From the beginning Frenchy Cannnoli advised that by going to the source, I would get the best quality material. As he put it, the real hashmaker goes as far up the mountain as he can to make the best Hashish possible. My husband Nicholas and I undertook Frenchy’s challenge, traveled to the mountains of Mendocino County, and we returned with a quiet gem named Jah Goo; smoothy flavorful, with an intense and unforgiving punch. Years ago, while studying for my Masters in Landscape Architecture, I noticed that the showiest flowers, while absolutely beautiful, did not always have the most desired scents. Or perhaps they were temperamental and lacked hardiness. On the other hand, some of the sweetest and nuanced aromas came from flowers that were not extraordinarily pretty. Jah Goo balances it all: short flowering time, large, hardy colas, and a unique taste that I have yet to say reminds me of any other strain. She is in a league of her own.
Produced from a cross of a robust Afgoo female and Purple Jasmine male, the Jah Goo is a 50/50 hybrid which displays mentally bright Sativa characteristics at the beginning of the smoking experience and progresses to a heavier Indica-like physical high as one continues to smoke. In 2015, the plants were grown by Ladies Club Organics in Round Valley, Mendocino, California. After 8 weeks of flowering, with fat pink and purple colas covered in frosty trichomes, the Jah Goo was harvested in the late fall.
The harvested plants have been dried slowly and allowed to cure for over a month before being presented to me.
I have been washing Jah Goo for over a year and am familiar with her peculiarities; including the propensity to clog the machine as it spins. In the end Jah Goo washes well, producing a very good yield of sticky resin. The Hashish is dried in the freeze dryer which chills the resin far below freezing before drying it thoroughly over the course of hours. Once dried, I pick up a patty from the tray, inspecting it before folding it half. The resin gives slowly before cracking slightly to reveal a dark crystalline interior. The Jah Goo Hashish puck is a geode of dank oil-filled trichomes. Pressing this Hashish is going to be a dream. Using Frenchy’s hot water bottle tech, I warm the Hashish puck with successive rolls across its surface until I am able to press the puck into a thin, soft, and moldable sheet. Folding the sheet into half over and over, I create a cube, pressing it firmly with my palms while shaping adjacent side with my fingers. I continue doing this for a few minutes, creating a firm, pressed core. The warm resin reminds me of blackberry candy and it is hard to resist the urge to stop pressing and take an early dab. Satisfied with the tight box I have made, I begin pressing in the corners before beginning the roll of the templeball. A collected mass is ideal for preserving and aging and modern day templeballs are nod to a beautiful and practical tradition. After leaving the ball to sit for 2 days, I pack it into an airtight jar.
Two months pass and I believe it is an ideal time to dig into the tempting templeball. I open the jar and the pent up terpenes announce themselves loudly. I am used to the soft, berry like flavors of Jah Goo flower. However, as a freshly opened concentrate, the intensity is multiplied. The dark, purple skin initially resists the prod of my dab tool, but soon relents. Within the cracked ball, greasy resin, now coalesced into one massive resinous unit, glistens seductively. I pull the jar close and a savory, woody musk warms greets my nose. I scoop a fat dab’s worth of Hashish onto my dab tool and fire up the torch. By the way the Hashish looks in the jar, I know this dab will melt like water. With high anticipation I bring the tip of the tool to the quartz banger and as predicted, she melts smoothly across the surface. Golden bubbles paint the walls of the quartz and the Jah Goo Hashish disappears. I draw effortlessly on my rig and cool, thick smooth smoothly eases down my throat. On the exhale, sweet, floral-flavored smoke slides out of my mouth, billowing around my face and hanging in the air. A moment passes and a pungent tropical spice spreads across my tongue and tingles sharply up my right nostril. I have become used to this powerful afterthought of the Jah Goo Hashish. Each dabs reminds me of chewing on sweet cinnamon stick, followed by a green mango sprinkled with cayenne pepper. My nostrils are instantly cleared every single time.
