Why Colorado Tokers Love Panama Punch

Panama Punch: More Hawaiian, less Holyfield.
Panama Punch: More Hawaiian, less Holyfield.
Herbert Fuego
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It’s quite an achievement for a dispensary to breed a new strain in-house and then watch it grow in popularity. For example, L’eagle’s house strain, L’eagle Eagle, is one of the finest sativas in town, and we’re not likely to see another take on it, because L’eagle created and owns it — and who would want to share genetics like that?

Then again, it’s arguably even more impressive when a dispensary grows a strain that’s commonly available and does it so well that everyone else stops trying. That’s why I’ve always appreciated what the Clinic has done with Panama Punch.

The sativa-dominant hybrid, a cross of Neville’s Haze and Panama Mean Green, is basically impossible to find around town in flower form unless you visit one of the Clinic’s four dispensaries. Although Panama Punch has become one of the most popular live-resin cartridges for PAX’s Era vaporizer (also part of the Clinic family), which are found at dispensaries around town, I’ve always been a bigger fan of regular weed.

If I were to dabble with it in concentrate form, live resin is the way to go, thanks to the strain’s intense fruit aroma. You see, I’d stupidly assumed the “Punch” in Panama Punch meant it would knock me out (it did), but that’s not where the name comes from. In this situation, the “punch” is much more Hawaiian than Holyfield, with a combination of berries, citrus and floral scents reminiscent of a bowl of sweet, sugary red stuff. The effects will still put you on your ass, though.

For a sativa, Panama Punch provides a very stony, lackadaisical high after more than one or two hits, and even those can be too much. I label it closer to a 50/50 hybrid in my personal notes, as the high makes me extremely giggly and useless. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: As with most sativas, the high still keeps me awake and spurs my appetite; I just never plan on getting anything done until it’s over.

Looks: Although its buds are long and narrow, as they are with most haze strains, Panama Punch has densely packed calyxes atypical for most true sativas. Expect a lime-green color with bright-orange pistils for a classic chronic appeal, plus moderate trichome coverage.

Smell: The true star of the strain, the aroma of Panama Punch is a unique blend of floral, sweet and zesty odors — like a punch bowl someone spiked in high school. The berry-citrus mixture is my favorite part of taking a whiff, but floral, earthy and spicy overtones make it a well-rounded treat.

Flavor: Despite the strong scent, Panama Punch’s flavor is really a playful slap, with more spicy Haze characteristics than fruity flavors, especially after the plant matter has burned. Berry and citrus notes are noticeable on the back end, though, with floral overtones throughout.

Effects: Some users report an initial energy burst after smoking Panama Punch, but a strong dose of lethargy can take over within an hour. The high is extremely blissful, however, devoid of paranoia and great at dissolving inhibitions. Its effects can treat sinus issues, headaches, eating disorders, minor pain and insomnia.

Commercial grower’s take: “This has pretty much become the Bank’s strain. [That’s the sister company to the Clinic that provides its genetics.] They do a really good job of it, and the high translates well into concentrates. Part of the reason it might be so closely associated with the Clinic is because it’s not very easy in the grow. The plants can get really tall, and I mean really tall, and flowering is typically upwards of ten weeks. Probably why it’s not very common in home grows, either.”

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

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