As someone who is constantly on the quest for new and exciting cannabis varieties, it is disappointing to go into dispensary after dispensary and see the same collection of about 50 strains on everyone’s shelves.
Sure, you occasionally run into the odd center with a “proprietary” strain or five, most of which are just renamed phenotypes from plants grown from seed, or even worse, random seeds which came about because of accidental pollination due to unstable genetics or environmental problems. Overall though, the majority of Colorado dispensary herb comes from clones; the same 50 or so clones, which have been so overused and practically run into the ground over the past five years that most veteran budtenders can recite the list in their sleep (hint: the Colorado list probably starts with Flo).
Poochie Love by the numbers: $15.96/gram, $55.86/eighth (recreational) or $12/gram, $40/eighth (medical) at Natural Remedies, 1620 Market St., #5W, in Denver.
Suffice to say that I’m pleased when I go into a center which I know to have a pretty stable strain list and see some new varieties on the shelf. That’s especially true when the new offerings are exciting new hybrids which have a traceable source and are being sold under their proper name. That was the case when I visited Natural Remedies and was told they had new varieties from Archive Seed Bank: Poochie Love and Bazooka JoeG. I went with the Poochie because my starving inner “Simpsons” fan simply couldn’t help himself.
Though the name isn’t immediately recognizable to even experienced connoisseurs like Green House Seed Company or The Cali Connection might be, Archive Seed Bank has burst onto the scene in the past couple of years with a huge collection of hybrids and has captured some awards at Cannabis Cups, including two third-place nods in 2013 at the Los Angeles and Bay Area competitions. The chief breeder behind Archive goes by the nickname “ThaDocta” and is one of the most respected personalities from cannabis forums over the past 10 years, known for possessing nearly every elite OG Kush cutting as well as many rare varieties from the Pacific Northwest, which he calls home.
One of those rare PNW varieties (the mother plant in this hybrid) is known as Dogshit, which is a 12- to 13-week flowering sativa variety thought to have possible Colombian and Afghani origins. The Dogshit mother was pollinated with Archive’s stud Faceoff OG BX1 male to create the Poochie Love — the intent was to beef up the Dogshit while also reducing the flowering time and retaining the legendary potency present in both parents.
This particular sample of Poochie Love from Natural Remedies was just one of a couple keeper phenotypes, according to my budtender, and I will be interested to see what other expressions might come out in the others. This phenotype was very Dogshit-dominant based on its appearance and smell — it took me back to my high school days, before I knew weed could smell uncannily like lemons or bubble gum. It was a throwback to a simpler time, when a punchy spice-sweetness and big nugs were enough to send my senses reeling, especially in comparison to the requisite bags of dusty-smelling schwag that filled most of my early weed-smoking days.
Looks-wise, this sample was simply outstanding, with a gorgeous nuggy structure that brought to mind the OG side of things a bit and a copious amount of well-preserved trichomes. I can spot a quality dry trim a mile away, and this one was definitely handled with the proper amount of care after being harvested.
The smell was not overwhelming, but it was pleasant; for me, it brought to mind the Colorado Cough (a special Northern Lights #5 x Haze that has been getting CSU students stoned since the ’90s). It also brought to mind some of the other old-school punchy Haze varieties that recall the strain’s freaky equatorial sativa roots rather than the “bubblegum pop” toned-down sativa that it has become thanks to 20 years of Dutch influence. I have seen the original Dogshit mother on a handful of occasions (it pretty much doesn’t exist in Colorado) and her influence was obvious here; there was basically no trace of the OG elements in the olfactory categories and it was all reedy sativa spice.
Brushing errant trichomes off of my fingers (which was a constant problem with the uber-frosty Poochie), I rolled a fat nug up into a Raw rolling paper and got to work. The unlit joint tasted just like the aroma, with the same moderately pungent spicy eucalyptus type of quality, which I personally enjoy but probably isn’t the most popular type of flavor with modern cannabis consumers.
The lit flavor was solid and certainly reminded me of the aroma, but it was just muted in comparison and tasted a little muddy. The mostly neutral flavor was certainly not bad (no bitterness or metallic flavor), but it also wasn’t anything to rant and rave about. The joint burned clean, leaving behind a fluffy mottled gray and white ash. Ultimately, I was left scratching my head as to why the flavor just didn’t match up to the stellar appearance or the relatively strong aroma, and wished that I could get the full Poochie experience. It may have just been that this particular phenotype isn’t the most flavorful one, but I’m more inclined to blame some aspect of the growing or post-harvest process, given that it smelled quite good.
However, the potency and overall quality of the effects more than made up for the somewhat lackluster flavor.
Coming on quickly (I was barely halfway through the joint when it hit me), it was rather “facey” and had my head and eyes feeling a distinct buzzing pressure. There seemed to be a slight but noticeable uplift in energy and mood, making me slightly more talkative than usual and keeping a smile on my face throughout the experience. It was unobtrusive despite feeling more potent than a lot of herb in the initial phases; I was in the process of editing photos and doing other detail-oriented work and found that the Poochie fit nicely into the background, improving my experience without really shaping it in a definable way. This sort of sativa-dominant hybrid is generally the type that I enjoy the most, because it leaves me able to maintain a high level of productivity while improving both my physical and mental state.
Medically, this one wasn’t the most direct pain-relieving variety, but it did a good job of distracting me from my nagging back pain, partly because it kept me so entrenched in my work. It fell short of some strains that push the user into euphoria territory, but it definitely improved my mood and energy levels until the latter part of the duration, where it took on a slightly drowsy bent.
I’d peg the Poochie Love as a solid daytime choice for the majority of users, as it didn’t come with any undertones of anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings. But I’d also suggest to maybe leave it for slightly later in the day, as its potency may take some lower-tolerance users by surprise and the low-key finish had me rubbing my eyes and yawning a bit.
Natural Remedies should be harvesting a variety of new Archive Seed Bank strains over the coming months, including some different Poochie Love phenotypes. If you are the type (like myself) who wants to check out some new varieties with outstanding pedigrees, then Natty Rems and these Archive strains would be a great choice.