I’m excited to share with you what NukeHeads does that is radicalizing the seed bank industry. So how did I take the age-old seed bank industry and turn it upside down on its head you might be wondering?
I did it with robotics, automation, C/C++ programming and 3D SLS, SLA, and FDM printing technologies combined with building relationships with the world’s best breeders and seed production farms!
Wow, what a mouth full right? So, what is it that NukeHeads does for marijuana growers differently than other seed banks?
When you order from NukeHeads we 3D design a laboratory container with your name designed into it, custom to you, that can protect your seeds from over 300lbs of crush force.
This customized container is just cool factor, right? Well, it’s not just cool. It’s practical to ensure that when we ship your seeds in the mail they get to you safely, but it’s more than that. Imagine when you show your medical patients or customers this customized lab container box with your name on it holding the seeds you’re growing. This tells your customers or patients that you only grow the best, that the genetics you purchase are meticulously cared for and a lot of work goes into the breeding work. The presentation shows you’re a serious grower and you buy from the most legitimate quality seed bank, and you grow genetics that’s seriously going to help medicate people.
So as you see the job of the lab container is to protect your seeds in shipment, but it’s much more than that. Using 3D design software, we at NukeHeads are able to predict how much weight the design can sustain before your seeds get crushed. We carefully design around practical situations that can very much happen like a mailman stepping on your box or dropping something on your box. We want you to not have a bad day with crushed seeds that we hear occurs with how our competitors send seeds. Most of our competitors ship seeds in poorly structured glass tubes, encased in cardboard boxes that have flashy looking printing which means nothing when it arrives crushed in the mail. Even worse is most seed banks sending seeds in mylar baggies which have a huge percentage of seeds being crushed in the mail; this can really set you back on your grow schedule. With NukeHeads you won’t have this issue!
Our designs have proudly boasted a zero loss in the mail. We have had our containers get crushed badly but no seeds lost. When you need your seeds on time for a grow cycle you can count on NukeHeads.
Not only do we send this strong lab container we designed using generative design processes within computer aided drafting, but our lab containers are designed to take a few hundred pounds of crushing.
Each lab container we send you comes custom with your first and last name on it or your business name (it’s customizable just email to ask how info@NukeHeads.com).
Customers who order 1,000 seeds or greater—bulk customers—we design you something completely unique. In fact, you can request a design you want. Some customers have requested a custom designed treasure box, or custom designed lock box with a key and lock, or their business logo be designed onto the box, or all the above combined. We can fully accommodate those customizations as we do all designs in house. We use $120,000 3D Printers boasting Hewlett Packard’s latest technology in their Model 580 Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer, as well as older technologies we incorporate into our production processes. We also use $500,000 Omax water jet cutting machines to make our grow light designs in house; we build them here in the United States of America. Most of our products are USA designed while we do have some of our products manufactured offshore in China, we mostly keep what we do here in the USA!
When you want top phytocertified lab grade genetics, NukeHeads seed bank is the leader in this regard. We are not only open to working with other seed banks who cannot match us in our technologies but produce amazing genetics, but we also work with huge farms producing feminized seeds at wholesale prices. NukeHeads has some of the lowest priced seeds in this industry, but lowest price doesn’t mean lower quality. No, what we have done in the four million dollars spent over three years is negotiate relationships to make NukeHeads seed bank the giant in the industry. We bulk order in advance from our fem seed breeders and farms and we bulk supply numerous businesses, and home growers. What our customers like most about our seeds is how fresh they are, and the high germination rates, and super low hermaphrodite reports. Sadly, the only complaints we see seem to be from dirty tactics of competitors having their people write false reports or making fake YouTube videos with false complaints about us. To combat this, we created, and invite everyone to join, our Facebook group with thousands of growers who grow our genetics who can share their actual buyer experience with you. We did this to remove any concerns new customers may have simply just click here and start talking with real growers on Facebook like yourself and ask them about NukeHeads genetics. Let them show you their plants and you will see for yourself why choosing to order from NukeHeads for all your feminized seeds is the best choice! You can also simply search for the NukeHeads Medical Cannabis Growers group on Facebook and join it that way, too!
