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Strain review: Shark Shock

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Smoking this Indica-leaning hybrid was sort of like turning on a fan to cool off. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • Smoking this Indica-leaning hybrid was sort of like turning on a fan to cool off.
When the summer comes on and you can see the heat waves rising up off the ground, that’s when all of your thoughts turn toward one word: “cool.” Sometimes, you want cold food — ice cream or gelato or gazpacho — but other times you want really hot food. Spicy food can cool you down because it increases blood circulation and causes you to sweat, turning your skin into a swamp cooler as it evaporates.

Cannabis comes from many of the same places as peppers, especially Mexico and India (roughly, according to the old lore, the habitats of Sativa and Indica, respectively, although this is growing more complicated). So I began to scheme and think about smoke that might make it feel cooler, because we all remember being 15 and fogging out a hot car and getting a huge headrush when you get out into the sun and almost falling down — or at least I do, barely.

I tried a few varieties but ultimately settled on Shark Shock, an Indica-leaning hybrid that’s high in CBD. (I also chose it in part because I play in a band called the Barnyard Sharks, and it’s good timing with all the promo bullshit that usually comes with Shark Week on TV). When I felt overheated after moving a bunch of plants around in the sun, I sat in a shady room with a big glass of cold water and then I packed up a bowl of Shark Shock and, sure enough, it was sort of like turning on a fan. The heat seemed to recede into something else, a slightly more abstract, or less oppressive state. The light felt more wave than particle. It was still there, I was just seeing it slant.
I tried Shark Shock again just before walking out into the hammering sun to run errands. I thumbed a bit of the tawny-green, tightly packed bud into the bowl. It has a strong odor of mint when you break it open, but like Wrigley’s spearmint gum rather than plain peppermint, and I took three big hits. The smoke is pleasantly light and feels a little like it dissolves into your lungs rather than ambushing them. Walking outside, the world pulsed double, once with the bright heat that feels like you’re standing in the middle of a bomb and time is melting, but another with the waving of the weed noticing everything. And as the wavelengths of the two kinds — maybe objective and subjective — of pulsing overlapped, again the heat was neutralized. Walking through the shaking, shuttered city felt like walking on the beach where the heat was one of the main draws.

Once you get where you’re going it’s a good weed for concentration. It isn’t very strong on the THC end and so everything about it is atmospheric, subtle and slanted. I also discovered as I made it through a stomach bug, it works well for nausea.

I’m not conclusively saying this weed is the best for beating the heat, but it inspired me to spend the summer looking more deeply into the question.

Strength: 5
Nose: Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum plus almonds
Euphoria: 5
Existential dread: 0
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: Cold water
Music pairing: Can, “Yoo Doo Right”
Rating: 8

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