Most of the strains I choose to review are based on some mix of popularity, novelty and timeliness, but sometimes personal motivation trumps all. Flo OG — or, as anyone who hates syllables calls it, “Floog” — was a case of love at first whiff for me, and any toker who appreciates the lime-green glow and pungent scents of classic chronic would also fall for it.
Forgive me, fellow tokers, for thus far failing to review one of the cannabis world’s most lethal strains. Maybe I figured we’d already had it covered, maybe I was just too scared to actually check on that. But when AK-47 caught me in the crosshairs during an unplanned dispensary visit, I had no choice but to take the bullet.
Named after one of the most widely used killing machines on the planet, this strain is much more gentle than you’d imagine. The sativa-dominant hybrid came to fame in the early ’90s, winning cannabis cups and taking over the streets thanks to a potency that crossed the 15 percent THC mark, which was really powerful at the time.
Government reports recently revealed that over 665,000 pounds of legal marijuana were sold in Colorado last year, but that number hardly accounted for every sale in the state. Although market research shows that Colorado’s marijuana black market has become significantly smaller than the rest of the country’s since retail dispensaries showed up in 2014, it hasn’t evaporated altogether.
Various law enforcement agencies collaborated on a network of raids on illegal marijuana grows in at least five towns and two counties on August 9, as first reported by the Denver Post — and the marijuana seized from the raids could be small potatoes compared to what’s happening on public land in Colorado.
Any cannabis user can attest to the nostalgic feelings brought on by music and a joint. Before the chorus even hits, a certain artist or song can have you yearning for the golden years, whether they were before a breakup, when you were coming of age, or during any other formative time of your life. And, as with many other cannabis users, my early years of trying the plant coincided with experimenting with new forms of music.
My favorite flashbacks come on when a Notorious B.I.G. song starts playing; I can’t help but feel like a lost, irrationally confident teenager as his deep voice booms over the speakers. His violent tales of growing up in Brooklyn told of a world that was the opposite of the rural desert where I was raised. Songs like “Gimme the Loot” and “What’s Beef” thrilled my ignorant mind as I smoked blunts in garages, strengthening a subconscious bond in my head between Christopher Wallace and cannabis. Nearly a decade removed from those days, my Biggie flashbacks happen less often now, but I’m hoping that will change thanks to Trill Alternatives.
Being a cannabis critic is far from a stressful gig, but we could all use a little vacation sometimes. Unfortunately, the most my budget can afford is a free trip to the park, but there are other ways to escape. While I’ve never been a huge Corona guy, the brewery’s “Find Your Beach” campaign, in which opening a Corona takes you to an imaginary tropical paradise, isn’t a total crock: Enjoying certain flavors or aromas is a great way to forget where you are and instead imagine where you want to be.
Given the plant’s head-changing qualities, a cannabis strain with sensory characteristics that remind you of a vacation can be very effective at “taking you away” from a shitty job, dumpy apartment or sweltering back yard. A recent trip to the pot shop even helped me escape a bad case of the Mondays after Papaya, an indica-leaning hybrid, presented itself.
Tokes in the morning don’t work for everyone, but there’s nothing like a good wake-and-bake session for those of us who really enjoy it. If you can sidestep the risks of getting too high or an uncomfortable mixture of THC and coffee, starting the morning off with an adults-only bowl can make breakfast and Sunday chores that much better. Try scrubbing the bathroom floor after a bowl of Sour Diesel and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I recently decided to begin one weekend morning with Grapefruit, a sativa named after those big false-oranges that old people eat with a spoon. Most childish tastebuds aren’t mature enough to appreciate the tart, bitter and acidic flavors of grapefruits. My tastebuds were no exception: Grapefruits and grapefruit juice were much too potent for me until I started drinking tequila and appreciating the fruit’s bitterness. Although similarly stiff on the senses, the Grapefruit strain is much easier for the uninitiated to appreciate.
It’s been fun to observe the efforts of prohibitionists as cannabis is more widely accepted publicly. One classic argument made against marijuana’s medical value is the “You can’t smoke medicine” motto, while another is a backlash against the names of strains. I understand reservations toward prescribing a sativa called “Pootie Tang” for eating disorders, but there’s no reason not to have a little fun sometimes.
My favorite strain names take me back to childhood or otherwise tap into nostalgia, like Bruce Banner, Duke Nukem and Smurfette, all of which are actual names of pot. So imagine my joy last year when I came across Ecto-Cooler, a strain named after the Ghostbusters-themed Hi-C drink in the ’90s made to turn from orange to green in honor of Slimer, the movie’s fat, lovable undead ball of ectoplasm.
The cannabis qualities that we’ve grown to love don’t always make a good first impression. The skunky smells and earthy flavors of Diesels and Kushes take time to understand, much less covet. And I have yet to appreciate one popular characteristic of “good” weed: sticky buds. Anyone who’s ever rolled a joint, let alone trimmed a harvest, knows how sticky pot can get (don’t even think about rubbing your hands around your eyes afterward), so a strain called Citrus Sap sounded like too much for my fingers to bear.
We haven’t hidden our admiration for L’Eagle’s operation in the past, awarding it with numerous Best of Denver awards for its work in the grow. The dispensary provides some of the stankiest buds in town while advocating for clean growing practices and fighting against unsafe pesticide use. And owners Amy Andrle and her husband, John, have put their words into action, becoming the first dispensary in Denver to become Certifiably Green for its sustainable business practices.
Westword caught up with Amy Andrle in the following email interview to see what one of the Mile High’s most esteemed dispensaries has been up to and what the pot power couple has planned for the future.
With plenty of public parks to play in, classic amusement parks to visit, a decent baseball team to watch and great views of the Rocky Mountains, there’s no shortage of summer activities to satisfy your Americana cravings. And the perfect treat to enjoy alongside almost all of those activities is ice cream. Unfortunately for anyone looking for wholesome refreshments after 10 p.m., options are somewhat limited.
So instead of going to the grocery store for a hard-frozen pint on a hot Saturday night, my girlfriend and I opted to spend our money on a big bag of weed, hoping that would make us forget about the two inches of frost layering the vintage popsicles in my freezer. Lucky for us, we came across a strain called Sunset Sherbet, so we didn’t need to eat any Obama-era ice pops.