Our tale begins in the late 1960s in Santa Cruz, where a mild climate and a dry autumn combine to allow farmers to extend their outdoor growing season beyond October. Here, along the California coastline, the Haze Brothers cultivated an exotic variety of pot that quickly earned fame within the area’s small circle of cannabis connoisseurs at that time. The Original Haze, rumored to contain tropical genetics from Thailand, Mexico, and Colombia, delivered an electricsativa jolt. The high was cerebral and uplifting, with almost no ceiling to the buzz.
Joe Haze, one of the aforementioned Haze Brothers, was quoted in Grow American #63 (dated November of 1980) as follows: “The stuff they grow up there [in Northern Cali] is mostly indica, but it’s harvested early to get it in before the frost. In our county the flowers pump out resin until December, and Haze pot is from sativa seeds.” Four Haze phenotypes arose, nicknamed Gold, Silver, Purple, and Blue.
Despite the buzz, Haze seeds remained scarce for years until the late 1970s, when famed breeder Sam Skunkman started creating and refining his own batches. By 1984, he had taken them to Holland and started selling them under his Sacred Seeds moniker. With a flowering time from 12 to as much as 16 weeks, the Original Haze earned a reputation as a finicky, difficult plant to grow, and many preferred planting Skunk and Northern Lights seeds instead. (The Original Haze is still available today in seed form from Flying Dutchmen Seeds.)
However, those who did grow the Haze to fruition were rewarded with long, sticky spears of spicy nuggets. These colas had to be coaxed out of the plant, with growers being careful not to overfeed or overwater the lanky limbs; also, stakes or trellises are a must, to keep the tops from falling down under their own weight. These long, thin leaves and wispy buds are characteristic of pure sativas such as the Haze.
The Haze Craze
In the 1980s, the legendary seed producer Nevil Schoenmakers bought a selection of beans from a connoisseur in New York that included the Haze Brothers’ Original Haze. After he took those seeds to Amsterdam and embarked on a breeding project to stabilize them, Schoenmakers released Nevil’s Haze to the general cannabis-smoking public, and everything changed. As marijuana historian Mr. Haze 420 said to me, “Nevil’s Haze is some of the most powerfulsativa I’ve ever smoked.”
By the end of the decade, Haze hybrids were making it easier for growers and smokers to truly appreciate the amazing qualities of the strain. Nevil’s Seed Bank released NL #5 x Haze in 1989, and Sensi Seeds followed shortly thereafter with their Silver Haze, winning the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup that same year. In the 1990s, Green House Seeds ruled the sativa scene with their Super Silver Haze.
Around that same time, industrious growers in Florida began producing a kelpy, bright orange product called Miami Haze. These tight little nuggets traveled up the I-95 corridor to East Coast hubs such as New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, and quickly changed the sensi scene with their characteristic “up” high. Nicknames such as Crippies, Piff and Pude (pronounced pu-day) denote a higher-quality product with almost psychedelic effects. Many a smoker has thought he was having a panic attack after experiencing the racing heart associated with these nearly pure sativas.
These days, Haze hybrids abound, winning Cannabis Cups regularly and wowing the visitors to Amsterdam’s coffeeshops. They’re a perfect daytime smoke, inspiring creativity and wonderful walks in the park or museum visits. Subtle flavors of root beer, chocolate and sandalwood dance on the tongue long after a Haze spliff is smoked, and the hashish made from Haze plants is a wonder to behold. Haze will continue to win awards and is an excellent source of breeding material in creating new flavors and aromas.
As for the notorious Purple Haze debate, here’s what Sam Skunkman had to say on a popular weed forum: “Yes, Purple Original Haze was absolutely a reality. It was around for more than a decade in the late ’60s and ’70s, and from then on in the form of hybrids. It came in silver, blue, reddish, as well as purple and almost black. I grew, smoked, saw them all. They were real. Purple Haze was Original Haze with Colombian bloodlines [i.e., phenotype].”
Top 10 Haze Strains of All Time
Green House Seeds
1st Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Seeds, 1998
This one harks back to the days of the legendary breeder Nevil Schoenmakers(sometimes misspelled “Neville”), who serendipitously acquired an almost pure Haze and selected back to stabilize its most extreme sativacharacteristics. Arjan and Franco have not only kept this classic strain alive, but they’ve refined it into one of the most outstanding, long-flowering Hazes in existence. The buzz is physically relaxing, but with an inspiring spiritual high.
