Strain Report – Chem Dog
Straight from the greenest corners of the East Coast, this original variation on the classic Chem Dog strain delivers yield, flavor, and a classic sativa buzz, creative and inspired yet functional and non-drowsy.
What is it?
Chem Dog is – supposedly – the original and best of the Chem Dog strains, acquired almost 20 years ago by the legendary breeder and grower Chem Dog himself, reportedly handed over in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert in 1991 (long live Jerry!). Because of this, we refer to it as the ’91 for short. Developed over many years from land-raised strains, the premise is simple: this is the Chem Dog. Most of you know Chem Dog by what has come from it, including a long lineage of diesels and other popular strains that are now ubiquitous, but the classic Chem Dog still has a huge appeal, especially back east, and is always a solid yielder. In addition, this strain is nearly impossible to come by, and we waited for it for over 10 years, despite our strong connections to the best breeders.
How is it grown?
The plants we worked with exhibited a single phenotype across several different gardens, which is a good indicator of solid genetics. The plant takes approx 63-70 days to mature, or 9-10 weeks. The kolas are large and dense, reaching as much as 4-6 inches in diameter, even in an indoor environment. Because of this, being careful to avoid gray mold is important. The plant also has a slight susceptibility to powder mildew. Proper neeming and sulfur treatments are adequate measures for avoiding these problems. Keep humidity below 60% and avoid direct contact of water on the buds. Even a late, heavy spraying/foiler feeding is not recommended with this dense of flowers. This strain responds extremely well to a technique we call “sativa back topping.” This technique is an extension of the traditional idea of topping your plants. After taking a center top, the plants will grow into a candelabra formation as expected. Usually 2 or 3 of the main branches will take a lead on the others, and begin to grow taller. We cut or “pinch” these leads off at the internode closest to the height of the majority of the plants main branches, leaving the top-most flower site. This often creates an additional lead at this location, and the two together grow with the others that are at the same height. We continue this process until 3 1/2 or 4 weeks in to the flower cycle. To some this sounds crazy, but we’re confident that on most sativa strains you’ll see many more flowers than if you would have let those leads grow. The other benefit is that the smaller leads that would’ve suffered in the larger branches shadows grow more evenly and receive a better exposure to the light canopy. This technique worked very well with Chem Dog 91, with many plants seeing as many as 10 thick kolas that were 8-12 inches in length, in a seven gallon container.
Chem Dog has a definitive look, smell, and taste. The appearance after drying is a lime green with a golden hue and an infusion of red hairs and a good coating of sugary crystals. This strain can herm but only under extreme light deviations or temperature stress. The plant will also “bolt” or stretch and grow “fingers” in the buds as a response to excessive heat or humidity. Even when this happens the flowers are still perfectly usable, which is another good indicator of a sold strain – toughness. Does the plant endure quite a bit and still do what it’s supposed to? If so, it’s because the plant has evolved those characteristics, which is a good sign that this strain has some history. The taste is sour and sweet, with diesel fuel overtones, herby and rich, a real classic “skunk” marijuana flavor. The yield is probably one the strains most distinguishing aspects… it yields extremely well.
If you do end up with a flowering crop of Chem Dog, take the time to flush it well to really manifest that great flavor and aroma. There is nothing particular required to finish this strain, it will wrap up on it’s own schedule in 9-10 weeks, but don’t cut any corners… the material is worth putting your best work into.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line on Chem Dog 91 is that we are convinced. A lot of different bud ends up with the name “chem dog”, but the second we tasted this stuff we knew it was the real deal. The flavor and aroma are there, the classic look and smooth smoke are there, and the yield is what it should be. Hopefully this version of Chem Dog will take hold and become the dominant Chem Dog strain once again.
If you get your hands on some Chem Dog 91, give it some love, water and food and watch it grow. Remember to always to keep it organic. If done the right, the flavor is impossible to beat.