Spark Your Creativity with These Cannabis Strains

Creativity is not a science. If anything, it’s more of an anti-science: chaos in action. Drawing out the creative genius within is a very personal process, and cannabis won’t make it magically appear (unfortunately). However, the anecdotal evidence that there’s a link between creativity and cannabis is overwhelming. Ask a cannaseur if they feel they benefit creatively from cannabis and they’re incredibly likely to say yes. But does that really mean anything? Is perceived increased creativity valid? If so, should you use an indica or sativa for creativity?

indica or sativa for creativity rolling joint

The Science on Cannabis and Creativity

Studies are far too few in number, but they’ve got leads. This study points to cannabis use increasing blood flow in parts of the brain thought to be related to creativity — interesting, but ultimately inconclusive as not much is known. And another found that cannabis increased verbal fluency, a way of saying the ability to “think outside the box,” as well as personality traits connected to creative accomplishment.

However, when tested sober, cannabis users still scored higher than non-users on those tests (divergent thinking and positive trait schizotypy, respectively); so it leads to a bit of a chicken-egg dilemma. Does cannabis improve creativity or do creative people just tend to like cannabis?

Cannabis (like Creativity) is Personal

Regardless of our ability to prove a relation, many people are reporting creative benefits from cannabis – so we might as well give it a shot. The first question at hand: indica or sativa for creativity? In short, that depends. Indicas lead to sedation in many people, so sativa is the obvious choice for getting inspired — but not everyone reacts well to sativa strains. What makes one person over the moon with ideas will make another clammy with anxiety.

It’s important to be aware of how you react to cannabis in general. If, in the past, your sativa experiences have been more “stressful mind racing” than “got me in the flow,”  you’re not likely to get different results because you’re aiming for creativity this time. But we’ve got a list of strains that are most likely to do the job, including hybrids, sativas, and indicas. Also keep in mind that other factors like terpenes and flavonoids play a role.

indica or sativa for creativity line drawing of musician

Indica or Sativa for Creativity? Try These!

Here's a short list of indica or sativa for creativity recommendations. Let us know if there's any strains you've found to be personally inspiring!

  1. Blue Dream: Also known as Azure Haze, this sweet berry-tasting strain is known for providing a mentally invigorating yet also calm euphoric effect – exactly what you need for creative thinking and gathering the inspiration to get to making.
  2. Kali Mist: This strain is reported to help clear the mind from usual chatter, creating the room for inspiration and creativity; which it’s also said to boost, as well as motivation. Enjoy the earthy citrus flavor, then watch your imagination fly.
  3. Jillybean: If this strain were a jelly bean, it’d be orange – for both taste and the bold energy of the color. The conversant high loosens the mind and encourages creative thinking.
  4. Jack Herer: This popular strain is a dynamic hybrid that has wanted effects on both the body and mind, the high providing cerebral clarity and the ability to be conversant – great for brainstorming or collaborating. Also, look for cross-breeds of this woodsy and citrusy strain.
  5. LSD: Psychedelic and cerebral are two of the most common words that describe this indica, which is more mentally stimulating than most. LSD is a great strain for idea generating and creative-block-squashing.
  6. Chemdawg: When you need something really potent to get those creative wheels a churnin’ Chemdawg (also called Chemdog) is your strain. It’s also pungent, giving off an earthy diesel smell and known for creating an energetic high.

indica or sativa for creativity bud

In addition to trying different strains, try playing with the dosage. Many people find that while a little THC helps spark the creative fire, too much does the opposite. And try different ways of approaching creativity, from coloring to cooking.

Ready to start creating? Check out our online dispensary menu or stop by our Bremerton dispensary!

Kush: The Rich History (And Origin) of Kush Strains

Cali Kush, Pure Kush, Master Kush, Bubba Kush, Purple Kush, and of course, the legendary strain that inspired the Kush revolution, OG Kush. To say Kush strains are loved and revered would be an understatement! Kush strains consistently rank as some of the most popular strains, with numerous varieties taking top honors at cannabis cups across the globe (including the revered HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup). Let's dig into the history of kush.

While Haze varieties have long had a commanding influence among Sativa-dominant strains, Kush varieties have occupied a similar position among Indica-dominants. So what’s the history behind this beloved lineage? Kush strains trace their heritage to the Hindu Kush region, an area with disputed boundaries shouldering India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Hindu Kush is located north of Jammu and Kashmir, currently controlled by India — which Pakistan argues belongs to them. The area has a rich history, not just because of its long history of cannabis and hashish production, but for its volatility and political instability.

