Why Colorado Tokers Love Bubba Kush

New-style Bubba Kush will still hit hard.EXPAND
New-style Bubba Kush will still hit hard.

Bubba Kush is one baaaaad strain. Bubba Kush will grab your money, knock you out and leave you weak in the knees when you finally wake up. Bubba Kush will take your mother out for a nice dinner and never call her again. Bubba Kush don’t give a fuck. Bubba Kush.

I’ll never forget the first time I smoked it, even though the ensuing six hours is a blank spot in my memory. The story probably sounds familiar. Leathery old-timer hands young, arrogant pothead a random joint; old-timer warns young pothead about its potency; young pothead shakes his head and rips it like a champ — then goes down like a tree twenty minutes later. What else should I have expected from a strain named Bubba?

Bubba Kush got its start in the mid-’90s, when (allegedly) an OG Kush strain was pollinated by what its breeder believed to be Northern Lights. The indica-dominant strain was named “Bubba,” and the rest is terpene history. Since Bubba’s inception, the strain’s genetics have become somewhat diluted (as have the genetics of most strains), but to highlight the distinctions, the weed world has dubbed the original "Pre-’98 Bubba Kush” and refers to the new version as “Bubba Kush.” Old-school potheads and purists prefer the Pre-’98 because of its purer genetics, but the new version hits just as hard, yields more and carries a very similar smell and flavor.

There’s room in my heart for both Bubbas, young and old, but the newer version is more readily available in dispensaries.

Looks: Pretty classic in standard Kush terms, with smaller, dense buds, usually in a forest-green or amber-green color, with occasional purple shades. Heavy trichome coverage and sticky leaves are to be expected, as are small amounts of orange pistils.

Smell: Bubba Kush has a distinct smell, filling your nose with scents of soil, coffee and dark chocolate, followed up by the subtle odor of rubber.

Flavor: Strong earthy and hash-like flavors (sometimes accompanied by a sweet but rubbery one) are followed up by notable tastes of chocolate or coffee.

Effects: No sense in trying to sugarcoat it — this strain will floor you if you’re not ready. Bubba Kush gives smokers a strong helping of stereotypical side effects: happy, hungry, sleepy — almost always in that order. Mild eating disorders, insomnia, stress and neck pain bow in submission.

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Home grower’s take: “Classic! Some of my friends swear by the Pre-’98 Bubba instead, but I could honestly give a shit. They both knock me out after a joint, so I’m happy to find either. Bubba Kush nowadays is supposed to be a bastard version of Pre-’98, but so is pretty much every strain. As long as it has that dirty-chocolate taste and knocks me out cold, it’s fine with me. I’d stay away from this if you’re a beginner, though. Doesn’t yield a lot and takes at least nine weeks [to flower]. I fucked up topping one early my first time, cut off way too much, and the yield sucked. So treat Bubba with love.”

Commercial grower’s take: “I think this would be one of our top sellers if we grew more of it, but it doesn’t yield the most, and it’s one of our most potent indicas, so this is almost always one of our most expensive strains that rarely, if ever, goes on sale. A connoisseur strain, for sure. People have asked if we’ll ever try out Pre-’98 Bubba, but it’s hard to go there commercially. First, you have to make sure the seeds are legit, then you have to sell it for a higher price, because you don’t get as much from Pre-’98 as you do from Bubba, which isn’t exactly a top-yielder, either.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail marijuana@westword.com.

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