“If you love to smoke, grow S.A.G.E.!” - said famous cannabis scientist Robert Connell Clarke about S.A.G.E. twelve years ago when this strain came ou
Well, not many, not to say no other, strains get such a testimony from the world’s leading cannabis expert, and Rob Clarke certainly wouldn’t have staked his good name for a mediocre strain. No wonder S.A.G.E. won early applause at the High Times Cannabis Cup 1999, when it took first place in the hash contest, and then secured second place in the blind test of the 2001 Cup. T.H. Seeds reports that in addition to Rob Clarke, also Cypress Hill, The Fun Lovin Criminals and Pharcyde used to swear by S.A.G.E. – much prominent praise for this classic sativa/indica hybrid the THC content of which was once measured at over extremely strong 20 percent.
The strain name S.A.G.E. stands for Sativa Afghani Genetic Equilibrium, but also describes its specific aroma. T.H. Seeds reports:
“To achieve the best of both worlds, a fantastic sativa punch and huge indica yield, we coupled the old-school Cali sativa with our chunkiest true Afghan breeder to produce a flavor and power packed plant.”
That Cali sativa is a famous Haze line named “Big Sur Holy” that according to Rob Clarke “came to Amsterdam via an independent introduction from Big Sur, forming the basis for the Sage lines developed by T.H. Seeds.” That breeding strategy of crossing a pure sativa with a pure indica strain usually results in the so-called hybrid vigor effect which means that the resulting next generation plants exhibit particularly strong and vivid growth and blooming, outperforming their parents in any aspect. S.A.G.E. is expected to reach maturity within 70-77 days of flowering, achieving a height of 120-140 cm and 300-350 grams per sqm. T.H. Seeds promises:
“High THC and low CBD make this plant a perfect head stash variety. Spicy sandalwood flavor combined with a long lasting and uplifting high make this the plant for those who must have the best. Longer flowering time is rewarded with large buds that will seem to double in size in the last few weeks.”
Mr. Power-Planter had grown S.A.G.E. for the first time in 2001, very well pleased with the results. One of the S.A.G.E. plants back then became especially magnificient in terms of both quality and quantity so that Mr. Power-Planter called her “The Queen”. Ten years later, he wanted to find out whether this classic strain has kept its outstanding quality level and used a full package of ten regular S.A.G.E. seeds for his cultivation test. Those ten seeds were sown into jiffy pots and healthily sprouted, after three and a half days reaching the jiffy surface in good shape. The S.A.G.E. seedlings were grown together with lots of other plants, in a room with three 600 W ‘Green Bud’ metal halide lamps equipped with adjust-a-wings reflectors (without spreaders). One week after germination, the plants were transplanted into 11 litre containers filled with Plagron Standard soil mix. Under 18 hours of light per day, the young S.A.G.E. plants seemed to really exhibit that beneficial hybrid vigor effect, vigorously growing with elegantly shaped sativa dominant leaves and an early onset of vivid side branching. And Mr. Power-Planter noticed another typical effect of that pure sativa x pure indica breeding constellation which was uniformity: The ten plants grew pretty homogeneously, growth was very compact in the vegetative stage, with the plants having about eight internodes three weeks after germination, at heights of 45-55 cm. At that point of time, Mr. Power Planter induced flowering by cutting the 18/6 light period down to 12/12 hours of light, at the same time replacing the metal halide lamps with three 600 W Osram HPS lamps. Within 7-9 days, all of the ten plants revealed their gender, six of them turned out to be female and four male, the latter were discarded.
Flower production soon turned out to be as vivid as the plants’ previous vegetative growth, after four weeks of blooming, there were many budding sites allover the main stems and branches, with the blooming pattern being more or less the same on all the six S.A.G.E. plants, typically sativa, many small calyxes with thin flower leaves. There was a clearly noticeable stretching effect also, raising the expectation of end heights of easily more than one meter. More and more resin glands were emerging on the calyxes and flower leaves, effecting a nice hazey smell. Bud formation became abundant and very tight in the following weeks of flowering, with all the six plants exhibiting a high calyx-to-leaf-ratio and big long tops. One S.A.G.E. plant was doing particularly well, adopting a classic christmas tree growth pattern, producing the biggest buds of all the plants. “The Queen is back!”, Mr. Power-Planter cheered, as that plant resembled very much that tremendous S.A.G.E. plant he had called “The Queen” ten years ago.
