Blackberry Kush has been largely overshadowed by the Blueberries and Grape Apes of the strain world, but it’s achieved a moderate shine in Denver, where I’ve found at least a dozen pot shops carrying it over the past year. Its genetics have also given birth to other Mile High strains, such as Blackberry Dream and Kimbo Slice. The strain’s original genetics are still up for debate; the most accepted versions involve Blackberry crossed with Afghani or Bubba Kush, but another theory says that it comes from Afghani and DJ Short’s Blueberry. (I believe the Blackberry x Afghani theory because of the strain’s earthy back end and softer knockout.) No matter the correct origin story, though, any shop or grower from which you buy Blackberry Kush should know the strain’s genetics, even if they won’t always be the same.
Blackberry Kush’s deserved popularity comes from its sleeper status and sweet berry flavor — a trait that’s hard to find among such heavy indicas. And, boy, is it a sleeper: I fell asleep twice while trying to write this until I finally learned to stay away from the pipe. It’s not a quick knockout, like Bubba Kush, but more of a gentle lulling to sleep.
Blackberry Kush can currently be found at Ajoya, Buddy Boy, Diego Pellicer, Herbs4You, The Joint and Live Green dispensaries; AllGreens, Doctor’s Orders, Golden Meds and Universal Herbs have all had it on their shelves recently. The Joint’s cut is my favorite, and is well worth the $35 price tag for its jam-like flavor and soothing effects. Herbs4You and Live Green have cheaper options with a little less nug body and flavor, but they’re still sweet-tasting cuts that do the strain justice.
Looks: Standard indica/kush nugs, with chunky, compact calyxes that create round, dense buds — think OG Kush but not as dark and pointy. Color is typically a light forest green with rusty pistils and occasional specks of violet, which is much more present in its leaves.
Smell: Candy-like sweetness is followed by earthy, hash-y notes. Sugary and sour scents dominate up front, while bubble gum and hash notes sneak in at the end.
Flavor: Blackberry Kush has an intensely sweet and tart flavor profile, with a chalky, earthy aftertaste — like a spoonful of jam on a roasted beet.
Effects: It won’t knock you out immediately, but you might as well say goodbye to anybody who’s not smoking with you. Blackberry Kush starts by attacking concentration and then drains consciousness shortly thereafter, making it a great indica for nighttime and hangovers. Medical patients use it to fight eating disorders, chronic pain, insomnia, stress and migraines.
Home grower’s take: “I’ve only ever had the Afghani and Blackberry crosses, but I wouldn’t mind running into the Bubba cut, if it’s out there. Blackberry Kush is still one of my favorites as it stands, though. I love checking on it in the grow; it smells so sweet and bomb that I end up spending more time in there than with other strains; it’s good added motivation. If you keep those fan leaves at bay and stay on your light and water schedule, you should get some decent yields.”
Commercial grower’s take: “Love Blackberry Kush; I’ve been campaigning to get this in the grow for at least two or three years now. People who like indicas love the high, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like the taste. Yields are okay — a little above average — but if you can get them to finish blooming in eight weeks, it’s well worth it. Also tough against most molds and mildews, but it can still catch anything in the grow.”
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