Practically every home grower in the world concerned with cannabis strains has at least heard of the Bubble Gum strain. Because it ranks among the big famous names in the world of cannabis varieties, the name alone sends canna-sseurs into fits of joy. Since its market release in 1994, Bubble Gum has evolved into a timeless evergreen which, in spite of the immense amount of competing strains nowadays, still gets awarded with cannabis cups. This must be considered a big achievement, after all, the world of cannabis strains of today is completely different from the one back in 1994 – back then, the number of seed companies and strains still was very limited, before the market kind of exploded in the new millennium, giving birth to countless new seed banks and seed varieties, fueled by a wave of liberalization in several countries. Nevertheless, Bubble Gum still shines as a bright star in the firmament of cannabis strains, taking pride in having won a total of eleven awards, with the most recent one dating back to 2016. But what is the fascination of this glorious sativa/indica variety bred by Dutch quality seed company Serious Seeds all about?
In the first instance, there’s its extraordinarily sweet fragrance that is really reminiscent of chewing gum, thus having earned this strain its name. This legendary sweetness has a soft fruity nature characterized by a delicious note of strawberry. The second trademark quality of Bubble Gum is its euphoric high, so this strain is a double treat to the senses. Opulent resin richness is another outstanding characteristic – Bubble Gum flowers ooze out tons of trichomes, displaying a glistening extravaganza at the end of blooming.
The strain’s pedigree is composed of three different exotic sativa landraces (of which Mexican and Colombian have been revealed by breeder Simon) and an Afghani indica which makes for a sativa dominant plant. The stretching temper is fairly moderate though, leading to medium height. Another special thing about Bubble Gum is the fact that it is an inbreed variety, not one of the usual F1 hybrids. That’s why crops grown from seed are especially homogeneous, with almost no or merely small difference between the individuals. For instance, they all grow to approximately the same height and have pretty much the same flowering time (8-9 weeks) which makes the grower’s work very comfortable of course. With 300-450 g/m2, it has an average indoor yield potential. Under natural light, Bubble Gum reaches maturity between mid-to-end-October, so on a rain-sheltered balcony it should do well even in more northern regions.
The regular Bubble Gum strain was genetically revised about two years ago since Serious breeder Simon was no longer satisfied with the olfactory results of his plants – that typical old-school Bubble Gum bouquet had lost some intensity, sort of flattened out a bit, obviously due an altered terpene profile. Simon reports, “I wasn’t happy anymore with how the plants grew out, a phenomenon often referred to as ‘genetic drift’, although that is actually a wrong use of terminology. After many years of great old-school Bubble Gum, the scent and taste were dullish and didn’t stand out much anymore really. Why had they lost their typical scent profile? First, I tried to stimulate the parents in all ways I could think of to revert them back to how they once were. But this didn’t work. So, I had to get back to the drawing board and started to work with the group of Bubble Gum plants I still had. It took several generations of crossing between them to come up again with the original Bubble Gum scent again. I had eventually found a new father which crossed with the old mom and produced the good old scent again. Testers on forums tried the reworked Bubble Gum and agreed: this was indeed the old-school scent everybody loved and still loves!”
This was a result that grower Mr. Knolle wanted to survey himself. After he had ordered a bag of regular Bubble Gum seeds, he sowed six of them. All of them germinated in an optimum way and Mr. Knolle planted the seedlings directly into 10-liter pots. Just as expected, due to their inbreeding nature, the six young plants grew quite slowly in the beginning. But about ten days after germination they noticeably picked up speed. Mr. Knolle gave his Bubble Gum plants 3.5 weeks in the veggie stage, and after it had been completed, his grow room was populated by a very uniform densely grown group of plants with medium wide dark green leaves and heights between 27-31 cm. After he had dialed the daily light cycle down to 12/12, it took the six plants nine days to reveal their gender. Mother nature had brought about a 50:50 result, three males and three females. The latter hurried up with forming their first knobbly “rose” buds, already after 2.5 weeks, all the tips were densely filled with bud primordia. Which vehemently pushed through so that after 4.5 weeks, the plants were full of fuzzy white flower heads already lined with most promising amounts of resin glands. Mr. Knolle indicated that, “these young buds are enticingly sparkling with resin, I think they are going to become super frosty and sticky.”
