There’s no shortage of strain names that can lead to awkward moments with a budtender. Asking someone to show you a jar of Moby Dick or Matanuska Thunder Fuck is always a fun experience, but nothing tops calling a dispensary to ask if it has any Pootie Tang left — unless the budtender asks you to repeat the question, which actually happened to me at Herbs 4 You earlier this week. “I asked if you had any Pootie Tang left,” is something I’d rather not repeat.
Even after comedy hipsters and lovers of early-aughts blaxploitation parodies like Undercover Brother (which I sorta like) made Pootie Tang the movie into something of a cult classic, I never came around. The fame that Louis C.K. and J.B. Smoove later found in life likely has more to do with why people pretend to like Pootie Tang nowadays, but naming an award-winning weed strain after the film probably didn’t hurt brand awareness, either.
Believe it or not, Pootie Tang has a strong history here. The strain was reportedly created in a collaborative effort of two Colorado breeders, who likely mixed OG-phenotype LA Kush with Tang Tang, a tropical sativa with Blue Sonja genetics. The result has a juicy flavor reminiscent of a glass of orange Kool-Aid, Tang or other powdered fruit drink, with way too much powder in it. However, that stark, juicy flavor is complemented by strong, earthy notes and a skunky after-scent that tends to linger minutes after you close the jar.
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While Pootie Tang’s flavor may carry some balance, the versions I’ve smoked have been clear-cut, twirling my head around like a hungry, stupid corkscrew for hours before loud yawning and stretching become inevitable. This sativa works in the classic sense, hyping you up with little direction before pulling you down into a blissful canyon of relaxation and sleep.
Starbuds’ cut of Pootie Tang took third place for best Colorado sativa at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver in 2015, and the strain has been a fixture in the dispensary chain’s lineup ever since. We’ve also seen it at Euflora, Herbs 4 You, LiveGreen, LivWell, Mighty Tree and Simply Pure, but there are certainly more stores carrying it in Colorado.
Looks: Slender and generally in the shape of fingers or sweet potatoes, Pootie Tang’s foxtailing buds still carry some weight, especially the commercialized versions. Expect a bright-green color, with orange pistils and average trichome coverage.
Smell: A thick, sweet, hashy scent mixes with strong citrus notes to create that trademark tanginess, which is so strong that it’s almost juicy in the nostrils. Wet notes of soil and sour skunky smells combine on the back end, so it’s not all sweetness.
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Flavor: Don’t worry, the Tang flavor comes out front and center in the smoke, with those earthy, skunky notes taking a back seat to the sugary, fruity flavor of a powdered juice drink. Subtle hash notes blanketing the profile add even more sweetness and a much-needed bitterness, as well.
Effects: It’s all in the head. If you’re easily distracted or tend to overthink things too much when stoned, then tread lightly with Pootie Tang. The high is snowballing, racy and bewildering, but it can be used to treat stress, nausea, eating disorders, glaucoma, headaches and minor pain.
Home grower’s take: “As a grower without a license, you’re probably only coming across this by some old seeds, or if you’re lucky enough to know someone who cloned it. But good luck with that. Pootie Tang was really a thing in 2013, I think, but its breeders must’ve lost it or stopped sharing the seeds, because I haven’t seen it floating around outside of dispensaries since. The commercial versions really play on that citrus flavor and are more relaxing than the original version. Way more dense, too.”
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