Cannabis 101 

Cannabis education and information on ways to consume, how to grow or harvest, and more.

What Is ‘Kush’ Cannabis?

Cannabis can be classified in many different ways. Typically, this resinous flower is categorized as sativa, hybrid, or indica, based on anticipated effects and/or the morphology of the plant. But cannabis can be further categorized through a vernacular defined by the popular culture, such as Kush, Haze, and Purple. These terms refer to types of cannabis characterized by distinct smells, flavors, effects, and/or geographic regions.

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What Characterizes “Kush” Cannabis?

Kush cannabis

Kush is a particular variety of cannabis that descends from the Hindu Kush mountains. This mountain range spans the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and is one of the few geographic regions where the cannabis plant grows natively.

Having strong Kush genetics usually means a strain will have a few of the following attributes:

  • Appearance: Your strain may exhibit deep green colas and leaves with hints of purple. Pistils (hairs) can look orange, bronze, or rust colored.  Buds are dense, chunky, and knotted, coming from squat, thick plants.
  • Smell: Aroma can vary between earthy, floral, pungent, pine, incense, sweet fruit, hash spice, pepper, citrus, gas, and herbs.
  • Flavor: Smoke or vapor should be smooth and herbaceous, tasting of flowers, grape, diesel, citrus, and earth.
  • Effects: Kush usually vacillates between hybrid and indica dominance. The effects are typically heavy and sedative. OG Kush crosses are usually coupled with a bright euphoria that puts a smile on the couch-locked consumer. Introspection or internal reflection is a common effect of Kush as well. These cerebral effects make a strong case for Kush as a meditative variety of cannabis.

Keep in mind that these attributes can vary from Kush strain to Kush strain. How a strain is grown and its unique genetic expression (referred to as a “phenotype”) naturally affect a strain’s attributes, giving some Kush strains a more sativa-like aroma, flavor, or effect.

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Among strain breeders, Kush varieties are popular candidates for backcrossing and in turn, stabilizing hybrid genetics. As with many landrace strains, Kush genetics present natural resistance to certain elements native to their land of origin. This includes hardy stocks and vegetation that can survive colder, harsher climates and moderate water consumption, allowing the plant to endure somewhat parched terrain. In addition to their natural resilience, many growers choose to grow Kush strains for their heavy yields and manageable height.

What are the Most Popular Kush Cannabis Strains?

A simple search of “Kush” will yield hundreds of strains with an Afghani ancestor, but let’s start with the five most popular:

1. OG Kush

Leafly OG Kush hybrid cannabis strain tile and effects

The most famous of all Kush varieties, OG Kush hits the sweet spot on the indica-dominant hybrid scale. This strain’s comfortable yet potent sedation coupled with an uplifting euphoria make it the perfect strain to just feel good with.

2. Bubba Kush

Leafly Bubba Kush indica cannabis strain tile and effects

Bubba Kush is what usually comes to mind when people think of indica-dominant effects. This strain is stoney and sedative, weighing the consumer to couch as though they were wearing cement boots with a matching cement tracksuit and stately cement trench coat. Bubba Kush may also ignite your appetite; just try not to fall asleep in front of the fridge while spooning a box of Eggo waffles.

3. Purple Kush

Leafly Purple Kush indica cannabis strain tile and effects

Purple Kush is an excellent example of indica-dominant attributes. This strain has purple foliage and will generally have an earthy, grapey flavor, as well as sleepy effects.

4. Skywalker OG

Leafly Skywalker OG hybrid cannabis strain tile and effects

Skywalker OG takes the classic hybrid effects of OG Kush and deepens its sedating effects with the addition of Skywalker. This Kush develops a fruit-rich, diesel-driven flavor and aroma while mimicking the happy, uplifted mental characteristics of its paternal genetics. The creeping, sedative effects melt over the body, taking the consumer from the light side of day into the dark side of night (and sleep.)

5. Master Kush

Leafly Master Kush indica cannabis strain tile and effects

Master Kush is another Kush classic that inherits attributes directly from Hindu Kush. With a mixture of sleepy, happy, and relaxing effects, Master Kush earns its title. This strain is an excellent alternative to Bubba Kush.

Which Kush varieties are your favorite? Share them in the comments section below!