The New Riders of the Purple Sage had a song in ’73 titled “Panama Red”. It was a catchy, upbeat swing of a song devoted to the delightfully psychedelic effects of its namesake strain. I first came across the song thanks to Old and in the Way, and it immediately solidified Panama Red’s place for me as a sort of mystical strain, worthy of songs in its honor. Unfortunately, Red’s heyday came in the late sixties, and it began to fall from grace by the mid-90’s, when I began to seriously smoke marijuana. The reason for this was clear: as a lanky, slow growing strain, Panama Red simply takes up space on a grow-room floor. Ever since marijuana became a legitimized high profit industry, turn around is of the utmost importance. Panama Red simply didn’t have the traits valued most by indoor growers and fell by the commercial wayside in favor of short, fast blooming strains. If you are lucky enough to find Red in an OC dispensary, it is usually a low quality outdoor grow, mostly lumber.
This harvest of Panama Red from The Clinic is unnecessarily leafy and a clay brown in color and covered with dark brown hairs. Visibly the buds are rather plain and unappealing, and there were hardly any naked eye trichromes. The aroma is vague, but you can pick up on the sweet woodiness common to Panama Red. After the green hit, which is true to the barky vanilla smell, the taste is rather harsh in the throat and smokey like a campfire. A more top-shelf sample might have a cleaner taste profile, but sitting down below, this eighth of Red left much to be desired.
Mellow is the word for this high. In the breezy sunshine of Orange County, Panama Red makes perfect sense. As typical of a sativa, Red is perfect for depression and anxiety and is noted for its mood elevating properties. After a shitty day yesterday, I was pretty blue when I tore myself out of bed this morning; although it took the better part of the gram I donated for, Red managed to soften out my disposition. The high is cerebral and visual: objects became sharp, colors defined, and music affecting. There is little wonder those hippies loved her so much. For those who work in a creative field, you will appreciate the innovative and vigorous attitude of this medication.
1805 E. Garry Ave. suite 130
Santa Ana, Ca