With a name that provokes mental imagery of trudging through a grapevine, Chong’s Choice Grape Stomper is as fun to smoke as it is to say. Unlike some indicas, this formidable strain won’t lock you to your couch, but rather complements a long day of dealing with those dreaded “adult responsibilities” with a happy and pain-reducing sentiment.
Curly orange pistils and dazzling trichome coverage dissipate into a light coffee and cream colored base springing from the nodes. Hints of deep purple lie hidden within its crisp olive shell that absolutely explodes after just one turn of the grinder. This is one present I couldn’t wait to open.
Pre-grind, this sample has an earthy, peppery scent to it that gives very little evidence as to why it’s named after grapes. Like cracking open an egg, a rich floral aroma broke out of the battle-hardened shell to reveal even more delicate layers hidden beneath. Only after grinding does the sweet smell of grapes become apparent in this sample of Chong’s Choice Grape Stomper.
What better way to enjoy a top-tier cannabis specimen than by rolling up a tasty joint the size of a baby’s arm? Paired with a grape-flavored wrapper, there is no better medium! The first few hits tasted sugary sweet, but what really impressed me was how the smoke clouded my lungs and made me cough like I was I was stuck in traffic behind a billowing diesel with my windows down.
Grape Stomper tromps its way throughout your entire body, starting with a tingly sensation in the legs that gradually saturates every remaining limb. It feels like you are transported inside of an electrical cloud- happy, uplifted, free of aches and pain and yet totally coherent. Sustainably grown, hand trimmed and cured to perfection, Chong’s Choice Grape Stomper is a must-have for any cannabis enthusiast.
Draped in dreamy green and orange hues, this hand-picked hybrid from Master Chong has truly been cultivated to perfection. Hailing from Humboldt County, this euphoric strain grown by Denver-based Verde Natural brings the easy-going creativity of the West Coast straight to the Mile High City.
Blue Dream’s super dense flowers have the appearance of fluffy sand-covered limes that beg the observer to gaze deeper into its crystalline depths. The coconut brown-tinted pistils weave throughout these jungly nugs while gigantic glittering trichomes stick to the fingers like Gorilla Glue.
Despite its starry-eyed namesake, this specimen has a subtly floral scent well-suited for family gatherings or other important events where you may not want to advertise your elevated status. After a quick grind, a hint of Sweet Tarts presents Blue Dream’s sassier side and gets the salivary glands kick-started into action.
No session with Blue Dream would be complete without the proper apparatus, so I took Angelina Bowlie (a.k.a. my large-lipped 3-foot bong) out of retirement and put her to work. With a heaping salad bowl loaded up, the first hit produced a cloud so thick the neighbors probably thought I built a sauna in my living room.
The heavy-hitting tokes let you know right away why it’s called “Blue Dream”; it’s simply one of the most sensational highs you’ll experience outside of being deep inside of a dream. Calming, relaxing, uplifting and body-buzzing, this hybrid truly showcases the generations of hard work that have gone into producing this incredible strain that is designed to saturate both body and mind.
There are few strains that can consistently impress even the most seasoned of cannaseurs. Chong’s Choice Durban Haze grown by Verde Natural is a perfect union of tangy aroma, dazzling aesthetics and long-lasting effects that prove Tommy Chong knows how to pick a winner.
Sustainably grown, hand trimmed and masterfully cured, Chong’s Choice strains like Durban Haze are also genetically certified by Medicinal Genomics.
This sample of Durban Haze gives the impression of a thick emerald hedge coated in sugary cream-colored trichomes with short, stout burnt-sienna pistils. A simple pull on its bulky foliage reveals a hidden stash of crystals sure to satisfy any grinder.
The unmistakable scent (terpenes) of sweet citrus and sharp accents of pine poured from this sample while fruity undertones pungently announced their presence. Based on smell alone, this is one of the finest sativas on the market. When her smoke finally hits your lips, it tastes exactly how it smells — delicious.
With a brand new glass Leonardo piece in hand (of TMNT fame), I put the fattest nugget of Durban Haze into a space case and ground it down to its mouth-watering constituents. When flame hit herbs, magic happened and a thick cloud of smoke appeared while sobriety quickly disappeared. This could easily double as a tangerine air freshener if you ever have the in-laws show up sporadically during a smoke session.
