Unlike the beverage of the same name, the Black Russian strain is a crowd-pleaser. Instead of Kahlúa and vodka, a cornucopia of sweet tropical flavors makes Black Russian taste almost as delicious as its effects. Plus, for those who’ve had the pleasure of examining different Black Russian buds, the variety of red and purple hues expressed by its various phenotypes is a feast for the eyes.
Delicious Seeds, the original breeders, say “Black Russian (DS29) is the result of crossing two legendary indicas with potent medicinal effects; White Russian and a splendid Black Domina mother, a selection of the famous phenotype known as ‘domina’. The latter is a real jewel and well known among the best growers across Spain.”
U.S. cannabis lovers may not be as familiar with Black Russian, but that’s not a slight against the strain. It’s mostly been within the past decade that Spanish and American breeders have begun working together. While the strain isn’t ancient by any means, it’s old enough that it didn’t travel as much as other popular strains like White Russian.
It’s worth noting that White Russian, from Serious Seeds, was once considered by some to be the world’s strongest strain. Bred from AK-47 and White Widow, White Russian lends potent cerebral effects and pharmacological properties to Black Russian.
Additionally, Black Domina has powerful relaxing, sedative properties that are still present in the Black Russian strain. That’s probably why it’s such a phenomenal choice for unwinding after a long day.
Breeder: Delicious Seeds
Lineage: White Russian (male) x Black Domina
Awards: 1st Place Spannabis Champions Cup 2010 (Outdoor)
Black Russian Effects
Be aware that the effects tend to “creep.” Basically, it’s best to smoke this strain slowly to more accurately feel the effects settle in. Otherwise, you might find yourself waking up on the couch the next morning not remembering even falling asleep.
Overall, the Black Russian experience is relaxed and sleepy with beautiful feelings of euphoria. Just be prepared for a harsh exhale and a wicked case of dry mouth and dry eyes.
While the head high sets in surprisingly fast, the more classic indica effects will take several minutes to settle in. The cerebral effects take hold quite quickly —mood elevation, heightened senses, etc. Then the effects slowly trickle into the body as a subtle tingle and a feeling of heaviness in the limbs. Once the body effects have kicked in, you’ll likely notice that any tension or mental stress has melted away.
With continued use, the heavy feeling in the limbs will likely result in couchlock. The most common side effects reported by users are dry mouth, dry eyes, dizziness, and increased appetite.
Black Russian is best experienced in the late evening once daily responsibilities are finished. Grab a snack, a beverage, and prepare for bone-deep relaxation.
Black Russian Medical Benefits
The speed with which some of the effects kick in makes it particularly useful for medical marijuana patients needing fast relief.
Lovers of Black Russian have described finding relief for symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. For those with chronic inflammatory pain, the anti-inflammatory properties of beta-caryophyllene may help alleviate mild to moderate pain.
Delicious Seeds also says, “The effect is markedly indica, relaxing and long-lasting, making this a highly recommended for medicinal usage. It’s also very rapid, immediately noticeable in its effects when inhaled whether smoked or vaporized. Furthermore, with Black Russian (DS29), a low tolerance is developed to its effects, meaning that it remains potent even if we only consume this strain of Cannabis during a long period.”
For those with insomnia, many users recommend taking an extra puff or two to overcome sleeplessness. Additionally, those who need to increase their appetite may experience relief with Black Russian as it increases appetite and helps with nausea.
Black Russian Characteristics
Depending on growing conditions, the colors of Black Russian can vary quite a bit. From crimson and wine red to a variety of purples, this strain is kind of a show-off in the looks department.
Buds are most often dense and medium to large in size. While there aren’t many leaves between the buds, they are curly and mossy green. There are, however, many yellow pistils. While it may be tempting to pick one up to examine it closely, we recommend either gloves or a tool to handle it. The heavy coat of trichomes makes this strain particularly sticky.
The dominant terpenes in Black Russian (myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene) give it a mouthwatering fruity flavor. On the inhale you may notice tropical notes of mango and pineapple, but prepare for a harsh exhale with some risk of coughing and/or watery eyes. The earthy, skunkier aromas will bloom along the palate as the smoke leaves the lungs. Experienced smokers may even be able to pick up an aftertaste of sweet berry and spice
Delicious Seeds lists the THC results for Black Russian at 24%. Other lab tests have shown anywhere between 12-26% THC levels with very low CBD levels.
Black Russian Growing Tips
This strain is popular amongst growers for a variety of reasons. First, there are surprisingly few leaves between buds, meaning less time is required for trimming. Second, some growers have reported some resistance to mold and mildew. Plus, the Afghan ancestry of this strain (thanks to Black Domina) means that grow operations will smell pleasantly of fruity citrus with soft earthy notes.
While it can be grown both indoors and outdoors, outdoor growing will require a semi-humid climate with Mediterranean temperatures. A natural resistance to mold and mildew makes this a great plant for new growers, but don’t forget to “top” the crop. Additionally, trimming leaves that may block light from the rest of the plant will promote flowering nodes on lower branches. Considering how Black Russian plants tend to grow short, bushy, and with wide branches, this step is essential.
Expose plants to cold temperatures (not freezing) later in the vegetative stage if attempting to breed phenotypes with purple streaks. When grown properly, Black Russian plants will flower within 7-8 weeks indoors (mid-September when grown outdoors).
If you’re interested in growing them yourself, check out Delicious Seeds to obtain Black Russian seeds from the original breeders.