Like many other cannabis writers, I routinely express my interest in and love of terpenes, the compounds found in cannabis and other plants that are responsible for a plant's (or strain's) smell and flavor. Cannabis has them, hops have them, lavender has them, citrus fruits have them...see the connection? One of the most common and popular cannabis and hop terpenes, myrcene, is also relatively abundant in mangos. The high myrcene levels in both pot and mangos has made some cannabis consumers swear that eating the fruit after smoking enhances their high, while myrcene has also shown potential for aiding with pain relief and muscle relaxation when paired with THC. So give it up for mangos, fellow tokers. They're here to help — with the munchies, at the very least.
So where are all the mango-named strains?
Dozens, if not hundreds, of strains carry the sweet, tangy flavor of mangos, yet only a few strains bear the fruit’s name. So I was happy to see a local pot shop carrying Mango Kush, one of the few established mango-inspired strains I could find, along with Mango and Mango Haze.
A child of Mango, a rare indica from the ’60s, and Hindu Kush, Mango Kush isn't as heavy as either of its parents, inspiring more of a hyper, stupid bliss than sedation. Despite side effects of distraction and loss of wit, Mango Kush's high is very enjoyable; your immediate reaction to everything is laughter or curiosity. And even with the heady sativa effects and shot of energy, Mango Kush is still relaxing on the body; it’s a great post-workout strain. Some cuts of it even carry small but noticeable amounts of CBD, making it a desirable hybrid for medical patients.
Mango Kush is easy to find at Buddy Boy and Lightshade, but I've also seen it at Denver Dispensary and Little Green Pharmacy. Lightshade's value and quality at $99 an ounce is tough to beat, but Denver Dispensary's packs the most tropical punch per pound.
Looks: Mango Kush generally has oblong buds that can do anything from foxtail to curl up into a dense cone. The color, bright in all aspects, starts with lime-green calyxes and tangerine pistils and includes a white haze of resin glands.
Smell: Although sweet and somewhat tart, the strain's tropical characters lend a strong presence of earthy, bitter notes on the back end. That sugary, tangy and earthy aroma is very similar to that of real mangos, but with a skunky twist.
Flavor: Mango Kush's tropical, tangy flavor shines through with each exhale, with grainy flavors of pine and a subtle, skunky finish adding balance to the heavy mango flavor.
Effects: A stupid, happy bliss is almost immediate, with an accompanying energy that can be difficult to contain without tasks or activities in front of you. The strain's comedown isn't too hard, but it does get stronger the more you consume. Mango Kush has been used to treat minor pain, headaches, muscle spasms, glaucoma, stress and minor mental anguish — and severe boredom.
Home grower's take: “It's not soft, but you need to trim Mango Kush throughout flowering if you want those buds to grow. It's not a big yielder to begin with, and those leaves will cover the light. I think it's best left for summer, too, because it likes heat and light — not humidity. If you get it right, though, those buds will get pretty big and beautiful.”
Commercial grower's take: “A bit more popular farther northwest, in Portland and Seattle, I think. For whatever reason, it hasn't caught on here as much, but that could be for a few different reasons: oversaturation of current strains, Mango Kush doesn't yield as much as other mind-bending hybrids, and so on. If we could get a high-CBD cut pheno down here, that could take off, though.”
Is there a strain you'd like to see profiled? Email email@example.com.
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.