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One of the benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest is even more apparent as we all deal with Covid-19; our low population density and vast public lands. With temperatures beginning to rise, it’s possible to get out while staying safe and distant. This very review, in fact, is being written from the side of an empty forest path in Southeast Portland’s Powell Butte. 

As we begin to emerge from the couch-lock indica haze that’s felt appropriate during many of the past lock-down days, we’re looking for quality flower that rises to the mood. So on the way to the Butte, we picked up a gram of High Noon Cultivation’s Pinesicle Helen Back – online order via curbside delivery, because transmission avoidance saves lives – to see how the hybrid strain would propel us up the hill.

The Molalla-based High Noon Cultivation is one of our favorite growers in Oregon. The truth is, their vegan philosophy of cannabis cultivation sounded a bit silly to us until we smoked the results, which consistently deliver some of the most fragrant and potent bud produced in the Willamette Valley. The name of this strain, Pinesicle Helen Back, sounded equally silly to us, so we decided it was worth a try. We checked with the good people at High Noon Cultivation, and they tell us it’s a cross between Animal Cookies and Georgia Pine.

An unusually heavy white trichrome dusting and an abundance of amber pistils coat dense nugs, marbled from light sage to deep forest green. Sweet limonene, pinene, and myrcene top notes (to our nose, we don’t have terpene data) are initially dominant, but when one inhales from a bit farther away, those delicate notes are obliterated by an undergirding of serious gas.

The strain’s effects seem to come on quickly. This is just a tease. You’ll think you’ve peaked as soon as you put down the joint. Then twenty minutes later, when you catch yourself staring at a tree and repeating a sentence in your head, you’ll realize that you had not, in fact, peaked. But even as you reach the true peak, the effects will remain largely cerebral, a heady but not overwhelming buzz with minimal physical effects.

We live in a great place to stay outside while staying safe and distant. Don’t be afraid of a little rain. Take precautions. Don’t be around people. Wash your hands. Don’t be stupid. 

And pack a little fine herb. This is a good one for getting up that hill.