Whether your Fat Tuesday celebration precedes a period of religious fasting or just an epic hangover, every carnival needs a little cannabis.
Mardi Gras is known as the culmination of carnival celebrations before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, but nowadays, the festival is—in the U.S., anyway—associated less with the traditions of colonizing the Americas and more synonymous with the annual Big Easy jubilee. NOLA and Mardi Gras may be tied together, but that doesn’t mean we can’t join in the festivities with a Northwest fête of our own. Because in Portland, with the right cultivar, you can make any day feel like Mardi Gras(s).
This carnival season, whether you’re connecting with the ancestors, preparing for a long fast, or just eating king cake and throwing beads at your neighbors, check out one of these sparkling, euphoric strains so that come Feb. 21, you too can laissez les bons temps rouler with the rest of revelers:
Jazz is a relatively rare cultivar with mysterious genetics that result in a bubbly, electric high. Users report blissful, airy head effects and a bouncy, bendy body high. Anxious smokers, take note: This strain delivers a swooning onset that, rather than blooming into something cushy and relaxed, builds to a vibrating crescendo best reserved for varsity stoners with an affection for hyperenergetic cultivars and brassy horn sections. Expect a sweet lemon aroma and peppery, citrusy exhale.
BUY: TJ’s on Powell, 7827 SE Powell Blvd., 503-719-7140, visittjs.com.
Cannathusiasts who prefer a thicker, heavier high might consider Purple Queen, a deeply stoney cross of Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. Therapeutic users report that it delivers relief from insomnia and depression, and rec users describe highs that are languid yet euphoric, syrupy yet uplifting, and altogether dreamy. Expect a sour pine nose and a gassy, lemony exhale.
BUY: Kush Cart, 971-229-1281, kushcartpdx.com.
Another super-pacifying strain is King Kush, a cross of OG Kush and Grape that delivers a lulling yet dazzlingly euphoric high. Users report heady, hazy cerebral effects that soothe their nerves and quiet their minds enough to positively enhance social scenarios. Medical users describe relief from chronic pain and muscle spasms as well as body effects that can be either snoozy or velvety depending on their desire to laissez les bons temps rouler. Expect a funky-sweet, gas-heavy aroma and a gassy, botanical exhale.
BUY: Brothers Cannabis, multiple locations, brothers-cannabis.com.
Also known as White Star, this cross of NYC Diesel and Sensi Star is a powerfully uplifting cultivar that delivers an energetic body buzz and a giggly, trippy head high. Daytime smokers appreciate how it delivers sunny, bright-eyed vibes well suited for wake-and-bake sessions or as an afternoon pick-me-up. Therapeutic users report relief from fatigue, chronic pain and seizures. The last time I left New Orleans, I was in a cab heading to my homebound flight at 7 am and saw lines of party people still heading into the clubs. Perhaps it had something to do with Southern Lights.
BUY: Arcanna, 4605 NE Fremont St., Suite 105, 503-206-5809, arcannapdx.com.
Another rare cultivar worth seeking out for Mardi Gras is French Bread, a cross of Perris OG and Face Off Bx1 that, while tasting nothing like crusty bread, does have a notably complex taste and perfume. French Bread is a stonier strain, delivering a hazy yet crystalline head high and soothing yet glittery body buzz well suited for relaxing scenarios or cozy at-home sessions. The strains’ uniquely potent balance of neither sedative nor explosive effects is what makes this cultivar such a cult fave. Therapeutic users report relief from fatigue, depression and chronic pain. Expect an audacious funk in the nose and commensurate exhale.
BUY: The Dispensary on 52nd, 4452 SE 52nd Ave., 503-420-8000, thedispensaryon52nd.com.
Voodoo is a landrace strain unchanged by creative cultivation. Though its THC level is generally below 15%, don’t be fooled by what might seem newbie numbers. This potent cultivar delivers a borderline manic high that can lead to enthusiastic socializing. Rec users tend to experience a toe-tapping buzz, while therapeutic users report relief from chronic pain, epilepsy, eye pressure and gastrointestinal disorder. Expect a sweet, earthy perfume and citrusy, herbal exhale.
BUY: Eden Cannabis, multiple locations, edencraftcannabis.com/home.