About Monkey Paw
Monkey Paw is a sativa-dominant hybrid hailing from the scrappy and inventive old school of cannabis breeding. Supposedly created in Michigan, this bud is a cross between three landrace strains that were among the only varieties of cannabis available in the United States in the 1960s and 70s: sativas Columbian Gold and Acapulco Gold and indica Afghani. The product of these fabled buds is a pungently fruity flower with alert and long-lasting effects.
Monkey Paw’s flowers are only small to medium in size and cling together in tight, popcorn-like clusters. These buds have a loose, sativa-type structure, with fluffy leaves spiraling outward and loosely clinging to their central stems. In fact, Monkey Paw is said to be named for the resemblance of its flowers to a gnarled, twisted monkey’s paw. The strain’s leaves are a dark shade of olive green, although some phenotypes also show off bright patches of purple. These surprising hues are the result of anthocyanin pigments in the strain’s genetics which are activated by colder than average weather during the growing process. Finally, a blanket of cloudy white trichomes covers Monkey Paw’s buds, making them very sticky and difficult to break up without a quality grinder.
Monkey Paw’s complex aroma has some distinct top notes of berry and grape. On closer inspection, this fruitiness also has a dank edge, almost like fermented organic matter. Meanwhile, grinding up these buds yields hashy and rich odors, a testament to the influence of grandparent strain Afghani. When burnt in a pipe or a joint, Monkey Paw gives off a smooth, easily palatable smoke that carries simultaneous flavors of fruit and skunk on the exhale.
The high from Monkey’s Paw hits quickly. In addition to feeling a concerted pressure around the eyes and temples, smokers may pick up on an increased tendency toward intense, cerebral thinking. Thoughts can jump from one to the next in free association; those who tend toward introspection will have plenty to dwell on. In social settings, these buzzy properties may spark rambling conversations and friendly vibes. Fortunately, the uptick in cerebral thinking is not likely to overwhelm smokers, instead keeping them lucid and focused. Monkey’s Paw can serve to enhance the texture of daily activities like cleaning or exercising. In the right set and setting, this strain is also a good choice for accomplishing a pile of work, whether that work is analytical and task-based or more creative and open-ended.
Monkey’s Paw comes with few discernible physical effects. Some may notice a slight heaviness in the core and limbs, but this relaxation is not likely to pin them in place. As such, this high is a good way to set the stage for kicking back with a book or some atmospheric music in order to take the edge off of a long day. Monkey’s Paw’s energy persists as the high wears on. As dosage is increased, though, the strain can launch smokers into a more cloudy and trippy headspace, leaving them less likely to be productive and focused. Because it is so stimulating, this is a good option for daytime (and even wake-and-bake) use.
Monkey’s Paw can even have application for medical cannabis patients. Its sustained sense of focus can allow those with attention deficit disorders to execute complicated tasks. The strain’s mood-elevating effects may also temporarily take the edge off of mild to moderate cases of stress and depression. Physiologically speaking, Monkey Paw can soothe aches and pain, whether they’re temporary, as due to injury, or chronic, as due to conditions like fibromyalgia and lupus. The bud’s anti-inflammatory effects can also take care of everyday irritations like headaches and nausea. Patients who are prone to panic or who have a low tolerance for THC should consume Monkey Paw with caution, as its cerebral effects can take a turn into paranoid territory.
Unfortunately, no breeders have made seeds of Monkey Paw available on a commercial scale. Prospective growers must obtain clippings from mature, healthy plants of the strain in order to grow genetically identical “clones.” Plants can be grown indoors or out, although successful outdoor cultivation requires a semi-humid, Mediterranean-like climate. This strain flowers within 9 to 10 weeks when grown indoors and offers a relatively low yield of flowers.
Somewhat difficult to come by, Monkey Paw is worth trying for those lucky enough to come across it. Its hard-hitting effects are great for brightening up the everyday.