Legend has it that Hindu god Shiva discovered the mind-expanding properties of cannabis when he meditated in the middle of a ganja field. Of the many bynames of Shiva, “Lord of Bhang” (bhang is an Indian cannabis preparation) and “The Destroyer” are particularly appropriate in the context of cannabis.
I closed my eyes and indulged in a colourful world of cannabis images passing through my head:
Shortly after that, Cannabis Cup champion Northern Lights #5 x Skunk #1 was renamed as “Shiva Skunk” – a somewhat cumbersome, technical working title is replaced by a catchy strain name with a mythical appeal. Sensi Seeds chose the name “Shiva” for good reasons of course:
But after what seems like an eternity, would Shiva Skunk still have those outstanding qualities that once made it so popular? Well, I wanted to check it out… And so I made two feminized seeds germinate. It took the seedlings less than 2.5 days to rise above the ground and reach towards the LED light.
These “Amsterdam gene pool” strains served as genetic building blocks for countless other varieties, thus playing a crucial role in modern cannabis breeding. In 1990, The Sensi Seed Club took over genetics and breeding from The Seed Bank, calling itself “The Sensi Seed Bank” from there on.
I kept them in the vegetative stage for three weeks, and this period saw them grow to heights of 23 and 26 cm, both showing a very stable growth pattern.
For this plant, the scales tipped in at 104 grams dry yield for the bigger plant and 79 grams for the smaller, an excellent outcome for both. Drying and fermenting the buds resulted in a more fine-tuned aroma, with increased prominence of those citrus notes while the musky nature had declined a little.
As is the case with many hybrids, Shiva Skunk can exhibit both sativa and indica qualities. Depending on a multitude of factors, a seed of Shiva Skunk can grow into one of two phenotypes: indica-dominant and sativa-dominant. The latter, however, is quite rare.
The two phenotypes are easy to distinguish, as the sativa phenotype is much slower to grow than the indica one. When the indica phenotype manifests itself, get ready for a darker plant that does not lack assets;
Shiva Skunk is one of Sensi’s historical strains, its genetics in cultivation since the 1980s. Join us on this cultivation test and discover Shiva Skunk!
About three weeks after germination, Skunk #1 Automatic automatically starts to bloom. Within 45 -50 days, it begins to produce big, resinous buds reminiscent of its famous skunk mother. The automatic version retains the typical sweet skunky fragrance.
Enjoying a daily light period of 20 hours (throughout the whole cultivation cycle), the two plants soon exhibited bushy growth with lots of strong side branches and fairly thin, dark green shade leaves. Approximately at the time stated by Sensi Seeds – after three weeks – they automatically started to flower. One of them even a few days earlier, presenting its first female preflowers after two weeks and four days. Growth was pretty homogeneous, with the plants measuring 34 cm and 38 cm in height on the onset of flowering.
German master grower, Ellis D, conducted an indoor test grow with Skunk #1 Automatic, striving to find out how close it would come to the original Skunk #1 in terms of quality. He germinated two seeds for that purpose, and they shot out of the ground like rockets after about two and a half days.
Skunk #1, bred from 25% Afghani, 25% Mexican Acapulco Gold and 50% Colombian Gold, was one of the first true-breeding varieties. As such, it evolved into the plant most frequently used for creating new cannabis varieties worldwide.
One week later, they put the pedal to the metal, shifting their flower production into high gear. Whilst producing astoundingly vast amounts of flower clusters, the plants kept on stretching significantly. When stem elongation had come to an end after about three weeks into flowering, one of the plants had revealed a more open and expansive branching pattern than the other.
The plant that started to flower a bit earlier also finished sooner. After 65 days, Ellis D. could pull out the scissors for harvesting. Having grown to a total height of 68 cm, it produced a massive central cola and lots of lovely side tops. The side tops of the bushier plant were as big, bushy, and fat as the central cola they were surrounding – a spectacular view. This plant arrived at a height of 61 cm and was fully ripe after 69 days.
The buds weighed in at 59 and 72 grams which Ellis D. regarded as a magnificent result:
Within an hour and a half, the effects began to fade away, leaving only a very gentle sense of relaxation, as though he had been in a long sauna session. Ellis D. shares his experience:
“This strain packs tremendous blooming power! Within six to seven weeks of flowering, lots of big fat buds have appeared on those numerous branches that are on a par with the original Skunk #1. It’s particularly impressive that these buds are blessed with an incredibly high calyx-to-leaf ratio – I’ve rarely experienced auto buds with such a low leaf count. An absolutely ‘hairy’ affair!
In this cannabis strain story, we share all the strain information on the legendary Skunk #1. We also share a full grow report on Skunk #1 Automatic.