The Origins of Super Silver Haze
Article from Treating Yourself Magazine.
Super Silver Haze cannabis is a pure haze sativa crossed with skunk #One and Northern light cannabis strain to keep the unique sativa quality. Although the cerebral high of the sativa is preferred by many indoor growers aren’t too fond of the pure sativa strains. Sativa’s get very tall take a long time to finish off and produce skimpy yields. But by crossing the Haze the most powerful sativa in the world to non-dominant indica’s, it became possible to get the height and flowering time of the Super silver haze cannabis plant down to an acceptable level, produce more yield and still retain the unique sativa qualities of the high. Super silver haze is a great strain to smoke because of her floating sativa high. Super Silver Haze was the first prize winner at the High Times Cannabis Cup in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and also won awards at the High Times harvest festival. The effects when smoked are said to be more stimulating and uplifting than indica type of cannabis because of it’s C. sativa ancestry. Super silver haze is a great strain to smoke because of her floating sativa high. Super silver Haze is also used as a very effective medicinal high.
Flowering Period: 10 to 12 weeks
Sometimes it’s all too difficult to see the light through the ‘Haze’. In California during the 1960’s and ’70s there were two men who were known as the ‘Haze Brothers’ who are widely believed to have been the originators of the variety of cannabis known today as ‘Haze’. Described by Sam the Skunk Man as “R. Haze” and “J. Haze”, the two are said to be brothers who are responsible for the initial creation of the variety that would later go on to be a pillar in the breeding community. The brothers are said not to have set out to breed the plants specifically, but that the plants were rather chance hybridizations between varieties that happened to be available in seed form at the time the plants were grown. Many varieties were being introduced to the west coast at the time, some of which were obtained by roaming hippies and surfers who would bring cannabis seeds back with them from far away lands that they had visited for spiritual quest or surfing adventures. Before the two brothers ultimately had a falling out, and went their separate ways, with one reportedly moving to Mexico for some time, they left behind many a stoner with a story to tell from the infamous variety known as “Haze”. With various stories being attributed to the origins of ‘Haze’, the exact pedigree is something of a debate in many circles. Depending on whom you talk with (and for that matter, whom you believe) the pedigree of Haze is Thai x Columbian, with “The Original Haze” said to have genetics from India in the mix as well. But with that being said, there are various factions throughout the marijuana community who believe there is a touch of Mexican Sativa somewhere in there as well; along with the ever present debate on the role Jamaican cannabis has played in some of the more suspect Haze varieties on the market today.
According to ‘Sam the Skunk Man’, an early pioneer in the cannabis industry who is believed to have brought several outstanding varieties of cannabis from the United States overseas to Holland (including ‘Original Haze’), the ‘Original Haze’ was a pure sativa line, that did not have any hermaphrodite tendencies despite its Thai origins and it typically had an above average female to male ratio, in the 60-70% mark, with the best phenotypes typically being the later finishing varieties. Haze came in several colors throughout its early history, with purple, red, silver and other assorted colors mentioned as being available during that time period (incidentally, Sam the Skunk Man claims the Purple Haze was the best of the bunch). In Sam’s version of events detailing the history of ‘Original Haze’, he brought the variety to Holland in 1976 and all subsequent varieties of Haze there after are either directly or indirectly related through hybridization to the lines he originally introduced to Holland at the time. The taste and high of the “Original Haze” have been described by Sam as being fruity, reminiscent of root beer cola, chocolate at times with even colorful words like “sweet and sour” used to describe the numerous terpenes found in the variety of cannabis known as ‘Haze’. Sam has described the F1 ‘Original Haze’ as being consistent in phenotype expression but the subsequent inbred generations that approached the F5 status as “segregated into many different lines”. The strains period of maturation is also something of debate, with the now benefactors of the official ‘Original Haze’, The Flying Dutchmen( who acquired their stock directly from Sam the Skunk Man himself), listing the flowering times at 12-16 weeks. A former staff member of the Flying Dutchmen, known as Amsterdammer, has been quoted as saying he believed the ‘Original Haze’ was usually harvested around the 15-16 week mark at the Cannabis College, a museum/exhibit also ran by the Flying Dutchmen which routinely displays varieties of Cannabis held in the Dutchmen bibliotheca. The effects of the ‘Original Haze’ is described as a “Very potent, clear up, energetic high”, something typically associated with cannabis varieties with Sativa dominant traits. It is worth noting the ‘Original Haze’ held by the Flying Dutchmen has been stabilized, in other words it was inbred quite a bit upon arriving in Holland in the 70’s and therefore does not contain the same amount of diversity found in the original, “Californian Haze”. Touted as a pure breeding variety (the only pure haze available), the ‘Original Haze’ is recommended to use as “breeding stock” that will invariably improve the quality of your existing stock rather than as a variety that should be cultivated solely for commercial/recreational/medicinal use.
