Strain review: Lemon Grenade 

click to enlarge It’s pretty, but you might want to try Lemon Grenade in limited doses. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • It’s pretty, but you might want to try Lemon Grenade in limited doses.
Lemon Grenade is a gorgeous-looking strain — simply stunning with downy white crystals, craggly red hairs and a glowing vibrant green. Somehow its appearance captures all the essence of the forest and spring and everything natural and good in a glance.

But the first time I smoked this Sativa-leaning hybrid, I felt like so many folks who hang out with someone of exceptional beauty, and end up both bored and vaguely troubled. A late afternoon toke did everything you don’t want weed to do. I was hungry and scattered and neither relaxed nor focused, but like there was something sort of on the fritz like when TVs used to have antennas and the signals would wobble. It felt the opposite of natural, somehow like realizing you are stuck in the Matrix but with none of the revelatory awakening that the right has now hijacked with their talk of being “red pilled.”

It wasn’t scary or sickening, just low-level ugh. I stayed away from the strain for a week or so and when I came back to this potent bud (boasting 25-plus percent THC and a nice level of both myrcene and limonene) I took an easy toke. The sour sickly lemon flower smell — I have a lemon tree and when it blooms, it is intoxicating to stick your nose in the flower, but it is so intense and both sour and sweet that it is almost nauseating if you smell too long — expands in your lungs into something warmer and fuller. And then a light, smooth sensation started to creep outward from my lungs. It was gentle and quiet and I sat down to some work and found myself typing rather rapturously, grunting and moaning like Keith Jarrett at The Köln Concert.

And then thinking about that album reminded me of some of the ways that a weed strain’s like a song. There are times where I’m enraptured by Jarrett’s playing at the 1975 concert. Whole months passed as I hummed those rolling melodies in my mind. And then at other times, it not only leaves me cold, but disgusted and scattered, like every saccharine note annoyed me. The feeling, when you really don’t feel like the music you are listening to, is precisely the way that the Lemon Grenade first struck me. What can at one moment be exaltation is, at another, exasperation.

After a few more sessions with Lemon Grenade my overall impression was positive, but only in limited doses. It’s not that you get too high if you sit down and really session with it, but just that the potential edge of the effects that are already there, when compounded like that, becomes unpleasant. All right, yeah, that’s what getting too high is. But there are strains where “too high” is never high enough, or generally fun. There are the others where it is obvious and terrifying if you are too high. But this is neither of those. It’s like turning music up too loud, when you can hear too much to enjoy it.

Strength: 9
Nose: Lemon flowers
Euphoria: 8
Existential dread: 8
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 7
Drink pairing: Coffee with a splash of rye whiskey
Music pairing: The Köln Concert, “Part 1,” by Keith Jarrett, Jan. 24, 1975
Rating: 7


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