Although chronic is a popular catch-all term for cannabis -- appearing in everything from Dr. Dre albums to contemporary fiction -- Chronic is also the name of a particular strain. Chronic is a cross between three powerhouse varieties: AK-47, Northern Lights, and Skunk #1. It comes to us from Serious Seeds, the Canadian producers responsible for strains like White Russian and Double Dutch. Chronic delivers a well-rounded high that’s right at home in a variety of situations. Its THC content has been measured at between 10% and 20%; the strain also includes the therapeutic cannabinoid CBD, with levels ranging from 1% to 13%.
Chronic is marked by small to medium flowers that cling together in clustered, popcorn-like formations. The buds hold a dense, indica-typical structure with tightly-coiled leaves. The leaves themselves are a musty shade of olive green, offset by vibrant red pistils. A coat of translucent amber trichomes covers the inner and outer surfaces of Chronic’s flowers, lending them a dewy, yellowish tint.
When properly cured, Chronic explodes with a strong, skunky odor. Sweet and earthy base notes provide a contrast to this powerful funk; on closer inspection, there are also some woodsy hints of pine. Breaking open or grinding up Chronic’s buds yields a hashy, spicy scent, perhaps evidence of the Afghani landrace in parent strain AK-47’s roots. When combusted, this strain burns with an acrid smoke that many describe as harsh and cough-inducing. The smoke tastes slightly fruity and peppery on the exhale and may linger on the palate for a while afterward. Those looking to keep their cannabis consumption discreet should take some precautions, as Chronic can be a very pungent smoke.
Chronic’s high takes effect quickly, rocketing smokers into an intense headspace marked by fast-paced, freely associative thinking. This mindset is good for creative brainstorming and for analytically working through problem-oriented scenarios. In its early stages, Chronic can also be a good complement to mundane activities like cleaning or running errands. In social settings, the strain’s upbeat vibes can translate into giddy conversation and shared laughter. As time passes, this hybrid’s body high emerges, in part due to its CBD content. The growing sense of physical relaxation is good for unwinding with friends after a long day or, alternatively, taking yourself on a solo date to the movies. Although Chronic’s sedation can put smokers’ bodies out of commission in high enough doses, it tends to leave their minds relatively clear. A great remedy for insomnia, Chronic is best enjoyed during the evening or right before bed. The high is said to be long lasting -- in some cases persisting for up to six hours -- even for veteran cannabis consumers.
Chronic’s levels of CBD shine through to confer benefits for medical cannabis patients. The strain can temporarily numb deep-seated aches and pains, both temporary and long-term.
CBD also comes in handy to confer med benefit. It may also provoke hunger for those who have lost their appetites to disease or to severe treatments like chemotherapy. Psychologically speaking, Chronic can help those with attention deficit disorders to sustain concentration. Because the mind race associated with this strain’s onset can often lead to paranoia, it is not recommended for those who are prone to panic or who have a low tolerance for THC.
Several producers have made seeds of Chronic available for sale online. It can be grown indoors or out, although successful outdoor cultivation requires a semi-humid climate with daytime temperatures between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it boasts a favorable flower to leaf ratio, Chronic does not require regular “topping” or pruning in order to maximize yield. This strain flowers within a long 9 to 10 weeks when grown indoors. Just as it can be a pungent smoke, Chronic can also be a very pungent grow: cultivators who want to keep their operations under wraps should invest in odor control measures like exhaust fans or carbon air filters.
A potent and full-bodied hybrid, Chronic makes a great all-purpose strain for the seasoned smoker. Its name (which is something of a throwback) can also be a fun way to embrace 90s nostalgia.