After a summer spent in flames both figurative and literal, autumn is finally here. Leaves are falling, the sky is moistening, and sunlight has finally cut her hours back to part time.
Anyone lamenting a lost summer has probably had their seasonal disappointment extinguished under the foam of a pumpkin spice latte, and like mulched leaves under a downpour, the rest of us fall fanatics can finally soak in all the trappings of the best season in the Northwest.
Though everyone’s fall to-do list varies, much of the autumn experience in this part of the country is universal. Harvest season is cresting to its peak, matched in immediacy by an increasingly dystopian future. What better way to plunge into fall 2020 than getting high and pulling the dehumidifier out from the back of the closet?
These strains were curated with the intent to find that necessary balance between fundamental seasonal duties and just making it through another week of white supremacy in its death throes. Please enjoy the season—and the weed—responsibly.
Best Strain for Raking the Leaves: Critical Jack
This is the strain for meditating while you carve spirals through a perpetual carpet of loose foliage once a week. Raindrops on fallen leaves might sell a lot of paintings on the coast, but slipping on them shits in real life is not delightful, so thank you, stoner yard care enthusiasts, for your commitment to your lawns and adjacent sidewalks. Critical Jack is a hybrid of Jack Herer and Critical Plus, and a great strain for an afternoon of losing yourself in a low-stakes physical activity. It offers a contemplative head high and a tempered body buzz that blossoms into peaceful, focused introspection when steeped in busywork. The body high is gently euphoric, with just a hint of effervescent edge. The terp profile is heavily dominated by terpinolene, so expect a rounded, fruity funk in the nose and a mildly sweet, herbaceous exhale.
Get it from: Gram Central Station, 6430 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-284-6714.
Best Strain for Pulling Your Winter Gear Out of Storage: Orange Crush
I’ve been looking forward to sweater-scarf-glove weather since July, and I know I am not alone. Let’s commiserate with Orange Crush, the perfect strain for simultaneously luxuriating in a pile of warm autumn wear while organizing away the threads of an emotionally suffocating summer. Orange Crush is a sativa-bent hybrid with a perfume that is mostly overripe nectarine with a shade of resinous pine. The terpene profile is limonene-dominant, with myrcene and humulene playing supportive roles. The resulting high is mildly euphoric and sensually calm in smaller amounts, but taking down a gram in one sitting may result in a more intense euphoria. A whole blunt to the face is likely to necessitate a solo dance party in addition to an hour or two of nostalgic organizing.
Get it from: Nectar, 4125 N Mississippi Ave., 503-206-4818, nectar.store.
Best Strain for Pumpkin Spicing It Up: Cornbread
In Portland proper, there are actual pumpkins spilling out of front porches in almost every neighborhood—so many, in fact, that indulging in “the spice” feels more like a Northwest rite of seasonal passage than a trendy corporate gimmick. Either way, it’ll taste better if you’re stoned on Cornbread. Cornbread is a heavier indica with a positive reputation for chronic pain relief and certain notoriety for leaving smokers with ravenous munchies. A phenotype of Bubba Kush, this strain can be similarly tranquilizing. The head high is velvety and insulating—Cornbread is often used to treat insomnia—and the body high is just as languid. It’s a great strain to smoke before indulging in an end-of-day pile of seasonal baked goods and drifting off to sleep with pumpkin spice coffee cake crumbles all over your face.
Get it from: AmeriCanna, 8654 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-254-4581, americannarx.com.
Best Strain for Social Distancing in a Corn Maze: SFV OG
Getting silly stoned and wandering around a manicured cornfield once a year is an autumn gift every stoner should give themselves. Corn-mazing is also one of the few organized community events we can safely participate in, and despite its charming wholesomeness, it is still a thrill. San Fernando Valley OG Kush is exactly the type of balanced hybrid that plays well with activities that require a modicum of stamina and lucidity. The head high is bliss on the cusp of romance, especially in the midst of mildly exhilarating physical exertion, while the body high is a familiar balance of rubbery relaxation and bouncy ebullience.
Best Strain for Dropping Off Food and Supplies to Your Houseless Neighbors: G13
Depending on how relatable this article is, you have a house, plenty of warm clothes, and enough of a disposable budget to go HAM on some pumpkin spice scones baskets. In nearly every neighborhood of Portland, however, community members will struggle through this season with far less. But what if we all got stoned to the bone, grabbed our few extra coats, beanies and blankets, and reached out to our nearest houseless neighbor, encampment or nonprofit, like JOIN , p:ear or Rose Haven, for example, and just asked what folks needed and then offered them what we could? Consider first toking some G13, a strain that vacillates between talkative and quietly relaxing. Often used as a stress reliever and to treat chronic pain, G13 is also a warm, giggly strain that uplifts moods and inspires creativity, humor and empathy. The terpene profile is monopolized by myrcene and limonene, so expect a peppery, citrusy nose and a clean, lemony exhale.