Strain review: Big Bud 

click to enlarge Aptly named Big Bud might just give you a snarky sense of humor, for a spell. - BRANDON SODERBERG
  • Brandon Soderberg
  • Aptly named Big Bud might just give you a snarky sense of humor, for a spell.
Big Bud dates back to a softer-focused and allegedly simpler time for weed. Before Reagan’s forever war on drugs destroyed millions and millions of lives and long before the legal boom invented a whole new world of strains and sub-strains, complicating everything for better and for worse. It’s a fairly simple combination of Afghani and the legendary (and in Colorado at least, elusive) Skunk 1 and almost entirely Indica, which in its own way feels a touch quaint and antiquated now that so many strains are hyper-calibrated with different percentages of Indica and Sativa genetics. There’s a bit of a mythos behind Big Bud too: During the ramping-up of the drug war the strain was refined in the weed free-for-all of the Netherlands, where it was maintained and fussed with and made a little better.

Its name is of the past too. Pretty simple. Not clever or complicated. When you grow this stuff the buds are especially big, smelly, mealy, dense — so, Big Bud. And its smell is strong, a tart-sour grape that stinks right through whatever bag you put it in, which too felt like some sort of nod to when I was younger and reeking of weed or it emanating from my backpack was a cause for alarm. I thought of Jacques Derrida and “hauntology,” which, to really simplify it, argues that all our ideas are haunted by other ideas before them — “each time it is the event itself, a first time is a last time,” he wrote in Specters of Marx. “Altogether other.”
Big Bud’s high comes on slow, as if not at all, though soon everything becomes interesting, too interesting. I couldn’t decide what to do. My cheek really itched, the kind of woolly tingle you get from red wine, and I scratched and poked my face for a few minutes. I put on a movie but plain kept forgetting to read the subtitles. I owe Lucrecia Martel’s Zama a second viewing. It is a nervy movie that vibrates like the early stirrings of a mushroom trip, meandering about as you watch colonialism circle the drain until its main character stiffens, cracks and breaks, revealing how terrible systems destroy everybody inside them — and it says that without being “All Lives Matter” about it.

Two hours into the high, I closed my eyes because nothing was quite interesting enough for me and I didn’t see darkness, but a subtle gradient of gray to black and back again with pulses of white cutting through and dancing around, a gentle, somewhat psychedelic experience like I was “seeing” the weed. Big Bud confused me.

I asked a friend for a short take on Big Bud, something like a tweet-sized review that cut through my overwrought, overthinking: “It felt weighty on my eyelids, and slightly disoriented but still happy and focused enough to converse with anyone in the room,” they texted. “And it turned my sense of humor kinda snarky.”

Strength: 8
Nose: Formula 50 Vitamin Water
Euphoria: 8
Existential dread: 3
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 3
Drink pairing: A hot toddy
Music pairing: Ashra’s Blackouts
Rating: 7


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