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Harlequin: The Strain That Delivers a Warm, Glowy Feeling



Harlequin: The Strain That Delivers a Warm, Glowy Feeling

Photo courtesy of Bud Genius

Harlequin: The Strain That Delivers a Warm, Glowy Feeling

Harlequin, the first high-CBD strain discovered in the U.S., is among the rarest strains on the planet.

Created from three sativas—an early-‘70s Colombian Gold male, a Thai from the mountains near Laos, and a Swiss native land race—combined with an indica from Nepal’s Mustang State, Harlequin was initially bred to be a hash-producer.

Its creator, Mr. Green of the House of David Collective, was prompted to have its CBD levels tested when some of his friends reported that while they loved the smell, taste, and frosty appearance of the strain, it didn’t get them very high. Harlequin tested at a surprising 7% CBD and 7% THC—though it is worth noting that the specific phenotype reviewed for this article tested at an astounding 11% CBD, and a different phenotype of the same plant tested at less than 1% CBD. Harlequin is indeed a rare find.

The smell: On the live plant, Harlequin smells reminiscent of musky, sweet, sugar loaf pineapple. Mango-esque, tropical fruit fluffs up the melon and cantaloupe scents. The cured bud brings out deep currents of slightly-mentholated, overripe plum.

The dry hit: The soft scent of mentholated dried mango swirls around the tongue, punctuated by the flavor of overripe peaches. Mild, floral undertones balance out the deep richness.

The flavor: Harlequin coats the mouth with a thick, rich, almost Nepalese blond hash-like taste. Its dominant flavor is nonetheless fruity and sweet, like berry bubblegum, with candied ginger highlights. A faint tinge of organic non-sulfur dried mangos rounds out the bottom end, and a delicate touch of liliquoi lingers in the aftertaste.

The cloud: Exhaling Harlequin produces a dense fog of sweet incense, with a soothing, soft and spicy sandalwood scent.

The high: Harlequin has vast applications and affects people in very diverse ways. Many patients are blown away by it—often for its therapeutic benefits.

For those who wake up frequently in the night and rely on cannabis to get back to sleep, Harlequin may be the key to a peaceful rest. Still, other patients say that HQ wakes them up too much to be useful as a sleeping aid. Research confirms that CBD can both increase alertness as well as have sedative effects, depending on the dosage. Harlequin is also known as a pain reliever, among countless other things.

Breeder Mr. Green says that to him, Harlequin is “like a sunny day.” He likens the sensation to the “warm, glowy feeling that radiates from within” after a hot bath. It gives him an endorphin rush akin to that which results from love-making and exercise. It is not a psychoactive high; he just “feels gooooood,” he gushed. He’s also noticed that HQ’s subtle effects produce big results—just a few tokes and he instantly feels the tension in his shoulder, jaw, and brow dissipate.

At just 7%, Harlequin’s THC content is not enough to produce the sensation of “highness” that most other cannabis strains are known for. This has tremendous advantages for those who want to partake socially but still wish to keep their wits about them. Harlequin won’t cause a “pot-hangover” the morning after, making it a convenient choice for a late-night session. People with jobs that require them to be alert might find Harlequin a workable option, as may those who want to indulge yet remain fully present for school, workouts, or family functions.

Cannabis consumers overwhelmingly report that they experience no paranoia or anxiety when they ingest Harlequin, and some say it even cures anxiety and paranoia brought on by other, more THC-rich strains. For those who think cannabis is too strong these days, and are prone to nervousness, anxiety, and lethargy as side effects, Harlequin may seem ideal.

Meanwhile, still other patients maintain that whatever ephemeral effect Harlequin may have is eclipsed by its medicinal qualities. Perhaps the group that will derive the most benefit from teh strain are those using cannabis mainly for medicinal purposes. If the primary goal is to get rid of a headache, relieve pain and stress, treat a chronic illness, or keep nausea at bay without the side effect of an altered consciousness, Harlequin is a worthy contender.

Harlequin’s clear-headed, functional high complements its tingly, mild body stone. But in spite of the fact that it’s a sativa-dominant hybrid, many cannabis consumers describe the high as neither indica nor sativa. They say it deserves its own classification, even apart from other CBD strains: mildly opiate-like and slightly dreamy, that simultaneously relaxes the body and invigorates the mind.

The grow: This is a fabulously frosty, clone-only strain that flowers quickly and requires about 60 to 70 days to finish indoors. Unlike most strains, an extended flowering time for Harlequin can actually diminish its effectiveness, because CBD degrades earlier than THC. Thus Harlequin generally tests at around 7% CBD at 10 weeks indoors while at 8 weeks, it can deliver CBD levels as high as 11.9%.

Harlequin grows so full of crystals that it will probably need cola support during the last few weeks. A medium yielder with countless medicinal uses, Harlequin is nothing short of a medical marijuana patient’s miracle strain.

