Despite efforts of early anti-cannabis propaganda, most of us know it takes more than smoking weed if truly getting trippy is the goal. However, today's cannabis strains and concentrates pack a much bigger punch than they used to, and some of them add a slice of psychedelic fun or creativity to already stimulating experiences.
These ten popular strains, largely available at dispensaries around the country, won't go full kaleidoscope, but they will amp up the mental fireworks.
Apple Fritter's high can be euphoric and giggly without making my mind waver too much, which is tempting for daytime use. However, the strain's heavy THC content and slowly relaxing effects come on much stronger for newer users, as do perpetual munchies.
Used primarily in the afternoon and evening, Tahoe Alien is known as a pain and stress reliever in the cannabis community. I like to smoke mine after a long day or angst-filled Sunday before work starts again, as it helps calm my nerves and eases any anxious-stomach issues. I’ve also enjoyed Tahoe Alien before a provoking movie or other visual-oriented entertainment. Just don’t go overboard, or that relief can turn into paranoia.
Chem De La Chem
Sessions with Chem De La Chem consistently produced a short-lived energy with a long-lasting euphoria, leaving me incapable of giving a shit about answering emails and texts or taking the trash to the curb. Such a vacation from life can be detrimental if taken all the time, but every once in a while, it enables helpful self-help retreats at home over the weekend. The powerful, disorienting head high also leaks into the body, calming anxious limbs and, in my case, relaxing the stomach to the point of insatiability. I don’t recommend any important social interactions or complex chores after a session, but Chem De La Chem is a prime candidate for anyone seeking relaxation.
The smell and flavor make me feel as if I’ve just had a light lunch, and so does the high, which toes the line just enough to relax the brain while keeping creativity and motivation intact. That calmness can peter out eventually, though, so go slow if using Bazookies in the morning or mid-day, and keep its creative stimulation in mind when toking before bed. My first session of Bazookies was so calming on the mind that I initially thought I was physically tired, too, but I quickly snapped out of the daze. That said, the high is exceptionally blissful, and could turn into a body melt if you smoke too much or come down heavy after getting stoned.
Citradelic Sunset, a bright and tasty hybrid from Ethos Genetics, has been giving cold, tired Coloradans summer in the winter for a couple years now. The relatively new strain has young parents — Ghost Train Haze and Mandarin Sunset — but Citradelic Sunset’s lineage is more classic and quintessential than you might think. Ghost Train Haze carries strong OG Kush and Haze influences, while Mandarin Sunset (a child of Herijuana) is mostly a simple mix of Afghani and Skunk genetics. The cannabis concoction creates a potent, calming head high that diffuses stress and annoyances — but that high tends to snowball into something much larger if you’re not careful. One small bowl helped me get blissfully lost in a book. Back-to-back bong snappers had me worrying about high school reunions and hair loss. If used lightly, the strain is sunshine in a bag — but smoke slowly.
MAC’s euphoric, uplifting effects help relax the mind while empowering and energizing it, creating a great high for weekend mornings and after-work activities. However, the strain’s high THC content can make the effects debilitating for low tolerances, so start very slowly with this one. Sure, it usually carries a more expensive price, but not many strains make bong hits feel like dabs.
Lilac Diesel can serve more than one purpose, as long as you know what you’re getting into. I got a short burst of energy — no more than twenty or thirty minutes — followed by groggy, unfocused giggles and intense munchies. But if you can fight that sleepiness, Lilac Diesel is almost like fighting through an Ambien, with intense psychedelic effects for a cannabis strain.
A disputed mix of Tres Dawg and Chem #4 and possibly Afghani or Stardawg, Guava Chem is an easy candidate for the multiple-personality strain list. Users report the high being everything from sexually arousing to temporarily euphoric to extremely social. Not only are the effects harder to predict, but Guava Chem's flavor profile seemed to bounce around the scale every time I smelled or smoked it, running the spectrum of gasoline, pine, strawberries and tropical fruit — but rarely all at once.
Almost like an edible high, Guava Chem took me through peaks and valleys, providing something of an out-of-body experience for twenty minutes before transitioning into a clearer, chatty buzz that was much less euphoric but made it easier to function.
The mix of GMO and a Mendo Breath phenotype is a chip off the old block, and will make even the most ardent tokers feel like Spicoli during a pop quiz. Dispensaries label Garlic Breath a nighttime strain because it has sedating potential, but also because it’s so fucking strong that you won’t want to leave the safe confines of your house after eclipsing a couple of hits. Don’t feel bad if you end up breathing out of your mouth often; it’s a common side effect.
Garlic Breath’s high isn’t always sedating, but it can be heavy and disorienting, attacking peripheral vision and enabling distractions at every turn. Light hits of the strain are more euphoric, relieving stress and kick-starting your appetite while relaxing your limbs.
Mirroring its name in more ways than one, Mimosa starts out with a blast of exuberant energy, but lack of concentration and distractions are amplified, and the crash is always around the corner. The strain’s hazy, potent effects provide a very disorienting experience for the uninitiated and a fun trip for savvy veterans, much like a bottomless order of the beverage variety.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.