Long serving as the de-facto go-to for cannabis users leading on-the-go lifestyles, Durban Poison has been a relevant name within the worldwide cannabis market for more than three decades. A landrace strain originating from South Africa, DP was passed through the hands of several legendary growers before finally being deemed fit for release to the general public. Since then, the strain has been propelled to heights previously unimagined, spawning a plethora of phenotypes and snagging several prestigious awards, while firmly securing its place in cannabis lore.
To pinpoint the origins of Durban, we must take it back to 1970s, where a young Ed Rosenthal was adventuring across South Africa, searching extensively for new genetics. This region had long been known for its pure equatorial sativas, drawing strain hunters from all corners of the globe to search for rumored treasures.
Ed was indeed able to snag several seeds along his trek, eventually bringing them back to the United States; he selectively bred a handful of them, passing along the best to a friend for further tweaking. The friend, fellow breeder Mel Frank, was able to significantly increase the plant’s resin production before finally handing off the project to Amsterdam breeder Sam the Skunkman, who was able to cut down on the strain’s flowering time.
The final product was finally introduced by Amsterdam-based ‘The Seed Bank’ in 1985, immediately catching on with Dutch growers seeking a fast-flowering sativa to thrive during Holland’s notoriously short summers. Since its inception, Durban’s popularity has sustained surprisingly well -- it has become a reliable building block for newer strains (e.g., Girl Scout Cookies), in addition to collecting a copious number of accolades (e.g., 2010 HTCC Best Sativa, 2014 HTCC Best Medical Sativa, 2014 HTCC Best Medical Concentrate, etc.) following its debut more than 30 years ago.
DP is a rare pure sativa, boasting landrace genetics and impressively big nuggets that help to distinguish it among its peers. When grown to full potential, it produces large, chunky nugs that offer a refined forest green hue with rustic orange hairs peeking throughout the entirety of its body. Also, with a luminous layer of trichomes visible to the naked eye coating its exterior, it's no surprise that Durban is quite sticky to the touch -- even with use of a grinder, it generally breaks down into small clumps that wind up being great for either bowl packing, joint rolling, or both. Its aroma can range from subtly sweet all the way to piney and Jack Herer-esque depending on the particular cut and grower; its flavor profile is in large part due to its two most prominent terpenes: limonene and myrcene.
Limonene is a common terp, offering a sweet citrus aroma that’s the main source of the fragrance emanating from strains such as Trainwreck, Jack Herer, Lime, and countless others. According to Leafly, limonene is ideal for those seeking mood elevation and/or stress relief. Myrcene is perhaps the most well-known terpene in cannabis, often providing its fabled “couch-lock” effect along with a distinct pungent/musty odor. High concentrations are found in many heavy Kush strains such as Ogre, Pure Kush, The True OG, etc.
We sampled Elemental’s fresh batch of artisan-top-shelf Durban from our friends at UpNorth, currently available on the menu at $50/eighth, while supplies last. We carefully selected a prime bud from the top of the jar -- samosa-shaped, a bit longer than wide, a myriad of beautiful trichomes glittering across its surface -- and cleared out our no-frills spoon pipe to load a fresh bowl.
We loaded our product into the grinder -- the first thing we observed was the absurd amount of keif generated from chopping up just a half-gram bud. A welcomed surprise to be sure, we wound up sprinkling a hearty layer of this freshly-minted keif on top of our flower for good measure. Upon our initial hits, we noticed the subtlety disappear from DP’s terpene profile; instead, an intense, recognizable Jack-like flavor (pleasantly) launched an assault on our taste buds when converted to smoke. Without affording us much time to reflect on this development, Durban’s legendary cerebral buzz and instant invigoration took effect; we immediately felt the urge to move around and/or do something productive -- certainly not your Netflix-and-Chill type of strain. After a couple hours of some surprisingly competitive hacky sack, and intensive backyard lounging, DP’s energizing effects finally began to wane. Admittedly, we may have consumed more than needed; we were left feeling mildly lethargic, and in serious need of a nap -- in our opinion, a small price to pay to experience the legendary effects of a classic strain such as Durban.
You can find the aforementioned Durban Poison flower ($50/eighth, WSL) and a plethora of quality DP vaporizer cartridge varieties currently available at Elemental. Ask your consultant to check ‘em out on your next visit!