By Adam Rhodes
The Strain Domain is a personal log of my experiences with specific strains. This is an anecdotal account but I hope it will one day contribute to the community in a positive way.
My focus today will be on Blue Dream; a sativa-dominant hybrid originally from California. A heavy producing and tall plant to grow, it can be finicky and needs over 50 days to flower. It has earned its place among the legendary West Coast strains with its pleasant aroma and its potent cerebral effects. The strain comes from crossing a Blueberry indica with a sativa called Haze. Most Blue Dream phenotypes come out as sativa dominant and this one did too. The batch I tested came from Jenny’s Dispensary in Bend Oregon. The plant was a sativa dominant phenotype, with the high making me feel energetic and mentally euphoric. The strains most potent feature is the active and mentally stimulating high. I find it to be a wonderful strain to use before creative endeavors or activities.
THC/CBD/CBN: The strain I tested clocked in at 22.5% THC and no CBDs or CBNs on the lab work. I have smoked Blue Dream before so I was expecting the potently euphoric effects that this strain is known for. I was not disappointed, the high was heady and swift to strike. While overall THC content is a heavily weighted element of a flower, there is natural variation between phenotypes and growing conditions that create a spectrum of THC content levels. This specific batch is not the highest THC content but still counts as the high end. The lack of CBNs and CBDs contribute to the active feeling.
NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS: I am a pretty low energy personality but I found myself constantly distracted and looking for things to do. I wouldn’t consider myself anxious but a heightened level of time awareness was far from a sedative. I also found that I had a wicked case of dry mouth. That was pretty much the extent of the negative side effects.
FLAVOR: The flavor is quite sweet. A plant that wasn’t purged of nutrients before harvest will sparkle when lit and can taste of the nutrients. Some strains have a tendency to become very bitter or acrid if you let the smoke sit for a few seconds. The smoke effectively becomes stale as the heavier molecules settle. Letting the smoke become stale makes it harsh and can lead to serious bouts of coughing if it is not cleared from the chamber before taking the next hit. I always take an extra pull off a pipe before hitting it to make sure that the stale smoke and air is gone and all I get is fresh air and smoke. Blue Dream had almost no bitterness or acidity in smoke left over from the previous hit which made it easy to clear.
SMELL: Blue Dream has a very sweet bouquet with hints of berries and pine. It is very pleasant to smell before smoking but not overwhelming in its intensity. The smell is mellow enough that I am not afraid to stick my nose right up to the mouth of the jar I keep at home. You would be surprised how often vendors selling flower will bring product that hasn’t had enough time to develop any smell at all or worse yet, still smells like cut grass. The cut grass smell comes after harvest but before curing has completed. The cure on this batch was well done. The grower created a final product with a fragrant bouquet of berries and underlying pine elements.
HYDRATION: Hydration levels are important because a product that has too much water can mold and smokes poorly, leaving black chunks at the end of the bowl and a product that has too little water becomes harsh and turns to ashy dust in your hands. I test the hydration level by bending the stem of an average sized nugget. If the stem bends less than 2 degrees before snapping it is a little over dry. If the stem bends more than 30 degrees before snapping it is too wet. This Blue Dream snapped at about 7 degrees, on the drier side of perfect.
DENSITY: Density a less important element of the flower because transactions are based on weight, not volume. That being said, it is an important element for presentation and contributes to an even burn. If a nugget is too dense, it burns unevenly leading to thin smoke and hard, black rocks at the bottom of the bowl. There is a sweet spot in the middle where the nugget doesn’t crunch when squished but burns evenly down to light grey ash. This Batch of Blue Dream straddled that line nicely, providing a dense smoke that burned down to a clean grey ash.
TRIM: There are several ways to trim a nugget and each way has its own benefits. A nugget can be hand or machine trimmed with the biggest difference being in the consistency and how delicately the buds are handled. Some commercial trimmer machines do a great job but have a tendency to shake off or break the trichomes. Hand trimming is more labor intensive and takes longer. A good trimmer can be selective in what they trim off resulting in more sugar leaves or less depending on the crystallization. This Blue Dream was hand trimmed and they did a great job of sculpting each nugget. The uniformity of the trim job makes it as beautiful to look at as it was to smoke. The trim is a finishing element that doesn’t contribute to the effects of the product but can be the difference between a top-shelf product and a mid-shelf product. Since humans are built to rely on our sight more than other senses, a product that looks more desirable is assumed to be more desirable. In this case, our sight is a key sense for determining the quality of cannabis.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This specific batch is not the highest THC content but still counts as the high end. A heightened level of time awareness was far from a sedative and I had a wicked case of dry mouth. The flavor is quite sweet. Blue Dream had almost no bitterness or acidity in smoke left over from the previous hit which made it easy to clear. has a very sweet bouquet with hints of berries and pine. It is very pleasant to smell before smoking but not overwhelming in its intensity. The smell is mellow enough that I am not afraid to stick my nose right up to the mouth of the jar I keep at home. The grower created a final product with a fragrant bouquet of berries and underlying pine elements. The stem snapped at about 7 degrees, on the drier side of perfect. The nuggets were nice and dense, providing a smoke that burned down to a clean grey ash. This Blue Dream was hand trimmed and they did a great job of sculpting each nugget. The uniformity of the trim job makes it as beautiful to look at as it was to smoke. Blue Dream is one of my favorite daytime strains. The active yet happy high is perfect for helping me relax in the morning as I prepare for the day or go on an adventure in the great outdoors that is Oregon. The sweet smell and tasty smoke make it a dream to load and burn. The grower really knew his craft and I plan to smoke on it for quite some time. The unique flavor, beautiful trim job and full bouquet combine to put Blue Dream into my top-shelf. Thanks for reading.