Moby Dick (Ry Prichard, The Cannabist)

Moby Dick (marijuana review)

It was a blue-sky Saturday afternoon, and I had a concert to go to. Not just any concert, but a vaguely weed-themed concert with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra held at the most spectacular venue on the planet, Red Rocks. I had my first-ever press pass to the venue and was excited to get up close and personal to get some great shots of the musicians. So I snagged an eighth of the sativa-dominant Moby Dick from Sweet Leaf Inc. on my way up to the show and got on the road.

Moby Dick by the numbers: $20/gram, $35/eighth (recreational) at Sweet Leaf, Inc., 5100 W. 38th Ave., Denver

After getting my press wristband from will-call, I ended up parking at the bottom of the stairs past the Lower North lot. I unfortunately had to carry all my camera gear with me; looking up at the seemingly endless cascade of stairs, my enthusiasm for this expedition began to wane. I packed up my grinder, papers, tips and the weed, locked the car, sighed and began the vertical hike. With my calves and lungs burning, I finally found another human (I was early and the gates had not opened yet) and a place to set my stuff down, but had to wait another 30 minutes or so to actually get inside.

“Crap, I need to shoot this Moby,” I thought.

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Lacking any better options, I found the nearest restroom and used the handicap stall (calm down, nobody was around yet) in order to do my first-ever cannabis shoot inside a bathroom. Feeling oddly satisfied with myself for producing under duress, I went back outside and took some early shots of the stage before heading to the top of the venue, where the cannabis businesses who had sponsored the event had their booths set up among the concession stands.

Naturally, a few minutes after I climbed the mountain of stairs to the top, the show began to start and I rushed back down to get shots of the musicians from the pit. Photos had to cease after the first three songs, so once again I begrudgingly made my way back to the top of the amphitheater so I could finally try to smoke my sample.

With the fire in my lungs reignited after two ascents toting my 30-pound camera case up the stairs, I finally found some suitable shelter under the MiNDFUL tent and managed to roll a joint (something I had stupidly forgotten to do in the car at the bottom of the hill). Rolling this joint was harder than almost any other joint I’ve rolled because the wind was whipping around like crazy and the Moby Dick was absolutely, ridiculously bone dry to the point that it basically disintegrated into dust when ground up.

Crouched in the makeshift wind shelter of my camera case, I scraped together my weed powder and managed to get it twisted up while concertgoers took photos on a hay bale in front of a country-themed background at The Farm’s booth behind me.

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At the store earlier, I had picked out the Moby Dick from approximately 12 other choices I checked out. I’ve had experience with the strain in the past, as it was one of the staple wholesale varieties that was purchased during my time managing a dispensary three years ago.

I’ve always appreciated the strain’s balanced Hazy crispness, which isn’t my normal flavor profile of choice but nonetheless strikes my nostalgic fancy from time to time, bringing to mind a lot of the Haze-dominant strains I tried during my trips to Amsterdam. Though there were a couple other nice-looking strains at Sweet Leaf, the Moby had the largest nugs and one of the most apparent smells while also fitting the profile of what I was looking for effect-wise (balanced sativa).

Moby Dick is a Dinafem Seeds variety which is composed of White Widow and Haze, two of the hallmarks of Dutch breeding. Though they’ve mostly been run into the ground in Europe due to extreme popularity over the last 20 years, I hardly ever see these varieties in Colorado dispensaries (other than Super Lemon/Super Silver Haze).

This particular Moby Dick wasn’t the nicest sample that I’ve ever seen, but that was mostly due to the extreme dryness and the consequent reduction in aroma and flavor. But overall it looked and smelled above-average for recreational weed, and I was looking forward to trying it.

Flash-forward to the concert, and I was struggling to light the joint in the unpredictable wind. Once I got it going, it gave me the crisp, clean-feeling smoke that I expected, though it was a little lighter on true flavor than I had hoped (again, I assume this is largely due to the dryness). The joint burned clean and was moderately smooth on the throat, even as it burned down to the end.

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I smoked the joint quickly and discreetly, as this event was cannabis-themed but not necessarily cannabis-friendly and I was basically out in the open with security personnel walking about. As I finished the joint, I already felt its warming effect fighting off the wind; as if snapping back into reality after my arduous joint-rolling journey, I suddenly remembered that I was at a concert and went down to enjoy the show.

The joint mostly just brought me back to regular in terms of mood, as I was mainly just tired and a little burnt out by this point. I found myself just closing my eyes and enjoying the wind as the music cascaded up the rocks. At that point, the symphony went weird and ambient with a Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead) composition from There Will Be Blood and I was immediately sucked in to the oddball screeches and droning of the strings as random thoughts coursed through my head. By the time the “E.T.” theme hit, I was in a relaxed, meditative mode and didn’t really notice the strain’s effects all that much physically — other than a light buzzing in my eyes and limbs.

Though this somewhat-chaotic night probably wasn’t the best time to get an idea of the strain’s effects, I fortunately have had plenty of past experience with it. Overall, Moby Dick falls into the “functional yet potent” sativa category in that it doesn’t totally bully its way into your brain processes like a more pure Haze variety, but is does have fairly strong physical and mood-elevating properties. The White Widow side of the lineage helps to round out the Haze, which is preferable for most consumers — me personally, I love a super-racy pure sativa experience, but I’m glad I didn’t have that for this occasion and had opted instead for the smooth Moby.

Like many sativa-dominant strains, it tends to get low-energy towards the latter part of the duration, and this time was no exception. Though I was tired for other reasons, I found my eyes burning and eyelids getting heavy, eventually snapping myself out of it with some food (which tasted amazing and I ate voraciously, another typical feature of this strain). The effects wound down as the concert did, and I made my way home while feeling very little effect from the Moby after the first hour or so.

I would recommend checking out Moby Dick if you like a crisp, slightly sweet flavor with a smooth, 70/30ish sativa-dominant effects package. It stimulates appetite, reduces muscle tension and light body pain, improves mood and may aid with nausea and migraines (based on its genetic pedigree). It’s not the strongest strain compared to many modern varieties (it normally tests in the 18-20 percent THC area), but it would be a good pickup for a daytime or early evening, especially as the “shift change” from responsibility to relaxation happens.