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Durban Poison Strain: Reviewing The “Espresso of Cannabis”

Kymberly Drapcho

by Kymberly Drapcho

December 11, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes
Durban Poison Strain: Reviewing The “Espresso of Cannabis”

A strong sativa with an invigorating high, Durban Poison is not for the weak of heart–or the low of tolerance. 

As a flower enthusiast with naturally high anxiety, I’m on a mission to find the perfect sativa: one that keeps me energized and focused throughout my day without causing panic. This month, I tried one of the most iconic sativa strains out there: the powerful Durban Poison. 

Here’s what I thought of the strain. 

Durban Poison Strain: The Basics

durban poison strain
Photo Courtesy of Herb

Prominent Cannabinoids

15-25% 0.19% 0.92%

Dominant Terpenes

 Terpinolene  Beta Caryophyllene  Myrcene
0.72% 0.19% 0.02%


Originating from the South African port city of Durban, this pure sativa is best known for its sweet fragrance and lively, uplifting effects. 

It has also gained quite a reputation for being one of the strongest sativa strains on the market. The buds are thickly coated with trichomes (the sticky crystals that produce most of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes). As such, Durban Poison is rich in delta-9 THC and can contain up to 25% THC (but typically averages around 15%). 

Durban Poison buds are thick and chunky with a slightly orange hue. The flower also has bigger-than-average resin glands, making this strain a top choice for concentrate extraction. 

Durban Poison flower carries a sweet and earthy aroma. The strain’s most prominent terpene Terpinolene normally has a fruity, floral essence. However, combined with the peppery Beta Caryophyllene and the herbal Myrcene, Durban Poison ultimately has a spicy flavor, with hints of anise and licorice. 

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Strain Effects: Durban Poison

Sometimes described as the “espresso of cannabis,” Durban Poison is a no-joke energizing sativa. The strain produces a clear-headed high, perfect for maintaining productivity and focus throughout a long day. 

Essentially, this strain is perfect for those looking for a cerebral high without much sedation. After smoking this strain, I did not feel the usual couch-lock energy crash that I might with a weaker sativa or hybrid. 

Medical cannabis users generally use Durban Poison to help combat depression, stress, and ailment-related fatigue. Its energizing effects can help enhance mood and motivation, and its pain-relieving properties pair well with its stimulating effects. 

> Looking for more strains for productivity? Check out our recommendations for the top 5 daytime strains.

Will This Strain Make Me Anxious?

With that being said, as someone with naturally high anxiety levels, I found the high a little too clear-headed for my liking. It induced some racing thoughts and paranoia, heightening my physical indicators of anxiety (including a racing heart and tight chest). 

While I enjoyed smoking this strain before solo activities that required focus (such as writing or other creative pursuits), I found that smoking Durban Poison before social situations led to a little paranoia and a lot of discomfort. 

As such, I would recommend Durban Poison to anyone with a high tolerance and naturally low anxiety levels. This strain is excellent for long hikes, marathon cleaning sessions, and dialing in on a project. 

Have you tried to Durban Poison strain? Tell us about your experience below!

To stay up-to-date with my journey toward the perfect anxiety-free cannabis strain, visit the Veriheal content hub or subscribe to our free newsletter below.

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