Height-wise, the three plants remained amazingly uniform also during flowering, with almost no difference showing up. Their buds kept on developing in a splendorous manner, becoming not only thick, dense and tight, but also increasingly resinous. One of the three plants exhibited a more pronounced sativa impact than the other two, with its buds fox-tailing to some extent. What all the three plants had in common though, was their spectacularly lavish trichome coat with attractive long-stemmed resin glands plus an insanely sweet scent! Yes, there it was in all its glory, the original sugar-sweet Bubble Gum scent that has made this strain famous. Of course, Mr. Knolle was absolutely ravished by this sweetness: “If you just read how sweet a certain strain is supposed to smell, that’s one thing. But experiencing and enjoying it then with your own senses, is another. This wonderful sweetness really is one-of-a-kind, an olfactory extreme I haven’t witnessed with any other variety so far. These buds smell like a sweet fruit cocktail, with strawberry as the main ingredient.”
The three Bubble Gums crossed the finishing line on time; after 61-64 days, Mr. Knolle harvested them fully ripe. It astounded him that with heights of 55, 56 and 57 cm, the plants were standing in front of him in precisely ascending order like organ pipes. When he dried his Bubble Gum buds, Mr. Knolle exercised it with special care as Simons underlines that the unique Bubble Gum scent can easily be ruined through improper drying. He let his harvest dry and slightly ferment over four weeks, with the buds smelling even sweeter at the end of the procedure – thanks to chlorophyll decomposition, the last tiny bit of acerbity had vanished. “And that strawberry note has come to the fore more distinctly now, making these primo buds super sweet strawberry-licious cannabis fruits!”, rejoiced Mr. Knolle. Together they tipped the scales at 187 grams which translated into more than 60 grams per plant. So, the gram count per plant was higher than the height centimeter count which Mr. Knolle considered to be very productive.
Then test smoking Bubble Gum was due. Mr. Knolle rolled himself a spliff of stately size with half a gram. Blending the Bubble Gum weed with tobacco led to a smell that reminded of strawberry tobacco for hookahs, with the difference, though, that Mr. Knolle’s mix wasn’t artificially flavored, with the enormously fruity aroma naturally from the cannabis plant alone. He leaned back into his couch and deeply inhaled the first hit. It was a soft and smooth kind of smoke that filled his mouth with a long-lingering silky fruity sweetness. When he smacked his lips after exhaling, he sensed that it was likewise covered by a fine sweetish coat. “That’s simply awesome, everywhere Bubble Gum leaves its sweet traces!”, enthused Mr. Knolle. He didn’t have to wait long for the effect to kick in, and the message that the Bubble Gum weed brought to his neurons after a few draws was nothing other than euphoria, euphoria and euphoria again! His heart seemed to shout for joy, every single cell of his body and mind was brimming with mirth. Mr. Knolle went into raptures: “my inner sun had risen and made my mind ablaze with bright delight. Adieu, dull thoughts and daily hassles, Bubble Gum blows that all away for hours and brings about a long-lasting ‘life is great’ feeling.”
For me, Bubble Gum is the adorable queen of cannabis sweetness”, he concluded. “She smells and tastes super sweet and also mentally sweetens one’s life. Not to forget her excellent cropping properties – this whole package is absolute sublime. Big praise goes to Simon and his breeding work. Bubble Gum has confirmed its legendary status in a most impressive way, she’s definitely a strain to fall in love with!”
Green Born Identity – G.B.I.
|Genetics||Bubble Gum (Mexican x Colombian x unknown Sativa x Afghani)|
|Vegetative stage||3.5 weeks (after germination)|
|Flowering stage||61-64 days / 56-63 days in general|
|Medium||Plagron Light Mix soil, 10 liter pots|
|Light||3x SANlight S4W, 1x SANlight S2W|
|Fertilization||Organic Bloom Liquid from Green Buzz Liquids|
|Additives/stimulants||More Roots, Humin Säure Plus, Big Fruits, Fast Buds and Clean Fruits from Green Buzz Liquids|
|Tools||CleanLight Pro for mold prevention|
|Height||55, 56 and 57 cm|
|Yield||together 187 g|
Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 139