The first hit immediately sat between the eyes while a freight train of THC was delivered straight to the dome and a smile stretched across my face. After only 5 minutes, I began to realize that this is the Olympic powerlifter in a field of sporadic gym-goers. The word “potent” barely does Durban Haze’s effects justice. The clear-headed, slightly energizing cerebral effects slowly crept down into the body over the next hour.
Testing has shown Chong’s Choice Durban Haze to be higher than average in the cannabinoids THC-V and CBG. You’re less likely to develop the munchies with this strain because THC-V acts to suppress the appetite. CBG battles inflammation, making it especially beneficial in the treatment of such conditions as glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.
As one of the oldest operating dispensaries in Denver’s River North (RiNo) Arts District, Botanico is known for it’s friendly staff and fairly priced recreational cannabis products. Even though I’ve always heard great things about the shop, I was still shocked to see a line out the door on my first visit. I suppose good things do come to those who wait.
The red brick exterior continues inside with exposed brick and modern, industrial decor, and the small waiting area faces the Express Line, a feature I wish more shops offered. Because of the Express Line, my wait time wasn’t bad even though it was a packed house. Most of the other patrons seemed to be regulars.
To choose from the full selection of flowers, one must go back into one of the rooms with an individual budtender, but those who want to quickly get in and out with concentrates should keep Botanico’s Express Line in mind. You can even save $5 per gram during the Early Bird Special from 9:00 – 11:00am Monday through Thursday and from 10:00am to 12:00pm on Sunday.
In need of flowers for this review, I patiently waited until I was escorted back into one of the private rooms. Andi was smiling back at me when I entered, and several glass jars filled with different strains sat on the shelves behind her. I explained that I was there to get a strain to review, and she was quick to narrow it down to her top three favorite strains for me — Gucci OG, Super Lemon Haze and Golden Goat.
A difficult decision to say the least, after much back and forth I ended up selecting the Gucci (and two grams of live resin).
OG Kush X Unkown
Botanico, 3054 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
This dense yet airy green flower is engulfed in orange hairs stuffed between short, crispy purple leaves. Heavily coated with shimmering trichomes, Gucci OG has a natural beauty and vigorously healthy appearance that is sure to dazzle any jealous onlookers.
Gucci OG smells good enough to eat. Mildly pungent and herbal, this hybrid strain has a pleasantly sweet scent of fresh earth mixed with pine needles and raw berries. The aroma doesn’t weigh thick in the air like other strains of cannabis, but floats along lightly, tickling noses on the way.
Grinding up the Gucci OG releases all of its amazing scents, making every hint of sweet, citrus, and sappy sticky flavor fully engaged while smoking or vaping. While this strain is very strong, the flavor is not overwhelming and tastes light and delicious as it hits the back of the throat. Inhaling Gucci OG is a smooth and satisfying experience that is unlike any other.
With a parent strain like OG Kush, Gucci OG comes from potent and palatable origins. Since this is a very balanced hybrid strain, the amount imbibed will affect the quality of the high. I have found that small hits of Gucci OG put me in a heightened state of alertness and creativity, whereas larger amounts in one sitting provide the opposite effect. While dosing may affect energy levels, this strain provides a consistently sunny state of mind.
Boulder Wellness Center (BWC) is bit tricky to get to but worth all the effort. Heading East on Arapahoe Ave is your only bet. You’ll be facing a left-hand turn across three lanes of traffic if you come in from the West and your blood will boil while you wait to make a move. Coming from the East allows for an easy right turn into a convenient parking lot. Inside the reception area, medical patients are led to the left and recreational shoppers show the door on the right after checking in. If you’re lucky, a sweet canine will greet you at the door.
Whichever door you enter, the result will be the same. Exceptional genetics and masterfully grown connoisseur level cannabis offered only after a proper cure. Too many shops rush their flower to the shelves and neglect to get the finest flavor and smoke out of their bud. Boulder Wellness is not like many shops. There is a new age feel steeped deep in the vibes of traditionalism.
