Why Colorado Tokers Love Pucker

Much better than the schnapps you drank in high school.
Much better than the schnapps you drank in high school. Herbert Fuego
When I moved back to Colorado five years ago, sour beers were just about to become something big. Only the brave breweries were making these brews, which had to spend upwards of a year aging in barrels or required volatile yeast strains that Americans weren’t used to. Today you can get kettle sours in six-packs at a corner liquor store. Nothing wrong with that, but the next big thing has lost its luster.

The same thing has happened to citrus strains. The wide-eyed looks and open mouths once evoked by California Orange or Lemon Kush have been replaced by ho-hum reactions; consumers are like a spoiled fat kid who “only” got one cookie. Tart, pinching scents of lemons and oranges are now commonplace, thanks to the vast inventories of commercialized cannabis. But when we fail to appreciate them, whose fault is it? Ours. Mine, specifically.

I used to be a champion of sour: I was Mohave High School’s two-time champion for most Warheads in your mouth at one time — so where did I veer off course? How could I forget Lemon Skunk’s sweet acidity, or the invigorating clementine whiffs from an open jar of Golden Goat? Hypnotized by new flavors from Cookies cuts and OG phenotypes, I neglected my citrus intake. Fortunately, the cannabis gods had my back during a recent dispensary trek to the Herbal Cure, slapping me across the face with Pucker, saving me from going full weed snob...and risking scurvy.

Although it hasn’t yet hit the mainstream, Pucker’s unique blend of earthy, citrus notes are primed for the A-list. Reminiscent of L’Eagle’s retired Texas Hash Plant (a personal favorite), the sativa-leaning hybrid is sweet, pungent, lush and sour. This child of Lemon G and TK91 — itself a hybrid mix of Triangle Kush and Chem Dawg 91 — has heavy amounts of limonene and caryophyllene terpenes, which are found in citrus fruits and hops, respectively.

Pucker is not to be confused with Pucker OG, which has Lemon G genetics but replaces the TK91 with Tahoe OG. The plain ol’ version is more than good enough for me, though. Joint hits of the strain are so vivid that they’re saucy, with sweet, acidic flavors and an earthy back end that coats the lips and transcends weed. Have friends who like ceviche and vinaigrette? Tell them to Pucker up.

Looks: Tall in the grow, with light, fluffy buds and open calyxes, Pucker looks like a prototypical sativa. Its bright-green color, tall and loose bud structure and tendency to foxtail gives it an appearance unique from either parent.

Smell: Pucker’s tart, acidic scents of citrus are a sweet-and-sour mix of orange and lemon, with dank smells of soil and a grainy, spicy scent of bark subtly closing out the smell. Think squeezed lemon over a fresh (maybe too fresh) bed of greens.

Flavor: Those high terpene levels can fight off flavored tobacco wraps or dirty bong water, with intense lemon and orange flavors suffocating the tastebuds. The tongue is relieved by fresh, grainy tastes of Kush, though, giving it some much-needed complexity before the zest comes in.

Light on focus, Pucker’s high is all gusto. The energy and motivation put users in a hurry no matter the task at hand, but it’s a fun hurry. Concentration might be lacking, but anxiety is also light, making it a good option for daytime. Medical users have used Pucker to treat exhaustion, anxiety, mental anguish, minor pain and headaches.

Commercial grower’s take: “I don’t know if there’s more than one dispensary [The Herbal Cure] that grows this right now outside of [wholesale grower] Bonsai. I’ve heard of dispensaries selling it in other states, but I don’t think there’s much variety of this at the moment. Yummy strain, though. Hard not to get too hyped off it, but that stone can have its uses.”

Is there a strain you'd like to see profiled? Email [email protected]
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego