An example of Red Headed Stranger #14 from another Colorado dispensary (Ry Prichard, The Cannabist)

Red Headed Stranger #14 (marijuana review)

Strain Theory: For people who haven’t smoked in a few years and think there’s a certain novelty in buying a Willie Nelson-themed type of pot, start with one hit and hold on.

“Can you take another hit, but this time facing Barry?”

After four made-for-TV drags of the Red Headed Stranger #14, it was certainly within the realm of possibility that I could tie on a fifth. It wasn’t like I was in the final leg of a Bong-a-Thon competition, lungs spent from overconsumption. The real question I had to ask myself was, “Will I still be able to speak cogently about marijuana — on national TV — if I’m ripped out of my mind?” In retrospect, I’d like to think it went well. I’d also like to give whatever credit there is to dole out to the Stranger.

Red Headed Stranger #14 the numbers: $15.96/gram, $319.12/ounce at Natural Remedies, 1620 Market St., Suite 5W, in Denver

Cannabist marijuana critic Jake Browne talks with CBS correspondent Barry Peterson on "CBS This Morning." (CBS)
Cannabist marijuana critic Jake Browne talks with CBS correspondent Barry Peterson on “CBS This Morning.” (CBS)

Acquired in the same trip to Natural Remedies where I got my Stomp on, the Red Headed Stranger was almost an afterthought. The entirety of the transaction was likely “I need some sativa too” and then “OK, looks good” at the first jar they showed me. With a film crew in tow, I have a terrible tendency to not be my usual, probing self for fear that either a budtender or myself will botch an answer, flub a line in our imaginary script, and it’ll be captured like that for posterity. So seeing the Red Headed Stranger #14 on the jar was a welcome sight, as a haze strain would suit me well for the early-morning-smoke/interview.


Video: Watch our marijuana critics Jake Browne and Ry Prichard just doing their job on “CBS This Morning”


Tom Hill’s Haze isn’t generally a favorite of mine, but that’s more on the growers than the plant itself. Just always turns out too gangly, too ditch-weedy for my liking. As ornery as “Tom” himself. Crossed with FoCo William’s Wonder, though, and it chunked up nicely without losing that trademark movie theater popcorn smell. It’s creamy and packed a decent punch of citrus — almost sweet, like kettlecorn at times. There’s a vibrancy to the orange hairs that stood out, with serious resin production covering the rest of the light-green nug.

I packed my little one-hitter. Emptied it. Packed it again. “This time with your hand over there.” By the time I was given the green light, smoking on camera actually seemed appealing; just being able to take the edge off this oddly foreign experience was something pot helps me with constantly. After the second hit, I was floored. No thoughts, just pure experience. An instant flow state. Something akin to what mothers feel when they lift a car off a baby.

Then another hit. And two more after that.


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Ten minutes later I’m human coffee, spewing words like dark-roasted drip to the nice people from CBS who are more concerned about where they’ll find lunch than listening to me ramble about edibles labeling and Brittany Driver’s work on the pot and parenting beat. I’m also intensely curious, talking camera equipment with Dave (we’re both Canon guys) as he breaks down the “set” on my patio. And like that, they’re gone.

I grab a seat in the living room, still buzzing with haze-like energy, and note a decent body buzz that I wasn’t necessarily expecting. The Willy’s Wonder doesn’t bring a lot of the indica sedation it’s known for, but the loosening of limbs and muscles is a great bonus to an incredibly speedy sativa.

For those who like Durban Poison but want something a little less mentally racy and a stronger overall high, this is a slam dunk. For people who haven’t smoked in a few years and think there’s a certain novelty in buying a Willie Nelson-themed type of pot, start with one hit and hold on.


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