The Best There Is: Cherry Lime is NorCal’s Top Cannabis

Mendocino County’s Aficionado Seeds’ recent triumph at the 2015 Emerald Cup, the most prestigious cannabis competition in Northern California, was hardly an upset.

The company’s heritage genetics have won Emerald Cup awards before — including a first place win in 2012 for its Chemdawg Special Reserve, a second place in 2014 for Black Lime Reserve, and a third place in 2013 — leading up this year’s first place win with Cherry Limeade, a strain developed by Aficionado’s chief breeder, Mean Gene.

It’s next to impossible to get a hold of the winning strain right now. But I knew that a call to Flow Kana — first class purveyors of sun-grown, Pure Green-Certified, boutique cannabis — would get me the next best thing.

Enter the Cherry Lime, an Aficionado strain developed via Mean Gene, who tells SF Evergreen that it’s genetically identical to the winning Limeade. (What’s in a name, anyway?) This is an invigorating hybrid with unique citrus flavors, impressively mild smoke, and powerful effects.

In a market flooded with strains touting THC levels in the low 20s, the potency of Cherry Lime — just under 18 percent THC — isn’t exactly astounding. But as anybody who truly understands cannabis chemistry knows, there’s more behind the desired impacts of ganja than just THC.

Maybe the unique terpenes contribute to or amplify some of the effects. Maybe being grown outdoors in the full sun imbues the plant with more terpenes. (That’s what outdoor farmers claim.) But without question, this stuff hits harder and better than many strains boasting higher cannabinoid concentrations.

One bowl in a water pipe was all it took to get a full appreciation for the effects, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a few grams in my vaporizer and an assortment of pipes and chillums. There are no lethargic effects, so repeated use (while not fiscally conservative) is perfectly manageable during the day.

Potency: 17.7 percent THC and 0 percent CBD may not raise many pulses on paper, but the impact is solid, clean and quick.

Aroma: Bright grapefruit zest and assertive hints of spearmint and juniper dominate the subtle, earthy fruit sweetness in the jar. The dominant notes are sharp and pungent, but the overall intensity is subdued — like listening to thrash metal at half volume. A spin in the grinder unleashes a soft-spoken but pronounced whiff of pine cleaner, which braids surprisingly well into the sweet fruit and citrus base.

Taste: Muted lime candy sweetness takes center stage in the exceptionally mild smoke. A large hit creates an unusual “cool” sensation in the lungs and throat. It’s barely perceptible but very pleasant and more pronounced when using a water pipe.

Appearance: Sturdy, natural bud structure with optimum density; attractive lime green color interspersed with deep emerald remnants of “sugar leaves” and red pistils, all evenly coated with a substantial trichome frosting.

Effects/medical applications: I’m not a doctor (sorry mom) and as such, I can’t promise you that smoking this will do anything for any particular medical condition. However, the balanced hybrid effects provided near-total relief for the physical tension and psychological stress brought on by my chronic deadline anxiety. This mentally uplifting strain stimulates productivity and provides muscle relaxation, like getting a shoulder rub from your cosmic life coach.

Bottom Line: Aficionado is built on a foundation of encyclopedic knowledge and fanatical dedication, and it shows in the artisanal quality of the cannabis they cultivate. Cherry Lime is no exception, and given its close genetic proximity to Aficionado’s Emerald Cup-winning Cherry Limeade, it’s a must-try for anyone passionate about truly top shelf, sun-grown cannabis.

Available at: Flow Kana, (check availability).

Emerald Cup winners and their breeders
1. Cherry Limeade, Mean Gene
2. Lemonhead OG, Josh Pope, THC
3. Purple Candy Cane, Greenshock Farms