What is Kush?
You’ve probably heard of Sativa, Indica, and hybrid when it comes to marijuana or weed. These are cannabis varieties that are categorized by the morphology of the plant or weed. But have you heard of Kush? Kush is a specific strain of cannabis that originated from the Hindu Kush mountains located near the border of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Kush mainly falls into the indica-hybrid category rather than Sativa, but there are many hybrid Kush strains. Compared to other strains of cannabis, Kush can have sedative indica-like effects that result in feelings of sleepiness, but also euphoria and joy. Despite the existence of many different strains of Kush, they all share similar tastes and scents: floral, fruity and foresty. They are known for an aromatic scent, a citrus taste, and an herbal or peppery flavor. Most Kush strains are advised for nighttime use due to its extremely tranquilizing and sedative effects. If these traits pique your interest, read on. In no particular order, here are the Best 10 Kush Strains of All Time:
1. OG Kush (Hybrid Strain)
The original gangster of Kush: the OG is the most commonly known form of Kush and is also known as one of the best Kush strains. OG Kush is known for its sedative effects plus added feelings of euphoria and joy. You now can be a happy couch potato! If you have depression, anxiety, or insomnia, this strain is usually recommended. The uplifting effects have been useful in social settings, making it easier to be around people. It is herbal, citrusy, and peppery flavored. OG Kush has a slightly higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) percentage than other Kush strains and is usually known as the highest THC strain of Kush. It is equal parts calming and energizing, so it gives you a happy balance. Happiness, relaxation, and euphoria are the commonly reported benefits of OG Kush, whereas dry mouth and dry eyes are commonly reported negative effects. OG Kush typically also has around 10% CBD which helps with inflammation as well. It is known as a feel-good strain but also can produce paranoia with excessive use.
2. SFV OG Kush (Indica Dominant Hybrid Strain)
This strain is one of the more calming (rather than energizing) strains of Kush, but it still gives a sense of euphoria and happiness. SFV OG Kush resulted from the crossover between Afghani and SFV OG strains. Interestingly, this strain is not only used by people with depression and anxiety, but this strain is unique from other types of Kush where it is also used to treat people in pain. The sedative effects of Kush come to use and act as a pain reliever and also a relaxer. Similar to most Kush varieties, the common side effect experienced by SFV OG users is dry mouth and dry eyes.
3. Banana Kush (Indica Dominant Hybrid Strain)
The Banana Kush, apart from its cute name, is known for having an equally calming and energizing effect without one preference for one or the other. This delicious strain was created when Ghost OG and Skunk Haze strains were crossed to create the hybrid Banana Kush. The primary scent is citrus, with herbal and peppery following close behind. It gets its name from the taste and smell that indeed resembles a banana flavor and scent. This is a popular strain for those suffering from depression and anxiety. It can also be used in anxiety-inducing social settings by making you feel talkative, yet calm and happy. The most common negative effect experienced with Banana Kush is a dry mouth.
4. Bubba Kush (Indica Dominant Strain)
Bubba Kush’s namesake is Matt “Bubba” Berger, who was the person who transported the plant from Florida to Los Angeles in 1996 for it to be cultivated. Bubba Kush has a mostly peppery scent but still exhibits citrus, herbal, and earthy tones. Bubba Kush has a bit of a lower percentage of THC compared to strains like SFV OG and Banana Kush but still shows similar effects. Like SFV OG Kush, it is a deeply calming form that is used for its tranquilizing effects. The strain’s top uses are to help alleviate stress, pain, and insomnia. Dry mouth, dry eyes, dizziness, and an unusual appetite may occur as side effects of this strain. This strain is known to be one of the easiest types of Kush to grow.
5. Purple Kush (Indica Dominant Hybrid Strain)
The Purple Kush strain is a very calming type of Kush, and is also known as one of the best Kush strains; Users have reported experiencing being both relaxed and happy. Purple Kush possesses a slightly lower THC percentage compared to the other strains in this article, but result in the same calming effects. Purple Kush boasts of herbal scents and flavors. It resulted from a crossing of the Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. When Purple Kush is grown, there can sometimes be a bit of purple color detected on the plant. It also may get its purple name from the reportedly grape taste that this strain provides. Purple Kush can be used to treat stress, pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Dry mouth and dry eyes are common side effects—big surprise there.