BWC offers several uncommon stains like Stinkbomb, Cheddarhead and Bossanova Haze along with standbys such as Platinum Cookies and White Widow. When I asked Emma, the most customer-experience driven manager-acting-as-a-budtender, to recommend a strain they were known for, she reached for the B-Well Kush without hesitation. It’s their proprietary house-strain and crosses OG Kush x Pure Kush x Bubba Kush. As a private entry to the Adam Dunn Show Invitational this year, it earned a third place trophy proving that not all dispensary bud is created equally.
OG Kush X Pure Kush X Bubba Kush
Boulder Wellness Center, 5420 Arapahoe Ave. Unit F Boulder, CO 80303.
One of the most colorful dried cannabis flowers I’ve ever seen, B-Well Kush displays dark green hues, vibrant burnt-orange and even a deep purple at the tips of this particular sample. Having the opportunity to peer at a sample of B-Well Kush with a handheld magnifying glass while making my selection at Boulder Wellness Center means leaving with an eighth when you’re only supposed to buy a gram to review. (Why don’t all shops provide classy magnifying glasses for pre-purchase inspection?)
A treat for the olfactory receptors, B-Well Kush has a complex terpene profile reflective of it’s lineage. Spicy, herbal, earthy (myrcene) notes are most noticeable before a nug is broken in half. Once broken up, the pungent, sweet smell of pine (pinene), fuel and even a hint of citrus (limonene) are more evident.
Even smashed into a dugout and smoked out of a one-hitter (or especially, depending on who’s asked), B-Well Kush is the strain that dreams are made of. I’m reminded of Mitch Shenassa words in The Cannabis Aficionado’s Handbook,
“Luxury grand cannabis smoke is velvety on the lungs.”
Fact. The end of many bowls of B-Well Kush later, perfectly white ash a confirms the masterful technique of the cultivation team at Boulder Wellness Center.
Admittedly, I am usually the odd man out among my friends when it comes to the effects felt from the same strain of cannabis. Strains that the majority may refer to as a “heavy-indica,” meaning it leaves them couch-locked or sleepy, leave me relaxed yet energized or talkative and focused. When one considers that a strain’s effects are determined by the cannabinoid and terpene profiles rather than whether it’s categorized as sativa, indica, or hybrid I don’t seem like such an anomaly. A similar situation with B-Well Kush, I can understand why Emma at Boulder Wellness Center proclaimed,
“B-Well Kush is the strain that changed my mind about indicas.”
I experienced uplifting, thought-provoking cerebral relaxation combined with tingling sensations, heightened sensitivity to touch and a lightness in my arms, legs and neck with every use of B-Well Kush. This powerhouse may be beneficial for those seeking relief from stress, anxiety and chronic-pain as well as anyone looking to jump start their creative juices or enhance experiences in the bedroom.
- Going to a concert
- Sexy time
- Relaxing by a lake or at the beach
I’ve only been to Colorado Springs twice in my three years as a resident here in the Centennial State. One night was spent rather regrettably at one of the “vape lounges” in town that operated and looked more like a childhood friend’s basement than a tax paying business. My other evening in The Springs was a delightful Thanksgiving (Dabsgiving) celebration filled with singing and musical instruments, wonderful food, family bonding (not my family), drunken arguments and temper tantrums.
I always envisioned the next time I visited would be to see the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame or training for the Olympics. Sadly that is not the case. The intended purpose of this journey was to drop of a rig to be repaired by the glass artist G-Off. The female piece met its demise while I was attempting to remove an e-nail after weeks of non-use. The residual oil hardened to create a cement-like bond between the metal and glass. As I put a flame to the rig to loosen up the reclaim and wiggle the nail out I knew instinctively that it was a mistake and that regret would be my next emotion.
The prospect of driving 2.5 hours south was made more bearable when I realized that Colorado Springs is only 65 or so miles from Denver and would take far less driving time. It was like time traveling when I received those few extra hours back. Deciding to make a day out of the affair, I rolled a fat cone and jumped on to I-25 South straight into the morning rush. My timing couldn’t have been worse. I had forgotten that normal people keep normal hours.
