The breeder behind Serious Seeds, Simon, is responsible for the material sold by the seed bank. He studied biology at one of the universities in Amsterdam and was always a non-smoker. (Tobacco, and therefore also marihuana because in Holland it is common practice to mix the latter with tobacco and roll a joint.) He only discovered the merits of smoking pure marihuana after his study while traveling through Africa in 1986. Today he remains one of the few Dutch who smoke this wonder plant in its pure form as one should. From that moment on he started collecting seeds. Back in Holland he immediately started growing those seeds out for personal pleasure crossing what he thought were the best plants seemed a natural follow up. Contacts with other growers gave him access to different plants from which he also selected the best ones. The genetic background of this material was not always clear.
Simon taught biology at a high school when Alan Dronkers asked him to come and work at Sensi Seeds. It was quite a career change to do that but he never felt sorry about it. After some time working for Sensi he left and started a seed company with some American pot refugees. That year (1994) the AK-47 as well as the Chronic won prices at the American Cannabis Cup festival in Amsterdam. That first seed company with the Americans however fell apart soon, and in 1995 Serious Seeds was grounded. It has always been a serious policy to have the products grown from the different seeds available to try out in some of the best coffee shops in Amsterdam. The 'Greenhouse' is one of those coffee shops, which carry Serious' products to smoke from the start in 1995 to this date. Greenhouse coffee shop won a Cannabis Cup in 1995 with the Kali mist grown by Serious Seeds. In 1996 another famous Amsterdam coffee shop the 'Dampkring' won the Overall Cup at that years Cannabis Cup with the newest Serious strain White Russian. Another serious shop from the early days is the 'Blue Bird' and recently also the 'Dread Rock', they really sell what is listed instead of anything under an often asked for name.
Serious has always been a small company, and prefers to stay like that. We love to smoke ourselves and basically try to develop new and interesting plants to grow and smoke for our own pleasure as well as for our clients.
This means we don't work to produce some- thing new every year for commercial reasons or to compete in the next contest. We want to put a new name out when we think we have something worthwhile for pot growers and smokers to try out.
F1 hybrid - first generation offspring of 2 (usually different and unrelated) parents
Germination - the sprouting of a seed, the tip of the root appears first
Indica - referring to type of plant which looks short, bushy, leafy with broad leafs, grows a dense, compact bud in a shorter flowering time than another type of plant; Sativa
Medicinal plant - plant seemingly useful for certain groups of patients (usually with high concentration of THC, possibly combined with other cannabinoids)
Sativa - type of plant which looks tall, slender, with open in stead of dense buds, long flower times, but with usually better smoking effect than other type of plant; indica
Strain - a line of plants from common ancestors with certain characteristics
THC - short for the molecule responsible for the High effect in Cannabis
Plant of the Year 2003: Serious Seeds 'AK47'
It seems strange to choose as 'PLANT OF THE YEAR' a plant, which has been around for almost ten years. The prestigious 'High Times' magazine made the decision and was published in the December issue. What was the reason for this?
The original article was written by Jorge Cervantas, the author of 'Indoor Marihuana Horticulture' and a regular co-writer for the American magazine. He told me that he wasn't part of the group who came to this decision but merely got the order to write the story. Since he doesn't live in the US any more he is not aware of all the things going on at the office. When contacting the SERIOUS SEEDS office I didn't get much wiser. It was a surprise to them also. Although they stated that it was a well-earned price for a plant, which, notwithstanding the fact that it won more awards than any other plant known, still was never trumpeted about much.
Could that be it? Surely the AK-47 is a well-known name in the cannabis scene since Serious Seeds coined it in 1995. But when scanning through old magazines I have to admit that little attention was given to it in articles. The fact that it is well known amongst growers is mostly from own experience and from their opinions given in chat rooms on the Internet. But when you look at a well-known name like 'White Widow' another plant thrown into the world by Dutch breeders at about the same time as the 'AK-47' the latter seems under snowed by the first. For years the name 'White Widow' was heard everywhere. But now, almost ten years later it seems that the AK-47 has been gaining popularity over the years and was slowly but surely growing out to be such an acknowledged and reliable champion that there was enough reason to have it chosen as plant of the year 2004. The popularity of this plant is not due to some successful and carefully planned campaign. No, it came from what matters; from the experience of growers everywhere buying the seeds and liking the results they got from them. They made the plant popular and if this is the reason for the 'Plant of the year' choice than it is indeed a rightful one.
An ongoing phenomenon with popular seed names, which has been seen for years, is that other Companies like to use those names. They start selling seeds under either the same or almost the same name as the original. People who don't know the name of the companies who produced the original seed names are an easy victim when they ask for this name and get a cheap imitation in stead. At this moment for example is the 'Nirvana'seed company doing exactly that. They sell a seed with the name of 'AK-48', how original can you be? But that's not all. When you compare the description of this strain at their website with that of 'AK-47' by Serious Seeds it is impossible to see a difference. They copied it till the last letter, won awards and all!! This is not only parasiting on the popularity of reputable seed companies, it is cheating and robbing people who are not aware of what is going on. Practices like this are the cause of bad raps in the cannabis scene. Although 'Nirvana' is not the only seed producer making money like this, they seem to be the leading company when it comes to parasiting on popular names.
Facts of AK-47:
The name does not refer to any violent idea but was chosen because it is a 'one hit wonder'
At least 7 awards were gathered over the years in different weed festivals
With 20% THC the strongest entry at the Amsterdam' Cannabis Cup of 1999 (2nd place)
The name AK-47 is sometimes also used by other seed companies than Serious Seeds, this is a common thing when certain names become popular (BEWARE!)
The original packaging comes in an airtight tube containing 15 seeds attached to a card with a picture of the strain on the front and a serial number, which must be kept in case problems do occur
Please look for the original packaging when you buy Serious Seeds strains or you know they are copies