Stereotypes permeate every kind of culture, and pot smokers are no different. Though there are plenty of us who love listening to Dark Side of The Moon while watching Wizard of Oz, there are also plenty of us who would listen to a drumset fall down a staircase before listening to Pink Floyd. One of the relatively recent trends to emerge is the link of the number ‘420’ to marijuana culture, specifically using the time 4:20 as a “tea-time” of sorts, and even more specifically the date 4/20 being turned into a holiday. Despite what several people may tell you, this has nothing to do with Earth Day; in fact its origin is more mundane than you may expect. So mundane, in fact, that some of us pot smokers even think the whole idea is kind of annoying. If you smoke regularly, you shouldn’t need an unofficial holiday taken from an arbitrary number to be able smoke freely.
But let’s say you use the holiday for your annual excursion into legally gray drug use. Buyer beware: while using review sites like weedmaps.com or leafly.com can help make finding your weed easier, sometimes this is simply not the case. One strain may have several photos found from users around the country, and they may look entirely different. They may have several different people telling you they had different effects. Think of it this way: not even mainstream corporate products like Coke or Pepsi are consistent. It’s common to find somebody who thinks Coke is better from a bottle than a fountain, or Pepsi from one restaurant tastes better than another. Take out company policies, factor in the standard growth and distribution model for marijuana, and you’re left with five bags of Tangerine Dream from five different dispensaries that do five different things (and one may be simply labeled wrong). It gets even more complicated when things like brain chemistry and tolerance levels are accounted for, so don’t take this list as a buyer’s guide. This is simply my account of eight nerdily named strains, and what happened when I smoked them.
1. Mortal Kombat
Tastes Like: Ninja Dojo
Smokability: Smooth, not harsh at all
Suggested Activities: Walking/Avoiding Fatalaties
Naturally, I was inclined to play Mortal Kombat while smoking Mortal Kombat, but sadly I do not own a copy. The next best thing was listening to George S. Clinton’s score to the 1995 live action film (not the techno soundtrack) while on a walk down Hollywood Blvd. I soon realized that this music had the power to transform everybody else into a ninja assassin (or probably some fucked up creatures merely disguised as ninja assassins, like Reptile or something), and that openly walking among them was going to get me killed. I then asked myself, “Is it worth noting that my mind perceived the crowd to be assassins, as opposed to imagining the music turned ME into an assassin?” Did this mean that I passed some sort of subconscious moral test by not becoming a hypothetical assassin, or did it mean that I was simply paranoid because I was on drugs? I switched to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Fuck Mortal Kombat – I never played the games much anyway.
2. Critical Hit
Smells Like: Outdoors, Trees
Tastes Like: Fruit
Smokability: Grinded easily, lit right up, burned quick
Suggested Activities: Birdwatching/Pest Control
This one was a pre-rolled joint of “shake” which was in this case a hodgepodge of several similar strains. I smoked this one outside, quickly realized I had pigeons loitering in a nook above my porch, and before I knew it, I was in the middle of a multi-bird operation against me and my household. I simply shooed them away and placed some cardboard where they had been, and they flew back moments later to inspect my “coo-de-grace”. Unwilling to embrace the truth, they came back once again, this time with a third bird. He was, what I can only assume, some sort of analyst or expert, because he took one look, told them the news, and they have been gone ever since.
Smells Like: Medicine
Tastes Like: Pepto Bismol
Smokability: Harsh, didn’t go down well.
Suggested Activities: Chill with pirates
On the day that I had tried Mars, my band had a show scheduled for that night. This was a private show for a birthday party, at a house dressed like a pirate ship, and everyone inside was a pirate cosplay enthusiast. There was authentic music, non-authentic music, rum, beer, and of course, women in corsets. I’m not saying every pirate group should have these things, but it really made things a lot of fun. So if you have the desire to be a pirate or watch people be pirates, try this website that serves as directory of enthusiasts near you.
While I didn’t have a pirate outfit, I wore a terrible Hawaiian shirt and we pretended I was a hostage of a pirate. After smoking Mars and being surrounded by pirates, I was reminded of a new comic I had heard about called The Pirates of Mars, but since I hadn’t read the book yet I couldn’t draw any correlation between that and my experience. What I ended up dwelling on most of the night were the Space Pirates from Metroid Prime. They would have looked hilarious in a corset.
