Skunk XL: The Foundational Cannabis Hybrid Lives On
Skunk is one of the most famous cannabis strains of all time. Learn everything you need to know about Skunk XL by RQS, and why it’s so essential to the cannabis breeding community.
A Super Skunk Passed Down From Skunk #1
The breeders at Royal Queen Seeds created Skunk XL by backcrossing the legendary Skunk with ancestors from her own lineage. She’s the progeny of Skunk #1 and Afghan, emerging from the cross with 50% sativa genetics and 50% indica.
The legendary Skunk was first developed in the 1970s by famed breeder Sam the Skunkman, who utilised an international blend of landrace genetics—Acapulco Gold, Colombian Gold, and Afghan. During the 1980s, Sam travelled to Europe’s bustling cannabis hotspot: the Netherlands. With seeds in pocket, he managed to sell some of his genetics to big names in the breeding industry, including Nevil Schoenmakers.
It didn’t take long for ambitious breeders to use these new genetics as the foundation for many soon-to-be famous hybrids, firmly placing the word “Skunk” in the cannabis lexicon. Breeders quickly fell in love with the reliability and homogeneity of the original strains. So much so that modern cannabis breeders often infuse novel hybrids with varying amounts of Skunk genetics to ensure a robust final product.
|Skunk 1 x Afghan|
|600 – 650 gr/m2|
|60 – 100 cm|
|7 – 8 weeks|
|Sativa 50% Indica 50%|
|625 – 675 gr/plant|
|160 – 200 cm|
|A combination of stoned + high|
Although there have been a great number of Skunk phenotypes, some of which became famous in their own right (Exodus Cheese, we’re talking about you), there are two main varieties on the market today: Sweet Skunk and Roadkill Skunk.
The former derives from Sam the Skunkman’s variety, a sativa-leaning hybrid. The latter is a variety developed by Nevil Schoenmakers, which leans more toward the Afghan indica side. If a hybrid was developed using genuine Skunk genetics, it will contain some degree of one or both of these Skunk subtypes.
Unsurprisingly, Skunk has won many awards ever since the strain burst onto the scene. She won 1st place at the High Times Cannabis Cup 1988 in the category Cannabis Cup/Best Cannabis. Despite being around for almost four decades, Skunk continues to rake in the prizes at various cannabis competitions around the world, such as the 13th AMEC Cup (Asociación Madrileña de Estudios sobre el Cannabis) in Spain in 2009, where she was the overall winner in the “Best Strain” category, and where she also won 1st prize in the appearance and flavour categories.
Skunk XL: growing attributes
The outstanding qualities of Skunk XL by RQS, namely its reliability and stability, make growing the strain an easy endeavour. Owing to its Afghani genetics, Skunk is a vigorous specimen that develops dark green leaves, strong branches, and a robust main cola. Grown indoors, the plant will stay at a compact height of 60–100cm—just ideal for pretty much any tent or grow space. Outdoors, she can get as tall as 160–200cm. Despite her sativa half, Skunk XL doesn’t stretch much during flowering, and is otherwise a very low-maintenance plant that adapts easily to all kinds of environments. You can grow her in soil and hydro, and can see great results using SOG or ScrOG techniques.
Skunk XL has a good natural resistance to mould, which is thought to be due to the strain’s high calyx-to-leaf ratio, which favours good airflow around the plant. Moreover, it makes her easy to trim come harvest. Indoors, in good conditions, you can look forward to as much as 600–650g/m². Grow Skunk XL outdoors, preferably in a warm and sunny climate, and the strain will yield as much as 675g/plant. If you grow her in a colder climate, such as in the UK or the Netherlands, a greenhouse or indoor grow is recommended for best results.
Her flowering time is a reasonably short 7–8 weeks, although a couple of weeks more can be beneficial if you want to max out the strain’s flavour and potency. Overall, Skunk XL is an easy and uncomplicated strain to grow, which makes her a good choice for beginners to the art of cannabis cultivation.
Skunk XL: effects
When you smoke Skunk XL, she offers a wonderfully balanced effect thanks to her 50% indica, 50% sativa genetics. Like a good indica, she provides a strong body high that is extremely relaxing and calming, but without the heavy “couch-lock” effect that comes along with some other indicas. From her sativa side, she initiates an uplifting and euphoric head buzz, so her effect is more energetic and not as narcotic as some other balanced hybrids. The combined indica-sativa power of Skunk XL makes her a great smoke for all kinds of occasions—superb if you want to chill alone or with friends, and great to enjoy at any time—day or night.
