Illustration by James the Stanton

Illustration by James the Stanton

Fruit of the Plume

How do weed growers get strawberries, lemons, and cherries in your bowl?

As I write this, I’m smoking nugs of the hybrid strain Forbidden Fruit from Canna Organix. Lately I’ve been really fascinated with how strong the fruity flavors are in modern weed, and it got me wondering, “How did they do that?”

Several dozen strains in the world possess naturally sweet smells and/or flavors, and many of these provide a small whiff of a particular fruit. But these days, growers are cultivating plants with specific scents and flavors in mind, even if the strain has the potential to display these traits. Strawberry Cough, Super Lemon Haze, Pineapple Chunk, and Blueberry smell and taste exactly as they are named. The grower has to know what the plant wants. They must provide the right nutrients and light during the growing cycle to encourage the plant to show off its fruity potential, then harvest and cure the buds at the right time to capture the flavors and smells.

For a more direct flavoring method, some producers simply add sugars and flavors during the growing process. This approach opens brand-new scent and taste combinations that plants may not have been capable of previously. Usage of these extra ingredients is a little controversial, and some growers see these methods as “cheating.” Blackstrap molasses has become a go-to for enterprising growers who want to boost the sweetness in plants. Some growers just add basic flavorings to their watering cycles, using lemon, orange, strawberry, or other natural extracts found in the baking aisle at the grocery store. And a few companies even make plant supplements designed for adding flavors or smells.

One of the most tried-and-true—and natural—methods for flavoring your cannabis is storing dried weed with pieces of fruit or fruit skins. This is also an old-school method for replenishing a little moisture to dried-out nugs, and the most D.I.Y.-friendly option for fruitiness. Try placing some weed in a sealed container with a couple thin slices of apple or dried skins from an orange, lemon, or grapefruit. Leave it in the fridge overnight. Moisture and terpenes from the fruit will transfer to the dried nugs, bringing along their scents and flavors. If your nugs are a little too moist after this experiment, dry them in the open air for a couple hours before putting them back in their usual storage container. Fair warning: This method can introduce mold, so do only a couple nugs at a time and make sure you wash and dry your fruit before trying this.

The most new-school version of this method is to use essential oils. With this route, you drastically reduce the chances of mold, because essential oils don’t introduce any extra moisture, just intense smells and flavors. Tap out a few drops of oil onto a cotton ball and place that in the container with your nugs. Because essential oils are pretty intense, make sure you tape the cotton ball to the lid of your container or otherwise keep it from touching your weed; you only want to infuse the nugs with the volatiles from the oil, not soak the actual leaves.

stashbox@seattleweekly.com

More in Eat Drink Toke

Treat or Trick?

A new ban on a variety of edibles has some cannabis producers running scared.

Did Wildfires Contaminate Your Weed?

Most apparent effects might be seen in outdoor grows, with plants showing traces of ash, cinders, and mold

Smoke Weed (And Brush Your Teeth) Every Day

Are there any other detrimental side effects of smoking weed all the damn time?

Faded For Fall Equinox

Cannabis can play a role in your seasonal celebrations.

Seasonal Affective Disorder for Stoners

Marijuana can act as an antidepressant for the fall and winter months.

Bonsai Your Buds

A few weed growers are playing with the willowy nature of cannabis plants

Best of Seattle 2018: Food & Drink

Best Bar + Best Brewery + Best Happy Hour Redhook Brewlab Founded… Continue reading

Pass the Dutchie One More Time

More dispensaries are seeing cannabis consumers move away from smoking flower—aka plain old weed.

The Dark Star of Doobage

could cannabis have actually come from outer space? And if it did, was it aliens that brought it to Earth?

Video Games and Ganja

Two lovely pastimes that go quite well together.

New Pot Shops Coming to Capitol Hill

You get a pot shop! And you get a pot shop! Everyone gets a pot shop!!!

Border Patrol Begins Barring Canadians Working in Legal Cannabis

The U.S. has started categorizing some marijuana industry workers as “drug traffickers” and banned them for life.