Marijuana Strain Review: Juicy Fruit at Lightshade

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You’ll never hear me complain about this job, though I am slightly annoyed by the steady stream of texts from friends who ask, “What’s a good dispensary to go to?” Actually, the follow-up messages are what irk me, because after taking the time to send a few recommendations specific to the part of town they’re in, I usually get a response along the lines of this: “Those places are too expensive. Do you know anywhere with a deal?”

I wish it were easier to create a list of recreational shops that sell top-shelf pot at Costco prices with no coupon required, but few seem to exist. It sounded like a promising candidate had emerged, though, when I heard about bulbous nugs with $9 price tags at Lightshade.

Lightshade has three dispensaries in metro Denver and another set to open in the Governor’s Park area in February, so it wasn’t hard to find one close by. I walked into the location at 1126 South Sheridan Boulevard with $12 in my pocket and no desire to scrounge for quarters in my car, so it was encouraging to see that every gram of flower was $9 before tax. The budtender said she only had three strains available in grams, but that didn’t make my process of elimination any easier. After much deliberation between pungent samples of Orange Hairjuana and Juicy Fruit, I chose a gram of the latter because of its sativa-dominant genetics: I already had an eighth of Bubba at home.

A sweet-and-sour child of pure Afghani and Thai landraces, Juicy Fruit must’ve been an easy strain to name for its breeder, because its tart, gummy odors were reminiscent of the chewing-gum classic. I could almost see the sugary aromas turning into a cartoon ribbon with a finger on the end of it, drawing me closer to the dark-green bud with each sniff. Breaking it up showed light purple streaks rooted deep in the calyxes, running up and down the nug like Christmas lights.

A few puffs made my lips pucker as the initial sour sensation took hold, but calming tastes of lavender and bubblegum soon relaxed my tongue into a heavenly state. My idea of saving half the joint for later was aborted after the third hit, and my plan to postpone snacking while my roommate made dinner was aborted after the ninth. The uplifting high was both munchie-inducing and motivational, so I waited until the next morning to try more. My delicious wake ’n’ bake bowl burned into a clean, white ash with no apparent nutrient residue, which is always a welcome sight when smoking cheaply priced flower.

Juicy Fruit comes with a rousing fruity flavor and quality high that I don’t usually associate with a bargain — but sometimes things aren’t too good to be true. APB to all of my friends who are too lazy to cut coupons for affordable chronic: Head to Lightshade.

Send suggestions for strain reviews to marijuana@westword.com. 

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