Back when music was the only mainstream outlet where the public could hear descriptions of marijuana, the words used were usually something along the lines of “sticky,” “da bomb,” “no seeds” and so on. No real details were dropped in there beyond maybe a “sour” or “purple.” So for the most part, I grew up imagining generic bright-green buds that stuck to my fingers and smelled like Pepé Le Pew. And that basically describes the weed I bought throughout high school: lime-green buds with a sweet, rubbery smell.
Was all of it Headband? Probably not. But every time I puff on the classic hybrid, I can’t help but return to a fun, immature place filled with flip-cup, Del Taco and Dr. Dre’s 2001. Headband might not scream SoCal adolescence to everyone, but we can all agree on its signature stank, which is a strong citrus sourness mixed with aromas of gas and soil. The skunky result is a testament to its parent strains, Sour Diesel and OG Kush — two of the most popular of their time, and true representatives of the West Coast. (Whoever decided to cross the two should be in the combo hall of fame, along with the inventor of chicken and waffles and other mixing geniuses.)
The strain gives smokers a foggy, intense high that wraps around their skulls — hence the name Headband. After an initial uplifting, creative high, Headband’s indica effects quickly take over, leaving many users closed-mouthed and in total zen with their recliners. Despite its Sour Diesel heritage, Headband isn’t the best for parties or any event that requires you to get too chummy and active, but it’s perfect for an after-work sesh with a few friends — or for simply shutting out the rest of the world for a few hours.
Looks: Classic chronic. Headband should always be very green and very sugarcoated. Vivid, bright-green buds covered in trichomes and orange pistils contrast with much darker leaves, making for an impressive sight.
Smell: Stalwart genetics create one hell of a whiff, reminiscent of an afternoon bike ride through the alleys of Venice Beach. The tart, rubbery scents of Sour Diesel are strong up front, followed by a dirty earthiness similar to that of the OG.
Flavor: No bait-and-switch here — Headband tastes exactly like it smells. Pungent flavors of rubber and fuel (they taste better than they sound) combine with OG flavors for a skunky delight.
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Effects: The hybrid’s effects vary depending on who’s smoking it. Some users report a more uplifting and creative high before relaxation, while others feel more sedated from the beginning. But there’s one constant: Headband should result in a euphoric mind-melt right after smoking.
Home grower’s take: “Who hasn’t had a go at Headband? If you’ve been growing for more than five years, chances are you’ve taken a crack at it, or at least tried one of its offshoots, like Blueberry Headband or something. The buds get huge — like really, really huge. I think those dense OG genetics mixed with a strong sativa, like Sour Diesel, created some sort of monster bud — like a liger. It’s taken anywhere from nine to ten weeks to harvest it, but it’s a crowd-pleaser, especially among the forties and fifties crowd. My uncle loves this shit.
Commercial grower’s take: “Classic strain. If I were starting a grow academy for beginners, this would probably be one of the strains on the practical exams. Its genetics are some of the best and most popular, and it can be a great hybrid to study, because it has visible and smellable traits from both and gives people differing effects. A true cannabis case study if you’re a breeder. The flowering time can be a little longer than average — around nine, nine and a half weeks — but the yields make it worthwhile. Expect at least one and three-quarters pounds per light in your home grow if you’ve been at it for more than a year.”
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