6. Critical Kush (indica dominant hybrid strain)
Critical Mass and OG Kush came together to form this indica-dominant strain, Critical Kush. This strain’s scents and tastes mimic herbs and pepper. It is spicy! Critical Kush is a calming strain. As one of the most relaxing varieties of Kush, it helps with stress, pain, depression anxiety, and insomnia. It has a high THC percentage, so although you will be very happy, you’ll probably be very happy just sitting on your couch. A common negative side effect is a dry mouth and eyes.
7. Mickey Kush (Sativa dominant hybrid strain)
Kush is typically indica or an indica hybrid, but Sativa dominant Kush strains do exist through cross-breeding, although they are harder to grow and maintain. Unlike its indica-dominant counterparts, this particular strain of Kush is Sativa based. It was created through the crossing of Sweet Irish Kush and Jack the Ripper. It is a popular choice to help with depression, stress, pain, fatigue, and inflammation. Some cancer patients use this strain to help with nausea and pain. Users may experience peppery and fruity flavors. Dry eye and mouth may result.
8. Master Kush (indica dominant strain)
Master Kush is a direct descendant of the original Hindu Kush. It is known for its peppery and citrus scents and flavors. Master Kush is known to be more calming than energizing. The effects may relax your body, but keep your wits and sharp thinking intact. Master Kush is used to help with creativity as well, so this strain will make you a master indeed. This strain makes you feel calm and happy, but also sleepy. It helps with stress, pain, anxiety, and depression, and is also a very popular strain amongst insomniacs. Once again, dry mouth is a common occurrence.
9. Pure Kush (Indica dominant strain)
Pure Kush is a very calming form of Kush. For the insomniacs and people in pain, this variety offers sedative effects and makes your body relaxed and sleepy, but happy at the same time. Stress and anxiety sufferers also report benefits from Pure Kush. Unlike most other forms of Kush, Pure Kush is known to help with nausea. Be warned, these sedative effects can be intense for your first time, and if you’re looking for an energizer, this is not the strain for you. What sort of side effects can you expect? You guessed it: dry mouth.
10. Cali Kush (hybrid strain)
Last, but not least: Cali Kush. This strain is both calming and energizing (but leaning a little bit more toward the calm end of the spectrum). It gets its name from its rising popularity in California. Relaxation, happiness, and uplifting feelings can result from the usage of this particular strain. Depression, anxiety, stress, and headache sufferers can use this as well. Dry mouth may occur. The scents and tastes are mainly citruses. Cali Kush comes in both Indica and Sativa-dominant varieties, so you can try them both!
11. Afghan Kush
As the name suggests, Afghan Kush has its roots situated deep in the Hindu Kush Mountain Range situated near the Pakistan-Afghan border. Perfected over centuries of selective breeding, Afghan Kush represents one of the OG Kush strains later giving rise to a multitude of sativas, indicas, and hybrids.
Considered by many to be the foundation plant from which all Kush is derived, Afghan Kush is known for its sour aroma and potent effects, including deep relaxation and pleasant euphoria. The THC level varies a bit, but ranges around 15%, with Myrcene the dominant terpene present.
The plant’s buds can be easily identified by their massive size, with nuggets rich in resins and produced in high yields.
12. Hindu Kush
Sometimes referred to simply as “Hindi Kish”, Hindu Kush is a pure Indica, originating and grown throughout the mountain ranges spanning Afghanistan and Pakistan. There the plant thrives in often harsh climates, resulting in the development of a thick protective layer of trichome crystals heralded by hash makers and cannabis connoisseurs the world over.
Offering a slightly sweet and earthy aroma with notes of sandalwood, this strain is known for producing a deep calming effect that is often ideal for stress, relaxation, sleep, and kicking back after a long day of work. Those who have tried the strain often describe the flavor as ‘spicy’, with reduction of stress and a sleepy sedative feel as the most prominent effects. As for THC, this strain generally clocks in at about 19% THC, with Limonene as the primary terpene.
