Quick Cannabinoid Profile | Average and Maximum Mass by Plant Weight

Chemdawg Qualities and Characteristics

Mental Aid
Anxiety disorder
Physical Aid
Appetite stimulant, Nausea, Pain relief, Sleep disorder
Hybrid sativa dominant
Type of High
Calm, Cerebral, Creative, Euphoric, Narcotic, Psychedelic, Relaxing
Green, Light green
Earthy, Fuel, Sour, Spicy
Earthy, Fuel, Sour, Spicy
Side Effects
Dizziness, Dry eyes, Dry mouth, Headache, Paranoia

Chemdawg, also known as Chem Dog, is a backbone of many of today’s most popular strains. Possibly the same strain, or at least closely related to OG Kush and the Sour Diesel line, Chemdawg has been highly sought after since the early 90s. With its history shrouded in a mystery that includes a Grateful Dead concert and three states, multiple award winner Chemdawg delivers an extremely potent physical and mental high. Although it will vary according to phenotype, its indica properties offer strong, pain-numbing relief, often helping users to slide easily into sleep. The sativa side comes on as a calming, cerebral high with potentially subtle psychedelic effects. A spicy, herb-like taste and aroma round out this amazing strain. Best for night time use.

Cannabinoid Profile | Average and Maximum Mass by Plant Weight

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Cultivation Info | Vetted methods to get the best from your bud

  • Indoor flowering time: 60 days
  • Indoor yield: 800 g/m2

Chemdawg seeds produce tall, branching plants with long, narrow leaves and medium-sizedbuds covered in sticky crystals. Indoors, you can grow this strain using the SCROG method or low stress training. The plants can be prone to mould and mildew, so growers need to pay particular attention to both ventilation and humidity levels. The plants also need attentive training and trimming. Flowering time is nine weeks and carefully grown crops can yield as much as 800 grams per square metre. Successful outdoor growing requires warm dry summers like those of the Mediterranean region. Outdoor yields are around the 800 grams per plant level. Chemdawg is not a strain for the novice grower. If you have some gardening experience under your belt, this strain can produce high yields of quality weed.

True Chemdawg is recommended for experienced growers as the plant needs a lot of care to fight mildew and gray mold. Ideally, Chemdawg needs an environment with less than 60% humidity and should be organically grown. The strain flowers at around 60 days and requires vigilant pruning.

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More Info | Everything else you need to know


There are legendary marijuana strains, and then there is Chemdawg. So many notable strains have been bred from this prolific source of genetics that Chemdawg might very well deserve its own strain guide. Here are just a few of the well known strains born out of Chemdawg: OG Kush, Original Diesel, Giesel, Sour Diesel, Alien Dog, Tres Dawg, Stardawg, Dawg's Waltz, Auto Oil, BlueChem, Dali, California Wildfire, and Cold Creek Kush. All that, and we haven't even talked about all the Sour, Kush, Purps, Skunk, and Jack strains, which can be traced back in at least some part to Chemdawg. Numerous claims of Chemdawg's origins circulate the cannabis community, but they all share a common storyline that a grower named Chemdog purchased an ounce of the strain at a Deer Creek Grateful Dead show. Once Chemdog returned to the East Coast, he contacted the seller and arranged to have two more ounces mailed to him. When the ounces arrived, Chemdog discovered several seeds from which he grew the strain and it spread across the country like wildfire. Chemdawg #4 and Chemdawg #6 are considered standouts of the variations that have surfaced. Rumor has it that two of the Chemdawg seeds still remain in Chemdog's possession.

Chemdawg's history is shrouded in mystery. The most circulated story tells of a guy named Chemdog who met a man named Joebrand at a Grateful Dead concert at the Deer Creek Amphitheater. As the story goes, Chemdog bought an ounce for $500 and later decided he should purchase two more. One of the ounces happened to be accompanied with 13 seeds, which Chemdog decided to grow. Of these seeds, three ended up being full female plants. He labeled them Chemdawg, Chemdawg A, and Chemdawg B. Some years later Chemdog and his girlfriend tried to germinate C, D, and E. Of those, only D was worth keeping. Five years later, Chemdog met with Joebrand again and gave him four seeds. Joebrand chose the fourth seed as the one closest to the original. It was then called the ìreunion pheno. To this day, Chemdog supposedly still has those last two seeds.

