Restrictions are lifting, temperatures are rising, and simmering exasperations are bubbling over from coast to coast. It begs us to ask the question: How can we protect our personal space, safely organize and possibly get a modicum of enjoyment during the summer of social distancing and upheaval?
As a humble cannabis columnist, my contribution is this. Let's all refamiliarize ourselves with the Stank—an elite collection of mentally and physically fortifying cannabis strains so funky that regardless of how you mobilize for summer, your compatriots will give you a wide berth.
Whether you're spending the first moments of the season protesting in the streets or reveling in another golden Portland summer—or, ideally, both—these outrageously pungent strains can help you maintain both a 6-foot safety sphere and a positive outlook.
❋ For Summer Organizers ❋
An activist's work is never really finished, which is why taking time for yourself is key to successful organizing. Garlic Bud's cringe-inducing name describes a layered bouquet of roasted garlic cloves spattered with chemical runoff and finished with a cacophony of weird herbs, but thankfully the high is far less frenetic and aggressive than its fragrance. Garlic breath has its roots in the indica family, with a terpene profile featuring limonene and beta-caryophyllene. The result is a borderline incapacitating relaxation that effortlessly fuels the restorative sleep necessary for community engagement—at a distance.
Get it from: The People's Dispensary, 6714 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-477-5083, mytpd.com.
❋ For Dubious Social Navigators ❋
This captivating cultivar, the child of Meatloaf and Mendo Breath, is a "classic indica," which is to say it has a more nuanced balance of physical relaxation and mental clarity than either of its similarly mellow parents. The powerful aroma, led by beta-caryophyllene and limonene, is indeed meaty—it's reminiscent of both a rotting carcass and freshly spilled gasoline. The body high may be low-key couchlock material, but the head high is a breezy and uplifting panacea.
Get it from: Growing Releaf, 4160 SW 109th Ave., Beaverton, 971-319-2939, growingreleaf.com.
❋ For an Eruption of Creativity ❋
At the intersection of fetid teenage-boy socks and simmering Camembert cheese is the heady cologne of Frankencakes, an indica-forward hybrid with a bold, focused energetic streak that balances out a silken body high. In a certain state of mind, this strain can be powerfully creative, making it a top choice for daytime use. First, however, you must overcome the odor. If you can get past the belligerence of the funk, though, the high is well worth it.
Get it from: Oregrown, 111 NE 12th Ave., oregrown.com.
❋ For the Overwhelmed and Increasingly Anxious ❋
UK Cheese is relaxing without being sedative, energetic without being obnoxious, and also elegantly euphoric. But you may not glean that from its intrusively Gorgonzola-esque nose. Though the musty odor may overshadow its balanced hybrid effects, UK Cheese is a master at squelching anxiety and supporting pain relief. In an era marked by uncertainty, fear and PTSD on a global scale, this uniquely appropriate strain could serve us well in our recovery.
Get it from: Today's Herbal Choice, 9220 S Barbur Blvd., No. 107, 503-208-3042, todaysherbalchoice.com.
❋ For Telepathically Connecting With Every Stoner in Your Stink Radius ❋
The originator of the lineage, Skunk #1 has been permeating bedroom walls with its putrid reek since the 1970s. Skunk has since begotten a number of phenotypes—UK Cheese included—but its signature rank perfume remains indistinguishable from actual skunk spray. The smell is an expression of the three dominant terpenes: myrcene, a terpene typically associated with relaxation, as well as alpha-pinene and limonene, which are both exuberantly anti-anxiety. The result is a buzzy sativa-leaning hybrid with an electric body high and a warmly euphoric head high. If any strain could simultaneously alert nearby cannabis enthusiasts to your presence while repelling uppity squares from your eye line, Skunk #1 is that strain.
Get it from: Pacific Gold West, 1010 S Gibbs St., 503-477-5202, pacificgoldcannabis.com.
❋ For Celebrations of Life ❋
Heralded among industry insiders as possibly the stankiest strain known to mankind, Deathstar has the kind of loyal following only a truly exceptional strain can boast. The high is a slow burn, smoldering until it ignites in a bright, reactive euphoria that magnifies even the tiniest of joys. It is a therapeutic high masquerading as a party buzz. The intense onset may be an exhilarating rush, but the relief from pain, nausea and anxiety is what keeps users revisiting this storied strain. The fragrance might motivate a slight retch, but the notes of diesel and rotting fruit foretell a swooning, body buzz matched by a sugary sweet head high.
Get it from: Botanica, 4124 SE 60th Ave., 503-388-7663, botanicapdx.com.