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Platinum Kush Breath: A strain for the COVID-19 era


  • Brandon Soderberg
Part of the charm of getting high, especially when you’re an adolescent, is feeling like you’re in on a joke that the rest of the room isn’t. There was really nothing better than meeting up before high school, smoking, and then traipsing through the long, chaotic corridors, lifted, dodging dirty looks from the Advanced Placement crew, smirking to your stoned buddies.

Over the past couple weeks, as the coronavirus has gotten worse in the United States, it has felt like the opposite of that each time I leave the house for a few moments to walk the dog and, well, at this point that’s just about it. A lot of people are out and about, acting like nothing is wrong (that’s putting aside the issue that everyone should be staying inside for the sake of your grandma), and I feel as though there’s some joke I don’t get, and underneath that some whole way of being I’ve misunderstood. Often when I shuffle outside for a few minutes, I’ve just smoked, which adds to the weirdness.

And I have been smoking more than usual to think less about COVID-19, but here’s the rub: Many of the not-so-great side effects of smoking weed, such as shortness of breath and coughing, are also possible symptoms of COVID-19. I’m not the only one worried about this. “Real ‘am I coughing because I have the coronavirus, or because I smoked pot all weekend to take my mind off the coronavirus’ hours,” tweeted Jeremy Gordon, deputy editor of The Outline. And that is on top of the paranoia-inducing qualities that can send you into dark places as you contemplate a virus bouncing from person to person, growing exponentially, doing damage to everybody’s lungs and taking out our grandmas and grandpas. Insofar as any weed is the right weed for what feels like the wrong-est moment — I mean, there is simply no comfort right now — Platinum Kush Breath does the job quite well. Combining finicky Indica (and a phenotype of Girl Scout Cookies) OG Kush Breath, and Platinum, its fragrance (and it really is kind of complex and interesting, just a bit different from how a lot of flowery strains smell) is chocolate and limestone and the high is pugnacious with all of the non-belligerent effects of a pain-relieving strain.

After a few consecutive bowls — so, too much — I felt like I was glitching, time slowed down or didn’t seem to move at all, and things felt strange and smeared — as if I were inhabiting the lag I’ve been seeing on the many more Facebook Messenger, Skype and Zoom calls I’ve been on lately. Still it could be worse. I could have not been high. What more can I say than I was able to not think about the coronavirus for a while because of Platinum Kush Breath. Ninety minutes later though, I could feel the anxiety filling back up inside me.

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