Essential Strains

Listener’s Favorite Strain: Durban Poison

Episode 89

Show Notes

Why Women Love Durban Poison

Durban Poison is one of How to Do the Pot’s 12 essential strains, and it’s a listener favorite! On today’s episode, we dig into Durban Poison’s history as a landrace strain from South Africa, give you tips on where to buy it across the U.S., and Ellen shares a personal story about why Durban Poison lives up to its name as the espresso of weed.

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Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:06):

The high came on quickly making me feel a bit intoxicated, but still very coherent. I felt bubbly and talkative and it made for a fun, giggly dinner out with friends. In the first 30 minutes I felt a little bit anxious and overly self-aware, but is dissipated and the fun high lasted for at least two more hours.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:29):

Welcome to How to Do the Pot, a podcast demystifying cannabis for women. We are here to answer the questions you’re secretly googling about weed. I’m Ellen Scanlon.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:40):

You just heard me read a review of the stream Durban Poison from one of our listeners, which gives a clue to why it’s nickname is the Espresso of Cannabis. Durban Poison is classified as landrace sativa strain and on episode 87 we talked all about them. They’re the original strains that existed in the world and they come to us from Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America and the Caribbean. At the end of 2020, How to Do the Pot created a list of the 12 essential cannabis strains for woman and you can listen to shore five minute episodes about each of the 12 strains, just check out our feed to hear them all and of course they’re on our website too.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:23):

On today’s show we’ll dig into the history of Durban Poison, a landrace strain originally from the South African port town of Durban. It is one of our 12 essential strains and it’s a very popular strain in the market. It’s How to Do the Pot’s second most listened to strain episode. The first is the high CBD strain Harlequin. Thank you so much to our Instagram followers at Do the Pot for sending us your favorite brands that offer Durban Poison and we’ll share some of those and I’ll share why I love the strain too.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:54):

Are you on the list for How to Do the Pot’s newsletter? We send it out twice a month on Fridays and we’d love for you to subscribe at

Ellen Lee Scanlon (02:07):

We’ve gotten some questions about strains recently that I want to address because they speak to the reason that I am so passionate about teaching woman how to do the pot. Basically it comes down to this. If everyone responds differently to strains how do you figure out which strain to try and most importantly how will the strain make you feel? The answer is like most things in cannabis, a little complicated. As we talked about in our landrace episode there is no original kind of control group of strains that affects everyone in the same exact way and this is a plant that has not been genetically modified the way that for instance you can buy a bunch of perfect red tomatoes that are all the exact same color and size. Add to that cannabis branding and terminology aren’t standard and depending on where you live, the same strain may even go by a different name. I’m not telling you this to confuse you, I promise.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (03:08):

Being widely available was an important factor when we were choosing the essential strains. A lot of people liked them and know what to expect from them, so while there may still be some variation, someone who loves the strain like Durban Poison is going to know how it makes them feel and expect that feeling to be consistent. Consumers get to dictate what sells and as legal cannabis spreads, I believe there will be even more consistency because it’s what consumers want.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (03:37):

Our list of 12 essential strains helps to guide you to figure out the type of strain that makes you feel your best, but you still do need to try it and as we always recommend, start slowly and pay attention to how much THC is in the products that you buy. The more THC, the more likely you will feel high and if you goal is to feel relaxed or take an edge off and not to feel super stoned, just try a little and see how it makes you feel.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (04:06):

I have a story about how I have enjoyed Durban Poison and how I like to consume it, so I feel my best. I definitely associate Durban Poison with social events and there haven’t been many lately, so this is a pre-COVID story.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (04:20):

I was actually having really a terrible day, very stressed and completely overwhelmed. I met a friend for lunch and tried to be upbeat, but was clearly having a hard time. My husband and I had plans later that night to have dinner with friends including my friend from lunch. I wanted to go out, but I definitely did not want to bring my day with me. I had a PAX Era vape pen with a oil cartridge of Durban Poison, so I took two hits from it before heading to the restaurant. It helped so much. I felt so happy to see my friends, I was chatty and in a great mood and it was terrific night.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:01):

The next day my lunch date friend sent me a text asking how I had turned my mood around so much from lunch to dinner. At first, I have to say I felt a little sheepish like I needed to take something to be fun, but she was genuinely curious and wanted to know what it was so she could try it because I think we’ve all had that kind of day and Durban Poison especially in small doses really does bring on that boost of good energy.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:33):

In episode 87 we talked about the global popularity of landrace strains like Acapulco Gold which is from Mexico and Bob Marley’s favorite strain Lamb’s Bread, which was first found in Jamaica.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:46):

Durban Poison is quite the jet setter too. It originally grew in Durban, a city on the southeast coast of South Africa, which also has the largest Indian population outside of India. In the late 1970s an American grower and cannabis activist named Ed Rosenthal went on a trip to Africa in search of great weed, but also grew fast, which was a very appealing trait for a cannabis businessman. He shared the strain with another breeder and through their connections Durban Poison grew in popularity in Amsterdam, the US and now all across the world.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (06:22):