Growing Nevil’s Haze takes time and care. The buds don’t appear until almost a month into the flowering cycle, and the plant will continue to stretch, developing a lot of lumber between each node. The small nuggets fill out and turn white with crystals toward the end of flowering. Outdoors, the branches will stick out at 90-degree angles and find the light in full sun. But despite the extended growing time, if you’re a true sativa lover, Nevil’s Haze is well worth the wait.
Lineage: Thai x (Colombian x NL #5)
Flowering time: 14 to 16 weeks
Super Silver Haze
Green House Seeds
1st Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Best Overall Strains, 1998
1st Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Best Overall Strains, 1999
3rd Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Sativas (tie), 2002
3rd Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Best Overall Strains, 2007
A pedigree strain with plenty of awards under its belt, Super Silver Haze fromGreen House Seeds changed the face of Dutch marihuana genetics in the late ’90s and continues to garner praise and win awards years later. A perfect blend of Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze, the SSH reminds smokers of the best of the coffeeshop Haze hybrids. The odor is spicy and dry, and the strain tastes floral, musky, and sweet all at the same time.
When grown, the SSH will exhibit sativa-esque qualities, with plenty of stretching and long internodal spacing. The key is to vegetate these plants with plenty of light and keep them short by topping or tying down the branches early in life. Allow lots of space for the roots, and you can expect a decent yield that repays your extra efforts. People suffering from nausea or depression report near-miraculous relief with the real Super Silver Haze.
Lineage: (NL x Nevil’s Haze) x (Skunk x Nevil’s Haze)
Flowering time: 10 weeks
Northern Lights #5 x Haze
Sensi Seed Bank
One of the first and most successful combinations of two incredible and divergent strains is the legendary Northern Lights #5 x Haze (or NL#5/Haze for short). This strain achieves a perfect balance between these two varieties of cannabis: The sweetness of the Northern Lights and the tang of the Haze blend into a rich, robust smoke with a near-psychedelic and supremely uplifting high.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that this strain is useful in treating arthritis. Ken from Sensi says that growers can put newly rooted clones or young seedlings of NL#5/Haze into flowering early, but recommends letting them branch out a bit to achieve the full potential of the yield. The stability of this strain makes it perfect as a mother plant or for use in a breeding regimen. NL#5/Haze is also now available in feminized form.
Lineage: Northern Lights #5 x Haze
Flowering time: 10 to 11 weeks
Soma Sacred Seeds
1st Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Best Overall Strains, 2004
HIGH TIMES Top 10 Strain, 2005
Soma’s done it again, this time with the appropriately named Amnesia Haze, a spicy mix of Southeast Asian, Jamaican, Afghani, and Hawaiian strains that adds hints of pine and black pepper to its fruity bouquet. Truly a mind-bender with a wonderful flavor and aroma, Amnesia Haze is yet another example of the triumphant return ofsativas to the cannabis gene pool.
Longer-flowering sativastake a great deal of patience to cultivate (some won’t show flowers until a month after the blooming period is induced), but the taste and high amply repay the extra investment of time. When growing the Amnesia Haze, go light on fertilizer (preferably organic compost tea and liquid seaweed); Hazes tend to respond poorly to overfertilization and overwatering, which means it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Also, be sure to give the roots room to spread out. After a slow maturation period that’s been known to drive growers crazy, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most uplifting marihuana on the planet and soon be soaring ever higher with hit after hit of the piney and spicy Amnesia Haze.
Lineage: Afghani Hawaiian x Southeast Asian sativa
Flowering time: 11 to 13 weeks
2nd Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Best Overall Strains, 2006
1st Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Best Overall Strains, 2007
Barney’s head honcho Derry crossed the legendary G-13 male responsible for many of Amsterdam’s finest coffeeshop weeds with a favorite Hawaiian sativa to create the G-13 Haze, which promptly won Cup awards two years in a row. Spicy and sweet flavors as well as a stupendous, uplifting high make this sativa-dominant plant a real keeper.
G-13 Haze grows short and stocky for a sativa, forming dense, highly crystallized buds that fill out into long, firm colas. Remember that slow and steady wins the race with longer-flowering plants, so feed the G-13 Haze minimally and alternate between a mild nutrient solution and plain water. The scent will accumulate as the plant matures, finally resulting in a fragrant “fruit bomb” with a taste of incense and even cardamom.
