The Heavy Hitters of Hash: Five cannabis strains favored by the world’s top hashishins
Excerpt from THIS BUD'S FOR YOU: Legal Marijuana, Selecting, Growing & Enjoying Cannabis by Nikka T
Over the last 15 years, I have had the blessing of extracting over 5,000 unique cannabis varietals to create hash. There are many things to consider during the process of concentrating cannabis, but the most easily controlled, pertinent variable to focus on is the strain of cannabis from which the starting material originated. In that regard, I’d like to introduce you to my all time favorite top five hash making strains: Gorilla Glue #4 (GG#4), OG Kush, NYC Diesel (NYC D), Harlequin and The White. These strains and their offshoots all produce unique, yet oddly similar, chemical-like gasoline terpene profiles. Each also contains a broad spectrum of cannabinoids, while remaining stunning trichome producers. To achieve greatness these trichomes, or resin glands containing potent amounts of THC, should be light reflective clear, gold and amber colors and have oily, greasy, sticky and stable consistencies.
Favored strains for hash makers contain broad and high cannabinoid test results coupled with an overpoweringly strong and unique terpene profile that stings the user’s nose and remains on the palette for hours.
Gorilla Glue #4
Gorilla Glue #4, also known as GG#4, was bread by Josey Wales and RJ and has gained extreme popularity within the last few years due to its large yields and unique chemical profile. The strain was an accidental miracle as the story goes. A Chem Sister plant’s bottom branches turned into a hermaphrodite, which hit a Sour Dub plant, and four seeds were created. It took 3-4 months to get these seeds back and, once attained, only one seed popped creating what the breeders called Cha Ching. This plant turned into a hermaphrodite as well and created seven seeds with a Chocolate Diesel plant. From these seven seeds, Gorilla Glue was born. GG#1 and GG#5 will be released in 2016, but the GG#4 was spread far and wide and has now won a plethora of Cannabis Cups and awards. The lineage of Chem Sister x Sour Dub x Chocolate Diesel created this monster known for its Gorilla Glue adhesive-like stickiness that leaves a binding residue on your fingers for quite a duration after merely touching a bud.
The plant itself grows fairly bushy and stalky in vegetative structure with very little stretching in flower. Medium sized trichome covered dense buds line the thin branches and smell loudly of petrol fuel, anise, chocolate, lemon and pine. She finishes in about 60-65 days producing 1-2 pounds per light and leans on the clear-headed, yet strong, Sativa effect.
The Gorilla Glue #4 has caught my attention as a hash maker due to the bounty of trichomes that it produces alongside its pervasive and pungent terpene profile and extremely sticky amber gold colored resin.
Every single time we have processed the GG#4, no matter who the grower has been; we have hit over 18% yields of hashish from mere sugar leaves. Not only that, but the plant produces beautiful transparent gold oil in a multitude of gland sizes from 160 micron all the way down to the 25 micron, which is extremely appealing to the end user and extractor. In concentrate form, this specimen smells and tastes even stronger of gaso-line and deep earthy chocolate. Potency numbers upwards of 89% THC put this strain at the top of my list.
Although the exact lineage of OG Kush is still unknown, many — including one of the original holders of the strain, Josh D — believe it to be an Indica consisting of Thai, Afghani and Hashplant origins. OG Kush is a lanky, low yielding plant and is well known as one of the more difficult plants to cultivate. It produces smaller, dense, extremely pungent, crystal covered, large calyx protruding nuggets after taking 60-70 days in flower. Acknowledged for being one of the more potent, high-THC testing strains, this specimen has an undeniable aroma and taste of lemons, fuel, pine, anise, a freshly opened tennis ball container, earth and sugar. Now, OG Kush, also known as Original Kush due to its many successors, is one of the most sought after strains to date. It has been renamed a multitude of times after being grown in different environments, regions and mediums over the years, changing its appearance slightly. It has also been bred with just about everything imaginable, multiplying its recognition via award-winning crosses like Girl Scout Cookies and Kosher Kush just to name a few. The rarity and hype surrounding OG Kush has lead it to be one of the leaders in the elite clone-only movement, creating phenotypes such as SFV OG (the soil grown version that has retained its notoriety in Southern California and beyond as one of the best), Ghost OG (spread to Oregon via the forums by OrgnKid) and many more such as ’92 OG, Illuminati OG, Club 33, Tahoe OG and True OG.
