Why Colorado Tokers Love ARC

The stoned arc of ARC goes up quickly, and down for much longer.
The stoned arc of ARC goes up quickly, and down for much longer. Herbert Fuego

Even before this year, the annual 4/20 celebration was evolving over the past decade, with legalization and social acceptance changing the cannabis holiday from counterculture display to commercial celebration. Then, thanks to ’rona, every 4/20 event (and even Civic Center Park itself) was canceled in 2020, while the mood at dispensaries has remained eerie all spring. With so much crazy shit going on and so few opportunities to vent, I needed to burn something tried and true during the weirdest 4/20 ever last week. I needed something strong and otherworldly, to caress me in comfort like Patrick Swayze in Ghost. I needed the ARC.

I've written about Alien Rock Candy (ARC or Alien Candy for short) before, when I was just a tadpole learning how to swim in the country's largest pond of dispensaries. In 2015, I wasn't aware of how wholesale cannabis worked, and wrote up a glowing review of Alien Rock Candy that I bought from Sweet Leaf. Little did I know that that weed was actually the first of many strains grown by Kind Love that would steal my heart, and that Sweet Leaf would be wiped out of Colorado four years later in an illegal marijuana-selling scandal. Alien Rock Candy even goes by a new name now, ARC, and has turned into one of Kind Love's more popular strains and a good stud for hash extraction. But our relationship hasn't changed.

A hybrid of Sour Dubble and Tahoe Alien from breeder Alien Genetics, ARC is a mouth-watering nighttime strain known for consistency in both bongs and the grow. My initial attraction was based on ARC's intoxicating smell, so sweet and sour that my lips almost puckered and my eyes popped open like a Warheads logo. It was as if I had just ducked into the candy store at the mall for a few scoops of fruit and sour hard candies but walked away with an eighth instead.

I like to keep ARC stowed safely under my bed in a Mason jar, saving that luscious flavor and sweet-tooth appeal for when I need it most. The end of a long Monday on an April 20 cut off from friends in the cannabis community seemed like a perfect time for ARC to answer the call.

My favorite spot for ARC will always be Kind Love, but we've also seen it at Callie's Cannabis Shoppe, DANK, Elements, Euflora, Golden Meds, Oasis Cannabis Superstores, Silver Stem and Urban Dispensary.

Looks: ARC is bright green — though purple spots aren't uncommon — with peach pistils and a thick resin glaze. While the gleaming buds can range in density and segment enough to seem looser than they are, they usually stay compact and true to their indica roots.

Smell: A lock for anyone who likes cannabis and candy, ARC's sharp notes of fruit lollipops and citrus are eye-opening on your first time, with subdued hints of piney rubber coming in for backup. Those sweet, acidic aromas are so dominant that your tongue might start moving around like you had a Lemonhead in your mouth.

Flavor: Those finely sharpened smells of sugar and citrus candy take a short step back on the tastebuds, but ARC is still one of the more candied strains out there. My mouth feels an extra degree of dry from the Lemonhead flavors coating my tongue after smoking it, with a hint of skunky juniper there to remind me that I just smoked weed and not a bag of rock candy (which requires a different pipe, I'm told). 

Effects: ARC's sweet, candy-like smell and flavor might conjure images of your energetic youth, but don't let that bait you into doing anything more than watching childhood cartoons or eating your kid's snacks, because focus and energy are both hard to come by within thirty minutes, and it's only quicksand from there. Those sedating effects have been good for my daily pains, as well as migraines and hungover stomachs.

Is there a strain you'd like to see profiled? Email [email protected]
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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego