Deathstar (or Death Star) is a well-established indica-leaning strain from an era when breeders devoted time and energy into fleshing out individual strains with almost religious devotion, which we see a lot less of in today’s rapidly shifting, trend-based landscape.
In a refreshing change of pace from our highlights of strains originating from the Bay Area or the Pacific Northwest, the Deathstar strain sprouted in the Midwest. It was the early 2000s, and a group of growers known as Team Death Star returned to Columbus, Ohio after years of following Phish and the Grateful Dead around the US, inspired to breed and grow the various samples of East Coast Sour Diesel, a.k.a. ECSD, that they had encountered while touring.
After getting their hands on a prized cut of ECSD, Team Death Star got to work creating various crosses, breeding with cuts such as G-13 and Bubblegum. Things really took off when the breeders at Paradise Seeds shared their Sensi Star with the team — the award-winning strain is described by the team at Paradise Seeds as “the strongest indica you will ever encounter”. The East Coast Sour Diesel was crossed with Sensi Star, the result of which was a densely-packed, skunk-scented crop with monstrous buds. It wasn’t until the harvest was taken to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, where, according to one of the founders, “Some old hippie lady came up and said, 'Yo that weed is the Death'... And my buddy Hash Wokieman was like 'Yo…we should call it the Death Star!' ”
Team Death Star, who closely guarded their crops, processes, and genetics, made the strain accessible to the general public around 2004. As they put it, “If you don't give (the genetics) out, people do lose them, and then they're not there. So that's why we've changed our stance. It's good medicine, and we want it out there for people”. This was a smart decision on their part, as the strain climbed to astronomical popularity. In February 2010, Deathstar received one of the highest honors in the world of cannabis: a front-page feature in High Times.
Lineage: East Coast Sour Diesel x Sensi Star
Location: Columbus, OH
Breeder: Team Death Star
Deathstar Effects: Indica or Sativa?
Deathstar, an indica-dominant hybrid, is a cross between Sour Diesel (a sativa) and Sensi Star (an indica). Even the heaviest of smokers report Deathstar as being astoundingly potent, and novices are advised not to overindulge. The strain is a notorious “creeper”, meaning that it might take a few minutes to actually start feeling its effects (another reason to be mindful of dosage). Once Deathstar’s effects catch up, it tends to be a euphoric, carefree ride. In moderation, Deathstar can be a perfect tool for de-stressing or avoiding social anxiety without winding up couch locked, while many patients turn to higher doses of the strain to combat insomnia. Unfavorable side effects for the stain are in line with many other highly relaxing variants, which essentially just means you should look out for dry mouth, itchy eyes, and potential dizziness or disorientation.
Deathstar is an incredibly effective medicinal strain for a variety of patients. When discussing the medicinal benefits of a given strain, it’s important to keep in mind that while the effects resulting from the combination of terpenes, cannabinoids, and other components of the individual cut will often temporarily quell or treat certain symptoms, we’re never going to suggest that weed is the be-all-end-all cure for any medical condition.
Deathstar is an essential addition to any migraineur’s stash. Those who frequently experience the sometimes debilitating condition of migraines know its effects: nausea, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue, and full body aches. This strain addresses all of those symptoms in a distinct way, be it an uplifting mood boost, a settled stomach and heightened appetite, or effective pain relief. This kind of relief can benefit patients with epilepsy, those undergoing chemotherapy, and more. Patients have also cited the efficiency of Deathstar in alleviating PMS cramps, a trait that its parent Sour Diesel is often noted for.
Deathstar Strain Taste, Smell, and Terpenes
The Deathstar strain has been described as smelling of diesel, skunk, and hash, with distinct notes of rubber while on the vine. A wooden earthy taste and slight metallic notes are present on the draw, further intensifying its already complex reek. The buds also tend to carry the vague sour scent of fresh oranges. Fans of East Coast Sour Diesel’s pungent, sour nose will love this skunked-up variant. These aromas of diesel fuel, oranges, hash, and the occasional garlic are the result of the combination of caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene found in Deathstar. The most abundant terpene, caryophyllene, is responsible for the peppery scents and the musky, skunky odor found on this cultivar. Buds of this strain tend to be seriously sticky with resin and come in large, shimmering, tightly compact nuggets. The trichome covering can be so intense that it actually mutes the otherwise vibrant greens and ambers, resulting in what could at first glance appear to be grayish-purple buds.
Deathstar Strain Seeds, Flowering Time, and Grow Info
One of Deathstar’s biggest strengths is its resistance to mold while in the grow room. Growers have described frequent curling and yellowing on the fan leaves during growth, which can be an indicator of a magnesium deficiency, so this should be kept in mind when deciding on nutrients. When growing alongside other strains, Deathstar will typically be the last to fully bloom, but once it does, it will suddenly have the largest, most dense buds in the room. This rapid, exponential growth leads to some seriously high yields — as much as 12 ounces per square meter indoors or 14 ounces per plant outdoors, with the caveat that the growing period could last upwards of 98 days. The compact bud structure and dense calyxes resemble that of Sensi Star.
According to the High Times feature on Team Death Star, “Their fertilizer is a mix of perlite and Ocean Forest. The temperature in the gardens is always 79°F. Each room features 1,000-watt high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights, with 12 plants allotted to each. They’re watered every other day with all-organic nutrients and a ‘couple of secret ingredients.’ When harvest time finally arrives, the flushing process lasts two weeks.”
Like a true indica, Deathstar tends to be a short, thick bush, so lollipopping (trimming of the bottom sections that light can’t reach) is recommended.
At this time, we aren’t aware of any Deathstar seeds that we would recommend growing.