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“It’s my all time favourite sativa!”Over the last few months I began to see a trend while sifting through the user reviews in the comment sections of my go-to stoner forums. The name “Hempstar” made an appearance several times whenever the topic of choice sativas arose. This old school strain was being tossed in the ring with current big shots like Moby Dick and Amnesia Haze—award-winning and critically acclaimed buds renowned for their powerfully uplifting effects. This struck me as odd. It’s not a strain one would come across while perusing any given “Best Sativa” listicle, yet somehow it was peppered through comment sections everywhere.The people had spoken. I had to try it. So, as any good pot columnist would do, I hunted it down and smoked it.On my way to purchasing a few grams of “everyone’s favourite sativa,” I began to worry about a few comments cautioning one very specific attribute of this flower. A number of people had warned future users of Hempstar’s overwhelmingly pungent odour. My fears were validated once I got my hands on a few dense nugs of this strain. It was stinky. The woody, skunky smell leached through my bag while I ran several errands in a conveniently crowded mall. I knew I was drawing attention when a woman in Simons gave me that pinched-faced look of disappointment and began to usher her family in the opposite direction. I struggled to stop myself from yelling: “it’s for research…I swear!” as she muttered something under her breath.(If only there were a medical marijuana strain that cured stigmas.)Despite its Connor-McGregor-punch-to-the-face-strength, the smell was quit enticing, and as soon as I got home I rushed to roll a joint. The nugs were solid, a deep shade of green and covered in a sugary coating of crystals. The smoke was complex and flavourful. It began overwhelmingly woody and earthy, but finished with a light sweet aftertaste. I felt the classic greeting of a relaxing wave move across my body. The high quickly developed into a blood rush of energy. Before I knew it I was cleaning, and looking around the house for more tasks to complete (very unusual behaviour for a Sunday afternoon….or any afternoon for that matter.) Eventually I settled down with my laptop and began feverishly writing. Any high that allows for focus and creativity is already a winner in my books.
I struggled to stop myself from yelling: “it’s for research…I swear!”
I was disappointed when I realized my clear-headed, upbeat high had totally worn off in less than two hours. I had read that it was short-lived but this may be the shortest spike, plateau and drop-off I had ever experienced. Despite my frustrations at having to roll another joint, this wouldn’t be a terrible attribute for a quick espresso shot high to get you going in the morning. It will be gone by noon, but give you that boost you need to get out the door.As I reflected on my fairly standard sativa experience, I realized the secret to winning the commendation of “comment section favourite.” Unlike some of the headliners out there, Hempstar is a textbook user-friendly weed. While Moby Dick, for example, is an outstandingly magical high and tastes like vanilla ice cream in the dead of summer, it’s also one of the strongest sativas on the market and effectively renders you…ineffective. Hempstar, however, is a functional, energetic, classic sativa that has street cred. I read somewhere that it was originally created long ago as an ode to tried-and-true hemp users everywhere, which is fitting because it’s the proverbial Converse of weed. While you break out the Manolo Blahnik sativa for the odd glitzy night out, the trusty fire engine red Chuck Taylor sativa is your undeniable go-to for a standard day.While it’s not my all time favourite, I do get it. It’s an uplifting, lucid and fun high that has a short lifespan and no post-smoke grogginess. It’s everything you want out of a balanced day-to-day sativa.
The breakdown: Sativa. $10/gram. Canna Clinic, 2223 Commercial Drive.