Another reason for OG Kush’s intriguing nature is the mysterious stories and rumors surrounding its genu-ine origin. As far as the story goes, a grower by the name of Josh D, originally from New Jersey, moved to the San Fernando Valley in 1987 to pursue his passion of growing cannabis. Later, in 1996, a friend by the name of Matt, aka Bubba, moved from Orlando, Florida to Silverlake, California to join Josh D as room-mates. Bubba would tell stories to Josh of this super unique strain originating in Gainesville, Florida, that they were previously growing, which nobody had seen before on the West Coast. Eventually, after Josh saw college photos of this hyped strain and pleaded to see it in person, Bubba finally transported cuttings out to their house in Southern California. Josh, wanting to soak up as much knowledge as he could attain, eagerly learned to clone at this point, and thus OG Kush and Bubba Kush, as well as another variety that was eventually phased out, were preserved and eventually spread from their tight circle in Los Angeles throughout the world.
Most of the genuine OG Kush varieties and phenotypes produce a very stout trichome structures often show short, thick, and oil-filled stalks with huge bulbous, almost bursting, gooey golden to amber glandular heads just begging to be decapitated. These gorgeous trichomes, once concentrated, exude that powerful gasoline, lemon, pine, earthy, anise, skunky funk of a terpene profile, making some believe the OG’s origin may have some Chemdawg lineage. Although harder to perfect due to the extremely glue-like consistency, when processed in a cold and dry environment, OG Kush solventless hash is one of the most enjoyable coveted and desired smokes. Although it has smaller yields in flower and extract form, the complex piercing aroma and taste of fuel, anise and citrus, amazingly tacky consistency, transparent shiny golden color and strong body high, yet clear-headed effect the elite clone only OG Kush and its offshoots will always keep this strain as a favorite hashish producing specimen.
NYC Diesel, also known as NYC D, was bred by the infamous Soma, of Soma’s Sacred Seeds, by crossing the clone-only Sour Diesel — originally hyped on the East Coast for its large, pointy calyx structure, over-powering skunk and almost acrid petrol fuel aroma — with an Afghani/Hawaiian male. This resulted in a cerebral, talkative, yet all over body relaxing Sativa hybrid. For a Sativa leaning variety, this plant tends to grow a lot shorter and bushier, than its tall and lanky Sour Diesel predecessor and also finishes much faster (55-60 days), making this hybrid a great strain for the novice as well as the commercial grower. The intense terpenoid profile reflects that of a real skunk (earth and overpowering grapefruit notes while fruiting, in the jar, on the inhalation and exhale) plus, it lingers in the air with floral citrus aromas for hours after being consumed. Very much like the original Sour Diesel, and most of the Diesel crosses that have been popularized in the last 15-20 years, including Headband, Hong Kong, Sour OG, Sour Cheese, among many more, the NYC Diesel’s buds tend to be larger and more conical in size, producing large yields of greasy, tacky, clear to gold tinted, transparent trichomes from the defining protrusive finger-like calyxes.
The NYC D, like the Sour Diesel, often displays a pink to magenta hue, not only in the leaves, but also on the actual buds themselves. In concentrated form, the NYC D’s trichomes tend to yield fairly well, especially in the upper 70-160 micron silkscreen separating bags, due to the larger glandular heads containing the valuable terpeninoids, cannabinoids and that preferred greasy texture. Not only have we yielded over 2 pounds per light on a lot of the Diesel varieties, we often yield over 20% in extract as well. NYC Diesel tends to pro-duce a very eye catching and appealing clear to light golden colored hashish, with an extremely viscous and sticky consistency, plus the smell of grapefruits, fuel and skunk so strong that your neighbors a few blocks away will smell the funk. A lot of Sativas that we process lean on a waxy, more granular consistency due to their innate nature of having longer, narrow, less oil filled trichome stalks, with smaller heads containing a larger wax-to-oil ratio than is generally desired by hash makers.
