Strains of the Year 2005 by Danny Danko
HIGH TIMES searched far and wide, combing the earth to find the best marijuana strains from the past year. The winners endured meticulous testing and a grueling elimination process to emerge as the world’s finest pot.
East Coast Sour Diesel
Breeder: Reservoir Seeds
Sour Diesel is undoubtedly the world’s most expensive pot. With yuppies on Wall Street paying $800 to $1,000 per ounce, no wonder it’s so hard to find. Once acquired, however, the real-deal East Coast Sour Diesel reveals what makes it so desired. Powerfully potent with an unmistakable grapefruit taste and lemony odor, ECSD betrays its OG Kush parentage. Known as a low yielder and notoriously difficult to cultivate, the sativa-dominant Sour Diesel takes 70 to 85 days to flower, but it’s well worth the wait. When flowered at 18 inches tall, the plant will easily grow to five feet by the time it’s done, making ECSD perfect for extreme training techniques such as Screen of Green. The strain is “clone-only,” meaning seeds of the original mother plant don’t exist, but Rezdog of Reservoir Seeds has back-crossed the original Sour Diesel several times and is close to establishing it as a stabilized IBL (Inbred Line). The seeds he sells are guaranteed to grow Sour Diesel plants.
Indoor flowering time: 10 to 12 weeks
Available at seedbay.com or seedboutique.com
Love Potion #1
Breeder: Reeferman Seeds
Last year’s surprise first-place Cup winner in the Seed Company sativa category succeeded in placing Canadian-bred genetics firmly on the marijuana map. This Santa Marta Colombian x Pacific G-13 cross turns pink as it grows and tastes like sweet lemonade. Even the end of the joint tastes amazing.
Indoor flowering time: 9 to 10 weeks
Available at reefermanseeds.com
Breeder: Soma Seeds
Soma did it again, this time with the appropriately named Amnesia Haze, winner of last year’s overall Cannabis Cup. Amnesia Haze, truly a mind-bender with a wonderful flavor and aroma, is yet another example of the triumphant return of sativas to the cannabis gene pool. Longer-flowering plants take a great deal of patience to cultivate (some plants don’t show flowers until a month after the blooming period is induced), but the taste and high are worth the wait. Amnesia Haze, a spicy mix of Southeast Asian, Jamaican, Afghani and Hawaiian strains, adds hints of pine to its fruity bouquet.
Indoor flowering time: 10 to 11 weeks
Available at somaseeds.nl
The powerful kick and odor of MK-Ultra immediately brings to mind its OG Kush/G-13 heritage. Doug and Adam at THSeeds continue to refine their California-tinged collection of great ganja genetics that includes S.A.G.E., Bubblegum and Heavy Duty Fruity. MK-Ultra, a flavorful indica, is favored by some medicinal-marijuana patients for instant relief. The frosty, resin-coated buds grow into tight nuggets perfect for bong hits or vaporizers.
Indoor flowering time: 8 to 9 weeks
Available at thseeds.com
Breeder: Green House Seeds
Winner of first-place People’s Cup and second place in Seed Company sativas at the 2004 Cannabis Cup, Arjan’s Haze certainly lives up to the hype. This is a tasty Haze with the long-lasting and uplifting high typical of sativa-dominant strains. Arjan’s Haze continues to fill out even in the 11th week of flowering and sometimes develops “dreads,” thin, tubular calyxes that burst forth from buds late in life. The folks at Green House, winners of more Cups than any other shop or seed bank, are clearly at the forefront of Dutch pot genetics.
Indoor flowering time: 11 weeks
Available at greenhouseseeds.nl
This strain has an almost mythical standing as the basis of West Coast genetics. Hippie folklore links the arrival of superior Afghan seeds from the Hindu Kush region into the hands of Californian growers to a marked transformation in the quality of homegrown marijuana. This sea change in domestic cannabis cultivation reveals itself in the predominance of Kush traits found among many of the world’s most popular pot varieties. Kush offspring include many former Cannabis Cup winners and Strains of the Year, such as MK-Ultra and Sour Diesel. OG Kush offshoots Bubba Kush and Purple Kush show wonderful promise as future standouts.
Indoor flowering time: 8-9 weeks
Breeder: Kyle Kushman/Dutch Passion
Discovered by Kyle Kushman in Connecticut from an amateur breeder friend’s random Strawberry Fields/Haze cross, Strawberry Cough has quickly attained legendary status. Unique and delicious, The Cough leaves a pleasing incense-like smell behind in the room where it’s smoked. Those in the know recognize its hazy sweet scent immediately. Strawberry Cough is another clone-only strain, but a version is available from Dutch Passion in Amsterdam. Reservoir Seeds is working with an original mother as well, so we can expect to see more quality seeds of this special variety soon.
Indoor flowering time: 8 to 9 weeks.
Available at dutchpassion.nl
Breeder: Big Buddha Seeds
This strain made a big stink at the 2004 Cannabis Cup by placing third in the People’s Cup with virtually no promotion. Breeder Big Buddha crossed the original British-grown clone-only Cheese mother with an Afghan strain. He then specially selected their progeny for taste, high and yield. Using selective back-crossing for two years, Big Buddha was able to refine this pungent selection from the UK into a true contender for future glory.
Indoor flowering time: 7 to 9 weeks
Available at bigbuddhaseeds.com
BC God Bud
Breeder: BC Bud Depot
Commercial growers prize indica varieties for their potency and big yields, but God Bud also has great flavor and aroma. Since winning the Best Indica Seed Company award at the 2004 Cannabis Cup, this frosty selection (well-known in Vancouver) is getting its proper respect worldwide. The dense, crystal-coated BC God Bud has serious bag appeal and packs quite a punch.
Flowering time indoors: 8 to 9 weeks
Available at bcbuddepot.com
Legends Ultimate Indica
This combination of Breeder Steve’s Sweet Tooth (Spice of Life Seeds) and the infamous Ortega strain from California is a cash cropper’s dream. Yet another Canadian genetic triumph, Legends Ultimate Indica, or LUI for short, exhibits all of the typical indica traits with a flavorful twist. The sugary taste typical of Breeder Steve’s work adds sweetness and character to this extremely potent heavy-yielder.
Indoor flowering time: 7 to 8 weeks
Available at legendsseds.com
Blockhead from Spice of Life
Cinderella 99 from Brothers Grimm
Morning Glory from Barneys Farm
Bogglegum from Bushy Older Grower (BOG)
LA Confidential from DNA Genetics
Blueberry from DJ Short
AK-47 from Serious Seeds
Mullumbimby Madness (Australia)
Island Sweet Skunk from Federation Seeds
Jack Flash from Sensi Seeds
Lionheart from Almighty Seeds
Wonderberry from Sagarmatha Seeds
Black Russian from Subcool Seeds
The Real McCoy from Flying Dutchmen
Schnazzleberry from Chimera Seeds
Destroyer from Canna Biogen
Soul Shine from Cannabis Cowboy Collective
Stinky Pinky (California—unknown origin)
Purple Urkle (California—unknown origin)