I’ve never cared much about my own lineage, but I give cannabis genetics a high priority. While being a mutt in today’s America is fine for me, smoking a mystery strain simply will not do. Unless I’m stuck in Alabama or something. (No offense, ’Bama: Roll Tide...but your weed sucks.)
Even so, King Louis XIII — the earthy indica, not the expensive cognac or the smelly seventeenth-century monarch who hated bathing — has always come off as a little hifalutin’ to me. It’s an OG-heavy mix of pine, wood and spice that slaps you in the face like a grandpa's musty sock, and it’s almost always one of the higher-priced indicas on the shelf. But now that these 4 p.m. sunsets are putting me in bed before 9, it’s time to add a nighttime strain to the mix.
Thanks to the dozens of times I’ve watched The Ladies Man, I’ve always imagined that a dimly lit room with lots of wood paneling was required to drink Louis XIII cognac. Or any cognac, for that matter. And although the Louis XIII strain was named after the odoriferous monarch because of the infamous stank they reportedly share, after having this strain put me to sleep on several occasions it’s hard to hear the name and not think of a dark room and smooth liquor.
Louis XIII has yet to reign supreme around Denver, though. Green Man Cannabis, Kind Love and the Kind Room all carry the strain, while Green Dot Labs has sold it in concentrate form. While it’s hard to go wrong with any of these versions, Kind Love’s cut seems to drown in its own trichomes, with one-hit potential for novice tokers and a balanced flavor profile.
Looks: Segmented in bunches like a cluster of tomatoes on a vine, Louis XIII’s calyxes are still dense and circular, forming beautiful stalagmites of sinsemilla. The strain’s light-green buds and thick coat of resin glands (and rare violet spots) give it a brighter color than that of most of the OG family.
Smell: Although piney and rubbery, with a sharp, spicy punch, Louis XIII might surprise you with its sweet, apple-like wave up front, like a freshly bitten red with an earthy skin. A few more whiffs show off more spicy, woody notes, reminiscent of sandalwood oil.
Flavor: Not quite as powerful as its scent, Louis XIII still carries an extremely calming flavor if grown correctly, with elements of its complex profile combining for a floral-driven taste. That sweet, earthy balance is broken up at the close, though, by a smooth, woody back end.
Effects: Although Louis XIII didn’t rule during the Dark Ages, this strain certainly puts me there. The potent indica brings back faded memories of Bubba Kush or Black Mamba, instantly calming me into a state somewhere between euphoria and too high to give a fuck. The heavy, sedative high has been used to treat insomnia, pain, eating disorders, headaches, glaucoma and stress.
Home grower’s take: “I like the smell and flavor of this more than Lee Roy, Skywalker OG or other popular OG-heavy strains out there. You’ll have to find that one as a clone, though, because I don’t think there’s any seeds of it out there for sale. Maybe a Louis XIII OG, but that’s a different strain, with higher CBD.”
Commercial grower’s take: “It’s odd, because this usually really hits people down and keeps them there, but we’ve had a few employees say it’s a real buzzing high with anxiety. Still fine with labeling it an indica, but it just goes to show you how everyone takes this different. It’s a pretty good yielder within sixty days, but it’s so worth it to let it bloom a week longer, at least, to bring out the sweet, piney flavors that set it apart. But when those trichomes are milked, you can pull it.”
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