Bodega Bubblegum: A go-to after COVID-19

Before I took a hit of Bodega Bubblegum from a vaporizer the other day, I had gone a month without inhaling any kind of cannabis product in any kind of form. I’d only gone that long without smoking once in the past 25 years — the other time, ironically, was so I could pass a drug test to work at a paper much like the one where you are reading this. That time I didn’t eat edibles or anything, but this time was different.

Back on March 15, I started to feel feverish. I was sore. I had done YouTube yoga for the first time that morning and I figured I was sore because of that. But I decided to take my temperature. My wife was asleep on the couch. When I saw the number 102.3, I started to freak out.

I spent the next two weeks terribly sick and in quarantine in an extra room away from my wife and even my dog. I could not get tested but the doctors told me to assume I had COVID-19.

A nurse friend who gave me additional advice said “Just don’t smoke too much. You don’t want it to become pneumonia.” He didn’t have to worry. Three times in the night, wracked by a horrible cough, I thought I would have to call 911.

I did take plenty of edibles, both CBD and THC, to help ease me through things. But even after I recovered from my symptoms and came out of my full-on quarantine room, I went another three weeks without inhaling anything and even now I am only using a vaporizer — no combusting and no vape pens.

[pullquote-1] And when I first took a hit, I was both nervous for my lungs — the whole thing was so scary — and excited that I would get super fucking stoned. It’s not like I had anywhere to go.

I’m normally a Sativa guy, but another two weeks after that and I’m still weak, so on this first hit I loaded up on the Indica-dominant Bodega Bubblegum, a cross between Stardawg and Bubblegum. It gave a nice little lift, elevating me, relaxing me, making the confinement of quarantine, the uncertainty of pandemic, a little more bearable. It didn’t blast me off in the way I’d half hoped, but I realized almost immediately that that was perfect. In convalescence, one wants nothing more than to feel “normal.” I didn’t want to feel super stoned, I just wanted to feel alive. And, unable to go into real bodegas anymore, the Bodega Bubblegum made me want to get on the phone and talk.

But it also made me wig out a little when I’d vaped some — and had a bite of edible — and a small local organic market delivered the groceries I’d ordered. The weird feeling that the world is like the Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker, where everything is both normal-looking and filled with lurking danger was heightened by the Bodega Bubblegum. But like the bulletproof glass with the sliding wheel in a bodega, it kept me separate from the world while also connecting me.

As much as the high, I enjoyed the taste of inhaling weed again. And it reminded me how good a vape can taste. The gassy, bubblegum, weird bodega-cleaning product smell converted into a floral, berry, almost nutty flavor. The buds are multicolored and beautiful — with dark purple and red hairs and several shades of green.

Bodega Bubblegum has been my go-to since I got well because it is easy and slow and smooth.

Rating: 6
Strength: 6
Euphoria: 5
Existential dread: 4
Nose: Cleaning products and berries
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 10+ (but not necessarily from the weed)
Drink pairing: Willett bourbon on the rocks, three cubes of ice
Music pairing:“I am... I said” by Neil Diamond