In order to determine the background of this sweet strain, we have to first consider its phenotypes. The most common pheno of Birthday Cake you’ll probably see is from one of the first breeders who popularized this strain, Cannarado Genetics, as Birthday Cake S1 or Cherry Cookies.
Cannarado’s Birthday Cake S1 is a cross between two crosses, specifically (Cherry Pie x GSC) x (Cherry Pie x GSC). Another phenotype of this cannabis strain includes the Pink Cookies variant, which is a Girl Scout Cookies x Cherry Pie cross. This pheno is sometimes also called Wedding Cake, which adds to the confusion. It's rumored the original Birthday Cake cannabis strain originated from the Kind Love dispensary in Denver, CO in 2014 (where it first went by Pink Cookies). Upon arriving in Colorado, the name of this strain somehow took on the moniker of Birthday Cake.
A Birthday Cake Kush strain also exists. While Birthday Cake Kush is sometimes another name for the typical Birthday Cake strain (Girl Scout Cookies x Cherry Pie), sometimes the parentage of Birthday Cake Kush can differ greatly from other types of Cookie-born Birthday Cake phenos. The kush variety is cited to be the result of Aficionados of Cannabis Seed Bank (ACSB) crossing Vishnu Kush with Bubblegum Kush.
No matter how you think of it, the Birthday Cake strain is the product of some legendary genetic lineages.
Birthday Cake Strain: Indica or Sativa?
This indica dominant cannabis hybrid is widely enjoyed by many for its balanced effects. The first effect users typically report when smoking Birthday Cake is an immediate uplift in mood. Depression is said to float away like a cloud when you inhale. Racing thoughts or low moods fall away quickly. A euphoric, cerebral giddiness sets in that inspires laughter, making this a great choice for social hangouts or parties with easy conversation. Some users report psychedelic effects that include visual distortions like heightened colors or a sense of time dilation.
The physical effects of this strain couple nicely with its non-racy euphoria. Muscle relaxation sets in shortly after the cerebral effects, easing the body into a gentle, easygoing state. Birthday Cake users don’t have to worry about the dreaded ‘couch lock’, either, since the strain’s effects are not overly sedating, as other indica dominant hybrid strains can be.
The level of THC in Birthday Cake is usually around 20 percent, with unremarkable CBD levels. Side effects associated with Birthday Cake are generally mild and include dry mouth and dry eyes.
The mental euphoria and mood elevating properties of Birthday Cake make it a favorite when it comes to treating anxiety, stress or depression. Many others also report using this strain to treat pain in the body, whether it be generalized chronic pain, inflammation, migraines or muscle spasms. Some have noted Birthday Cake’s lack of raciness makes it a good candidate for managing panic attacks.
Some medical marijuana users say this strain brings on a wicked case of the munchies, and is useful for those looking to stimulate their appetite, such as chemotherapy patients. And while the strain isn’t typically known for being overly sedating like other indicas can be, some users report using it to help aid with sleep/insomnia.
Birthday Cake Strain Characteristics and Terpenes
The signature hallmark of Birthday Cake is its sweet, vanilla fragrance that irresistibly reminds one of — you guessed it — birthday cake! Sweet vanilla notes on the inhale fade into a slight skunky aroma when buds are broken apart. Faint notes of pepper and pine add a slight musky, herbal profile to the sweet vanilla. Some phenos also have their own signature fruity sweetness lurking in the mix — likely an influence from the Cherry Pie parentage. The overall flavor profile is that of baked goods, which makes your mouth water almost immediately.
All of these tasty flavors make for an excellent smoke. Initial sweet, fruity notes quickly segue into the signature vanilla to create a plume of thick smoke. A nutty hint can be detected on the exhale, mixing nicely with the vanilla’s spice. Final herbaceous notes linger for a short time after.
In terms of visual appearance this strain is a frosty one. Known for being highly resinous, glittering silvery trichomes heavily cover every inch of leaf. Leaves can vary in color from a light yellow hue to grassy greens, with healthy plants taking on a deep, almost blue color. Thin bright orange and red pistils poke out of the leaves.
Birthday Cake often contains a generous amount of the terpene beta-caryophyllene. This terpene has been known to demonstrate a range of potential therapeutic effects including management of chronic pain, mental health disorders, and type 2 diabetes.
Birthday Cake Strain Grow Info and Seeds
This resinous beauty poses some challenges to growers. A thick main cola combined with medium internodes makes it a vigorous plant. As such, it’s advisable to constantly prune; growers suggest utilizing a low stress training (LST) or supercropping technique for this purpose. It can be grown in or outdoors.
Like many other varieties, Birthday Cake enjoys warm, humid temperatures. However it’s slightly more prone than average to fungal growth and moisture damage, which means growers have to keep a vigilant eye on moisture levels during flowering. Flowering period is typically 8-10 weeks, with ideal harvesting in late October.
If you want Birthday Cake strain seeds, look for sealed Cannarado packs labeled ‘Birthday Cake S1’, which come in white mylar bags. More info is available at Cannarado’s website, Rado Gear.
By Janelle Lassalle
Artist, Writer, and Content Creator