Why Colorado Tokers Love Moonshine Haze

Get in the spirit with Moonshine Haze.EXPAND
Get in the spirit with Moonshine Haze.
Herbert Fuego
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With all due respect to Stranahan’s and Leopold Bros., Colorado isn’t really known for its hard liquor. Craft beer, mountains and marijuana rule this land. Even our moonshine is a product of basements and warehouses, not backyard distilleries. In the Rockies, nothing says you’re not in Appalachia like a joint of Moonshine Haze.

Moonshine Haze blew up in 2011, winning best sativa in the High Times Cannabis Cup and bringing Colorado breeder Rare Dankness to national prominence. After acquiring an Afghani-heavy cut of Amnesia Haze, Rare Dankness crossed it with sativa Nevil’s Wreck for a confident, cloudy high. This Moonshine is stiffer than most, easily reaching THC levels of 22 to 27 percent. It doesn’t have the herbal spice most Hazes are known for, instead pushing out sour, intense aromas and tastes of berries and pine with hints of bubblegum.

Despite having just a hint of spicy smell and flavor, Moonshine Haze makes up for its Haze lineage with an inattentive high and spindly flowers. Like its liquid inspiration, this strain doesn’t seem too scary after a hit or two, but it’ll shoot you up like a roller coaster shortly after that. The sativa high keeps me moving forward with little crashing, but focus and organization are hard to come by.

Moonshine Haze is currently available in both wholesale and dispensary-grown varieties at Emerald Fields, Terrapin Care Station locations, the Healing House, Natural Remedies and the Oasis Cannabis Superstore spots; Ascend Cannabis Co., the Pink House and Verde Natural have also had it recently. At the moment, Terrapin’s $22 eighths are the best value for the strain in town; tart, floral notes are present from smell to smoke, and its dusty buds and spacey high are spot-on. Verde Natural’s take was slightly more expensive and only sold to medical patients, but strawberry, piney flavors and succulent calyxes make it worth the extra money.

Looks: A textbook sativa, with slender buds and loose calyxes. Light-green leaves contrast with darker calyxes and occasional purple hues, with orange to rusty pistils and a thick, milky film of trichomes that are great for sifting kief.

Smell: Moonshine Haze doesn’t carry the same dominating spicy flavor for which Haze strains are known. Sour, fresh smells of tropical fruit and grass covered with fresh dew combine with wood and pine notes, and there’s a subtle spicy scent on the end.

Flavor: This won’t taste like the white lightening your college buddy dripped from a bucket in his garage. Moonshine Haze’s sweet berry and savory bubblegum notes create a candy-like flavor, which pairs well with pine and soil notes on the end. Don’t expect much spice.

Effects: This strain doesn’t affect me as quickly as other typical sativas — it’s more of a creeper — but I’m stuck in high heaven for a while once it does. It’s great for creative projects that require little organization, but makes focusing for extended periods of time difficult. Moonshine Haze can treat stress, anxiety, eating disorders and mental and physical fatigue.

Home grower’s take: “I bought this in clones from Preferred Organic Therapy a few times before they closed. Great strain with high THC, but I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. Took eleven weeks to flower, and those loose buds can freak out someone who has no experience. The buds can also get brittle. Good choice for Haze fans, because its floral flavors and heady high are pretty classic. This is just stronger and fruitier than most.”

Commercial grower’s take: “This has been going strong for more than five years now. You can try to point to the Cannabis Cup win as why, but it’s a really good strain. The yields are better than you’d think; you just have to patience. Ten weeks to harvest, give it plenty of time to flush, and don’t dry it as long as you would other strains. The fruity, piney flavor make it worth the extra attention, I think.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail marijuana@westword.com.

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