Cookies & Cream sounds like a yummy snack…or meal. Once upon a time, I loved my Oreos and milk. Smooth, unctuous delicious. I used to be able to eat a whole bag of Oreos and drink a quart of milk, but no more. I don’t know if it’s wisdom or age. But this isn’t the weed, Oreos are real cookies. But Cookies & Cream, the cannabis strain, really is reminiscent in several ways of those old Oreo and milk sessions. Smooth, mellow, and satisfying. First a word about The Spot dispensary .
I’ve been to lots of dispensaries in many of the legal states. The Spot (there are 2 outlets and a grow operation in Pueblo and 1 in Trinidad) is among the very best I’ve ever visited. Their Pueblo West store is also a grow operation that was open for arranged tours before COVID changed our lives. They appear to grow their own and it’s good indeed. Companies who grow their own have a much greater incentive to produce good products. The budtender who helped me was quite knowledgable and told me that all their flower was grown hydroponically. I don’t know that but will take him at his word. Much of the flower in jars looked great although it’s hard to tell in a big jar of buds. They did not look like they’d been treated with PGRs (Plant Growth Regulators) which supposedly can lead to health problems. Back to our main event; the strain.
Cookies & Cream – Appearance
The buds, while small, were fairly loose with the original structure easy to determine. The leaves were easily discernable so the buds weren’t over-trimmed. There were lots of pale orange stigmas all over the buds and they were generally frosted with trichomes. Leaves can include trichomes, which have most of the good stuff. The buds were a pale to medium green with different parts of the plant displaying different shades. The only detraction was the size of the buds. All were very small. I’d like to see a selection of sizes. The plant itself should express its trichome and THC genetics about the same all over the plant. It would be nice if I could see where the bud came from on the plant; Was it high or low? How big were the original buds? The appearance score is based on the lack of size and differentiation.
Appearance Score – 16
Cookies & Cream – Aroma
There were many aromas in Cookies & Cream and they were wonderful. The initial dominant scent was sweet with undertones of creaminess, and a suave mix of berry, vanilla, and an earthy element. I like bud that possesses complex and distinct aromas. Too much cannabis in the marketplace just has a blah aroma. Not this. I just loved the scent and kept smelling it. The first notes were sweet and smooth.
Aroma Score – 19
Cookies & Cream – Taste
If I could write this review with just one word, it would be smooth. That’s it. smooth. The taste started out smooth and ended smooth. What was in-between. was a creamy texture in the mouth that is very difficult to describe. It actually seemed to taste of cookies and the cookie taste combined with the smoothness had this strain truly living up to its name. Loved it! The taste was very much like the aroma. No complaints there. There was a certain purity of the flavors that didn’t go unnoticed. Loved it.
This bud was very well cured. The ash was almost pure white. I don’t know if it would have been harsher or whatever if it had been cured poorly. But I’ll take this kind of cure any time at all.
Taste Score – 19
Cookies & Cream – Effect
As smooth as the taste was, the effect was just as smooth. As creamy as this was to my nose and as creamy as it was to my palate, the effect was smooth and creamy as well. I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered a strain where the aroma, flavor, and effect all meshed like this. It was a supremely mellow and smoothly energizing experience. Mellow…not a wacky brain buzz, but just smooth. And again for lack of a better word, smoothly energizing. No big burst of “clean up the entire house…NOW” kind of energy. But a good feeling like I was up to the task and had plenty of energy to do it. I personally found this effect to be wonderful. It was just as the budtender advertised. Terrific stuff.
Rarely does anything I get from a dispensary live up to the hype I frequently get from uninformed or uneducated budtenders. This one was just terrific.
Effect Score – 19
Cookies & Cream Strain Review Summary
Cookies & Cream is supposed to be a ‘hybrid’. I don’t know exactly what hybrid means anymore because some hybrids are energizing and some are couch-lock inducing. This strain is a real hybrid. It seems to take the best of what we call Sativa and the best of Indica and combines them into something really different and wonderful.
This is perhaps the best cannabis I’ve had since I purchased some Acapulco Gold at The Green Room in Telluride in June or July. Since nothing is probably an old landrace strain anymore, I really didn’t know what the Acapulco Gold was…other than excellent. But this is about Cookies & Cream.
If you find yourself driving on Interstate 25 in Colorado passing through Pueblo, get off at exit 101 (U.S. 50) and make a left at the first light to the west of the highway and it’s right there next to the 7-11 on the left.
This is not an ordinary strain review. If you’ve read my reviews, you’ll know I’m a fan of whole flower consumption. I like flower because it’s holistic. The whole plant might be better than the parts like trichomes, THC, CBD or any other partial use of the plant. I don’t consume vape cartridgess. I have no idea where what they contain comes from, how the ‘oil’ was extracted, and what additives there might be in them. So why am I reviewing a “concentrate”? Lazercat is why. And this won’t look like one of our regular reviews. No 4-20s score here.
What is Lazercat?
