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Marijuana Strain Review: Guana Bana at Green Dragon

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The industrial stretch of Kalamath Street heading south out of town isn’t exactly what you would call scenic, and construction on the I-25 ramp ahead can slow traffic to a crawl. So when my phone told me that that was the fastest route home after I’d stupidly gone to a closing Sports Authority distribution center instead of a closing store (going-out-of-business sales are usually totally worth it), I prayed that there was something interesting on the radio. Before I could even get through the FM stations, though, I was distracted by a new sign where a Greenwerkz dispensary used to sit, on a hill just north of the light at Alameda.

Other than the Green Dragon sign out front, the shop at 930 West Byers Place didn’t look much different than its predecessor. The lone employee at the otherwise empty place told me that while Green Dragon — a chain with stores in Aspen and Glenwood Springs — has taken over the Greenwerkz brand in Denver and Edgewater, the owners and grows haven’t changed. But since I’d never tried flower from this location regardless of what followed the “Green” on the sign, that didn’t matter to me. My budtender was a nice guy who started and finished every sentence with the word “brother,” but he didn’t know much about the genetics on the menu. So after one too many Hulk Hogan responses, I blindly chose a strain named Guana Bana, at $15.40 a gram, and got out of there.

Unlike my budtender, the growers seemed to know what they were doing. Popping open the bottle of my new mystery strain released a heavy sweetness, similar to that of rock candy, accompanied by a lemon sourness and zest that bum-rushed my nostrils. Anybody who’s ever tried Lucas or Baby Lucas Mexican Candy knows exactly what I’m talking about. Some research showed Guana Bana to be a cross of Amnesia Haze and a Widow phenotype, making it a sativa-dominant hybrid.

My gram had the loose structure of a typical tropical sativa, with a few arrowhead-shaped buds that could’ve been trimmed better. But the sticky resin glands and limited pistil coverage were great to look at, and each pinch released an invigorating shot up my nose. A few puffs from a joint the next morning fit the aromatic profile, with sweet, zesty citrus tastes rounded out by a calming vanilla flavor. Worried that I’d get too high early in the day, I only smoked half of it, but after a productive morning inside during last week’s snowstorm, I’m confident I could’ve blazed the whole thing. Calming my caffeinated stomach while keeping me concentrated enough to tackle a broken water heater, Guana Bana smelled like an early morning (or a long night) in Cancún — but its effects were quite the opposite.

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