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Elephant Crush: The first fictional marijuana strain made real?

August 02, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • An example of medical marijuana, from the Perennial Holistic Wellness Center
An example of medical marijuana, from the Perennial Holistic Wellness… (David McNew )

It may be the first of its kind: A strain of medical marijuana that has been developed to match one first imagined in a book.

The strain is Elephant Crush, currently on sale at Waterfall Wellness in San Francisco. It has been on the market since July; before that, it existed only in the pages of "Baked," the novel by Mark Haskell Smith.

According to the book, Elephant Crush is “very smooth, ... nicely balanced” and tastes like mangoes. Columnist David Downs stopped by the licensed dispensary and took a look. "This smelled foreign and intriguing, sweet and complex, like stonefruit, or, dare we say it, mangos? Yeah, maybe, a little," he wrote.

"Baked" is the entirely fictional story of Miro Basinas, an experimental botanist whose Elephant Crush wins the Cannabis Cup, the famed worldwide marijuana competition that takes place every year in Amsterdam. Inspired by the pluot -- half plum, half apricot -- and convinced that over-hybridizing leads to marijuana as delicious as processed cheese (not at all delicious), he uses his botany skills to develop Elephant Crush.

There have been other strains inspired by pop culture: Pineapple Express, for the movie; Charlie Sheen OG, for the volatile actor; and Blue Ivy, after Jay Z's and Beyonce's daughter. Elephant Crush, however, may be the first that takes a marijuana strain from fiction and then makes it real.

"I’m totally surprised and delighted that someone would grow a fictional strain," Smith said. "What happens when you smoke it? Do you enter a fictional world?"

Which is a very Elephant Crush thing to say.

Smith, a former screenwriter, is not always found in the fictional realm. His latest book is "Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup."

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