Nestled comfortably along stunningly gorgeous Himalayas mountain range, the environment (with its lush hillsides, fertile soil and deep valleys) is ideal for cultivating cannabis. The region has long grown some of the world’s most epic herb. To the delight of cannasseurs all over the world, the marriage of human and natural selection have consistently yielded some of the tastiest, most resinous bud known to mankind.

Hindu Kush: An Epic Landrace Strain

Not only is Hindu Kush a region made famous by its popular crop, Hindu Kush is an eponymously named landrace strain. In fact, it’s because of landrace strain that the words “Kush” and “Indica” are used interchangeably. What’s a landrace strain you ask? According to the well-known seed bank, Seed Supreme:

“A landrace strain is pure, never crossed and always grown in its natural environment: this isolation and the resulting inbreeding means these varieties are highly stable and extremely vigorous. It was only a generation or two ago that, were you talking about marijuana at all, it was one of these pure strains; you might know them from family stories of the travelling days, sampling all there was to be had on the hippy trail.”

All popular Kush strains — like Bubba Kush, Purple Kush, and Cali Kush — trace their lineage directly to Hindu Kush. Likewise, Master Kush and OG Kush, two of the most beloved Kush strains, were originally bred by legendary seed bank, Sensi Seeds. In fact, many of the best strains — including cannabis royalty AK-47 and White Widow — are grandchildren to Hindu Kush. Of course, Hindu Kush’s offspring have been genetically and commercially crossbred (so they aren’t technically landrace strains). Nonetheless, boasting a royal lineage, it should be no surprise why Kush varieties are so popular.

The Hippie Trail

How did Kush strains make their way to Europe and the New World? You may have heard about the Hippie Trail. The Hippie Trail was made famous by subculture seekers in the mid-1960s through the late 1970s. Many a beatnik and hippie made the overland journey, traversing Europe to South Asia (specifically Pakistan, India, and Nepal). A popular alt-tourist destination, North Americans and Europeans (particularly members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love) made the pilgrimage bringing back with them Hindu Kush seeds.

Ultimately (and quite tragically), in 1973, Afghanistan’s self-installed president assumed power from the previously hash-friendly King, and conceded to pressure by the Nixon Administration. That same year, the new president outlawed hash and cannabis. Ultimately, the president was overthrown by communists in 1978. Not long after, the Soviets invaded, and the region has been in turmoil ever since (with a succession of long and bloody conflicts).

Ask an aging hippie about pre-war Afghani hash, and you’ll be in for a trip down memory lane. The profound impact of Hindu Kush on Western cannabis cultivation can’t be understated. The Kush strains from this region revolutionized production. Indica strains are more versatile (from a growing perspective) than Sativa strains. By introducing these marvels of nature to the genetic pool, growers were able to dramatically shorten flowering times, while being able to be cultivated in cold and remote areas, like Alaska.

Unfortunately, because many Kush strains have specially bred to be as potent as possible, the term “Kush” isn’t always associated with its rich heritage. More often, they’re known for having sky high THC (which is not always true). Consequently, in Europe and the U.S, many legislators have pushed for harsher penalties for possession (or sale) of Kush strains. (Ironically, with the blessing of the British government, “baby-pharma” company, GW Pharmaceuticals, have been legally cultivating Kush strains for medicinal purposes for years.) Nonetheless, Kush strains will continue to occupy a special place in cannabis culture. So next time you enjoy a nice Kush (and its accompanying “couch lock”), don’t forget to hug a hippie!

 

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Cannabis Strain Review, History & Origin: Jack Herer

Jack Browne, America’s budtender and most prolific strain reviewer, reminisces over a recent liaison with one of the most beloved strains, named after one of the most beloved (and legendary) American cannabis activists: Jack Herer, an American original.

Browne describes how after a late night at Pinche Tacos (or is it Pinche Tequila?), he was what could “generously [be] described as in rough shape.” No cannabis was to blame, that’s for sure! Tequila, on the other hand, oh, that evil Tequila! Clearly, “rough shape” is a kind way to describe how Browne must feel. Having never puked the morning after a bender, Browne feels dangerously close to that happening: “I’m ignominiously close to losing that record,” admits Browne.

Packing for a trip to L.A., Browne is looking for some fast relief. Alas, never fear, Jack Herer is here: “Within 10 minutes, the dull headache that had been forming like a man bun at the back of my head has been vanquished,” observes Browne.

Headache is feeling better. But, what about energy? “I loathe doing laundry, as you could likely surmise from the piles, but today I’m filling up baskets with gusto,” says Browne. “It’s a testament to Jack’s ability to move a body at rest into steady and occasionally frenetic motion.”

How energized is Browne? “I’m approximately a quarter as energized as the teen in the ’90s meth girl commercial.” Wow, that sounds energized to me!

“I’m approximately a quarter as energized as the teen in the ’90s meth girl commercial.”

