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Legendary breeder Dave Bowman, also known as Subcool, died on February 1, 2020. He left with us many beloved strains including Apollo 13, which he then crossed with Black Russian to create the infamous strain Sputnik.

The Sputnik cannabis strain has potent sativa effects much like Apollo 13 that will take you out of Earth’s atmosphere and into orbit. THC levels test around 20% and distinct flavors such as sour berries and fresh tea can be detected. The harsher flavors of skunk and diesel come to the surface when combusting this strain.

What happens when you cross a space-themed Apollo 13 strain with Black Russian? You get Sputnik, a strain named after the satellite the Soviet Union launched into a quick orbit around the Earth in 1957. Sputnik has an aroma of a sweet fruit with hints of sour and diesel when exhaled. Patients typically look to Sputnik for relief of chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

Sputnik produces teal-green nuggets shaped like popcorn and pine trees with streaks of blue throughout its hues. A net of neon-orange pistils are easily noticeable that protrude from the white crystal trichomes that give the flower a frosted look.

Sputnik effects have been said to bring on a high energy euphoria with trippy visuals. Don’t be surprised to be smiling for no reason, since reviewers stated their mood improved dramatically. Creativity rose for them and music seemed more alive as they readily appreciated the artistic beauty of the universe. Sense of touch was also enhanced much like all the other senses, making this a great strain to enjoy in the arms of that special someone. A few reported feeling a high sense of laser-like focus as well.

About Sputnik

Named for the first man-made satellite launched into orbit, Sputnik is a strong sativa sure to send you into a new mental stratosphere. This strain is a cross between Apollo 13 and the colorful Black Russian. The resulting cosmonaut-themed bud offers users a fruity flavor profile and a mostly buzzy mindset. Its THC content has been measured at between 14% and 23%.

Sputnik stands out with medium-sized flowers that adhere in a pinecone-like shape. These buds have an apparently sativa-inflected structure, with fluffy leaves that twist away and separate from each other and the flower’s margins. The leaves, which may take their pigment from parent strain Black Russian, are a dark, drab olive green and are threaded through with brown pistils. Finally, a high volume of cloudy, resinous trichomes coat the flowers, making them very sticky to the touch and accounting for their psychoactivity.

On the first inspection, Sputnik’s flowers have a sweet, slightly herbal aroma. There are also some bright notes of berry lurking underneath. Grinding up these flowers, meanwhile, gives off a deep skunky tank. When combusted in a pipe or a joint, Sputnik gives off an uncommonly smooth and easily palatable smoke. On the exhale, this smoke tastes fruity and a little bit floral.

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Like many other predominantly sativa strains, Sputnik’s cerebral high erupts very shortly after users have inhaled its tasty smoke. Initial signs that this bud is working include a head rush followed by a feeling of constriction around the temples are lower forehead. As these odd sensations become more familiar, smokers may find that their thoughts are moving more quickly, possibly even jumping from one to the next in a chain of free association. Additionally, some ideas and concepts may suddenly seem more fascinating than they otherwise might. This kind of focused mindset can help the motivated user execute detailed analytical tasks. Similarly, it may add some excitement to otherwise intolerable chores like doing the dishes or the laundry. For the more physically-inclined among Sputnik’s consumers, the strain’s constantly-churning energy can be put to use with some light to moderate exercise (provided of course that you don’t become paranoid at the gym).

After some time, a subtle feeling of physical relaxation may creep in, but such effects are unlikely to derail a user’s agenda or render them motionless on the couch. Instead, Sputnik’s combination of mental and bodily effects can enhance activities that involve holistic coordination like dancing, gaming, and even sex. Because of its tendency to amplify the monologues going on in people’s heads, this strain is also a great tool for encouraging conversation and camaraderie in social situations, even when shared with new acquaintances. Thanks to its mostly upbeat, wide-awake vibes, Sputnik is recommended for consumption during the day; for those with a sufficient THC tolerance, it can be a nice wake-and-bake treat.

