Despite the mystery surrounding its genetics and origins, the Humboldt strain is popular around the world, but is most easily located on the West Coast. It gets its name from Humboldt County, a locale within the heart of Northern California’s marijuana industry, the Emerald Triangle.
Humboldt’s at first floral, sweet aromas shift into an earthy, peppery flavor once the flower has been ground. The strains it is most often compared to include Sour Tangie, Alien OG, Master Kush, and Acapulco Gold.
The following is all you need to know about this strong and penetrating strain; its genetics and origin, its appearance, flavors and aromas, cannabinoids and terpenes, side effects and medical benefits, as well as a detailed guide to growing your own.
Below is the lowdown of the Humboldt strain’s genetic makeup, and where it exactly came from. Well, we say ‘exactly’…
The genetics of the Humboldt strain are fairly mysterious. It’s thought to be related to an Afghan indica landrace strain, but its exact breeder is undocumented. This is no huge surprise, since the genetics of Afghani landrace strains date back over 10,000 years.
Aside from this, all that’s really known about the strain’s genetics is that its parents passed on both sativa genes and indica genes.
The exact ratio of sativa to indica is unknown. It produced both the truffula tree, and the west OG, which are both indica-dominant strains.
Much like its genetics, its origins are mysterious too, but it originated in Northern California’s Humboldt County, which is (shock!) where it gets its name. Humboldt County, part of the Emerald Triangle (along with Trinity County and Mendocino County), is known for its cultivation of cannabis.
The Emerald Triangle is the largest cannabis-producing locale in the United States, with an estimated worth of billions of dollars.
The industry has seen enormous growth within the Emerald Triangle in recent years. Both the climate and terrain of these three counties is considered amongst the best in the world for growing weed.
The strain is believed to have been first cultivated in Humboldt County in the 1970s, gaining popularity in the 1990s over in Europe. It is now as popular as ever, particularly on the West Coast.
The Humboldt strain grows into bushy, short plants with thick branches. Its flowers are notably large and chunky, and when trimmed, the plant’s formation tends to vary.
Sometimes the leaves are close to spherical, while other times they’re closer to the shape of a spade. Closer to the plant’s core the leaves will be smaller, and they will spiral inwardly.
The color of the leaves are a dark forest green with pistils of brown. White trichomes cover the flowers, appearing almost like a sheet of ice. It’s these fine outgrowths that make the flowers sticky, and difficult to break up with your hands.
Humboldt is known for its diverse profile of flavors. Its most notable flavors include citrus, flowers, pepper, as well as earthy tones. Other reported flavors include pine, sweet, apple, nutty, and in some instances, plum. Its flavors are very well received generally.
In terms of aroma, the Humboldt’s strain is quite complex. While the most notable scents of the flower are floral, sweet, and vaguely citrusy, grinding the flower up will produce hints of sugar, herbs, and hashy spice. These particular scents are just some evidence that the plant is an Afghani descendant.
When it comes to Humboldt’s cannabinoids, the THC is relatively high, usually sitting between 18% and 25%. Its CBD level is very low, sitting at less than 1%.
The smoke itself, once the plant has been combusted, is very palatable and smooth, described by some users as creamy. This means there should be no huge struggle with inhaling, even if you are new to weed.
Many have reported that the high is one that hits even before exhaling. Probably not one to introduce your friends to weed with, but that’s up to you!
The terpenes of a strain are the group of hydrocarbons found within the essential oils of plants. It is these hydrocarbons which give a strain its aromas.
The Humboldt strain’s most notable terpene is myrcene, an alkene natural hydrocarbon. The herbal myrcene is the most common terpene amongst all strains, and produces earthy and peppery flavors and aromas. Myrcene is also found in lemongrass, basil, and mangos, as well as thyme.
The secondary terpenes found in the Humboldt strain are caryophyllene (which primarily produces notes of pepper), and limonene (which produces, if you hadn’t guessed, notes of citrus). The latter is what gives the Humboldt strain its vague scent of orange.
Strain Side Effects
As with any strain of weed, it is important to be fully aware of the side effects, both positive and negative, before smoking or consuming.
The effects of the Humboldt strain are mostly concentrated in the head. Its most typical effects include increased relaxation, focus, creativity, euphoria, happiness, and prompts laughter and more social behaviour.
Though it largely focuses on the head, another common effect is physical sleepiness, which users may feel contrasts with the fast-paced headspace Humboldt also provides. With this in mind, Humboldt can’t really be recommended if the user is seeking long term productivity.
For a strain that would lead to a more productive day, there are a variety of strains, including Blue Dream, Durban Poison, Super Lemon Haze, Tropicana Cookies, and Sour Diesel.
The physical effects (brought on by the indica after time has passed or after the dosage has increased) can be quite intense, causing waves of tingly relaxation throughout the whole body.
While it can be enjoyed at any time of day, due to its effects the Humboldt strain is most recommended for evening use. While you’re not necessarily going to be couch locked, any state near this wouldn’t exactly be ideal before a busy day. Certainly a strain to kick back with!
As with most strains, there can also be some negative side effects, though nothing dramatic has been reported. Among the most widely reported are dry mouth, dry eyes, and dizziness, the latter being not entirely surprising due to the strain’s mostly heady effect.
As for the dry mouth and dry eyes, these are easily remedied, and nothing to be concerned about in the long term. A glass of water should sort you right out, if not immediately, then over a short time.
Because of its low CBD levels, there are far better strains out there than Humboldt when it comes to medical benefits. Conditions that can be treated with higher levels of CBD, such as seizure disorders like epilepsy, will not really be affected by this strain.
However some have reported that it does help with general pain (be it temporary pain or permanent pain), stress, and anxiety.
As it is known for increasing focus a great deal, it would therefore most likely be beneficial for those with attention deficit disorders.
The Humboldt strain also pins down euphoria and happiness with great ease, meaning it can also help with mild to moderate depression (though it should not be assumed that this will be the case).
However, it should be noted that due to its intense cerebral effect, it is not recommended for those prone to anxiety, nor those with a low THC tolerance or those who are new to weed.
The strain has also been reported to relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, migraines, muscle spasms, and PTSD- but, as you’re probably aware, results really can vary.
Overall, the strain is a well-balanced one. Fans of both indica and sativa will have something to appreciate here. Sweet and floral, with a high both euphoric and upbeat, the buzzy Humboldt strain is highly recommended for those eager to clear their head. Because who really has time for yoga?
Strain Grow Info
If you’re looking to grow your own Humboldt, the following is all you need to know.
The Humboldt strain is available as seeds.
Strain Flowering Time
The Humboldt plant grows fast, and grows tall, and will require a good deal of attention. With the right amount of care, Humboldt will grow well outdoors and indoors, but it should be noted that outdoor cultivation will require a moderately humid environment.
An average daytime temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. The strain tends to flower within 7 to 8 weeks, usually taking 56 days indoors, and until early October outdoors.
When cultivating the Humboldt strain, it is recommended that growers regularly trim away the biggest fan leaves. Ignoring this method could mean that the lower growing flowering nodes might be missing vital light and air.
The yield for the Humboldt strain is above average.