The prevailing belief is that ‘old school’ marijuana was seldom as potent as today’s strains. Back in the 1970s, most weed apparently had THC content in the single digits. The suggestion is that a lot of cannabis strains contained little more than 4-5%. Today, it is normal for a marijuana strain to have over 20% THC.
In the 1970s, around 72% of cannabis was illegally brought into the United States. Most of this product contained stems, flowers, leaves, and other parts of the plant. Hydroponic systems in the 1980s enabled more Americans to grow their weed at home, which improved the potency.
Finally, in the 2000s, there was a greater emphasis on growing quality marijuana in the U.S. It eventually became legal for medicinal use in many states, and this led to a significant improvement in potency. However, we may have got it all wrong about older marijuana strains. There is evidence that the herb passed around at Woodstock is stronger than we think.
That said, there is no question that breeders have developed new techniques. As such, the classic cannabis strains you remember from your youth are probably a lot stronger now; and they still exist!
In this piece, we look at 5 classic marijuana strains that still help people get buzzed today. First, let’s quickly see why the ‘weed was weak back then’ belief is potentially incorrect.
It’s Not Your Daddy’s Weed Today, But Was His Actually Potent?
We regularly hear about the less potent cannabis of the 1960s. However, The Atlantic looked into the issue a few years ago and found that incomplete government data clouds the issue. The publication found that the testing method used in that era was not especially accurate.
We used gas chromatography at that time, which isn’t the most appropriate method of measuring cannabinoid content in weed. The process heats the test material before analysis and alters the chemical profile. As a result, it breaks down the THC molecule.
The federal government has measured potency for decades, and openly admits the limitations of the equipment used.
Also, several of the samples used are weeks or even years old! In this instance, researchers didn’t compensate for the loss of THC during the storage process. There is also an argument that the government didn’t perform enough testing. They analyzed 3-18 batches of seized weed per annum in the 1970s. These days, they analyze well over 1,000 a year!
Yes, it is clear that, on average, cannabis is more potent today. However, we are probably paying a disservice to the marijuana of yesteryear.
1 – G13
Government Indica Strain 1, better known as G13, is one of the oldest marijuana strains available today. It has been around for at least 35 years, and much longer if you believe the rumors. The United States Government allegedly created the indica-dominant hybrid (70%) in the 1960s and 1970s. It was a time when they were growing native Afghani strains for medicinal purposes.
G13 is a ‘super strain’ and is remarkably powerful, with up to 24% THC. The high begins in your head, where it gives you a brief energy boost and perhaps a shot of creativity. Don’t worry; these effects don’t last too long! The cannabis strain takes over your body and starts to ease you into a relaxed state.
At this stage, you’ll have no desire to do anything but rest for hours on end. The world certainly seems like a better place when you take some G13! We recommend taking it at the beginning of the evening as you will still be talkative and energetic for a while. Ultimately, however, it will knock you out, so don’t smoke it at work.
2 – Acapulco Gold
Also known as Mexican Sativa, this legendary marijuana strain was apparently cultivated in Mexico. Today, it has a potent THC content of up to 24%. As it is challenging to grow indoors, Acapulco Gold isn’t easy to find. However, it is well worth the search if you need something substantial to help tackle headaches and anxiety.
It is a common addition in breeding projects and is responsible for world-class marijuana strains such as Skunk #1 and Blueberry #11. It combines a strong head high with a delightful body high that should last for at least two hours.
The breeders created this cannabis strain to ensure that users feel a semblance of happiness. It is one of the best options if you want marijuana in a social situation. Although you may feel happy and relaxed, Acapulco Gold also provides you with energy. As a result, you feel invigorated and ready to go wherever the night takes you.
3 – Sour Diesel
This robust sativa-dominant hybrid (90%) was #3 in a High Times list of greatest marijuana strains of all time. It can have up to 26% THC with 4% CBN and 2% CBD. There is a dispute over its exact origins. Some say it is a cross between 91 Chemdawg and Mass Super Skunk. Others believe it is a cross between a Chemdawg phenotype and a Mexican Sativa.
Although it contains some indica, Sour Diesel is not for insomniacs! It provides you with arguably one of the best energetic, intoxicating highs on earth. Sour Diesel is unquestionably the strain for ‘good times,’ and you don’t have to worry about couch lock.
Once you start smoking Sour Diesel, you will be taken aback by how tasty it is. However, you won’t have time to dwell on it too much. The euphoria comes soon after, accompanied by energy and an uplifted mood. Sour Diesel also rewards users with one of the longest highs, up to five hours.
4 – Original Haze
Also known as Nevil’s Haze, Original Haze has a storied history. It was a creation of the Haze Brothers of California. Then, Sam the Skunkman (Dave Watson) brought it to Amsterdam in the 1980s. The incomparable Nevil, one of the kings of breeding, backcrossed and stabilized Original Haze.
In the modern era, this pure sativa marijuana strain contains between 10% and 20% THC. It is a potent yet well-balanced option. It has a positive reputation for its sweet and spicy haze flavor with the merest hint of citrus. Original Haze offers a slow-building high, which you should initially feel behind the eyes.
Soon enough, the force of the strain hits you hard and fast. In some cases, it offers a psychedelic experience. Although it is a cerebral and energizing strain, we don’t recommend using it to treat paranoia or anxiety. It is best to use Original Haze for migraines or chronic pain.
5 – Northern Lights #5
This strain was a Cannabis Cup winner in Amsterdam almost 30 years ago and remains an all-time classic. Today, you can find Northern Lights #5 strains with a THC content of well over 20% along with small amounts of CBN and CBD.
It is a potent indica dominant strain (95%) and continues to be one of the most loved marijuana strains in the world. Be warned; Northern Lights #5 is not for casual users. We recommend building up a tolerance before taking on this behemoth.
Otherwise, this sweet and tangy sensation will overwhelm you. It can knock newcomers for six after one puff! However, if you can withstand the power of Northern Lights #5, it could reward you with a sense of happiness and well-being.
Smoke it responsibly and consider it for dealing with stress, anxiety, and pain.
Final Thoughts on Classic Marijuana Strains Still Popular Today
They say that classic things never truly go out of style. This is undoubtedly the case with old school marijuana strains. There are simply hundreds of marijuana strains available, and low-quality weed is quickly tossed aside and forgotten about. Therefore, older strains must be of exceptional quality to compete with the newer bud. Every entry on this list easily meets this exacting standard. Now, if you don’t mind, we’re going to light up some G13 and listen to The Doors!