry-lemon aromas radiate loudly from the bud. Though it may pain you to burn up these gold nuggets, do it. With a clean, smooth delivery that could stand in as a dessert, Artizen’s Blue Dream brings peace and relaxation on the inhale, and with the exhale, you can wave goodbye to stress and anxiety.

We have only compliments from the judges to share with you.

  • “Overall favorite. Lasted over an hour with super clean, focused energy! Easy taper with great pain relief to my taxed out muscles.” – Ariana
  • “Best smell and looks – super frosty. Best effects and balanced high.” – Will
  • “Helped with my stress and very gorgeous!” – Tera
  • “Aroma was nice, flavor was best of all as well as potency. By far the best one of the group.” – Mike

Well, okay, four compliments and one piece of very stoned feedback that still manages to say something about the potency of Artizen’s Blue Dream.

  • “I want pizza.” – Maria

Blue Dream from Artizen demonstrates that the quality and potency of a strain doesn’t necessarily correlate with a bloated THC content. Clocking in at 18.5% THC, the lowest among our contenders, this flower is an intricate and nuanced piece of art painted by chemical synergies as cannabinoids and terpenes dance harmoniously together.

Artizen is a fondly remembered name by patients of Washington’s bygone medical dispensaries, many of which closed their doors for good as of this July. Now a licensed producer in Washington’s adult cannabis market, Artizen bridges past and future generations of legal cannabis as a living relic of “the good old days.” And, although the price tag is often a reflection of a harvest’s quality, this gram only cost me $13.25. All of the sudden, the top shelf doesn’t feel so far away.

Winner of best appearance, best taste, best effects, and best overall flower, we congratulate Artizen on this sweeping victory!

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Are you a licensed producer interested in competing in Leafly’s next Critics’ Picks? Email us at criticspicks@leafly.com with your name, location, and a list of your strains/products for a chance to enter the next competition! Businesses operating within any legal state market may apply. Whether your craft is flower, edible, concentrate, or something else, we want to hear from you!

Note: application does not guarantee selection. Participants will be selected based on their location and product availability.