Dear Stoner: What's up with all of these crazy strain names?

Name Dropper

Dear ND: Strain names are a pretty unique thing to cannabis growing. Other flowers, like roses, have more traditional names often derived from the people who bred or discovered them — like the Alba Rose or the Austin Rose. But cannabis cultivation and breeding has developed underground, away from any true governing bodies or international associations, and few people wanted to attach their real name to an illegal plant.

Because of that, cannabis breeders use a wide range of names for their plants, ranging from the obvious (skunk smells like skunk, blueberry smells like blueberry, Hawaiian was bred in Hawaii, etc.) to the completely strange. Golden Goat, for example, was named for the smell of recycled soda cans rotting in the summer Kansas heat (seriously).

My favorite strain name is probably Skywalker OG or any of the other Star Wars-themed kush phenotypes. The force is strong with those. My least favorite? Pussy Kush. I can just see some L.A. douchebag really into tribal tattoos, muscle supplements and porn banging together a male and female plant and deciding that "pussy" was the most appealing description he could come up with for their offspring.

For the most part, strain names tend to stick and make it easy to identify plants — though less reputable dealers and dispensaries have been known to just slap any well-known name on their mid-grade herb to sell it.

Dear Stoner: How are new strains created?

Un-horticultured

Dear Un-horticultured: It's a lot like dog breeding. If you mate two black labs, you're going to get labs. While the puppies might differ in small ways, such as size and intelligence, for the most part they are all the same breed. The same goes for seeds that have been stabilized through backcrossing the plants (horticulture-speak for incest). That way, you basically know what you're going to get when you order, say, AK-47 seeds, with only minor variations between the phenotypes (horticulture for offspring).

But breed a black lab with a greyhound, and you'll come up with all sorts of different variations in the puppies. Some will be long and lean, others loving and round-faced. Same with herb. Crossing two completely different strains in hopes of blending together their positive attributes is what brings us new types of cannabis. Once found, those unique strains are either passed along as clones (cuttings off of the original plant that grow into entire plants) or stabilized through backcrossing.

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11 comments
jcf872
jcf872

For anyone worried that making pot legal will increase wreckless driving or driving too fast for conditions, they need to learn that getting high generally reduces driving speed. Over time, and as more people smoke, I believe we'll see auto deaths go down.  The problem is that even our language conflates being high with being drunk, or, in this case, driving high with driving drunk, which is like conflating apples with elephants. A lot of myths are about to explode, and this is one.

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bogusjoe
bogusjoe

Donkey does not hav any thing worthwhile to add.He must be a high school freshman trying to look cool and get attention.As for me I would like to add that I find the good names are those that inform,such as Skunk because it smells like a skunk.Maui because it comes from Maui.I think names like Pussy are an insult to women and degrade the serious nature of the bussiness.

rjshep45
rjshep45

Donkey is a paid puppet of multi national pharmacutical companies,his miserable job is to marginalise marijuana in all aspects,all of this came about because Donkeys genetics left him with no testicles,and a penis the size of a gold fish

orson
orson

I hate that many marijuana users call themselves stoners.  Stoners are to marijuana as alcoholics are to alcohol.  Where's the ww's "ask an alcoholic"?

alohajoe007
alohajoe007

Having been in the "real medical" world I can i really like the "crazy" names at least most of them. There is another way of looking at the names as well. Sometimes they are named for the drug opposed to the plant i.e. 'green crack'. 

Take another look at drug names in the "real world" and you'll find their names are really not all the more serious. Remember those guys have been the real drug dealers and the real killers.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

I like names with 'alien' in the name.  Cannabis was brought here from another world and will always control the minds of the people.  'Alien OG', 'Alien Dog' and more alien strains are to come.  Come smoke with me, let's be out of this world!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Dear Stooopid Stoner,

If a bong-sucking stoner smoked a bowl and a half in an hour and a half,
how long would it take puerile pot punk to pick all the seeds out of a bag
of dispensary dirt weed?

I.M. Curious Yellow


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Ask a Stooopid Stoner ...

Why are so many Stoners so damn Stoooopid?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@orson  ... Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do!


jasonutsler
jasonutsler

@DonkeyHotay @orson I don't even smoke pot and am tired to your statement on every article about marijuana "stupid stoners are as stupid stoners do!" Its pretty obvious you don't really know the first thing about smoking pot and have the idea in your head that everyone that smokes is a Spicolli from Fast Times - find another soapbox or stop leaving comments on Westword you nit.

 
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