About Durban Poison Marijuana Seeds
Durban Poison Marijuana Seeds – The origins of this pure Sativa breed can be found in the South African port city of Durban. Although its’ history is now disconnected from the African continent, there is still something exotic about it.
Over the years, Durban Poison has earned the nickname “The Espresso of Cannabis”, probably because of its sweet, pleasant smell and energetic effects. If you are not looking for a lazy night on the couch while binge-watching Game of Thrones, you are in luck. This strain is the perfect solution to keep you productive and invigorated through a busy day at work (just be careful), while exploring the great outdoors or even when you decide to grab your guitar and write the next big stoner hit.
The original Durban Poison plant is tall, with dark brown/purple twists and a very special anise flavor. Its yield is definitely above average and its long and heavy buds, make it a growers’ delight. Even though the “poison” part in the name does not sound exactly appealing, this beautiful plant has quite the opposite effects and its’ high THC content (reaching sometimes above 20% levels) will be sure to give you a nice buoyant high!
Durban Poison Lineage
Durban Poison is a pure Sativa strain and has been around since the late 70s and has been named after the second biggest city of South Africa. Although in its pure form it is 100% sativa, it has been crossed with a plethora of strains and there is a good chance that its genetic code can be found in some of the most well known and beloved hybrids.
Contrary to many modern strains, Durban Poison doesn’t have a very complicated lineage that comes after years of cross-breeding. In fact, it is quite the contrary: Durban Poison was one of the many African varieties that were brought in the US by wandering hippies and smugglers all over the world. Although Colombian, Mexican and Thai varieties were much more common, it wasn’t at all unlikely that experienced and well connected stoners could get their hands on some African breeds.
Durban Poison in particular, followed a rather meandering route to reach the US in its current form. It is well worth noting that this area of South Africa was also famous for many other unique landraces (such as the ones coming from Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland). According to the 1987 Super Sativa Seed Club catalog, the buds that Durban Poison originates from, come from the area around Pinetown which is about 10 miles inland from Durban and a good 1000 feet higher in sea level.
The original Durban Poison, was first collected and became famous by the legendary American breeder Sam the Skunkman in the late 70s. But the story is not so simple. Let’s follow the journey of this great strain, from the coasts of the Southern Ocean to nearby dispensaries and Amsterdam seed banks.
The Journey from Africa
Back in the fabled and beloved late 70s era, an earnest and hopeful young man by the name of Ed Rosenthal was in South Africa, seeking a new strain for further development. The variety that he discovered was one of the earliest finishing plants in the area and he took it home to the US. There, he started cultivating and kept developing the strain through careful selective inbreeding.
Ed passed on some seeds from his work to his friend, Mel Frank for further work. Their focus was to reduce flowering time whilst simultaneously, increasing the yield. Mel worked with several generations of the plants, choosing to further breed the quickest and most resinous among them. The process resulted in two distinctive phenotypes, that Mel creatively named A and B. The A strain was his favorite, so he chose to move on with it. And it was around then that the B strain of Durban Poison found its way to Europe.
In a rather friendly gesture, Mel Frank gifted his not-so-favorite “B” line to his friend Sam the Skunkman. Sam does not need special introductions among the cannabis connoisseurs, as he still holds legendary status among breeders. However, this gift was just a beginning of a long and successful story.
Sam took the seeds with him back to Amsterdam, where the seed business was starting to grow. It is also well worth noting that among those seeds that gave birth to the Durban Poison, one could find the start of the famous Skunk#1 line. His goal was, again, to reduce the flowering time, so that the plant could have a chance to finish outdoors during the –rather short- Northern European summer. His successful attempts made Durban Poison one of the most popular plants in its early days.
Sam explains the whole process and story in a forum post, in the ICMag where he worked as a moderator, back in 2007:
“South African Durban Poison was first introduced by me. I got maybe 100 seeds from South Africa (gifted from Mel Frank)and grew them in California in the late 70’s. Most were hermaphrodite, small calyxes, as well as not so great buds. But I saw the potential for an early Sativa so I worked with it for a few years to clean it up. I finally eliminated most of all the bad traits, and introduced it in the early 80’s. When I took it to Amsterdam it was an immediate hit, one of the few Sativa strains that can be grown outdoors in Holland most years if the weather is OK at harvest time. Every seed merchant in Holland bought some and made copies as well as Hybrids, All of the Durban Poison genetics being passed around were originally from my work until Afro-Seeds popped up a few years ago”.
His Durban Poison was a pure Sativa that was created from seed lines and was maintained with clones, Male and Female. Their initial taste and smell was very similar to today’s varieties and the effects made it –according to Sam himself- an ideal daytime smoke.
Sam had also some comments to make regarding the future hybridization of the breed.
“I have heard that Afro-Seeds made or collected their Durban Poison seeds from fresh seeds every year, they did not use clones to make them, and that is fraught with problems. You can maybe select a good female seed parent by looking at and smoking the results, but what about the Male pollen parent? How do you know a new male from seed is good enough to use as a pollen parent? Or the best male to use as a parent? The only way I know is to make a clone of the male’s to be tested and make crosses with the best selected females (clones), then grow out the different batches and see what males & females give the best results. If you are not doing this, then the male you use could be great or a lousy male with no ability to help produce plants that are great. One thing is for sure the seeds you got years ago will not be the same as what you get today, as both the females and males used to make seeds are not the same each year.
The Flying Dutchman, or Seedsman in the UK might have my SADP, but I am not sure as they may make their own to sell also. Because the variety is true breeding it is easy to make copies.”
The consistent and durable nature of the Durban Poison is in itself strong evidence of the extensive amount of work behind it.
For people looking for a true Sativa experience, Durban Poison is the way to go.
For growers that are looking for a fast and easy grower, with a great yield and high THC content, Durban Poison is the most sensible choice.
A Different Kind of Poison
During the many years since its rise from obscurity, Durban Poison has become a cult classic, with a small, but very dedicated fan base. Its popularity however is steadily increasing and there is a good chance that crosses of Durban Poisonare available for growing or in some nearby dispensary.
Its’ high potency levels sometimes reach 20%+ levels of THC, without ever becoming annoying or uneven and it makes for some incredibly productive stimulant that you’ll want to enjoy on a day out!
Needless to say, the plant still remains a global favorite to this day, with over 5 decades of history and favorable reviews. It is even one of the main building blocks of the modern cannabis DNA pool. It is a strain that has been mixed with nearly everything, and is likely a part of the lineage of some of your favorite strains. Many major seed banks offer a version of Durban Poison, with varying characteristics. There are numerous auto-flowering and feminized options as well.