Strain review: Durban Poison 

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  • Baynard Woods
The last several weeks have been an organizational nightmare. My apartment caught fire in early January and everything has been chaos ever since. Long days of work followed first by boring evenings in a hotel and later by a flurry of activity as I tried to get my shit together to move. And that is all happening as news stories that I’ve been covering are moving faster than I can manage. I’ve felt like I need to smash three days into one.

Durban Poison, a super-uppy South African Sativa-heavy strain, turned out to be the ideal weed for that. A few big bong rips and a gulp of nitro coffee after work set me to roaring around my toxic apartment throwing books into boxes and sorting through old files.

As anyone who has ever moved knows, it’s overwhelming. You need the energy but you don’t want the anxiety that often comes crashing down — or the existential dread. There are so many tangled threads that it’s easy to spin out in one of them and end up lost in your head.

But Durban Poison has minimal distraction and dread and maximum energy and focus. It is a well-loved strain for a damn good reason. Stoned sophists and pot pundits wax poetic about its taste and smell — the name itself is somehow reminiscent of Rimbaud running guns or something — but its physical traits aren’t particularly remarkable to me. It’s weirdly flavorless. Or it has a flavor but it is pretty hard to distinguish it from any other bud. Same with the odor: The smell is pleasant and yet unremarkable. But I don’t hold this against it. Durban Poison seems discreet and efficient, its flavor notes like Miles Davis: You only need one note if it’s the right one.

The buds are kind of squat and round and also not particularly remarkable. It’s not one of those strains you’re going to hold up and stare at and show your friends and geek out on. But it’s not ugly or gross-looking either. Again it’s just reliable and not flashy.

Durban Poison offers a bright and smooth and beautiful experience all around, which isn’t the case with some of the Durban Poison hybrids going around. I’ve had offsprings of this variety that leave you feeling spazzed and skittery.

But if you are already spazzed and skittery, like you are when you are moving, straight Durban Poison gives you a kick and calms you all at once. It really is exactly what I want in a weed.

Strength: 7
Nose: Old Toyota Corolla interior with hint of pine air freshener covering sweat after a road trip
Euphoria: 9
Existential dread: 1
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: Nitro coffee or cheap regional beer
Music pairing: Holy Modal Rounders’ “Movin’ Day”
Rating: 9


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