Which Genetics Are Best For Me?
The genetic library that exist across the world when it comes to Cannabis seeds is at an all time high. With ever more breeders popping up all the time and as the modern day focus seems to be poly hybrids, going back to basics and deciding which desirable traits you prefer is the best way to grow the right plants for you.
Indica, Sativa and Hybrids Explained
For those who are new to the Cannabis industry and are embracing the Cannabis culture at heart, learning which strains do what can be a learning curve that requires years of experience. However, we are able to break down different varieties of Cannabis seeds into three main groups. Indica, Sativa and Hybrid.
Each of these will express different traits and characteristics that will represent the originating climate the plant was first taken from. Indica varieties will often grow closer to the equator and so have evolved to grow with short flowering times, a general resistance to cold and the ability to grow close to each other, forming a Sea of Green.
Indica Cannabis will usually have an aroma that is earthy, pungent and acrid, occasionally likened to gas & fuel. The growing characteristics will resemble short, stout plants that will grow to a final height of 100-120cm that will have golf ball sized buds growing in between each internode. Flowering time will range between 7-8 weeks usually and the effects of Indica Cannabis are heavy bodied and deeply relaxing, making Indica Cannabis the go to plant for those seeking therapeutic relief.
Sativa varieties of Cannabis seeds on the other hand will be found below the equator allowing this variety to flower over a longer time frame than Indica Cannabis and produce a different type of flower. Sativa Cannabis is well known for an energetic high, accompanied by an aroma and flavour that is sweet, fruity, tropical, citrus and other fragrances associated with uplifting, energetic flowers. Sativa Cannabis seeds can take as long as 10-12 weeks to flower and being ready for harvest and do require more maintenance than Indica varieties, as these vigorous growing ladies can exceed 180-240cm especially when grown outdoors. The Super Sativa Seed Club in Amsterdam have some original Sativa strains that go back as far as 35 years.
Thanks to the advancement of breeding programs, growers are able to choose a mix of both Indica and sativa genetics which are classed as hybrids. The benefit of breeding hybrid Cannabis seeds was that advanced traits could be brought forward from the original parental lines and locked into the next generation of progeny.
Enhanced yields, increase plant resistance and different chemo-types were just some of the reasons hybrids were created, and from a grower's perspective an opportunity to see true hybrid vigour and an evolution in Cannabis diversity. Terpene profiles may range from fruity, floral, earthy and gas. Flowering time will range from 8-10 weeks and the diversity in flavour and aroma is extremely high when it comes to hybrids.
What Is The Difference Between High and Stoned?
The terms high and stoned have been coined in the Cannabis industry for years, and despite both sounding as bizarre as the other to a non smokers, understanding which each means can be the difference in your experience and direction you wish to pursue as a user of Cannabis and when next purchasing Cannabis seeds.
To break it down, being high refers to the cerebral element of using cannabis, which may involve smoking, dabbing or consuming an edible. Being high means an enhanced thought process that is purely psychoactive. What causes this feeling is THC which is just one of many cannabinoids found within the Cannabis plant, that is why strains high in THC such as Sativas and white strains are known for their ability to induce deep thoughts and a creative mindset. Medically THC has been proven to stimulate appetite making THC rich strains an excellent remedy to appetite suppression after chemotherapy or patients being treated for H.I.V.
The heavy bodies sensation that smokers may feel after consuming some Indica dominant flowers or hash can be described as stoned. The physical sensations associated can be heavy legs and arms, drooping eyes, low energy and lack of motivation, which is why genetics that offer these effects are usually suited for evening time, therapeutic relief or relieving insomnia and restlessness.
Scientists are still discovering how the complexity of cannabinoids have an effect on people, and which ratio of cannabinoids are better suited. That is know as the ‘entourage effect‘ which describes how cannabinoids with different properties, for example THC and CBD are combined to create a new compound in the same way a piano can create a third sound using two notes. Furthermore, how all of the other active cannabinoids play a role is still being researched so with more investment and advancements & medical breakthroughs, it appears the future of research and development looks extremely positive for the Cannabis industry and the evolution of Cannabis seeds.
Medical and Recreational Use
Another benefit which came from advanced breeding programs was the creation of CBD dominant varieties, that are now in demand in both the marketplace and by medicinal users of Cannabis. The first ever serious breeding program was performed in California, where at the time there was no demand at all for CBD flower or extract. After crossing CBD rich varieties of Cannabis seeds and working with other progenitors, the original high ratio CBD strains were being made ranging from 15:1 and upwards.
Many seed banks now days will offer CBD strains, so deciding which cannabinoid ratio you would like to grow, which aroma, flavour and flowering time can all be taken into consideration. BioTabs find that a cannabinoid ratio of 1:1 is the most popular in terms of social use, medicinal use and ability to market.
A good tip is to research which strains offer which cannabinoids, as well as the skill level required to grow them. Generally patients growing CBD dominant Cannabis seeds prefer as little maintenance as possible and a plant that is ideal for beginners new to Cannabis or growing any plants for that matter. CBD varieties of Cannabis have revolutionised the seed game and has opened the doors to a whole new audience of the general public from all age groups, who are enticed by the well balanced effects without any negative feeling, associated with being too high.
Which Strain Most Suits Your Indoor Space?
Bedroom growers who are using an empty cupboard or small sized grow tent, should be conscious of avoiding large sized, fast growing, long flowering varieties of Cannabis seeds that will not be best suited for that smaller, more demanding grow space. In this instance a short sized, early flowering strain should be selected in order to make sure space for fans, pots, hydro-system and so on has been allowed for.
Skill level and experience will also play a factor in your final decision, as much as you may be tempted by the latest industry hyped strains trending across social media. Seed banks will generally do their best to describe the growing characteristics of the Cannabis seeds they offer, the yield capabilities, the effects, if suited for a specific style of growing and how easy the plant is to grow.
A big mistake many first time growers make is to grow for only yield, meaning that the final weight takes priority over the final quality in many cases.
Then again, many of the Cookie and O.G Kush dominant strains are commercially known as small, finicky plants that produce below average yields.
Regular and Feminised Cannabis seeds
Since the evolution of Cannabis breeding in the last twenty years, the market place is now host to a variety of regular, female or autoflowering Cannabis seeds. Many old school growers prefer to work with only regular strains such as the Super Sativa Seed Club in Amsterdam, meaning that once pre-flowering begins, sexing of the plants is necessary which can result in a loss of plant count and a waste of space, time and resources, especially when using hydroponic systems. The upside of working with regular Cannabis seeds is the genetic diversity will be more prevalent than with a feminised line and a clone or mother plant can be kept alive as a genetic replica.
Feminised seeds have many benefits and can ensure a grower all female plants, growing with a uniform consistency and no waste of space or resources when sexing. Feminised Cannabis seeds created a new dynamic in the seed industry when they first came on the scene thanks to the work at the Dutch Passion Seed Company and have soared in popularity for multiple reasons ever since. In fact, 90% of the competitive Cannabis seeds market in Europe are now feminised seeds proving how well they truly work and their demand.Harvesting Karels Haze! Available from the Super Sativa Seed Club