Have you experienced the Dutch Dragon before? This classic legacy strain from Paradise Seeds has been the choice for generations of cannabis aficionados who have been overpowered by the energizing qualities of this uplifting sativa. As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, we go behind the scenes with the Dutch Dragon cannabis strain story.
Popular culture has been filled with impressive dragons in recent years thanks to the Game of Thrones saga, and this led to something of a re-discovery for Dutch Dragon. “It’s all in the name,” laughs Paradise Seeds owner and breeder, Luc Krol. “Suddenly dragons became fashionable again, and who doesn’t want to soar up to the skies on dragon’s wings?!!”
He’s half joking, as it’s not just the name which has made this sativa heavyweight so desirable. Its ferocious growth is the stuff of legends in Mediterranean regions where plants have been recorded at growing as high as 3 meters, while this particular dragon’s breath is pure citrusy sweetness!
The history of the Dutch Dragon cannabis strain
The original Dutch Dragon was hatched shortly after Paradise Seeds began in 1994, but for the purposes of this fairy tale, we take as our starting point 2002 when the strain was given a genetic upgrade. This magical tweak established the strain in its present form and launched its success which includes a Highlife Cannabis Cup victory (in the Bio category).
“In the early days of Paradise Seeds we were looking for a handful of statement strains which would lay down a marker for the company in the cannabis seed market,” explains Luc. “We had Sensi Star in development along with Sheherazade (later to become Allkush) which were both excellent indicas. So I was looking to add a sativa which would be equally as impressive.”
How the Dutch Dragon weed strain got its name
“In my collection I had a number of cannabis seeds which I had acquired from an acquaintance I met on the coffee shop scene. He was a frequent traveler to South Africa and had picked these seeds up in a remote region of Swaziland, speaking very highly of the source. It was indeed an excellent plant and I named it because the uplift was just so swift and soaring, but it was lacking in some qualities – such as yield potential and I felt the taste needed some improvement – so I kept experimenting with the breeding. After much trial and error, we finally arrived at the winning combination through adding Skunk and Indian genetics, which created the Dutch Dragon beast we released in 2002!”
Dutch Dragon cannabis strain qualities
Aside from the huge growth potential (in the grow room this is one dragon which definitely needs training to stop it from racing away!), growers are attracted to that fruity sweetness of the terpene profile with Limonene and Caryophyllene underlining its flavor offering. With THC levels recorded around the 18 – 21% mark, this strain is certainly potent but the effect is characterized by long lasting clarity with an extra sensory receptiveness which appeals to lovers of music and other immersive experiences.
While this strain ‘beats with a Mediterranean heart’, its outdoor grow record further north is also impressive, although yields will inevitably be lower than the 1000 g per plant achieved in warmer climates. Indoor growers don’t have to be Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones’ Mother of Dragons) to be happy with yields of 500 g per m² either.
Apricot Candy – 2020s Dutch Dragon Cali upgrade
Twenty years on, while the Dutch dragon’s wings were still beating hard, Luc decided that it was time for another upgrade. This legendary sativa was an ideal parent for one of the new Paradise Seeds Californian Collection strains (released in late 2021) – Apricot Candy. Crossed with Thin Mint, a popular member of the Cookies family, Apricot Candy retains the dragon’s heart and high yield sativa inclination. However, the addition of more potency and an enhanced scent/flavor profile – hints of apple, fresh figs and apricots in the grow room and a silky vanilla edge to the sweetness – gives the dragon a shiny new coat.