MK Ultra

For some, the term MK Ultra brings to mind images of shady government spooks, secret experimentation, and even mind control, but the name carries an entirely different connotation in the world of cannabis. In this case, MK Ultra is a fantastic, devastatingly powerful variety of weed, brought to us by the masterminds behind Amsterdam’s T.H.Seeds. Let’s hang up our tinfoil hats to take a better look at this hypnotizing cut.

MK Ultra

MK Ultra was an “experiment” conducted by the CIA that explored the potential to control minds, force truth, and more through the use of drugs such as LSD, often without the subject’s consent. While T.H.Seeds and the strain they created are entirely unrelated and obviously far less nefarious, this strain’s intense cerebral effects and somewhat murky lineage suggest that MK Ultra is, in fact, the perfect name. The legendary strain is a cross between two legends in their own right: the relaxing, tension-evaporating West Coast favorite OG Kush and the mysterious, intensely mind-fucking G-13. The parentage is abundantly recognizable in MK Ultra’s powerful kick and dank aroma. If the lore is to be believed, G-13 was originally spawned by government officials in an uber-secret facility at the University of Mississippi. Some say that the “G” stands for “Government” and the 13 is referencing the 13th letter of the alphabet, “M”, which some might recognize as the first character in “marijuana”... could be big news, if true. One fabled cut would allegedly make its way out to the real world, and the rest is (much more verifiable) history.  

MK Ultra was first bred and cultivated by T.H.Seeds’ Adam Dunn. Dunn is an award-winning, prolific figure in the medical marijuana industry who has founded and aided in the creation of numerous cannabis companies around the globe. By breeding a West Coast OG Kush with a cut of G-13 from Barney’s Farm (another Amsterdam seed bank), Dunn became one of the first growers to create a European cross with an American OG in 1999. The new strain couldn’t have come at a better time in cannabis history. As Dunn puts it, “Every few years, people’s tastes change globally. Example: early 80’s Red Hair, 90’s Northern Lights, 1999-2000 Haze, and 2004 Kushy-Diesel. People for one reason or the other, seem to gravitate towards these strong distinctive flavors”.

The new strain was a sensation, and it wasn’t long before T.H.Seeds began receiving accolades for their achievement. The strain was named Best Indica at the 2003 High Times Cannabis Cup, second place in the 2004 Cup, and was named a High Times Top 10 Strain of 2005 by Danny Danko. MK Ultra has since been used as a parent to dozens of newer strains, including the likes of Tangerine Kush, Sour Kush, and Frosty. Adam and T.H.Seeds co-founder Doug continue to refine their California-tinged collection of great ganja genetics that includes S.A.G.E., Bubblegum and Heavy Duty Fruity. 

Vintage: circa 1999

Lineage: OG Kush x G-13

Breeder: T.H.Seeds

MK Ultra Strain Effects: Indica or Sativa?

MK-Ultra is a flavorful indica favored by medicinal marijuana patients for instant relief. Tokers are met with a blast of cool relaxation and euphoria. Discomforts such as muscle tension or back pain are all but obliterated. Indicas are commonly thought of as sleep aids, but MK Ultra breaks that mold. Many users report that, despite its immensely relaxing characteristics, MK Ultra also provides a burst of energy and focus, perfect for casual social situations or creative endeavors.  This energy and comfort aids not only in pain management, but acts to reduce stress, anxiety, symptoms of depression, and more. 

T.H.Seeds describes the heady bud as possessing a “hypnotic high”, which is clearly evidence of its G-13 lineage, as the strain is known to offer an intense, brain-bending experience where thoughts loop, perception of time distorts, and the senses intensify. With that in mind, less experienced tokers are advised to exercise caution and not over-indulge as MK Ultra won’t hesitate to put you in your place. While such claims should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s no coincidence that many enthusiasts consider MK Ultra to be one of the strongest indicas out there. 

MK Ultra Strain Characteristics and Terpenes

MK Ultra’s flavor and odor are as noteworthy as its effects. It draws heavily from its OG Kush lineage to offer some seriously pungent, earthy aromas. The strain’s funky musk is a calling card for the body-soothing, mood-lifting effects one can expect from the strain. Upon smoking, flavor is consistent with aroma as a sweet woody-pine taste coats the mouth. As Adam Dunn once described it in an interview: “I like weed that tastes like it smells. Some weed is a little deceiving, you think that it is going to be sweet and then it tastes dry or rough…. not good. But MK delivers both, and it shows in the reactions that people give when they try it for the first time. Wow or just a thumbs-up is all I need to know that MK did it again.”

The frosty, sticky, resin-coated buds grow into tight nuggets perfect for bong hits or vaporizers. The sparkling crystals coating the buds contrast with electric shades of lime to forest green and vibrant orange pistils. As is the case with the majority of cannabis strains, myrcene is the terpene found most abundantly in MK Ultra. Myrcene produces an herbal, earthy aroma, and higher concentrations of the terpene are often associated with sedating, relaxing, or generally indica-like effects. Aside from myrcene, other terpenes found in MK Ultra include caryophyllene and limonene. The combination of caryophyllene’s aromatic spice and limonene’s sour citrus scent over dank, dominant myrcene is behind the unique fragrance of this strain. 

MK Ultra Grow Info and Seeds

With its short stature (typically 100-120cm high) and dense bud structure leading to incredibly high yields (as much as 350g/sq. foot), MK Ultra is really an indoor grower’s dream. The short plant blossoms quickly, flowering in as little as 56 to 63 days. 

As far as soil and nutrients go, Dunn had this to say in an interview: “I believe organic is the way to go for personal [use]. But for commercial purposes, I prefer coco with B’Cuzz A+B as a base. I use advanced hydroponic growth stimulators/root and enzyme stimulators combined with several stateside products; one called Hydrozyme, and another called Budswell, which is pure guano.”

T.H.Seeds MK Ultra seeds are sold through Seedsman. At the time of writing they are out of stock, but Homegrown Cannabis Co currently offers their own version.