If you've ever picked up a juicy bud and wondered, "What gives weed its flavour…
For those purchasing their first cannabis seed, know this: picking the right cannabis strain matters. There are a few factors you’ll need to consider, most importantly, where you’re planning on growing it! We’ve discussed what you need to consider when setting up a cannabis grow area, here. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s dive into the first factor to consider when picking a cannabis strain.
CBD or THC
When selecting a strain you will need to be reliant on the breeders doing their homework and testing the final harvest for CBD and THC content. Each cannabis plant’s flowers will contain varying levels of these two cannabinoids. If you’re looking for a more relaxing body high that mellows you out, you’ll want to pick a strain that has a bit more CBD in the flower. While for those looking for a cerebral high that’s going to clear your mind of stresses and anxiety, you’ll want a strain with a higher THC content. There are currently an estimated 114 cannabinoids in a cannabis flower, so be aware that science isn’t sure how the different levels of each of these compounds will react in your body. But as a rule of thumb, for now – CBD for relaxing and THC for that mind high. You can learn more about about the ABCs of the cannabis world – here. The next choice is a goodie – Indica or Sativa!
Indica or Sativa
There are two families in the cannabis world – Indica and Sativa. Yes, there is also the Ruderalis Cannabis strain – but for now we’re going to just focus on these two. The general differences between them are: Sativa strains are the ones that give you that incredible head high, or a “trippy high”.
Indica strains give you a body high, something that’ll mellow you out. If you do suffer from couch-lock you’re most likely enjoying an Indica. These two families come from different regions of the world. Sativa are indigenous to hotter climates and can be found in areas closer to the equator. This makes them a little tricker to grow for amateur growers.
A generalisation to consider is that when a plant needs to stay within constant environmental parameters, there’s a larger chance of failure.
Unless you own all the indoor grow accessories.
Indicas are found in colder regions. Most European breeders use Indica dominant strains for this reason (Europe is cold). Also, this ability to weather the cold means it is easier to grow!
President Seeds always recommend Indicas for beginners.
Because both strains have their inherited bonuses, you can get better results when you crossbreed them, or turn them into hybrids. While these are generalisations, you can normally bank on them. The next factor when picking the right strain of cannabis is yield!
Once again the amount of flower you want to harvest from your plant is down to it’s genetics, as well as growing environment. But for this blog, let’s point our finger at strains. With Indica plants you generally get a larger yield than with a Sativa.
This is due to the fact that Indicas are shorter, more robust, and have broader leaves. While Sativas are slender and taller. They are also more difficult to grow, so this will affect how much you’ll be able to harvest from the plant. This segue ways nicely into the next factor – grow difficulty!
If you’re an experienced grower looking to harvest something a little special for those wake and bake sessions, selecting a Sativa will be the most likely choice for you. They are also more sensitive in regards to pH levels, heat, and humidity. This means you’ll need to be a hands-on grower.
But if this is the challenge you’re looking for, well you’re in luck. For those just looking to plant-and-forget, an Indica strain is the right pick for you. Then again, what if you’re lacking time? Which strain should you choose?
Both families reach flowering stage at around the same time. But if they are an autoflowering strain you can have a plant that’s ready to harvest within 9-11 weeks depending on the breeder and their strain.
Autoflower strains have been cross bred with Ruderalis.
What makes Ruderalis interesting is that it can grow in harsh cold climates like Russia and can begin to flower in 21 – 30 days. And just a nice little fact, the word ruderal in the plant world means it is a plant that grows despite the environmental conditions.
Many believe that the Ruderalis is a descendant of indica genetics, and was introduced to the harsh frigid north by humans. The plant just decided to survive. But if you’re in a hurry an Autoflowering strain is the way to go. If you do have time on your side, then any feminized strain will do.
Now let’s talk about whether you should grow indoor or outdoor strains?
Indoor or Outdoor
Yes, some strains prefer being subjected to the elements. While others would rather sip on their worm tea indoors under a lovely grow light. This being said, most Indicas are happy outdoors, whereas Sativas do prefer growing indoors, but due to the fact they are rather tall, trimming them back is encouraged.
Another factor to consider is your climate, if you are blessed with a South African climate your plant will thank you for being placed outside in the sun for 12 hours a day.
If you’d prefer more specific options, you can view your outdoor strains, here. Most plants will grow indoors no problem. Just remember space.