Why Colorado Tokers Love Grapefruit Durban

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed: Grapefruit Durban.EXPAND
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed: Grapefruit Durban.
Herbert Fuego

Did you know that we’ve learned more about space than we have about cannabis? I totally just made that up, but the point remains: There are too many uncharted strains out there. We come across a new species of pot much more often than an astronomer discovers some black hole, and the origins of some of these strains are just as dark. So it’s always nice to come across something new whose origins are relatively easy to trace, especially when the strain is as bomb as Grapefruit Durban.

I stumbled on Grapefruit Durban almost two years ago. It’s been around town since at least late 2014 and seems to be a Colorado-only strain on the commercial side, as there is little information about it online other than its infrequent appearances on a few Denver menus. With such a straightforward name, though, the strain’s genetics are easy to determine.

For the uninitiated, Grapefruit Durban is bred from Grapefruit and Durban Poison strains — two of my favorite sativas, thanks to the instant energy they bring. Grapefruit, bred from Cinderella 99 and an unknown auto-flowering sativa, is beloved for its heavy citrus, tropical aromas and relatively easy growing process. Durban Poison, a landrace sativa I write about often, is one of Colorado’s most popular, with a sweet, skunky flavor and intense head high.

Although the tart, juicy and resinous flavor of Grapefruit and sweet, piney notes of Durban don’t pair up as strongly in this sativa hybrid as I would hope, Grapefruit Durban’s high brings the best of both worlds. Durban Poison can leave me paranoid and irritable when it wears off, and Grapefruit can make my head feel dizzy if I smoke too much. Their child, however, brings a more subtle sativa high, which allows me to stay focused without the heavy drop-off or paranoia of pure Durban.

Grapefruit Durban won’t amp you up as much as Durban or make you pucker your lips like Grapefruit, but its high is easier to handle in public or at a boring family dinner. Is it in the pantheon of great sativas? No. But is it worth a try on a sunny day? No doubt.

Looks: Very bright in color with frosty orange pistils, Grapefruit Durban’s nugs are generally chunkier and more dense than those of a typical sativa, but their shape can still be long or narrow. Some cuts can also grow purple-tinted leaves and calyxes during flowering.

Smell: Quiet notes of citrus and pine trees will dominate initially, followed by dank, floral smells, creating a more citrus-heavy, skunky alternative to Durban Poison or an earthier version of Grapefruit.

Flavor: Like the smell, Grapefruit Durban’s flavor won’t blow users away, but small tokes from a joint, vaporizer or clean glass will showcase its citrus and pine flavors, with heavier floral and earthy notes on the back end.

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Effects: The sativa buzz hits very fast, but the haziness is lighter than with most sativas. Great for a mid-day sesh or a wake-and-bake, the heady effects come and go in waves, allowing moments of focus and a clear mind for conversation. Medically, the strain helps with fatigue, stress, lack of appetite and nausea.

Commercial grower’s take: “We’ve sold this a few times. Wasn’t our most popular. I think customers expected these intense Durban or Grapefruit qualities — or a crazy mixture of both — and were disappointed when it was a calm mix. It’s literally like a holding a nug of Grapefruit and a nug of Durban to your nose at the same time. I love that, personally. It gets me going without the over-caffeinated feel. But it still hasn’t caught on yet. A nice secret if you like sativas, but I think people expect too much from it.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail marijuana@westword.com.


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