Chemdawg genetics come from a mysterious Colorado strain called Dog Bud. It was a tightly held cut that came from California and unfortunately the plant no longer exists according to PBud. Here is where I am going to speculate on the origins of dog bud, OG Kush and the Chemdog strain. First, the chem was not a selfed or S1 cut because there was a male in the bag seed but foolishly it was thrown away. But hey, Chem was only 17 and young and foolish and I know he wishes he kept it. Also each of the plants were different. It’s funny that Chemdog got any seeds because the guys who sold it to him had looked for seeds before and never found any. I believe this bud came from a grow outside LA by a smuggler and breeder named Frank Gigax. They were busted in 1990 and had been sending tons of weed all over the US. They grew in a huge underground bunker with 280 lights in one location and there were several other bunkers. It was probably the biggest pot bust in US history. This guy was a contractor and figured out you could grow under HPS lights. Without the need to smuggle these guys started breeding and they had gunny sacks of seed they had saved from the best of the best. The reason this weed looked so different to P Bud is because it was grown underground and under lights. These guys were breeding and made 3 way crosses. They used Thai weed, Hashplant and Skunk. They would grow thousands of seedlings and only keep the best. They brought in genetics from Afghanistan that were over 20% THC which was unheard of back then. That’s probably why when you smoked it you fell over like a dog. With thousands of plants you have the large population needed for serious breeding and with Thai in the genetic mix there will be hermies because it’s prone to this. They had a strain called Kryptonite (because it could even put Superman on his ass) they sent to Florida and people there still say good weed is krippy there even today. It was in a bag of this weed that the seeds that became OG Kush were from. There were no males and it wasn’t called OG, just Kush and became known as Triangle Kush which is at least a sister if not identical to today’s OG Kush. It is interesting that Chemdog’s first seeds were popped in 1991 and that the guys in Florida that supposedly had the real OG Kush popped their seeds in 1991 also. I don’t think it is a coincidence these strains are similar and I don’t believe they were ordinary bag seeds either. I think these strains were engineered by someone’s breeding program and spread across the US. My guess is dog bud came from this grow operation as did Triangle and OG Kush. The triangle became known as the Oger on Overgrow and made its way to California. My guess is that the legendary G13 came from this grow op too(supposedly the strongest strain ever tested by the feds at 28%.) Sources say Frank had an offer to get set free if he would turn his genetics over to the feds. But he didn’t, did his time and now lives outside the US under an assumed name. I believe the genetics that came out of there will be with us forever because their signature trait is 20%+ THC. I may be wrong about this but it seems to all make sense and the story about Frank Gigax is verifiable if you want to Google it. As far as the diesel goes it is Chemdog straight up. Both Chemdog and AJ agree. No mystery about where it came from. The thing is stuff gets renamed all the time. That’s what happened with Sour Diesel, ECSD, NYSD and so on. That’s why there are so many OG strains too. This plant also has the ability to express different phenos under different growing conditions which only adds to the confusion.

