Every now and then you come across a weed strain that is too high to handle. It hits you with effects that make your body say, “No thanks on this one ever again.” For some people, those strains are the super racy sativas, like Super Lemon Haze, that make them anxious and hyper; for others, they’re the extremely sedative strains, like 9LB Hammer, that make it hard to even function as a human. All of them teach us a lesson about what types of strains we should and should not be smoking in the future.
That said, here’s why I am absolutely terrified of smoking Blackberry Kush.
What is Blackberry Kush?
Blackberry Kush is a cross of Afghani and Blackberry, according to Leafly. It is an indica-dominant hybrid, classified by its short structure, intense effects, and Afghani-derived genetics.
Afghani genetics and Afghani landrace strains are considered the backbone of modern day indicas. So with Blackberry coming from a mix of Afghani, Mexican, and Vietnamese landraces, and then being crossed again with Afghani, it’s easy to understand how the indica designation came to be. Across many websites, you’ll find Blackberry Kush listed as a great aid for sleep disorders and pain management. The original breeder of BBK is unknown.
Blackberry Kush flowers are often so darkly colored that they appear black. On the nose, the Blackberry Kush terpenes kick out a sweet and gassy profile. On the taste, much of the gas is sent to the background, as sweet berry flavors dominate the strain’s flavor profile.
It grows best indoors with a 7 – 8 week flowering period that produces a medium-to-low yield, which is probably why you don’t see Blackberry Kush flower too often on dispensary menus. Thus, if you want to try it, you may have to grow it at the crib.
How it feels to smoke Blackberry Kush (to me).
Cannabis tolerance plays a huge part in how powerful the effects of weed can be. The more you smoke, the more THC your body will need to get an intense high over time, which is why you see frequent smokers elevate to frequent dabbers over time.
As far as my tolerance goes, on a daily basis, I smoke three to four .75 gram joints and a dab or two, with a healthy dose of continual vape pen use throughout the day. This means that I can smoke pretty much any time of weed all day and be completely fine and productive. Except Blackberry Kush. It’s an absolute showstopper for my endocannabinoid system.
I smoked Blackberry Kush for the first time ever back in June 2018. It was after a trip down to Oregon to tour the facilities of what was then LTRMN, and has since become Korova Unrivaled. During the visit, I caught a few product samples on my hashtag weed journalist shit. One of those samples was a one gram Blackberry Kush Cabana preroll, which is a line of luxury pre-rolls from the aforementioned companies. Its high absolutely kicked my ass.
Have you ever smoked some weed that immediately you know is too much for you? Like, you’ve been facing blunts back-to-back for years, but for some reason, this high has hit your whole body with the Stone Cold Stunner? That was Blackberry Kush.
Within three hits of the joint, I felt my eyelids get so heavy that I immediately knew my day was over and whatever was on today’s to-do list had just been moved to tomorrow’s. It’s the type of high that makes you understand people who say they “don’t like indicas because they make me too sleepy.” To make sure it wasn’t just a fluke based on my body’s state and mood that day, I smoked another one of the BBK Cabana prerolls three days later and had the exact same experience.
Two years later, in November of 2020, I found myself in possession of a Blackberry Kush vape cartridge from AbsolutXtracts (ABX) during a road trip through California. I figured that the flower from years prior was just not a match for me, but maybe some oil would be a more relaxing, less overwhelming experience. I was wrong. A few puffs and I immediately got that wicked sleepy feeling. It taught me that while Blackberry Kush is simply not the strain for me, it may be the strain for consumers who do want some help passing out for the night.
Why I think Blackberry Kush is great for sleep
Sometimes you get so high that the only thing you can do to reverse it is go to sleep. That’s what Blackberry Kush does to me. And that’s exactly why I always recommend it to anyone who asks me about sleepy or indica strains — the for-now standard term that the industry uses to describe sedative effects.
Blackberry Kush is the perfect example of a couch-lock strain. In fact, sites like Pot Guide, CannabisNow, and Way of Leaf that have ranked sleepy cannabis strains have all named Blackberry Kush as one of the best.
So what makes Blackberry Kush so great for sleep? Perhaps its terpene profile. According to Cali Terpenes, who produces cannabis terpene profiles in liquid and spray formats, Blackberry Kush’s main terpenes are: caryophyllene, myrcene, limonene, pinene, linalool, menthol, nerolidol, and cineol.
Caryophyllene is expected to have relaxing effects, myrcene is expected to have calming, sedative qualities, and limonene is thought to be uplifting. Combine these perceived effects and it’s easy to see why Blackberry Kush can be such an overpowering, sedative strain for even the most seasoned stoners. For more information about the relationship between cannabis terpenes and effects, peep this article about why we should be smelling weed before we buy it.
Featured image by Dre Hudson/Weedmaps