By Clark French, MS patient, Medical cannabis educator, founding member of United Patients Alliance.
Hello there cannabis lovers and newbies alike, welcome to my first strain review for the Dutch Passion website. I hope that this will help other Patients work out whether they think that the CBD SkunkHaze would be an appropriate use of medication. My name is Clark French and I am a founding Member of the United Patients Alliance an MS Patient and Medical Cannabis activist from Brighton in the UK.
For a number of years I have written strain reviews for websites, magazines and my own blog and was honoured when Dutch Passion, being such a well respected company, asked me to complete some reviews for their website. So here I am writing about one of my favourite stains – the Dutch Passion and CBD Crew collaboration of CBD SkunkHaze. This for me is a very memorable strain. Unlike many of the CBD varieties I have had the pleasure of trying, the CBD SkunkHaze is just as tasty as many of the high THC varieties.
Above, a jar of cannabis oil made from CBD SkunkHaze containing a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC.
Below. Keiron Reeves (left) of the UPA, Caroline Lucas MP and Clark French (right). The UPA campaigns to raise political awareness of the damage caused by cannabis prohibition to medical cannabis users.
Appearance. The SkunkHaze is a very interesting plant not only for its high CBD content, it has characteristics of both parents as well as being fairly high yielding. The buds take on different traits of both parent plants, they looks a little more like skunk due to the denseness but are noticeably longer and more sativa looking and have more pronounced round calyxes– they have that little stretch out, almost fox tail.
The trichome content is very impressive – upon closer inspection with the microscope the trichomes are perfect with ambers, opaque/milky and a few clear trichomes being able to be spotted, the frost on the buds make it have a milky yellow green, which you can pick out easier under the scope. There are a fair number of pistils, many are deep orange brown with a the odd few being golden brown. Over all this is some quality medicine.
Aroma. The smell is definitely up there in the amazing, I wish I could smell this as the default smell setting for life. She STINKS and has a real range and depth to the aroma. The low is those earthy skunky pungentness, the kind of nostalgic smell of mud and earth you get when you dig a hole – or maybe that's just me remembering my time studying Archaeology from the bottom of a muddy Roman trench – either way its a very noticeable part of the smell and takes the lower end of the scale. The middle notes are kind of fruity and sweet and there is a lovely and very distinctive citrus on the high notes, there isn't much of it but there is a slight hint of the acrid, sweet, sour and spicy haze but this is certainly over powered by the pungent and citrus aroma's.
Above. A frosty nugget of CDB SkunkHaze ready to be enjoyed
Below. Close up photography of CBD SkunkHaze shows the highly resinous buds which are valued by medical marijuana users for various conditions
Effects. Now this is where things get very interesting as I find that a 1.1 ratio of THC to CBD is extremely effective for my symptoms of MS. My pain levels usually go down dramatically when I use the CBD SkunkHaze. A THC rich variety might take my pain from a level 6 pain to a level 4, which is great as in comparison to pharmaceuticals as it has none of the side effects. The CBD SkunkHaze has a greater effect reducing a level 6 pain to a level 2 pain when using concentrates. I get lots of neurological pain in my legs, it feels like a huge lactic acid build up crossed over with a burning type pins and needles sensation, the CBD SkunkHaze lowers the intensity of this dramatically.
After pain, ‘spasticity’ (muscle stiffness/tightness) is my second biggest problem. My calf and thighs and the right side of my chest suffer from constant tightness. Around my chest is what's known as an “MS hug” - who ever named it never had it - it is not a pleasant experience whatsoever! MS hug is where the small muscles between the rib cage are in spasm, and for me this is 24/7 365 and has been for the last 5 years. By using cannabis it really reduces my chest spasticity lots. CBD strains add a noticeable difference with the most relief I can say I have ever had being when I use CBD concentrates. The CBD SkunkHaze is no exception and really makes a huge difference to my chest tightness, you can feel it melt with a dab – something which has become somewhat of a party trick. People love to feel it first hand and is something that I have used to convince people who were sure cannabis had no medicinal value – feeling it is believing it!
Below. Norman Baker MP (centre) from the Home Office meets with UPA's Keiron Reeves (left) and Clark French (right) to discuss changes to the UK's prohibition of medical cannabis.
MS leaves me feeling very drained and out-of-energy lots of the time. This is something which my Doctor attributes to my high level of chest spasticity. It takes a lot of energy to tighten your muscles and this really does have quite a negative impact on my life. The CBD SkunkHaze helps with this too, just enough to give a pleasant uplifting effect in the day but its not a bad one to have at night either – I find it is a most versatile strain.
One of the most pleasant things about CBD is how it acts to block the receptors which THC binds to which means that you don't quite get the euphoric high, but the effects last much longer. Thats not to say it doesn’t have a psychoactive effect it definitely does – I feel at peace and very happy when using the CBD SkunkHaze.
Comments. An amazing strain both for its flavour and effects, one of my all time favourites! Big respect to the guys at Dutch Passion and the CBD crew for such an amazing strain. A must try for any medical patient especially for pain and spasticity!
Clark French is an MS patient and Founding member of the United Patients Alliance
(ps Find Dutch Passion on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dutch.passion )
August 1st 2014