Have you ever heard of a legendary strain on the street but never found it? Like that urban legend about catfish the size of a Volkswagen at the bottom of the lake, some tales are too good to be true. For me, L.A. Confidential was that car-sized catfish for the longest time — until I caught the sonofabitch on a college trip to San Diego. But now, thanks to legalization, you don’t have to travel that far to find this beast.
Some of you might know L.A. Confidential as an underrated neo-noir crime movie from the mid-’90s starring Kevin Spacey, but potheads, especially those on the West Coast, know it as a classic indica strain that is not to be taken lightly. As the name suggests, the strain was born in Southern California, gaining prominence in the early 2000s and winning third and second place in the 2004 and 2005 High Times Cannabis Cups for best indica. Bred by DNA Genetics, L.A. Confidential is an artistic mixture of an Afghani phenotype and landrace indica, OG LA Affie. The combination creates beautiful, bright-green nugs with vibrant mauve streaks, like Palo Verde trees in a Mojave desert sunset, and the high is just as relaxing.
Although Affie isn’t known for heavy sedation, like most pure indicas, the child it bore sure is. L.A. Confidential’s nearly pure indica heritage creates an intense, hash-like knockout that is great for pain, relaxation and stress — and putting off chores. Don’t puff this one until after your shit is handled; otherwise, today’s responsibilities will become tomorrow’s. With a smell reminiscent of Afghani or Hindu Kush, L.A. Confidential can be just as potent, making it a nighttime treat for most. But if you’re hung over, hurting or need a nap, L.A. Confidential is a great in-case-of-emergency strain — though you’d be wise to toke something tamer if you plan on walking farther than the fridge.
Looks: L.A. Confidential’s contrast of light greens and purples can make breaking apart its nugs a bittersweet process. Like many heavy indicas, its round, gravel-shaped buds can have some split ends, but they’re also surprisingly dense and sturdy.
Smell: Hash, baby. All the way. Intense smells of bubblegum, soil and a little pine (sometimes rounded out by a lavender scent) dominate the nose — always a good indicator that you’re about to smoke something strong.
Flavor: Similar to its Afghani relative, the flavor is sweet and dirty, with earthy flavors of pine rounded out by a citrus tang.
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Effects: L.A. Confidential’s effects are pretty universal, so don’t expect much variation from the typical indica effects. Relaxation and couch lock come in fast, but its powerful psychedelic buzz goes great with funky music or a colorful movie. Medical patients looking for stronger pain relief without smoking hash or suffering from lack of sleep should consider giving it a try.
Home grower’s take: “I’ve grown this a few times, I think. The first couple were back around 2003, so I’m not sure how true the genetics were, but the high was heavy, so I’ll roll with it. The third time, in 2012, were clones from a dispensary. The buds grew a little taller and had more purple, so it might have been a little closer to the real deal. All of them only took about eight weeks to flower, which checks out with how it’s supposed to grow. Very hashy flavor every time. Really nice before bed.”
Commercial grower’s take: “We don’t currently have this one in the grow, though it has came through before. We’ve just had some really bad luck keeping a mother plant alive [to produce clones]. Pretty tough broad, though. Resistant to mold, making it good for home grows. Shouldn’t take longer than sixty days to fully bloom. I’ve heard of guys trying this outdoors in California, but I wouldn’t recommend that if you have the option. I’ve gotten the best yields by going hydro.”
Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.