Strawberry Cough is both one of the most highly rated and sought after sativas and also has one of the most mysterious genetic histories of all the strains.
Syndicated for its medicating high and serious taste and scent of strawberries, the strain has been mentioned in cult-acclaimed films like Children of Men where it’s mysterious genetic origin is used as a sort of stoner easter egg in the film whereby the cultivation of the strain by Michael Caine adds another layer of mystery to his character.
Not only this, but Nike also released a limited edition pair of SB Dunks called ‘Strawberry Cough’ that sported the fruit’s colors as well as a stoned strawberry mascot smoking a doobie.
After the strain won multiple High Times cup awards and became one of the most highly regarded strains, it was clearly sent on a rocketship to stardom after it was popularised by famed cultivator Kyle Kushman.
However, you may be wondering how the strain won so many awards if it’s genetic info is so ambiguous? Read on to find out more.
As mentioned, the genetic info of Strawberry Cough has remained shrouded in mystery even to this day. The original strain has never had a definitive report of the two strains crossbred to produce this gem. Here’s what we do know.
The indica element has been found to be from the Strawberry Fields strain which endows the strain with its crazy strawberry flavors. It is the indica father that we don’t understand, he remains shrouded in mystery like many fathers in the United States.
Many speculate, but this is purely stoner myth, that the strain’s father was the original Haze strain from a super long time ago, and the original grower cultivated the strain for a long time on their own.
By the time they released the strain to the public it’s genetic father had been lost to time.
There are newer versions of Strawberry Cough that have combined Strawberry Fields with other known strains in order to make what they think is the original, but they often are differentiated from the original.
The most notorious being Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough which won the High Times award.
The origin of Strawberry Cough is highly debated, some even believing that the strain was made in a lab for its medicinal benefits, the strawberry flavors being in reference to the taste of children’s medicine.
But, the closest source of information we can get is Kyle Kushman who met the apparent originator of Strawberry Cough and was given its clones and spread them across America.
As Kushman spread the strain around he was considered to be its creator, but he, nobly, refused this title. The only one who can tell this story is Kyle himself:
‘It really came from a novice first-time accidental cross from a breeder in Bridgeport Connecticut.’
Kyle reveals, ‘So many people think that I made the Strawberry Cough, and I’ve never ever told anybody that I did. I think the reason they think I made it is because I gave it out to so many people. […] When I moved to California from New York [in 2004], I traveled across the country with a trunk full of clones.
I had several hundred clones. And I gave them out in cities all across the way to people I knew.’
So, it seems that Strawberry Cough was the result of a weed induced mistake, perhaps there was the classic hermaphrodite issue which caused some uncommon genetic splicing. Maybe it was the result of beginner’s luck. Either way I’m glad that Strawberry Cough found its way into existence.
The strain takes its looks after its mother plant, Strawberry Fields. The bushy nugs are lime green in color, like many sativa dominant strains, and have amber hairs all over their body illustrating the THC and resin quality of the strain.
“Cough.. You taste that?.. Strawberries!” – Michael Caine in Children of Men
Unsurprisingly this strain tastes amazingly of strawberries. The tropical berry flavors are sequestered by the kushy earthiness and diesely note on the exhale, that are common in many hybrids.
The strains’ now notorious aroma was likely what saved the strain from possible extinction.
What Kyle Kushman also revealed in his interview was that he accepted the original clone out of politeness, but actually planned to compost the plant.
But, he said he opened the bag and ‘it smelled like a pint of strawberries’, so he went home and smoked the buds once they flowered, and started a marijuana journey for the ages. Basically, it stinks, so be careful where you’re taking this strain.
The strain has a rather strong sativa dominance at 80% and 20% indica. This is what gives the strain much of its uplifting effects, whereas the indica helps soften the sativa head spin.
The strain is pretty potent, its THC potency range can be from 18% (and potentially lower) up to even 21% THC content. This is what gives the strain its medicinal classification, as the effects are strong but effective.
The chemical profile of this cemovar can be hard to distinguish due to the actual original makeup of the plant being relatively unknown.
Some reports suggest that Terpinolene is the most dominant terpene while others have found certain specimens have very dominant amounts of Alpha-Pinene.
Alpha-Pinene is the racemic isomer of the Pinene Terpene. The fact that terpene is so dominant, in one specific example, makes a lot of sense as the Alpha-Pinene terpene is what gives coniferous trees their piney scent.
The strain is ripe with this piney scent that often amalgamates with the bud’s strawberry scent.
Expect all the usual side effects that come with smoking marijuana, we’re talking dry mouth, dry eyes, dizziness, etc.
This is a strong cultivar so if you are a newbie maybe reduce your dosage, share a joint with a friend instead of smoking on your own. If this is still too much there are plenty of strains that have similar qualities with simply less potent effects.
The medicinal properties of Strawberry Cough, alongside its taste and mystery, are potentially the most desirable quality of this strain.
Many users who suffer with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc, find that the uplifting effects of this sativa dominant strain are what keeps them coming back for more.
Some actually believe that the strain was manufactured for this exact purpose, to sedate the anxious and depressed among us.
There is talk the strain was basically genetically designed to be the best for anxiety, but there’s nothing to confirm this beyond the murmuring of stoners. But, this doesn’t negate the strains actual medicinal benefits.
What isn’t there to like about Strawberry Cough? A mysterious and interesting origins story, the taste and smell of strawberries, and a strong enough high to knock the cobwebs from the corners of your brain.
The effects of this strain are super desirable, you get a really clear head high that takes the blues away like a valium all while remaining relaxed with a body high buzz that could easily come from the best kushes around.
If you can get your hands on this strain we couldn’t recommend it more!
Strain Grow Information
As you may expect, as the strains real genetic information is so sparse, finding out about accurate and replicable growing information can be hard, but we’ve compiled the best here for you.
However there does seem to be a consensus that Strawberry Cough can be pretty easy to grow even for beginners. It can often sustain itself as long as it is watered regularly and kept in the right climate.
The bushiness of the plant means it doesn’t need too much support, while other strains can.
When buying Strawberry Cough seeds, your seed seller may know which version of Strawberry Cough you are getting. Obviously there is no way to get the original seeds, or at least impossible to verify, so you should be aware of which genetic variation you are getting.
The most common are Dutch Passion Strawberry Cough, as well as Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough, each splices Strawberry Fields with different genetic mother.
Expect around 9-10 weeks for flowering when grown inside. If grown outside the plant should flower around October time.
Strawberry Cough really enjoys a hot tropical climate. So, if you don’t live in this sort of climate you will need to create an indoor growing space that can maintain a temperature of around 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit even at night.
Make sure you keep an eye on the night temperature as the most common growth killer with this strain is reduced temperature at night.
To get the highest yield we really recommend pruning the plant regularly due to its bushy features, also keeping it in a nice warm temperature as it desires will increase the yield and final quality of the plant.
Indoor yields can be as high as 14 ounces per square metre, while outdoor grows will cultivate 14 ounces per plant.