Why Colorado Tokers Love Cheese Quake

Cheese Quake's aftershocks will put you to bed.
Herbert Fuego
Cheese Quake's aftershocks will put you to bed.
A strain with a dessert-like name is nothing new, but some carry more of a nostalgic pull than others. Cookies hybrids with names like Wedding Cake and Thin Mints will always tug at my inner child, and the same thing happened when I saw Cheese Quake on the shelf during a recent dispensary visit.

I’m used to seeing the term “cheesequake” on Dairy Queen Blizzard menus, not at pot shops, so I can’t help but lick my lips as visions of creamy ice cream and cheesecake bites pop up every time I hear or read the word. Although the Cheese Quake strain isn’t sweet and sugary like DQ’s version, it still carries a rich savoriness reminiscent of cream cheese, and its relaxing effects will cool you down after a hot day.

The indica-leaning hybrid calls Cheese and Querkle its parents, carrying a mix of their sour, pungent aromas and an enjoyable funk perfect for tokers who are tired of strains with heavy citrus or Kush flavors — but it’s probably not a great choice if you don’t like Cheese’s trademark stank. Its effects are a lot easier to accommodate, however, which makes this a great option for new consumers still anxious about smoking cannabis.

Most people who try Cheese Quake a few times will tell you that it’s more sedating than advertised. While that might be annoying for someone expecting a more balanced high, its calming impact on the mind and body is virtually devoid of any “freak-out” potential, and it melts stress away like a four-figure chair from Sharper Image. Just don’t expect it to taste like cheesecake and ice cream, or your inner child will be disappointed.

Colorado Harvest Company, the Farmers Market, Lightshade, the Lodge Cannabis, Mile High Dispensary and Timberline Herbal Clinic have all sold Cheese Quake (or Cheesequake) recently. The Farmers Market and Mile High Dispensary’s versions are my favorites in the metro area, but the Lodge’s $85 medical ounce might be the best deal on the strain in town.

Looks: Expect most commercial varieties (homegrown can vary more) of Cheese Quake to have football- and fist-shaped nugs with a very dense structure that can be so thick they’re almost hard. The color is typically a light, glowing green, with peach pistils and an occasional spot of purple.

Smell: Sour, pungent and funky, Cheese Quake takes a lot of its characteristics from Cheese, but it can carry sweet hints of berries and chalky candy (think Necco Wafers) on the back end, as well as a skunky/earthy blend that creeps in midway.

Flavor: Funky, savory tastes of cream cheese and a pungent earthy aftertaste dominate the flavor, with the berries and sweetness largely absent, minus a subtle aftertaste.

Effects: Cheese Quake is an exceptional strain for unwinding or blowing off steam without alcohol, but its hybrid designation is a misrepresentation. Although the initial effects during the first hour or so won’t put you out, focus is gone almost immediately, along with stress, anxiety, nausea and/or an upset stomach.

Commercial grower’s take: “Pretty heavy strain, for sure, even though it gets labeled a 60/40 indica. Other than dry mouth and appetite inducement, I can’t think of any sativa effects it carries, but its Cheese genetics probably make it that by default. Cheese Quake can take around nine weeks to flower, I think, but its yields are above average, and I don’t see many cuts pushing out less than 20 percent THC nowadays, like most strains out there. I’d recommend topping it early so it can expand outward a little and not grow so high. The buds will really fatten up after a few weeks into flowering, but don’t let that trick you. Keep it around for at least eight weeks and then flush it.”

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