A sample of Colorado-grown Lavender. (Ry Prichard, The Cannabist)

Lavender (marijuana review)

The history behind a marijuana store’s name is always an interesting tale. Obviously, a store’s name alone is no indication of the quality of its product; nonetheless, it’s always nice to see a shop that references old-school genetics. When I first saw Sacred Seed on East Evans Avenue, I was immediately reminded of Soma, the long-haired American grower who built one of the most prominent seed companies in Holland and is responsible for strains like Amnesia Haze.

I parked in a surprisingly spacious parking lot and went inside, cloth Anonymous Bag in hand on the off chance they didn’t use child-proof packaging for their flower. It was midday, so the lack of a wait was not that surprising, but I was thrilled to get to the counter immediately, considering I had a lunch date and a completely packed afternoon.

Lavender by the numbers: $16/g at Sacred Seed (Recreational), 5885 E. Evans Ave., Denver

I looked over the offerings and immediately picked out the Lavender for a post-kickball game smoke. I stuck my nose into a quarter-full glass jar to be greeted by a berry-like sweetness, dulled down by a floral scent. It wasn’t the traditional lavender scent for which the strain was named, but it definitely smelled like a non-cannabis flower. Curious as to whether this was the original Soma’s Sacred Seeds genetics, I asked the budtender, a nice, friendly young woman with a few facial piercings. It would have been appropriate for them to carry Soma’s genetics, given the similarity between the names of the store and his seed bank.

She first said it was their strain, until I asked where they originally got it — Is it from Soma Seeds?

She wasn’t sure, but I didn’t really care. The smaller popcorn nugs couldn’t deter me from the springtime scent with autumn looming. If it provided the indica-leaning pain relief I would undoubtedly need after BV & the Regulators’ first kickball game of the season, then I wasn’t particularly concerned. I settled on a gram, and poked around the shelves while she weighed it out. First I asked if they had any flower for wholesale (a work-related question). Then, I noticed two display bottles in the midst of the several rows of flower jars — Foria.

Extracted, non-smokable cannabis products are increasing in popularity but I would venture a guess that most people are unaware of Foria, an oil-based lubricant for female pleasure (it definitely caught the eye of comic Hannibal Buress when he visited Denver recently). I felt compelled to ask about the price and sales volume. The woman who checked me in popped back to tell me it was a new product so they’ve only sold a couple of units, but the small one is around $40. Not bad, but not enough to sell me on it just yet.

Traffic held me up getting to the kickball game and I had to jump right into the action. After a high-scoring and physically taxing matchup, I was ready to unwind with a few teammates and we headed out.

Before we started the post-game smoke, I opened the purple push-top jar and inserted my nose, to be greeted by a smell of hay (surprisingly) and flowers. I pulled out the largest of four nugs and broke it open. The fragrance of berries and sweetness that I first smelled in the store came in hot, accompanied by the floral smell I initially observed.

Lavender has an interesting aroma, considering that it is dominated by Skunk and Afghani genetics. The complex melting pot of international genetics results in a truly unique smell and flavor. Assuming this is the original Soma Seeds release of the strain (which is what the jar claims), it’s more than one-third Afghani indica with traces of Mexican and Colombian sativas and a Hawaiian hybrid (Super Skunk x Big Skunk Korean x Afghani Hawaiian). Soma himself will give you a very entertaining description of his creation.

I broke up the smallest of the slightly dried-out nugs and loaded my chillum. It was dense, and despite its dryness, it was difficult to grind down with my fingers. The first hit was extremely floral with a mildly sweet aftertaste, sort of like the dullness of a blueberry. I passed it to my right, ignoring proper stoner protocol. She immediately commented on the flavor, as I felt my eyes relax and the wrinkles around them began to accentuate.

We carried on for another hour or so, and I could feel the perpetual smile on my face the entire time as we passed the pipe back and forth. I felt a tightness in the outside of my kicking shin — a typical reaction to soccer without a pregame stretch. I got up to grab a beverage, and the usual limp that would accompany said tightness was absent, likely a gift of the pain-relieving Lavender. I was extremely grateful that I wasn’t hobbling around like somebody three times my age.

The conversation was thoroughly entertaining, even for a sober person, but I was cracking up nonstop. We took breaks from the hilarious storytelling to make plans for the upcoming Tour de Fat at City Park.

I hadn’t ridden a bike in years, since I forgot where I locked it up on the CU-Boulder campus near the Economics building by The Hill my first month of college, but the friendliness of the people around me coupled with the relaxation of the Lavender made me confident that I was ready for the two-block ride to City Park.

While my go-to strains are typically sativa-dominant and geared for daytime smoking, I occasionally deviate from the norm by buying an indica. The pain relief and tranquility provided by Lavender has always kept it in the mix, where it will continue to be so as long as it’s regularly available in the Colorado market.