Armed with a collection of the best rock CD’s from the mid-nineties and a healthy memory of the lyrics, I cruised the highway echoing the sentiments of Cake, Green Day and The Presidents of the United States of America. I was all by myself and no one was looking, belting out the songs of my youth while barreling down the road put me into a trance and the next thing I knew, I didn’t know where I was.
There is no shortage of cannabis is Colorado Springs. Over 100 dispensaries are licensed in the area with scores of infused products and hash coming from the region as well. I have blunts, will travel. But its quality bud that I’m after, so I’ve got some detective work to do.
First time impressions and shopping experience make all the difference to me. I’ve walked out of shops without making a purchase because I didn’t like the vibe, the bud or both. Cannabis is a very personal thing and I like many connoisseurs am quite discerning with the places I frequent.
Strawberry Fields MMJ occupies an old residential location on Colorado Ave on the West Side of Colorado Springs. Around to the back of the property a covered patio with bench seating overlooks modest greenery and the surrounding neighborhood. Inside the store John Fogarty rails ‘Born on the Bayou’ across the sound system. The reception area is inviting with its leather couch and non-cannabis publications to thumb through in the event of a wait time. On the walls hang many ‘Best Of Colorado Springs’ awards.
Inside Strawberry Fields’ cultivation facility. (Photo by Strawberry Fields.)
Chelsea greeted me and took my credentials to check me in as a first time patient. Quick and easy, no muss no fuss; I was back into the patient room in a jiff. The two large rooms that make up the dispensary are smooth. Custom carpentry impressively frames the picturesque store. The entry room is filled with shelves, racks, and cases featuring Colorado’s most trusted and well-known brands — edibles, tinctures, topicals, sodas, patches, pens, cartridges, and clones from SF’s own garden ache to go home with you.
The second room is filled flower and concentrates. Their house line of wax, shatter, butter and live resin shares the space with a few third party vendor offerings. The jars of bud run the gamut from classic strains to new fangled hybrids and are presented on upon request or suggestion. Northern Lights, Headband and Amnesia Haze sat comfortable next to Plushberry and something called Viper Cookies. The walls are adorned with local art depicting iconic movies; The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona and Pulp Fiction all get the Pop Art treatment. The vibe is strong at Strawberry Fields.
Guiding me through the shopping experience was Michael from East Texas. He’s 4th generation military and was brought up with a less than liberal viewpoint on cannabis and its place in society. The U.S. Army brought him out this way and he hadn’t ever tried cannabis before in his youth. He was highly against it.
“That’s how I was raised. I couldn’t have seen myself doing this back then.”
He bluntly put it.
After educating himself on the benefits of cannabis he jumped head first in to the talent pool and has proudly been working at Strawberry Fields ever since bringing his military precision to an exciting new career.
Michael sent me on my way with a few stinky nugs of the Plushberry I had been eying earlier in my visit. He left me with the knowledge that Strawberry Fields has a recreational location in Pueblo, Colorado that offers medical pricing to patients shopping in the retail store. My day was just getting started and I couldn’t wait to continue exploring Colorado Springs.
Macro image of Plushberry.
Black Cherry Soda X Space Queen
Strawberry Fields, 3404 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904.
The deep green hues of these flowers are sparsely broken up by dark magenta color that doesn’t look quite as purple in person as displayed in the image above. The amber hairs decorating this sample of Plushberry is complimented by an average covering of shimmering kief.
Boasting a terpene profile similar to it’s parent strain, Black Cherry Soda, Plushberry also smells sweet like berries. Once a nug is broken up, the earthy and floral scents come forward.
Preparing to roll a Plushberry blunt, I was able to use my fingers to break up these flowers. With fingers smelling like sweet berries and cannabis, I inhaled thick, smooth smoke that tasted more earthy than sweet but still like berries. The blunt burned evening and mostly white ash was all that remained.
I grinned lazily as the day’s stress dissipated after my second hit of the blunt. In true creeper fashion, my limbs followed suite about halfway through the sesh. Not quite drowsy and definitely not couch locked, I was thoroughly relaxed by the time I finished. Plushberry may not be suitable for daytime use, but it’s perfect for after work or a day off.