NYC Diesel is a rare and unique plant that grows like an Indica, produces beautiful swollen trichomes resembling those of common Indicas, and yet has the effect of a strong Sativa hybrid. This is an incredible strain with amazingly pungent citrus notes of grapefruits, tangerines, oranges and skunk and results in an uplifting joyous high.
Harlequin, known for its high CBD content, pain relief, as well as its anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure properties, is a Sativa dominant landrace strain that was only really discovered and preserved, like most other CBD strains, due to the demand of cannabinoid potency testing within the legal regulated industry.
Harlequin’s roots are said to have come from Columbian Gold, a Nepali Indica, Thai, and Swiss landrace strains. Bill Althouse, a very humble healer and cannabis activist, has been credited with spreading this particular cutting of high CBD Harlequin to patients in need around the globe, absolutely for free. The strain itself, grows very wispy and delicate in nature, but if pruned and topped correctly, can form a wide, self-supporting, short and bushy gorgeous plant with thin Sativa-like leaves and extremely large forearm sized buds. Flower times range between 45 days (to keep the psychoactive THC levels lower) and 65 days producing over 1-2 pounds per light. The complex cherry cough syrup, black pepper, anise, earth and fuel aromas and tastes are very similar to a lot of CBD rich strains and is attributed to their healing characteristics via the pronounced terpene Beta Caryophyllene combined with the entourage effect of other cannabinoids aiding in a plethora of ailments. Testing consistently around 14% CBD to 7% THC makes this 2:1 ratio strain an extremely viable medicinal resource.
Once the trichomes have been extracted from the Harlequin plant, a beautiful transparent amber colored, oily, yet sticky consistency, and pervasive cherry, pepper, anise, earth, and gasoline aroma is revealed exponentially stronger than the original flower it came from. Along with the medicinal CBD effects of this strain, especially in concentrate form hitting numbers as high as 60% CBD to 39% THC, Harlequin produces a large yield of perfectly tinted, extremely sought after, viscous oil, collecting large trichome heads in the 70-120 micron range.
Originating in the Orlando, Florida region, this extremely rare and unique Indica dominating clone-only strain dubbed The White, has a completely unknown lineage. Its popularity started underground in Florida and remained coveted in the state for quite some time, until a man by the name of Krome popularized it by spreading the cut via IC Mag and and various other online private grower forums that took the underground breeding and cultivating market by storm in the early to late 2000s.
Like many strains, this particular variety popped up on the East Coast scene as a few different names including the Supes or Super Danks, Triangled and then later called That White and finally The White due to its popularity within Krome’s small circle. The White is not a very large producing strain, but what makes it truly stand out is the outrageous coverage of white trichomes protruding from this dense, round shaped bud, creating the outward appearance of a white colored flower through and through. The White is a very strong and hardy strain in structure, has an extremely strong full body relaxation effect and a terpene profile that will rival the best. Some say the smell can often times be a bit subdued and bland, but when grown correctly, aromas of diesel fuel, earth, pine and sugary lemons pervade the nostrils.
The biggest reasons I have included The White in the best hash strains category is as follows. We haven’t yielded less than 20% melty hashish from sugar leaf material, no matter whom the starting material was grown by, 90% of which tends to be full melt intact heads, the color has always remained a transparent fluorescent orange to gold, the consistency is extremely stable due to the clean separation from the plant material, the terpene profile is escalated tenfold from the flower itself revealing more deep complex gasoline, lemon, earth, and pine tree scents. Hitting THC levels in the 90s, and never failing me, The White will remain in my stable for quite some time.