Remember the famous scene from Reefer Madness where the female lead hammers away on the piano while madly puffing away on a lit joint? It’s a (now) satirical scene that’s generally regarded as a highly fictionalized depiction of cannabis use -- and for the most part we’d agree...that is, unless that joint was filled with a gram of the subject of today’s Strain Spotlight: Headband.

Sometimes referred to as Sour Kush, Headband is the result of crossing three powerhouse strains: Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Master Kush. With its seemingly balanced lineage (some even claim Headband is indica-dominant), the palpably energizing and uplifting effects may come as a surprise to some, but its overwhelming fuel-like aroma suggests the Sour Diesel influence is the strongest of its three parents.

Similar to many classic strains, the origins of Headband are notoriously hazy: the consensus seems to be that the first cuts were courtesy of Reserva Privada -- a group of skilled West Coast breeders, and offshoot of the renowned, Amsterdam-based DNA Genetics. The earliest online reference available for Headband is its third-place finish at the 2009 High Times Cannabis Cup. In addition to its handful of competition wins, Headband has begun to earn recognition in popular culture -- the strain was referenced on a recent Rick Ross track, listed among rapper Smoke DZA’s Top 5 strains, and serves as the title for a popular B.o.B song as well.

The buzz surrounding Headband is well-deserved; boasting hearty buds with alternating shades of green throughout, and a refined sour/fuel-like aroma, the strain is considered a favorite even among the most persnickety cannabis critics. This smell-proof proof strain’s piercing fragrance is the result of its two most dominant terpenes: limonene and myrcene.

Limonene, predictably, is the source of the citrusy/tangy scent present in other popular strains such as Jack Herer, Super Lemon Haze, Trainwreck, and others. It’s been associated with several medical benefits such as mood elevation, stress relief, and improvements in digestion. Myrcene is often associated with the musty, earthy aroma found in strains like Blackberry Kush, Pure Kush, Skunk #1, and more. It most notably assists several cannabinoids in absorbing into the blood-brain barrier and binding to receptors, theoretically increasing the potency of your cannabis.

We sampled some of Elemental’s current batch of Happy Day Headband from Flow Kana (20.60% THC, $35/eighth, while supplies last), which served as the main course for our pre-sunrise wake n’ bake session. The nugs are soft to the touch, but not quite ‘fluffy,’ as they easily breakdown into smaller morsels -- a perfect-for-rolling consistency that strikes an ideal balance between powdery and clumpy. The refined ‘Diesel’ profile the strain offers is only intensified upon breaking up the buds, as the smell still clung to my thumb and index finger long after our session concluded. We ended up rolling a gram into a 1 ½” Raw Cone (available at EWC, while supplies last), lighting it just as the sun begin to sneak through the slits in the blinds covering our living room windows.

Upon our initial hits, the subtle cranial pressure that inspired the strain’s name became immediately apparent; as Leafly summarizes, “Many report the effects create a slight pressure around the crown of their head and feels as though they are wearing a headband.” This may sound uncomfortable for some, but for us the sensation was welcomed -- arriving with a warm cerebral buzz that notably improved our mood and had us giggling like we were back in high school. We quickly burned through the rest of our joint, feeling no detectable traces of lethargy or couch-lock; Headband’s fabled energizing effects had fully taken over, and instead had us feeling like getting our spring cleaning out of the way a couple months early. After taking a long, enjoyable walk around the neighborhood, the effects slowly began to dissipate, leaving us satisfied, but not sluggish, and ready for the rest of the day.

Ask your consultant to check out our Headband selection on your next visit!