Why Colorado Tokers Love Strawberry Cough

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Some strains mean a little more to us than others, for reasons that aren’t entirely logical: nostalgia for first loves, lyrics in songs. I’ve never liked the spiciness of Haze strains, but I’ll light up Purple Haze anytime just because Jimi said so. (Everyone understood what that song was about.)

It would be unfair to pigeonhole Strawberry Cough as just a sentimental strain fueled by nostalgic effects, though, because if it’s grown and cured correctly, it’s one of the most delicious strains out there.
Unfortunately, it’s all too often overlooked, which shows just how spoiled we’ve become.

Newer heavyweights like Ghost Train Haze, Gorilla Glue and a bunch of shit strains with fake names have stolen the spotlight from this classic sativa-dominant stalwart, but an open jar of Strawberry Cough can still make the sides of your mouth water.

Although disputed by some pot aficionados, the widely accepted lineage of Strawberry Cough (and what you’ll see at most dispensaries) is Strawberry Fields and Haze, making for a thick, syrupy smell that you’d expect to encounter at a candy store. So next time you’re at the pot shop, remember to give this timeless strain some attention and ask the budtender for a sniff. You’ll be glad you did.

Looks: There isn’t anything red about Strawberry Cough’s nugs, which should be a bright shade of green with prominent orange or peach pistil coverage — like most of the nameless chronic you grew up with. Buds can be dense to moderately loose.

Smell: The true inspiration for the strain’s name is its smell, which is similar to creamy candy or strawberry-milk syrup; a whiff of Strawberry Cough is like Cupid’s arrow for potheads. But that sugary sweetness tends to overpower the strain’s spicy Haze genetics.

Flavor: Creamy, sweet flavors of strawberry are up front, followed by a spicy aftertaste.

Effects: Despite the strain’s smell, which draws heavily from its indica parent, real Strawberry Cough is around 80 percent sativa to 20 percent indica. Although the sativa high is uplifting, the effects of this strain can be rather stoney, too. But tokers generally feel enthusiastic, with little paranoia. Medical patients typically use the strain to fight depression and emotional fatigue.

Home grower’s take: “If you like fruity strains, this is probably one of the better ones, especially if you’re not a fan of grape or purple or citrus strains. I’ve had better luck with this than Strawberry Fields in terms of yields, and it was way easier during the growing process — but the nine-week flowering time can be too long for some. I’d love to try and cross it with some other strains, just to see if I could pull that berry flavor out.”

Commercial grower’s take: “Strains with classic qualities like the smell of Strawberry Cough are always fun, but they present a challenge. It’s easy to tell if things are going right, because that gorgeous smell will really start to take over around week four or five into flowering — but if that smell doesn’t come around, either you did something wrong or your genetics suck. And if the sweet smell doesn’t relax your nose, then you’re not being given the right stuff.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail marijuana@westword.com.

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