The best weed I've ever smoked in California was from Insane. Ruby Red. Shit tastes like if you were to twist up Shirley Temple flower then dip the joint in a cup of Ocean Spray. It's the type of weed you come across and you're like, “okay yeah, whoever did this has definitely perfected their growing craft over a long period of time.” That person is Kenji Fujishima, who's been growing for the past 30 years.
Insane from Dr. Greenthumb is a brand in California co-founded by B-Real of Cypress Hill, one of the pioneers of modern day cannabis culture, Fujishima, and Roni Desantis. On Insane's future, Fujishima, the brand's expert cultivator, told me, “A bunch of different genetics under there. We're getting ready to do some multi-state type deals. We're doing a bunch of pheno[type] hunting and breeding programs, so I think that we're going to continue to evolve what we do as cultivators, but also as a brand.”
These are the strains that got them there.
1990: Colombian Gold
The very first seed Fujishima ever put into California soil was around 1990. He couldn't afford to buy weed, so he figured he would just grow it. The strain? Some bagseed that he believes was Columbian Gold. “Just straight up stress weed. If we bought a bag, we were lucky after we picked all the sticks and seeds off, if we got a joint. The weed was trash, but if you grew those seeds, it was actually some fire weed.”
In 1993, Fujishima met B-Real through a mutual friend named Gator. Gator brought him to a show at [California State University, Dominguez Hills] that The Beastie Boys, Rage Against The Machine, and Cypress Hill (what a fucking lineup, wow) were all performing. Soon, a shared love for martial arts would lead B's training by Fujishima's father, and by 1995, Fujishima and B were close friends and cultivation partners.
1996: Cali O, White Russian, White Rhino
Meeting Cypress Hill was also when Fujishima first saw indoor weed. Some were fluorescent green, some looked like cotton candy — it all sparked a deeper passion for different types of bud. In 1996, he started touring with Cypress Hill, and got the opportunity to go to Amsterdam. This was the first time he had true access to all of those different types of weed at his fingertips.
“I went to the Sensi Seed Bank, and a few other places that were there. Cali O, White Russian, White Rhino. Those were the first ones I remember like, 'wow, I can't believe we're looking through a seed menu.'”
Fujishima chose Cali O (aka California Orange), White Russian, White Rhino, and a few others based on what looked the best and faster flowering times. “Some of the Hazes were cool, but it was 13 weeks flower, 11 weeks flower. I was like let's go with these ones that are going to [harvest] faster. The faster it [harvests], the faster we're going to smoke about it.
1997: Kush Bubba (Bubba Kush)
In 1997, Fujishima, B-Real, and the crew started to get into the Kush game. “The first thing that we were known for was called 'Kush Bubba,' that everyone else knows [as] Bubba Kush. Those seeds were planted and phenohunted in B-Real's bathroom or a spare room that he had in his house.”
The Bubba Kush was so loud that you could smell it all the way down the block. “If you want to start talking about history shit, Dr. Greenthumb was spawned out of that house. The name, the song, the idea, 20 plants stinking up the neighborhood, that was this fool's crib.”
1997-1998: OG Kush
At the same time of Bubba Kush's debut, OG Kush's mystique was on fire in the streets. However, the crew couldn't get their hands on it for a while. In late 1997, Fujishima and the DGT team finally got a cut of OG Kush from the folks over at Wonderbrett. That's when shit really took off. Life changing shit. Take care of people's family shit.
OG Kush was so in-demand that people were charging megabucks for even the smallest quantity of it. Before they had access to growing OG Kush, the crew was paying a smooth $100 for an eighth. When they started growing and selling it, they were getting up to $500 an ounce, $8,000 a pound. It was that special of a strain, so people would break the bank just to get their hands on it.
“People wanted to give you money before it was harvested just so they could have it. Back then, that was a lot of fucking money.”
2000: Kenji Kush
From the moment it touched down, OG Kush dominated the streets of California. It's all people wanted in the 2000s. “Everything we had was in [turkey-size oven bags] or mason jars. We didn't necessarily have to have a brand because there weren't so many people doing it. People just knew, he's got that Kenji Kush. We didn't have to market it because maybe one or two people would take it all.”
During all of this time, Fujishima was still touring with Cypress Hill. In 2000, he went out on tour with Limp Bizkit, and in 2009 began touring with Cypress again. That is until 2013, when he shifted focus to building the Dr. Greenthumb brand and media platform.
2014: Insane OG
Prop 215 legalized medical cannabis in California in 1996, but Dr. Greenthumb didn't approach the legal market until 2014. In 2015, they got their first cultivation facility. In August 2018, Dr. Greenthumb transitioned from medical to the adult-use market with the opening of their flagship Dr. Greenthumb's dispensary in Sylmar, CA.
The entire time, they were still putting out the OG Kush that built their name. This time, however, it had evolved from Kenji Kush to Insane OG (aka 3X Crazy), Dr. Greenthumb's very first legal product.
2021: Christmas Lights, Honeymoon
To this day, Insane still keeps the OGs on deck, but they don't grow near as much as they used to. Instead, they've shifted focus on new flavors to satisfy consumer demand. Christmas Lights and Honeymoon are two of their newest popular flavors. Christmas Lights is a phenotype of Flo that Fujishima and squad got from Aaron Yarkoni at DNA Genetics; Honeymoon is a phenotype of Wedding Cake. In addition, they've been pumping out Hindu Funk, Gotti, and Mac 11. In August, they're dropping ten more new flavors.
Still, if he had it his way, Fujishima would only be growing one of the seven different OGs that Dr. Greenthumb has in their library. “To me, there's still nothing like that OG high. That other stuff, you still get baked, the flavors are cool, but for me, when you want that super bang to the head, it's an OG thing.”
Featured image courtesy of Insane. Graphic by Britt Rivas/Weedmaps