I’d like to thank you for your time today, but one last thing: If you grow magic mushrooms or drink coffee, we sell spores and green coffee beans you can purchase and roast yourself to your own darkness level. Providing you the most epic combination of quality coffees, mushroom spore genetics, and marijuana seeds to enjoy in the morning before you do that hard grow work in the garden!
Christmas is still on the horizon, but Herbies Seeds already has truckloads of candies to keep your inner child occupied. What’s more, the Spain-based cannabis seed bank has expanded its in-house line of strains by adding some top-tier genetics that have stood the test of time.
The five newly-released strains are Critical XXL, Critical XXL Auto, Northern Lights, Northern Lights Auto, and Sour Diesel Auto. These plants are bound to be a hit among growers. The THC content in this range reaches up to a staggering 27%, and some strains can break the scales with their bountiful yields. If you want to know what’s in there, read on and find out!
Critical XXL: Potency Champ
A classic variety now also bred by Herbies Seeds, Critical XXL is an established prizewinner. This herb is most famous for its extremely strong high that has won over the hearts and blown the minds of countless cannabis lovers. The mind-blowing part is no idle boast: with THC that goes all the way to 27%, Critical XXL is the most potent entry in this line-up.
The effects hit more on the Indica side of the spectrum, leaving you deeply relaxed with a numbing body buzz, but they also produce a euphoric uplift like many hybrid strains. Critical XXL sports a strong lemon aroma with spicy notes, and works great as a nighttime strain. It can be especially helpful for those dealing with chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, and multiple sclerosis.
This hard-hitting weed is easy to manage and can be planted both indoors and outdoors. If you give it proper care, it will reward you with resin-packed frost-covered buds in just 50-55 days after being switched to 12/12. The yields will make your eyes pop as they reach up to 1600 g per plant outdoors and 600 g/m² indoors.
Critical XXL Auto: Heavy Yields, Minimum Effort
Just like its photoperiod sister plant, Critical XXL Auto produces abundant crops flanked by citrusy and spicy aromas with a slight earthiness in the background. With the iconic Skunk #1 and Afghani genetics in its lineage, this mostly Indica variety produces bold, long-lasting effects, leaving users deeply relaxed and happy all at once.
In terms of potency, Critical XXL Auto comes packed with 17 to 23% THC, which is a little lower compared with the original strain but is still one of the best results for modern-day autos. It takes her a moderate 70-80 days from germination to reach full maturity.
These autoflowering seeds are ideal for those looking for a hassle-free growing experience. Critical XXL Auto plants are hardy and do well both indoors and outdoors, producing dense, thick buds with a sticky, frosty coating. The yields are also quite impressive for an autoflower, clocking in at 800-900 g/plant outdoors and 400-500 g/m² indoors under optimal conditions.
Northern Lights: A Fast-Flowering Legend
Northern Lights by Herbies Seeds is a modern take on the famed Indica genetics that has given the world too many strains to mention. A descendant of Afghani and Thai landrace strains, NL induces strong sedative effects coupled with a carefree euphoria. Whatever has been bothering you until that first puff will melt right away.
After just 40-50 days of flowering, this girl will reward you with resinous buds that pack up to 23% THC and sport a pungent flavor profile with a smack of sweet and fruit. One of the reasons Northern Lights has remained popular among Indica fans after all these years is the smoke that makes the nose tingle a bit on the exhale.
Due to its Indica roots, Northern Lights is one of the easiest strains to grow. The plants are incredibly resilient and resistant to harsh climates, making these seeds a great choice for beginner growers. They are best grown indoors, where yields range from 400 to 500 g/m². However, the harvest can be just as impressive in outdoor gardens, reaching 1200-1300 g/plant.
Northern Lights Auto: Beginner’s Delight
Herbies Seeds couldn’t help but create an autoflowering version of the strain that changed the face of the global cannabis culture, all to make an ideal plant for growers who are just starting out. Northern Lights Auto, created by crossing the original strain with a Ruderalis, is exceptionally tough and highly adaptable to all growing environments.
This plant is one for those who enjoy a good couch lock. With up to 23% THC and sedating Indica effects, it’s a good companion for battling insomnia. It will also help if you’re having trouble with your appetite or are suffering from chronic pain, stress, or anxiety.
Northern Lights Auto can be planted in indoor and outdoor gardens, but it’s indoors where it does its best, yielding around 550-650 g/m² of hard and intensely flavored buds that give off a sweet, fruity smell with piney notes. The flowering time is relatively short – around 60-70 days in total.
Sour Diesel Auto: A Smoke to Remember
Another highly popular strain that’s now received an autoflowering version courtesy of Spanish breeders, Sour Diesel brings to the table everything that Sativa lovers want. A meticulous cross of Northern Lights, Diesel, and Super Skunk genetics, this strain is one for the ages.
Sour Diesel Auto delivers a classic Sativa head high fueled by 22-25% THC that energizes your mind and helps you explore your creative self. This boost of happiness works great for wake ‘n bake sessions and gives a great opportunity to rediscover your social life. This weed proudly bears one of the most intense aromas out there: it smells like fuel and leaves a tangy aftertaste on the tongue on the exhale.
Herbies’ new arrival is also a good resin producer, offering harvests of 300-450 g/m² indoors and 550 g/plant outdoors in 82-87 days from seed. This strain goes easy on rookies, and its stealthy nature makes it a great option for growers trying to keep a low profile – especially indoors, where the plants reach anywhere between just 70-120 cm in height.
You can now buy these strains, along with several other popular ones, with a discount as part of Herbies’ promo campaign. Starting 00:00 December 23rd and up until 00:00 December 28th (PST), the prices will be slashing on new and select strains in store by up to 50%.
For those who have been good growers all year, Herbies Seeds has a special offer. During Herbies’ Christmas sale days, use promo code CHRISTMASGIFT at checkout whenever you order from Herbies to get an extra Sugar Black Rose EV seed by Delicious Seeds for free.
Herbies is one of the world’s biggest cannabis seed resellers. They cooperate with over 100 reliable breeders and ship worldwide (stealth option is available) with nice bonuses added to all orders, including extra seeds and other free goodies.
In 2021, Herbies also launched their own seed bank, Herbies Seeds, which has since churned out a number of best-sellers that have blown up the market – take, for instance, Apple Betty and Mimosa Shot. Another craft of theirs is Grandmommy Purple – a legend in the making that has become one of the most powerful strains on the shelf.
Visit the Herbies website and check out their catalog – they’ve got hundreds of strains in store, from classic genetics to brand-new ones, so there’s something there for everyone.
We’re a world of worriers, and rightfully so when it comes to certain things. If you’re concerned about the environment for example, there’s good reason to have fears. And these fears are global. How do we know that? By the existence of something like the Svalbard doomsday seed vault in Norway. So what is this vault for? And what’s inside? Read on to find out.
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What’s a seed vault?
A seed vault – or seed bank – is what it sounds like. A big old vault that contains a bunch of seeds. Seed vaults aren’t uncommon, and are found in many places. Sometimes they’re to house the seeds used for scientific research, or for sale to consumers, and sometimes they’re seeds put away just in case everything in the world goes wrong, and we’re left to start at the beginning. Think large-scale nuclear war, or something like that. As per the site for the University of Washington Botanic Gardens:
“Seed banking allows scientists to preserve the genetic resources of plant species so that these species are not lost in the event of a catastrophe.” In reference to the Miller Seed Vault, the largest vault of the Pacific-Northwest, the site explains that its “Reinforced for earthquake protection”, and that the “environment in both the workroom and short-term storage room are maintained at 15 degrees C. (57 degrees F.) and 22% relative humidity to quickly dry the seeds and keep them dry as seeds are cleaned, counted, and processed for long-term storage.”
