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Strain of the Month: Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon full flower pre-rolls from BudCo (Rick Misterly)
Dark Side of the Moon full flower pre-rolls from BudCo (Rick Misterly)
By Rick Misterly EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

Besides being the first review of the New Year, there are a few other firsts included below that are of note. For starters this is my first foray into the world of pre-rolls. This may seem like being a bit behind the times, but for me they never really came to mind as an option.

The next innovation included assembling a panel of experts to sample said joints and conduct a shared tasting via video conference.

With our current pandemic situation, we are presented with new obstacles, yet with a little imagination and technical assistance, enjoyable, alternatives can be found. This new format offers possibilities of more interactive reviews that could include new voices from people with a more diverse range of experiences in regards to cannabis use.

Appearance: They are joints and I don’t think they could be mistaken for anything else. They were packaged as a set of five weighing half a gram each, perfect for a small get-together where everyone has their own. Probably the next best thing in these weird times.

Aroma: Right out of the package, you can smell the fresh scents. Before any further analysis, all three panelists agreed to the strain’s complexity, which grew deeper after passing under their noses and taking a hit, before it was lit.

Panelist 1 detected a subtle floral aroma that also appeared in the taste and found it to be a very smooth smoke.

Panelist 2 characterized the initial smell as “skunky” defined as lily, while Panelist 3 described the strong first impression as “musky” with a floral aroma more like carnations or dianthus flowers. So we could say “floral,” but differ on what flower.

Other aromas present were damp, well-cured tobacco, lime peel, dry cedar, sage, cooling cloves and olives.

Our third panelist found rich, earthy forest floor a more fitting description, but also agreed with the cedar, tobacco and black olives suggested by Panelist 2. They both found common ground that clove, sagebrush and rosemary were easily present in the hit before it was lit.

Taste upon ignition was of Southeast Asian spices while the smoke was smooth and the joint burned perfectly.

Effects: Here is where the tricky part came in as the amount consumed varied with all panelists. While mulling over the taste, Panelist 3 kept taking large hits while observing the burn and overall quality of the smoke. The other two seemed more reserved in their consumption, thus giving a good scenario on effects.

All three described the first impression as a comforting feeling. Panelist 1 reported that after smoking half his joint he experienced a comfortable head high. He wrote that the contents were “very potent” and an enjoyable experience.

Panelist 2 cautiously smoked 40% of his allotment and called it “noticeable but not strong.” But he too felt a “compressive, enveloping feeling that left him in a Zen-like neutral state of equanimity,” unlike anything uplifting or fear-inducing. The best part of his high lasted about an hour and a half with the overall feeling reaching four hours. But he didn’t sleep as soundly as some weed allows.

Smoking 60% of the joint, Panelist 3’s heavier dose took him way beyond the others to places you might expect from something named after the lunar location that Pink Floyd sang about.

The first feeling somewhat matched the others’ descriptions, but the comfort extended into the room that made the walls move in, like a warm comforting envelope, allowing the mind a release from bodily constraints.

He described this, as best he could, that while watching on his screen how familiar people and settings morphed into things wondrous and unexpected. While his mind was sharp and could maintain a discussion about the subject and other topics, everything changed visually.

Like Panelist 2’s short-trimmed beard and hair became the perfect look for a character from a Shakespearean play and even his simple dark V-neck pullover and white shirt looked like something appropriate for the character.

Shadows in the background of a once-familiar room became mysterious Moorish niches from a Moroccan palace. That extra toke crossed the line into a fantastic realm beyond standard imagination.

Even after two hours of this on-screen exchange, once alone our third participant reported falling into a type of hypnagogic state that added to the pleasure and unusual power of this strain. He called it a candidate for his own “Private Gripweed.”

Depending on your dose and setting, Dark Side of the Moon will definitely help with relaxation and enjoyment. Despite its calming effects we can safely say that there was no down or depressive feelings from this strain. The mind remains engaged yet unrestrained enough to dissolve the straight edges that define the normal, everyday experience into something strange and unplanned, spontaneously created by our imagination.

Rick Misterly is a Washington resident whose interest in cannabis dates back to the 1960s and has taken him around the world. He’s the cannabis and hashish curator for Green Barn Farms in Addy and writes the “Rick’s World of Hashish” blog.
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