Find the strain Flavor Crystals and smoke it ASAP. It's one of the best strains that ever existed.
I came across Flavor Crystals in Portland during the pandemic and it was the brightest spot in the darkest world. Aesthetics? Beautiful. Flavor? Unique. Experience? Enough to make a friend of mine that doesn't even smoke exclaim, “Oh my god, what is that?!” after hitting my joint. So when I thought about which breeders to cover in Weedmaps' Strains That Made series, Compound Genetics was one of the first creators on my mind.
I had the chance to hop on a call with Christopher Lynch, the brand's Founder and Chief Executive Wizard, to discuss Compound's history and the strains it's proliferated over the years.
Compound Genetics' origin story
Compound Genetics was born in 2017 in Portland, Oregon. It was founded by Christopher Lynch, a San Jose-born, Portland-raised, cannabis breeder who has been putting plants into soil for over 15 years. “I first started smoking weed in high school as a freshman. I had access to high-quality cannabis. I was really fortunate to have good marijuana from the get-go,” said Lynch.
He first started growing cannabis in 2006 after returning from a two-year stint in Amsterdam. It allowed him to see cannabis from all over the world and further his fascination with cannabis strains and culture. “I just wanted to experience more of the cannabis culture. My friend lived over there and offered a place for me to stay. It was kind of ambitious, I was kind of worried about it at first, but all the pieces kind of fell together.”
Ten years later, with a friend in Portland, Lynch founded his first cannabis genetics brand: Tiger Trees. On the strains they had going then, Compound's wizard of genetics said, “I had a Chemdog D x Sour Diesel IBL male. We made a collection with seeds with that, and that was the main project that Tiger Trees worked on. After that, we moved on to Compound. Tiger Trees was only around for about two years.”
On why the brand's name changed Lynch shared, “I wanted to create a brand that had wider market appeal. I kind of felt like Tiger Trees was a niche brand, it was too stoner-friendly. I wanted to be seen in all kinds of stores and appeal to a wider audience. My understanding I learned from the industry was [that] Tiger Trees needed a new brand. An image being described to me as more polished, more corporate and professional, and overall a better consumer-facing brand.”
With the end of Tiger Trees, Lynch was ready for a new venture, a new brand, and a new city. In 2019 he started Compound Genetics and moved to San Francisco. “I was working with Node Labs. They were basically offering to help facilitate my breeding projects where I maximized my potential in Portland, Oregon. For the next chapter, I had to get into a bigger market. California has more players and is home base for cannabis on the West Coast.” Since then, Lynch and his small team of fewer than five employees have been feeding the game some of the most flavorful weed out there.
These are the strains that made Compound Genetics.
2017-2019: Legend Orange Apricot
The first strain that put Compound on the map was Legend Orange Apricot, a strain that Chris popped from a pack of seeds that the Capulator, the father of MAC, blessed him with in late 2016. On how he acquired Legend Orange Apricot, Lynch says “Jungle Boys invited me to be in their booth at [the Chalice Festival]. I was slanging seeds, and I ran into Capulator. I gave him some seeds and he gave me an unreleased [Legend OG x Orange Apricot]. I took it home and found a keeper female and a keeper male. I asked Capulator if I could do a breeding project; and he gave me permission, which is pretty rare for Capulator. I used the male to make a collection of seeds.”
Legend Orange Apricot was then used to create a full line of hybrids that included Ice Cream Man, Purple Apricot, and my favorite: Flavor Crystals.
2017-2019: Jet Fuel Gelato, Menthol
Jet Fuel Gelato, a gassy Gelato cross, was Compound Genetics' next big splash in the strainosphere. “It was when Gelato had first come on the scene. It really hadn't caught on yet, and I saw the window to do something with it — make a name for that. I had the cut and I ran with it. I was kind of first-to-market with hot Gelato seeds. It had the fuel to the name, it had a good profile; as far as growing, it's really robust in veg, it had good yields. All the strains I crossed were fire. Gelato being new on the scene and trending, the breeding and the strains, then all of this hit and it was like a magic recipe.” From those crosses, Lynch was able to get Jet Fuel Gelato and Menthol.
2019: Apples and Bananas
With his success from the Gelato strains, Lynch and Compound's name started cracking around California. It enabled him to link up with Berner and Cookies to start collaborating.
The famed Apples and Bananas was the first collaboration between the brands. It was released in 2019 and was born from one of Compound's Jet Fuel Gelato seed collections. “I was at MJBizCon in 2019, and I met up with Berner at one of the events. I gave him some jars. I had the Apples and Bananas — at the time it wasn't called Apples and Bananas. I created the strains, gave them to him, and he created the marketing and branding. It's been a pleasure working with him.”
Currently, Compound Genetics is gearing up to drop an entire Apples and Bananas seed collection at Emerald Cup this December. “I crossed Apples and Bananas with all the hitters from Cookies, all the staple strains. Apples and Bananas x Pavé, Apples and Bananas x Big Face, Apples and Bananas S1, Apples and Bananas x White Runtz, all the unique flavors,” said Lynch. “I'm also doing a Gary Payon x Apples and Bananas at Emerald cup with Powerzzzup.”
2021: Pavé, Big Face
With the success of Apples and Bananas, Compound Genetics and Cookies have collaborated on many more strains including Laughing Gas, Fish Scale, Gummiez, the highly coveted Big Face, and the famous Pavé, a collab with Migos frontman Quavo. “Pavé is caked out in trichomes. It's almost white-like. Really strong gassy profile, more like an earthy gas. It has a very unique bud structure and appearance, it's great for hash production as well.”
On the connection with Quavo and how Pavé was received by the community, Lynch shared, “I think the Quavo thing helped it, but I think people liked it more because it was a really unique profile and really unique strain in general. It checked all the boxes, Berner had to really make sure that for the Cookies brand, it was a hitter.”
Just like with Apples and Bananas, Compound will be doing an entire Pavé seed collection in 2022. Be on the lookout for it, as well as Compound Genetics' future line of flavors with 2 Chainz.