DJ Short’s True Blueberry is my kind of strain, an indica with a storied past and prestigious origins. I first got to try DJ Short’s Blueberry in L.A, but this time it was recommended to me by a dispensary in Santa Cruz. I was curious to see if I could try a strain with a high content of the terpene pinene, supposedly great for asthma and other lung issues, but normally found in sativa strains. My budtender looked through his book of lab tests and found out that the strain has a high pinene content despite its indica roots. I decided to give it a try again, and see if it affected my lungs any differently than your average strain. 

Photo by: Grantland

Photo by: Grantland

DJ Short has been breeding strains since the early 70s, collecting many landrace (native) strains from around the world to create new and famously unique cannabis strains. For the most part, he’s stayed out of the spotlight to let his strains speak for themselves, and has gotten quite a name doing so. He is referred to as the Willy Wonka of cannabis. DJ is short for his name, John Daniel, rather than being indicative of him being a musician or an actual DJ (he turned his study of biology and cognitive psychology into a life as a cannabis pioneer). His famous Blueberry was responsible for the origins of the now ubiquitous Blue Dream, when it was blended with a haze strain in the Santa Cruz area – meaning most west coast cannabis enthusiasts have sampled his work, whether they realize it or not.

His Blueberry strain - which carries his name - is a real heavyweight in its category. Its Purple Thai genetics crossed with Afghani indicas create a deep, stony body effect without the totally overwhelming couchlock of heavier indica strains.  Dense, deeply pine-green buds are lined with crystals and deep reddish hairs, giving it a darker first impression than most buds, bordering on violet. The smell bursts out of the bag with an aroma of big, sweet, supermarket blueberries, coupled with a spiciness that comes from the presence of caryophyllene, a terpene responsible for the spiciness of black pepper, cloves, and hops. Caryophyllene is also known to have pain relieving, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-anxiety properties. 

Photo by: Mernagh

Photo by: Mernagh

DJ Short’s Blueberry hits pretty hard, with about 24 percent THC according to lab tests. The initial taste is sweet like blueberry muffins, and within 5 minutes, whole body relaxation takes over with a pleasant mental buzz. Less heavy and sleepy than some other indicas, it’s a more functional effect than many. It’s also a good social anxiety strain, since despite its sedative nature, the buzz leaves you talkative and aware of your surroundings with a euphoric and positive finish. The effects are calming yet well rounded and funny, but without the uncontrollable giggles. Ideally, I’d save this strain until the evening but no need to wait until right before bed. In my mind, the strain’s versatility makes it great for any time of day if you don’t have too many truly complicated or demanding tasks on your plate, much like it’s sativa leaning progeny, Blue Dream.

It’s easy to see why the strain has made a name for itself, and for its elusive breeder. This is the kind of strain that will likely be influential for decades to come, and being influenced genetics of a strain like Blue Dream I would label it Blue Dream for indica people – versatile and uplifting, but with an emphasis on the calming effects. It’s a hard call for me when it comes to the pinene – did this anti-inflammatory terpene make the strain easier on my lungs? It certainly doesn’t “treat” asthma, for me, but it’s possible that it felt generally less irritating to my lungs than other strains. I feel as if I would need weeks of sticking to only this strain to make a real determination on this. Either way, I’ll jump at the chance to buy this strain again if I ever have the chance.

What does DJ Short have planned for the future? He's optimistic, saying in a rare interview with High Times, that “In the past, the value of our product was measured in grams of flower. In the future, we'll measure in milligrams of cannabinoids. The doors are now open to see all kinds of new and interesting things from this plant. I like to say that the best is yet to come.” I for one, am excited to see what DJ short will do with the ever more precise science of growing and cultivating cannabis. His work has already been viewed as legendary, well before the era of terpenes and lab tests, which will only help to keep improving his craft.