The Sopranos just celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and I’m re-watching it for the first time. On top of making me crave baked ziti and manicotti, the show has me laughing much more than it did the first time around. Maybe it’s just the binge factor, but now The Sopranos basically seems like The Simpsons with a Mob twist and good acting.
Suffice it to say that the Mafia was on my mind during a recent dispensary visit, so Tony Soprano’s balding head probably influenced my interest in Grease Ball, a sweet, pungent strain known for its calming effects and trichome production. I hadn’t heard of Grease Ball (not Grease Monkey...different strain) popping up outside of Colorado and northern California, which led me to believe it could have been bred instate, possibly even after recreational legalization. Turns out I was half-right: Grease Ball got its start in Colorado at Organix, a Breckenridge dispensary that’s been around ten years, and soon spread into Denver. But there’s a Humboldt County version, too.
California’s Grease Ball carries Afghani, Chemdawg and Trainwreck genetics; Colorado’s growers keep quiet about the lineage of this state’s model. None of the staffers at Denver dispensaries carrying Grease Ball would discuss the strain’s genetics, instead offering comparisons ranging from a sweeter Bubba Kush to Gorilla Glue. I wouldn’t be surprised if our version has some Chemdawg genetics, though, after smelling and tasting Grease Ball’s chemical-like sweet-and-sour flavor and experiencing the swirling head high — which isn’t quite a full-blown Chemdawg skull-fucking, but still a lively love session in the brain. The body melt never comes, but the high is relaxing, staying strong as mental effects fade. Still, I’ve had lasagna that knocked me out more than Grease Ball does, so the Bubba Kush comparisons don’t quite fit.
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Grease Ball hasn’t popped up on many online dispensary menus, but a handful of stores in the Denver area sell it if you can’t make it up to Breckenridge for Organix’s cut. Euflora, Frosted Leaf and Pure Medical Dispensary, all of which have multiple locations, have carried it.
Looks: Covered in a thick, Gorilla Glue-like coat of resin that shines under the light, Grease Ball generally has open, sprouting buds that look almost like a sativa, with occasional specks of mauve and peach pistils contrasted against light-green calyxes.
Smell: Grease Ball’s aroma is sharp, sweet and pungent, swelling in the bridge of your nose like a walk through a mechanic’s spot or service station. Those tart, rubbery notes are accompanied by short, sweet bursts of fruit with a zesty hint, much like green apples or chamomile.
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Flavor: Immediate grainy tastes of soil or (very) subdued wheatgrass shots give it a thicker, more floral flavor than the smell suggests, but those sweet, tart notes come in afterward to provide balance.
Effects: Grease Ball doesn’t hit all at once, but slowly relaxes my body and mind more with every minute. The even, snowballing high has been used to treat anxiety and depression, as well as chronic pain and eating and sleeping disorders. More of a nighttime strain for me, it could be used in small doses during the day; too much will lead to excessive yawning, though, so tread lightly.
Commercial grower’s take: “People like to compare it to Bubba Kush, or even ’Pre-98 Bubba Kush, but I don’t get any of those dirty coffee notes in Grease Ball that I do from Bubba. Ever since Organix came out with it, I’ve seen it pop up at a couple other stores. They all say the genetics aren’t available, though, so who knows what it really is. The nug shape, smell and high don’t really add up to a straight indica or sativa, so it’s probably been back-crossed or mixed a couple times over.”
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