Strain Theory: Super Lemon Haze
By the numbers: $24.50/gram, max purchase of $302/half-ounce (Colorado residents only) at Medicinal Wellness Center, 5430 W. 44th Ave. in Mountain View
Growing up as a latchkey kid in Iowa who lived on the right side of the tracks by virtue of our property line abutting them, there was always a phrase that irked me. “If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.” My indignation over being a have-not ingrained a stubbornness in me, which is how I ended up paying $24.50 for a single gram of Super Lemon Haze instead of bidding the shopkeep a “Good day, Sir!” in a truly Dickensian fashion.
We’ve now reached a point where a gram of pot is worth a dinner for two, plus tip, at Applebee’s. Or Chili’s. Take your pick.
The trip to Medicinal Wellness Center itself was somewhat of an accident. With a camera crew in tow for a documentary on – you guessed it – legalized marijuana, my first recreational center of choice wasn’t interested, as they’re still currently serving medical patients. Privacy is still paramount for a lot of these shops, something I respect — if not slightly begrudge when it throws a wrench in my plans. The online menu for MWC was last updated a month ago and I didn’t have time to call ahead, so I had no clue what I was walking into.
Opening the door to their recreational side, glass case after glass case was stocked full of strains like they were running a “WE BUY GREEN!” pawn shop. Looking over at least twenty jars, it was one of the most impressive recreational selections I’ve seen, even replete with two grades: connoisseur and top-shelf. The former is the top six inches of the plant (which includes the prized “cola” or top nug) which they hand trim, the latter being machine-trimmed leftovers. I mulled over some Agent Orange and Blue Dream, but ultimately had missed good Super Lemon Haze.
For $20 a gram, I assume tax is included, likely a mistake on my part, but I’m itching to get out of there because buying cannabis has become an errand nowadays.
Super Lemon Haze definitely has a place on my Mt. Rushmore of marijuana. It’s my Lincoln, although it would have been perfect had Rutherford B. Hayes had a more distinguished presidency. Stemming from genius breeding of Super Silver Haze and Lemon Skunk by Greenhouse Seeds, it’s the Swiss Army knife of sativas in that I can count on it for a boost in mood, energy, or creativity. Pretty much anything but sleep.
The key to a good SLH is all in the nose. Sure, you’ll get the eponymous lemons up front, but what I’m always smelling for is a faint buttery aroma. It’s like a marijuana movie theater with clean floors. That touch of savory is always what separates average hazes from the stellar in my experience. They’re also notoriously stringy, with elongated buds that lack the density of, let’s say a kush phenotype. If it looks frosted like a breakfast cereal on top of that, you’re in the right place.
This week, I was banking on some 5 Hour Energy herb, as the Super Lemon tends to have an indefatigable high for me. Every year, we put my mom up in our guest room for a month or so until she has another random obligation (this year, house sitting and running a yoga studio) that leads her back to the East Coast. As with any house guest, there’s a honeymoon phase, followed by a “Why on earth would you put a strainer in the bowl drawer?” phase, followed by the realization they’re actually leaving and they’ll be missed terribly phase.
Cue mood boost and energizing.
We had planned on a big family dinner before she departed the following morning, and running around all day buying pot and recording our podcast had left me sapped. Three hits later, I was ready to get my sauce on. Whisking and talking, I was like a puppy running full speed before trying to pump the brakes: words were coming out of my mouth, and I wasn’t sure I understood them. We did some last-minute shopping for trip supplies, with me staring for way too long at deeply discounted Valentine’s Day candy. Yet, hours later when I needed to crash (to officially send her off at 6 a.m.) sleep wasn’t hard to come by.
The next morning, I wasn’t focused on my wallet being $24.50 lighter. While it wasn’t the best Super Lemon Haze I’d ever smoked, I appreciated what I had, something my mom taught me when getting last year’s Nike’s. Some kids in my neighborhood wore through shoes, and some adults can’t buy pot without risking going to jail. I’m a lucky guy.