Invented by Amsterdam’s Sensi Seeds, the Mr. Nice weed strain is a cross between the company’s own Hash Plant strain and the legendary G13 strain (which, as stoner mythology has it, was rescued from a government installation at the University of Mississippi, where they were supposedly breeding high-end strains in the late 1960s).
The indica-heavy result was named in honor of infamous British drug dealer Howard Marks, who began his lengthy career selling hash while studying nuclear physics at Oxford University. This would lead him to a life as an international cannabis smuggler, resulting in several high-profile court cases and a seven-year stay at the notorious Terre Haute penitentiary. He later achieved widespread fame with his 1996 best-selling memoir, Mr. Nice, named after an alias used by Marks (Marks was believed to have had 40-plus different aliases — this one, he claims, came about after buying a passport from convicted murderer Donald Nice).
So it’s likely to give you a nice body high, and it has a “Nice” namesake. But can smoking it actually make you a nicer person? To start with, let’s explore how weed in general can affect your character, and therefore, how nice you may or may not be in the first place.
“Without delving too far into existential questions of human behavior, cannabis has a number of positive benefits that can elevate mood,” explains Jake Browne, former strain critic for The Cannabist and founder of the Grow-Off cannabis cultivation competition. “Being ‘high’ is euphoric by nature, so it’s hard to be a dick when everything makes you laugh. A few hits can reduce stress levels, anxiety and even act as a mood stabilizer for some. I know a lot of alcoholics who quit booze and only smoke weed now, and they’re much nicer than when they’d black out and tell you ‘how they really feel.’ On the flip side, there’s emerging science that says, for people who are predisposed to psychotic breaks, the dissociative nature of cannabis can lead to severe mental health issues, so it’s important to know your family history.”
Thus, the impact that weed has on you depends largely on your current state of mind (as Yoda might say, inside that spliff is only what you take with you). Since different strains of weed have moderately different effects, it might be possible to choose one that better suits your temperament.
“Picking the right type of cannabis completely depends on what’s making the person mean,” Browne explains. “CBD is great for reducing anxiety, whereas a high-THC sativa can cause you to feel paranoid. If you can’t sleep at night because you have a fucked-up back, that can manifest itself in some lashing out, and an indica could solve that by helping you get some quality shut-eye. If your doctor recommended a medication for high blood pressure that you had side effects from, you wouldn’t just go, ‘Screw it, looks like I have high blood pressure now.’ It’s important that people experiment with different forms of cannabis and take notes, because there’s something for almost everyone.”
But again, does the actual Mr. Nice strain fit the ideal niceness bill? “Outside of being some clever marketing after the movie Half Baked, Mr. Nice isn’t particularly suited for merriment anymore than a strain like Green Crack should be freebased,” says Browne. “It’s a cross of G13, which was popularized by the movie American Beauty as the strain that gives you zero paranoia, but I’ve seen people freak out from a five-milligram edible, so you never know.”
At the end of the day, smoking weed, no matter what strain your budtender recommends, is an intimate and personal experience, with little in the way of one-size-fits-all options — even when it comes to a strain called Mr. Nice.
That said, Mr. Nice is an indica, and it’s pretty damn tough to be mean to people when you’re asleep.