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Hindu Kush

Overview

The name evokes snow covered peaks in Central Asia, a hill station in the Himalayas, or a cannabis field in a valley in Afghanistan, rich with the aroma of chai and marijuana. Hindu Kush is a potent indica “landrace” strain named after the mountain chain in central Asia, and it is prized for the strong, relaxing high it produces.

Cannabinoids
THC
17.1%
THC
CBG
0.5%
CBG
Indica/Sativa/Hybrid
Indica dominant
Day/night
May help with
Insomnia
Stress
Pain
Depression
Terpene profile
Spicy
Caryophyllene
Citrus
Limonene
Herbal
Myrcene
Earthy
Humulene

Lineage and general info

Hindu Kush is an indica landrace strain named after the mountain range in Central Asia where it originates. Seeds of Hindu Kush and other landrace strains from the area made their way back to the United States from travelers on the “hippie trail” in the 1960s and 70s, and over the years these seeds were crossed with all types of other strains. 

While the origin of the name “Kush” is disputed, over the years it has become synonymous with marijuana and stoner culture. Today there are dozens of kush strains available, including the wildly popular and iconic OG Kush, as well as other big names like Afghan Kush and Platinum Kush. 

Hindu Kush is a hardy strain that reflects the rough and tumble region where it originated. It is highly resistant to the elements and grows short with large, dense flowers that are covered in crystals.

The strain is known for having an earthy, sweet aroma, that many users compare to hash. According to the chemical profile we identified, the most abundant terpenes in Hindu Kush are beta caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene and humulene, which should give it a spicy, citrus, floral or earthy aroma (or a mixture of these). 

Cannabinoids and terpenes in Hindu Kush

Cannabis varieties like Hindu Kush are often referred to as strains or cultivars, but in fact the most accurate term would be “chemovars.” Strain refers to bacteria and viruses , and cultivars is an abbreviation of “cultivated variety,” one that has been intentionally created or selected and maintained by cultivation. 

But it’s virtually impossible to identify a cultivar’s effect (uplifting, sedating, etc) judging by botanical traits such as height, shape and color. A chemovar is a “chemical variety,” defined  by its chemical profile. In short, this term uses levels of chemical markers such as cannabinoids and terpenes, to distinguish one cultivar from another. 

Talking about the chemical profile of a given cannabis variety can be tricky. There’s no standard definition for any strain from a chemical perspective. In theory any grower can cultivate any strain of cannabis with any kind of chemical profile, and name it however they wish. So it’s difficult to definitively state the THC, CBD or CBG content of Hindu Kush. 

For this report, we gathered Hindu Kush’s chemical profile from a variety of third party certificates of analysis, seed banks and marijuana websites such as Wikileaf, Leafly and ILGM. 
The following numbers can give you an estimation of what you could expect to find in the Hindu Kush chemovar, but your best bet is always going to be looking for a certificate of analysis before you choose a cannabis product — this way you’ll know for sure what’s in it.

Full chemical profile
Cannabinoids
17.1%
THC
0.5%
CBG
Terpenes
Spicy
Caryophyllene 0.4%
Herbal
Myrcene 0.3%
Citrus
Limonene 0.3%
Earthy
Humulene 0.2%
* The numbers in the tables are averages of data from multiple resources
** Terpenes are of pharmacologic interest at concentrations above 0.05%

From the reports we found about the cannabinoids Hindu Kush:

  • THC levels ranged from 12.76% to 20.9% and averaged 17.14% 
  • CBD ranged from 0% to 0.15% and averaged 0.059%
  • CBG ranged from 0.281% to 0.79% and averaged 0.479%. 

As for the terpenes in Hindu Kush:

  • Beta-Myrcene ranged from 0.02% to 0.83% and averaged at 0.31%
  • Delta-Limonene ranged from 0% to 0.8% and averaged at 0.31%
  • Beta-Caryophyllene ranged from 0.16% to 0.61% and averaged at 0.44%
  • Alpha-Humulene ranged from 0.01% to 0.66% and averaged at 0.23%
  • Caryophyllene Oxide ranged from 0% to 0.96 and averaged at 0.2%
  • Beta-Pinene ranged from 0% to 0.11%, and averaged at 0.05%
  • Alpha-Pinene ranged from 0% to 0.26% and averaged at 0.08

How Hindu Kush affects you

Hindu Kush is known for causing a deep, calming high that wraps the user in its embrace. It’s a nighttime sort of strain, best for the end of the day, or the type of strain you can picture smoking somewhere in a mountain pass, huddled around a fire with a hot cup of tea. Your couch will probably do just fine too. 

The calming, relaxing effects of Hindu Kush make it a great strain for insomnia and stress. It also creates a very euphoric high, like a warm blanket that also might make you want to raid the fridge.

Reported effects
Relaxed
Sleepy
Euphoric
Happy
May cause
Dry mouth
Dry eyes
Paranoia
Dizziness

Growing

Hindu Kush is easy to grow indoors or outdoors if you live in a warm climate. Like classic indicas, it grows shorter and stockier, rarely more than 5 feet tall. This makes it easy for growing outdoors behind a typical fence or fitting into small places indoors.

You’ll want to keep humidity and moisture low for this strain, which prefers a dry climate. 

The strain grows large, hard and aromatic buds that are covered with crystals and resin. It typically flowers in around 7-9 weeks, and is a high yield plant and outdoor grows are capable of producing around a pound of flower per plant. 

Climate
Dry
Humid
All
Difficulty
Easy
Medium
Difficult
Flowering (weeks)
7-9
10-12
>12
Yield (indoors) oz/SQF
1.3
Yield (outdoors) oz/plant
16
Harvest time
Early October
Yield oz/per plant
Indoors
1.3
Outdoors
16
Harvest time
Early October
Height (inches)
20-30
30-50
50-70
70-90
<90

Related Strains

There are dozens and dozens of kush strains, like OG Kush, Purple Kush, and Afghan Kush, to name just a few. Kush strains are typically indica or indica dominant, with dense buds that produce a strong “couch-lock” feeling. Not all of them may be actual kush strains and the term has in recent years become a bit diluted and — as slang — can refer to marijuana in general.

Regardless, the impact and genetics of this landrace strain have left their mark on countless other types of cannabis that make a great substitute. According to Leafly, Hindu Sour and Grand Hindu are direct descendents of Hindu Kush. And according to the book Cannabis Pharmacy some similar varieties are Afghan, Afpak and Hindu Skunk.

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