Despite Canada still being some time away from our legalization date, certain pockets of the country have been much more permissive in terms of providing compassionate care to patients who choose to medicate with cannabis. Victoria, Lower Mainland B.C., and Toronto are examples of 3 places where I have found it generally uncomplicated to obtain “medical marijuana” from grey market retailers. Following provision of some sort of proof of an ailment that can be remedied by using cannabis and verification of being 19+, most clubs will provide you with a membership and access to the medicinal products of your choosing. Some shops are even current enough to have their up to date menu posted online, allowing you to browse through coveted strains from the comfort of your own home. I keep tabs on strains that have been most effective for me, in addition to keeping a mental list of strains that I wish to get my hands on one day. My obsession du jour has been looking out for the few known high THCV strains, and by a stroke of luck, recently ended up quite successful in my quest. Based on a need to quell my curiousity around THCV and a new-found thirst for productivity boosting sativas, I came across a strain that seemed to me to be almost otherworldly. She is a lady of class, grace, and exquisite taste, and certain to be worth every penny I spent on her.

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After falling deeply in love with the Green Crack strain, I did some rough research and discovered that, due to its Skunk #1 genetics, this strain possesses a greater than average tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) content. I was sure that this was one of the aspects that had made the experience with this strain feel so outstanding for me. So, I was on the hunt for even more strains, with even higher concentrations of THCV. My pursuit began with a Google search uncovering the most commonly referenced high THCV strains. It was there that I discovered nine of the most well-known strains, and here they are in no particular order: Doug’s Varin, Pineapple Purps, Jack the Ripper, Durban Cheese, Skunk #1, Durban Poison, Power Plant, Willie Nelson, and Red Congolese. Next, I translated those keyboard skills into searching through available online menus, and amazingly, via two separate dispensaries, obtained both Power Plant and Red Congolese. I suppose giving evidence that online shopping proficiencies are translatable into the blossoming online weed market.

Red Congolese is a rare, exotic, and highly lusted after sativa and her fabled high THCV content makes her all the more desirable. The effects from this strain that I specifically hoped for (and which I did receive) were: the intensified euphoria, the clear-headed burst of energy with a desire for productivity, and the complete aloof lack of anxiety. THCV also has properties that may sound paradoxical to anyone who has heard the stereotypic reference of cannabis inducing an absurd level of appetite. Surprising to some, the compound THCV is actually essential in strains that are now being marketed as appetite reducing “diet” weed. There is evidence that strains with a high level of THCV and a conversely low level of THC will actually make the user lose interest in consuming food. This attribute produced a sense of hesitancy for me personally, as I benefit greatly from the feelings of hunger created by cannabis. However, I found the effects Red Congolese had on my appetite to be quite awesome, it still gave me a desire for food, it just didn’t make me feel like stuffing my face. We went out to eat at a restaurant after smoking up, and I ended up packing up half my meal to go; on an average munchies-inducing strain I would have been done my food, eating a little of your food, and then reaching for the dessert menu. It’s like healthy portion weight-loss weed, and who doesn’t need a little of that?

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Red Congolese has these medium-sized, super airy nugs, they have long sage green leaves with vivid orange and red hairs. There is something about this flower, it is so thick and resinous it barely goes through the holes of my grinder. And if you are like me and love to smoke a well rolled joint, make sure you pack this herb loosely and then roll the joint pretty loose, or it just will not get enough air to smoke. Also, when you grind up your nug, what eventually comes out the other side doesn’t seem like all that much herb, although, you won’t be disappointed, because a little goes a really long way with this strain. After just a few puffs of thick, weighty smoke I was feeling extremely uplifted and euphoric. It hits hard with a really cerebral high, that can include some trippy visual distortions; if you are a beginner user, I imagine your world may spin a bit. I mostly just felt really joyful and really mentally focused. But also, it didn’t seem to stimulate too much talkativeness or social feelings, I felt more like being alone and letting my thoughts wander.

In addition to the uplifting, energizing, and focused high that one would expect from a highly rated sativa strain, I also came to discover quite pleasant and prominent physical effects. The strain provides a much greater sense of physical relaxation and mellowness than would be expected from a “100% sativa” landrace. Although, considering Red Congolese is a prized medical flower, it also has distinguished abilities with respect to relieving pain. These attributes make this strain one of the most ideal for use in the daytime relief of pain, as it allows the user to avoid the tiredness, laziness, and full on munchies that a lot of other pain-relieving strains might induce.

Red Congo is just a top-notch flower with an array of applications. Its potent cerebral high and stimulating energy makes it a great productivity booster in times of low motivation, like any dependable sativa. But it also has the bonus of pain relief, a mild psychedelic experience, and the high lacks an absurd increase in appetite. An all-around stellar strain for any connoisseur’s shelf, and I definitely would not pass it up if available.


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