Of the longer-term storage, the site explains, “Seeds being held for ex situ conservation are ultimately placed in the long-term storage freezer. These seeds are placed in foil laminate bags and heat sealed to moisture-proof the contents. The temperature of the freezer is –18 degrees C. At this temperature, we expect many of these seeds to survive for decades before they lose viability.”
This is meant as a fail-safe, and a way to ensure the ability for biodiversity. As such, these vaults need to be kept in the right environmental conditions. As these seeds represent the ability to continue on in the direst of circumstances, they are often highly protected, in facilities with extreme security measures taken. Most any country should have several vaults for some purpose or another.
The idea of these vaults can also be thought of as gene banks. Though the term ‘gene bank’ refers to any biorepository for different kinds of genetic material, this applies to plants as well. When plants are stored in these places, it’s done as in vitro storage, freezing parts of the plant, or stocking seeds. We’re focused on this last option.
What’s so special about theSvalbard Global Seed Vault?
Every country has a variety of seed vaults for different purposes, right? And we don’t usually hear much about them. But there’s one seed vault that is more well known, and it resides on a cold and remote Norwegian island called Svalbard.
Svalbard (AKA Spitsbergen) is part of the Norwegian archipelago (small island grouping) in the Arctic Ocean, and the only permanently populated of the islands in the region. Apart from a few small communities, the area is rather remote, though it does have the designations of both an economic zone, and demilitarized zone.
Though once a base for whalers and miners, (with the latter industry still in existence), the area is also big for research facilities, which includes the University Centre in Svalbard. Along with the Svalbard seed vault, this research facility plays a large role in the current economy of the area.
The region isn’t the most welcoming in terms of climate, offering up Arctic temperatures, and a land space covered 60% by glaciers. Much of the island is mountainous, with fjords running through. As of 2016, less than 3,000 people called this cold island home.
The other big industry on the island other then research, is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which acts as a doomsday vault for agriculture. Unlike the individual seed banks and gene vaults of other countries, the Svalbard seed bank holds duplicates of what’s found in these other repositories, making it a backup for other seed banks, and the biggest seed bank in the world. So if anything happens to these other seed banks – from nuclear wars to massive natural disasters to simple mismanagement to funding cuts, there’s a backup version of what they hold.
Think of having a backup hard drive; that’s what the Svalbard seed vault essentially is. It’s not exactly like backing up to the cloud, because it’s most definitely a brick and mortar location. But it’s like taking all the information on your phone and computer, and wherever else you have info, and backing it all up in another place just in case the original copy gets damaged. As a global seed bank, it operates under a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government; NordGen (Nordic Genetic Resource Center); and the Crop Trust, an international nonprofit organization.
History of the Svalbard seed vault
All of this started in 1984 when what’s now known as NordGen (then the Nordic Gene Bank) began storing backups of frozen seeds for plant germplasm (genetic material maintained for breeding). At that time, the material was kept in abandoned coal mines on the same island that now houses the official vault. The closest town to the vault is Longyearbyen, which is the biggest settlement of the island.
It wasn’t until 2001 that the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) was established, which is a system maintained for accessing plant genetic material. After it came out it was quickly ratified by other countries. In 2004, the treaty came into effect, and the framework for one international security facility for seeds began, and was soon endorsed by the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Construction of the vault started soon after at a cost of $8.8 million (45 million kr) to the Norwegian government, and the official opening of the vault was on February 26th, 2008.
By its first anniversary, the vault was home to well over 400,000 seed samples, comprised of over 20 million seeds. This made for 1/3 of the world’s food crops, particularly those deemed important. By 2018, the number of samples reached over 1 million, though it should be pointed out that a sample is not necessarily just one seed, which is why seeds way outnumber sample numbers. One sample can contain multiple seeds. According to CropTrust, it houses 1,194,244 specific seed samples, which is representative of more than 13,000 years of agricultural history.
Though yearly numbers can change, in 2019, it cost around $282,000 (equivalent to 2.4 million kr) to maintain the facility. There are, apparently, no permanent staff attending to the vault. Where exactly is this massive seed haven? It sits 130 meters inside a mountain of sandstone on the island.