This strain review first appeared in Cannabis Now Magazine’s fifth print edition.

TELL US, have you smoked Harlequin?



  1. Utah CBD

    August 31, 2020 at 8:15 am

    I specifically like CBD Isolate Capsules because they do not contain any THC so I have peace of mind in the case that I have to take a drug test for work, because I am I law enforcement.

  2. Jonathan C.

    July 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I cultivate Harlequin organically in my greenhouse at home. I have been vaping it all day for 6 months for severe chronic pain. It gave me back my life. I also let friends smoke it when they are in pain. It’s 100%. Also makes one relax profoundly. No problems working or driving. It’s a miracle strain. Grow it. But go light on the nutrition during veg. It’s a very sensitive strain which may explain it’s rarity

  3. Tammie Canet

    October 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I’m from so oregon & can’t find this clone ANYWHERE! I’ve tried 4 other CBD strains, but harlequin just taste the best in a liquid form. Any leads would be appreciated!

  4. Growman$

    August 18, 2017 at 9:11 am

    What is the best month to harvest my harlequin girls ???

  5. Will

    March 26, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    This strain is the ultimate aphordisiac! Better than rolling on E and guaranteed to bring out the inner “wh#%e” and cause hours of snuggling, groping, and touching!

  6. Madeleine Cunningham

    February 9, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Does anyone have any experience of the use of Harlequin for scitzophrenia ? If so…please tell me more about the effects and how it was used…also if the sufferer was also on prescribed medication.

  7. Lani Singh

    June 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    So where can Harlequin be found in the State of Colorado? I have my red card and its costing me $700 a month on mmj most of which ends up in the garbage strains that do nothing more than get one stoned. Not being a recreational user is to my disadvantage because its too easy to get over on a person who does not know. I would like to discontinue the use of the narcotic pain medications but it seems its all the same game. either big pharma makes their bucks or mmj make big bucks living off the backs of sick people. I do not make enough $$ on my VA disability to afford $700 a month. I am not even sure it exists or if its hype? if it were true I would be very grateful and if there is a medicinal marijuana in Colorado I wish I had access to this.

    • justsomeguyinco

      August 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Are you looking for flower or plants to grow? In Colorado for clones, you should check Craigslist/boulder or Denver and search harlequinn. There was someone giving away Harlequinn clones for a small donation. Check often. Ive got one that looks nothing short of gorgeous. Good luck!

    • Alfred

      August 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      I just picked up some Harlequin tincture at Boulder Wellness for $40, member’s price or first three visits. There are 28 grams in an ounce of tincture and it was recommended to use a quarter gram for starters. I could feel the effects at that dosage for over six hours.

    • Michael Buckley

      September 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      You can buy it for 36$ an 8th at Good Chemistry on Colfax in Denver. That’s where I usually go. I think you can call to make sure they have it in stock.

    • bill

      September 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Iam currently growing harliquin outside for a patient here in oregon,yes it exists! It is about 5-6 ft. Plant.looks like indica growing. It is easy to grow and so far the buds look very thick. I am into the 4th week of flower so i cant speak as to its effects but it looks great for a small plant. If you need anymore on this you can contact me on facebook @ amber bliss. I am with a group called oddfingers social club. You may need to look me up with that group. I hope this helps you. Bill.

  8. Michael

    March 15, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I’ve been growing Harlequin for about a year now and I have to say it’s an amazing strain and the one I turn to the most when I have pain. I take an oil made from it daily for my Chrons, and it is really some amazing stuff.

    As far as I know, from what I am told it is clone only. I have attempted to cross it with other strains (Jack the Ripper – THCV), but I really have no business in that world, just trying to make a great strain even better.

    I have given many clones away locally in an attempt to get her spread out as wide as possible.

    • Ty

      March 22, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Hey I have UC. Do you make the oil or buy it? I have been looking for oil and tinctures with high CBD and low THC. I would grow it if I knew anything about plants..

    • Dave

      February 19, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      I’d like to get some clones of Harlequin.

  9. Sebastian

    December 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    My God that looks so nice!!!

  10. Jeremy

    December 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I’ve grown Harlequin and while it wasn’t the strain I need for my issues, I found people who absolutely loved it, if I can find clones again I would like to grow a plant just for charity. People need this.

  11. Lori Ann Sibio

    December 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I live in PA. I am in severe pain from an accident. The Drs. give me Oxycodone 15 mg 4x a day. Now Im having trouble with my liver enzymes. I don’t want to take the pills anymore. A friend suggested Marijuana! What a miracle!!!! How can I purchase medical marijuana from PA. Also this is not a joke. I am 50 years old and have a pretty normal life but losing time with my only grand child because of this horrible pain. Lori Ann—Thank You

    • jimmy

      December 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Gotta move to get healthy.. Fuckin Big Pharma

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