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5 Classic Weed Strains That Are Still Popular Today

If you regularly smoke cannabis, you’ll likely have heard old-timers express how marijuana was seldom as potent as today’s strains. During the 70s and earlier, a lot of marijuana likely had THC contents way below 10%. It is estimated that most strains had less than 5%. Nowadays, it is normal to see a strain contain more than 25% 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.

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.

Photo Credit: growingmarijuanablog.com

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.

Photo Credit: strainspot.com

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

Rated #3 in a High Times list of greatest strains of all time, Sour Diesel is an outstanding 90% sativa-dominant hybrid. With up to 29% THC content, and almost 2% CBD, no one knows exactly where this strain comes from. It is frequently speculated that Sour Diesel is a mix of 91 Chemdawg and Mass Super Skunk. Some individuals also theorize it to be a blend between a Mexican Sativa and a Chemdawg phenotype.

Sour Diesel is not for insomniacs regardless of its indica presence, so if you want to consume it for sleep, a different strain would be better suited. Offering an amazingly energetic and intoxicating high, Sour Diesel is unquestionably the selection to have a jovial time, hardly ever producing a sense of couchlock.

At first try, one quickly realizes how scrumptious this strain is, but it doesn’t give you long to think about the flavor, quickly melting into blissful euphoria. This soon transforms into an uplifting and energizing experience, that lasts for an especially long time, often up to nearly five hours.

4 – Original Haze

Sometimes reffered to as Nevil’s Haze, Original Haze has quite an extensive history. Originally the creation of the Haze Brothers in California, it was later brought in the 1980s by Sam the Skunkman (Dave Watson) to Amsterdam. The genus breeder Nevil worked endlessly to perfect the strain, backcrossing and stabilizing it, and out came the Original Haze we know today.

Nowadays, this perfectly pure sative boasts about 10% and 20% THC, so it is potent enough to appeal to the more intense cannabis consumers, but mellow enough to be well-rounded and accessible to most. Known for its spicy and sweet taste, mny report the most delicate undertone of citrus topping off the sultry combination. Having an initially slow build-up, eventually the strain hits hard and fast. Some even say the experience is almost psychedelic-like.

Best avoided by those who tend to be anxious or paranoid when consuming cannabis, those who want to manage their chronic pain or headaches might consider Original Haze.

5 – Northern Lights #5

30 years ago, Norther Lights #5 was a Cannabis Cup winner in Amsterdam and now it is still a timeless classic. At your local dispensary, you’re likely to find versions of Northern Lights #5 that boast well over a 20% THC content, so the strain has definitely become more potent over the years.

Made up of primarily indica geneticd, 95% to be exact, this cannabis strain is still widely loved all over the world, even after all these years. Just remember – Northern Lights #5 is not for lightweights. It is greatly important to build up a tolerance before taking on proper inhalations of this baby.

If you’re more experienced and can handle the energy of Northern Lights #5, you just might be rewarded with feelings of well-being and elation.

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!

Today there are hundreds of cannabis strains on the market, but these 5 are timeless. Find out which classic marijuana strains ranked on our top 5 list…

What is a cannabis landrace strain?


This article was updated on August 6, 2020.
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There is a big difference between the cannabis that was available in the 1960s and the cannabis you can get now. Up until the late 1970s, if you were smoking pot, you were likely smoking what was often referred to as “sativa.” These plants were tall, had narrow leaves, and produced wispy flowers. From its original home around India, this cannabis species moved east. It also made its way down the eastern coast of Africa and eventually hitched a ride to the Americas.

A landrace marijuana strain is one of these original strains, and they regularly carry the name of the place they were developed: Thai , Durban Poison , Acapulco Gold , etc. Over the generations, the growing practices and environments particular to each of those locations imparted unique characteristics to each strain’s appearance and chemistry—the fancy word for this is “ terroir .”

Whereas sativa landrace strains moved across the globe, indica landraces were isolated in the arid, mountainous regions around Afghanistan and Pakistan. This cannabis is known for its broad leaves, short stature, dense flowers, and the hash that is created from its flowers. These strains also carry the names of places they were developed: Afghani , Hindu Kush , etc.

Are landrace strains still around?

It wasn’t until the late ‘70s that people decided to intentionally breed these two kinds of cannabis together. Eventually, breeders were able to produce offspring that consistently carried the desired characteristics from each type, and perhaps even more importantly, avoid unwanted characteristics that could weaken the plant’s health and production.

These hybrids have now taken over the cannabis market, and this, my ‘60s cannabis smoking friends, is the big difference between what you smoked then and what you smoke now: Today, you are smoking a hybrid of cannabis as opposed to a pure landrace strain.

Today, you are smoking a hybrid of cannabis as opposed to a pure landrace strain.

Are landraces more potent than regular strains?

It really depends on the specific strain and where and how it was grown. If you get your hands on a true landrace, it will most likely be less potent than a strain you find today, as current strains have typically been bred for a higher potency.

Is it hard to find landrace strains?

Those landrace strains from the ‘60s are not grown on a large scale today, but there are a few that carry a big enough following to keep them available in our current market. These are commonly referred to as “heirloom” strains, and they are produced in small batches and carry genetics of the landrace, but lack the original terroir.

There might come a day when the world cannabis markets open up, giving us direct access to landrace strains from around the world, however, until that day, here are a few heirloom strains you can find in your local shop to hold you over.

List of landrace marijuana strains

Durban Poison

Hailing from the port city of Durban in South Africa, Durban Poison is an energizing strain best known for its unique smell, taste, and bud structure. It offers a bouquet of anise, earthy spiciness, and sweetness. Nothing else in the cannabis world is like it.

Unlike other narrow-leaf strains, this plant produces flowers that are round and fluffy as opposed to long and wispy. It’s like a round cheese puff … that tastes like a black jelly bean.

Afghani

Afghani is a broad-leafed strain with dense buds that produces heavy resin perfect for hash production. This strain evolved in an arid climate, therefore its buds tend to mold if it is grown in climates with high humidity.

Its sweet and earthy smell translates to a dank sedation loved by those looking to relax.

Lamb’s Bread

Said to be Bob Marley’s strain of choice, Lamb’s Bread is a landrace from the island of Jamaica. Also known as Lamb’s Breath, this strain is great for creative endeavors and introspection, as it provides an uplifting feeling and a sense of intense clarity.

Like many landrace strains, it offers a taste and smell that separates it from the rest. It’s like my favorite cheeses—funky, grassy, and herbal, with a little kick of spice. It smells loud!

Acapulco Gold

An uplifting landrace strain from Mexico, Acapulco Gold once held the reputation for being the standard in cannabis production. A lot of this had to do with the plant’s beautiful appearance and its ability to produce an abundance of THC—a unique characteristic at the time of its creation.

It offers a unique aroma of toffee and you get a bit of funky cheese in the taste.

Also referred to as Thai Stick (for the way it was dried and cured), Thai is regarded for its potency and intense cerebral high. It smells like tropical fruit with a hint of diesel, and it gives a subtle floral taste on the exhale.

This is a parent to many of the more popular uplifting and energizing strains we love today, like the original Haze .

Back in the '60s, pure landrace strains prevailed. Today, most cannabis has been hybridized, but there are still some classic old strains you can get your hands on.