Lazercat Cannabis is a small company located near Breckenridge, Colorado that specializes in water process concentrates. They do seem to sell flower, but haven’t seen it in any dispensary, although one said they’d had some the week before. There are almost no other companies in any legal state who only make water process live resin products. Nearly all concentrates are made with solvents like alcohol or butane or CO2. Why would I want to ingest any of that?
Why Water Process Is Important
I never know how most concentrates are made. I have come to find over the years that most concentrates are pretty mysterious. They can be made any way that’s possible to extract the THC from the plant. Hopefully, terpenes come along, but terpenes (all the tasty parts of cannabis) are notably fragile. They are usually destroyed at temperatures above 150F. One of Lazercat’s differences is their use of very cold water to separate the trichomes, which contain all of the terpenes and THC type chemistry of the plant. A cold process keeps the terpenes smelling and tasting the way the plant made them. It also doesn’t destroy any of the THC type chemicals. The trichomes are the frosty parts of a bud. The more frost, the more trichomes, but they’re then a bunch of frosty bits on a flower.
This product is named “Premium Live Rosin” and the strains in this particular iteration are Cheese Dog + GMO. Lazercat grows many strains and 5 products. These are both very good strains if somewhat more difficult to grow. That’s another thing about Lazercat. They don’t seem to be afraid of growing difficult strains. And the difficult to grow strains are usually the best. It’s kind of hard to imagine when cannabis came from Mexico or farther south and would just be allowed to grow in mostly untended fields, harvested, destemmed, and dried.
Premium live rosin is made from a whole plant that has its trichomes separated from the rest of the plant, is water-washed, then sifted through a small (90 micron) sieve. The resulting pile of goodness is then lightly pressed (I think) into this wonderful-looking pale gold glob of pretty hard material. The picture here shows how pretty it is. One note: when consuming this kind of product, I believe it’s meant to be vaped. I don’t vape, but rather put it on top of a bowl of flower. The whole idea of setting up a rig is just too much to deal with if I’m going to enjoy the effect.
Appearance – Lazercat Silver Fume
The usual categories of appearance don’t hold for this product. But it is a pretty pale yellow color almost like a pale lemon. As I looked at the product, I thought about how I would mix that color on my palate and what I’d use. I came up with using a touch of cadmium yellow mixed with Naples yellow (you’ll have to look up a color chart to see what I mean) and some titanium of white. It was a very pretty color, but it was really a lump of beautiful concentrated essence of cannabis.
Aroma – Lazercat Silver Fume
The aroma is a bit harder to describe then a cannabis flower aroma. It’s the same, but different. A little lighter. Perhaps more concentrated and not as complex, but it’s still nice. Flowers, but not just any flowers, are what it reminds me of every time I smell it, which is every time I open the jar.
Taste – Lazercat Silver Fume
The taste is hard to describe. It’s a lot like the effect (see below). It was very ethereal. It tasted almost exactly as it smelled. I cannot explain it any other way. The flavor was very light but concentrated. It filled my mouth with flavors of lemon, perhaps honeysuckle and flavors I don’t usually associate with cannabis flower of any type. It was extremely pleasant. It wasn’t hash-like and it was very present. Loved it!
Effect – Lazercat Silver Fume
The effect continued with the theme of ethereal. It was VERY present. It was intense, but at the same time it was vety intense in a wonderful way. It felt as it gave me great powers of concentration at the same time as it put my head in the clouds. This product just felt like pure cannabis pleasure. I could go on (and on), but I cannot write about how pleasant it is. I liked it. A lot. I couldn’t consume it all the time though. If there was one thing that is negative about the effect, it’s how it’s not ’rounded’ in the same way that the effect from good flower is. There’s a certain completeness about the effect of flower, but that’s not to denigrate the quality. It’s just different.
Conclusion – Lazercat Silver Fume
If you’re in Colorado, try to find this product. It’s worth the few extra dollars over some other products in the market that state. Their website has locations of where the product has been purchased, but it’s not very up to date nor are the dispensaries that up to date either with what’s there. I called one in Trinidad that I like a lot, but when I tried to order a specific product I liked, they didn’t have it. I wish there was a way to ‘reserve’ the product I want, but there’s not.
If I was going to give this a score, I’d give it a 96, which is very high (as was I), but I haven’t developed the correct vocabulary to properly explain it. So the score will have to remain buried in this review and I’ll leave it at that.
[Canniseur: For a wine crazy like me, this is terrific. I love wine and all its different flavors, all the places it comes from, all the different things it can be. Why should cannabis be any different? I can’t come up with a reason.]
Grape is one of the best cannabis flavors out there. It’s so distinct, and most of the time, those grape-flavored strains are pretty common in terpene profile, cannabinoid profile, and most of the time, those grape-flavored strains are pretty common in terpene profile, cannabinoid profile, and effects. When you put your nose to a jar of something grapey, you’re pretty safe in assuming it’ll be something delicious, potent, and relaxing.
Why Do Strains Smell Like Grapes?
