Blue Mountain Durban. Photo by Baynard Woods/ Courtesy Democracy In Crisis.

Many of us would never make it through the day without weed, for whatever medical conditions we suffer from. And people who suffer from anxiety know what a relief a good toke can be. But it can also send you in an insane tailspin of self-doubt and crippling anxiety. We’ve all been there, frozen in a corner over-analyzing every thought until you tweet out that you think someone is stealing your dog, as my colleague Brandon Soderberg did one night with me in the Hutzler Building for Michael Jones McKean’s solo exhibition “The Ground,” which we were attending after some particular angsty herb.

When you talk to older people who have quit smoking, that’s usually the reason — the antisocial anxiety is just too much. I’ve been smoking for 30 years so I’m usually somewhat immune to the creeping crush of over-sensitive self-awareness (also I am a white dude and, well, just look around, we’re not known for self-awareness). I’d learned long ago to deal with the anxiety by telling myself that it is just chemicals in my brain, it will pass, etc.

Blue Mountain Durban, a hybrid of the South African Sativa Durban Poison, Afghani 76, and the Indica Lavender, challenged that assumption a bit. It is the kind of weed that might send you into one of these black holes of self-doubt and over-examination. It is a magnificent mojo, but if you are stressed by, say, watching the president speak, you need to go for something else. I learned that the hard way. The angst of this year is so great anyway that we need our weed to revive and relax, not force us into a Heideggerian state of authenticity born of the realization that we will die. But that’s where I found myself after a few hearty tokes of the gorgeously-scented BMD. It tasted so pleasant that I had a couple more, with really deep autumnal undertones of dead damp morning grass covered with leaves.

And I had some more. And then there I was, back in that hole—as was the friend I was smoking with, who refuses to touch BMD again. But once you ride through the existential dread, you realize how useful a good ethical scouring and session of self-loathing can be and you ease into a smooth body high that is worth the terrors it takes to get there. (Baynard Woods)

Strength: 10

Nose: Wet leaves and mulch soaked in whiskey

Euphoria: 7

Existential dread: 10

Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 10

Drink pairing: Bourbon, neat

Music pairing: Albert Ayler, “Love Cry”

Rating: 6

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