While the most popular strains seem to be forever-stocked on nearly all cannabis dispensary shelves, it is always nice to discover lesser-known or proprietary genetics that deserve more attention. I recently had the pleasure of discovering one such example in the Sour Apple Maui strain grown and sold by Oasis Cannabis Superstore in Denver, Colorado.
I entered Oasis Cannabis Superstore on 44th Ave without a specific strain in mind, which could easily become an overwhelming situation considering that they keep more than 100 strains on hand at all times. I was lucky enough to be helped by Lanai, a friendly and knowledgeable veteran member of the Oasis team, who was able to quickly point me in the direction of Sour Apple Maui. (Big thanks, Lanai. You rock!)
Lanai selects flowers of Cherry Lime Rickey after filling a gram of Sour Apple Maui at Oasis Cannabis Superstore.
Sour Apple Maui
Sour Diesel x Power Plant x Maui Waui
Oasis Cannabis Superstore, 5430 West 44th Avenue, Denver, CO 80212
Sour Apple Maui flower from Oasis Cannabis Superstore.
This sample of Sour Apple Maui is reminiscent of flora found on a tropical island. These dense flowers fade from dark green at the core to lighter, lime-green on the edges. Each bud was speckled with bright orange hairs (pistils) and shimmering concentrations of kief (trichomes). Once ripped in half and upon closer inspection, I noticed a few tiny leaves that were slightly purple in color.
These flowers smelled sweet and earthy with strong undertones of fuel and citrus. It likely contains higher quantities of limonene, a terpene found in cannabis, citrus fruits, juniper and several other plants, known to help to increase mental focus and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Full disclosure, I was slightly nervous about trying Sour Apple Maui for a couple of reasons. First of all, it tested highest for THC out of all strains available at Oasis, maxing out at 27 percent, and strains super high in THC often leave me with a racing heart. I usually prefer heavy indicas, but Sour Apple Maui is an 80 percent sativa dominant strain. I may have been skeptical, but I will forever trust Lanai’s recommendations because she was spot-on with this one. It provided me with just the right amount of cerebral relaxation to remain calm and clear-headed, in-the-moment, and therefore able to concentrate on one task at a time.
Just as the label very clearly stated, this strain is perfect for those, like myself, who suffer from ADD. I also found it to be a phenomenal pain reliever. It eradicated the headache I woke up with almost instantly. The Oasis team also, understandably, recommends this strain in the treatment of depression, fatigue and muscle spasms.
Officially on my list of favorites, Sour Apple Maui has become my go-to strain for summer. If it were a song, it’d be “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin because whether you’re relaxing by the pool, hiking a new trail or playing frisbee at the park, Sour Apple Maui will leave you carefree and in-the-moment. It may also be a good option for those seeking daytime pain relief at work, or for anyone suffering from PTSD.
Strain: Death Star
Genetics: Sensi Star x Sour Diesel (Click here to read a Sour Diesel Strain Review)
Grower: Green Goddess Gardens (Oregon)
Dispensary: Farma (Portland)
Lab Results: 25.7 percent THC : 0.51 percent CBD
I like my bedtime cannabis overpowering. I want to take a couple of hits and then crawl into bed and drift off to a deep sleep. Death Star does the trick. It is aptly named and doesn’t mess around.
I picked up this strain by Green Goddess Gardens at Farma. Green Goddess Gardens are run by a husband and wife team in lush southern Oregon who practice organic greenhouse growing techniques.
Farma is a unique Portland dispensary. White, bright, and clean, they have completely done away with “sativa” and “indica” classifications in favor of terpene profiles and a scale that indicates whether each cannabis strain is an energetic “up” strain or a relaxing “down” strain. For this reason I will not divulge whether Death Star is an indica, sativa, or hybrid, but I bet you will be able to deduce it based on the terpene profile.
In order to provide a full terpene profile, Farma has all of their strains tested at labs that test not just for pesticides and THC levels, but that map all of the medicinal compounds in each strain- all of the known cannabinoids as well as a terpene profile. This batch of Death Star was tested as Green Leaf Labs.
Farma’s grams of flower also come in the absolute cutest little plastic containers. Another plus.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes:
In addition to 25 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and 0.5 percent CBD (cannabidiol), this strong bedtime strain is also relatively high in CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG (cannabigerol). CBC has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antidepressant properties. CBG is a base cannabinoid that turns into others, including THC and CBD. CBG itself, however, it is also believed to counteract the paranoia that can come with high THC levels. A 2013 Italian study found CBG has anti-inflammatory properties and might be particularly useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or Crohn’s disease.
Terpene profiles are becoming more common, but it is still unusual to see a full terpene profile pulled for a strain. Farma goes the extra step to run a terpene profile for most of their strains. Unlike cannabinoids, terpene levels are usually very low, zero to two percent. But that is still enough to affect the flavor and effects of a strain. Terpenes give plants their scent; limonene produces a citrus odor, for example. As more research is done into terpenes, we are also discovering that certain terpenes produce specific medicinal effects as well.
Death Star has limonene, beta-myrcene, linalool and beta-caryophyllene. Limonene, in addition to its citrus aroma, is a stress-relieving and mood-enhancing component in cannabis. It also may help relieve heartburn. Myrcene is found in mangoes, hops and basil. A 1997 Swiss study found myrcene to be the most common terpene (out of 16 tested) in cannabis. Myrcene has been shown to have lots of medical potential- it possesses analgesic (pain killing), anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. It can also make you drowsy, and that is on full display in Death Star. Additionally, myrcene has been shown to increase the permeability of cell membranes, improving the absorption of cannabinoids. Linalool gives lavender its scent and is associated with relaxation, pain relief, and can promote sleep. Beta-caryophyllene is a spicy terpene found in black pepper and rosemary. It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to relieve depression and anxiety.
