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Strain review: Blue Zkittlez

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A weed that appears to be space age. - BRANDON SODERBERG
  • Brandon Soderberg
  • A weed that appears to be space age.
A combination of Blue Diamond (an Indica-dominant with a kind of sugar-rush hash high and taste) and Zkittlez (a mix of Grape Ape and Grapefruit lending it tart, fizzy flavors), Blue Zkittlez’ bud looks space age, like 3D-printed weed. Each ridge and bump on the bud appears organic, yet carefully considered and cut just right, and its almost aquamarine color makes it a bit uncanny, really. Because of its name, you’ll of course hear people declare, all excited, how it “smells just like Skittles!” And sure, maybe it smells like candy a little bit, though that’s primarily the power of suggestion. A dour grape Skittles taste is the closest it comes to actual candy, but when you break the bud up or grind it, there is something deeper, more lived-in: a rush of lemon, a burst of sweet that escapes and gets more pronounced the more you reduce the flower to a powder, which is the best way to smoke it — ground fine and inhaled from a bong, quickly.

Blue Zkittlez feels “retro.” It’s like what “grass” maybe felt like in the late ‘70s or something, when the culture surrounding it wasn’t all so high-impact and complicated. This isn’t nostalgia mind you, because what you’ll mostly endure is something low pressure here — not “better,” but different and surely slower and less ambitious—where the stakes are nearly nonexistent by contemporary standards. It’s an ambling ‘70s movie such as Billy Friedkin’s The Brinks Job where not a whole lot happens, but what happens all happens in the right rewarding ways and it’s rough enough around the edges to stick in your craw. It’s a honeyed, edgy country album with waves of acoustic guitars, gloopy basslines, and ghostly melodies like Jerry Jeff Walker’s Jerry Jeff. It feels like those sorts of art, feelz-first works far from the established canon. Or think about this: Dominating pop culture conversations right now in country music is Kacey Musgraves’ new album, Golden Hour, a little, luminous long player about pot, acid, disco and love. Blue Zkittlez has a lot to do with Golden Hour — a not-at-all-caustic, soft psyche experience marred by down-to-earth melancholy and a purposeful lack of ambition. A record where little things feel like big things pairs well with a strain that does what it does just right and never gets too loosey-goosey.

Smoking Blue Zkittles leaves a pepper perfume taste and a light hint of kettle corn. Its high is warm and glowing, edgeless really, round. If you’re attuned to the sometimes sick thrills of nausea where too much hits you and you get a little excited by losing control and you’ll want to lie down and take it in, well that’s the woolly thrust of this high. It’s overwhelming, but overwhelming in a semi-victorious way, like after you’ve shoplifted or realize you might just be falling in love.

Strength: 7
Nose: Grape soda-flavored candy bottle caps
Euphoria: 8
Existential dread: 1
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 2
Drink pairing: Orange juice
Music pairing: Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
Rating: 7

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