Why Colorado Tokers Love Nurse Jackie

Herbert Fuego
Let Nurse Jackie cure what ails you.
Acquiring new cannabis genetics from different parts of the country is becoming easier than ever as pot prohibition’s national blockade continues to weaken. Girl Scout Cookies is great, but it wouldn't have risen so quickly in popularity if it weren’t for the commercial scenes in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington pushing the strain. These new pipelines helped introduce me to Nurse Jackie – not the TV show many heard about but few watched, but a unique sativa gaining a respected reputation in Oregon’s medical marijuana community – years before I would have met her pre-legalization. She’s still working her way east, though, with a smaller presence in medical states outside of the Pacific Northwest.

TGA Genetics made opposites attract by breeding its flagship killer, Jack the Ripper, with Medicine Woman, a potent hybrid from Oregon with unknown origins. Their child took after Mom, quickly becoming known for treating body pain on a wide scale while maintaining energy and focus. Also extremely helpful in increasing appetite, Nurse Jackie can help internal issues such as nausea, Crohn’s disease, eating disorders and hyperactive gag reflex; her curative skills have made this one of my favorite medical strains to recommend.

Most sativas with such strong, textbook highs carry a similar blend of citrus, skunk, chemical/diesel or haze notes. But while any cut of Nurse Jackie, an 80/20 sativa hybrid, will always have citrus and chemical notes, it will also have a sweet, cheesy finish that's rare among strains with similar effects. Citrus still dominates the palate, however, so look for the cheesiest cuts for more weird as that sounds.

I’m not sure how open Dr. Quinn was to alternative medicine, but I like to think she’s doling out joints of Nurse Jackie to patients in the sky. Still, nurses have always been underappreciated, and Jackie is a rare strain in Colorado at the moment. I’ve bought it on the black market since 2016, but the only Denver dispensaries I’ve seen carrying it are Cross Genetics and Ganja Gourmet. Cross Genetics’ cut was heavy on the citrus, with spiky buds and a stoney high for $25 an eighth – one of the better values around town. If you find her anywhere else, please let me know.

Looks: Bud structure varies based on phenotype and environment. Like most sativas, they start stretching midway through flowering, but those leaning toward Jack the Ripper (like the one pictured above) are taller and pointier, while phenotypes with Medicine Woman influences are shorter and stockier. Both are bright green with heavy, milky trichome coverage and orange pistils.

Smell: Nothing about Nurse Jackie’s stank is subtle, with an initial burst of citrus cleaner quickly drowned out by a cheesy, spicy funk reminiscent of Chiesel or Ingrid. Some cuts have more citrus or cheese than others, but my favorite is a stiff combination of both.

Flavor: Citrus and gassy, Chemdawg flavors take hold of your tongue, making it hard for anything else to shine through. Even in cheesier-smelling cuts, citrus tastes are still stronger than expected.

Effects: True to its name, Nurse Jackie’s a healer. Her high is uplifting and manageable while relaxing the body and stomach at the same time, making it an obvious choice for those who have pain or trouble eating in the morning.

Commercial grower’s take: “Pretty new out here commercially. Time will tell if she catches on, but I’m a fan. A little more volatile in the grow than most strains, so you have to be careful with lighting, and you need to top her early on – but that’s easier said than done for novice growers. Yields are okay for only needing eight weeks to harvest, but I would only recommend this for experienced growers who are used to different hybrids. That strong cheese flavor is nice – usually sativas are just full of spice, citrus or diesel – so it’s nice to have some balance with that creaminess.”

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