A good terpene profile should provide information on scent, flavor and some effects a flower will have, which is more information than a sativa or indica classification alone will provide. Based on its terpene profile, before even smelling the flower, I expect Death Star to have notes of spicy citrus. It should help with pain and inflammation with a little bit of muscle spasm relief. It should also be an uplifting and relaxing experience that may make you drowsy. (Can you tell whether Death Star is a sativa or an indica based solely on the terpene profile?)
Scent, Taste and Appearance:
Death Star smells rich and skunky with subtle notes of pepper and orange. The terpene profile missed the most powerful scent. It is pale green and coated in tiny white crystals and brown-orange hairs also thick with crystals. These hairs and crystals are also known as trichomes and kief. It is well trimmed and neither dense nor fluffy, so you don’t need to grind it, but you can if you would like.
The orange and spice terpene profile is more apparent in flavor than scent. My nose burned and my eyes watered after my first hit, like I got a snout full of pepper. The sensation lessened but remained on subsequent hits. The flavor reminded me of an orange studded with cloves, sweet and perfumed, like the pomanders wealthy people used to carry to “clear the airs” of the odors of the unwashed masses.
When I smoked Death Star in the evening, tired but unable to sleep, either from racing thoughts or pain, within a half hour my eyes grew heavy and I dozed off to sleep. When I smoked in the morning (it is unusual for me to smoke something so strong so early) the relaxing and uplifting mood predicted by the limonene and linalool prevails over the myrcene drowsiness. Although as time wore on, the couchlock effect got stronger. I was surprised I did not nap, but I also did not get very much done. I would save this strain for the evening. Both used in the morning and the evening, Death Star worked well for my pain.
I could get used to knowing so much about my cannabis before I smoke it. Unfortunately, with the cost of broader testing and the limited labs that perform such testing, Farma is likely to remain one of the few dispensaries that offer full profiles of their flowers, at least for the foreseeable future.
As for Death Star? It is a potent smoke that will uplift and mellow your mood while easing pain. It is super relaxing until you fall asleep. . . This strain is ideal for bedtime use or for dozing on the couch through a mediocre movie. Death Star may not destroy planets, but it might obliterate you!
(Death Star is definitely Indica dominant. Could you figure it out?)
Sour Diesel, nicknamed “Sour-D,” is a very popular sativa-dominant strain that offers a very distinct smell and cerebral, energetic high. It has become a very popular strain because of the quick-acting, awake and tuned-in feeling that it offers almost immediately.
The exact origins of the strain have been debated among cannabis industry professionals. Cannabis horticultural expert, Ed Rosenthal, labels Sour D a pure sativa, and believes the lineage can be traced back to Chemo and Mexican Sativa strains. The original Cannabible offers a different view of the strain’s origin, offering an indica-dominant blood line as a product of Chem and Massachusetts Super Skunk. In most Colorado dispensaries, Sour Diesel is listed among their sativa-dominant options.
Sour Diesel has buds that feature pale green, earthy leaves with fiery-orange hairs throughout. Small crystals lace the outside, giving consumers a visual aid for the potent nature of the strain.
Living up to its name, Sour Diesel gives off a pungent, overwhelming smell. A dose of gasoline comes to mind when first inhaled, with a touch of a citrus, lemony zest coming in after. The same smell lingers once the smoking begins.
Sour Diesel offers a brilliant flavor that will stay on your tongue for a period of time after the first hit. With the mix of flavors, including gasoline and lemon, the taste can come off as harsher than it actually is. While it may seem like coughing is bound to result from the diesel-based flavor, the smooth exhalation leaves the user wanting to smoke more and more.
The hints of citrus will stick around for a while, but the unique taste of gas seems to exit the taste buds with the smoke.
An energetic, spacey high creeps in after smoking, but allows for the user to remain clear-minded. While the peak of the high does not set in immediately, the dreamy feeling it gives off will continue to build for a period of time.
Sour Diesel has been used by medical patients to relieve feelings of stress, depression and anxiety. The strain offers a long-lasting, uplifting high to patients who need a pick-me-up through cannabis usage.
The mood-boosting effects of Sour Diesel may not be the best for large gatherings of people, not because it causes paranoia, but the dreamy feeling may cause focusing on long conversation a bit strenuous. For those who are not habitual smokers, it would be smart to be cautious on the amount consumed, allowing for personal adjustment to the unique high it offers.
Sour Diesel is a great choice for those looking to partake in outdoor activities, such as hiking or tubing. With the popularity of the strain, it makes it a great choice to pick up at a dispensary before heading out for an adventure, whether it be in nature or a nice stroll in an urban setting.
After consuming, I went on a High Urban Hike throughout downtown Denver, and felt that it was a great strain choice for an activity such as this. It allowed for me to slightly space-out and enjoy the nice weather, while simultaneously being able to converse with others on the hike for small talk. As a person who is not a connoisseur of public art or history, it made small bits of information and the different sights around town more interesting than I feel they would of been without the cerebral euphoria I was experiencing.
Sour Diesel is a popular strain that offers great availability throughout Colorado, Washington, and most other states where medical or recreational marijuana is legally sold.