Cannabis flowers can produce so many aromas and flavors, all of which come down to terpene profiles. Terpenes are the aromatic oils in the cannabis plants responsible for their smell and taste. Terps are also the stinky reason that herbivores skip over cannabis plants.
The combination of terpenes in cannabis plants influence many parts of the strain-specific experience, but for all intents and purposes, let’s just focus on flavor.
Here are 5 cannabis strains that smell and taste like grapes.
Granddaddy Purple is the OG of all OGs when it comes to grape strains. It’s the sole reason we all obsess over purple buds and expect them to be powerfully sedating.
GDP is a cross of Big Bud and Purple Urkle. It has bulbous purple buds, thick crystally trichomes, and a sweet grapey and gassy flavor that will blow your taste buds away. Though a hybrid of other purple strains, this early-2000s creation by Ken Estes is still the original purple strain that paved the way for today’s Zkittlez and Forbidden Fruit obsessions.
Mendocino Purps hails from the lands of Mendocino, a county in California that’s given us so much great cannabis over the years. What is Mendo Purps? Who knows, honestly.
The original Mendo Purps is a clone-only strain, but around 2004 BC Bud Depot created a seed version called The Purps. It also goes by Mendocino Purple, Mendo Purple, and pretty much any variation of that. Mendo Purps has a complex grapey, earthy, and hashy flavor, and the effects will lock you to your seat for hours. Need a sleepy strain? This one. Like to dab? This one.
Grape Ape is my singular favorite grape cannabis strain, not to be confused with my favorite purple cannabis strain, Forbidden Fruit.
It crosses Mendo Purps with a Skunk and an Afghani strain. First of all, that combo is just stupid. Purple AND Skunk?! When it comes to smell and look, you already know that’s going to be a beautiful flower with a strong aroma. But then you toss in Afghani too, and you know those effects are going to PUNCH. And that’s what you get from Grape Ape, a punch that hits your body like the Kool-Aid man hits a living room wall.
Grape Ape is heavily relaxing. From personal experience, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a sleepy strain. It doesn’t make you feel so overpowered with THC that some shuteye is your only solution. Instead, Grape Ape makes you feel so damn chill that your body will feel like a lazy pile of potatoes.
Purple Punch is a new school purple strain by way of Granddaddy Purple and Larry OG. Purple Punch is a sweet lil’ thang. Think of a grape hard candy that melts up then drips down like grape syrup. Okay, now you know how you’re currently imagining that syrup would taste? That’s Purple Punch, the Juicy Drop Pop of cannabis strains.
Purple Punch flower is absolutely coated with white trichomes stacked on light green and dark purple buds. It is a GREAT strain for making concentrates. The effects are usually powerfully relaxing, make sure to clear your schedule before consuming this THC powerhouse.
You probably came into this list thinking “Where’s Bubba Kush?” It’s here, just in a newer form that I’ve recently come across in Washington. Grape Bubba is a cross of Purple Urkle and Bubba Kush. In a way, it’s sort of like a new-age attempt at Granddaddy Purple.
Grape Bubba is earthy, it’s sweet, it’s grapey, and boy oh boy is it sticky. It’s one of the more refreshing strains I’ve come across in a minute, and that high? *Chef’s kiss*
Grape Bubba’s high is just like Bubba Kush. In that I mean, Bubba Kush, by sheer name, terpene profile, and overall reputation, is expected to be this super-duper sleepy purple strain that you can only smoke while in bed because that’s how hard it’ll hit you. But in actuality, Bubba Kush tends to be a pretty even-keel manageable high. Sure, it definitely leans more toward the relaxing side of the effects spectrum, but it isn’t necessarily a day-ender.
[Canniseur: I’m a hiker. I love to hike. Up mountains. Down mountains. I live part-time in a place that has lots of trails and mountains to hike on. Hiking high can be a great pleasure. Here are some strains that make that hike you’re taking even better. Go for it! Hike.]
Is it just me, or does the time feel exceedingly right to disappear into the woods for a few hours and get astronomically high?
The howling winds of uncertainty have all but blown 2020 to smithereens. It’s enough to make a person need reminding of how fleshy and insignificant their timelines are when compared to an endless forest or a mid-city wetland. Which is to say, losing one’s self in nature is a singular form of self-care. And since we are unequivocally in the era of self-care, let’s take a few deep breaths, strap on our fanny packs and face masks, and get hiking with these eight exhilarating and mollifying strains.
Remember, your endocannabinoid system is like your fingerprint, totally unique to you. Keep in mind that the effects described below may not line up across the board, and each person’s experience is theirs alone.
Golden Pineapple is gently energetic and relaxing at lower doses, making it an agreeable complement to a low-impact, meditative stroll. At higher doses, it becomes psychotropic and effervescent, which is an exceptional way to evolve a meditative stroll into an intense birdwatching session.
Golden Pineapple’s parents are Golden Goat and Pineapple Kush, so expect a funky fruit profile with savory herbal undertones and dense, sugar-dusted flowers. Either low-dose or high, the strain is a lovely accompaniment to both the outdoors and mild physical activity.
