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Strains named after UW and WSU add another layer to a decades-long rivalry

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For most people in the state of Washington, it's simple: You're either a Husky or a Coug.

And as if the rivalry between the University of Washington and Washington State University wasn't fierce enough already, two strains named after the schools are fanning the flames.

The strain named after the Seattle university has a storied past. It's rumored that a clone plant was, shall we say, liberated from one of UW's research labs in the early '90s by a grad student.

Despite its iffy origins, UW Purple's relaxing high and pain-relieving qualities (it also helps with insomnia) make it a popular strain. Local retailer Satori buys its UW Purple from Seattle-based grower Dawg Star Cannabis.

"It is an indica, usually with nice, dew-like trichomes and thick streaks of lavender-shaded purple throughout the bud," says Joshua Martin, lead budtender at Satori.

Varying temperatures during the growing process encourage the purple hue, taking the bud's Husky homage one step further. Martin notes, however, that the purple color doesn't appear in all strains. An eighth of UW Purple from Satori costs between $40 and $45.

A little closer to home is WSU, an indica in the same lineage as Chemo, a bud used to treat negative effects of chemotherapy by suppressing nausea and stimulating appetite. Despite its medicinal origins, WSU has become more recreational in recent years, which Martin says depends on the grower.

"I have several different strains in the shop that have the same name and come from a shared parentage, but depending on the methods the grower uses — their nutrients, the way that they flush their plants — those are the things that are going to significantly affect the quality of the strain," he says.

The ode to Pullman's crimson and gray has a soft spot in Martin's heart.

"It's a deeply relaxing, sedative stone that is perfect for chilling out, watching movies," he says. "It's excellent to help with sleep... I'm of the school that weed definitely makes food taste better, so if you're looking to veg out and eat some snacks, it's totally the way to go."

An eighth of the WSU that Satori buys from Spokane-based GrowState costs $30.

No matter who you root for during the Apple Cup, both of these strains should smooth over any hard feelings between rival fans — at least until next year's game. ♦

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