Ed Rosenthal Super Bud: fast forward back to the future

Ed Rosenthal Super Bud cannabis plant

It is a nice tradition at Dutch seed company Sensi Seeds to honour people with their own namesake strain. Two well-known example are none other than cannabis legend Jack Herer and former smuggler „Mr. Nice“ Howard Marks, two legends who are sadly no longer with us. In 2006, it was the turn of US American cannabis expert author, grower and activist Ed Rosenthal. He has since been enjoying his Sensi Seeds namesake strain: ‘Ed Rosenthal Super Bud’. In this article, we will cover the story behind the strain and take you along on a growing adventure.

For more than 40 years, Ed Rosenthal, one of the most renowned grandees of the global cannabis scene, has been passionately growing cannabis. This passion and also a long time close friendship he shares with Sensi Seeds founder Ben Dronkers with whom he founded the Hash Marihuana Museum in Amsterdam.

The story behind the name 

Ed Rosenthal and a cannabis plant

The story of the Ed Rosenthal Super Bud strain is a very special one, because its breeding history spans a possibly record-breaking time of amazing 25 years. It all began in 1981 when Ed Rosenthal gave a batch of seeds to a breeder that included Afghani/Durban, Afghani, Kush, Mexican, Thai and Equatorial African genetics, for the most part pure landrace strains. 1981 – that’s ages ago. in that year, Ronald Reagan was elected president of the USA and one year later proclaimed that utterly failed ‘war on drugs’.

Back then the cannabis seed business was practically non-existent as it wasn’t before the mid-1980s that the first professional seed companies were founded in the Netherlands, with Neville Schoenmakers ‘The Seed Bank’ leading the way. In The Seed Bank’s 1987 catalogue appeared what was the preliminary outcome of five years of breeding work (over twelve generations) based on the above-mentioned genetic material from Ed Rosenthal: Ed’s PEHT (Potent Evolved Hybrid Type 1).

Due to its complex genetic background, Ed’s PEHT produced a lot of different phenotypes, but Ed Rosenthal sampled some of the buds and rated them 7-10, enthusing ‘there’s not a plant there that you wouldn’t want to smoke, and their heterogeneous background makes it possible to discover some real winners.’ Ed’s PEHT was limited to 1500 seeds and once these were sold out, it wasn’t relisted and disappeared from The Seed Bank catalogue. Then it took almost two decades (!) until on the occasion of the High Times Cup 2006, Ed’s PEHT suddenly stepped onto the stage again, renamed as ‘Ed Rosenthal Super Bud’ – fast forward back to the future!

Enter Sensi Seeds

During those long years of absence, it hadn’t been a sleeping beauty – the Sensi Seeds breeders (The Seed Bank had been taken over by Sensi Seeds in 1991) had busily worked on the strain in the background, to optimize its yield and resin content, amongst other things. While for this enhancement a certain share of new genetics was introduced into its gene pool, several unique characteristics of the original PEHT breeding program were preserved, such as the strain’s particularly succulent flower structure and its incredibly sweet exotic aroma.

The Sensi breeders really took their time to perfect the strain and in the end arrived at a 50:50 indica/sativa strain with ‘a superb balance of the best traits from each end of the cannabis spectrum’. Which is able to produce true XXL yields of finest connoisseur marijuana drenched in resin glands. What has remained from the early stage of Ed’s PEHT though is the fact that the plants are subject to phenotype variation, with different individuals leaning towards the sativa or indica side which results in slight differences in their growth and bloom behaviour. However, all Ed Rosenthal Super Bud plants have in common that they require 55-65 flowering days to mature, become highly resinous, have an intense fruity sweet flavour and a powerful effect which combines a warm body stone with a cerebral up-high.

A cannabis plant against the black background

Is the hype real?

Sensi Seeds proudly speaks of ‘gourmet ganja’, and grower Mr. Knolle wanted to find out whether this and all those other promises are true. He was fascinated by the unique history of this strain whose origin dates back that extraordinarily far, feeling the desire to feel the magic breath of history. So he bought a package with ten regular seeds (Ed Rosenthal Super Bud isn’t available as feminized seed) and germinated them.

All the ten seeds sprouted perfectly and Mr. Knolle planted the seedlings directly into 10 litre containers filled with Plagron Light Mix soil. Which he put into his grow box with an area of almost 1m2, illuminated for the first time by M30 LED modules from SANlight instead of HPS lamps. For the vegetative stage, Mr. Knolle used eight (8 x 27.5 = 220 watts) and for the flowering stage twelve modules (12 x 27.5 = 330 watts). The LED light led to nice compact growth with an early onset of side branching. After 3.5 weeks including germination, Mr. Knolle switched to flowering. Growth had been quite homogeneous up to that point, with heights of 26-33 cm.

