Summer's ups and downs are extreme in Colorado, where you're baked by the sun or pelted with rain, hail and even snow. Our actions run the gamut, too: conquering mountainsides, hiking trails or riding rapids on one end; crushing beers, tacos and a ten-part murder documentary on the other. Yet for many of us, there's one constant that's part of our outdoor activity as well as our indoor relaxation: cannabis.
Picking the right strains for going hard or taking it easy can make all the difference. You don't want to be yawning thirty minutes into a daylong hike or become wide awake just as you lay down for an afternoon power nap. To keep this weird summer on a safe, even keel, here are ten seasonal strains for both ends of an extreme Colorado season.
MAC’s euphoric, uplifting effects help relax the mind while empowering and energizing it, creating a great high for weekend mornings and after-work activities. The strain’s high THC content can make the effects debilitating for low tolerances, however, so start very slowly with this one. Medical patients have used MAC for chronic pain, fatigue, stress, headaches and eye pain, with high-tolerance users able to enjoy the strain without an extreme increase in appetite.
Classify Chocolate Rain as a smooth operator, granting me focus, curiosity and just enough ice in my veins to turn me into the cool, stupid cucumber I like to be when June weather hits. That tranquil mindset obviously turns me down a few notches, but far from being glued to the couch, I instead focus on handy chores and yard work.
Citral Flo is usually labeled somewhere near a 50/50 hybrid, but it’s much more of a daytime strain for me. Dry mouth? Check. Quick shot of energy? Check. Hard to focus? Check. With such uplifting qualities for this strain, it’s important to not dive in head-first with Citral Flo, or it might give you more energy and enthusiasm than you know what to do with. However, sessions of the strain before a bike ride or during mountain visits give me a warming energy without the side effect of overthinking, making it great for quick decision-making during outdoor activity.
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. But Mango Kush's high brings almost immediate laughter or curiosity. Even with the cloudy effects and a shot of energy, Mango Kush is still relaxing on the body, and it's a great post-workout strain. Some cuts even carry small but noticeable amounts of CBD.
Known for a calming tropical flavor reminiscent of papaya, mango, guava and other sweet and savory fruit, Papaya was originally bred by Nirvana Seeds. The strain grows and looks like an indica, with short, bushy plants that produce round, resin-glazed buds, and its calming effects line up with that designation. The relaxation is more mental for the majority of the high, however, while many users report a jolt of focused energy that helps with work and creative production. Need a tropical hit to keep you cool in the heat without losing your limbs? Scoop out a bowl of papaya.
This five-tool player with the appealing name creates a relaxing, efficient high perfect for winding down without becoming too giggly or immediately useless. Food will add to that sedation, though, and that gets difficult when Lucky Charms hits you with a third wave of munchies (which will happen no matter how boring your diet is). Get your shit done before enjoying a bowl, because whether it comes in thirty minutes or two hours, the cliff dive is inevitable.
The high is calming but can last for hours without a crash if you don’t go overboard and aren’t already tired, making this a good option for pain patients and calm morning sessions. While not overwhelming, Sunset Sherbet is euphoric and creative on the mind, which pairs well with its soothing nighttime effects. Medical benefits include potential treatment for anxiety, stress, fatigue, pain, eating disorders and depression.
Apples n' Cream
At first I didn't think Apples n' Cream's high was a good match for an evening or nighttime toke, since it quickly made me restless and hungry, even though I'd eaten dinner 45 minutes earlier. The energy came close to becoming voracious, but luckily a small grilled cheese sandwich and a podcast settled me down fast. After twenty minutes, that short burst of unconfined energy didn't return, and neither did a sliver of anxiety. As a result, Apples n' Cream can have a spot on my list of summer strains, as long as I have some easy listening and a snack in mind for afterward. And isn't that what summer's all about?
True to its inspiration, Gary Payton quickly wraps you up like a glove, showing off its potency without putting your head over the edge. The high is powerful but laid-back, providing more giggles and stress relief than paranoia. I couldn't accomplish much more than reading or shuffling around the house, but I never felt stupidly stoned to the point of guilt.
Strawberry Shortcake's biscuits weren't as sweet as I’d expected, with dry notes of sourdough and wet dirt as well as small hints of petrol all hitting my tongue harder than noticeable but short hints of strawberries. However, the strain's high snagged it a place in my summer rotation. It made me the best friend of a lawn chair (the only way to utilize the high outdoors) for at least two hours, sitting at cruising altitude before coasting toward bedtime without a worry or pain in the world. Strawberry Shortcake is grown both wholesale and internally by dispensaries, and can be found at over a dozen stores in the metro area.
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