Memoirs of an American Marijuana Grower (Part Three)

[This is PART THREE in a series. Click here to read PART ONE and PART TWO of Subcool’s “Memoirs of an American Marijuana Grower” series on Cannabis Culture.]

The photo above is the very first picture ever taken of Jacks Cleaner, which appeared on Overgrow in the article Subcool’s Winter Wonderland.


Jacks Cleaner is an old friend. I’ve had her a long time.

First, I would like to thank Skoosh, who gave me the original beans. This is what he had to say about the seeds:

“Well, actually let’s start with ‘skosh’
1985 SSSC (Nevil’s)
NL#5 X Pluton
Back crossed into the original NL#5 mom.
NL#5/Pluton X Purple Haze
Backed into the NL#5 mom”

He crossed them with some crazy Jamaican he had and then back to some Kush, and what turned out was an insane combination for sure.

All I can tell you is that the cannabis connoisseurs approved: I spoke of it for five years to Badboy, who during that time traveled all over, tasting some of the best stuff around and making friends with Bubbleman and others. He’s a pretty good judge of fine cannabis. When we finally got an f1 cutting to him and he grew it out, the results were impressive to say the least. He agrees, when it comes to sheer potency, Jacks Cleaner is the workhorse of the species.

It’s just about perfect when harvested at 56 days but max yield and potency are better at 63, where she takes on a bite. The bubble is absolutely brutal, having a flesh tone and a better taste than the actual bud.

I’ve tried many ways to improve the taste of the actual mom using growing methods and finally gave up and created hybrids like Jacks Cleaner Blueberry and the impressive Jack the Ripper, which has a sweet mango/lemon flavor and a smoother draw with the same pronounced resin, if not more.

Over the years, I lost this girl four different times – three of those to piggies. Each time, good friends like Pi, Walking Dude, and STP returned her to me. So if I seem obsessed with her, excuse me! (in my best Steve Martin impression). We now have the clone secured on multiple continents.

Jacks Cleaner Blueberry

JCB was truly the Next Generation. The only problem was, I only pollinated enough for about 40 seeds. I sent some to a few friends, but I’m not sure where they might be today. I sent BOG the rest and figured that a Bubblegum X would have an insane flavor if stabilized.

Good Times, Bad Times

I was harvesting so much weed back then, I permanently smelled like a bud.

When I left the house, I kept smelling the scent of weed, and it seemed like the resin had permeated and remained under my skin.

Thanks to AE, I no longer grew little 16” tall plants, but full size mommas fitted together to form a solid carpet of buds. I use the same basic method today, but I allow much more room in between each plant as maximum quality, not quantity, is my goal.

During the three years documented in this series, I learned great deal about soil, temperature, and humidity. I also learned that growing cannabis is hard work.

Another hard lesson was learning that if you grow illegally, there is a good chance you’ll get caught. This is especially true if you are good at what you do and produce really great bud – it seems to attract attention. I went away for an extended stay, caged like an animal and treated worse than I imagined a human being could be. All this for basically making everyone around me happy and growing a bit of good bud.

It looks like America is getting closer to legalizing and regulating in a few states. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a legal job producing cannabis for profit with the skills I learned in these grow rooms. Until then, I will continue my work developing new strains and producing effective medicine for patients.

Hope you enjoyed my true story.

Subcool is an expert grower, breeder, seed producer, and author of Dank: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana, and Dank 2.0 published by Ed Rosenthal’s Quick Trading Company. He and is a regular contributor to Cannabis Culture and other marijuana magazines. Read more articles by Subcool on Cannabis Culture.



  1. Anonymous on

    You guys need to realize that a cross between two plants does not produce the same thing every time.Sometimes you will get luck and produce a plant that exhibits extraordinary hybrid vigor. It sounds like this clone only strain is a very robust anomaly. You never know where one of these will come from.

  2. Anonymous on

    Enjoyed your story.

  3. Anonymous on

    Forgot the Haze. So basically a NL5 Haze backcross with a little Jamaican in there somewhere. NL5 Haze is a good cross, no doubt, but nothing new. That was an early cross made by Sensi Seed themselves. Now if Subcool goes to Afghanistan, Pakistan or Nepal and brings back some original strains then goes to Southeast Asia and gets a good sativa and breeds it with the newly sourced indica THEN he will have an original new strain. As it is, he’s just mix and matching existing commercial strains, like about 100 other “seed breeders” do. There is some value in that but I can’t say I find it particularly impressive or newsworthy. Subcool didn’t mention doing THC tests on the plants to breed the strain into a super potent one, like Sensi Seeds does. Subcool is like Willy Jack, rather than Ben Dronkers. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Willy Jack, just it’s not as cool as being a Neville Schoenmaker or a Ben Dronkers, that’s all. I do like Subcool’s hashmaking videos though, I just don’t buy his random cross multihybrid seeds because I can do that myself.

  4. Anonymous on

    Okay, so Jack’s Cleaner is pretty much all NL5, with some Jamaican mixed in. I don’t get what is particularly impressive about that. You could probably just take a select NL5 and breed it with any potent sativa, Jamaican, Thai or Mexican and backcross it to the NL5 and it would be pretty much the same thing, essentially a “skunk” plant. I’m sure it’s a good strain, being mostly NL5, I just don’t see how it is a super-strain or anything like that. Seems more like a random indica sativa cross backcrossed to the indica. Not trying to belittle, just pointing out.