Behind my ears tingle like the sensation you get when eating a lemon that is too tart. Fortunately, it is a rather pleasant feeling. It signals a lovely cerebral experience awaiting me. Little shocks tickle across the bridge of my nose and into my eyebrows. I love this feeling. Sativas provide a wide awake and aware feeling that brightens my day instantly. Dabbing Sativa Hashish feels like a shot of enthusiasm has been added to the moment. I feel so good I could dance. If nothing else I have got to move around. I convince my husband Nicholas that we should go hiking RIGHT NOW! Fortunately for us, living in the San Francisco Bay area, wooded and forested areas are always less than 30 minutes away. We head along the highway toward Berkley; radio blasting and spirits high. Nicholas is naturally ebullient most of the time, but he is sure to be even bubblier once we park and he can have a few dabs before our adventure. As he pulls alongside Temescal Regional Park, I retrieve my 3-hole pipe and quartz rod. Opening a small jar I scoop out more Hashish and tears apart like a thick wad of bubblegum. With practiced ease, I heat the rod with the torch for a short while and then allow it to cool slightly. With the pipe to his lips, I press the rod into the shallow depth of the pipe. The small mass of Jah Goo Hashish immediately starts to bubble,, wisps of smoke dashing into each of the three holes. He holds briefly before bowing out slowly. Then…he winces. I chuckle. I also take a hit from the pipe and then I am ready to go. I want to get my momentum going before the physical effects hit me. Jah Goo never makes me feel couch-locked, but a hike, even a short one, can seem like an unending marathon when legs lack to will to continue moving.
Still savoring the thick sweetness of the Jah Goo hashish, we start along the Oak Bay Trail which immediately begins a steep incline 830 feet (230 m) into the clear California sky. Within 5 minutes, we are surrounded by live oak, hazelnut, laurel, and redwood trees, to name a few. At first we are full of animated conversation, remarking about all of the pretty flowers and the gorgeous views of the Temescal Lake below us. Our high spirits are unbothered by the chilly breeze that rustles the trees. It is as if the Jah Goo Hashish has created a thin shell around us which buffets the cold air. I am not numb, but merely unaffected by the possible discomfort of the coolth. As we continue to walk, a quiet comfort settles upon us and the only sounds are chattering birds, the soft crunch of pine needles beneath our feet, and our unhurried breathing.
Something like waves provides a steady background accompaniment, but that sound is the constant traffic of a nearby highway. I frown when I notice it, but the irritation soon fades. Careful not to step into the poison oak along the sides of the narrow trail, we walk hand in hand, giggling like silly teenagers at nothing at all. After about ¾ of a mile, we stop to hit the pipe again. It has been a damp spring, so the risk of fire is low, but we remain vigilant about our torch use. The surest way to get Californians to hate you is to set something on fire and that would be a high blower indeed. Thirty seconds after taking out last pull we spy another hiker coming around a nearby bend and we hurriedly put away our tools. The wood smells lovely with the thousands of wildflowers that abound, but smelling something entirely different and yet perhaps familiar, she looks at us quizzically. Seeing no evidence of anything out of the ordinary, she silently continues on the path, and we break down laughing. We compose ourselves and turn around. The light is lessening and it is about time to get back. Besides, I am getting hungry.
Once back home, I am still full of energy, though I can feel the toll the short hike has taken on my body. Nicholas opts to take a nap on the couch, but I have other ideas – like taking a dab. I am entranced as the banger begins to glow red. The whole ritual of heating the banger makes me focus on every step to get the most flavorful pull possible. As I wait for the banger to cool, I stare at the glob of sticky Hashish on the end of my tool and I say a small affirmation of gratefulness. I am so lucky to work with this particular and unique strain. I think about all of the farmers involved in cultivating and improving the strain and I am thankful. The living room suddenly feels confining and I decide to head outside.
Wrapped in a soft green fleece, I walk up the stairs to the roof. Opening the door chilly air blasts my face, but just as before, the temperature is hardly noticed. Careful stepping down, I marvel for the hundredth time at the vast amount of sky visible from my roof. Twenty years after having grown up in New York with the majority of the cosmos blocked by towering buildings, I still delight at unobstructed views of stars. Tonight, thick brownish-purple fog blankets half of the sky, obscuring the gently rolling, yet impressively massive, Oakland Hills which usually dominate the view. Looking across the sky I see fat mauve clouds giving away to light wisps that eventually peter out over the dark San Francisco Bay. I pause my reverie for a quick dab of Jah Goo Hashish. The cool air chills my banger faster than I intended and I am rewarded with a very low temp dab that produces little vapor, but a mouthful of flavor. A flood of mangoes rushes at me and I smile at the simple fabulousness of it all.
Who says you cannot have it all? The delectable flavors, heady aromas, and powerful presence of the Jah Goo Hashish combine for an unforgettable comprehensive effect. A smooth operator, Jah Goo seduces thoroughly; at first delicately coy before bowling me over with her intensity. Jah Goo is the woman who walks into an all-white costume party wearing purple and still wins “Best Dressed.” She is just special in that way. She is dignified, distinctive, and definitely delicious.
Words by Dank Duchess
Originally published in Weed World Magazine 123