The cannabis breeding scene has flourished tremendously, making the market more cutthroat than ever. As a consumer, the deluge of options makes choosing one perplexing. For convenience, most people resort to picking a strain from iconic lineages - the uplifting Haze, the fuel-smelling Diesel, the relaxing Kush, or the energizing Lemon and Orange.
Cheese family belongs to this exclusive group of legendary genetics. Together with its descendants, virtually all exude a stinky aroma and the savory flavor of sour cheese. More importantly, these strains boast of heavenly effects.
Get to Know the Cheese Strains
"The secret ingredient is always cheese." Not only is this true in culinary but also in cannabis. For one, the unique flavor it exudes is attention-grabbing and keeps one coming back for more. But, the smell and taste combination is only the tip of the iceberg. There's more to love about this delectable family.
The Creation of Cheese
In the 80s, Sam "the Skunkman" - a grower from California - relocated to the Netherlands. He brought with him the legendary Skunk #1, an iconic strain he had created. It became an instant hit among Dutch growers due to a faster growth cycle than many others. However, the pungent, skunky scent is not everyone's "cup of tea." In some instances, it brought unwanted attention and stirred conflicts among neighbors.
By 1988, a batch of Skunk seeds found its way to the UK and into the garden of a cannabis grower in South East England. Surprisingly, of the bunch of Skunk #1s, a phenotype with a distinct stench of cheese emerged. Aside from its unique, captivating fragrance, it also produces massive yields and a soaring euphoric high.
Due to its several promising traits, the cultivator decided to clone the phenotype. It proved to be the correct call as the new variety was widely accepted. By the 1990s, it had already spread throughout the UK and beyond, proliferating in rave scenes and festivals.
Many of the classic strains today were products of meticulous planning and years upon years of development. In the case of Cheese, its existence is, in some ways, luck. For one, there had to be just enough variation in the environmental condition and genetics that led to its emergence. More importantly, it had to be in the hands of an experienced, knowledgeable grower who recognized its greatness.
Some might think of Cheese as an alternative to Skunk #1 with regards to fragrance and flavor. But, its popularity continued to soar. Soon enough, not only did it make a clean break, but it also became a legendary lineage as well.
Where's the Stink From?
Cheese and most of its descendants have a savory and slightly spicy flavor that stands out amongst the usual earthy varieties. Additionally, many connoisseurs find it to have a more refined note than fruity strains.
What makes it so different, though?
Well, it all boils down to one factor - terpene composition. These are the chemical compounds found in the plant, especially in the trichomes:
- Isovaleric acid - has a pungent cheesy or sweaty smell
- Octanoic acid - has a rancid odor
- Methyl tert-butyl ether - smells sweet and fruity like a pineapple
- Ethyl methyl acetic acid - has the sweet scent of pear drops
- Hexanoic acid - has the stench of a barnyard
- Methyl mercaptan - smells like rotten cabbage or animal feces
The source of its unmistakable aroma is the individual terpenes and compounds. Each one is either enticing or appalling. However, when combined, this sophisticated umami taste is more subdued and incredibly appealing.
How to Grow Your Cheese?
Most of the strains from the Cheese family line tend to be straightforward to grow under the right conditions. Generally, these plants are resilient and can handle humidity fluctuations. Most also have a somewhat quick flowering time ranging from 8 to 9 weeks.
As for the upkeep, Cheese strains require a consistent temperature between 21 to 26°C to stay comfortable. Its bushy foliage also needs pruning or defoliating to prevent moisture buildup and maximize bud production. If allowed to stretch, some could reach 180-210 cm (6-7 ft) tall. Hence, it may require some form of manipulation to control the height. The Screen of Green (ScrOG) is the most recommended training technique as it can also enhance the overall quality and yields. Auto cheese strains are also an option as these are naturally small plants if vertical space is a challenge.
Best Cheese Strains
"Life is great. Cheese makes it better." - Avery Aames, "The Long Quiche Goodbye"
While Aames was not referring to the cannabis family, Cheese enthusiasts cannot help but agree. You can even choose how cheesy or which Cheese strain you want to accompany this moment of 'betterment'.
Depending on the variant's terpene expression, it can be as light as a mild aged cheddar or can be as stenchy as France's very own Big Stink - the Pont l'Eveque. Of course, also consider other factors such as the THC level and known effects of the strain to ensure a satisfactory experience.
Under the right conditions, most strains from this family would average around 17% THC. Because of the richness and excellent makeup of the terpenes enhancing the effects, its potency tends to be intense.
