Weed geeks love to test the same strain at different dispensaries. The Grow-Off is a type of Pepsi challenge whose results show which shops specialize in flavor, potency and yield — and which shops to avoid altogether. Last summer, when it was announced that over forty of Colorado’s commercial cannabis growers would be pitted against each other using the same mystery genetics, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to know more — who would win, or what the special strain was.
It took more than half a year, but the results are finally in: The secret mandatory ingredient was Race Fuel OG (also known as Race Fuel), a mix of High Octane OG and Face Off OG, two OG-heavy strains with names that leave little to the imagination. The Herbal Cure in Denver took home first for flavor and potency, while mountain-based High Country Healing saw the most yield.
As difficult as the scoring probably was, I would have paid a lot of money to be a judge on that panel. Luckily, some of the participating dispensaries are now selling their cuts of Race Fuel to the public. A quick whiff of the strain’s diesel and OG scents, which are like a combination of citrus cleaner and gasoline, will make tokers realize just how fortunate they are.
Race Fuel leans lightly on the indica side, but its high potency makes it seem even stronger. I’m usually fine if I smoke a hybrid before going out for an easy night on the town, but I won’t go there with this one. Its high can be a little deceiving, because the sativa buzz is instant but subtle, so the natural move is to hit it again. Don’t. Within thirty minutes, a heavy, invisible Kush blanket will drain your energy as you’re lulled to sleep, and it only goes down from there.
Setting the stage for the first Grow-Off last summer.
Just because this strain bites doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it, but don’t expect to accomplish much after a joint of Race Fuel. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: Sometimes you just want to get home, throw a pizza in the oven and watch Indiana Jones until you fall asleep. Those times used to be called Wednesdays, but now I call them Race days.
Looks: Race Fuel’s bushy, oblong bud structure doesn’t stray far from the OG family tree, but expect the color to be a little lighter than the traditional forest green. That brightness can be heightened by sugary trichome blankets and the occasional shade of purple.
Smell: Terpene lovers and sour smokers will go apeshit over Race Fuel’s in-your-face blend of lemon, diesel and Kush-y pine scents. A few extra smells will showcase a zesty, earthy back end that quickly clears or fills the room, depending on what crowd you’re hanging with.
Flavor: Not quite as harmonious as its smell, Race Fuel’s flavor is usually dominated by diesel, but strong, noticeable hints of lemon cleaner and pine finish it off.
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Effects: The sativa rush is fast but short-lived, as Race Fuel’s indica comedown will wrap you up and squeeze like a boa until your eyes are closed. Still, the high shouldn’t make you too drowsy unless you overdo it — but with a THC potency in the low 20 percent range, that happens often. As for medical benefits, Race Fuel has been known to treat ADD, anxiety, eating disorders and chronic pain.
Commercial grower’s take: “Guess I can’t tell you what place we got with this without giving myself away, but let’s just say we’re proud of what we did. Other than the stress of stacking up against other growers that we really respect, Race Fuel was a pretty standard grow. If you have experience with OGs, then you should be ready to grow this. A little bigger branches and the color’s a little lighter, but its yields are stronger than you’d think.”
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