Medicinally speaking, this strain can be used to treat depression, ADD and ADHD.
Lineage: G-13 x Hawaiian
Flowering time: 10 to 11 weeks
OG Ghost Train Haze
This amazing marijuana strain made our May 2012 cover as the “StrongestStrain on Earth” after testing at a whopping 25.49% THC level at our 2011 HIGH TIMES Medical Cannabis Cup in Denver. The OG Ghost Train Haze packs an amazing sativa-dominant punch that will have your heart racing and your head spinning. The amount of sugary trichome gland heads these plants produce is equally mind-boggling.
The spicy flavor and Hazy aroma from the female side is complemented by the potency of the Kush male, which together provide a connoisseur-quality experience that lasts and lasts. Rare Dankness breeder Scott tells me this strain excels in a warm outdoor climate and is particularly higher-yielding when trellised and kept low to allow the branches to fill out the canopy.
Lineage: OG Kush x (Trainwreck x Nevil’s Haze)
Flowering time: 65 to 80 days
1st Place HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup, Sativas, 2006
From faraway New Zealand comes a Haze worth its weight in gold. Kiwi Seeds, affiliated with the incredible De Dampkring coffeeshop in Amsterdam, released their Mako Haze a few years back and immediately won the Sativa Cup in 2006. The soaring high and uncommonly sweet and spicy flavor were unequaled by any other Haze – they certainly made the judges sit up and take notice.
Mako Haze grows wispy and lanky, with the long internodal spacing typical of extreme sativas, but the final, filled-out spears are completely covered in tiny psychedelic trichomes. Smokers will enjoy one of the strongest yet most intensely pleasing Haze highs they’ve ever experienced, and true marijuana aficionados will always savor the qualities of unique sativas such as the Mako Haze.
Lineage: 75% sativa, 25% indica
Flowering time: 10 to 12 weeks
Kushman Seed Company
HIGH TIMES Cultivation Department alumnus Kyle Kushman has finally started his own seed company in order to spread the joy of the many strains he’s had the opportunity to work with and refine. When Kyle felt the time was ripe to release his favorite hybrids in seed form, this Jurassic Haze was one of several genetic masterpieces to issue from this budding sensi superstar.
This sativa-dominant monster strain results from crossing the Cherry Lopez back to its original mother, the Strawberry Cough. Growing huge, cylindrical colas with an incredible calyx-to-leaf ratio, the Jurassic Haze is one of the highest-yielding sativas on the planet. The taste is still fruity, but with heavy, Kushy undertones from the Adonai Kush father. Clones and seeds are available in limited supply at Buds & Roses LA.
Lineage: Adonai Kush x (Cherry Lopez x Strawberry Cough)
Flowering time: 9 to 10 weeks
Soma Sacred Seeds
Well known as a sativa lover and true cannabis connoisseur, master breeder Soma combined Southeast Asian and Jamaican genetics with his legendary G-13 male stock to create the Cambodian Haze, a sweet and spicy plant with a long-lasting buzz. Soma tells me that the “Cambo” produces large, long, and heavy colas and is a personal favorite of his.
The high from the Cambodian Haze must be experienced to be believed. The complex flavors and effects take a little extra time to develop – this Haze finishes in the 13th week of flowering – but it will repay your patience with a soaring, euphoric high that seems to have no limit.
Lineage: G-13 x Cambodian/ Jamaican
Flowering time: 13 weeks
Auto-flowering strains are all the rage in Europe and Canada, but they have yet to take off in the US. Even so, as more and more farmers awaken to the convenience of growing cannabis plants that start flowering at a certain height regardless of the light cycle, we’ll see these varieties start to proliferate here. Pushing the envelope ever harder and wider, Dinafem – a respected and award-winning breeding outfit from Spain – has introduced the world’s first auto-flowering Haze hybrid.
Combining the complex sativa flavor and psychoactive high of the Haze with aruderalis’s ability to bloom automatically, Dinafem have created a truly unique and versatile cannabis variety. In most climates, all a grower has to do is simply plant the feminized seeds any time the threat of frost isn’t an issue, then walk away and return 80 days later to find fully formed, mature Haze flowers ready to trim and dry – long before the typical harvest season has even begun.
Lineage: Haze x ruderalis
Flowering time: 10 to 11 weeks