For nearly two decades, the Strawberry Cough strain was an elusive clone-only variety with more backstories than an episode of Ancient Aliens. Yes, it smelled like strawberries, they said, but it was the clear-headed elation of its effects that made everyone want a taste. The buzz really took off in 2006 when Strawberry Cough was featured in the movie Children of Men, but it would be a number of years before the real story began to emerge. Last year, Kyle Kushman finally went on record and laid the details to rest.
Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough story goes like this: he was in Connecticut when a friend asked if Kushman would be willing to visit a fan that was dying to meet him. Kyle obliged, but when led into the fan’s basement, he was disappointed to find a real amateur set-up full of unhappy plants. Not the worst thing to find in a stranger's basement, but let’s not digress. Kushman gave his fan a few pointers and began to leave, but our anonymous grower stopped him at the door and handed him a paper bag with a puny clone in it. Kushman didn’t think more of it until he arrived home to NYC. Puzzled by the faint scent of strawberries in his kitchen, Kyle Kushman’s eyes locked onto the humble paper bag sitting on the counter. The moment he opened the paper bag he knew it was something special! Inside was what he’d later call Strawberry Cough, and having never smelled anything quite like it, Kushman decided to grow it out! You can hear Kushman tell the story himself on this Ganjier episode.
Later on, Kyle Kushman moved to LA and made several stops along the way to give out Strawberry Cough clones to his friends. The cut went by the name Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough, but its availability was scarce and these days, very few people are thought to possess the original. Although the cut was outcrossed into Strawberry Diesel and a handful of other popular strains, none of the results truly match the beaming elation of the original —until recently!
In 2020, Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough seeds were released through his new Homegrown Cannabis Company. Although they aren’t the exact same Strawberry Cough strain genetics, Kushman thinks they’re even better! Read on to learn more about Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough, including where to find seeds!
Strawberry Cough Strain Genetics
Vintage: circa 1999, Bridgeport, CT
Lineage: Strawberry Fields (female) x Thai Haze (male)
Strawberry Cough Strain Effects
Strawberry Cough is legendary for its powerful mood-enhancing effects, but it’s best known for what it doesn’t do! The uplifting, giggly effects can provide mental serenity that’s free from racing thoughts or distracting body load. It’s a perfect complement to creative and social tasks but also lends well to focus and productivity, even in stressful situations. When the effects wear off, they don’t leave the user tired, groggy, or grumpy — just refreshingly sober. Strawberry Cough is the perfect strain to start your day without skipping a beat!
Strawberry Cough Medical Benefits
Strawberry Cough is one of the most promising strains for the treatment of depression, trauma, and other psychological stress. It’s also a favorite choice for inducing appetite and reducing nausea when the need for pain relief is less drastic. The strain provides very little in the way of body sensations but users still report reduced muscle tension (perhaps that’s no surprise with such high spirits). Although it’s less prone to causing paranoia than most Haze varieties, patients with significant anxiety should still exercise caution and start with small doses.
Side effects include dry mouth, red eyes, and sometimes dizziness and paranoia.
Strawberry Cough Characteristics
Imitation Strawberry Cough is abundant but the real stuff is easy to distinguish: it smells exactly like fresh-picked strawberries! The sweet berry aroma may have cedar overtones with floral and earthy undertones that span hints of citrus, diesel, and herbs.
Strawberry Cough’s thick smoke is said by High Times’ Danny Danko to leave behind a sweet sandalwood smell wherever it’s been lit up, and Kyle Kushman once convinced a highway patrolman he’d only been burning incense after enjoying his namesake strain on the road.
When inhaled it tends to tickle the throat on its way down, and quickly expands in the user’s lungs. Even seasoned tokers may find themselves with sputtering lungs (yup, that’s where the name comes from!). The spicy characteristics of the beta-caryophyllene terpene present themselves in the flavor of Strawberry Cough, particularly on the exhale. When vaporized or smoked in a proper joint or low temperature pipe, the strawberry flavor is unmistakable — just don’t expect much berry flavor from fat bong rips or loose joints.
Strawberry Cough is a potent strain with moderate to high THC levels and very low CBD levels. Most examples are very myrcene dominant with lesser amounts of beta-caryophyllene, ocimene, limonene, and pinene. Other phenotypes have close to a 1:1 ratio of myrcene and beta-caryophyllene in addition to limonene, ocimene, and pinene.
Growing Strawberry Cough
Strawberry Cough has bright green buds with dark red pistils that give the flower a darker, forest-green hue from a distance. Its natural bushy structure does well in most growing environments, but plants tend to double in size during flower stretch. It grows best between 80-85 ℉ (70-75 ℉ at night) and roots quickly. Gradual pruning is recommended to reduce shock. Kyle Kushman’s Strawberry Cough is a very heavy nitrogen feeder and he recommends full strength nitrogen until the 4th week of flowering.
High Times says the original Strawberry Cough strain genetics flower in 56-63 days but Kyle Kushman recommends 70-84 days of flowering for his Strawberry Cough seeds. The true original was never available in seed form, but Kyle Kushman used the original clone and a Haze male to provide the most authentic replica possible. The seeds from this project can be found through the Homegrown Cannabis Company.
Kushman Genetics, in conjunction with dispensary Buds & Roses, won Best US Flower (1st Place) in High Times’ Seattle Cannabis Cup in 2013 with Strawberry Cough. Buds & Roses alone is credited with taking 2nd Place in the Best Sativa competition with this strain in High Times’ Denver Cannabis Cup in 2015. Strawberry Cough is also a favorite of British actor Michael Caine, which isn’t an award per se, but absolutely should be.
- Cannabis Pharmacy by Michael Backes, copyright 2017