Tangerine Man is one of eight signature strains in the Leafs by Snoop cannabis brand, which includes three Kush varieties and a high-CBD strain. (Jake Browne, The Cannabist)

Tangerine Man (marijuana review, Leafs by Snoop)

Updated Feb. 8, 2016 at 3:08 p.m.

If you approach smoking weed like it was gambling, a vape pen is the slot machine, the seemingly endless dispensing of dopamine at the press of a button. Flower is like a hot craps table, with everyone in it together until the run is over.

And after 10 days in Mexico with only a vape pen to satiate me, I was desperate to smoke some good, old-fashioned flower with friends. Please, do not alert the Federales.

Tangerine Man by the numbers: Recreational pricing — $13/gram, $40/eighth, $275/ounce; Medical — $8.57/gram, $30/eighth, $165/ounce at LivWell on Larimer, 2863 Larimer St., Denver

As I had been traveling around Sayulita with a predominantly indica cartridge, I was craving sativa like it was tap water or flushable toilet paper by the time I landed back in Free America (Colorado). When I did my initial look at the Leafs by Snoop line, Tangerine Man stood out as a hit single, with all the hallmarks of what a good Tangie should be. “Thin nugs with equally skinny leaves stretching up the nugs are coated with trichomes,” I wrote at the time. Shockingly, that hasn’t changed.

A couple months in a jar can be hell on a strain, sapping it of its life force like being encased in kryptonite, but the Tangerine Man held up. The citrus notes weren’t quite as bright, more akin to a car air freshener that is overdue for a change, but the black pepper and cane sugar became more pronounced. Compared to Leafs by Snoop’s lackluster Blueberry Dream, I was vacationing in Terp City, U.S.A.

Packing a large glass spoon someone left at our engagement party and never claimed, a couple friends sitting nearby became curious as to what I was loading, always a good sign. Cracking a nug of Tangerine Man in a crowded room is like farting on a road trip: People will immediately try to suss out the source. We each took a couple hits, eliciting several comments about the flavor and asking the origin, but I made a point of not giving away that this was “Snoop weed.”

I wanted genuine reactions.

Minutes later, the collective vibe had morphed from side-chatter to a conversational free-for-all, rife with laughter and stoney grins. If anything speaks to the power of Tangerine Man, it’s that I believe it actually made stories about our vacation interesting. Instead of bringing pure ADD energy to the table, it created a mood elevation that could be focused when necessary, but raucous at the drop of a pin-laden hat. It may not be the best for pain relief, but Snoop’s Tangerine Man should be considered a go-to for those with the winter blues.

While the vivacity of the strain is notable, I enjoyed the shift of high later in the evening, as it became intensely creative.

Rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg packs bowls of his new Leafs By Snoop marijuana flower for VIPs at the new LivWell-affiliated cannabis brand's extravagant launch party on Nov. 9 in Colorado. (Leafs By Snoop)
Rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg packs bowls of his new Leafs By Snoop marijuana flower for VIPs at the new LivWell-affiliated cannabis brand’s extravagant launch party on Nov. 9 in Colorado. (Leafs By Snoop)

My goal on vacation was to disconnect, as I am one of those terrible modern phone junkies that is constantly checking for my slot machine-esque hit of dopamine. With my Nexus 6 in airplane mode, I shot an embarrassing number of photos. Pouring over them after a refresher hit of Tangerine Man, I started cutting them together with GoPro video in Adobe Premiere, experiencing tiny joys when music would sync up perfectly or discovering another clip I had forgotten. I can’t imagine anyone else enjoying it as much as I did, but my fiancee loved it.

I’ve been down the path of Tangie quite a few times, but this was one of my favorites, as it evoked the experience of the strain so cleanly. No sativa-induced paranoia, but instead a summertime joyride in a Cadillac. Kudos to Snoop (and LivWell Enlightened Health, which has licensed the Leafs by Snoop brand and grows/manufactures all of the products sold in Colorado): This is a strain truly worthy of his namesake.