When rounding up the best Cheese strains, leaving out the matriarch is impossible. Original Cheese is notoriously pungent - like aged blue cheese, but with a slight hint of sweetness. Public consumption of the bud is sure to turn heads, some from envious fellow users. If staying low-key is crucial, only enjoy this flower in private or amongst like-minded friends.
The mental effects of the Original Cheese kick in fast. It immediately induces an uplifting euphoria and heightened sensory perception. Due to the increased sensitivity to stimuli, it is best not to mix this strain with tasks that require focus. It can, however, be used to spice up rounds of everyday chores or when taking your "me" time. Additionally, the bud paves the way for interesting chats, making it an excellent social variant, but only for light settings.
Original Cheese feminized seeds are ideal for growers who do not plan to breed and would like to avoid the hassle of having to separate the males. It yields 400 to 500 grams per sqm of indoor space and up to 600 grams per plant outdoors. That's a heavy load of buds that reeks extremely aromatic fragrance. Save your neighbors from a whole day of smelling stinky cheese by installing odor-blocking carbon filters.
Do you like fresh, zesty fruits and cheese? Well, Homegrown Cannabis Co. has the perfect strain for you - Blue Cheese. It smells like a pungent, well-aged cheese with sweet notes of berries, which it inherited from none other than Blueberry. Quickly after its delectable vapor enters the system, an improved mood can be noticed. The relaxing head to toe high, though, would not kick in on the first hit. All the same, let the effects manifest and settle first before taking another dose. This bud has an average THC content of 20%, so immoderate dosages may cause unwanted side effects.
Ideal for seasoned users with limited cannabis gardening experience, Blue Cheese is relatively easy growth. It has high resilience against molds and mildew. The plant also thrives both indoors and out, as well as in all types of media. However, to encourage more potent fragrance and flavors, it is best to grow it in soil. Its feminized seeds flowers for 8 to 9 weeks, while the autoflowering seeds go from germination to harvest in just 9 to 11 weeks.
A cross between the classics Cheese and Diesel renowned for unique flavors, Cheese Diesel was destined to share an unforgettable hit. It has a kerosene-like taste with a subtle acid-set note of sour milk cheese. After shocking the olfaction (in a good way), waves of euphoria and a relaxing body buzz follow. It results in an upbeat yet calm disposition that can be enjoyed both in social situations and solo cerebral flight time.
Because of the dense structure of Blue Cheese, it is susceptible to moisture accumulation, making it a potential breeding ground for pathogens. To prevent this, suit the grow area with optimal humidity level (40-50%) and temperature (21 to 26°C). Also prune away inessential leaves and branches to allow air to circulate. Meanwhile, to make sure every grow space is used on plants that are sure to develop into females, cultivate its feminized seeds and never have to worry about pollination.
A promising new hybrid, Critical x Cheese Candy is an incredibly delectable yet potent bud. It tastes like key lime cheesecake with a bit of mint but hits like a truck. So, no matter how mouth-watering it is, moderate consumption is strictly advised. As long as enjoyed in moderation, mood uplifting and physically calming effects are sure to be experienced. Also anticipate relief from anxiety, stress, depression, chronic pain, among others.
The regular seeds of this strain are perfect for breeders who would like to create new variants with the sought-after traits of Critical and Cheese. Meanwhile, when only growing for consumption, it rewards your hard work with around 500 grams per sqm (indoors) and a whopping 700 to 1300 grams from every outdoor-grown plant. Well, it looks like lucky cultivators need to go shopping for more mason jars with this cannabis.
Patients seeking alleviation from cannabis without its psychoactive high and potential side effects can rely on CBD Cream and Cheese. It has a 1:1 THC/CBD ratio, which means it has enough CBD (around 18%) to counter the adverse upshots of THC. The bud efficiently mitigates mental health conditions such as seizures, anxiety, stress, depression, and bipolar disorder. Chronic pain from the likes of migraine, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis also disappears for at least a couple of hours. Even nicer, the strain can be paired with any activity as it increases focus and only delivers mild cerebral buzz.
The feminized seeds of CBD Cream and Cheese mature into a mid-sized plant with a sturdy structure. Thanks to its Skunk lineage, it is also highly resistant to pathogens despite its bushy form. These advantages, plus the absence of males, make it straightforward to cultivate. In fact, the variant can be grown by medical marijuana users with minimal to zero cannabis gardening experience.