So, why do woman love Durban Poison? This is a strain that increases motivation and creativity and helps with stress and acute depression. You’ll feel the effects quickly and you will feel a bit intoxicated, but clear-headed and coherent. Durban Poison can enhance social activities, you’ll feel talkative and ready for fun. The effects can include a buzzing type of energy and a flurry of mental activity. As I shared in my story, Durban Poison is a great option for a Friday night when you’re committed to go out, but you’re bringing some low energy from a long week and really want to feel better. The Durban Poison is really fun for a night out and women also love it during the day. It increases your motivation, so maybe gives your Saturday that little boost you need to tackle your Marie Kondo organizing project. You’ll be very clear about what brings you joy.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (07:20):

Something that comes up a lot with classic sativa strains is anxiety. Sativa strains especially strains with higher THC levels can sometimes bring on racing thoughts and self-conscious even paranoid feelings. No one likes that.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (07:36):

In our episode 77 on what sativa, Indica and hybrid really mean, we give you some tips so that you can avoid feeling anxious about trying cannabis and steer clear of the strains that can bring on anxiety.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (07:52):

We also really recommend microdosing cannabis and you can listen to episode 59 for a lot more on my microdosing, which is really just taking very small amounts of cannabis while you figure out what you like. I think of microdosing as the equivalent of sipping a drink versus taking a shot. Start with one hit of Durban Poison and that’s all. This is an intoxicating strain and I love it, but a little bit is all I need. If you want to try a similar strain with effects that aren’t as potent, try XJ-13 or as we like to call it The Giggly Pot and stayed tune this fall when we’ll talk a lot more about cannabis and anxiety.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (08:36):

We are very grateful to our Instagram followers at Do the Pot who shared some of their favorite brands and farms across the county that offer Durban Poison. In California try women owned TSO Sonoma and they have a sungrown strain called Uplifted. It’s Durban Poison from Fiddler’s Green, which is an award women and veteran owned heritage farm in Sonoma County. This strain has about 16% THC and just a bit of CBD. Generally strains with over 20% THC are considered strong, so keep that in mind.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (09:16):

The TSO Sonoma product is actually made for a vaporizer and we haven’t talked a lot about them. One thing to remember, when you buy anything vape related from a licensed dispensary you know that they’ve been tested and passed safety regulations. There are several different kinds of vape pens. Some are disposable, some you buy the pen and then you can change out the oil cartridges and there are more devices now that allow you to vaporize the cannabis without it coming from an oil. With the TSO Sonoma Durban what you’ll buy is called a Flowerstick, which you use with a vaporizer device called an Omura. Omura uses heat-not-burn technology, which is a smoother way to inhale the cannabis and it’s very discreet, not a lot of smell. I’d say it’s comparable to a drier vaporizer except you don’t have to do any work grinding or putting the flower into the device. These flowersticks are prepacked, they’re single use and they’re biodegradable. They look like kids candy cigarettes, littler than real ones and you put the cigarette into the device and take a hit.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:23):

A lot of brands are making flowersticks and they’re cool to check out. With the Omura and other vape devices, you can usually choose your heat setting and Dr. June Chin one of our favorite integrative doctors recommends setting vaporizers to 390 degrees.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:41):

In Colorado try Blue Kudo Sativa chocolate bar, which is made exclusively with Durban Poison and it’s ingredients are sourced from Rainforests Alliance Fairtrade certified farms. Each chocolate bar has 20 pieces and each piece contains 5 mg of THC. I’d recommend starting with one small square, maybe even a half of a square and then wait one to two hours to feel the effects. Please do not eat another one, the effects will come just wait that one to two hours.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (11:12):

How to Do the Pot episode 10 is called the Edibles List and will be a big help if you have any edible questions. In Oregon, Deep Creek Gardens is an award-winning in Clackamas County, Oregon that is Clean Green Certified. The USDA doesn’t actually give organic designations to cannabis brands since it’s still federally illegal, but Deep Creek Gardens grows to organic standards. They have a Durban Poison pre-roll that delivers an uplifting, highly stimulating, but clear-headed high perfect for being productive, creative or hiking outside. If you can smell if, you’ll notice a sweet pine and citrus aroma and this pre-roll is just under 17% THC and has a little under 15 CBD.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (12:01):

If you would like to share your favorite farm or brand, please email or DM us @dothepot and we really want to know do you love Durban Poison or do you prefer a similar strain like XJ-13, the Giggling Pot? We love to hear from you, so please reach out.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (12:21):

Thank you for listening to How To Do the Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit and that’s also where you can sign up for our newsletter, which comes out every other Friday and if you like How To Do the Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcast. It helps more people find the show. Thanks to Madi Fair, our brand manager and our producer Nick Patri.

Ellen Lee Scanlon (12:45):

I’m Ellen Scanlon and we’ll be back soon with more of How To Do the Pot.



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