Strain Reviews: Lemon G13


The Clinic’s Lemon G13


What we enjoyed: intensely uplifting high, good for focus and productivity, tastes like grapefruit brûlée, all the crazy stories we ever heard about the origins of this enigmatic strain, the chance to play detective as you search for clues in the cannabis




“I’m telling you, my friend’s brother got some at college, but like, just half a bowl pack, because any more was too much to handle.” Smoke rising above the video game settles just below the ceiling, and the story continues.


“It was smuggled out of The University of Memphis, or Mississippi, for this guy named Ned. The CIA and FBI collected seeds from around the world during the 60’s and 70’s and used them to create super-marijuana. They’ve got a whole warehouse of the best weed that anybody has ever seen. They had over twenty of them, and somebody stole a piece of number 13, because that was the dankest sample.”


I’ve always been a skeptic. It was just too good to be true, the best cannabis ever produced by a group of people who regularly fail to construct a two-lane highway on schedule. But the rumors persist. Someone’s uncle’s neighbor knew someone who saw the budget for the facility, it was all hush-hush, but he could tell what it meant. A guy with a green backpack was spotted selling some at a concert in New Jersey. Best shit you ever tried. I had been close a couple of times, but never actually got my hands on any G13. Now I’m closing in and I know it. G13 can’t hide from me anymore, because cannabis is legal(ish).


I’ve been trying to dig a little deeper into G13’s history. Both Leafly and Wikipedia sing the same song: some people believe the plant escaped from the University of Mississippi during the early 80’s. Wikileaf even says she was freed with the help of Nevil Schoenmaker, who cultivated the features that would make her the world’s most alluring cannabis. Some people think that originally G13 was a heavy indica, maybe 70%, and originated from an Afghani landrace, though what you are likely to find now are hybrids.




I know The Clinic to be a reputable establishment, reliable and trustworthy, so while I’m excited to see they have it, I’m a little confused as to why it’s hiding out far away from the indica side of the menu. A closer look at their strain book reveals the answer: The Clinic’s Lemon G13 is cross between G13 Haze, an already sativa-leaning hybrid, and Santa Martin Columbian Gold, a landrace sativa. Whatever made it out of that Mississippi lab way back when has undergone some heavy cosmetic-and genetic-changes, but I finally found some (Lemon) G13.


Like the Kosher Kush, the Lemon G13 from The Clinic Colorado is as perfect as anything else I’ve tried in Denver, or Seattle, or Amsterdam – these people know what they are doing. But it’s not totally unfamiliar. In fact, I recognize this taste right away, I just can’t quite pin it down. My mind and heart are both speeding a bit. It’s definitely a powerful sativa. But that flavor, I’ve tasted this before…


We try it again first thing in the morning, a good cup of cannacoffee to get our brains moving, and, without the fog of jetlag and rental car counters, I remember. I’ve had plenty of cannabis that had citrus notes, plenty that tasted like grapefruit and pine, guano-grown to enhance the effect. This is different. It’s a thick grapefruit and covers every part of your mouth; you expect it to be more sour, you expect your lips and cheek to pucker, but they don’t, because it’s also syrupy sweet. Almost like a lozenge made of honey that instantly dissolved and left only a coating. Each time we tried the Lemon G13 I found myself instinctively running my tongue along my teeth to make sure I didn’t have any sticky, fruity, residue.


Only once before have I ever had anything like this.




NYC Diesel, which we found at The Dampkring in Amsterdam 13 years ago, produced by Soma Seeds. It’s another plant with mysterious origins. First presented to Soma by a man of extensive dreadlocks who proclaimed it to be the best bud he had ever smoked, and listed as 60% sativa, the seeds were smuggled out of New York; not much else is known.

Could they be related? Could the G13, having escaped the government’s clutches and gone on the run through the go-go 80’s, have teamed up with some powerful sativas in an effort to seem more like what I imagine cocaine to be? It’s possible, with both strains doing their best to keep their origins a mystery. Though it has been over a decade, I’ll never forget the way the NYC Diesel smelled, the way it tasted, and how I could sit with it for hours, just like the Lemon G13, fully engaged and alert.


She’s not to be trifled with; the Lemon G13 can be a little intense at first. It’ll really make your head and pulse race. You mind can go pretty fast, and it may take your breath away. After the initial rush, though, I found myself always able to settle into what I was doing, and able to do it well. Whether you’re making breakfast, or writing, or trying to replace the busted side-view mirror on your Toyota, the Lemon G13 can be a powerful ally. If you can keep up.


I love Lemon G13. I can’t stay away. It’s a flower of choice whenever I can find it, and it’s not always easy to find. Wherever this plant came from, the Clinic’s Lemon G13 is worth tracking down. It’s just too bad that as soon as we find some, it seems to slip back into the vapor-fog night before we really had a chance to appreciate it.


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