Jack Herer: The Man, The Myth, The Legendary (Strain)

Jack Herer is one of those great strains, not just because of its impressive lineage, but because the man for whom the strain bears his namesake was a remarkable figure in the cannabis movement. Jack Herer was known as a feisty and tireless champion who fought for the rights we now enjoy. Herer’s seminal book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” is required reading. Required for who? I’m not sure. Anyone who cares about freedom? Nonetheless, it’s definitely essential reading. Herer astutely takes readers down history lane illustrating the absurdity of cannabis prohibition, colorfully weaving in anecdotes about Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (who grew a lot of hemp). Herer's informal narrative style makes this book well suited to read on a rainy Sunday afternoon huddled up in front of the fire with a smokey single-malt scotch -- and, of course, just enough Jack Herer to get your creative and intellectual juices flowing.

The Flower

Jack Herer has won seven — count them, SEVEN — first-place wins at the High Times Cannabis Cup. That should be no surprise. “The best Jack Herer borrows sharp lemon candy, fresh pine and light clove notes from its Northern Lights and Shiva Skunk lineage, while adding buttery vanilla undertones from its Haze background,” says Browne. “This was surprisingly complex for a mid ’90s creation, like the weed version of ‘The X-Files.’ It’ll also show a more sativa-like appearance, with longer branches and an angular structure, so look for a Christmas tree shape as opposed to a rounder, more bulbous structure.”

“This was surprisingly complex for a mid ’90s creation, like the weed version of ‘The X-Files.’"

A well balanced hybrid, Jack Herer generally tilts slightly Sativa at 55% to 45% Indica. THC can range from the high teens to low twenties, along with a notable amount of CBG (anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant). There’s little CBD content — not enough to write home about. But that’s okay: the strain makes up for it by producing a distinctive heady high that is cerebral, and great for “getting shit done.”

When Sensi Seeds created this strain, not only did they want to honor this legendary man, but make a 50% Haze cross that maintained the properties of the best sativas, but didn’t require a painfully long time — 6-months — to flower.

They did a solid job! While Herer’s ancestry has been somewhat secretive, most believe it is a menage-a-trois of three strong strains: Haze (sativa); Skunk #1 (a sativa-dominant hybrid); and, Northern Lights #5, (an indica-dominant hybrid). This three-way hybrid is a great contender for both recreational and medicinal users.

The Effects

Jack Herer, whose high is often characterized with words like: happy, bubbly, uplifting, energetic, creative, euphoric. Loved and desired for its sharp, sweet, candy-like flavors that pair beautifully with its remarkable resin production, and of course, an immediately uplifting high.

A well-produced Jack Herer will perfectly capture the signature cerebral elevation of sativa-dominant strains and the dense resin characterized by indicas. Swirling orange hairs, frosty white trichomes, pungent, earthy, woody with notes of pine.

Browne describes Jack Herer multiple talents: “Jack shows its versatile side, as it’s a malleable high that morphs like Play-Doh into whatever shape you’re embodying, allowing itself to be pressed through the Fun Factory of your mind. Even with a sea of tabs open, I’m still able to navigate the waters of my day.”

"Jack shows its versatile side, as it’s a malleable high that morphs like Play-Doh into whatever shape you’re embodying, allowing itself to be pressed through the Fun Factory of your mind."

Browne also notes Jack Herer’s “heady mood elevation and an uptick in energy, without being too powerful. In other words, it’s perfect for this hangover.” Remember, you heard it here: Jack Herer is great for hangovers!

The Nug reports: “Jack Herer is a great daytime strain—probably my first choice for a nice, clear headed, wake-and-bake strain. As with most clear (as opposed to heavy) sativa strains, users of Jack Herer can expect an upbeat, energetic high that is predominantly a head buzz. It has very cerebral effects, felt almost instantly upon the first toke. Warm feelings behind the eyes initially, which then spread throughout the brain and into the entire body.”

Few downside effects are reported, but no less, there are a couple, including cotton mouth and red eyes, along with occasional dizziness and paranoia (particularly if you overdo it).

Medical

Little known fact: In the mid-1990s, Jack Herer was created in the Netherlands where Dutch pharmacies carried it as a recognized (and reliable) medical-grade strain. Highly rated for stress, anxiety, depression, but also pain, fatigue, migraine headaches, and appetite. Notable cannabinoids are CBG .6 to 2.2%. It’s popular among veterans (and others) who find it effective at treating PTSD. Others report positive results for depression, migraines, and even ADHD.

Sound good? If you haven’t imbibed in a Jack Herer strain lately, get off that couch, head to the dispensary, and rekindle the romance. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did!

#RIP Jack Herer. Your legacy will never be forgotten!

 

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