Why Colorado Tokers Love Pineapple Express

Tropical treat: Pineapple Express.
Tropical treat: Pineapple Express. Herbert Fuego
I know old-timers will cringe when reading this, but I was introduced to Pineapple Express as a movie, not a strain (that’s how young I am). Not one to buy into commercial hype, I stayed away from the strain in my early years of toking, always thinking it was a ploy to sell some less-than-stellar herb. But nearly nine years after the stoner-action flick came out, I thought it was safe to give it a try.

The amount of Pineapple Express on the market has definitely died down since the movie’s release, so I feel more comfortable about its authenticity today. The strain carries an impressive lineage of Hawaiian and Trainwreck strains deserving of recognition, with or without Seth Rogen. Its heavy, dense buds may make users think it’s an indica, but its classic genetics and racy high are anything but. As the name implies, hints of pineapple are present in the strain’s smell and flavor, but bad growing practices and poor curing methods can rob it of both. Still, the strain’s resilient nature against pests and temperature fluctuation makes it a popular clone choice for home-growers, and its high THC content can make it as rewarding as it is easy in the grow.

This sativa-leaning hybrid provides buzzing, eye-opening effects that can last for hours, even for users with high tolerances. Other than rare occurrences of paranoia and an above-average case of cotton mouth, Pineapple Express carries tame side effects, and the energy it brings makes it a great alternative to powerful, fruity sativas like Golden Goat and Lemon Haze. Is it the dopest dope I’ve ever smoked? Not quite, but it’s definitely worth a toke on a Sunday morning.

Looks: Pineapple Express’s color and nug structure should be universal. Large, dense and lumpy buds are usually bright green, with milky-white to slightly yellow trichomes and orange pistils.

Smell: The smell is dominated by sweet notes of citrus and tropical fruit, very much like a pineapple. Expect zesty, earthy and musty notes on the back end, which creates a tart, skunky scent overall.

Flavor: Like a fruit cocktail with a piney aftertaste, the flavor is sweet, sour and tropical, with hints of mango, citrus and pineapple at the front and floral, earthy notes on the back end. Its high THC content can give a hashy flavor.

Effects: Although it’s a hybrid and looks very much like an indica, Pineapple Express’s effects are largely sativa-leaning. The high will keep users awake and alert for hours, and it’s easy to focus if you don’t overdo it. It benefits medical users fighting exhaustion and stress, and helps spur creativity.

Home grower’s take: “I have a lot of love for this strain, because it was the first time I was truly proud of my harvest. It’s a pretty tough strain [against pests and temperature changes] — a likely reason it’s popular for outdoor grows — and that helped me as a beginner. I think it’s best to grow it out here in the fall or early spring, when the temperature is always changing, because Pineapple Express can fight that. Flowering time is on the longer end — usually nine weeks for me — but it’s worth it. The yields are big if you do it right. Big buds and some killer potency.”

Commercial grower’s take: “Tourists will buy it thanks to the movie, for sure, but I know a lot of people who like Pineapple Express for the flavor and even-keeled high. When we carried clones of it, the feedback was great. It’s relatively easy to grow for the semi-experienced, and the flavor is strong. The yields are good, and the buds are usually pretty dense, which people like. It’s sort of like a restaurant making french fries or something: If you mess this one up after a certain amount of practice, it’s time to try something new.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail [email protected]

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego