Pot Talk with Emily Hobelmann

I am standing in a magical cannabis garden, a Berry Jasmine plant towers over me, more than twice my height. I’m in a lush emerald forest crowded with Silly Strawberry and Loopy Fruit cannabis trees… I am in the Sunboldt zone.

That’s right, this edition of Pot Talk features Loopy Fruit, a proprietary strain from the Sunboldt Grown Cooperative, a Humboldt County farm based in Holmes.

Sunshine Johnston leads the Sunboldt Grown Cooperative. She was kind enough to welcome me at the farm to show me where the magical Loopy Fruit flower grows. Johnston is a local woman with nearly thirty years of farming experience, a forward-thinking cannabis farmer who is actively positioning the Sunboldt Grown Cooperative for the transition to regulation and production. (More about Johnston and Sunboldt Grown from Sharon Letts in this issue.)

Her cannabis is fantastic and the plants at her farm give off an organic loving vibe because they are organic and clearly loved. Johnston is developing herbal plant medicine for people and plants; she’s experimenting with wild fermentation, simple fresh extractions, and genetics; she’s creating beneficial insect habitat and she uses 100% cotton, breathable fabric for her light deprivation gardens — not plastic.

She shows me her CBD patch, a light deprivation crop and a full-sun outdoor garden. She tells me about her fresh cannabis infusions with coconut oil and honey and fresh extracts into homemade hempseed milk. She tells me about her green drink called “Amrita, the Drink From the Sea of Green” with freshly juiced raw bud, hempseed and pineapple juice. She shares some of her wild-fermented nettle drink. And we smoke some Loopy Fruit.

I am in heaven…

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.32.12 PMLoopy Fruit is a Sunboldt original, a cross of Blackberry Kush and Willie’s Wonder, a strain out of Williams in Southern Oregon. Loopy Fruit placed second in the “Fruit” category at the 2014 Golden Tarp Award, a local competition for flowers grown using the light deprivation method.

In addition to sharing some Loopy Fruit with me at her farm, Johnston provided a fresh sample of Loopy Fruit grown from clone with the light deprivation method. The sample was packaged in a labeled Mason jar — the Sunboldt brand sticker on top and a cute Loopy Fruit sticker on the side. The jar contained a couple of prime nugs and a pre-rolled joint. Johnston is clearly detail-oriented; the professional packaging and the immaculate trim job reflect high standards.

The flowers in my sample were harvested in mid-July from what Johnston describes as stocky plants. This is glamorous cannabis, bright green and frosty with tufts of hairs ranging in color from rich tawny orange to a bright crimson. The flowers are well formed, the calyces almost look braided, there is a symmetry there.

To get at the rich bouquet of sharp fruity blackberry and pungent Kush aromas, pinch or crack open a nug. Take a deep “dry hit” off an unlit joint to taste that Kush flavor and citrus tones. The taste is reminiscent of sweet raisin and apple, like a bread pudding.

I shared the pre-rolled joint with two of my girlfriends, experienced Humboldt cannabis smokers familiar with Johnston and her Sunboldt brand and quite excited to try the Loopy Fruit. Both are struck by the exquisiteness of the nugs. One friend exclaims, “It’s crazy crystal-ly to the bottom depths — there is no place untouched by crystal!”

The smoke off the joint is smooth as silk and all three of us feel the effects immediately — instantly baked. The blackberry flavor came through hard core when we got about halfway through, when the resin started to seep out the back of the joint.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 9.31.59 PM“I just love this kind bud,” my friend says with a philosophical tone. “You can appreciate the finer things with weed like this…” Indeed — we laughed with appreciation and noted that the joint got more and more flavorful as we smoked.

The effect is loopy to the max — all three of us did silly things that evening. I had a silly text message conversation. My friends reported forgetfulness and getting crazy with the munchies till after midnight. Loopy Fruit is officially strong cannabis and I’d say you should smoke it when you can chill out, relax, not stress about anything, like in the evening or at a time when you can get free and creative.

I revisit the Loopy Fruit on another day, I roll a fat joint with the remaining nugs, which are firm and snappy with the right amount of give and softness. The smoke is so smooth, and again, the high is instantaneous. Did I mention that Loopy Fruit is strong? I’ll call its effect “lucid inebriation.” It gives me a sense of bravery, a desire to go out and behold the world, to savor the natural beauty of our region.

Overall, this is creative, happy cannabis — a mind-altering Kush blend that does not bring you to fogginess. Instead, it transports you to a state of light-hearted gratitude. For me, it’s not 24/7 cannabis, but it’s a great treat and I extend sincere thanks to Johnston and Sunboldt for introducing me to the cannabis odyssey that is Loopy Fruit.

The Sunboldt Grown Collective is at the Mecca Cup in Trinidad on October 24th, offering both Loopy Fruit flowers and “artisanal bubble hash dabs” made with partner Happy Tree Farm. Enjoy!

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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