All of this above of course, is just one version of events surrounding the history of Haze. Another man, known in the marijuana community as ‘Old Ed’ is also said to have brought “Haze” to Holland directly from the Haze brothers in the 1970’s. With yet another twist to the tale, Neville Schoenmaker, an Australian Cannabis breeder (who is also the father of Dutch Seed Banks) is said to have received seeds from the Haze brothers as well. In fact, his ‘Haze’ varieties were obtained from seeds made in 1969 and allegedly represent the earliest known examples of Haze still available in the world today. Not surprisingly, according to Sam the Skunk Man, Neville had never even seen a Haze plant until 1984 or 1985 (Sam has been quoted as using both dates to describe this theory) when, again, according to Sam the Skunk Man, he had given Neville his “worst” Haze clone because he “did not trust” Neville. Interestingly enough, Sam has also been quoted on different occasions as saying he gave Neville a male clone of the ‘Original Haze’ and at other times has been quoted as stating it was a female clone. The facts, as per Sam the Skunk Man seem cloudy at best, and usually vary depending on the day he is recounting them. So not surprisingly, the exact details surrounding the acquisition of the ‘Haze’ which would later go on to change the face of modern cannabis breeding, is still somewhat of a mystery 30 years after its arrival in Holland. But, as previously mentioned above, another story (and the most reliable) has it that the Haze Brothers met with Neville and personally exchanged the real “Californian Haze” with the Australian breeder and original “King of Cannabis”. The ‘Haze’ had a storied journey upon arrival in the Netherlands, with many famous names, companies, and “organizations” taking part and/or having a hand in its development such as Sacred Seeds, Cultivators Choice, Sensi Seeds, The Green House Seed Company etc. Many of those companies are now bankrupt, no longer in business, mismanagement/ownership changes, etc. A lot of the original stock was assimilated into other cannabis seed companies, or in some extreme cases were simply lost. There may indeed be separate lines of Haze available to the public today, all of which claim to be the genuine article. Speculation abounds that during the development of Haze, which happened over a period years, that the exact pedigree of the variety is determined by the vintage year the variety’s were bred. In other words, different varieties were hybridized over the course of the Hazes development thus resulting in individual pedigree being ultimately determined by the season your particular Haze was hybridized. Haze has also become a generic term in modern times; used to describe numerous sativa varieties that share common traits associated with all sativa cultivars. There are varieties that appear very similar to haze, but have suspect histories and stories behind them that can lead the average man trying to keep track of all the lineages over the edge. Whatever the case may be, it is a documented fact that Neville’s lines of ‘Haze’ have gone on to play a pivotal role in the breeding of some of the most famous varieties of cannabis available in modern times. Varieties such as the world famous Super Silver Haze and others have dominated the various festivals throughout the years including the High Times Cannabis Cup, and can trace their lineage directly to the ‘Haze’ lines obtained and first marketed by Neville at The Seed Bank in the 1980’s.
During the 1980’s, Neville Shoenmaker, allegedly traveled to the Netherlands to obtain treatment for a drug addiction, because at the time, the Dutch were renowned for their addiction treatment facilities. While there, Neville slowly started the first Dutch marijuana mail order seed bank, and over the course of time became very successful for himself, ultimately becoming a legend in the marijuana breeding community for his efforts to introduce, market, breed and distribute some of the most high profile varieties of cannabis of our time. Varieties such as Haze, Northern Lights, Afghani, Hindu Kush, G13, etc. became household names all over the world and these varieties quickly gained reputations for themselves as some of the most outstanding cannabis strains to ever grace a hillside or greenhouse. All of the aforementioned varieties above have their own unique and colorful histories, but their marketing and distribution to the masses can be accredited too the charismatic Australian breeder known as the original ‘King of Cannabis’, and were all made famous during the 1980’s at Neville’s mansion, The Cannabis Castle, and sold through his catalogs for The Seed Bank, Holland’s first Cannabis Seed distribution company. The Seed Bank, ran by Neville (a man who once boosted to have set the school record for number of strapping’s received in a year (over 900)), was the first Dutch seed bank in the Netherlands and eventually lead to an entire industry of cannabis seed breeders who decided to cash in on the underground market for quality cannabis seeds, many of whom just rehashed Neville’s original varieties with new names, new hybrids and new stories that only continue to grow as the years passed by. Today, many of the varieties who have gained notoriety in the past 20 years are directly descended from the varieties offered at The Seed Bank during the 1980s, with many being the same old genetics, but with a new name and occasionally a different twist. Many of the varieties Neville marketed were later sold to his partner, Ben Dronkers at Sensi Seeds, which later became one of the most prolific seed banks in Holland during the early to mid 90s, likely attributed to the fact they were using stock purchased directly from Neville which were the originals that were marketed from the early days at The Seed Bank. Neville went on to many endeavors in Holland, working as both a breeder for select companies, as well as providing marijuana for many Dutch coffee shops, even owning his own coffee shop.Sometime in the late 1980’s or early ‘90s he was arrested in Perth, Australia after being listed on America’s Top Ten Most Wanted and spent a year and a half in a western Australia jail fighting an illegal extradition case with grounds for an appeal being that Neville held both a Dutch and Australian passport. From there, Neville spent quite a few years afterwards underground before re-emerging in the early half of the 21st century as a breeder and consultant with Mr. Nice Seeds, along side fellow Australian breeder, and legend in his own right, Shantibaba. Today, many of the top haze hybrids available on the market can be found at Mr. Nice Seeds, all of which can be traced back to the original ‘Haze’ lines obtained by Neville during the ‘80s which have gone on to win numerous awards in the cannabis industry. Along with Neville, Shantibaba (formally the Founder/Owner/Breeder of The Green House Seed Company in 1994) has taken many of the legendary old school lines of cannabis(and new school), and continued to set the standard for all other seed companies in the industry to follow. Almost all of the awards attributed to the top ‘Hazes’ today can be traced back to stock possessed by Neville and Shantibaba at the Mr. Nice seed bank.
