Strain review: Mr. Clean 

click to enlarge Mr. Clean carries a strong pine flavor, tempered by an essence of mint. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • Mr. Clean carries a strong pine flavor, tempered by an essence of mint.
In school, I could hold fantastically detailed daydreams in perfect focus, but I was called “distracted.” The difference between concentration and distraction can be determined by the object of contemplation. There is of course a wandering mind, the kind of distraction our cellphones and social media accelerate as we spin out from one thought to the next in jagged disconnected jumpcuts. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about zoning out, paying deep attention to the “wrong” shit.

I smoked some Mr. Clean the other day and I was overwhelmed by sadness and beauty and the passage of time and started thinking, in the crisp fall breeze of Friedrich Nietzsche’s idea of the eternal return of the same. I had planned to do some work because it is called Mr. Clean and a lot of people like to get smoked up and scrub the floor and that sort of thing, so I figured it would get me going. It did focus me, but in an entirely unfocused direction, and it was grand. It was exactly what I needed. After several minutes of standing staring, lost in my thoughts, I was broken off from this deep, almost drowning focus, when my wife said: “What are you doing?”

I burst out laughing. The thing that is supposed to give this strain that focus effect is called pinene. It is one of the terpenes — chemical compounds that give plants their taste and smell — that can account for different highs in different strains. It is, of course, the one that gives pine its ginned-up odor and it accounts for that similar flavor of rosemary. And I think it’s my favorite among cannabis terpenes. Pinene is also supposed to counteract the short-term memory loss that weed allegedly induces. High pinene strains like Jack Herer, Blue Dream and Dutch Treat are perennial favorites. So if you like those strains, it may be on account of the pinene.
Pinene also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is where Mr. Clean gets its name, not, alas, says my wife, from a potent desire to start cleaning. It’s chill and relaxed, giving you focus not by revving up your juice, but instead by languorously, lazily even, slicing through the distractions. I may not clean the kitchen after I smoke, but I will really understand that song I kept listening to.

The pine flavor of these bulbous, dense buds is evident, but it is also tempered by a minty myrcene — a sort of soporific terp — texture and something almost like miso or if you accidentally get matcha tea dust up in your nose when making tea.

Mr. Clean’s not a widely available strain, but if you can’t find it, settle for some Jack Herer if you want the peppier end and Romulan for the drowsier.

Strength: 8
Nose: Pine, matcha, rosemary, miso
Euphoria: 9
Existential dread: 4
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: Matcha tea
Music pairing: “Rollin’ With the Flow,” Kurt Vile covering Charlie Rich
Rating: 9


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