The Controversial Origin Story of Chemdog
By: Brody Burgdorf
The origin story of Chemdog, is as storied and controversial as any in fact Chemdog, aka Chem 91, is one of the most legendary and prolific strains to exist in modern cannabis. It is a cultivar that packs powerful potency and effects but more importantly, its path throughout history has made an everlasting impact on the growth of modern cannabis genetics and the plethora of hybrids available today. The following story is a collaboration of events from the original sources documented over the last 31 years.
As the story goes, a man by the name of Greg "Chemdog" Krzanowski attended a Grateful Dead concert in Deer Creek, Indiana.
At this show he met two individuals who went by the names Joe Brand and P-Bud. Greg allegedly acquired some cannabis from these two gentlemen that went by the name "Dogbud". Greg enjoyed the "Dogbud" so much he got ahold of Joe when he got back home to see if he could mail him a few more ounces.
Allegedly in one of those ounces, Greg found 13 seeds. Greg then went on to sprout a few of those seeds in the year 1991 in which he found the first known Chemdog strains, the Chem 91 and Chem's Sis. It is believed the name Chem Dog was chosen because of the original "Dogbud" name combined with the fact the strain was super "chemmy" and potent, thus the name "Chem Dog" was born.
There were still more seeds from that original batch as well as other legendary strains being made in the process. Around the year 2000 it has been stated that Greg went on to sprout more of these original seeds. This is when the Chemdog "D" aka Chem D was found.
The story of Chem 91 could not be told without talking about another famed grower and forum poster, Skunk Va. Also a fan of the Grateful Dead and through following them on tour, Skunk VA had made some friendships with other likeminded individuals. In San Francisco California, 1993, Skunk Va would meet a gentleman and they would go on to have a close friendship.
This gentleman who is referred to as Staten Island (was from New York) and coincidentally was connected to the group who was in possession of the Chemdog.
Skunk VA would go on to introduce Staten Island to some of his grower friends from Virginia. They would go on to trade Staten Island a cutting of Super Skunk. This trade is very important because it allowed for the group in New York to have access to the Super Skunk which is thought to have played a role in the birth of Sour Diesel. It also is what allowed the Chem 91 to make it out to California. Staten Island would bring the Chem 91 along with the Super Skunk out to California and would eventually give these cuts to Skunk VA in 1995.
Chem 91 cut gets the moniker the Skunk VA cut because he would be known as one of the first to post online about the Chemdog and in those days, many clones were named after their online posters. He had posted some pictures of the Chemdog under the name Skunk VA in the early forum days of Overgrow.com which would eventually get shutdown. Around 2005-2006 Skunk VA would join another forum by the name of ICMAG. On this forum he had used those same pictures of the Chemdog which people recognized. One of the people who recognized some of Skunk VA’s pictures was none other than Greg himself.
According to Skunk VA he had been given some shirts with logos of Super Skunk and Chemdog. He sent Greg one of these pictures which made him very curious who it was and how he had acquired the pictures. As his recollection goes, SkunkVA had seen that Chemdog no longer had the original Chem 91 anymore. In an archived article from a 2005 High Times Magazine featuring Greg, aka Chemdog, aka “Mass G”, at the time displayed pictures of the current “Chemdog” library of strains in which Skunk VA noticed he did not see a picture of the Chem 91. This is what led him to reach out to Greg and see if he could potentially trade him back the original Chemdog for the Chem’s Sis. They allegedly reached an agreement and Skunk VA would travel to the east coast to trade Greg. They would meet and make the trade, Skunk VA did not receive the Chem’s Sis but did receive the Chem D and his old favorite, the Super Skunk.
The story does not end there, as there were still more seeds from that original batch as well as other legendary and infamous strains being made in the process. During the same interactions on the forums of ICMAG. The original suppliers of that batch of Dogbud back in 1991, P-Bud and Joe Brand, become aware of what the small interaction they had over a decade ago resulted in. They would eventually get back into contact with Chemdog Greg and in 2006, Greg would send them what was allegedly 4 of the original seeds from the first 13. From these seeds, 4 more Chemdogs would be added to the family tree. The Chem 1, Chem 2, Chem 3 and Chem 4. Out of these plants, the Chem 4 was chosen and dubbed as the “Reunion Pheno” as it was a reconnecting of the entire Chemdog family.
Chemdog is a story of chance and coincidence as much as it is the passion and desire to preserve a truly medicinal and powerful plant. The events outlined above is our current best guess at piecing together the information that has been provided about the Chemdog over the years. Regardless of how everything ultimately transpired, this story and the people involved gave birth to an entire new wave of cannabis. We have lost a few over the years but we have also gained an abundance of possibilities. From other old classics like Sour Diesel to modern day hybrids like GMO, Chemdog genetics and lineage still runs strong. Of the original Chemdog lineup, the Chemdog 91, Chem D, Chem 1 and Chem 4 still exist as well with the 91 having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021.
As Missouri continues to expand its medical market and expand into adult-use more and more cultivators are adding legendary Chem strains to their menu. If you have the opportunity to check out and try some Chemdog genetics the following list has some of the most highly sought after Chem Family strains. Chem 91, Chem D, Chem 4, Daywrecker, Sour Diesel, Headband, Dogwalker OG, Giesel, Gorilla Glue #4, Tresdawg, Stardawg, Bubba Fett, Chem-da-la-Chem, I-95, Motorbreath, GMO, Black Garlic, Han Solo Burger, Donny Burger, Hash Burgers, Alien Rock Candy, Love Affair, Alien Dawg, Purple Chem, and the list continues to grow. Check out our website for some of these and continue to check back as new strains are added weekly!
· Greg “Chemdog” Krzanowski, @chemdog_glass