Kush: What, Where, When, and Why

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Modesto, Merced, Atwater, Fresno and the Central Valley

Kush is probably the most recognized name in the indica hybrid world. There are now many different children of this parent cultivar, but its lineage can be traced back to its namesake far away in the mountains of the Indian subcontinent. What’s more, the now numerous iterations of this potent bud can be found in every dispensary in California! 

Kush cannabis strains are renowned for their potency, flavor, and aroma. These strains typically offer a combination of both indica and sativa effects, providing users with the best of both worlds. From uplifting mental clarity to deep relaxation and sedation, kush strains can provide a wide variety of benefits. Many medical marijuana patients turn to kush for relief from pain, inflammation, stress, insomnia, and many other conditions. But how much do we know about its history? Where and when did it all begin? And what have modern-day breeders done with the ancestors of this ancient weed heavyweight?

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What is Kush?

Kush is an ancient strain of Cannabis that dates back to the Hindu Kush mountain region of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Originating from the geographically unique area, this strain is known for its high potency and unique aroma. Many cannabis cultivators have made use of the kush genetics in their own strains, leading to many different variations with the same kush roots.

Kush genetics can produce cannabis strains with the following attributes. (1)

  • Color: Deep green leaves with flashes of purple and bronze
  • Appearance: Short, thick foliage, densely packed buds
  • Aroma: Variations of pine, floral, earth, spice, lemon, and gas
  • Flavor Profile: Floral, grassy, pine, grape, diesel, earth
  • Experience: sedative, relaxing, “couch-lock”, meditative

Where Does Kush Come From?

The History of Kush

The Hindu Kush is a strikingly beautiful mountainous region of Afghanistan and north Pakistan. For thousands of years it has been a crossroads between South and Central Asia and historical Persia (Iran). (2)  It’s also the home of bountiful amounts of cannabis, which grows completely naturally at certain altitudes.

This area is characterized by harsh climatic conditions including low temperatures, heavy snowfall, and extreme winds. It is believed that these conditions forced the plant to develop certain traits, such as thicker stems and leaves, which allowed it to survive in this unforgiving environment.

The first recorded mention of the Kush strain comes from the writings of the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC. He wrote of the “kannabis” that grew in the Hindu Kush region, noting its effects on those who smoked it. (3) In the 13th century AD, the Muslim scholar Abu-Hanifa discussed the effects of the Kush strain in his book Kitab al-Tibb, also known as The Book of Medicine.

How Did it Get Here?

Kush cannabis has been around for centuries, as it has been growing wild in the Hindu Kush mountain range since ancient times. In the 1970s, American breeders started crossing these local landrace varieties with other strains to create new hybridized versions. Over time, the popularity of kush strains has spread throughout the world, becoming one of the most sought-after cannabis cultivars.

Choices, Choices…

Kush cannabis has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people are looking to try new strains. To keep up with demand, cultivation centers have begun specializing in the production of different types of kush strains. The process begins with selecting the right genetics, which are then grown and harvested under controlled conditions. Once the buds have been trimmed, dried, and cured, they are packaged and ready for sale.

Famous Kush Strains

Hindu Kush

The Hindu Kush cannabis strain is one of the oldest known strains of cannabis. The Indica strain originated in the Hindu Kush mountain range, and has been used for thousands of years by the local people for its medicinal benefits. The area’s harsh climate and rich soil provide ideal growing conditions for this strain, which is why it’s still grown there today!

Afghan Kush

Afghan Kush is an indica strain that is renowned for its heavy-hitting effects and tranquilizing properties. Originating from the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, Afghan Kush has been a favorite among cannabis connoisseurs for centuries. The strain has a high THC content, making it a sought-after choice for recreational users in search of a powerful body buzz.

Purple Kush

Purple Kush is a pure indica strain that was developed in Northern California. It is thought to have been created by crossing the Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani strains, giving it its unique flavor profile and effects. As the name suggests, it is characterized by its gorgeous dark purple hue and thick, resinous buds. This strain has an earthy, sweet aroma with hints of berry and grape, making it an enjoyable experience for both recreational and medicinal users alike.

OG Kush

The OG Kush strain is an indica-dominant hybrid cannabis strain that has become popular with cannabis connoisseurs worldwide. There’s an ongoing debate as to who cultivated this strain first – the Californians or the Floridians, but one thing everyone agrees on is the name: “OG” stands for “Original Gangsta”. This potent strain is known for its pungent, citrusy-skunky aroma and heavy sedative effects that make it perfect for those suffering from insomnia, chronic pain, or even just looking for a relaxing buzz.

Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush is a hybrid cannabis strain that is known for its heavy body effects and earthy aroma. It is a cross between two classic indica strains, Pre-98 Bubba Kush and Bubble Gum. This strain is known for its strong sedative effects that can help relax both the mind and body and relieve stress and tension. Bubba Kush’s THC levels typically range from 15%-20%, but some phenotypes can reach up to 24%.

Master Kush

Master Kush is a cross between two of the most famous landrace strains: Hindu Kush and Skunk #1. This combination creates a powerful full-bodied indica with a unique aroma reminiscent of sandalwood, earth and citrus. The intense aroma is accompanied by a mellow, yet soothing high that immediately relaxes your body and mind. It’s no wonder why this strain has become so popular over the years.

Triangle Kush

Triangle Kush is a popular indica strain that is highly sought after in Central California and beyond. It’s known for its high potency, sweet flavor, and heavy body effects. Triangle Kush is a descendant of two landrace strains from the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan – Afghani and Pakistani Kush. This strain has an earthy aroma with a hint of citrus, and a smoke that is smooth but can be quite potent.

Honorable mentions: King Kush, Tahoe Kush, Green Kush, Banana Kush, Lemon Kush, Mickey Kush

Find out more about weed strains, terpenes, and more on the Medallion Wellness blog!

Kush & Kush-Derived Strains at Medallion Wellness

Get the most out of your vape with class-acts Stiizy! Taste citrus and herbs as you smoke this uplifting, relaxing cart.

Want the “mini me” version of  the big Stiizy? Try the compact, disposable Liiil Stiiizy for size!

If you’ve never tried Hindu Kush, try Almora’s spectacular 100% live resin cartridge.

For fans of fruity flavors, this amazing indica vape cart is sure to help you feel relaxed and content.

A cross between Mazar x Blueberry and OG Kush, this heavy-hitting cart is just what you need for a relaxing day or night.

A Liiil disposable with a LOT of power, the Skywalker OG Liil Stiiizy vape cart is a must-try!

Triangle Kush x Animal Mints = a wonderfully strong concentrated live rosin for your consideration.

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  1. Wilhelm J. What is “Kush” cannabis?. Leafly. Published February 1, 2017. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/what-is-kush-marijuana 
  2. Di Cristofaro J, Pennarun E, Mazières S, et al. Afghan Hindu Kush: Where Eurasian Sub-continent Gene Flows Converge. Kayser M, ed. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(10):e76748. doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076748 
  3. Sumler A. Cannabis in the Ancient Greek & Roman World. chrome-extension://bdfcnmeidppjeaggnmidamkiddifkdib/viewer.html?file=https://philarchive.org/archive/SUMCIT-2.  
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