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Why Colorado Tokers Love Tangerine Power

Let's yabba-dab-ba do this one.
Let's yabba-dab-ba do this one.
Herbert Fuego

Thanks to high levels of limonene, the terpene responsible for tart, sweet scents in citrus fruits that’s also found in certain cannabis strains, I might fail a blindfold test between a tangerine and Tangerine Power. Actually, that’s not true: Tangerine Power smells even stronger than the fruit itself.

Sweet, sour and acidic notes in oranges and lemons are responsible for some of the more common “fruity” strains out there, while notes of grapefruit and tangerine are also relatively easy to find. So if there’s no shortage of Sour Tangies and Citrus Saps in the strain world, what makes Tangerine Power any different?

A child of Agent Orange and Blue Power, Tangerine Power comes from Nevada breeder Sin City Seeds and has built a growing yet controversial reputation in Colorado. The sativa-leaning hybrid served as the mystery plant for the most recent edition of the Grow-Off, a pot-industry competition. However, a disgruntled ex-employee of The Herbal Cure, which wasn’t participating but was already growing the strain commercially, leaked the genetics to Grow-Off competitors in February, claiming its genetics were unstable. Both The Herbal Cure and the Grow-Off denied the employee’s claims, but three contestants still dropped out. With all this drama surrounding something I could get for $40 an eighth, I decided to see what the fuss was about.

One of Tangerine Power’s parents is Agent Orange, a classic citrus sativa, but Blue Power gives it a more complicated background, bringing genetics from Blue Moonshine, Master Kush, Sour Double and The White into the recipe. Even with all those ingredients, the nose usually only picks up one character in Tangerine Power — and that’s juicy, acidic tangerines, baby.

Tangerine Power’s high isn’t overwhelming at first, instead showing its strength after a couple of hits and building from there. Take one too many, though, and you’ll find yourself stoned and disoriented, wondering how a strain that reminds you of orange slices at soccer games could be such a drain on your hydration. The high is similar: calming on the mind and uplifting on the body, but that gulf widens after too much, and your concentration can’t keep up.

I’ve seen Tangerine Power at The Herbal Cure, Riverrock Wellness, the Joint and LivWell, but dozens of the dispensaries that participated in the Grow-Off also carry the strain. My favorite cuts so far have come from The Herbal Cure and Chronic Therapy in Wheat Ridge, which both carry a stiff combination of THC and terpenes.

Looks: Tangerine Power’s dense calyxes and cone-shaped buds might make you think it was an indica — if not for its combination of light-green color, orange pistils and amber trichomes, which screams Agent Orange.

Smell: The strain’s intense funk of oranges and gasoline swells in the nostrils for a half-second before shooting up the nose and opening the eyes. There’s a slight earthy back end with subtle Kush notes of sweet bubblegum, but it’s hard to notice.

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Flavor: Although that earthy, grainy Kush back end is a little stronger during tokes, Tangerine Power’s first taste is team all-orange, with sweet and sour notes clinging to each side of the tongue. Don’t believe me? Smoke a joint, and you’ll swear it was freshly squeezed.

Effects: While the body feels a quick jolt of energy, the mind stays relatively calm, with some users even slowing down a bit mentally. That conflicting combination can be confusing at first, but can help with simple-minded tasks and exercise if dosed correctly. The strain’s medical benefits can include treating pain, glaucoma, headaches, eating disorders, stress and other minor forms of mental anguish.

Commercial grower’s take: “We don’t carry it, but that’s only because we already have Tangie, Cali-Orange, Orange Crush and a couple others. For most people buying flower, they just want that specific orange smell or flavor, but they’re not loyal to a specific strain. The dabbers are, though.”

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

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