Clementine has a reputation for being borderline frenetic before coming into focus. Those two disparate effects come together exquisitely while navigating the wild outdoors — or your closest city park, whatever works.
Parented by classic sativa strains, Lemon Skunk and Tangie, Clementine takes after Lemon Skunk in terms of flavor profile and rubbery energy, but the distilled head high is boldly reminiscent of Tangie. Tangie flowers sparkle with fiery stigmas and sugary trichomes, and the strain is also a popular extract that makes for a mouthwatering vape.
Blueberry Headband is an animated strain that promises to put a pep in your step while being social. On a family hike around your closest Audubon Society (or commensurate nature park), it can potentially keep you fully engaged with both family and nature without ever stepping into giggle-fit territory.
The inherent hurdle in enjoying Blueberry Headband is in knowing that the name has been attached to a number of phenotypes. For our purposes, we refer to the Emerald Triangle Seeds variation, bred from a cross of 76 Blueberry, Emerald OG Kush, Cali Sour D, and Pre-98 Bubba Kush. The result is a hybrid that expertly straddles the line between euphoria and calm sociability without ever falling too far into either lane.
Since the effects of strains tend to rely on the individual, reports vary on the effects of White Fire OG. For some, it’s the quintessential wake and bake, for others, it’s immediate couchlock. White Fire OG is borne of The White and Fire OG, both indica bent hybrids with caryophyllene and limonene forward terpene profiles. White Fire OG defies both its parents by (most often) boasting a bright and buoyant high.
If your chemistry allows it to hit with enthusiasm, opt for a hike with a moderate skill level. This strain has the potential to keep your body receptive and elastic while your mind wanders, which is kind of what we’re going for here.
Sour Tangie’s uncomplicated lineage from East Coast Sour Diesel and Tangie, the child strain is every bit as lively as one would expect, coming from two distinctly upbeat cultivars. What makes Sour Tangie singular is the burst of creative energy that accompanies its exuberant body high.
A trail with a suggestion of moderate skill level that might find you leapfrogging over fallen trees and encountering the occasional rogue blackberry thorn will bring out the best in your Sour Tangie experience.
Quantum Kush is already popular with enthusiasts of getting high and walking in the woods, respectively. It’s a high THC varietal parented by Sweet Irish Kush and Timewreck, with a smothering relaxation effect that both soothes and elevates..
Any mild to moderate hike will activate the singular euphoria of Quantum Kush; a breezy waterfront or sunbleached beach where hikers can strip down on a hot day will most likely result in a “best day ever, best weed ever” type situation — and we could all use one of those every now and again.
The most accurately named strain on this list is Space Candy. The charmed child of Space Queen and Cotton Candy is both candy-sweet and extra spacey. This strain exists in the complex intersection of euphoria and delirium, making more moderate to difficult conditions — think narrow pathways and loose scrabble — feel like a Bear Grylls fantasy.
Space Candy’s terpene profile is citrus dominant, but the underlying earthy notes add a sophisticated funk. Users should expect resiny buds flecked with red and purple, and a confectionary floral aroma that blooms into citrus at the exhale.
Hiking challenges are why Bruce Banner #3 may potentially be your perfect hiking strain. Maintaining focus, eschewing stress, and staying bouncy and energetic during vigorous physical activity and elevation gain are all hallmarks of this Bruce Banner phenotype.
Bruce Banner’s storied lineage began in the labs of Los Angeles-based Dark Horse Genetics, where OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel cultivars were bred to produce five phenotypes. Numbers 2 and 4 were subsequently abandoned, while 1, 3, and 5 were selected for their high potency. Of those remaining phenotypes, #3 remains the most popular and widely available of the Bruce Banner strains. Expect a sharply herbal flavor profile, a tart, pungent mouthfeel, and a swooning onset that develops into a calm and creative euphoria.
[Canniseur: Gee, I didn’t know getting high made me more aroused too. Yes. I. Did. I love cannabis for this. And this is a good explanation of which strains seem to be the best.]
It’s no secret that a dash of weed will spice things up in the bedroom. In recent years, the legal market’s been awash with topicals, suppositories, and tinctures aimed at doing just that. But while these products are great — and work very, very well — puffing on a pre-roll or taking a bong hit of some spicy flower can be just as effective when it’s time to get down.
However booming the canna-sexual market may be, it seems to be devoid of any smokable sex aids. While something is working with smoking pot before (or even during) a sexual experience, there is little data on what kind of flower lends itself best to enhance sexual pleasure.
When it comes to sex and using flower, are there strains that specifically heighten arousal? Or, when it comes to sex, is all weed created equal? Is there such a thing as a “viagra strain” to kickstart your sex life?
So many strains claiming to enhance female arousal and male arousal with names like Atomic Northern Lights and/or high-THC content that claim to be “sure things” can be intimidating, confusing, and just downright mood-killing when they don’t work. Or, worse, make you get in your own head.
