Haze is one of those legendary marijuana strain types first marketed at the beginning of the modern high-potency cannabis era in the 1970s and 80s. No surprise that Haze has a complex origin story, and it’s hard if not impossible to figure out the whole truth about how Haze became a stabilized, famous, popular marijuana strain.
I’ve spoken at length with Dutchman Karel Schelfhout, who worked with marijuana legend Nevil Schoenmakers decades ago. Karel created one of the world’s first mail-order cannabis seeds catalogue businesses (Super Sativa Seed Club), but Nevil is credited with creating the world’s first cannabis mail order business. Nevil put an advertisement in High Times in 1984, and pretty soon, he was buried in cash and supplying cannabis seeds to growers across the world.
Nevil popularized Haze cannabis via his famous Neville’s Haze. Why is the spelling of Nevil’s first name different than the “official” spelling of his strain name? Insiders say it was an attempt to disguise his real identity, but it didn’t work well—Nevil was pursued by Interpol, DEA and other law enforcement agencies, forcing him to live in exile and on the run for many years.
Nevil is said to have procured original Haze seeds from another epic cannabis hero—Sam the Skunkman—who had gotten Haze genetics from “the Haze brothers,” two cannabis growers who grew marijuana on California’s Central Coast near Santa Cruz beginning in the early 1970s. The Haze Brothers sold Haze Sativa buds grown from seeds that came in with imports of the finest Colombian, Mexican, Southern Indian, and Thai Sativa cannabis.
During a multi-year breeding project, the Haze Brothers created Haze cultivars using their wide menu of genetics. The Haze Brothers were among the early adapters of the sinsemilla (seedless female flower) technique. They sold Haze phenotypes with names such as Purple Haze, Silver Blue Haze and Lime Green Haze, with some of their rarest phenos selling for as much as $500 per ounce, which is the equivalent of $1000 an ounce these days.
Neville’s Haze was the first commercially available Haze shipped and grown worldwide. Nevil, who died in 2019, told people the Haze he introduced in the late 1970s in Holland included Sativa genetics from the Haze Brothers via Sam the Skunkman. To make his famous Neville’s Haze, he crossed Haze genetics with original Northern Lights genetics. Northern Lights is a nearly-pure Afghani Indica. Nevil’s goal was to introduce just enough Indica to tame the leggy, vine-like Haze morphology, and shorten its ridiculously long bloom phase. He succeeded, and his Haze became a foundational strain used as-is and to breed dozens of other Haze-y variations.
Look for Haze seeds nowadays, and you find at least a hundred strains whose sellers claim they’re pure Haze or Haze hybrids. Yet, growers find that one Haze strain will smell and look like citrusy Thai weed, another will have dominant pepper scent and purplish overtones, and yet another will turn gold like Colombian Gold. Finding so-called “true Haze” is difficult. But that hasn’t stopped growers like you and me from trying to find it!
Jack Herer: Famous Haze Hybrid On-Board
I’ve grown about two dozen Haze strains and most have at least been potent, and some had that ammonia-fruity-turpentine smell that authentic Haze almost always has. The godfather of Haze hybrids is Jack Herer. It’s not pure Haze, but is probably the most successful Haze-related strain because it’s easier to grow and higher-yielding than Neville’s Haze or Karel’s Haze, which are much more Sativa-dominant.
Jack Herer was originally marketed by Holland’s Sensi Seeds, which procured Neville’s Haze genetics and combined them with Northern Lights and Skunk #1, which are themselves foundational cannabis strains. Recall that Neville’s Haze is a combination of pure Haze from the Haze Brothers, combined with Northern Lights. When Sensi Seeds made Jack Herer and added in even more Northern Lights, along with Skunk #1, which is 40% Sativa and 60% Indica, the resultant Jack Herer strain can be analyzed as 55% Sativa Haze, 25% Northern Lights, and 20% Skunk #1.
The Sensi Seeds Jack Herer strain usually grows out into four phenotypes, three of which are Sativa-dominant. The remaining phenotype is Northern Lights/Skunk #1 dominant. All four Jack Herer phenotypes are known for serious potency and above-average harvest weight, with the Indica-dom pheno being the heaviest and gooiest.
Breeder Paul, the founder and president of New420Guy seeds, used his company’s version of Jack Herer, which he describes as 70% Sativa and 30% Indica, to breed with a 100% Haze autoflower to create feminized Pure Haze Auto, a strain we tested recently.
As with all the New420Guy seeds we’ve tested so far, germination rate for the nine feminized Pure Haze Auto seeds we started was 100%. All the seeds grew out to be feminized autoflowering. I mention this fact because 10-20% of so-called autoflowering and/or feminized marijuana seeds aren’t properly bred and can grew out as non-feminized, hermie, non-autoflowering, or only partially autoflowering.
You don’t have those disappointing problems with New420Guy seeds. Breeder Paul’s seeds germinate rapidly, and grow out true to the strain description and exhibit the exact phenotype expression, growth rate, look, yield, and high that Breeder Paul promises.
The Pure Haze Auto plants grew rapidly from germination under an intensity-adjusted, plant age-appropriate combination of HID and LED grow lights. The plants started flowering on their own under 17 hours of light per day 18-21 days after germination. Early flowering lasted 15-17 days. Peak bloom lasted 42-50 days, and the plants had no late bloom period—they went directly from peak bloom to flush to harvest because I saw resin glands starting to degrade and the buds had stopped filling out. The total duration from germination to harvesting was 75-88 days, a short season compared to most photoperiod Haze grown from seed.
