by Kayla Johnson
For the most part, strain names give you a clue as to what you can expect from the strain you’re about to try out: Tangie tastes pretty tangerine-y, 9Lb Hammer hits like a nine pound hammer…you get the gist.
Then there are the strains that kind of take you by surprise. This month’s Pick, AK-47, sounds like it would knock you down, right? In high doses, you’re right, but for the average consumer, it’s remarkably balanced for daily use. There’s a reason this strain is one of the most popular around the world, folks.
The result of multiple genetic crosses from four different regions, AK-47 was developed in the early 90s, and for many who have been around the block once or twice, it’s considered a shining star of 90’s cannabis that has continued to flourish today. It’s a high-THC, sativa-dominant strain that helps patients and consumers manage their stress with an uplifting yet focused, energetic high.
If the name doesn’t pique your interest off the bat, surely the appearance of this strain will; it’s common for AK-47 buds to be an incredibly vivid shade of green, with fiery red-orange pistils curling between the sugar leaves. It’s also known for producing a thick, shag-carpet of trichomes, one of the first clues that this strain carries quite a bit of bang for your buck. Most cannabis plants are beautiful, but the vivid colors of this strain really make it stand out as something different than ‘the usual’.
When you open the container, right away the aroma is as much an attention-getter as the appearance. Where other strains smell incredibly fruity or skunky, AK-47 carries an almost-soured aroma that quickly fades into a peppery, earthy-and-floral scent that is as unique as the strain itself. It’s an uplifting, yet soothing scent, and with Limonene, Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene combined with Myrcene, it’s one of those strains you just want to smell, over and over, like the greatest cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
When smoked, be prepared: that aroma only intensifies. The smoke this bud produces is quite pungent, yet somehow manages to be incredibly smooth at the same time. The flavor profile isn’t harsh like the name might suggest, but actually kind of rolls together nicely for a surprisingly upbeat round of medication. To put it directly: it smells and smokes like a good time. For those who prefer vaporizing over combustion, that aroma turns into really incredible flavor; in my Arizer Air II, it was a smooth, flavor-packed experience that didn’t leave me waiting around for the effects.
Once smoked or consumed, AK-47 tends to take people by surprise at first. It’s a sativa-dominant strain with notably high THC levels, and for many, that’s not necessarily a good thing; high THC strains, especially sativa-dominant, can lead to paranoia or anxiety overwhelming any beneficial effects for patients,and if you smoke enough of this, you may find you have to deal with that. However, for most people, hitting a bowl of this instead offers an oddly relaxed-yet-focused effect, one that helps encourage their focus and creativity while reducing stress and anxiety. Because it has such a grounding and still uplifting effect, it can be the perfect strain for many during the day, especially if they’re in need of inspiration or creativity, or if they’ve had a rough day at work. While it’s an energizing strain, many find (myself included) that after a few hours, it fades into a deliciously mellow experience that is just above couch-lock, perfect for unwinding at the end of the day.
For those seeking medical benefits for a multitude of health issues, AK-47 is a powerhouse strain, and shouldn’t be overlooked. With its uplifting and energizing effects, it’s an obvious choice for those who battle things like depression, anxiety, insomnia or stress, but there is a catch: since this is such a high THC strain, the more you consume of it, the more you increase the chance of having to deal with cannabis-induced anxiety or paranoia, so if you’re battling serious anxiety or stress, take it low and slow, and see how this strain can impact you before committing to burning through a whole bowl in one breath.
It’s not just those battling with their mental health or psychological difficulties who should consider adding AK-47 to their medicine cabinet; patients suffering from chronic pain, fatigue, nausea or even lack of appetite can find really, long-lasting relief in this strain, and that long-lasting ability makes it an especially potent weapon for those battling cancer or dealing with other treatments that negatively impact the body.
AK-47 is one of those strains that I’d always heard about, but hadn’t tried for myself, and now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘something different’ aroma and flavor, and the long-lasting effects were a welcome change from having to light up again relatively soon afterwards. If you haven’t added this to your armory, especially if you’re a creative type who struggles with insomnia, I highly recommend you give it a try.