My mother would've quashed any hint of homophobia in our house, but thanks to Freddie Mercury, she didn't have to. Queen songs such as “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You” made Mercury one of my role models as a child, and learning that he died of AIDS days after I was born was like finding out that Santa Claus wasn't real: I couldn't fathom it. But that also made him even more supernatural in my eyes.
My allegiance to the mustache-mic god created a soft spot in my heart for Killer Queen, a sativa-leaning hybrid that shares the name of one of the band's first big hits in America. Bred from Cinderella 99 and G13 genetics, the cannabis strain wasn't the same immediate hit as the song, but Killer Queen has built up a formidable shelf-life since its debut. The strain is known for being relatively easy in the grow and can be manipulated for strong commercial yields, so it's become popular with cultivators, and its sour-apple flavor makes for a tasty smoke that consumers appreciate.
Cinderella 99 is a lighthearted sativa with minimal side effects, and Killer Queen's high starts out very much the same. After a bowl, you might even wonder if G13's indica qualities are present — but don't fall in the trap. After around two hours of heady bliss, you'll fall down a munchie-filled hole of grogginess. And that's exactly what you'll want after burning off the energy that the initial sativa uplift gives you.
Killer Queen hasn't become an A-lister in dispensaries, but it's quite the backup singer, available at Botanico, Buddy Boy, Emerald Fields, the Joint, Lightshade, the Lodge, Lotus, Peak, Rocky Road Remedies and Sticky Fingerz. The cuts from Lotus and the Joint have been my favorites, and Botanico's chunky slices of apple-buds aren't bad for $35 an eighth, either.
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Looks: Killer Queen has spiky nugs that range from circular to fist-shaped, with many odd forms in between. The strain's bright-green color and dusty coat of amber trichomes have the appearance of a piney kush, but the open bud structure is similar to that of Cinderella 99.
Smell: Sweet, tangy and sour notes instantly take over the nostrils, reminiscent of a Granny Smith apple or kiwi. The combination of fruity scents makes for an invigorating blast, with subtle, earthy aromas on the back end.
Flavor: Just like its smell, Killer Queen's flavor is tart, sweet, and very much like a green apple or green-fruit smoothie. Floral and soil notes come in after initial fruity flavors, with some cuts having more tropical, mango-like aspects.
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Effects: Although uplifting and relatively free of anxiety, Killer Queen's high is light on focus and has a strong comedown if you smoke the strain regularly. The combination of energy and muddiness makes for great effects before an easy hike, run or any activity that requires vigor without concentration. Minor pain, headaches, glaucoma and insomnia have all been treated with Killer Queen.
Commercial grower's take: “Good strain to manipulate the energy level. We tell buyers it's sativa-leaning and recommend it for daytime use, but it can also help someone who's too amped-up and needs to chill — kind of like Ritalin for people with and without ADD. I'm not saying this treats ADD, but it can have that opposite effect on certain people, if that makes sense. Very fruity strain, and its easy sativa effects make it approachable. I recommend it to beginning and occasional users for a day out.”
Home grower's take: “I love the taste of Killer Queen. It's a sticky smell that almost reminds me of cold-pressed juice or a spread of fruit in the morning. I've had some that are more sour and others that are more savory, but they all have a citrusy sweetness that probably comes from its [Cinderella 99] genetics. Pretty [hardy] plant in the grow, but it takes around nine weeks to fully bloom, and its yields are just okay.”
Is there a strain you'd like to see profiled? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.