It had been about three years since I was last in The Herbal Cure to check out the herb.
And within a minute of my most recent visit, it was easy to tell that the shop has done a lot of, um, growing in that time.
Not that the herb was shoddy before. But staffers have clearly spent the last three years honing their craft in the garden (and dropping their prices).
985 S. Logan Street Denver, CO 80209 303-777-9333 TheHerbalCure.net
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Raw marijuana price range (members): $10-$12/gram $25-35/eighth-ounce, $175-$225/ounce. Nonmembers pay about $5 more on the per-eighth price and $250 max on ounces. Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, hash, edibles, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
I actually wasn't in for a review. I wanted to pick up some shatter oil to restock the old vape pen. But after the budtender told me that the center would be moving to recreational sales on April 1, I thought it would be easier to review the quality now than after the switch (and subsequent crowds I can see lining up for herb grown this well).
The Herbal Cure is still in the same old lumberyard building that has stood on Logan Street since 1927; it's tucked back behind an antique red train caboose. Of course, the huge sign on the side of the building facing I-25 is probably the best landmark to look for. Parking is easy in the large gravel lot in front of the dispensary itself. You can also see why the shop was a pretty prime dispensary choice, with the rows of huge, closed bay doors on the lumber warehouses no doubt concealing quite a few plants.
Inside, I handed over my red card and ID to the woman behind the glass security window. She checked me in and buzzed me through from the drafty, narrow confines of the tiny reception area to the much warmer and cozier bud bar and patient lounge. I sat on the overstuffed leather couches for a good twenty minutes during my last visit, flipping through pot magazines and watching playoff football. Everything was exactly the same this time around, minus the twenty-minute wait. High Times and THC magazines covered the table, and the Packers were losing to the damn 49ers. Add the wood paneling, and it felt like the inside of an upscale hunting camp or a strangely skunky and lukewarm sauna.
The bud bar is the same as well, still sectioned off partially from the customer lounge in a large alcove and divided into two separate budtender stations. The receptionist had doubled back behind the bar to serve as my budtender and quickly got down to business. Bud is kept in jars on hand-built rustic wooden shelves along the unfinished wood panel wall. Edibles, paraphernalia and pipes are kept behind glass displays built into a bud bar custom-made out of (you guessed it) wood. It's like a faux-rustic Western summer-camp commissary -- though I never went to summer camp and imagine there wasn't this much weed around. (Maybe there was, though, and I was really missing out.)
I started with the herb and went straight for the jars of 303 Kush and Sunshine Daydream, both heavier on the indica side; they were two of the best-looking jars I could see from my spot. The 303 Kush turned out to be an instant keeper, with a nose-punch of OG Kush funk to the lime-green, sandy buds. The heavy lavender-smelling and deep, summer-grass-green Blue Dream was another top-notch batch.
Continue for the rest of the review and photos. The Diesel Dream was a killer on first sight, with tight popcorn buds dusted over with a healthy scoop of trichomes from Mother Nature. The smell was somewhere between the two parent strains, with the lavender Blue Dream easing some of the tartness of the Sour D. Both blended to make a well-balanced, mood-lifting and pain-relieving buzz that lasted through the morning and into the afternoon for me after a healthy two or three tokes. It was the ideal strain for relaxing after a day of house chores ranging from snow removal to installing a new basement stoner-cave vent fan (which I highly suggest for anyone with a wife who doesn't like your sessions smelling up the house).
I was about to walk out with some of the stinky, on-point 303 Kush but was derailed at the last minute when the budtender pulled out a jar of the Grape Cola. It is an appropriately named strain, and there's no better way to describe the smell than cola with a hint of grape. The very pretty trichome-covered dense buds scoped clean and looked like a mountain hike after a snowstorm under magnification. The buds had a very sweet, fruit-punch flavor to the smoke on top of wet-clay, earthy undertones, and I ended up smoking through my half-eighth way too quickly because of it. Delicious and well-grown, but it will cost non-primary patients $40 an eighth. Primary patients get it for $35 an eighth and $225 an ounce.
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But what brought me in the door was the concentrates -- namely the shatter oil processed by Boulder's 710 Labs. I haven't seen many concentrates around lately (as the past few week's reviews have shown), and I had seen good things online about what 710 was doing with the Herbal Cure. The people are right: This is good stuff. The shop has got several levels of concentrates, actually. On the high end, there's the $50 nug-run shatter, below that is the $30 trim-run shatter -- and there are also various filter levels of icewater hash from Essential Extracts. The shop has weekly sales on concentrates that bring the prices down for members and non-members by about five bucks. Shatter and wax is Wednesdays, and Sundays is bubble hash.
After rummaging through the sample jars of amber glassy resin made from Jack's Cab, Sour Lemon, Somali Cab Ride nug-run and (I think) Sour Headband nug-run shatter, I eenie-meenie-meinie-moe'd myself some of the Jack's Cab Ride from several of the sativas and went home happy. In fact, I got really happy off a single pinhead-sized dab. It was very potent and very well made, with the flavor of the buds coming through amazingly in the flavor of the dab (so much so that I don't even need to try the flower to get what it would taste like).
As I mentioned, the shop is supposed to go recreational on April 1 (no joke). An employee I spoke with after my visit said that there should be a separate entrance for medical. The City of Denver website doesn't list the Herbal Cure as having a license yet, but the employee said plans were under way to get the inventory up before the doors open. In the meantime, medical patients looking for a new home after their usual dispensary goes fully recreational would do well to give The Herbal Cure a shot.