Strawberry Cough

Tim Harris

The Strawberry Cough strain has a fun backstory! As stoner legend Kyle Kushman tells it, he was in Connecticut when a friend asked if Kushman would be willing to visit a fan that was dying to meet him. Kyle obliges, but when led into the basement, he was disappointed to find a real amateur set-up full of unhappy plants. Not the worst thing to find a stranger’s basement, but let’s digress. Kushman gives his fan a few pointers and begins to leave, but our anonymous grower stops him at the door and hands him a paper bag with a puny clone in it. Kushman thinks no more of it until he arrives home to NYC. Puzzled by the faint scent of strawberries in his kitchen, his eyes finally lock onto the humble paper bag and the clone that would be refined into Strawberry Cough! You can hear Kushman tell the story himself on this Ganjier episode.

strawberry cough cannabis bud photo

Strawberry Cough Strain Genetics

Vintage: circa 1999, Bridgeport, CT

Breeder: Anonymous

Lineage: Strawberry Fields (female) x Thai Haze (male) 

Strawberry Cough Strain Effects

Strawberry cough is legendary for it’s powerful mood enhancing effects, but it’s known best 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 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

Bright green buds form large bulbous colas with dark red pistils. Natural Bushy structure does well in most growing environments, but tends to double size during flower stretch. Grows best between 80-85 ℉ (70-75 at  night). Roots quickly. Gradual pruning is recommended to reduce shock. Very heavy nitrogen feeder, Kyle Kushman recommends full strength nitrogen until the 4th week of flowering. 

High Times says the original clone flowers 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. It’s even featured by his character in the movie Children of Men!  


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