Nolan loves his dabs.
Nolan loves his dabs. Lester Black

Welcome to a new regular installment on Slog where we ask the most pressing question on everyone's minds: what are Seattle’s budtenders smoking?

Nolan Byng has been helping people find the right pot for their pipes since 2010 when Washington was still selling weed under the old medical system. He said he got involved in the industry after he left the Navy.

"From high school, I went into the Navy at 17 and then I broke my back in four places and had to get out. I got my medical card the next day and then got involved in the industry by chance," Byng told me.

Now he works at The Bakerée, a pot shop in Georgetown that looks like an unassuming budget motel from the outside. The shop's interior is far more inspiring, with the exposed wood beams, white walls, and an art gallery that takes up nearly half of the shop. On a recent visit, paintings made out of skateboards by local artist Jason Singler were hanging.

So what's Byng excited about right now? The industry insider showed me some budget Gelato that is surprisingly fire, a pot rub that isn't dank, and those terpy diamonds that will get you higher than a kite.

Gelato and Monster Cookies by Pagoda Premium ($25 for 3.5 grams)
Byng said the Pagoda brand offers some of the most in-demand strains, like these cuts of Gelato and a strain from the perennially popular cookie family of strains, at budget rates. "They just have the ability to do it on a bigger scale with still paying attention to quality. So you are able to have a $25 eighth of some good hand-trimmed stuff."

Recovery body restoring lotion by Ceres ($25 for 350mg)
This CBD-only topical lotion is blended with ginseng, hawthorn, and willow bark, natural compounds that are supposed to help aid in muscle recovery. It's made with emu oil, as in the oil of that flightless Australian bird and Byng assured me that it was neither greasy nor especially pungent.

"I have pain issues and I like this Recovery. It uses the emu oil as the transdermal gel and it has the ginseng, the willow bark, the hawthorn in it. The will bark is cooling. It’s a natural. I like that they mix all of the different synergetic compounds together," Byng said. "It’s really, really effective especially for aches and pains."

Twerkle by Kush Brothers ($100 for 7 grams)
"This is the Twerkle. It’s the Triangle Kush and the Purple Urkle. Very floral and gassy and it’s kind of a sit you back one. Heavy, behind the eyes, in the shoulders and your back," Byng said.

The True OG by Plantworks NW ($26 for 2 grams)
"We’ve been messing with these guys since the medical days. They went by elemental seeds back then. So they’ve won High Times cannabis cup like five times with this strain. This is one of our go-to’s," Byng said.

Lost Coast Hashplant Diamonds N' Sauce by Dorado ($35 for 1 gram)
Diamonds N' Sauce is a new type of concentrated cannabis that combines an extract with such pure THC in it that it resembles a rock (the diamond) with a syrupy mix of terpenes (the sauce). This combines the stunning potency of pure THC with the more well-rounded flavor and high that terpenes provide.

"Whenever it’s the diamonds and the sauce you have the strong high but you have a really terpy high that’s much more enjoyable being full spectrum like that. I still love my flower but dabbing is so quick. It’s like hitting greens every single time," Byng said. "I remember when Diamonds N' Sauce first came out and it was $120 for a gram. This is a full gram of Diamonds N' Sauce for $35 out the door. I bought three of those myself."