Mason jars, also known as canning or fruit jars, are glass jars used to pickle and preserve foods at home. Many cannabis breeders and cultivators still use the same jars that grandma would use to preserve summer fruits and make jam in to store their flowers. In cannabis circles, the sound of a Mason jar opening—that tin-plated steel slide of the screw band along the glass followed by the pop of the lid—is an auditory trigger that some dankness lies within. If you’re ever at a pot party where someone shows up with a bunch of canning jars still in the 12-pack cardboard box they came in, edge closer. Sightings of any kinds of jam jars at cannabis-themed events are visual cues that incredible weed will soon be ogled, smelled, and smoked.
This was the scene at a cannabis tasting event I attended in San Francisco last week, where many jam jars filled with frosty buds were present. Hosted by Neil Dellacava of Chronic Culture, the party was a celebration of the recent indoor harvest of Snowtill Organics.
Attending an affair like this in Northern California, the traditional home of new cannabis genetics in America, is a chance to find out what trends might come next in the marijuana marketplace. Alongside four courses of Italian fare were eight courses of cannabis cultivars: Kushtaka, GMO Rootbeer, Piescream, Horchata, Snow Plums, Bubble Burst, Motorbreath OG, and Electric Sugar.
“We want to show people really high-quality, freshly harvested cannabis,” Snowtill cultivator Joseph Snow says of the selections he brought to the event.
Each of the strains in the tasting was grown in the style that Snow prefers, no-till. No-till is a farming technique typically found outdoors. It involves growing plants by building soil rather than tilling it (turning the soil repeatedly until it’s broken up.). Components of no-till cultivation include things like cover crops. These companion plants improve the soil by adding back in needed nutrients like nitrogen and attract beneficial insects to hunt pests cannabis growers don’t want to see in their gardens such as aphids.
At the event, Snow introduces the strains by breaking off small bits of the buds and encourages attendees to squish the nugs in their fingers to amplify the aromas, aka the terpenes, to smell the samples. I hone in on three of the night’s selections that each develop upon the classic dank chemical fuel aromas and tastes of Kushes, the family of cannabis landraces originating from the Hindu Kush mountain range between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Lineage: (Deep Chunk x Peanut Butter Breath) x El Viejo Del Norte
Breeder: Aurora Genetics
Austin Miller, the breeder behind Aurora Genetics, explains he combined Deep Chunk (a landrace indica from Afghanistan introduced by breeder Tom Hill) from a Cabin Fever Seeds release. Once he found a plant that “smelled like botanical BO and jalapeños,” he crossed it with Peanut Butter Breath from ThugPug Genetics. In terms of the Peanut Butter Breath (a cross between Dosidos and Mendo Breath F2 that tastes Kush-like, but also nutty and sweet), Miller says he found a phenotype that “smelled like Starburst.” From that combination, he made a Deep Chunk x Peanut Butter Breath that “smelled like sweet pine and a little musky fuel.”
The El Viejo Del Norte—a (Redwood Kush F3 x Angel) x Redwood Kush F3—came from Boneyard Seeds NorCal.
“I found a very vigorous male with a first branch set smelling like fresh onions,” Miller says of the El Viejo Del Norte father he used to create Kushtaka.
The sample of Kushtaka I try smells and tastes mostly like chemical fuel, but there’s also a faint hint of woodsy sweetness.
“Kushtaka was pheno #5 of more than 30 popped and was by far the heaviest yielding and nastiest smelling plant out of a mix of chocolates, industrial chemicals, and some deep red fruits,” Miller says. “Kushtaka has a petrichor-petroleum-burnt smell.”
Lineage: Wedding Pie x (Gelato #33 x Cherry Limeade)
Breeder: Freeborn Selections
Freeborn Selections breeder Mean Gene is one of the most awarded and well-respected breeders in cannabis today. Mean Gene explains to High Times that Skunktek of Skunkbank Genetics selected the Wedding Pie (A Wedding Cake x Grape Pie) from Cannarado. The Wedding Pie was combined with a strain that took Mean Gene’s Cherry Limeade (Black Lime Reserve x Cherry Pie) and crossed it with Gelato #33 (Sunset Sherbet x Thin Mint GSC).
“Bred by Mean Gene, our cut is the 27th selection from Skunktek’s pheno hunt of this seed stock from Mean Gene. Hence ours is specifically called Piescream #27,” Snow says of the sample at the Chronic Culture event.
This one is my personal favorite of the three on this list because it favors fruit over fuel. My bud sample has purple frosted tips and smells like sugared cherries dipped in gas. It’s incredibly resinous and has a doughy fruity taste that resembles berry streusel.
“If you hate fruity weed, you’ll love [my strains] because they are so gnarly at the same time,” Mean Gene says in an interview for the Emerald Cup. “But if you love fruity weed, you’ll love these since they have really sweet hints to them as well.”
Lineage: GMO x Rootbeer x (Rootbeer x Jaro)
Selected by SkunkMasterFlex1 of Skunkhouse Genetics from a pack of D-Cookies by Mamiko Seeds, GMO (aka Garlic Cookies) is a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Chemdawg that is known for being pungent, resinous, and potent.
GMO Rootbeer from Skunktek takes the GMO and crosses it with Rootbeer x (Rootbeer x Jaro). Mean Gene explains that his Rootbeer is Headband x (Hollywood Pure Kush x (Hindu x Black Afi), and his Jaro is Sour Diesel x (Hollywood Pure Kush x (Hindu x Black Afi).
“Jaro and Rootbeer have the same father,” Mean Gene says.
GMO Rootbeer has that spicy, pungent garlic funk of GMO combined with the skunky diesel aromas of those old-school Afghani genetics popular in Mendocino that Mean Gene is known for. This is a GMO cross worth seeking out.