We’ve come a long way to get to today’s strain-o-copia

by DGO Web Administrator

“Can I get one ounce of some Purple Bubble Cheese Dream, one Critical Tangerine Skunk Dog Widow, and an eighth of Hindu Panamanian Durban Colombian Thai Afghani Nepalese Red Gold Poison Kush?”

“No problem. Be up in a minute. Can I interest you in some of our Girl Scout Cookies cookies?”

I’m guessing that many of you have been privy to a very similar conversation waiting to pay at the wide-ranging bounty of Ye Olde Weede Shoppe, or heard a couple youngsters rambling on during intermission of a concert. A few thoughts might pass through our minds at this point:

(1) “Yoooooooo. I wanna get me some of that.”

Definitely get yourself some of that: Each strain operates a little differently with each person’s individual biological/chemical makeup; sampling of a wide range will allow you to know what you like best and give you the opportunity to enjoy that occasional “Whoa! Ohhhh! Wow!” moment)

(2) “How did I get so old?”

You continually didn’t die; celebrate this fact by trying something new.

(3) “Where in the great googley moogley do all these crazy names come from?”

Originally from the places where these individual strains flourished; nowadays, mostly from the folks creating new cultivars.

I am here not only to address these thoughts, my friends, but also to begin taking a look, over the next few weeks, at some of the great strains in cannabis history and the genetics which anchor the breeding programs behind some of the great varieties available to the (incredibly fortunate) contemporary marijuana partaker.

Back in the old days when I started smoking, in the 1980s – before cell phones (and slightly before pagers which, when they came on the scene, revolutionized the buying and selling of cannabis), before the Innerwebz, during the days of the Cold War, when we were all reasonably certain that global thermonuclear war was going to be the reason for our collective demise – there was one kind of weed, and that’s what you called it, “weed.” It was reddish-greenish-brownish Mexican sativa and the bags came loaded with sticks and seeds which required a time commitment to clean before smoking. The buds were pressed into the most compact bricks possible to aid in smuggling – if you or someone you knew was involved enough, you knew that a pound would comprise a brick approximately the size of a phone book). The weed would get you high, mostly a low-grade, cloudy high that would eventually necessitate a nap. Then, as the ’90s rolled along and the Berlin Wall fell, there started to be some variety with the introduction of (1) “Beasters,” which brought fame if not honor to their home region of British Columbia; (2) “Mids,” which were considered pretty good for the era, but would be considered pretty crappy by today’s standards; and (3) as the millennium approached and everyone freaked out about how changing dates might impact our computer networks, truly “dank”, “heady” bud started to become available with the arrival some of the legendary strains that have provided the foundation for this golden age of cannabis that we now enjoy.

We will begin our overview next week with the great Landrace strains, those gifts of nature that evolved in locales around the world to become the progenitors of the canna-copia which blesses us today and some of the early breedings like Northern Lights and Haze.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].

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