This kind of journey is personal, intimate, and determined by how the plant’s chemical makeup of terpenes and cannabinoids react with your individual endocannabinoid system, as well as how you react with your surroundings, so we spoke to some of the experts behind the canna-sexual uprising that’s rocking the weed world and bedrooms alike.
While there’s no single strain that’s guaranteed to get your engines going, here are a few of their favorites.
“There is no such thing as the perfect strain for all…yet,” explains cannabis expert Jaron Gladstone, co-founder of CBCeuticals. “Think of shopping for condoms or toys. Often, you will find a variety of shapes and sizes to appease everyone’s interests. This tends to be — in part — due to the nature of our bodies each being psychologically and mentally unique. Answering the question of what cannabis strain is best is relative to what you like, what you need, and what the situation calls for.”
While Gladstone’s personal go-tos are Tangie, Original Glue, and Bruce Banner, his favorite is Mimosa, a cross between Purple Punch and Clementine with high levels of the terpene limonene, known for its bright and uplifting effects, and myrcene, known for promoting calm and relaxation.
“Mimosa is the crown jewel, if you can find it,” he raved. “Think of the Mimosa as doing spin art during Sunday brunch. It throws in a little energy, a little pep in your step, and takes all worries away, leaving you happy-go-lucky, euphoric, and free from anxiety.”
For Joe Vela, co-founder and CEO of Emojibator, a shame-free, accessible pleasure-tech brand debuting a CBD pleasure activator later this year, it’s all about Strawberry Cough.
“I keep a steady supply of sativas and sativa-hybrids,” said Vela. “My go-to strain for arousal is Strawberry Cough. In addition to the sensual smell and taste of berry, this strain gives me creative energy and full-body relaxation.”
Strawberry Cough is a sweet, potent strain known for its heady high and hard, cough-provoking smoke. With a terpene profile high in caryophyllene and limonene with a dash of linalool, it produces a shimmering, euphoric high that is at once uplifting, relaxing, and perfect for getting freaky.
High in euphoria-inducing myrcene, uplifting pinene, and sedating terpinolene, Trainwreck is a fabulous strain for foreplay and beyond, according to our sex experts. While it hit its peak popularity about a decade ago, that doesn’t stop Laura Eisman and Allison Krongard, CEOs and co-founders of Her Highness, a brand of glamourous cannabis accessories, from enjoying Trainwreck’s hard-hitting cerebral high, surging euphoria, and creativity.
“My absolute favorite strain for sex is Trainwreck,” said Eisman. “I love it in any form. Nothing is sexier than slowly smoking a Trainwreck preroll. It makes me feel completely euphoric. I get lost in the experience and every sensation is intensified.”
Krongard adds, “Personally, the best pre-sex strain for me is whichever one I have available. Getting high before sex makes it better for me, and all strains deliver. However, if I had to pick just one or two notable pre-sex standouts, they would be Trainwreck and Red Congolese.”
“I think, more than focusing on strains, something to think about, ask about, and look into is terpenes and cannabinoids,” said Anne Louise Burdett, co-Founder & CEO of TOCA, an organic CBD line of intimacy lubricants. “Different strains have different terpene and cannabinoid profiles which is what makes them unique, and if you know what you’re looking for, you can try out all kinds of different combinations.”
She continued, “When it comes to terpenes, for example, if you want to be clear and focused, look to pinene. If you are wanting something more relaxed and sedating, myrcene or linalool, with limonene being more euphoric, creative. As far as cannabinoids, CBN is a major chemical that makes people feel kind of sleepy and dull, so likely best to avoid. THC is fantastic for pain relief and heightened sensation, and THCV is more stimulating. So overall, it’s a pretty idiosyncratic choice, depending on what you need to get aroused and how you like to feel.”
That said, her recent go-to has been Granddaddy Purple (or GDP), an indica-growing cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud that is high in relaxing myrcene, anxiety-curbing caryophyllene, and uplifting pinene. “Grandaddy Purple is currently the strain I use the most because I have very full days … a pretty regular obstacle to sex is the task of slowing down my brain and getting present and relaxed in my body at the end of the day. Grandaddy Purple is perfect for a longer, more languid experience. A sensual, relaxed time.”
Sour Diesel, one of the most popular strains in existence, is a sativa-growing plant that took over in the 90s. This cross between ChemDog 91 and Super Skunk was cultivated by grower AJ Sour Diesel and launched a ton of beef between growers in the weed world at the time due to its diesel-y aroma and general prowess as the ultimate 90s dank. High in uplifting limonene, peppery caryophyllene, and fruity, relaxing myrcene, Sour Diesel made two of our expert’s lists, including Anne Louise Burdett above.
Daniel Saynt, Founder & Chief Conspirator of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a private members club for the adventurous, agreed. “My choice strains for great sex are Sour Diesel, Afgan Goo, Blue Cheese, and Voodoo.”
Saynt continued, “Just think about the experience you’re about to have and try to match the strain that best fits. If you’re looking for a Barry Manalo style, long and romantic sex experience consider going with an indica-based weed like Bubblegum Kush. Try other indica strains if you want to stretch out your sexual experience with more touch and massage, as these strains make that action feel amazing. If you’re looking for wild and crazy sex making, go for a sativa or hybrid-based strain like Sour Diesel or Jillybean. Both are great for getting the juices going and raising arousal.”
