Illustration by Daniel Garcia for Cannabis Now Magazine
Bringing Back the Fruit – Juicy Cannabis Strains
The explosion in popularity of OG Kush, Sour Diesel and Chem Dog with their strong notes of fuel has led many breeders to abandon the fruity end of the flavor spectrum and concentrate on the “gas” instead.
There are certainly strong citrus notes present in many of these new crosses but the fuel notes are what most people notice. OG Kush and its progeny have dominated the cannabis breeding and dispensary world for almost a decade, while classics like DJ Short’s Blueberry, Strawberry Cough, Blackberry Kush and the grapey purples virtually disappear from the marketplace.
Purples are a notable exception, but the variety has been reduced to Grand Daddy Purple and Purple Erkle. Strains which pale by comparison to Lavender, Mendo Purps or Purple Princess.
With the popularity of the Cookies, Cherry Pie Kush has come back into vogue as breeding stock – a good sign for those who enjoy fruit influences.
Mango used to be another staple. With it’s short, six-week flowering time and dense rocky nuggets, it was good on its own and even better as a cross. The aroma was reminiscent of ripe mangoes and the smoke was that classic rich, skunky fruit. DJ’s Blueberry – a favorite of many connoisseurs – was lost when Canadian authorities seized his last mothers. DJ tried bringing it back from seed and partially succeeded, but anyone who knows the original plant – with its bluish-grey calyxes and distinctive blueberry aroma – can’t be fooled.
Certainly, all is not lost in the realm of fruit. Cherry Chem and Strawberry OG – both great sun grown varieties – are good examples. The Chem has a distinct nose of cherries and the flavor is a delightful balance of lemon and cherries. Blueberry and strawberry have also popped up in Cookies crosses in the Bay Area. An all-time favorite, Pineapple, is still a staple of the sun grown scene in Northern Cali. And Blackberry, usually crossed into something, still pops up now and then.
Much of the demand for fuely strains comes from the East Coast and Midwestern markets that consume much of Northern California’s bounty. As the markets mature in those areas and consumers work their way through all of the gassy strains, people will certainly want to expand their smoking palates. Both new and established breeders looking for unique strains would be well served by looking to the past for inspiration and start incorporating the wide range of fruit flavors.
The range of flavors expressed by cannabis is immense – from the grassy and herbaceous Hazes to the delicate berries, through citrus and fuel, this one plant provides us with a cornucopia of sensory pleasures.