Lemon Haze / Photo by Brandon Soderberg / Courtesy Democracy In Crisis

My giant dog just had serious, invasive leg surgery — the second in three years, oh boy — and the 120-pound lovable lug won’t be able to do much for the next eight weeks. And right now, he has a lot of trouble walking even just to go outside and take a dump, though because he’s gone through this once before he’s handling it half-all right. He seems to remember how to essentially walk on three legs, and it’s kind of nuts and terrifying to see his whole shaved leg as just one stapled bruise that puffs up and discolors. Anyways, it mostly means I spend a lot of my time at home on the bed (which is now on the floor, box spring-free, because that’s the only way the dog could get on it safely) doing little to nothing right next to him, watching things or listening to the radio and generally feeling like I am in the worst Samuel Beckett play of all time.

It will be OK. I’m telling you about this because it might give you a sense of the conditions under which Lemon Haze does what it does and does it well. Namely, make everything feel all right. There isn’t much to Lemon Haze: It’s a polite wisp of a strain — a combination of Sativa-heavy Lemon Skunk and all-Sativa Silver Haze — that just nudges you when you inhale (to even say it hits you sounds too rough), stays around, and makes you happy. It’s a marathon strain really. The high lasts awhile, like the smile you get after you’ve had a great conversation with someone new you really like or something, the doofy grin on your face droops in slow motion.

Even its name, lemon haze as opposed to “purple haze,” connotes gentility, kindness. It’s more Birdie of McDonaldland than Grimace, if that makes any sense. (A byproduct of this comforting bud: It’ll make you say the stupid shit you think, like comparing weed strains to McDonald’s characters.) And of all the delicious Lemon-based strains, this one smells and tastes best, even better when it’s burned. Its taste mingles nicely as you light it up, the cooked-ness counters the sweet rather than ruining it, which is often the case with delicious boutique strains. Totally OK with the bad and quasi-content, with the dog next to me on the mattress slowly fading on his prescribed painkillers, listening to Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s “Blue Cheese.” That’s a wonderfully weeded song with lines like “I didn’t mean to cough on her / Forgot to add the fabric softener / I met a girl named Tina / That girl, that girl, supplies the reeferina”). Lemon Haze cast me in like the weirdest, lamest version of that scene in Gimme Shelter where the Rolling Stones are all clearly high-as-fuck on the floor at Muscle Shoals listening to endless waves of acoustic guitars on “Wild Horses.”

Preferable for sure to the shit-house Beckett play life has currently cast the dog and me in.

  • Strength: 7
  • Nose: A lemon lollipop that melted on your car’s backseat from the sun
  • Euphoria: 9
  • Existential dread: 2
  • Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 2
  • Drink pairing: Stumptown Sparkling Honey Lemon Cold Brew
  • Music pairing: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice
  • Rating: 8

Brandon Soderberg was the Director Of Operations and is a cofounder of Baltimore Beat. He is the coauthor of the book I Got a Monster. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Baltimore City Paper. His work...

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