“It’s not about getting insanely high when you’re mixing weed and sex. It’s about enhancing the experience, not overpowering it … much like great sex, it’s better to start slow and build up.”
This week’s Pura Vida Cultivar Review is for a purchase I made in Colorado. I got a chance to revisit Cannaco, on the south side of Trinidad, CO. This dispensary always has great products and I try to get there two or three times a year. This time I purchased some new (to me) strains and this one is called Pura Vida. Pura Vida seeds were developed by Bhodi, a seed company in the U.S. and the U.K. which probably explains why I’d never had this particular strain before. The grower wasn’t listed, so it’s unclear who actually grew the plant, but holy moley it’s complex. Pura Vida means pure life in Latin and I’d go along with that descriptive title for this cultivar.
The question mark in the title is because it’s a real hybrid…and it acts like neither Sativa or Indica, but does both really well!
Bud of Pura Vida Photo by Steve Haskin
The Pura Vida buds I got were small. I almost never get a true cola from a dispensary, marginally compact, not too much so and has a good number of orange pistils and large flower sacs. The flowers are pretty to look at and weren’t overly trimmed, so there was a bit of small leaf still attached. When buds are this size, there’s not a lot that makes them different from strain to strain. These buds were light green in color and had lots of trichomes frosting the bud.
Appearance Score: 15/20
Here’s where Pura Vida begins to shine. The aroma has a nice limonene scent at the beginning, but the myrcene shins through the aroma very nicely, thank you. There are notes of pineapple and perhaps an aroma that reminded me of the color violet as well. Pura Vida has a very complex aroma for cannabis and I really liked it a lot. I just kept my nose in it for a while and let the aromas overtake my senses. It was heady and promised a wonderful effect. I wasn’t disappointed.
Aroma Score: 19/20
I rarely think the aroma and taste go together, but this particular cultivar had it going all over. It had a sweet foretaste that also had some violet in it. The middle taste as I was inhaling, was rich, pleasant and smooth. I can’t say enough about the smoothness of the taste. It was full-bodied, filled up my mouth with an array of wonderful flavors and tasted very little of plant matter. The ash was white, so it was well cured.
Taste Score: 19/20
The effect is where Pura Vida really shined. Interestingly, Pura Vida is called Sativa on some websites and it’s labeled Indica on other sites. In all probability, it’s a hybrid and it surely was a hybrid to me. In New Mexico, I’ve been hiking about 5-9 miles a day. Sometimes less, but rarely more. I’ve got good boots, but at the end of a hike, my feet can be tired along with my right knee. The first puff almost instantly alleviated the soreness in my body parts! That was amazing. After that, the mind effect took over in about 3 or 4 minutes.
For my Pura Vida cultivar review the first words that came to mind as the effect started were; clarity and concentration. I felt I was suddenly able to concentrate more than I had been before consuming Pura Vida. It made me feel alive with thoughts. This part of the effect lasted for about 1/2 hour or so and then the Indica part of the effect kicked in big time. WOW!!! At about the 30-minute mark, my body started to feel like every muscle was in relaxation mode while leaving the energized mind part going. It was just a terrific feeling. At the one hour mark, I started feeling noticeably unwound and the cares of the day disappeared. This is one cannabis cultivar I’m going to go back to when I can find it again.
Effect Score: 20/20
Pura Vida Cultivar Review Summary
Pura Vida is a very impressive cultivar. It combined the best of Sativa and Indica in one plant. I don’t often find cultivars that have this kind of taste, effect and structure in the effect. I highly recommend this cultivar to anyone and everyone.
[Canniseur: Indica sometimes get short shrift and used only for getting a good night’s sleep. Turns out we need to give Indica a bit more love. This story will tell you why and which strains to give a toke in mid-day.]
The hardest thing about being a cannabis journalist is balancing productivity with all the weed I consume. While writing about weed for a living is a dream gig, I’ve lost countless days to overconsumption. Spiraling into the lazy vortex of bong rips and bad TV means deadlines begin to pile up like the emails in my inbox. The only thing I manage to answer on those days is a shameful “Yes” when Netflix asks if I’m still watching.
Before quarantine, I had been a sativa-only stoner for over a decade. Like many, I viewed indicas as a productivity-inhibiting treat reserved for after work or before bed, a desert but never a meal. Though I was aware of the controversy surrounding the incorrect labeling of flower as indica or sativa, the market doesn’t reflect the weed world’s relatively new aversion to this kind of distinction, and I didn’t realize just how incorrect I was. As someone who has adhered to that method of categorizing intoxication since high school, it was branded into my brain, an inherent bias I had yet to eradicate.
Then, quarantine hit. Things slowed way down. In trying to navigate the overabundance of free-time, I found my sativa-dominant lifestyle was no longer cutting it. The same strain that used to fill me with energy to run errands and finish my articles was turning me into a ball of anxiety with nowhere to go and no one to interact with outside of my own negative thoughts.