I noticed that although my Pure Haze Auto plants had similar features when it came to growth pattern (a modified Christmas tree shape), leaf shape, leaf color and overall morphology, there was a rather wide variation in height. The height variation correlated with how long it took each plant to start flowering and be ready for harvest. The shortest plant was only 34 inches tall, while the tallest was 47 inches tall. The shorter plants were ready for harvest earlier than the taller plants. The plants grew wide rather than tall, with very sturdy side branches that had no problem supporting large, dense, pyramid-shaped buds.
This strain handled a moderately aggressive feed program during its 2-3 weeks grow phase before pre-flowering, and in its bloom phase. I rarely saw leaf tip burn, and it was hardier and vigorous than other strains growing in the same grow room with the same inputs and conditions with one exception: it was susceptible to bleaching from my professional LED grow lights.
The buds never looked Sativa-dominant. They were more substantial and dense, but not loaded with leaf material as many autoflowering buds are. These attractive buds were thick at the bottom, tending towards purple and scarlet coloration. They lacked large, thin-bladed Sativa leaves, and were reasonably thick with resin glands, but not as thick as Gorilla Glue or White Widow buds.
During peak bloom, the terpenoid scent wasn’t the usual Haze smell. Instead, there were overtones of lime, skunk, sandalwood, pepper, and sweet fruit. These scents were present as tastes when the buds were dried and consumed. After harvesting, drying and curing were complete, the buds had a deliciously seductive citrusy/piney taste and smell. Growers who sell buds will find that Pure Haze Auto definitely has “bag appeal.”
The tallest plant was also the widest in circumference and most productive, yielding 183 grams of premium dried buds. The smallest, lowest-yielding plant was ready for harvest only 75 days after germination and produced 119 grams of dried bud, an acceptable harvest weight from a small autoflowering plant that took way less than three months in total crop time. This strain is especially useful for growers with limited vertical grow space or who want a fast crop that delivers good yield and high potency.
Pure Haze Auto: Dreamy High
The big test for me after I’d observed that the strain is properly bred, handles grow room conditions well, doesn’t require stakes or trellises, and has a beautiful scent on the plant and in the jar, is what is the high like.
There’s a classic Haze high that gives the strain its name, and makes it very popular. The Haze intoxication gives you a pleasantly “hazy” view of the world that filters out all the bullshit. A true Haze has an exquisitely balanced body and head high that avoids the excesses of both that can come from a less-balanced strain. Here’s what I mean…
I group the cannabis high into three major categories. One category of cannabis gives you a high that’s mostly body and doesn’t do much good for your mind or emotions. This high is great for pain relief, relaxation, sleep and similarly slow-speed pastimes.
Another psychoactive category is the high that’s mostly in your mind, and not much in your body. This high can make you creative, euphoric, and sometimes…distracted, irritated or nervous.
Then there’s the sweetest marijuana high: a balanced combo that lifts your mood, stimulates your mind (but not too much), and makes your body feel strong, painless and limber. You feel like you’re floating, pleasantly balanced, immune from worry and fear.
One reason there’s a Haze cult is that it has that comprehensive, balanced high. It’s a creamy, velvety, smooth, soothing, smiley high, but also strong enough to immediately alter your mind, mood and body for several happy hours. When you inhale a Haze strain after you’ve been routinely using a mostly-Indica or mostly-Sativa, you quickly recognize that the Haze has a more full-spectrum and pleasing set of effects.
Because autoflowering cannabis has low-THC Ruderalis hempy genetics on-board, our bud evaluation team didn’t expect Pure Haze Auto buds to be as potent or to provide effects as balanced as Jack Herer, Super Silver Haze and other Haze-y photoperiod strains. That’s why we were happily surprised when the taste and high of this autoflowering strain turned out to be exceptionally satisfying. Sampled via desktop vaporizer at temperatures from 380-422°F, the taste of sandalwood, fruit, pepper, lime and even diesel came through.
Psychoactive effects were evenly distributed body and mind, creating a quick onset long-lasting high. The buds, which were moderately thick and gooey, have exceptionally waxy and oily resins, so we were able to get 11-21 inhalations of thick, tasty vapor per gram of bud. There was no paranoia, no voracious munchies, no body paralysis couchlock. People described the high as “reassuring,” “enlightening,” “energizing,” and “dreamy.” I want to emphasize the dreamy description, because the effects reminded me of the best Blue Dream I’ve used, and Blue Dream is a cross between Blueberry and Haze.
I rarely find an autoflowering strain that’s as good as a photoperiod strain from the same genetic line. I grow autoflowering marijuana strains mostly to test them for reviews and to help breeders know how their strains are perceived. I rarely find an autoflowering strain that satisfies me enough to grow it twice. Based on my experience with Pure Auto Haze, however, Haze lovers looking for a shorter overall season, plants that flower automatically, are resistant to pests and diseases, and yield well will be very satisfied with Pure Haze Auto from New420Guy seeds.
When you’re ordering seeds, note that New420Guy also has True Purple Haze Auto, Super Silver Haze, Ghost Train Haze, and Skunk Haze Auto. Breeder Paul assures me these strains are all as carefully bred, and as satisfying to grow and inhale, as Pure Haze Auto. I’d guess that Nevil Schoenmakers is smiling in cannabis heaven, seeing the creative ways that professionals like New420Guy Seeds have crafted the cannabis strain he helped make famous!