Strain: Death Star
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?)