Jack Herer, a popular medicinal strain that's great for managing physical pain

I picked up some Jack Herer, a very popular medicinal strain, and smoked with a focus on managing physical pain rather than issues tied to anxiety, depression, and stress, which is why I usually smoke. Jack Herer—named after a noted cannabis activist—cleanly balances a mind and body high (both are equally strong) and it doesn't compel you to think or feel too much, though it won't exactly inhibit creativity or sensitivity either, it kind of leaves it all up to you. It's a mindful strain. The more you sit inside the high, it will make you giddy, and also a bit of a drooly, sleepy, dim bulb, but it's still nothing like an oft-dread-filled opiate zone-out. In an interview with NPR, Eugene Monroe, the former Baltimore Raven and an advocate opposing NFL drug testing for pot and demanding the league consider using cannabinoids to treat chronic pain, said that taking vicodin and oxycodone for injuries left him "loopy and out of it and not feeling like [him]self," and also "slowed [his] metabolism and . . . digestive system."

Even for a severe strain, Jack Herer doesn't do all of that to a smoker and it definitely makes you hungry, but not munchies-crazy. This weed seems to govern itself, guiding you between being focused and out of focus, perpetually half-occupied, just enough to distract you from your body—complete with some really nice tingling, almost massaging in your joints—which would really help if you're aching and immobile. How an athlete, or really anybody in pain, can more easily be prescribed a handful of heady, hyper-addictive pills that might as well be heroin to, say, an eighth of Jack Herer is pretty ridiculous. Maybe one day Monroe will get his own strain.

Strength: 10

Nose: what I imagine the planet Arrakis from "Dune" smells like

Euphoria: 9

Existential Dread: 4

Freaking Out When Crazy Person Approaches You: 4

Drink Pairing: half a glass of cheap white wine

Music Pairing: Botany Boys, "Thought Of Many Ways"

Rating: 8

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