There are many conflicting stories as to the origin of the thirteen in the name of this strain:
- the number of generations required in breeding to create the strain
- the number of "ideal qualities" of cannabis that it possessed
- Government Marijuana, with 13 standing for M, the thirteenth letter of the alphabet.
- grow-room number 13 of the University of Mississippi
There are rumors that the University Of Mississippi and/or the University of Washington were involved in the development of this strain. Seeds from the G-13 originating in Seattle, at the University of Washington, were leaked by students and some local growers managed to cross-breed with Blueberry strains, making "PG-13" in the late 90s, nicknamed such because it is a purple colored G-13. PG-13 remains the most common version of G-13 available in the Pacific Northwest, as almost all legitimate full breed G-13 has long since disappeared. Examples of PG-13 and its closest relatives are not always easily recognizable, but they are consistently more potent and pungent than most high end indoor buds available in the Pacific Northwest region. However, the University Of Mississippi study was completely unrelated; it was part of an international effort to properly classify Cannabis through research and information collection about its scientific and medicinal applications. No strains or hybrids were (reportedly) developed through this study.
It has been alleged that G-13 was created by government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI who focused on hybridizing different strains of cannabis from Michael Hallman in the 1970s. Supposedly, these organizations bred a strain of cannabis through hybridization that was more potent than any other. It also supposedly has a concentration of THC of 28% (approx) by weight, which is almost double the average amount of the chemical in most high-grade Sinsemilla grown commercially. One story states that a single cutting of this potent strain was liberated from the government facility in Mississippi . Although the man they call Michael Hallman assembled a world class cannabis collection during the late 1960s and early 1970s, there is no evidence that these researchers were ever involved in breeding high quality cannabis.
In some regions, stories state that a potent Afghani]] strain was most likely the basis for these rumors; over time, the potent strain's qualities were exaggerated mostly into modern urban legends. Because the sale of cannabis is illegal in the United States, it is not monitored by the government; for this reason, it is common for vendors to exaggerate the qualities of their product, possibly accounting for the urban legends. Many cultivators and distributors of the strain continue to claim that it was developed through government experiments as evidence of its high potency.
In popular culture
The G-13 strain was mentioned in the film American Beauty. In the film, a young dealer named Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley) hands a bag of what looks to be about an eighth (1/8 of an ounce, commonly 3.5 grams) to Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) and says, "This shit is top of the line. It's called G-13. It's genetically engineered by the U.S. Government. It's extremely potent, but a completely mellow high. No paranoia." He then charges him $2,000 - an amount approximately 30-times higher than the highest common street value for even the highest quality cannabis strains.
- The Seed Bank. 1988 Catalogue. Ooy, The Netherlands
- Doorenbos, Norman J., Patricia S. Fetterman, Maynard W. Quimby, and Carlton Turner. 1971. Cultivation, extraction, and analysis of Cannabis sativa L. Annals New York Academy of Sciences 191: 3-14.