Laughing Buddha is a buzzy, thought-provoking strain with very strong landrace genetics. It is a cross between sativas that are indigenous to Jamaica and Thailand — and in fact, it may be named for its Thai roots, as Thailand is a historical center of Theravada Buddhism. Laughing Buddha has a dank, citrus taste and energizing effects. It was created by Dutch breeders Barney’s Farm, the same group responsible for taste-focused strains like Tangerine Dream and Blue Cheese. The strain’s potency earned it Third Place in the 2003 High Times Cannabis Cup.
Cannabis enthusiasts familiar with the uniquely spindly, tapered bud structure of Jamaican and Thai will see the influence of these strains in flowers of Laughing Buddha. The large blossoms are more elongated than spherical. Leaves are a dull shade of yellow-green and have a relatively fluffy, ragged texture. Cloudy white trichomes cover the buds, giving them an icy appearance. The predominant aroma of Laughing Buddha is vaguely tropical, with notes of citrus and herbs. There’s also a toasted, nutty character that rounds out these scents and keeps them from smelling too fruity or acidic. Breaking open or grindings the flowers yields a spicy and peppery odor. When combusted, Laughing Buddha burns with a smooth, rich smoke. On the exhale, this smoke has a skunky lemon flavor with some herbal highlights.
The high from Laughing Buddha takes hold quickly, manifesting as a pressure around the eyes and temples. Smokers may be initially caught off balance by feelings of altered perception, attaching their attention to all kinds of external stimuli. Sights and sounds can take on a new intensity, and visual distortions are commonly reported. As this new sensation becomes more familiar, users notice that their tensions and stresses have dissipated and given way to a giddy, euphoric mood. These friendly, positive vibes are right at home in social settings, where Laughing Buddha can facilitate interesting and free-flowing conversation. As the high wears on, an indica-inflected body high creeps in, making smokers more physically relaxed — but by no means incapacitating them. Because it can encourage productivity and relaxation in equal measure, Laughing Buddha is a great strain to enjoy either during the day or later on in the evening.
Medically speaking, Laughing Buddha has a few psychological applications. Its mood-altering effects can provide temporarily relief from the distracting symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD, helping patients to spend their time more mindfully and deliberately. This strain’s sense of sustained focus can also help those with attention deficit disorders to concentrated their mental energy on a single task. Because it lacks the cerebral intensity of other sativas — like parent strain Jamaica, which is known to be especially powerful in this regard — Laughing Buddha may be a good choice for those who are prone to panic or who have a low THC tolerance.