Stardawg is a unique strain, not only due to its pungent aroma and out-of-this-world effects, but also because of its phenomenal popularity overseas. Let’s take a look at what makes this strain such a sensation, and what it took to get there.
Photo from Greenpoint Seeds on Seedfinder
Stardawg made its first earthly contact in 2011, thanks to JJ Edwards at Top Dawg Seeds, but the series of events that resulted in the strain’s creation goes back nearly two decades prior. Like that of a strangely popular “indie” musician or social media figure, much of Stardawg’s appeal and popularity is a result of its famous parents. Stardawg was created by crossing a Chem Dawg mother with a Tres Dawg father, both members of Top Dawg’s star-studded lineup.
Chemdog in particular is maybe one of the most historically significant strains out there. In true legendary cannabis strain fashion, Chemdog started out in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert in Deer Creek, Indiana. The year was 1991 and cannabis curators Joe Brand and P-Bud would unintentionally make history when they shared some of their pungent west-coast weed with the 17 year-old Greg Krzanowski, who’s now known as ‘Chemdog’ or just ‘Chem’. Joe and P-Bud had originally referred to the strain as “dogbud” or “chem weed”, so naturally Greg decided to call it “Chemdog”, and he’s been called by the same name ever since.
Chemdog enjoyed the buzzy, chem scented, petrol smelling bud so much that he arranged for a few ounces to be sent out to his home in Massachusetts. According to his story, that shipment just so happened to include a handful of bag seeds, and thus, Chemdog was born. For more on that see our Chemdog strain page.After several years, numerous awards, and dozens of crosses and collaborations, Chemdog had solidified its position as a beloved and coveted strain from coast to coast. It was shortly after Chemdog’s arrest in the early 2000s when Top Dawg’s JJ Edwards created a new cross of the strain that would make a worldwide impact. Stardawg was named after Mother Love Bone’s Stardog Champion, but used the “dawg” suffix as a way of distinguishing JJ’s work from other Chemdog lines(he did the same with earlier work, such as Tres Dawg and Double Dawg). Stardawg’s glorious trichome coating, its unique nostril-singeing aroma, and mind-blowing effects quickly caught the attention of growers around the US.
Not only was Stardawg making a name for itself stateside, it quickly became wildly popular in the UK. It’s hard to point to one specific reason why the strain was such a phenomenon across the pond, but JJ was quickly inundated with UK growers asking for the seeds. It’s not surprising though, as Stardawg had it all - a cool, recognizable name, intense aroma and flavor, and bag appeal to spare, essentially making it a flavor-chasing hype beast’s dream strain. In a 2021 interview with Vice, Edwards said, “I get a lot of messages from people from the UK asking for seeds… It's an honor. If people think that Stardawg is highly regarded, or that it’s a symbol for quality, then I’ve got to be happy about it…The genetics were good enough that people took notice”.There have been four releases of Stardawg seeds over its lifetime, and many different phenotypes have resulted. Among the more popular phenos are the Guava, Illuminati, and Corey Haim cuts. The Guava cut of Stardawg was actually named Best Sativa at the High Times 2012 Denver Cannabis Cup.
Stardawg Effects: Indica or Sativa
Stardawg is an electrifying, uplifting, typically sativa-leaning hybrid strain of cannabis. Its many phenotypes range in potency and effect, but many traits are consistent across the board. A session with Stardawg tends to be a two-part event - an immediate mood-boosting buzz that could inspire even the most homebodied toker to get up and take a walk, followed by a gradual full-body and mind sense of calm and relaxation. The initial burst of energy is thought to alleviate social anxiety and inspire creativity and fits of laughter. The latter portion is favored by medical patients, as Stardawg may be particularly effective in remedying chronic aches and pains.
Stardawg is a noteworthy strain, because despite its potential to relax and soothe pain, you won’t find yourself feeling burnt out or lazy. Medical patients often have to sacrifice their productivity or general levels of energy, as strains with analgesic (pain relieving) properties tend to also be sedating in nature. While this may be ideal in certain situations, those with medical needs shouldn’t have to resign to tiredness and couchlock every time they choose to medicate. This is where Stardawg shines. Patients have said that the strain not only fights tension and physical discomfort, but it may also have the capacity to reduce symptoms of depression, which can be just as impactful, if not more so than the pain itself.
Stardawg’s Guava phenotype, still a sativa-dominant hybrid, puts more emphasis on the relaxing, stoney aspect of the strain’s high. The Illuminati and Corey Haim cuts are significantly more potent, but not nearly as sedating. Those less familiar with high-potency strains are advised to exercise caution around these two heavy-hitters. One toker’s sunshine and giggles could easily be another’s panic attack.
Stardawg Smell, Terpenes, and Taste
Stardawg is an unusually polarizing strain. Some claim that it has one of the best profiles out there, while others absolutely detest it. In fairness to the strain, the incredible abundance in the UK means more opportunities for bad growers, and ultimately less favorable crops. Stardawg’s stench of funky, earthy, petrol doused with acrid chemical notes may not be everyone’s first choice, but for others, it is a marker of quality. The sour and earthy aromas are very similar to that of Chemdog. Fans of sweeter, more palatable strains still shouldn’t be completely deterred - the Guava cut offers a sweeter, more tropical, fruity profile, or as Young Terps so eloquently put it, “that lemon banangie, sour tangie guava dawg terp wave”. Speaking of Young Terps, let’s talk a little terpenese. The main terpene commonly found in Stardawg is caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is responsible for numerous spicy, herbal fragrances found in nature such as basil and black pepper, and certainly gives more content to Stardawg’s harsh odor. Limonene and humulene are also commonly found in high concentrations. Limonene provides zesty, citrus smells and tastes, and is also said to elevate moods and reduce stress, while hoppy, earthy humulene is being studied for its potential ability to fight cancers and work as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Stardawg Autos, Seeds, and Grow Info
It isn’t likely that you’re going to find real-deal Stardawg autos or regular seeds from Top Dawg any time soon, unless they opt for a fifth seed drop. In the event you are actually lucky enough to get your hands on some, you’re in for a treat. Stardawg is a notoriously high yielder, which is a good reason why it’s so popular with overseas growers. Between that, the fact that it grows comfortably both indoors and out, and its flowering time of a measly 56 days, Stardawg makes a great addition to expert and novice gardens alike.