I began incorporating indica strains into my daily routine, realizing that the type of strains I’d written off due to their categorization as indicas held the key to balancing my productivity all along. Exploring this relationship in these months of isolation has forever changed the way I look at flower.
The mislabeling of indica and sativa
“Labeling strains as indica or sativa ultimately is a disservice to patients and consumers because it sets up false expectations around experience,” said Emma Chasen, a cannabis educator and industry consultant with a degree from Brown University in Medicinal Plant Research.
“Indica and Sativa are species designations for cannabis plants. Species are defined by their genetics, the physical manifestation of the organism, not how an organism might make a person feel when consumed.”
While most consumers associate sativa with an energized high and indicas with a sleepy “in-da-couch” vibe, the indica/sativa distinction is actually based on the physical characteristics of the plant. Sativa-dominant plants tend to have thinner, sharper leaves with seven or more leaf blades per leaf and take longer to flower. Indicas tend to be squatter with five broadleaf blades per leaf and experience a shorter flowering time.
“The chemical compounds, or chemotype, of the plant is what has influence on the experience. Those compounds are subject to environmental factors just as much as they are coded for by the plant’s genetics,” Chasen said. “Therefore, there is no guarantee that something labeled as an Indica will make someone feel sleepy and something labeled as a sativa will make someone feel energized.”
Chemotypes, terpenes, and cannabinoids
The chemical compounds, or chemotypes, that Chasen is referring to describe the terpene profiles and cannabinoid ratios in the flower. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these terms, terpenes are the organic compounds responsible for the plant’s flavors and aromas. They influence the experiences cannabis will produce, as well as potential medicinal benefits. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds like THC and CBD. Each strain has a unique cannabinoid makeup with accompanying effects.
When it comes to determining how a strain will affect you, every plant is unique and there are numerous factors at play. While it depends on the chemical makeup of the plant itself, it also depends on how those cannabinoids and terpenes react with your endocannabinoid receptors, as well as how you react with your surroundings. While cannabinoids like THC or CBD put you on a specific roller coaster, terpenes determine what kind of ride you’re going to have.
“Effects differ from plant to plant,” said Justin Heady Monster, a legendary grower responsible for the genetics behind some of the most iconic strains in existence, my personal favorite being Pink Starburst. “In the past decade or so, we have found that the terpenes present play a larger role in determining the high than the growing characteristics.”
Because traditional indicas tend to contain terpenes like myrcene and terpineol, they are associated with couch-lock. If you’re like me and associate that spicy, piney smell with a sativa high, it’s because pinene (pine smell) and limonene (citrus smell) both have energizing effects. These characteristic highs have nothing to do with the plants being sativa or indica, as any of those terpenes could just as easily be found in a plant with the physical characteristics of either one.
“Pink Starburst is a great example of this situation,” Monster noted. “It grows identical to your stereotypical ‘indica’ plant, however, the dominant terpene limonene gives the high something that is euphoric, creative, and what would be described by most as more of a sativa effect. Then you have some hazes, (hazes are categorized as sativas), that start out racy and intense before becoming a crashing, sleepy high due to the amounts of myrcene present.”
How to pick the right indica for you
Throughout these months spent quarantined with a large variety of “indica” strains, I’ve gained a far deeper understanding of the cannabis plant. Never have I had so much control over the way I utilize the plant medicinally and recreationally. Instead of falling victim to taking a huge bong hit of a “sativa” that happens to be high in myrcene early in the morning — and spending the day bleary-eyed and slow, bumbling around the kitchen — I can now tell by smell alone how a flower will make me feel.
When shopping for flower with specific effects, there are a few different methods you can employ. One is to pick a strain you like and look up its lab results. Take note of the dominant terpenes and cannabinoid ratios, then find strains with a similar chemotype. Another much cooler way is to take the time to learn your terpenes and train your nose. The smell of a strain’s dominant terpenes will provide you with a much more accurate depiction of the high than labeling ever could.
The beaches are closing, Americans can’t go to Europe, and no one wants to order a cute seasonal salad next to a two-gallon jug of hand sanitizer. This summer is clearly shot. We all have a ton of free time coming up, so use this time to educate yourself as a consumer. To get you on your way, here are some “indica” strains with terpene profiles that produce a broad spectrum of effects, and which helped me handle the ups and downs, closings, openings, and then re-closings.
Here is a perfect example of two indicas with drastically different effects.
Caliva’s Alien OG has a pungent, sour pine smell, meaning it has high levels of pinene which is a terpene that increases alertness and focus. The high reflects that, as there’s an energized overtone to its euphoric, mellow effects.
What it’s best for: sex, editing articles, hanging out on Zoom.
Caliva’s Durban Poison falls at the spectrum with its fruity berry smell, berry chocolate flavor, and dark purple buds. As intoxicating as it looks, this flower produces a lackadaisical high that is comfortable and chill.
