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Strain review: Cindy 99 x Vortex



This hybrid strain “grabs you by the shoulders and straightens your spine.” - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • This hybrid strain “grabs you by the shoulders and straightens your spine.”
It’s tempting to think of this combo of Cindy 99 (or Cinderella 99) and Vortex, both Sativa-dominant hybrids, as too perfect, a sort of Stepford Wives of weed or the boy band of bud. When I try to describe the smell, at first I hit on pineapple. And there may in fact be a hint of pineapple to the odor, but I am also suspicious that it might be the stoned association with the prickly fruit as a suburban symbol of “welcome.” The luminous green of the buds is almost lawn-like, offering the appeal of a lazy day lounging around eating munchies from a grill. Cindy 99 x Vortex is something like pure invitation.

And when you smoke it it is also almost too perfect — almost. The high is so well-calibrated that I was a little suspicious of it too. Cindy 99 x Vortex grabs you by the shoulders and straightens your spine almost as soon as you exhale it. I worried that the initial lift would leave me somewhere awful, like the man in John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer,” whose day started “sliding down the banister that morning and sitting in the Westerhazys’ sun” and ended with a “cold in his bones and the feeling that he might never be warm again.”

But Cindy 99 x Vortex avoids the abrupt crash into lethargy. Instead it rolls into a nice body-buzz, as if down a slightly sloping hill — exhilaration with relaxation.

I was sure there had to be something I didn’t dig about it — but I’ve been smoking it for weeks now and it turns out that it holds up over time. It works at almost any time of day, but is best treated as an afternoon cocktail, something to give you a relaxed pep before a final bit of work — and a big dinner (for a primarily Sativa hybrid it packs some powerful munchies).
Breeding weed is a lot like making mixtapes. A lot of people do it in the post-iTunes way — they combine strains on the basis of some perceived compatibility that turns out to have been premised on a false assumption. “Both of these songs have ‘lonesome’ in the title” might seem like a good basis for a mixtape, but when you listen, it is shit. Likewise with weed. Trainwreck, for instance, feels like a strain that is designed on the basis of abstract principles.

But in the old-school days when you had two cassette players and the song had to play while you found the next song, you knew it would be good. Because it was the song you wanted right then, as the other song was playing. That’s how the Cindy 99 x Vortex feels. The crossing of the strains feels organic, like the perfect DJ bringing you from something up and jamming to a chill but still thumping groove. It turns out it ain’t one of those prefab boy bands at all, but something potent and interesting, but not too interesting. It is solid, an old favorite song, or an old neighbor you know you can rely on.

Strength: 7
Nose: pineapple suntan lotion
Euphoria: 9
Existential dread: 2
Freaking out when crazy person approaches you: 3
Drink pairing: Gin and tonic
Music pairing: Tom Zé’s “Jimmy Renda-Se”
Rating: 9

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