That fresh hazey-sagey odour given off by the plants naturally wasn’t overwhelmingly strong, not penetrating, which could be considered a beneficial factor for stealth growers, Mr. Power-Planter thought. It turned out that “The Queen” tended to flower much longer than the other five S.A.G.E. plants that reached maturity between day 74 and 80 of flowering, matching the description of T.H. Seeds. Mr. Power-Planter happily harvested those duly five S.A.G.E. plants that had arrived at heights of 125, 127, 130, 135, 140 and 145 cm which was impressively uniform. Just like a pure Haze strain, the S.A.G.E. plants didn’t have abundant amounts of resin on their flower leaves, but their sugary calyxes looked silvery white and most promising. Mr. Power-Planter was curious how long The Queen would keep on flowering, at the point of time when the other five plants were harvested, she only had a very few withered flower hairs, while the production of fresh new white hairs was still going on. Mr. Power-Planter was fascinated by her gorgeous beauty and many terrific long thick buds, expecting a real bumper harvest, so he certainly didn’t lack patience – which was helpful as The Queen really took quite a while to ripen, after 99 days of flowering, she was finally finished, exhibiting huge thick buds from the bottom to the top
The Queen rewarded Mr. Power-Planter’s patience with 142 grams of dry S.A.G.E. buds, and the yield of the other five plant was 73, 82, 102, 111 and 123 grams. With an average yield of 105.5 grams, S.A.G.E. had made it over the 100-grams-per-plant mark, thanks to The Queen. With their densely packed clusters of filigree resinous calyxes and fragrant hazey-sagey sandalwood smell, the dried S.A.G.E. buds made Mr. Power-Planter’s mouth water and he was quite excited when it came to test smoking those lovely sativa buds. After having inhaled a few tokes from a fat S.A.G.E. joint, Mr. Power-Planter quickly experienced a mighty strong clear sativa buzz, highly cerebral, uplifting, both physically and mentaly stimulating – S.A.G.E. did easily fulfill and even exceed the high expecations he had had. After an hour or so he noticed that a certain slight indica influence was simultaneously taking effect, his thoughts blurred and a more relaxed and cosy mood took possession of him. The whole S.A.G.E. high lasted for about two hours, leaving Mr. Power-Planter highly pleased. The same was true for the taste, the S.A.G.E. buds did provide a wonderfully mild and sagey sweet flavour. Mr. Power-Planter concluded: “Ten years later, to the fullest degree S.A.G.E. still has kept all its outstanding qualities, it was a sheer pleasure again to grow and smoke this legendary strain that provides a great authentic old-school feeling.”
S.A.G.E. is also available in a feminised version. The price for 5 regular seeds is 40 Euros and 70 Euros for 10 seeds. Feminised S.A.G.E. seeds are offered at the very same price!
Green Born Identity – G.B.I.
|Pedigree||Big Sur Holy x Afghani indica|
|Vegetative stage||here: 21 days after germination|
|Flowering stage||here: 74-99 days, 70-77 days in general|
|Medium||Plagron Standard Mix|
|Container volume||6.5 litres|
|EC||max. 2.0 mS|
|Light||Vegetative stage: 3 x 600 W Green Bud MH
Flowering stage: 3 x 600 W Osram HPS
|Fertilizers||Canna Terra Vega
Canna Terra Flores
PK 13/14 (during flowering week 6)
|Stimulators/Additives||Rhizotonic Wurzel, CannaZym, Bcuzz Blütestimulator|
|Height||125, 127, 130, 135, 140 and 145 cm|
|Yield||54, 82, 102, 111, 123 and 142 grams|
Originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 97