I was talking to Indy, the manager at PūrLife, about an episode of the podcast Radiolab we'd both listened to, “From Tree to Shining Tree,” which talked about some research being done by forest ecologist Suzanne Simard. She discovered that a network of tiny thread-like fungal fibers connect the roots of all the trees and plants in a forest, acting as a kind of trade system between them. She posits that certain behavior (such as the trading of carbon between different tree species and the way trees will soften their own roots to allow the fungi to penetrate and carry off nutrients) implies the existence of plant intelligence. It sounds like wacky sci-fi stuff, but it seems to be backed by hard science.
Finding out that someone else had heard about it and seemed as psyched as me was a relief. I'd been excitedly telling friends that if lettuce could scream, salad bars would sound like pig farms. And so far, I'd mostly just gotten “the look”—the one that says, “Do I need to worry about this guy? Where's my wallet?”
Indy started popping out samples of PūrLife's buds and encouraged me to hold them under a lighted magnifying glass that was right in front of the register. It was a really cool contraption that more places should incorporate (and finding one for less than $100 is easy). Between each inspection, I'd look behind him at a wall displaying bongs and pipes, lit by cascading rainbow LEDs. It was mesmerizing.
“I never really understood weed porn,” I told him while I looked down again at a nugget of Bruce Banner. He laughed.
“Until you actually have some options,” he said, “honestly, I just like looking at plants in general.” An official botanophile. I knew it. We can smell our own.
Before I left, Indy leaned over the counter and told me I should investigate the weird method of grafting Red Delicious apple trees in a hushed voice (which will end up sending me down a hole called “the history of the Red Delicious” that I can only recommend to those of exceptional fortitude and inhuman vigor).
When I got home, I popped open a bottle of Tangie (THC: 20%, CBD < 1%—$12/gram), a hybrid strain developed by DNA Genetics in Amsterdam that's a cross between California Orange and Skunk No. 1, and my living room was flooded with the rich, dank smell of tangerines and rosemary. I swore to myself that a strain's smell or taste would never take precedence over its effects, but Tangie could have made me go back on that easily. The aroma was pungent and enticing, and the taste was even better—astringent, but smooth and sweet. To be honest I've smoked way stronger dope, but the sheer pleasure in the act of smoking this one nudged it up a couple of spots on my list.
Its effects took a few minutes to settle in, but the marked improvement of my mood was almost palpable. I felt optimistic, giggly and just plain happy. I have to wonder how much can be attributed to the scent, though. A study performed by the Mie University School of Medicine found that patients suffering from depression required smaller doses of antidepressants after citrus fragrance treatment. A study conducted at Ohio State University found that aromas had no physiological effects, but here again, lemon oil—a citrus scent—was shown to improve mood. So who knows?
Later in the evening, I cracked into an sativa-dominant hybrid called Wreckage (THC: 22.2%, CBD > 1%—$12/gram). This mossy-tasting bud smells just like a hoppy beer and inspires the Chatty Cathy in all of us. I could see this being a good choice for anyone suffering from social anxiety, as all sense of pressure seemed to leave me, and suddenly words were just rolling out of my mouth. I just couldn't shut up about Red Delicious apple trees and how they're basically the Stalins of the plant world.
I woke up the next morning, feeling only slightly embarrassed about the night before. (“What if plants are conscious, but they're moving at such a slow pace compared to us that we can't recognize their behaviors as such?”) It was time for work, and I needed to get my gears spinning. I packed a bowl of Shipwreck (THC: 16.9%, CBD: 31%—$10/gram). This stuff is perfect for focusing the mind on a specific task. I puffed the fragrant (like daisies) weed while starting up a restaurant review, and the next thing I knew, the article was done, an hour had passed, and I still had half a bowl. Re-reading what I'd written, I laughed out loud at my own joke. Success!
This was some superior flower, to be sure, and the cool staff and gorgeous shop will definitely entice me to make PūrLife a regular stop. But the real thing that won me over was the rainbow LED setup. I'm a total sucker for that stuff.