Superheroes are all the rage these days. But before Hollywood started cashing in on characters that most of us never knew existed, the weed world was already starting the party, with strains like Kryptonite, Harlequin and Thor’s Hammer. Yet the most popular superhero strain is actually named after a skinny alter ego: Bruce Banner.
Like the Incredible Hulk he morphs into when angry, Bruce Banner’s namesake strain comes in multiple forms and can obliterate a man’s face with one punch. There are three different phenotypes of the sativa, with Bruce Banner #3 being the most popular. All three were bred with OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel, but #3 was the charm, with a pudgy bud structure and a high THC percentage. It has tested above 28 percent THC but carries an easy high suitable for most situations — if you don’t hit the joint one too many times.
Although indica effects can take hold hours after smoking, my experiences with any Bruce Banner phenotype have been heavily sativa-leaning. Cuts from Lightshade, Good Chemistry and Trenchtown have all blissfully perked me up, with no drowsy hangover. My ability to focus has wavered at times, though, which could turn off the daily medicator. However, that’s not a top priority for most recreational users. Bruce Banner probably won’t make a shitty movie hilarious or send you to sleep instantly, as pot stereotypes suggest, but it does provide a hulking high full of gusto and curiosity. Radioactive strength and radiant buds will have the entire circle stoned with minimum bud-breaking, but its effects are quite the opposite from its comic inspiration, melting stress away while lifting spirits. No, you won’t like this strain when you’re angry; you’ll love it.
Looks: Buds should be dense but can be widespread, with chunky, open calyxes. Expect a mild to light-green color and purple tones, with heavy trichome coverage, orange pistils and red-tinted leaves.
Smell: Bruce Banner’s smell has a mix of characteristics, so some details can be hard to pinpoint. Strong diesel notes up front carry a sweet after-scent, but closer whiffs reveal earthy, hashy notes of OG Kush and a subtle tropical twist to the back end.
Flavor: Unless you’re a big fan of diesel flavors, Bruce Banner won’t blow you away with its intense colors or potent high — but rubbery, earthy tastes with a sour finish won’t leave you complaining, either.
Effects: Because of its potency, a little Bruce Banner goes a long way, and you can ride the energetic high throughout the day without surrendering to exhaustion. Users love its versatile, exuberant high for parties and social situations, as well as for exercise and house chores.
Home grower’s take: “I’d grow this a lot more often if I were a greedy man. We all know how strong this strain gets — 28 percent, at least, maybe more — but the yields are pretty fucking fantastic. Like, around 200-grams-per-plant fantastic. The buds are sturdy and fat, so you’ll probably have to tie them up. Very sticky, too. I think it’d be a good strain for outdoors if someone could try it. I’ve heard rumors about its indica/sativa ratio being different depending on harvest time, but it’s always super sativa-forward when I have it.”
Commercial grower’s take: “The #3 phenotype has always been done well in the [dispensary] rotation, but this winter it has really blown up. Not sure I get it: Indicas generally sell better in the winter, but I guess people can’t always smoke the same thing after work. I’m sure our GM loves it; its yield is enormous, and #3 tests in our top five for THC — but it looks too good to ever have to put on sale.”
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