I enter my neighborhood dispensary on a mish. Winter blues and a wicked head cold have worn me down. I struggle to get off the couch and into the gym, my house is a mess, and my girlfriend repeatedly asks me if everything is ok.

I want something to pick me up, clear the fog, and kick me in the ass.

Without hesitation, the budtenders hand me a sample jar filled with Durban Poison.

Choosing Durban Poison

I waver. I know of this strain—it is a classic, after all—but I haven’t looked too deeply into it. Something about the word “poison” puts me off. I also generally avoid pure sativas. As someone with a brain that never slows down, I usually reach for something to apply the brakes in the evening. Taking the cannabis version of rocket fuel just seems like a recipe for anxiety.

Still, the budtenders insist I try the sweet, earthy African landrace. It’ll give me the clear-headed boost I want, one says. Just take it at the right time, the other warns.

I concede. The staff members at this dispensary are usual spot-on with their recommendations.

Experiencing Durban Poison

When I get home, I pluck a bud from the foil bag. It’s chunky and round, and the bright green color is laced with plenty of orange hairs. There’s also a thick frost of oversized trichomes.

According to the budtenders, those crystals contain anywhere from 16-25 per cent THC and almost no CBD. Though I prefer flower, apparently the sheer quantity of trichomes—there are so many that they end up coating the entire plant—also make Durban Poison a popular candidate for concentrates.

I roll a joint and take a few spicy-sweet draws. Immediately, my head and spirits feel lighter. My morning coffee has nothing on this.

Within minutes, I don’t want to sit still. So, I happily fold the laundry that’s been on the drying rack for days. When I take half the pile into my room, I notice four water glasses on my nightstand. I’m compelled to take them to the kitchen. The countertop catastrophe draws me in and I fill the sink with soapy water.

I spend the next few hours zipping from task to partially finished task. Though I’m focused, this lack of direction isn’t like me. I feel a touch anxious. But, I reminded myself I don’t need to settle down and concentrate. I drink some water to combat cotton mouth, do a little stretch, and keep moving. Everything is ok.

An hour later, I’ve only one thing left to do: write this review. Thankfully, the Durban Poison’s espresso start had worn off, leaving me alert and creative. I attack the keyboard, letting words flow abnormally unhindered. The little editor in my head is quiet for once—which may or may not be a good thing.

Within a few hours, my energy wanes. I feel like I’ve run around the block a few dozen times, and my brain doesn’t want to think anymore. Not surprising; I had just done more on a Saturday afternoon than I’d managed to do in a week. I’m grateful for the slower pace and take a breather.

When the little editor wakes up, I return to this story and find it’s lucid.

Durban Poison isn’t so scary. In fact, it’s damn useful.