The realization hit me like a depressing hailstorm: I’m old. It wasn’t the receding hairline, or the weird looks that college Chads and Beckys gave me after I accidentally bought (and used) student tickets to a Colorado State University basketball game. It’s the pain. Oh, baby, do I hurt. Both elbows, a shoulder and a wrist from getting hit by various things with wheels or legs over the past few months. Sleeping on my neck wrong or walking a couple of miles in Vans can make the next day a pain in the ass.
This new, never-ending fight with a slower healing process rekindled my interest in high-CBD strains, which I’ve generally avoided after discovering some trustworthy CBD oils in an effort to curb my smoking. And let’s face it: CBD strains generally smell and taste like booty. Finding one that doesn’t smell like an old sock can be a challenge. However, there are some tastier exceptions, like Terrapin Care Station’s Wife Lemonade, or Desert Ruby, a Colorado creation that has been flying under my nose for at least three years.
Desert Ruby is a child of the Green Solution, the state’s largest dispensary chain, and was around as early as 2016. The strain’s well-known CBD content is said to hover around 17 percent, with THC level typically less than 1 percent, according to dispensaries. That could technically make the strain “hemp” in the eyes of the federal government, but it smells much more like pine trees, pepper and lemon zest than a rusty skunk fart in a pile of hay, the odor of most hemp.
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Desert Ruby has become more attainable over the years and is now available at several dispensaries outside of the Green Solution’s many stores, including Emerald Fields, Higher Grade and Starbuds, with wholesale cultivator Veritas Fine Cannabis growing it for dispensaries across the state. I like to use it as a bridge, mixing Desert Ruby with relaxing strains that carry more powerful highs like MAC or Papaya Cake, or letting my friends who don’t like THC try it out. Now my roommate smokes spliffs of Desert Ruby and light tobacco at night instead of cigarettes, and even takes an occasional bong toke, saying it calms his nerves without the racing mind that THC gives him.
A little Desert Ruby lasts a long time with someone who prefers getting high, and while it’s not a full remedy for my noodle body, it’s a tasty addition to my cannabis regimen that I’m looking forward to experimenting with further.
Looks: Generally on the looser side with bright leaves and red-orange pistils, Desert Ruby’s nugs aren’t usually jewels in the visual sense. The pointed buds carry a light-green color, which can add to the CBD-strain reputation.
Smell: Once budtenders open the display jar, Desert Ruby tends to shine, with intense whiffs of pine, juniper, citrus zest and light pepper, much like a spicier version of Cinderella 99. The sweet, classic smells are a welcome surprise from a CBD strain.
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Flavor: A little more herbal on the tongue than the nose, Desert Ruby’s bergamot and pine notes tend to come in after a punch of spicy pine. The zesty and earthy flavors combine for a woody aftertaste with hints of citrus.
Effects: Although lightweights might feel effects from Desert Ruby, regular users won’t experience much more than some mental and physical relaxation. The strain is a nice post-workout or nighttime addition to your regular bowls and joints, though, and not only has it helped me stay asleep through the night, but I’ve begun remembering my dreams when I wake up.
Commercial grower’s take: “We don’t know much about the genetics, and those rare qualities you speak of are probably why. It’s such a better option than smoking hemp or CBD concentrates. This as a concentrate is actually fine, too; it might get you a little more stoned than the flower, though.”
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