A strange Juicy Fruit gum commercial in the early 2000s had a man in a whale costume and a woman in overalls singing about “caring and sharing” on a children’s TV show. The scene was pretty wholesome until the whale stole Juicy Fruit from the woman’s pocket and ran. The previously caring woman tackled the whale like a free safety and pummeled him while the song about “caring and sharing” continued playing in the background.
Someone stealing a 25-cent stick of gum could never make me that angry, but a $35 eighth under the same name? That’s a different story. Juicy Fruit, or Juicy Fruit Thai in some circles, is a classic hybrid strain from Sensi Seeds that combines the pure landrace genetics of an Afghani indica and a Thai sativa. Afghani’s savory bubblegum and hash flavors mix perfectly with Thai’s floral, sweet notes to create a fruity, tangy strain with hints of citrus and cream, much like a chalky, sugary stick of Juicy Fruit gum. Its nugs look like they could be squeezed for juice, too, with a dark forest-green color and a coat of resin glands that resemble hairs on a plum — and its buds can be just as succulent.
I like to compare Juicy Fruit to a colorful tree frog in the rainforest: It’s beautiful, tropical and will totally fuck you up if you’re not careful. Its effects tend to lean sativa in my experience, but a stoney head high always creeps in after thirty minutes, and peripheral vision goes to shit. If you want to stay up late alone or relax uninterrupted, Juicy Fruit can keep you awake and stoned to the brim for hours — but beware of possible cottonmouth and anxiety, especially after the second bowl.
Juicy Fruit is a relatively easy strain to find around Denver; Ajoya, Botanico, Euflora, Good Chemistry, Green Leaf, Healing House, Herban Underground, Magnolia Road, Natural Remedies, Oasis Cannabis Superstore and Rocky Mountain High all carry the strain. I’ve only tried Good Chemistry’s and Ajoya’s — both juiced me up more than Jose Canseco — but I’ve heard that Green Leaf and Magnolia Road are putting out some quality cuts, too.
Looks: Despite the fact that the strain’s been around for a while, Juicy Fruit’s buds look like the new resin-glazed strains dominating dispensaries today. Its dark, forest-green nugs are complemented by sharp purple hues, peach-colored pistils and a thick coat of trichomes.
Smell: Scents of tart, chalky sugar instantly remind you of its namesake. However, it’s got more sour and citrus notes than Bubblegum, making this gummy strain stand on its own.
Flavor: Expect a fruity flavor that’s just as savory as it is sweet — something like pears, plums or lychees. Afghani’s bubblegum flavor is more present in Juicy Fruit’s taste than smell, though, with subtle citrus and hash notes rounding it out.
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Effects: This hybrid can go either way, depending on the cut and how you react to it. Some provide a strong uplift followed by a stoney, munchie-filled high, while others tend to be more relaxing from the start. Medical patients suffering from eating disorders, stress, nausea and minor pain can all use Juicy Fruit for treatment, but anxiety, paranoia and dry mouth are common side effects.
Commercial grower’s take: “I’ve always had a soft spot for this strain, probably for the name, if anything. The high is potent — and I don’t use that term lightly, because any high can be potent if you smoke enough...which is crazy, because most Thai mothers aren’t very potent. But this can be overwhelming for beginning smokers, so just keep that in mind while smoking: Treat it like an edible.”
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