Haze was one of the first major cannabis strains to put its stamp on the cannabis culture that emerged in California back in the '70s. Rumor has it that it was created by two brothers known as the “Haze Brothers” and their friend Sam “The Skunkman”, although this theory seems to be full of holes. What is true is that “The Skunkman” took it to Europe and, after a time, it became a legend.
Throughout history, there've been many different strains which will be remembered 'till the end of time. Owing either to the place and the moment in which they were created or to their so-characteristic tastes and aromas or maybe to the revolution they brought about to the cannabis community, the reasons why strains such as AK-47, Skunk or White Widow will always be remembered, grown and regarded as authentic historical jewels are varied and many. But there was one strain in particular that simply appeared in the right place, at the right time, and so marked a before and an after in the history of the cannabis community. Yes, we're talking about Haze. Of all the things that have raised this strain to the status of a legend, it is the mystery surrounding its creation that is to be blamed. The most popular theory is that it was the Haze Brothers and Sam "The Skunkman", the originator of the Skunk, who created it. Legend has it that back in the '70s, in the Californian region of Santa Cruz, the cradle of cannabis culture of a country determined to end the use of cannabis, these curious guys decided to cross some cannabis lines from all over the world. Back then, Colombian, Mexican, Panamanian and Jamaican genetics were mostly consumed. There were a few gourmet users who managed to get Middle-Eastern or Central-Asian seeds, though. So for the development of Haze, the brothers put together three 100 % sativa genetics: a Landrace, a pure Mexican sativa and a Colombian landrace. One year later, the best selected female plants from the previous bunch were crossed with a landrace male from Thailand and the germ of what we know today as Original Haze was created. But the process did not end there, though. With the seeds so far obtained, "The Skunkman" still had to do some magic.
A very complex strain
As Sam himself acknowledged some years later, the strain created by the Haze Brothers was rather difficult to tame. Given its poor stability, the easiest things turned into incredibly challenging tasks. One of the first phenos to appear was Purple Haze, an amazing strain that also obtained global recognition and still today is remembered as a legend. However, Sam was determined to stabilize it and he most certainly did it. For doing so, he collaborated with Robert Clarke from Sacred Seeds. No sooner did they get to work than they noticed that the more they tried to improve the quality of Haze, the less vigorous it became and thus the poorer the quality ended up being. But, after a while, they finally realized that the best plants were the ones derived from the cross of a Haze and another strain they'd previously worked with, being Haze the one that added the extra touch of quality to the cross. It wasn't until 1976, though, that Sam and Robert decided to start selling the seeds of what we now call Original Haze: a 100 % sativa hybrid very much appreciated by cannabis growers and users alike. No wonder most of them ended up worshipping this strain. The incredible scent of spices accented by subtle notes of incense, wood, and citrus that Skunkman and Co. managed to provide it with was indeed very special. But, if there was one thing that seduced cannabis smokers, apart from the taste, it was its mind-blowing effect capable of driving you into a psychedelic state of mind from which it took long to escape.
What really won cannabis growers over is still quite a mystery. Maybe it was the end result, but it's not 100 % clear because this cannabis plant was indeed quite delicate. Its flowering was slow (some 16 weeks), the best individuals reached unprecedented heights and, what's worse, it turned out to be more productive outdoors than indoors, which left many growers out of the game.
Good marketing, the key to its success
Some years later, motivated by the prohibitionist laws that were spreading in the USA, Sam decided to fly across the Atlantic and move to Europe, namely Holland. Once there this fearless cannabis lover continued marketing the Original Haze while stepping up his efforts to develop new genetics that, apart from offering the best traits of this strain, would be, among others, far easier to grow. Other than being the proud parent of countless hybrids across the globe, the one thing that made the Original Haze come to be considered an iconic seed was the good marketing strategy behind.
While an oz. of weed cost around $15-$60 in 1976, those who bought Original Haze had to pay as much as $200, although it's true they were given a free promotional poster of this strain (the first with a brand identity) and sometimes a rosewood box for storage. And contrary to what many could believe, 90 % of the stock was sold within three months, elevating Haze to the status of a strain of worship. However, as previously mentioned, some of this data has been called into question by many cannabis enthusiasts to such an extent that many of them even question the existence of the Haze Brothers and claim that they are just the product of the countless legends surrounding this strain. What we can confidently confirm is that the Original Haze ended up becoming a legendary seed and, whether it was down to her aroma or to the marketing campaign used at the time, it is still a major reference for breeders and users all over the world.
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I have one of these originals. I got it from my dad who was a "regular " customer back in the day.