Realistically, cannabis growers classify weed according to its morphology. As a result, you normally hear people talking about indicas, sativas, hybrids, and occasionally ruderalis cannabis. However, there are further categories defined by flavors, scents, tastes, and the region where the marijuana grew. In the modern era, Haze, Purple, and Kush, are three of the most popular types.
In this guide, we shine a spotlight on Kush – what is Kush marijuana, where did it come from, and where did it get its name? Let’s take a look.
A Brief History of Kush Marijuana
Kush strains are among the most popular in the world, and routinely scoop awards such as the prestigious High Times Cannabis Cup. If you’re an experienced weed user, you’ve almost certainly sampled a Kush strain; whether it is Purple Kush, Bubba Kush, Pure Kush, Cali Kush, or the one that started it all: OG Kush.
Kush strains have ruled the indica-dominant hybrid scene for a while, and their heritage can be traced to the mountainous Hindu Kush region located along the border of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. To be precise, Hindu Kush is actually found north of Jammu and Kashmir. At the time of writing, this is an India-controlled region, though this is a situation that Pakistan bitterly disputes.
As well as giving birth to various marijuana strains, Hindu Kush is a volatile area synonymous with political turmoil.
Not that this has harmed the growth of cannabis; the Hindu Kush region is within the Himalayan mountain range, and the fertile soil, deep valleys, and gorgeous hillsides are an ideal combination for marijuana growth. Hindu Kush, the marijuana, is a landrace strain which is pure – meaning it has never crossed with any other strain, and is grown in its natural environment. Genuine kush weed enjoys glorious isolation, thus the cross-breeding of its genetics means you can be rewarded with stable and vigorous varieties.
In fact, every popular Kush variety you can think of, be it Bubba Kush or Cali Kush, can be traced back to Hindu Kush. For instance, Sensi Seeds created both Master Kush and OG Kush using Hindu Kush. Other world-renowned strains such as White Widow and AK-47 are Hindu Kush’s ‘grandchildren.’ Realistically, it is getting to the point where Hindu Kush will have more descendants than Genghis Khan!
In any case, we owe a debt of gratitude to the legendary Hippie Trail for bringing Kush marijuana to Europe and the Americas. In case you’re not aware, the Hippie Trail was a special route taken by seekers of subculture during the 1960s and 70s. They went from Europe to Pakistan, India, and Nepal, and returned home with Hindu Kush seeds.
The King of Afghanistan at the time, Mohammed Zahir Shah, was very much a ‘cannabis friendly’ monarch. However, in 1973, he was overthrown by his first cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan, who proceeded to outlaw weed after succumbing to pressure from the American President, Richard Nixon. Khan was assassinated in April 1978, and the country has been in bloody civil war ever since.
As a result, it became much harder to bring Hindu Kush seeds to America and Europe, but enough had already been transported to begin the ‘Kush Revolution.’
As indica strains, Kush marijuana varieties were significantly more versatile than the existing sativa strains, which meant a complete change from the cannabis growing methods which existed at the time.
As Hindu Kush seeds had a significantly shorter flowering time than their sativa rivals, breeders were able to grow more marijuana than ever before. Furthermore, the durability of Kush ensured it was possible to grow it in cold regions such as British Columbia or Alaska.
What Special Traits Does Kush Marijuana Possess?
Kush cannabis is strongly indica, which means you can expect a sedative experience. Strains such as OG Kush (and anything crossed with this legendary strain), normally provide you with an intense feeling of euphoria, which makes you feel happy while you remain fixed to your couch! It is an ideal option if you have insomnia, depression, or any anxiety disorder. However, you should not consume it before the evening, because it relaxes the whole body and results in couch-lock.
Kush marijuana is also associated with a smooth and rewarding smoking experience, along with a grape, diesel, citrus, flower, and earthy taste. The scent is normally floral, strong, citrus, sweet fruity, and herbal.
When growing a Kush strain, expect it to show dark green colas and leaves, with the merest hint of purple. When it gets close to harvest time, the pistils of Kush weed turn bronze, orange, or even rust colored. The dense, chunky buds grow on plants that are thick, small, and durable. As a result, novice growers can cultivate Kush weed in a small room in their home and get away with a few beginner mistakes due to the plant’s durability.
Kush varieties are a popular choice for breeders looking to stabilize hybrid genetics. As it is a landrace strain, Hindu Kush’s genetics ensure its descendants are naturally resistant to colder climates and reduced water consumption. When you add in the relative shortness of Kush plants along with a generous yield, it is hardly a surprise that growers love Kush genetics!
5 Great Kush Strains
1 – OG Kush
High Times has ranked OG Kush as its #1 strain of all time in a previous publication, and there is no higher praise. Its origins are a mystery, but it is probably the result of a cross between Chemdawg and an Old-World Paki Kush. It is an indica-dominant (75%) strain, with a THC content of between 19% and 26%. OG Kush offers a sedative experience along with some euphoria, which makes it an outstanding night time strain.
2 – Critical Kush
This strain is a cross of OG Kush and Critical Mass and was created by Barney’s Farm Seeds. It is an extremely potent marijuana strain with a THC content of up to 25%. Critical Kush hits you hard, fast, and early! Once you use it, expect an intense bout of euphoria, but you’ll be too sedated to do anything but sit back and enjoy the ride.
3 – Skywalker OG
This is a strongly indica-dominant (85%) strain that contains anywhere from 18% to 30% THC! You will probably feel as if you are in Tatooine or Howth once you consume Skywalker OG! It can help you feel relaxed and happy, and the couch-lock it promotes is one of the strongest you’ll experience.
4 – Bubba Kush
This strain has been around for more than 20 years and is extremely indica-dominant (90%). Its THC content of 22% means it is not for beginners, and it is one of the finest muscle relaxants on the marijuana market. It is probably a cross of an OG Kush hybrid and an unknown indica and is widely used to help combat stress.
5 – Master Kush
Initially known as High Rise because of its origins in an apartment building in Amsterdam, Master Kush is a cross of Skunk #1 and Hindu Kush, although its origins are disputed. It is almost entirely indica with a THC content of up to 24%. Master Kush is ideal if you need a fast and effective way to relax, and is one of the best strains for insomnia.
Final Thoughts: What is Kush Marijuana?
The next time you enjoy the relaxing and sedative effects of any Kush strain, make sure you thank those who made the long journey on the Hippie Trail all those years ago. There was a very short timeframe for them to do so, because once chaos reigned in Afghanistan, it became exceedingly difficult to transport Hindu Kush seeds to America and Europe.
Kush strains retain a special place in marijuana folklore, and there are dozens of strains, if not hundreds, that owe their existence to the remarkable weed that grew in the Hindu Kush region.
Such is the popularity of Kush that GW Pharmaceuticals chose it when cultivating marijuana-derived medicine – without a doubt, it’s some of the best herb around.