Nine days later it turned out that mother nature had arranged for an exact one-to-one sex ratio with five male and five female plants. In the course of flowering, just as expected the remaining five female plants began to reveal certain differences in flower formation whilst exhibiting a similar stretching behaviour though. Only one sativa-leaning plant with a final height of 80 cm noticeably overtopped the other plants (59-68 cm) in the end. Within 63 days of flowering, it produced a mighty long head bud surrounded by plenty of lovely side tops.

A fruity and spicy kind of flavour

These buds impressed Mr. Knolle with their extremely high calyx-to-leaf ratio, enormous density and highly crystalline stickiness, paired with a wonderfully aromatic, exotic sweetness that Mr. Knolle surprisingly identified as plum with cinnamon – a most unusual, both fruity and spicy kind of flavour that he hadn’t experienced with cannabis so far. The other four plants, lower and bushier as they were, showed a stronger indica influence, both in their growth and blooming pattern.

While their likewise dense hard buds had that same sativa-style high calyx-to-leaf ratio, they were more chubby and bulbous than those of the sativa-leaning plant. And they looked like sprayed with myriads of shimmering trichomes, which made Mr. Knolle want to smoke them right away. The more so as a highly seductive super sweet fragrance wafted into his nose, coming with delicious notes of wild berries, and in two cases pineapple instead. Said Mr. Knolle, ‘given this amazing spectrum of unusual flavours, it’s most obvious that Ed Rosenthal Super Bud is composed of very exotic genes.’

Those four plants with a more pronounced touch of indica required a flowering time of 57-61 days, so all of them could be harvested within the time window stated by Sensi Seeds. When it came to harvest, Mr. Knolle’s scissors were literally flying through the buds, thanks to their super high calyx-to-leaf ratio, it was a breeze to manicure them. The dried buds weighed in at a total of 359 grams, yields per plant were 63, 67, 73, 75 and 81 grams. Which accounted for approximately 1.1 grams per watt, quite a proud achievement – Ed Rosenthal Super Bud had proven to be a great producer, indeed. Commented Mr. Knolle, ‘but in my grow box, there would have been space for at least one more plant, with which I would have easily arrived at a projected value of 1.3 grams per watt!’

Sativa power at its best

A cannabis plant and close-up of cannabis flowers

Luckily, after the drying process the buds had retained their wonderful flavours in more or less unaltered form. When Mr. Knolle sampled them, it turned out that they all effected the same or similar mighty buzz that started to work after one or two tokes already, instantly dissolving his laziness – at first, a blazing sativa fire was lit in his head, providing an activating shot of energy and euphoria, followed by a tingling body rush, similar to champagne, racy sativa power at its best!

At this mental sativa party, Mr. Knolle boisterously danced the samba for about an hour, before he was cut in by a cosy indica lady inviting him to a deeply relaxing slow waltz which lasted another hour and calmed him down, giving him an unfamiliar, but very pleasant warm feeling in his upper body. So Ed Rosenthal Super Bud delivered a well-balanced high that combined the best of both sides of the spectrum.

The taste was a true delight to the palate. First came a burst of spicy sweetness, followed by a slightly fruity aftertaste that coated Mr. Knolle’s tongue for a long time. Smacking his lips, Mr. Knolle concluded ‘yes I agree that this is some very special lovely gourmet ganja. Ed Rosenthal Super Bud contains absolutely precious old-school genetics which, then as now, boast huge potential in any respect. This outstanding strain is definitely worthy of the living cannabis legend Ed Rosenthal!’

Green Born Identity – G.B.I.

Cultivation data:

GeneticsEd Rosenthal Super Bud (50:50 indica/sativa)
Vegetative stage3 weeks (incl. germination)
Flowering stage57-63 days / 55 days in general
MediumPlagron Light Mix soil, 10 litre containers
EC1.2–1.6 mS
Lightvegetative stage: 8 x SANlight M30 LED  = 220 watts

flowering stage: 12 x SANlight M30 LED  = 330 watts

Temperatureday: 25-29°C, night: 18-20°C
Air humidity30-50%
Wateringby hand
Additives/stimulantsHeSi Super Vit, Canna Flush
Height59, 64, 65, 68 and 80 cm
Yield63, 67, 73, 75 and 81 grams
  • Disclaimer:
    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.


3 thoughts on “Ed Rosenthal Super Bud: fast forward back to the future”

  1. Grass Chief

    The extremely high calyx-to-leaf ratio of these buds, their enormous density and highly crystalline stickiness can blow your mind. When they paired with a wonderfully aromatic, exotic sweetness and attractive flavor can impress you with its fabulous taste.

  2. hence singleton

    my first time growing so far all good but its getting time for harvest and i don’t know how much more time to let it go i have her on 12 on and 12 off been 13days has tan hairs growing and moved it from outside to indoor tent temps out side are in low 40 & 50s
    like the info and so far its been gr8 just getting nervous thanks

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi hence,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately, for legal reasons we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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