When most people think about the concept of brain drain, the conversation typically revolves around the super-scientists or computer programmers who will help us colonize Mars or stop cows from emitting copious amounts of methane. At least mine do. Yet Colorado has become a sanctuary for some of the best and brightest in the world of bud, with living legends moving here all the time. This first struck me when I heard that Bubba was running a dispensary a mile from my house. You know, “Bubba” Kush.
Since then, I’ve been searching for the Lemon Man.
By the numbers: $19/gram, $225/half ounce at Walking Raven, 2001 S. Broadway in Denver.
He’s purportedly half the reason one of my favorite strains — Super Lemon Haze — even exists. Having found a particularly citrusy Skunk phenotype, he kept the cut alive in Las Vegas before eventually bringing it to Amsterdam for breeding. This new Lemon Skunk became a Dutch phenom, soon being crossed with Arjan Roskam’s Super Silver Haze to create one of the most popular plants of a generation. Then, according to High Times, he moved to Colorado and opened a dispensary. Roll credits.
Video: Getting to know Lemon Skunk
I’m not searching for Lemon Man in a literal way, what I imagine would amount to sending endless Facebook requests asking “Have you seen the Lemon Man?” that never bear fruit. I’m looking for his footprints, for those Las Vegas Lemons I’ve so rarely smoked. My search also has the urgency of O.J. Simpsons’s hunt for the “real killers”, but when I happen to come across some Lemon Skunk, I usually buy some.
More cannabis criticism
Flo: For me, Flo is the “Eh, let’s just order pizza” of strains when you’ve seen too many jars and need to walk out with something. If it were a re-run on TV, it’s an episode of “Friends” that’s all Phoebe. Sure, it’s fun and light, but you really wanted a good Chandler zing. Why do I keep buying this?
Tangerine Dream: You eat Pad Thai in the states and everyone laments how it’s not quite the same. Tangerine Dream in Holland doesn’t exactly distinguish itself. It’s a perfectly fine sample, and much, much stickier than the dust most nugs become in Denver. I need a paper shredder, not a grinder. But the sample is average.
Sour Diesel: Recommending Sour Diesel as a weed critic is like a music writer extolling the virtues of The Beatles or a historian making a case for George Washington as a great president. In fact, Sour Diesel probably belongs on a Mount Rushmore of marijuana — a fake monument that I desperately want my picture taken in front of.
This particular cut from Walking Raven (full disclosure: I’ve worked with this shop’s owner on a project in the past) isn’t the citrus bath bomb I’m used to, which usually evokes the lemony spiciness of a Master Cleanse recipe. Instead, it’s pronounced earthiness and funk that’s slightly floral, almost like applying deodorant to an already stinky pit — or what my friend Lauren calls “B.O.derant.”
Structurally, it’s exactly what I picture Lemon Skunk to be, though. A lighter, intense green that has its fair share of hairs, it would be easy to mistake for an island sativa if it wasn’t so chunky. The nugs are dense, but also jut out unpredictably like a child’s drawing instead of the slender bud fingers you see in I.S.S. or Maui.
Wanting to coax out a little more of the citrus (and give my lungs a break before 4/20), I tossed a little in my new QuickDraw pen. A few hits certainly bore that out, as the quarter gram hit clean and more like a Lemonhead than an armpit. About 10 minutes later, I had the intense desire to get off of my laptop and my couch.
This is rare.
Spring cleaning is my only cleaning skill. There’s something about pulling back furniture to see what hair deposits my Sheltie has made over the winter that really “Arms my Hammer.” Lemon Skunk is always perfect for providing a nudge in the right direction, that being directly below the kitchen sink. All of a sudden, I found myself dusting the ceiling fan.
With the return of fairer weather comes the return of kickball injuries, this one coming from trying to stop a wayward ball from careening into a group of women. My clumsy attempt to stop it actually propelled the ball — which wasn’t moving that fast to begin with — at a slightly faster pace. Everyone was fine, but I managed to split my shorts and ding my knees in the process. I would have preferred splitting a knee.
Video: A close-up of Lemon Skunk
While the pain was still a little noticable as I got down to do baseboards, the inflammation was definitely going down elsewhere. This isn’t a strain I’d recommend for heavy pain, but more like a baby aspirin. Being home alone, the chattiness of Lemon Skunk was lost on me as I made small talk with various inanimate objects. Cleaning without music is a criminal offense, so I turned on Pandora’s “Summer Hits of the ’90s” and belted out Third Eye Blind and Hootie and the Blowfish. Contrary to popular platitudes, singing like no one is watching is much easier when no one is actually watching.
Was this the Lemon Man’s Holy Grail he had spent years guarding? Likely not. That being said, this Lemon Skunk was valid in its own right, another interpretation on a classic. Now I just need to find some of Arjan’s Super Silver Haze.