What it’s best for: menstrual pain, bedtime, dealing with boredom.
The name Strawberry Banana says it all. Fruity and flirty, Lowell Farms’ “indica” tastes exactly like strawberries and bananas. Euphoric and silly, the high is exciting, making everything and everyone around you feel more fun.
What it’s best for: socially distanced socializing, playing with pets, daydreaming.
This spicy, herbal strain has a decadent and complex flavor, with an air of black cherries or chocolate. The high is focused and clear but also very intoxicating and heady, like an astronaut flying weightless in outer space.
What it’s best for: after work, after sex, after hours.
This floral, fruity strain from vape god STIIIZY’s new line of flower is more of an upper than a downer. When it comes to Rosay, the high is light enough that it doesn’t interfere with my productivity, but heavy enough to take the edge off the monotony of existence.
[Canniseur: OH BOY!!! My personal favorite kind of cannabis are cultivars that make me feel or be more creative. The feel part is probably the most important point. Enjoy these strains!]
Editors Note: this is a guest post.
Cannabis can be used in countless ways. It relieves stress, chronic pains, and a wide plethora of other conditions. Besides medicinal uses, people consume marijuana to relax or help them fall asleep.
The great thing about the times we live in is that it’s an era of marijuana legalization and getting a hold of exactly the type of weed you’re after is easier than ever. If you don’t believe that to be true and you’re in Nevada, just look up Las Vegas Dispensaries and large cities in other legal states are increasingly becoming hotspots for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.
One of the most popular misconceptions about cannabis is that it turns you into a lazy, unmotivated couch potato. While it certainly rings true for some of the strains out there, it is worth remembering that there are others, which can fire up your imagination, breathe life into conversations, and expedite the creative process.
The trick lies in knowing which strain to choose for those particular moments when you are trying to get in the right headspace to get that creative spark going. If that’s what you’re after, be sure to check out one of these six strains listed below.
Named after one of the greatest cannabis rights activists in history, this strain will elevate your mind up to a point where you will be spitting out new ideas one after another.
Besides the euphoric effect, Jack Herer is a treat to smoke due to its fruity, peppery flavour. Whether you’re enjoying it in the form of a joint or bong hit, it will pack a punch that you will not soon forget. Another advantage is that contrary to other popular strains, Jack Herer leaves you clear-headed without the all-too-familiar dazy feeling one might get after the high goes away.
Jack Herer was recognized for its inspiring qualities by the international community of enthusiasts, having won numerous awards for its potency and creativity-friendly effects.
Also known as Blue Widow or White Berry, this particular strain of cannabis is a sativa-dominant hybrid, which already gives away that you’re in for an energizing kick!
A hit of Berry White will definitely inspire many creative endeavours. Additionally, the high is very balanced, eliminating the risk of increased anxiety and paranoia which is often associated with sativa-dominant hybrids.
Berry White will leave you energized and ready to create, while keeping your mind focused instead of going all over the place and ruining your experience.
Many people in the community will refer to it by Tangie, but regardless of the name it goes by, this strain is recognized and appreciated by artists and other creative individuals. Its main benefits include a long-lasting high — an uplifting experience with just enough relaxing qualities to keep you in the zone for a while.
What makes Tangerine Dream really stand out though, is its refreshing aroma and an unmistakable, fruity flavor. Aptly named after tangerines, this strain really does bring to mind those delicious citruses.
Whether you’re a musician, writer, or any other type of a creative soul, Tangerine Dream is definitely a strain that should end up in your stash one day.
An incredibly powerful strain with a non-threatening name, Jillybean is the queen of fun. The effects are almost immediate, and the most reported feeling after consuming it is overwhelming bliss and euphoria.
Jillybean is a favorite of creatives and social butterflies alike, as it enhances the quality of your social interaction and increases empathy for fellow human beings. You can recognize it by the strong aroma of orange with a hint of mango — it’s similar to Tangerine Dream in this aspect.
This particular creativity-enhancing strain works especially well if you’re in need of a long, uninterrupted session of brainstorming and piecing together your ideas, especially if you’re participating in a collaborative effort!
If your creativity is hindered by a lack of energy, then this strain might just be exactly what you’re looking for to boost you up and get those creative juices flowing at a higher rate.
The perfect pick-me-up strain, Kali Mist’s rejuvenating qualities were oftentimes hailed as “psychedelic” by users, due to its focus-enhancing and ego-crushing abilities. Kali Mist is the perfect choice when you need to open up your mind to new, challenging ideas.
Be wary of its side effects though — if you’re planning a longer session in Kali Mist’s company, make sure you have enough water to stay hydrated, as this strain is infamous for causing intense cottonmouth in some users.
Although its name may suggest otherwise, the LSD strain won’t make hallucinate or trip out like you would on psychedelics. The similarity lies in the euphoric feeling that comes with smoking this type of cannabis.
Just like all of the strains listed above, LSD is also a sativa-dominant hybrid, but the characteristic attribute that sets it apart from the rest is the strong, but not overwhelming body high that accompanies the energizing effects.