About Oaxacan Highland
Named for the South Central Mexican state where it grew indigenously, Oaxacan Highland is a sativa landrace strain. In the 1970s, this variety of cannabis enjoyed great popularity in the United States, thanks to relatively porous borders and a lax domestic policy, prior to the so-called War on Drugs instigated by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. With its trippy effects and distinctive flowers, Oaxacan Highland has become legendary in the days since its introduction. Its THC content has been measured at between 15% and 23%.
Actual flowers of Oaxacan Highland may be unrecognizable to consumers of modern commercially-cultivated and harvested cannabis. When trimmed and cured, these flowers appear less like blossoms and more like wispy, elongated ferns. The long and skinny leaves are not naturally inclined to adhere to one another, instead spiraling loosely outward from their central stems. These leaves are typically a vivid kelly green, streaked with brown; sometimes, phenotypes of this variety also have high concentrations of the pigment anthocyanin, which results in patches of deep purple if cold weather occurs late in the growing process. A dusting of white trichomes and curly red pistils cap off these eye-catching flowers.
When properly cured, Oaxacan Highland carries and earthy taste that delivers notes of spice and incense, almost similar to indica Afghani’s trademark aroma. These buds also have a sharp and fruity berry scent that brightens up the strain's overall impression. Meanwhile, grinding up or picking apart these flowers releases some hints of roasted cocoa or coffee. When combusted, these rich scents coalesce in a smooth, easily ingested smoke. On the exhale, Oaxacan Highland’s thick smoke tastes fruity and woodsy, with the distinct aroma of pine and cedar.
Surprisingly, given its sativa genetics, Oaxacan Highland is a creeper whose high unfolds slowly over the course of several hours. At first, effects may manifest as an increase in blood pressure around the eyes and temples, along with an increased capacity for saliva production. Within short order, these odd sensations are matched by psychedelic distortions of the senses. Certain sights -- especially bright colors -- can take on a new intensity or dimension, appearing oversaturated or even glowing. Many consumers also notice that this strain can distort their depth perception (making walking difficult) and can induce strong feelings of time moving more slowly. If properly relaxed and able to ease into these phenomena, though, smokers are soon absorbed by Oaxacan Highland’s buzzy and uplifting energy. An increase in cerebral patterns of thinking is common, with thoughts flowing freely from one to the next in uninhibited succession. Rather than disorienting, though, this high is remarkably clearheaded, leaving the user free to engage in conversation or to carry out complex tasks that may be on their agenda for the day. With almost no discernible physical properties, this strain is a blessing for fans of pure sativas who don’t want to be weighed down by couchlock or a foggy mind. Because it’s more energizing than relaxing, this strain is recommended for daytime -- and even wake-and-bake -- enjoyment.
Oaxacan Highland’s energetic buzz can have several benefits for medical cannabis patients as well. It can help to sustain concentration, allowing those with attention deficit disorders to focus on a single task. It may also temporarily relieve the troubling effects of mild to moderate stress and depression. Physiologically speaking, the strain can numb pain, whether it’s related to injury, disease, or simple everyday inflammation like headaches. Because its cerebral effects can create a sense of “mindrace,” Oaxacan Highland is not recommended for those who are prone to panic or who have a low THC tolerance.
With no high-profile efforts at commercial seed cultivation of Oaxacan Highland in the works, prospective growers must obtain clippings of the strain in order to grow identical “clones.” Though the plant is native to hot and humid Mexico, some sources report that Oaxacan Highland has been successfully grown at latitudes as far north as 45 degrees. Since they’re purely sativa, these crops may reach tall heights; indoor growers should regularly trim back any weak or unruly branches. Those looking to bring out the buds’ purple potential should also expose the plants to cold (but not freezing) temperatures just before flowering begins.
Harder to find in the U.S. these days, Oaxacan Highland is worth grabbing if you’re able to get your hands on it. A must-try for sativa lovers and for cannabis connoisseurs in general, this strain’s contribution to the cross-breeding gene pool is clear -- it’s been used to spin off both Purple Thai and Montel’s Pride.