What is Kush? Our 101 On One Of The World’s Oldest And Greatest Strains

In the cannabis community today, Kush has almost become a byword for marijuana. This strain has parented some of the world’s greatest strains like OG Kush, Bubba Kush, Master Kush and Skywalker OG. It’s become so popular that some strains even mascarade as a Kush, but unfortunately fall short of its distinct flavor and effects.

Photo by Fares Nimri on Unsplash

So, what is Kush?

It is what’s known as a landrace strain, or a strain that has never been tinkered with by a cultivator but rather evolved in its natural environment of origin. Endless varieties of hybrids are developed using landrace strains.

Today, a pure landrace version of Kush is difficult to find, but another variety known as Heirloom strains are fairly common. Heirloom strains can be genetically modified versions of landrace strains or they can be landrace strains that have merely been relocated from their place of origin. They’re still considered, however, relatively close to their landrace ancestors.

Landrace strains are usually named for their place of origin and include Acapulco Gold, Thai, Afghani and Red Congolese, among others. The original landrace is known as Hindu Kush.

Kush History

Kush derives its name from its place of origin: the Hindu Kush mountains, part of the Himalayan mountain range, which span across India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The region is highly contested and is the center of one of the longest and deadliest conflicts in the world, the fight between India and Pakistan to control the Kashmir region. The reason this region is so sought after is because of its fertile valleys which have been home to some of the world’s finest hash and cannabis.

This strain made its way from central Asia to Europe following mass human migration and trade routes after it was domesticated. For centuries it was a staple in central Asia, providing everything from medicine to hemp fabric. As people in the hippie counterculture began to explore the culture and spirituality of Eastern civilizations in the 1960s, they made pilgrimages to India and discovered this wonderful strain. The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, also known as the Hippie Mafia, were largely responsible for bringing it from India to their home state of California, where it would spread across the West to become one of the most influential types of bud.


Kush is usually considered an Indica-dominant strain, though some hybrids can be found. It is often described as having thought-provoking effects, making it the perfect companion for those seeking contemplation. It is also usually a classic couch-lock strain, giving consumers a heavy body high while also inspiring a state of euphoria.


The flavor of this strain is unmistakably smooth, with a sweet, earthy, citrus taste.


These plants are stout and dense, making them ideal for indoor growers. They are incredibly resilient with thick, stocky stems that enable them to grow in harsher environments than their more delicate Sativa counterparts. These plants are bursting with rich colors, displaying deep green buds with hints of orange and fiery gold and leaves with a beautiful purple hue. Like their flavor, they have pungent aromas of earthiness, sweetness, and spicy citrus.

Originally Published By: https://herb.co/