Skunk XL is also a good cannabis strain for medicinal users seeking both physical and cerebral effects that are neither overwhelming nor too understated.
Skunk XL: aroma and flavour
The original Skunk had a pungent scent that gave the strain her iconic name—a “stinky” smell that strongly resembled the unmistakable stench from a skunk. Modern Skunk varieties still have a very intense aroma, which is perhaps best described as both sweet and stinky, with earthy and subtle citrus notes. Unlike the name suggests, the aroma is not off-putting, but is cherished by cannabis aficionados who are immediately revitalised by the iconic smell. Just make sure that you have good air filtration in place if you want to grow Skunk XL indoors. Very similar to her aroma is her taste. Smoke her, and Skunk XL pleases with a sweet, fruity flavour with some evident notes of earth. A highly enjoyable smoke that can make it difficult to put her down once you get your first few hits!
Skunk XL: a legendary cannabis classic lives on!
Since Skunk was released over three decades ago, she has influenced cannabis culture and cannabis cultivation like no other strain to date. What’s astonishing is that, despite Skunk already having such experience and celebrity under her belt, she is still immensely popular today. The explanation for this may be a very simple one: classics never go out of style!
Check out Skunk XL cannabis seeds, Royal Queen Seeds’ top-notch variant of this famous cannabis legend!
Out of all of the cannabis strains known to be around for your smoking pleasure, there is one name that stands tall above all others.
Skunk XL is a modern feminized improved version of the original classic Skunk, that was bred from the mix of Colombian, Mexican and Afghan landraces. The plant is a well-balanced hybrid that contains 50% sativa and 50% indica genetics.
The plant grows up to over 1 m tall and develops a huge central cola. It has little stretching and big buds. Also the plant is easy to grow and it doesn’t require a special care. So it will please each grower. The strain is ideal for SOG and SCROG sets.
The flowering time takes only 7 – 8 weeks indoors where the strain reach the full potential. The plant also suits for outdoor growing in a temperate, sunny climate such as in Spain, Italy or California as well as in more northern areas. The harvest produces about 600-650 gr/m2 under a 600W light.
The smoke brings an immediate head high that turns to a body stone effect after time. Skunk XL has an enjoyable sweet, fruity taste.
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All seeds germinated, but one didn’t made it above the soil because I buried it to deep. In the beginning, I had some CalMag problems (it was my first grow on coco), but after adding it into the fertigation mix, the girls started to grow vigorously. The plants from this strain respond extremely well to training. After just topping once and a few LST sessions, I was able to create a nearly flat canopy. I think this strain is great for a Scrog grow. It takes about 9 to 10 weeks to flower; an early harvest (8 weeks of flower) is possible, but it will probably cost you some yield. I had no problems with any kind of diseases or parasites. Apart from the first few weeks (when I didn’t add CalMag to he coco) the grow was an easy ride.
Leave to bud ratio is quite good, however, one of the buds of one of the three plants (I named her Iris) were a little bit worse: they had more sugar leaves compared to the buds of the other two plants. Because of this, smoking the buds for Iris does give a bit of a throat hit. As for the effect: I haven’t been able to detect any difference between the girls. It’s a balanced combination between a mental high and a physical stoned. After two weeks of curing, the effect is a bit more ‘clear in the head’ and it took 20 to 30 minutes to get into a more mellow stoned. However, after 6 weeks of curing, the effect is balanced right from the start. It is great for relaxing, watching a movie, etc., but it can also help you focus deeply. There are some couch lock effects: when doing a job, you have to get yourself started, but once you’re 5 minutes in, it really seems to help me focus and do a job accurately. Also: it makes you rob the fridge.
I also made some ice hash from the trim. The hash from the trim that I dried was great, but the hash from the trim that I froze directly after harvest was superior. It gives the same kind of effect, very mellow and goes on for hours. The taste of the smoke is peppery and pungent.
All in all: great strain, it was able to withstand the heat and high humidity at the end of the grow (no mold). Training it is a delight, it’s easy to create a flat canopy. Nice balanced effect.
Cannabis grow journals, strain reviews by home growers, harvests and trip reports. Skunk XL by Royal Queen Seeds strain information.