Smells Like: Wet Grass
Tastes Like: A martini that Bond would probably send back
Smokability: Smooth, no coughing
Suggested Activities: Getting locked in a castle
A recent trend here in Los Angeles are these “puzzle rooms,” where you and a group of friends get locked in a room with a variety of puzzles and riddles and are forced to basically Zelda your way out of there. This particular room was run by Maze Rooms, and this theme was a castle. Torches opened secret drawers, constellation symbols formed pagan puzzles, and skeletons charged at us. I found a scroll as well as a secret drawer, so anyone who says you should be sober and alert while trying to escape for your life has never smoked 007.
Smells Like: Pine
Tastes Like: Smoke
Smokability: A pleasant burn that reminded me of a cigar
Suggested Activities: Contra 3: The Alien Wars
Here is one where sitting on my ass was all I needed to get inspiration. Contra 3 on Super Nintendo is perhaps the definitive Contra experience, and some of my earliest times getting high were spent playing this gem. I usually throw on hip hop or Gorillaz or something beat-driven, and allow the ass kicking to commence. Lately I have been able to get to the final boss, but full completion is still a goal.
However, this time was the worst. I tried to stream, tried to record, any way to capture what I was sure was going to be a legendary session. I even planned a playlist. But after my practice run, I noticed I had fallen asleep. I figured honesty and frankness would serve the review better, as well as realized making a video of that magnitude was an incredible task. So let it be noted: Dragon was enough to make me pass out and put off work. This is the most stereotypical stoner behavior I can imagine, and now I’m here to accept my responsibility. Ma raised me right.
Smells Like: Wood Oven
Tastes Like: What I imagine the food Yoda made for Luke tasted like
Smokability: Went down easy, felt like just plain air.
Suggested Activities: Star Wars trailer, Star Wars trailer again.
I was prepared to marathon the original trilogy while smoking my trilogy of Star Wars weeds, but only moments after lighting up with Yoda, I jumped on the Internet and was faced with the new Force Awakens trailer. Now, I do have some skeptic friends, and some that are outright pessimistic, but it’s hard for me to not to get the gushes, and that’s when I am sober. In my state, I was overwhelmed with joy. So I watched it again.
7. Death Star
Smells Like: Ginger
Tastes Like: Flowers
Smokability: Very harsh, almost choked
Suggested Activities: Mashup
Here is where I decided to watch some Star Wars, but in the tradition of the infamous Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz mashup, I decided to make a mashup for my own purposes. So I watched the pod race scene from Episode I: The Phantom Menace with the Fight Club soundtrack. If you would like to do this on your own, you don’t even have to follow any timecode steps. Start the music right when Sebulba breaks the thing on Anakin’s pod, and let it ride. When the pod race scene is over, keep the music going and skip to the lightsaber fight with Darth Maul. Shitting on the prequels always feels good, because it’s shitting, but I firmly believe these two scenes are timeless.
Smells Like: Eucalyptus
Tastes Like: Flowers
Smokability: Smooth, similar to 007
Suggested Activities: Scrabble
Zoned out, surrounded by letters and words, a healthy competition in the room…Scrabble and Skywalker went hand in hand. I played “word,” which became “words,” which became “swords,” which became “swordsman” and finally “swordsmanship.” This was epic, as I am sure you can see, but I briefly considered a Scrabble career. Then I realized that the sum of those five turns was still less than nearly every word my rival had been playing. Yet ANOTHER career, down the drain.
If you like words, watch the documentary Spellbound. This is about the national spelling bee, and I can’t stress how much more interesting this actually is than it sounds. High or not, I saw this in theaters when it was new. I remember not looking forward to it when we were walking into the theater, and look at me now. Its years later and I am still talking about it.
I should go ahead and tell you that my tolerance is insanely high, as I smoke pretty often. If you think you would have a freakout around a bunch of pirates or ninja assassins, I would recommend NOT smoking weed before hanging out with these factions. I would even go so far as to say if you think you wouldn’t like smoking weed at all, don’t do it. Smoke if you feel like it, smoke if you can afford it, and smoke as long as it doesn’t destroy relationships with those you love. If you follow these simple steps, most weed you find will treat you right. And if you are smoking already, right on. Share your strands below, or better yet, stereotypes about stoners that drive you crazy.
[Note: TR advises that you abide by your individual nation/state’s laws on this topic]
Photos by the amazing Don Hotchenburgh.
Also by Bryce Abood: