- Baynard Woods
- Expect a big pungent sweet smell.
But the psychedelic side of the plant, the inclination to grow ponderous and think big, is still relegated in the public imagination to the likes of jam band fans, white boys with dreads and people living on communes. But it may be this larger psychedelic vision that we most need right now. The moment may not require us to grow more comfortable in our screwed-up world and maybe we don’t need to get better at helping it speed along toward annihilation. Or, we might need those things too. But we also need to think big, unrealistic, cosmic thoughts, sometimes. We suffer from a paucity of big ideas that are capable of generating wonder and then, potentially, action. Maybe that’s another way weed can help us.
Food writer and journalist Michael Pollan came out with How to Change Your Mind, his big book on psychedelics, last year and psychedelic therapy is gaining more legitimacy as researchers at Johns Hopkins University, among other places, are doing revolutionary work in treating PTSD and cancer patients, and working with spiritual leaders.
So I’ve been thinking about where weed fits in with this new psychedelia. Obviously, in the ‘60s it was closely tied to the “tune in, turn on, and drop out” revolution of Timothy Leary and his crew. But alongside the mega, life-changing doses of psilocybin — the “magic” in magic mushrooms — used in therapeutic treatments today there is also a movement of microdosers using small tastes of LSD or psilocybin as performance enhancers more akin to Adderall — which is just basically amphetamine salts.
But what we need more than productivity is a restored sense of wonder. That was my thinking as I picked up some Quantum Kush.
The buds in my batch of this Sativa, bred from Timewreck and an Irish Kush, were small and not particularly attractive. But there was a big pungent sweet smell packed into those small buds, a bit like beautifully almost rotten fruit, the way the Dutch Masters would include the slightest sign of rot in their beautiful still life paintings.
As it turned out though, this strain isn’t great for that kind of wondrous reflection. Instead, it’s a straight-up, almost mechanical Sativa high that is great for getting shit done, which is great for accomplishing those New Year’s resolutions. It is one of the best strains I’ve found for working out and running, if you are into that.
And, you know, that’s a great thing. It’s what I usually like in a strain and this would normally be one of my favorites. But on the quest for wonder, it did very little to reawaken a sense of awe. I’ll just keep looking.
Nose: Fruit at the height of ripeness as it descends to rot
Existential dread: 1
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: A quart of homemade cold brew coffee, no ice
Music pairing: “Dark Side of the Moon,” by Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj