When it comes to cannabis strain names, things get weird very, very quickly.
Purple Monkey Balls, Green Crack, Cannasutra, Poochie Love, Crouching Tiger Hidden Alien… it’s no wonder many find the names meaningless.
But not all of them are silly-sounding. Many are named after celebrities, like Meghan Markle inspired Markle Sparkle. Then there are others honouring people for their contribution to the cannabis community.
Let’s take a look at real-life people who’ve served as muses of real-life strain names:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who once rejected cannabis’ medical properties, had such a drastic change of heart that the Colorado marijuana community named a strain after him: Gupta Kush.
What’s the story?
Neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Gupta, firmly believed that “marijuana isn’t really very good for you,” a view documented in his 2009 TIME article, Why I would vote no on pot.
But in 2013, he changed his mind.
“I apologize, because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis,” Dr. Gupta said in CNN article, Why I changed my mind on weed.
He went on to extensively report on cannabis’ potential, and was part of a CNN special report series, which aired in 2018, where he took a deep dive on “marijuana as both an alternative to opioids in treating pain and in ending opioid addiction.”
I first realized the possibility of marijuana as a medicine in 2013. Fast-forward five years, and today, the first FDA-approved cannabis-based medication is available by prescription in the United States.
In return, he was given the ultimate 4/20 salute, marijuana.com reports. “Dr. Gupta’s recent reporting on marijuana puts him at the forefront of the medical cannabis movement. We’d like to ensure he remains part of the annals of cannabis culture, and now he will,” Jeff Kless, the managing owner of Helping Hands Herbals dispensary in Boulder, Colo., was quoted saying.
Charlotte’s Web was originally known as Hippie’s Disappointment because of its low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, aka inability to get people super-stoned. But that’s not the reason this strain is famous worldwide.
What’s the story?
Charlotte Figi, who had a rare genetic form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, is reported to have had her first seizure when she was just three months old. The seizure count increased as Figi grew older.
When the doctors said there wasn’t much that could be done to fully treat her condition, “Charlotte’s grandfather started reading stories from other parents that were using cannabis to help treat their children. There was one story that stood out — that of another boy with Dravet syndrome,” notes a post on Medium.
After experiencing hundreds of seizures, “then toddler Figi experienced a near complete recovery upon beginning an intensive course of cannabis oil treatments,” reports Green Flower.
The family realized they were on to something and started looking for someone who could help them with long-term supply. That’s when they came across the Stanley Brothers, medical marijuana growers and dispensers from Colorado.
A team from Stanley Brothers created a hybrid strain that showed marked improvement in Figi’s health. They eventually changed the strain name to Charlotte’s Web from Hippie’s Disappointment.
Jack Herer is quite the heavyweight in the cannabis community! Named after cannabis activist and Oregon resident Jack Herer, the strain “during the 7th High Times Cannabis Cup received the Freedom Fighter Of The Year Award 1994. It was also inducted in the Counterculture Hall Of Fame in 2003, during the 16th High Times Cannabis Cup,” Cannabis Cup Winners reports.
What’s the story?
Jack “The Hemperor” Herer was a U.S. writer and activist. He is also the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes (1985), a book focused on decriminalizing cannabis. In honour of his work, Dutch-based Sensi Seeds bank named the strain after him. “Over a decade since its release, the Jack Herer seed-strain remains one of our favourite creations,” reads the company website.
Bonus feature: Rick Simpson Oil
RSO, short for Rick Simpson Oil, is not a cannabis strain name. But it’s a name many cannabis enthusiasts are aware of.
What’s the story?
In 1997, Rick Simpson was working as an engineer in a Canadian hospital where he would repair pipes in a poorly ventilated boiler room. One day, “the toxic fumes caused a temporary nervous system shock, causing Simpson to collapse off his ladder and hit his head. He was knocked unconscious and when he awoke, he was taken to the emergency room,” Leafly reports.
The dizzy spells that followed, along with ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus), continued for years. That’s when Simpson tried marijuana and saw an improvement.
Then in 2003, three suspicious bumps appeared on Simpson’s arm, which were diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. Once again, Simpson turned to cannabis oil, and as per the claims, the cancerous growth disappeared within a few days.
“Until 2009, I was giving the oil away from free, since I was growing plants in my own backyard, while I was still in Canada, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did the final raid at my home,” Simpson writes on his website. “Today, these extracts are usually called RSO or Rick Simpson Oil and it was the previous leader of the hemp movement, Jack Herer, himself who coined this phrase.”
Read more at The Growth Op