Harlequin by Tantalus Labs5 min read

This will be the first of six reviews of cannabis from Tantalus Labs, we’re going to go through the entire range. I’ll do a review for each, and I’ll try to do them sequentially. Leaving the Cannatonic for last, so I can compare it with the JWC Cannatonic I have.

In this first review, I’ll talk about brand and menu composition. And we’ll refer back here in the next five reviews. Let’s get to it.

The branding is surgical. Triple matte black everything with silver highlights, from the website to the individual boxes. It is streamlined, I knew what my postal person was holding when I opened the door, despite the box having no visible identifying marks. The whole thing seems to work really well, it’s attractive, meaning I find myself liking it more as time goes on. But let’s not kid ourselves here, the fascia, although beautiful, are really just future recycling products that I will ultimately throw away. Aside from that, the product I ordered came in a glass jar, which I will keep. They are beautiful, yes, but they have that Tantalus triple matte coating which keeps the sunlight out, preventing degradation. So, due to their functionality, they will become my new desktop jar set.

Harlequin, 5 grams

The Tantalus menu is sophisticated, ahead of its time. Two thirds of it are 1:1 or CBD chemotypes, in various taxonomies. The other third are THC dominant varieties, leaning to the energetic side, with very different profiles, but I’d still call them hybrids. Very few producers have this menu composition. The branding makes them all feel as a cohesive unit, but this collection of cultivars offers a great repertoire across a distribution chemotypes and terpene profiles. It feels like less of a menu and more of a tool kit. To me, this is what cannabis is supposed to be like, especially for daily consumers; a variety of chemotypes, with many mid or non-psychoactive choices in a range of tastes. The menu is bigger than the sum of its parts, I hope they put out a preroll or 1g variety pack.

We’ll talk about price quickly. Tantalus has a 5 pack of 5g containers in their store, $10.85 per gram across the board. There was a substitution in the 5 pack in between the purchase and shipping date, so Tantalus emailed me with a coupon code in case I wanted what was subbed out. So $10.85/gram but 5 gram came free to me due to the substitution. Paid shipping twice, but I don’t usually talk about shipping anyways. The price is a touch above average price (~10%) and a poke above the average for sun-grown LP cannabis, last time I checked.

Let’s move into the actual variety here. I’m writing this post meridiem, a time where I tend to start layering in more CBD, so it makes sense to review the Harlequin.

Bottom of a Harlequin bud, showing trichomes and some leaf

Harlequin is a mix of landrace varieties. The genealogy is Columbian Gold  mixed with Thai, Swiss and Nepalese varieties. It reliably makes more CBD than THC and has lead to many interesting CBD producing hybrids. Many breeders carry a version, not sure which one Tantalus uses or if they even have a breeders version. So I won’t speculate.

The Tantalus Harlequin is dynamic where it smells of musk primarily, withs some smoother earths. The taste, however, has rich caramel sweets that take much of the profile, with the musk and earths participating towards the background. A Gourmand fragrance uses many full sweet notes like honey or vanilla, that’s what the Harlequin feels like to me. The taste is rich, and it tends to prevail through some of the offspring the Harlequin has created.

Pronunciation quite good, I felt like the taste lasts a while in the vaporizer, changing slightly from sweets to earths as length of use increases.

Visual appeal is good. Buds are spherical in shape, less conical. Consistency is closer to spongy than firm. Trim is good, some leaf, doesn’t show the telltale signs of being machined but I can’t tell to any certain degree.

Good moisture content, I perceive it as higher than what I usually see from other LPs. I’ve smoked it a few times, with ash ranging from good to near perfect. Taste is maintained somewhat while smoking, still enjoyable.

Harlequin

The notes I found on this variety say it reliably makes 5:2 CBD to THC, this version from Tantalus Labs is closer to 2:1 CBD to THC. No terpene information was given so I won’t speculate there either.

Overall, it’s both enjoyable and useful, I’m really favourable on it. You can’t get the Harlequin from any other legal producer right now (as far as I know). I strictly enjoy it after dinner, both for the satisfyingly sweet terpene profile and for the cannabinoid profile.

I typically ramp up CBD towards the end of the night, which I find helps me stay asleep at 4-6 am, when I would otherwise be awake, restless and worried. I have better success using a combination of THC and CBD for sleeplessness, I’ve noticed the inclusion of CBD returns my dream state in the early mornings, which helps me stay asleep. Previously, using just THC, I had no problem going to sleep but I would not dream and still wake early, worried, not necessarily about something actual.

So there we go, we talked about my thoughts on the observable qualities of Harlequin. We talked genealogy. And we talked about how I use the Harlequin and how it helps me. For those using strictly THC, I hope it gives reason to consider a 1:1 from time to time, because there is real value in the composition, you might find it helping in ways you didn’t expect.

See you next time, I have 5 more Tantalus varieties to review, then I’ll jump over to the two other JWCs I have. One more Aurora in the middle, then we’ll be back to several journals of varieties I grew late summer.