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Pot Thots: An Introduction to Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a sativa-dominant strain first bred in the Netherlands in the 1990s by Sensi Seeds. The pine-scented strain is a cross of a Haze hybrid, Shiva Skunk, and Northern Lights #5 and has a THC content that tends to fall between 18 and 24 per cent, making it a favourite of seasoned cannabis consumers who like their hybrids to have a distinct sativa edge.

The strain has won nine Cannabis Cup awards for Best In-Class Flower and has been used to breed some of the present day’s most popular strains, such as Jack the Ripper and Jack Skellington.

The strain appears on multiple lists identifying the most beneficial strains of weed for artists, as it is said to greatly aid in facilitating creative thought. Writers claim it helps in overcoming the dreaded writer’s block, while painters swear by its ability to foster inspiration when they’ve been staring down a blank canvas. Several variations on the strain are available, each with slightly differing effects, though creatives tend to agree the 55 per cent sativa hybrid lends itself most favourably to the artistic process.

The eponym of the strain, Jack Herer, was an American author and cannabis activist. Herer dedicated his life to the fight to end marijuana prohibition in the United States and, in pursuit of such, founded the organization HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) a foundation dedicated to the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana (not to be confused with the Australian organization of the same name and goal).

His works, The Emperor Wears No Clothes and G.R.A.S.S. Great Revolutionary American Standard System are oft-cited in formal writing advocating for the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis and are credited with greatly aiding in the strides towards those goals that have been made in the States thus far.

In addition, Herer twice ran for the American presidency, in 1988 and 1992, as the Grassroots Party candidate. He was also an early entrepreneur in the marijuana industry, having opened a weed paraphernalia store in 1973. In 1987, he opened the Third Eye Shoppe, which would become one of the most famous head shops in the world. With all his accomplishments towards marijuana legalization, it’s fitting that not just a strain, but the annual cannabis award show, the Jack Herer Cup, is named in his honour as well.

For Canadians wanting to take on the daunting task of growing their own weed, this strain is unfortunately best grown outdoors and in Mediterranean climates. It can still be grown indoors with a hydroponics system and a controlled temperature between 21 to 30 degrees (Celcius) but requires large amounts of space and is very susceptible to overfeeding. Its popularity, however, makes Jack Herer a favourite of dispensaries, so be sure to ask your local budtender when they’ll next have some in!

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