A friend of mine likes to compare cannabis strains to Italian food: the simpler the ingredients, the better. For most tokers, that means an organic-based growing approach and as few synthetic components as possible — but some also crave simple strain genetics. More interested in the flavor and oral fixation of smoking an entire joint than the potency of today’s hybrids, this group prefers classic flower with the occasional bubble hash instead of shatter or strains testing north of 30 percent THC. Any disciplined pothead or novice user with low tolerances would appreciate Maui Strawberry, a functional sativa that rarely goes above 15 percent THC. Its parent strains, Maui Wowie and Strawberry Cough, will surely give anyone with a few years of cannabis experience feelings of baked nostalgia.
Strawberry Cough has maintained an unshakable presence in dispensaries since the medical days, and Maui Wowie is a world-famous landrace sativa and Hawaii’s hallmark strain. More important, both of these cherished strains offer steady, invigorating highs and straightforward genetics, so the combination is easy to handle. I’m always cautious about giving someone a sativa for their first time — the high can be racy and paranoid for beginners — but Maui Strawberry would be a great first sativa after a few notches in the belt. Patients are able to medicate throughout the day with it, and recreational users can wake-and-bake and still be up after noon.
The only downfall of Maui Strawberry? Its sensory qualities: Even when cured correctly, the smell is lacking, with quiet notes of berries, mangos and hash nearly drowned out by plastic containers or any odor lacing your fingers. But at the end of the day, how the strain affects the user is critical, and I’ve never heard a complaint about Maui Strawberry’s gentle push forward.
Maui Strawberry is a rare fruit, and Groundswell is the only Denver pot shop I’ve found that’s carried it in the last month. The Colfax dispensary’s cut is extremely blissful, though, checking off each box for an enjoyable sativa that doesn’t overpower the mind. At $36 an eighth after tax, I’d like to smell and taste the terpenes more, but it still provides a better jolt than any energy drink out there.
Looks: A little hairy for my liking, Maui Strawberry’s light-wintergreen buds have relatively extensive pistil coverage. The nugs are dense and bulbous, but the calyxes are segmented, so wide chunks rip off the stem when pinched.
Smell: The strain’s scent is subdued, with mellow, savory hints of mango and sweet smells of berries and dewed grass coming together for a quiet aroma.
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Flavor: Sweeter than Maui Wowie but less sweet than Strawberry Cough, Maui Strawberry has a more rounded flavor than either of its parents — but it’s still too grassy. Berry and hash flavors are generally drowned out by an earthy overtone.
Effects: This sativa’s unflappable yet active high is prime for daytime and outdoor fun, uplifting users without getting them lost in their own minds. It’s great for social use because of its tamable effects, but also eases minor pain, stress and appetite disorders.
Home grower’s take: “I don’t know if this is big in dispensaries, or what it’s even really called, but I’ve grown a cross of Strawberry Cough and Maui Wowie a couple times — ‘Strawberry Breeze’ or something is what it was called. Maui father and a Strawberry mother. Took about eight weeks to flower, and the yields were stronger than Strawberry Cough’s. Didn’t stretch like you’d think it would for such a sativa, though — pretty squatty the entire time. I think it might need to be backcrossed again with something fruity if it’s going to become big. The Maui Wowie kind of kills the strawberry flavor.”
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