13. Power Kush
A favorite among cannabis users in Amsterdam, this Indica hybrid’s buds are rich in resin, featuring a blend of orange and white hairs. Its genetic heritage is one for the storybooks, coming from both Afghani #1 and Skunk #1, resulting in an interesting hybrid that is well-balanced in aroma, flavor, AND effects.
The aroma of this strain offers up a sweet yet skunkish smell with a backdrop of orange and strawberry notes. Users describe the herb’s effects as both cerebral and physical, offering a fantastic mind-body high that is both relaxing and soothing. As for THC content, the strain generally has between 16-18% THC, with Myrcene as the primary terpene.
14. Cataract Kush
The genetic offspring from a cross between OG Kush and LA Confidential, this nearly pure Indica is one of the dankest and most highly respected strains among growers throughout the United States.
Pungent is putting it lightly with Cataract Kush, making it one of the ‘loudest’ strains on the market, boasting a powerful skunky-diesel aroma that lingers.
Notable for its thick fingered deeply green leaves and robust stems, this plant features buds with layered blankets of trichome crystals that are greyish-black in appearance.
Most users describe the strain as a ‘creeper’ with effects slowly building up over time, producing couch-locked sedation, euphoria, and deeply relaxed state ideal for late-night sessions or chill weekend vibes.
Of note is that the strain’s name is derived from the ‘cataract-like’ vision produced, as well as a jelly-like feeling in your legs and arms. As for THC content, the plant ranges around 17%.
15. King’s Kush
A genetic cross between Grape and OG Kush is necessary to produce King’s Kush, a true Indica-dominant strain (70%) worthy of the crown.
Despite a hefty dose of THC, the herb is a bit of a creeper, offering powerful after-effects but a gradual come-on that won’t have you feeling initially overwhelmed. Most users report deeply euphoric and relaxing effects, with a flavor profile of sour grape with hints of lavender.
This strain is easily identifiable by its dense frosty-lime-green buds, making it one of the more visually stunning strains. As for potency, King Kush measures in at a whopping 20% THC, making this a heavy hitter not recommended for newbies.
16. Lemon Kush
A genetic mash-up of both Kush and Lemon strains, Lemon Kush might be an unoriginal name for this strain, but one that is well worth checking out.
As a 50/50 indica/sativa hybrid, Lemon Kush offers a well-balanced high that embodies the uplifting effects of a sativa with the calming and soothing relaxation of an indica.
But don’t expect a sweet lemon tang with this bud. Instead, the plant greets you with a sour, sometimes bitter flavor profile and rich bitter lemon aroma.
As for potency, this bud measures in at a hefty 20% THC, making it a strong contender for those who require a bit more of a punch with their bud.
17. Vanilla Kush
An 80% indica-dominant strain, Vanilla Kush is the lovechild of Kashmir and Afghan Kush, making it a mountain-born hybrid for the ages. Selectively bred to perfection, this indica hits all the boxes on cannabis connoisseur checklists.
Today, the strain comes from Barney’s Farm in Amsterdam, notable for its 2nd place award at the 2009 High Times Cannabis Cup.
Also of note is the interestingly unique aroma and flavor profile, featuring a sweet blend of vanilla and lavender with notes of citrus.
Boasting a THC content of 19%, the strain is a potent one, with the majority of users reporting a deeply relaxing and euphoric state that is calming, soothing, and tingly.
As you can see, there are many commonalities between different types of Kush such as benefits including calming, yet happy effects. And you may experience dry mouth and eyes as side effects. However, each strain has its unique traits and depending on your desired effects, you should research each strain. For example, only a couple of strains of Kush have been reported to be good in combat with pain. However, strains are not a one size fits all situation. If one strain, in particular, doesn’t suit your fancy, I wouldn’t give up on Kush just yet. There could be another one that leans more toward citrus than earthy scents or one that makes you feel a little less sedative than you feel you need to be. If you’re looking for high energy strains, these are probably not for you and Sativa strains are probably more what you want. If you’re looking for a happy night on the couch, these top 10 Kush strains are your best bet!
You knew it was coming, the text in this article is informational only and not intended to be legal or medical advice or recommendations in any way. Use this information as you will with your own discretion.
The bottom line is – be safe, follow the rules, and enjoy some Mary Jane while you are in the Bicentennial State for your Rocky Mountain High!