TRUE ORIGINS OF CHEM DOG AND SOUR DIESEL: BY ADAM DUNN. P-Bud: I’m a very small part of the puzzle, but I was there, so I know the story. I was nervous about coming in here, but I just want to set the record straight. I’m a big history guy, and I like correct history on stuff like this. I moved to Crested Butte in ’87. By 1989, ’90, we were growing a lot of m39, Skunk #1, we had a strain of Hash Plant that was absolutely incredible that I would put right up along with the ones of the Dog Bud. It was smuggled by a girl we knew from Leadville, from somewhere in Asia. She sewed it in her sleeve. We were growing that and smoking P-Bud, an outdoor strain from Colorado that was absolutely incredible. In ’89, ’90 this pot came in called Dog Bud. We were getting a lot of it. We were told it was coming from the California-Oregon border. We were getting pounds of it. It was some of the most incredible indoor that we had ever seen. The smell? You walked into a grocery store with a tiny bit in your pocket and the clerk was like, “did someone hit a skunk?” So we were getting this Dog Bud and we couldn’t believe the looks of it, we’d never seen anything like it. From what I heard, it was called Dog Bud because after you smoked it, it made you roll over like a dog. And “d-o-g,” not “d-a-w-g.” This was back when it was organic, don’t panic, but we were thinking they must have pumped so much chemicals into this pot. We just started calling it “Chem Weed,” just as a joke. So Chem Dog, he put those two together and that’s where it came from. But we were big Deadheads back then and we used to tour every summer, and back in ’91 we went on tour and brought a pound of the Dog Bud with us. And back then in the summertime pot would dry up, it was really hard to find a bag of pot, even at a Dead show. So we brought this out and before the show we were sitting on our car and said the words “kind bud,” and some guy came over. We showed it to him, and he was like “oh, my god, I’ll buy three from you.” Within fifteen minutes, I swear, we had a line at our car of people wanting to buy it. And we sold out in no time. Well, Chem Dog came by and he bought a bag, and then he came back and bought another ounce. We probably charged him a lot of money. We were young and greedy back then. But he bought it he was happy and no one complained. I hung out with him at the show, exchanged numbers, and when we got back to Crested Butte, everyone was pissed we took a pound of Dog Bud out of town on Dead tour, so that didn’t go over well with a lot of people. But we were the ones that were able to get it, so it was kind of our decision. And I’m glad we did it. So we got back to town and sent him two ounces [in Massachusetts] I think, quarter pound, not really sure what we sent him it was a while ago. One ounce had no seeds in it, he said, and one had thirteen seeds in it. We had been looking for seeds in it ever since we had it. Never found a seed in a year of us getting it. And he got 13 in one bag. So that’s kind of where it all kind of started. All the credit goes to Chem Dog and what he did with them. Over those years, of the 91 and the Chem D, which were my two favorites. Did a lot of crosses. Of the first four, one was a male, and he chucked it. He wouldn’t have now. Three of them were keepers: The Chem 91, The Chem Sister and the Chem C, I think it was called. In 2000, he germinated four more, one was junk. The Chem D is probably my favorite for all around taste and potency. It’s pretty special. So, fast forward a couple years, Joe called me and he said, I think there’s a strain called New York City Diesel that I think is actually guys going up to Massachusetts and getting clones and they changed the name from Chem 91 to Diesel, and then New York City Diesel. So they are the same thing. Adam: I was in Amsterdam in 93, and I met one of the two crews. And one told me it wasn’t about the taste or flavor, it was all the same diesel, the different names were about the crews. One crew was sour. You had your choice, you could buy diesel from the Sour Crew or the New York City crew, but you had to give them $500 an ounce. Chem Dog: Thirteen seeds. Started two in ’91. One was a male. I was 17. Foolishly, I threw it away. The other came out identical to what I got from Joe and P in Deer Creek Indiana, summer Tour 1991. I did not get the beans there. I got one sack of the Dog Bud and thank god I did what I did. One became the original 91 cut. One became the Sister. I believe it was 2005, which was then Chem Dog D, which is still out there and very popular. Without the Chem Dog, there’d be no Sour. He will agree with that. From what I remember Joe telling me, he said some people called it Dog, some called it Chem. Either way people it’s d-o-g, not d-a-w-g. Brett from Apothecary Seeds, he bred the 91 cut and called that Chem Dawg. Could be wrong. Arjan of Greenhouse got the 91 cut and he spelled it the right way, so he gets props for that. AJ: We met in 1993. Right around the time I first went to Amsterdam. The first time I met Chem Dog he sold me a pipe. And I said, let’s put something in it, and I said no, let me, and we had a pissing contest for a minute until we realized we both had the same thing. Even back in the day, I would give it to somebody and they would come back and tell me I screwed them and gave them something else. There’s two different ones. But there’s only one. It’s temperature sensitive. If you end up with 85 percent you did a great job. For some reason, everyone was always obsessed and wanted the May because springtime on the Northeast coast created the perfect temperature, so the May batches were always the highest. Chem Dog: I always had good luck with fall and spring. Adam: So the Massachusetts super skunk was crossed into it. AJ: That was probably accidental. Everyone has a different side of the story, but from what I understand the “sour” is just a seed that ended up in somebody’s lunch box. That happened in Staten Island is where that was born. The radioactivity in Staten Island might have something to do with it. Someone got a lucky lottery ticket and cashed it in.

Additional Information

Look up Chemdawg (sometimes spelled Chemdog) and you’ll find that its origins are fiercely disputed. Murky stories about chance meetings at Grateful Dead and the states of Montana, Massachusetts and Colorado all figure in the tales. A more straightforward explanation of its genetics is that it’s a cross between two well-respected strains, OG Kush and Sour Diesel. Whatever the truth, this Sativa and Indica hybrid, with the Sativa characteristics to the fore, is a connoisseur standard smoke that experienced growers should consider.

The Chemdawg strain instantly provides a rush of cerebral energy that instantly overtakes the mind; typical of any Sour Diesel smoke session. The big difference between Chemdawg and Sour Diesel however, is that Chemdawg has an additional (very noticeable) body-melt. This strong body high is presumably generated from the OG Kush found in the ChemDawg strain’s lineage. As such, I only recommend the Chemdawg strain to my friends or colleagues who are also high-tolerance medical marijuana patients. It’s definitely not what I consider a good strain for beginners. Chemdawg is one of those marijuana strains that can really space you out for hours on end, only to snap back into reality and wonder how much time just past. What feels like hours is really a couple of minutes. The Chem Dawg strain has such a pungent stench and gassy flavor profile… It’s both disgusting and phenomenal at the same time. It shares a very similar terpene profile to Sour Diesel, at least in my personal experience as a medical marijuana patient. There are always very memorable smoke sessions with this strain. Great for managing mental disorders such as chronic stress, anxiety, PTSD, and migraines, the Chemdawg strain is becoming increasingly popular among medical marijuana patients in California, Colorado, and Washington state.

Sativa-dominant spice mixes with heavy old-world scents in a well rounded bouquet. Skunky spice lifts the mood while Indica traits immobilize the body, offering pain relief and muscle relaxation.

Awards    4


1st Emerald Cannabis Cup


3rd High Times Medical Cannabis Cup (Indica Cup)


1st 420 IC Growers Cup (Indica Cup)


2nd 420 IC Growers Cup (Sativa Cup)