Really evaluating the effects of a strain usually requires a few takes. Variances between highs tend to thin as cannabis tolerance grows, and my mindset or physical condition can swing how I react to the same strain on a different day. But some cuts of weed buck that trend, announcing themselves before I'm done coughing. Sour Diesel did that to me in high school, Bubba Kush when I was in college, and Tiger's Milk three years ago. Sometimes a new strain just hits you differently.
After a blurry week spent with Tenth Mountain Diesel, I'm still not sure how much I like that sort of difference. Every bout with the rare Diesel hybrid from Boulder grower 14er has shaken my brain to the point of forgetting which way was up. My roommates thought I'd developed narcolepsy, and conversations about what to have for dinner suddenly became wild goose chases as I struggled to remember, well, anything. If I were a closet stoner, Tenth Mountain Diesel's high would've outed me immediately, if the stank didn't first.
Upon simply seeing the word "Diesel" in the strain's name, I begin preparing for a nearly (and often) uncontainable burst of energy and varying amounts of focus and tunnel vision. The consistent effects and skunky, new-tire smell of the Diesel family tree have led me to expect nothing less, but the ups and downs of Lilac Diesel and rapid descent brought by Tenth Mountain are forcing me to reassess.
Named in honor of Colorado band Tenth Mountain Division (which itself is named after the U.S. Army mountain unit that once trained near Leadville), Tenth Mountain is a hybrid of East Coast Sour Diesel and Lost Tribe, a mix of Kosher Kush and T.R.U.T.H., which is blend of of Chemdog, SFV OG and Triangle Kush. That much Chemdog (a parent of Sour Diesel) and Kush packed into one strain already makes my head spin, let alone after all the back-crossing it took to arrive at Tenth Mountain Diesel. I'd hoped the Diesel presence would provide an initial boost, but it was no match for the sedative qualities of Kosher Kush and skull-fucking brashness of Chemdog. That whole terpenes-equal-effect theory seemed to be pierced by Tenth Mountain, because every gassy aroma and crisp note of citrus rinds led me to believe I was in for a classic uplifting high — but further sniffs revealed swelling hints of pine and mud, both of which are markers of Kosher Kush.
The surprise lethargy and unrelenting blankness that took over my mind after smoking Tenth Mountain Diesel was frustrating early on, and I won't be bringing it back for daily use anytime soon. However, such a heavy high has benefits and uses, and I'll definitely keep my remaining buds for sleepless nights and especially sharp hangovers.
Looks: Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, Tenth Mountain Diesel looks like every other caffeinating Diesel, with loose, fluffy sativa buds, bright-green calyxes and dark trim leaves. Although the trichome coverage is average, that doesn't take away from the high.
Smell: Those blanketing smells of rubber, gasoline and citrus zest contribute to Tenth Mountain Diesel's masquerade as an energizer, pouring out of my weed jar as if there were a fan at the bottom. At least 75 percent of the aroma is classic Diesel, but the rest is all OG, with lingering hints of pine and soil not always present if you don't look for them.
Flavor: Every significant chip off the Diesel block can play the rubbery classics while still keeping you interested in some new hits, and Tenth Mountain Diesel leaves its own spin on the lineage with crisp, tart flavors of green apple.
Effects: It was all downhill from the moment I blew smoke out. Cancel your appointments, forget your chores and turn off the lights, because even when my body was still on after sessions, there wasn't anyone home inside. Such strong effects eliminated stress and pain, but erased virtually all other feelings, too.
Is there a strain you'd like to see profiled? Email email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.