Afghani #1

Afghani #1, also known as Afghani no 1, is a strain that played a key role in creating the cannabis industry and gene pool we now have. She is a piece of history. This is one of those strains that every cannabis grower needs to cultivate at some point in their life. Afghani #1 initially came from Afghanistan and was brought to the United States in the 1970’s. In 1978 it was gifted to none other than the legend, Mel Frank. Mel played a vital role in making the strain what it is today. After Mel had contributed to its breeding, the strain made its way to Sensi Seeds in Amsterdam during the 1980’s.

Breeder: Sensi Seeds
Lineage: Landrace
Dominant Terpenes: Myrcene, Limonene, Pinene
Growing Medium: BuildASoil Light
Nutrient Line: BioBizz & Tribus
Water: RO with CaCO3

The Structure & Process

I chose to cultivate Afghani #1 because she’s a landrace and she is a direct connection to the history of cannabis. I knew she was a squattier strain, but I was still surprised by her slow growth rate during the five weeks of veg. Plant #1 was very short and bushy with minimal internodal spacing. Since plant #2 was growing much faster and had longer internode spacing, I topped her at the sixth node. This was done three days before transitioning her to the flowering cycle.

During the first week of flowering, the plants didn’t stretch or grow much. It wasn’t until the end of the second week that I was even able to tie down the two top branches to prevent them from stretching straight upwards. By the time they entered the third week of flowering, the shorter, bushier, plant started to catch up in height to the plant that had been topped.

By the time they hit week three, their fan leaves were developing so wide they almost resembled palm fronds. At that point they developed a deep forest green. During the third week, plant #2 demonstrated that she was responding well to the topping. Her growth pattern shifted at that point, and her lateral growth was on par with her growth in height. At this point, plant #1 began her powerful stretch up to the light.

At the beginning of week three of flowering, her bud sites began developing slowly. The plants stayed short, and the stretch was even less than I had anticipated. From the third week of flowering until the end harvest, the plants didn’t change much other than continuing to pack on flowers and swell. Although she stayed short and squat, she produced thick and heavy buds. Her yield ended up being equivalent to a plant twice her size, which I found impressive.

The Nose

During flowering her smell was faint but smelled exactly like dried pine needles from a Christmas tree, with a lemon-lime soda scent on the backend. Throughout the flowering phase, the lemon and lime scents ranged from limoncello to Luigi’s lemon Italian ice and  Mexican lime salt candy. Both plants had smells that resembled carbonated Sprint or 7-up at various points. During the curing phase her smell started shifting to a loud fermented lemon funk that would stink up the whole back of the house when her jars were being burped. I found the variance and depth in the lemon and lime scents to be the most impressive I have come across in cannabis so far.


I consider Afghani #1 to be a sacred piece of cannabis history and I am glad I got the opportunity to witness her lifecycle. The experience provided valuable insight to growth patterns in cannabis.

Cultivating Afghani #1 was a great experience. I don’t think I will be growing her again anytime soon, though. Her growth patterns were too slow for me and the 64 days of flowering was too long. She was a slow grower from the beginning, even seed germination took longer than most strains. I was impressed with the amount of flower weight she packed on her small stature. This would be a perfect strain for someone growing in a cabinet or if height is limited, while still having a decent yield – just watch out for that smell.

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