Some of the top haze varieties offered by Mr. Nice Seeds, (fronted by Legendary International Hash Smuggler Howard Marks) include the infamous Super Silver Haze, which is a Northern Lights, Skunk#1 and Haze hybrid described as “the stash of stashes” that leaves one “gasping for reality” after only a few short hits from this multiple time Cannabis Cup winner. Along with Super Silver Haze, its sister variety Mango Haze has quickly garnered a reputation for herself as being amongst the finest strains of cannabis available from Holland at present time. On paper, the differences between the two varieties appears slight, however they are quite significant. The actual pedigree of Super Silver Haze consist of (Skunk x Haze C) x (Northern Lights#5 x Haze C). With Haze C, being the result of a union of two pure haze varieties that were discovered from Haze seed stock made in 1969. This is where things can get confusing for a novice gardener, there yet exists another pure Haze variety, known in the Mr. Nice Seed circles as Haze A, which also consists of a union between two pure Hazes plants that date back to 1969. Both Haze A and Haze C are related varieties. The Mango Haze father plant is a (Skunk x Haze C) variety, which is also said to be the same father as Super Silver Haze, while the mother plant is a separate (Northern Lights #5x Haze C) variety, the sister plant to the mother of Super Silver Haze. You may have to stop and think about that for a second, but it should come to you with some time. It should be noted, technically both Mango Haze and Super Silver Haze are 50% Haze varieties, however Mango Haze overall in terms of growth characteristic appears to be the more Sativa of the two sister varieties. Having grown both varieties personally, I can tell you they are both excellent and well worth the time and effort required to grow them. Along with Super Silver Haze and Mango Haze, perhaps the most elusive and sought after ‘Haze’ variety on the market, is the aptly named ‘Neville’s Haze’. A variety which is touted as the most powerful cannabis known to mankind, the Neville’s Haze is a 3/4’s pure Haze variety that was crossed with a Northern Light’s variety in order to keep the flowering times remotely reasonable for most cultivators. The pedigree of ‘Neville’s Haze’ is actually Haze C on the male side of the lineage, crossed with a (Northern Lights x Haze A) female variety. Again, Haze C is the result of a union between two pure haze variety’s from 1969, with Haze A also sharing the same pedigree, which itself, is also the result of a union between two pure haze variety’s from 1969. Other Haze varieties available from Mr. Nice Seeds include (Afghan x Skunk) x (Afghan x Haze), (Afghan x Haze), Mango Haze x Neville’s Haze, Early Pearl x (Skunk x Haze), Mango Widow (Mango Haze x White (Black) Widow), Early Queen x Haze, and La Nina, who’s pedigree consist of the original White Widow father (South Indian hybrid) crossed to a pure Haze female, which is neither Haze A or Haze C.
In conclusion, the true history of Haze may never be known for certain. There are different versions of the legend, all of which seem to be cemented in some kind of fact but which are recounted differently according to the individuals you speak with. There are constants in the story though, such as the fact the Haze variety comes from two individuals known as the Haze Brothers, who were from the west coast of the United States of America who worked with numerous tropical sativa varieties in their quest to create what we now know today as Haze. There are numerous questionable haze’s available on the market as well, with the term “Haze” used quite loosely in modern times when describing varieties with known sativa characteristics as a species, not as an individual, specifically named variety. For those looking for haze varieties that are without question the best in overall quality , (with the awards, history and praise to back up their assertions), Mr. Nice seeds headed up by the legendary Shantibaba, Neville and Howard Marks may very well be your best bet in the quest for the true and authentic ‘Haze’.
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