Strain: Northern Lights
Dispensary: South Coast Safe Access
1900 Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Price: $25 per gram; $60 per eighth.
Editor's Note: Welcome to our weekly medical marijuana review column, Toke of the Week. In this space, our stable of card-carrying cannabis connoisseurs will be reviewing all the latest strains, edibles and other cannabis-related products. Whether you are a cancer survivor trying to wean yourself from prescription medication or just a typical clinically overstressed suburban smoker, this column is your go-to destination for all-things ganja.
The most confusing thing about marijuana is that the industry doesn’t have a system for enforcing consistency—and there’s a good reason for that: Every plant is grown differently. But the issue still remains. So what do you do when a strain is widely known for being “purely” indica, yet you find it at a reputable dispensary as a sativa dominant hybrid? You try it for yourself, which is exactly what I did when I was recommended Northern Lights at South Coast Safe Access in Santa Ana.
I asked the knowledgeable budtender for something that sparks creativity and energy—preferably a sativa— and with no further questions, she pulled out a glass jar of Northern Lights. Perplexed about what I’ve always considered the strain from the Pacific Northwest to be, I went with her suggestion. She checked the boxes on the label indicating that I was about to purchase a sativa dominant hybrid. As she packed up my eighth, she told me that SCSA prides itself on the fact that all medicine sold in the dispensary is lab tested and grown without any herbicides or pesticides. In other words, the Northern Lights they had in stock was a proven sativa hybrid.
When I arrived back at my house, I went into inspection mode. Under the light, the dense, green buds look like they’re covered in sugar. Long auburn strands look like thick hairs sprinkled through out the crystal coated leaves giving color depth to the round-ish nugs. Under a magnified glass, the spring green nugs sparkle with fervor like faceted emeralds.
Grinding the nugs revealed the light stickiness of the herb, making it easy to roll into a joint. Unsure of whether to expect the zooming high of a sativa or the melting sensation of an indica, I plunged into a sesh. The smoke tasted like spicy leather with a tinge of citrus. Upon exhale, however, the smoke tasted sweet yet smelled like earth.
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The next thing I knew my room was filled with the still haze of marijuana smoke. Clearly medicated, I felt like I had powered down multiple cups of black tea, minus the jitters or any of the caffeine anxiety. Needless to say, I felt ardently motivated to get up and do something with the day.
Unsure of how to take advantage of my cannabis induced inspiration, I decided to call an Uber, pick up a friend and head to a exotic gem store in hopes to find stones to make jewelry with. What I didn’t realize was that the store I chose to go to was inside Knott’s Berry Farm. In other words, I was extremely puzzled when Marshall the Uber driver dropped us off at the theme park.
We wandered around the perimeter of Knott’s trying to find the Geode Shop. We approached strangers to ask for directions, and they looked at us like extraterrestrials asking for directions to the nearest portal back to Venus. After 30 minutes of trying to find the store, we made it into the park free of charge with a guide who led us to the Geode Shop. When we stepped foot into the store, the heavens sang. Northern Lights had shone its celestial glow upon us.
SCSA's Northern Lights is definitely more sativa than indica, and highly recommended for a day full of adventure.