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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Marketing >  EVERCANNABIS

Strain of the Month: Shiatsu Kush

Shiatsu Kush (Courtesy)
Shiatsu Kush (Courtesy)
By Rick Misterly EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

When I go into a shop searching for a strain, I approach the task with a certain amount of skepticism. I may be looking for something from a particular producer that interests me or a strain noted for a certain effect.

For this month’s review, I went to Greenhand in Spokane looking for something good for later in the day to keep me going while relaxing my mind and body. There are so many varieties that it may be a good idea to rely on a budtender. Strain names can sometimes raise more questions than answers.

When I saw Shiatsu Kush, I guessed that it probably would be more of a body high and give an opportunity to take things easy. But Shiatsu? I know Shiatsu massage is a Chinese/Japanese massage technique that uses rhythmic compressions, acupressure points and stretches to improve well being, correct disharmony and promote proper energy flow. That’s a lot for a cannabis flower to live up to, but if these claims were even partially true it would be worth checking out!

I went on to learn more about this well-balanced 50/50 hybrid. Although the genetics are unknown the strain originated on the Japanese island of Amami Oshima. The seeds made their way to North America thanks to some visionary breeders from British Columbia and then ended up being grown with love by Root Down in Spokane.

This Tier 2 grower uses high-pressure sodium lights and a coco-based grow medium to produce a nice line of high quality marijuana. With the proper balance of natural nutrients and an emphasis on integrated pest management, the grower offers a truly pesticide-free product. I don’t mean zero pesticides in the analysis, but no pesticides used during the growth cycle. An important distinction.

Appearance: Smooth pale green, almost the texture of suede, with absolutely no leaf. It’s a perfectly-cured flower with many erect amber pistils. Genetics play a large part in the needed minimal trimming. When the plant is in bloom there is little leaf, thus not much handling, resulting in trichomes left intact. Any remaining trimming is done by hand. Another outstanding factor is freshness, evident when pressing the bud. It bounces back with no brittleness, which would leave powder or broken pieces. Joey Saye from Root Down explained that harvests are timed for every three weeks. By then, retailers are ready for the next batch, so nothing hangs around too long.

Aroma: Freshness and gentle care again come into play. A strong wintergreen/menthol flavor hits the nose and palate when you first open the package. It doesn’t fade but soon adds a back note of aromatic cedar. A sweet, clean menthol carries through upon inhale and leaves the mouth feeling fresh as the cedar wood in the smoke.

Effects: Goes straight to the head quickly leaving a relaxed sensation behind the eyes and forehead. If distractions can be eliminated, a few hits of Shiatsu Kush can lead to relaxation. For the first 90 minutes, the high THC combined with the fresh, potent terpenes bring on new and continued rushes. Just as you might feel a level of calm has been reached, a new wave washes over the mind and body, prolonging the pleasure. All anxiety should disappear as well as pain and stiffness. Though this strain seems perfect for solitary times, it would also work for small social gatherings.

Rick Misterly is a Washington resident whose interest in cannabis has taken him around the world since the 1960s. He is the cannabis and hashish curator for Green Barn Farms in Addy.

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