Everybody has their own tells when they’re high. For most people, it’s the red eyes, giggles or slow reaction time, but my giveaway has always been weed breath. Brushing teeth, drinking soda, chewing gum — none of them work as fast as they should, and that’s tripped me up plenty of times during conversations and other face-to-face encounters.
So a strain like Mendo Breath, known for heavy relaxation and cottonmouth, wasn’t going to put me in any sticky situation that I don’t already routinely find myself in. In fact, trial runs with Mendo Breath’s daughters, Cactus Breath and Garlic Breath, made me exhale no more fire than usual, so I felt more than ready to take on the parent.
Mendo Breath is a child of OGKushBreath and Mendo Purps, an older hybrid with Trainwreck and White Widow genetics. The potent nighttime strain has a similar lineage to that of Girl Scout Cookies, with a sweet Durban Poison influence in its background. Unlike Cookies strains, however, Mendo Breath is quite zesty, with a layer of citrus, and leaves no question about what time of day it should be consumed. Some cuts of Mendo Breath carry hints of vanilla, chocolate or caramel — making the Cookies comparisons more sensible — but I usually pick up stronger suggestions of orange, citrus zest and wet pine needles. The flavor is fresh and enjoyable, and sure to out me the next time I try to sneak in a toke before sleeping over at my girlfriend’s.
Mendo Breath is still gaining strength in Colorado dispensaries as it makes its way east from California. We’ve spotted it at Ajoya, A Cut Above, Bonfire Cannabis and Kind Love, but we hear it’s likely sold elsewhere in concentrate form, too.
Looks: Typically cone- and football-shaped, Mendo Breath’s nugs tend to lean on the slender side but can have dense calyxes that carry more weight than advertised. The strain’s lime-green color, brightened by a broad coat of trichomes, contrasts beautifully against violet spots and occasional apricot pistils.
Smell: Mendo Breath’s sweet, zesty notes give off a sugar-and-cinnamon vibe, with strong hints of citrus and a skunky, herbal back end. The spicy, sugary aroma can smell like a wet, dank tub of French vanilla ice cream before the floral, herbal notes take over.
Flavor: Those skunky, floral characteristics combine for an earthy, skunky OG flavor that drowns out most of the sweetness that your nose picks up, though some citrus and vanilla notes will stick to the sides of your tongue if you look for them.
Effects: Strains affect everyone differently, but Mendo Breath’s calming properties are felt almost across the board. Initial euphoria is quickly kicked to the curb by munchies, yawns and an insatiable need to stretch on the couch in front of the TV. The potent high has been used to treat eating and sleeping disorders, pain, headaches and stress, among other ailments.
Home grower’s take: “Popped this from a seed bag when I was testing out GMO, Tropsanto and some other chemical-y, spicy strains. Pretty easy in the grow: didn’t stretch a ton, responded well to topping, and I don’t remember any mold issues. The yield was just okay, though. Would do it again for the rosin and short flowering time either way, because it had a good, stiff high.”
Commercial grower’s take: “Not the largest yield compared to strains with similar genetics or flavors, but Mendo Breath has been spreading east from California for a couple years, and it’s a mother strain to a few popular strains out there right now, like Garlic Breath and Hammerhead. The amount of trichomes it produces, and the way those trichomes are shaped, makes for some healthy extraction, though, so it could be why you see a lot of Mendo Breath hash out there.”
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.