When it comes to picking a favorite strain, we all have preferences. You may fall in love the first time you time you encounter something new or your preferences may be revealed over time by the sampling of a range of varieties. Or, you may have a few strains that stay in your rotation – with some investigation, you may come to understand exactly where on the cannabis family tree your sweet spot is located, helping to make future buying, smoking, and growing choices easier.
One of the cool byproducts of legalization is the ability to track the sales of each and every strain available in the legal states. According to a handful of sites that engage in this kind of thing, the big winner for sales last year was Blue Dream, coming in at a cool $49 million in sales in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, while inhabiting the top sales slot in California’s medical program.
Blue Dream is a high (17-24 percent) THC cultivar that contains a high level of the terpene B-Myrcene along with Linalool, A-Pinene, D-Limonene, and B-Caryophylene in lower levels. It is a cross of the indica-dominant strain known as Blueberry – a creation of breeder DJ Short – and Haze, a sativa created by mixing a few landrace strains from around the world.
Haze, one of the most famous and important foundation cannabis strains ever produced, is one of the generation of strains with ties to the wild, natural landraces known as heirloom strains, developed in Santa Cruz, California, in the 1960s from Mexican, Thai, Colombian, and South Indian plants. The background genetics of equatorial sativas created an American classic whose high will send your mind on a powerful rocket blast straight into the stratosphere. Due to the fact that Haze’s ancestors come from areas on the globe where the weather is steamy and the growing season is long, it, like other sativas, presents some challenges to the would-be grower. Namely, the long flowering time (generally upward of 80 days) and tall, lanky plants (they may grow more than 15 feet tall outdoors) may not be well-suited for the average indoor grow setup.
Enter Blueberry. One of the reasons breeders and growers combine the genetics of indica and sativa (and ruderalis) plants is to create new cultivars that maintain the best characteristics of the strains that comprise their lineage while fixing issues that make growing certain strains more difficult. Blueberry, like Haze, is a plant that traces its history back several decades and has been sewn widely with great results. A child of legendary strain creator DJ Short, the 2000 Cannabis Cup winner is the product of Afghani indicas crossed with Thai and Mexican sativas to create an indica-dominant (80/20) cross to create a classic that has been the foundation of many a breeding and growing program since the 1970s. The practical benefit of crossing this tight, bushy strain with a soaring sativa is seen in the smaller, more manageable offspring, which fits better in most grow rooms and shortens the duration from planting to harvest. Also, the addition of the Afghani genetics mellows out the sometimes racy/paranoid Haze buzz.
Blue Dream, which has been around since about 2003, is the prototype of a strain that takes the best of existing plants and combines them to create something both novel and familiar: It is easy to grow, produces string yields for the grower and a positive experience for the smoker. It is easy enough to see why it has become so popular in a relatively short span of time. I am certain that many of you have tried and enjoyed BD, but, if not, grab a few nugs and see what it is all about.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].