At a Glance
What Is Jack Herer?
To answer this question and more, we turned to the experts at 7ACRES (grown by Supreme) and Good Supply (grown by Aphria).
Said to be a cross between Northern Lights and Shiva Skunk, this sativa-dominant hybrid is named after legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer and is popular among cannabis history buffs.
While many strains are named for their aromas (such as Mango Haze, Tangerine Dream and Blueberry, to name a few) Jack Herer takes its name from a person. And not just any person, but a legendary member of the cannabis community.
To get the whole story, we talked to Travis DeWolfe, genetics manager at Aphria. “The exact history of the strain is elusive, unlike the man it is named after,” says DeWolfe. “Jack Herer was an influential advocate for decriminalization and legalization of cannabis, famous for his 1985 book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Although Jack Herer passed in 2010, his legend lives on in the path he carved for legalization and in this classic world-renowned strain.”
As a strain, Jack Herer has cemented its place in cultivar history as a parent to several other strains, including Lemon Jack, Blue Jack City and Jack Haze. We talked to Kyle Primeau, director of cultivation at Supreme, about how Jack Haze came to earn a spot in their strain rotation. “Jack Haze was found during an intensive phenotype selection conducted in-house at our Supreme Kincardine facility in early 2019,” Primeau explains. “This particular phenotype stood out from the rest due to its unique terpinolene-dominant aromatic profile, dense bud structure and high-THC and terpene content.”
Fitting for a strain named after a cannabis pioneer, Jack Herer has a classic look, with light green colouration and bright orange pistils.
The aroma, too, is instantly familiar. When you open a jar of this sativa-dominant hybrid, you’ll recognize its piney, earthy and citrusy aromas, which really pop when vaped or smoked. "It’s everything you could hope for in a cultivar — solid, strong morphology and an absolute classic,” says DeWolfe.
Many of those same characteristics can also be found in Jack Haze. “It expresses a unique combination of sweet citrus, crisp pine and warm spice notes,” says Jeremy Timoteo, brand manager at 7ACRES. “The sharp-sweet notes are characteristic of old-school haze cultivars and the distinct aroma is reminiscent of the legendary Jack Herer cultivar.”
Jack Herer is known for its versatility: it grows well both indoors and outdoors, and its height varies depending on how it’s grown.
Aphria’s approach to growing this classic strain starts with the mother plants. “Our cuttings are taken from a strict selection of the healthiest plants. From there we propagate our Jack Herer clones, tending to their nutrient needs closely,” says DeWolfe. “By monitoring the plant growth closely, we’re able to maximize each plant’s potential.”
Over at Supreme, growing 7ACRES’ Jack Haze requires “late afternoon sunlight and higher humidity and temperatures,” explains Primeau. Once it flowers, the plant is quite the showstopper. “Jack Haze is a very beautiful plant once flowered out. Light green flowers with lots of white and even pink-hued pistils,” Primeau says. “Late-stage flower exhibits some unique sour and even oniony aromas in addition to the bright citrus and warm spice notes.”
Like with any strain, growing Jack Herer can come with challenges. “It tends to grow tall and stretchy, leaving undesirable buds as an outcome,” Aphria’s DeWolfe explains. “Timing each stage correctly leads to a beautiful harvest with buds filled with a unique aroma and moderate potency.”
What Is a Strain?
To understand what a cannabis strain is, think of it like a breed of dog. While all dogs share similar traits, there are distinct differences among breeds (you wouldn’t confuse a Great Dane with a dachshund, for example). When it comes to different cannabis strains, this means one may have a sweet, lemony aroma, while another may boast a pungent, sour, diesel-like scent.
These differences have been fine-tuned by cannabis growers over many generations. Growers will choose two plants with desirable traits and then cross (or breed) those plants together, creating an offspring with a stronger expression of those desirable characteristics. When breeding cannabis plants, growers are often focused on the unique aroma and taste, and the potential THC and CBD content. Just like no two Great Danes are identical, strains can vary from lot to lot and grower to grower.