Strain review: Prepare for lift-off with Astroboy

Photo by Amanda Siebert

Originally posted on The Georgia Straight.

A few sessions with Astroboy are all it takes to understand how this elevating hybrid earned its name.

While it certainly has something to do with the cultivar’s space-related origins—a cross between Apollo 13 and another variety that combines Ortega with Cinderella 99—one can also draw parallels between the variety’s name and the main character in Astro Boy. 

Fans of the Japanese manga series will know that as an android, Astro Boy is a robot that possesses human qualities, which means his powers, like superhuman strength, jet flight, and a built-in machine gun, don’t make him immune to feeling human emotion.

Like the animated character, its cannabis counterpart might have dominant qualities, but those who consume it will be reminded that not every cultivar can be boiled down to indica or sativa, even if a perceived ratio might indicate that the characteristics of one subspecies should overpower the other.

I was drawn to the supposedly sativa-dominant cultivar after an initial whiff during a spontaneous visit to The Village, where owner and budtender Andrea Dobbs suggested it might aid in the writing process.

The pungent yet pleasing scent was like a floral fruit salad: notes of berry, melon, and pineapple finished with a hint coconut and oatmeal. It was a distinct smell that didn’t resemble anything I’d tested before.

Grown on the Sunshine Coast by Heavenly Daze, each of the light green buds appeared to be thick with crystal-like trichomes, and orange pistils highlighted tightly wound leaves.

Busting the dense, sticky buds into smaller pieces for my grinder was more difficult than with other samples, but it was a welcome challenge. After all, there’s a reason Snoop Dogg raps about “that sticky-icky”.

Whether smoked in a joint or bong, the sweet, fruity scents of the cultivar translated nicely on the tongue for a robust flavour with a tropical finish.

Each toke seemed to simultaneously lift my mood and release some of the stress harbored in my upper body. It took a few minutes to feel the onset of a mild euphoria, which left me feeling comfortably mellow, but not at all drowsy.

Astroboy set the perfect tone for an afternoon of writing that bordered on leisurely: I was relaxed, happy, and functional, but didn’t feel overcome by racing thoughts or the urge to engage with distractions.

Physically, I felt less tension in my shoulders, and a migraine that I’d been battling for the better part of the day soon ceased to bother me.

While I was able to put Astroboy to use creatively, it would go as well with a walk in the park as a it would with an afternoon matinee at the movies.

If, like me, you find that your default mode is “high-strung”, finding a variety of cannabis that allows you to relax while maintaining a certain level of functionality is key.

It’s fair to say I found that in Astroboy, a cultivar I’ve actually been inclined to consume more than once since my initial test.  A subsequent session on the beach followed by some reading and a cold beer was a nice way to spend Labour Day, and I enjoyed it just as much the next day as a post-Tuesday pick-me-up.