Sputnik’s heady effects may also be of use to medical cannabis patients. It may allow those with attention deficit disorders to stay focused on a single task. Its generally uplifted mood may also temporarily distract from the harsh symptoms of stress and depression. The bud’s physical properties may soothe pain, whether it’s serious and disease-related, or more common, as due to headaches or cramps. Because the feeling of “mind race” that comes with its onset can be disorienting or uncomfortable in the wrong set and setting, Sputnik is not a good option for patients who are prone to panic or who have a low THC tolerance.

Seeds of Sputnik may be available in limited quantities from Earth Seeds. Those not able to obtain seeds online can take clippings from mature, healthy plants of the strain that can be grown as “clones.” Once obtained, Sputnik can be grown indoors or out, although successful outdoor cultivation calls for a hot, humid climate with consistent daytime sunlight. Plants grow somewhat tall and branchy and flower within a very brief 7 to 8 weeks. Sputnik is known to offer a high yield of flowers at harvest time.

Sputnik is Russian for “fellow traveler” — and indeed, this strain is sure to stick with you as you take a short mental vacation. It’s as fun for an introspective solo smoke session as it is when shared with like-minded friends.

Information about Sputnik:

ORIGINSkunk # 1 and White Widow
EFFECTSUplifted – 10
Happy – 10
Relaxed – 9
Creative – 8
Energetic – 8
Dry eyes – 8
Dizzy – 2
Headache – 2
Paranoid – 2
FRAGRANCESweet, floral, tea, pungent, fruity
FLAVORSFloral, herbal, tea, sweet, sour, fruity
MEDICALDepression – 10
Pain – 8
Stress – 8
Cramps – 6
Headaches – 6
FLOWERING TIME OUTDOORSLate September to mid-October
THC CONTENT %14% to 23%
INDICA / SATIVA %30%/70%
INDOOR YIELD12 to 16 ounces per square meter
OUTDOOR YIELD16 ounces or more per plant
CLIMATEMediterranean climate

* 10 is the highest
* 1 is the lowest


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At the onset, Sputnik delivers a rush of unmatched energy to users. Of course, like most strains, the effects of its uplifting buzz start at the temples whereby a sense of clarity plants itself in the mind. It leaves users feeling cheery as happy memories replace negativity.

The upbeat disposition helps users trudge through the workday. It keeps stress away while creating a path for ideas to flow and form freely. Naturally, one experiences a breakthrough in creativity. With enhanced motivation, one can focus and finish tasks without feeling tired.

After about an hour or two, a tingling sensation trickles down from the temples. It is the same rush of energy at the initial onset that eventually seeps into the muscles. Its intensity removes tightness in the muscles that often result in a person’s stiffness. However, it does not overwhelm the body. Instead, it turns the body into a well-oiled machine that is agile enough to perform various tasks throughout the day.

Sputnik is best used in the morning because of its great wake-and-bake qualities. It brings back vigor to a fatigued mind and body so one may improve productivity or pursue projects passionately. However, its THC of up to 23% can be quite overwhelming when used beyond personal tolerance. Still, this should not keep users away from the strain as it is quite versatile. After all, its potency begins at 14%.


A bag of Sputnik can easily fill the room with its strong overtone of sweetness. There is a floral tinge too, reminiscent of tea. However, it is quickly drowned out once the pungent scent of ripe fruit is released from either crushing the buds or combusting it.


Drawn in, Sputnik fills the palate with the floral taste of herbal tea. There is a subtle sweetness that seemingly indicates a teaspoonful of honey had been added. However, as the smoke lingers, a sour but fruity aftertaste washes over the mouth.

Adverse Reaction

Sputnik can turn into an intimidating strain when smoked beyond individual tolerance. Often, it incites a dizzying side effect that develops into a subtle feeling of paranoia as the senses becomes immensely heightened. For others, however, it can be a simple case of headaches. Still, users should consume the bud in moderation for a pleasant experience.


Although it is predominantly Sativa, Sputnik has a relatively medium height. This means that it fits most growing spaces but will have to be topped early if there is not enough vertical space. Additionally, it may also have to be pruned for even circulation of air and light among the lower nodes. Removing dead parts of the plant also improves nutrient distribution among the healthier budding sites.

Sputnik reacts well to the Screen of Green methods wherein growers place a screen above a batch and weave any branches that go through. This will produce more colas and budding sites for higher yields. Pairing this Low-Stress Training technique with Super Cropping will further improve its already high trichome production.

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