Jack Herer

The Jack Herer strain is as beloved as the man it shares a name with, who was also known as “The Emperor of Hemp”. Jack Herer was a hemp activist long before many of you smoked your first joint. Sensi Seeds bred this plant to honor him and luckily, his legacy lives on through this spicy, citrusy cannabis strain.

Jack Herer

This upbeat, mood-elevating hybrid was created by Sensi Seeds in 1994 and the seeds were made available in 1995. While its history is long, this strain is still making waves today. Leafly even listed it as one of their Best Cannabis Strains of Summer 2021. One fan said, “It’s my go-to for running errands! It gives me a lift, helps me stay focused, and just makes monotonous tasks more fun.”

Plus, fans of strains like Jack the Ripper or Jack Skellington have Jack Herer to thank for those dank genetics. Speaking of genetics, the exact details of Jack Herer’s lineage are disputed to some degree, but we do know it’s a Haze-dominant cross that includes Northern Lights #5 (NL5) and Skunk #1.

The Haze would have come from the work of Nevil Schoenmaker (better known as ‘Neville’), who sold his genetic library to Sensi Seeds before co-founding Green House Seeds. It’s likely Sensi Seeds used a Haze male from Neville’s breeding stock, but details regarding the parents of the female are less clear, however it’s often thought to be a ‘backcross’ of Shiva Skunk (NL5 x Skunk #1) into NL5.  

Breeder: Sensi Seeds

Vintage: 1994

Lineage: Haze, Northern Lights #5, and Shiva Skunk

Major Awards:

1st Place - Santa Cruz Cup 2018 (Outdoor Sativa)

1st Place - Highlife Cup 2016 (Hydro)

1st Place - Highlife Cup 2008 (Hydro)

1st Place - Highlife Cup 2005

1st Place - Highlife Cup 2004

1st Place - Highlife Cup 2003

1st Place - High Times Cannabis Cup 1999

1st Place - High Times Cannabis Cup 1994

Jack Herer Strain Effects

Sensi Seeds details four different phenotypes of this strain. One is more Indica-leaning with more compact plants and effects on the body, while the other three display more Sativa features and stimulating effects. So far, every phenotype has been a big hit with users. 

Fans of Haze effects will be pleased with the Jack Herer experience. Imagine the perfect combination of heady cerebral effects with physical relaxation. Don’t be fooled though, this potent strain is best for daytime use. The potent Sativa effects promote focused conversation, so it’s often a favorite for early jam sessions. Plus, the effects hit FAST. 

With the first inhale, expect an energizing rush. After another hit or two, the effects slowly progress into relaxing body tingles. It’s calming without the couch lock and it’s the perfect remedy for any kind of creative block. For this reason, Jack Herer is best for wake’n bake sessions, morning errands, or afternoon social events but not so great before trying to sleep.

Jack Herer Medical Benefits

On top of its many, MANY awards, Jack Herer is also one of the few strains to be recognized for its medicinal benefits in the Netherlands. Indeed, many medical marijuana patients opt for Jack Herer when they need to combat mild stress and anxiety, depression, and some chronic aches and pains. 

The terpene profile of Jack Herer may also interest patients with certain conditions. As one of the first commercially available terpinolene-dominant strains, it’s well-regarded for its powerful cerebral effects (focus, mood-elevation, euphoria, etc.). Other terpenes like beta-caryophyllene and d-limonene are thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Beta-caryophyllene in particular is an analgesic and is found plentifully in strains thought to have pain-relieving properties.

That being said, those with chronic joint pain, mild muscle soreness, or even mild nerve pain report experiencing relief with Jack Herer. For chronic pain sufferers, heavily narcotic strains may relieve pain, but then they’re left drooling on the couch. A strain like Jack Herer might do better to help them manage pain while still being productive. 

Regular users of this strain have reported loss of appetite and extreme dry mouth, and those with severe anxiety and those who regularly experience paranoia with cannabis may want to use Jack Herer with caution.

Jack Herer Characteristics

When people say these buds are sticky, it’s no joke. Depending on the phenotype, leaves range from pale to medium green and the buds are often longer and less round. The trichome count, however, is why these buds are so tricky to handle. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see orange hairs and densely packed trichomes with beautiful stalks and frosty gland heads.

Few strains are more recognizable on scent alone, and if properly cured, Jack Herer buds will have an alluring citrus scent with uplifting notes of pine. However, upon exhaling, notes of spicy black pepper will bloom on the palate giving it that notorious spicy kick. The overall experience is lightly sweet and citrusy, with smooth notes of spice. 

Jack Herer Growing Tips

According to Sensi Seeds, anyone hoping to grow this strain outdoors should be located in Mediterranean or tropical climates. Otherwise, an indoor grow operation with a carefully controlled environment may be necessary.

Optimal growing temperatures fall between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and indoor growers should be prepared for at least 8 feet of height clearance depending on the phenotype. Topping quickly after plants take root can help reign in the height if necessary. When grown indoors, Jack Herer flowers after roughly 10 weeks.