An example of Cherry Pie, grown in Colorado. (Ry Prichard, The Cannabist)

Cherry Pie strain (marijuana review)

Musical references in cannabis strains are everywhere you look when you visit a dispensary. From the CBD-rich Pennywise to Snoop’s Dream or the folksy Dawg’s Waltz, references to music undoubtedly affect sales in a positive manner.

Every strain can’t be a winner, though, so I half-expected Cherry Pie to be on par with the mediocre hair-metal song released by Warrant in 1990 when I was less than a year old. Unlike the one-hit wonder, Colorado retail chain The Clinic has more than one winning strain on its shelves.

Cherry Pie by the numbers: $28/sixteenth $42/eighth at The Clinic Highlands (recreational), 3460 W. 32nd Ave., Denver

I went to The Clinic Highlands on West 32nd Avenue in search of a solid sativa smoke. I was on my way to see my buddy Evan, an old friend from high school who had recently moved to Capitol Hill, and wanted something that wouldn’t knock us out. The two strains that immediately caught my eye were Durban Poison and Cherry Pie.

The Durban is pretty common in stores around Colorado, so I opted for the less-prevalent Cherry Pie. The Clinic pre-weighs its flower and nitrogen-seals it in a plastic bag. The shop didn’t have the 1.75-gram package (a.k.a. sixteenth) that I wanted on the shelf, but budtender Caitlyn was very accommodating and got one for me from the safe.

I bought my herb and headed over to Evan’s place. After a quick tour, we went to the backyard to smoke. I broke open the zip-lock bag and buried my nose in it. The scent was primarily piney, with some earth and fruitiness, though more of a natural pine than the chemical cleaner smell of Durban Poison. The leaves were forest-green and covered in frosty trichomes that made the nug appear almost yellow, with long orange hairs scattered in clumps.

According to The Clinic, Cherry Pie is a cross of Durban Poison and Grandaddy Purple. The strain has won several awards, including a third-place showing in the medical sativa category of the 2014 High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup in Denver.

After giving one of the nugs a light pinch, I noticed it was slightly denser than a typical Durban cut and less round and bushy than an Grandaddy Purple cut. It was moist enough that it didn’t immediately crumble and it slowly decompressed, leaving a light layer of resin on my fingers. I didn’t notice any of the purple accents that would have been passed down from the GP parent. The smell and appearance were dominated by the characteristics of the legendary Durban Poison — from the dark forest-green leaves and orange hairs to the heavy pine fragrance. I crumbled the nug in my palm and loaded a fresh Broncos-colored spoon, which provided a nice color contrast to the green.

The dry hit I took was dominated by a piney taste with a hint of skunkiness that wasn’t immediately obvious in the nose. Then I fired it up, greeted again with the same pineyness, accompanied by a berry-like fruitiness, likely passed down from its GP parent. The second hit was more of the same, with an additional spice that made me cough for a good ten seconds straight. The taste was more cherry and less pie than I expected.

I could feel an energetic surge almost immediately. My thoughts immediately started to speed up, followed closely by my pace of speech. Evan felt the same, which led to a significant acceleration in our conversation. We have been smoking together since high school, but chose different career paths. He was curious about what was happening in the marijuana industry and my consultation work. Because we were both feeling the cerebral high, we talked about industry politics and progression for nearly 30 minutes.

I paused the conversation to make some quick notes about the effects of the Cherry Pie. Evan noticed the shift in the speed of our conversation as well. Our discussion meandered, shifting from strain genetics to what it’s like to write a strain review to the reasons why it’s awesome to be living in the heart of Denver. We paused to soak in the city vibe before heading inside.

I didn’t feel like sitting down, so I wandered around the kitchen and dining room, admiring the collection of thrift-store treasures all around. After a little more catching up, I decided to head home and get started on my Sunday night laundry. The high lasted well into the evening and helped me hammer through my weekend chores and preparation for the week ahead.

Overall, the strain had a perfectly uplifting and energetic high, unaccompanied by the raciness of its Durban parent.

Cherry Pie was none of the four adjectives heard at the beginning of Warrant’s song (“Dirty, rotten, filthy, stinkin'”), but this strain did “taste so good makes a grown man cry” — metaphorically, of course.

Sweet Cherry Pie.