This particular location was considered ideal because of its permafrost which helps with preservation; and the lack of tectonic activity, meaning no issues with earthquakes and volcanoes. Along with natural cooling, the site employs the help of coal to keep temperatures at −18 °C (−0.4 °F). To give an idea of how stable the cold is, its said that even if no more power aided it, it would take about two centuries for the temperature to hit 0 °C (32 °F).
If you want a strange little seed vault (and Norwegian legal) fact, the vault actually has a large piece of illuminated artwork on the front face and roof, by artist Dyveke Sanne. This is visible in pictures. Why does displaying art matter in such a remote place without the general public? Because it’s a law in Norway that if the government funds a construction project over a certain amount of money, it must include artwork!
Seed storage, and what about cannabis?
Ensuring the seeds stay alive is quite a task. After all, it doesn’t help to do all this if the seeds can easily die. To ensure their lives, seeds are stored in airtight three-ply aluminum bags, with as many as 500 seeds per a bag, but the specific number per bag depends on seed size. These are then put in plastic tote containers that sit on metal shelves, or are stacked from floor to ceiling. They are stored at −18 °C (−0.4 °F), with very little oxygen. This lack of oxygen slows metabolic activity to delay the aging of the seeds.
Information on the seeds is kept in nanofilm which is attached to the seed containers. This includes the seed identity and other important information on the sample. The facility is big enough to hold approximately 4.5 million samples, which can mean hundreds of millions of seeds. The vault itself is down a 130 meter (430 ft) tunnel into the mountain, which leads to a chamber for added security. Three vaults lead out from the chamber though not all are necessarily used.
What of cannabis? Is it represented among the millions of samples that sit frozen in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault? Though back several years it was reported that cannabis seeds were not a part of the vault, today the answer is different. According to Marijuna.com as of 2014, the number of cannabis seeds was around 21,500. Interestingly, anyone can do a search into the contents of the seed vault. My search turned up 66 records for cannabis, though the 66 is unrelated to sample numbers and seed totals. Searches for ‘psilocybe’, ‘peyote’, ‘Peruvian torch’, ‘San Pedro’ and ‘Psychotria viridis’ (main plant for DMT) turned up no results.
The seed vault is certainly in a remote location, but it does have a nearby neighbor, in the form of another vault. The Arctic World Archive, which is buried deep in a mine nearby, houses the data for different governments of the world, as well as private institutions. They act as fitting neighbors in this freezing cold and isolated landscape.
Maybe we’ll never need to access the Svalbard seed vault for anything worse than mismanagement of facilities in a specific country. And maybe it’ll be what saves humanity after something horrible. What is for sure, is that buried deep in a Norwegian mountain, there are a whole lot of seeds.
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There are more cannabis cultivars available now than ever before through seed banks and nurseries in Europe and North America.
Growing from seed has its advantages, but also some issues. Seeds are easier to transport and store than cuttings (clones) from a nursery. Unlike clones, cannabis grown from seed is not genetically identical. The degree of homogeneity varies from breeder to breeder. Although plants of the same variety will be closely related, only skilled breeders can create a uniform crop. Starting plants from seed results in decreased uniformity in the canopy, which is undesirable because it can reduce yield in larger operations. Home growers and those with smaller farms may not mind the decreased uniformity in the crop.
Large-scale farmers are more likely to prefer uniformity, so choosing varieties from a nursery that takes cuttings from mother plants or from tissue culture will help provide those identical genetics that drive uniformity in the canopy.
Whether growing from seeds or from clones, choosing the right cultivar is paramount because they differ not only in their effects but also in how they grow.
Cultivar vs. Strain
The word “cultivar” is derived from “cultivated variety.” Although in popular culture cannabis cultivars are referred to as “strains,” the term “strain” is more appropriately used when referencing viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The use of “strains” in the cannabis industry is widely accepted and understood, however. This book uses “varieties” to refer to groups of related plants and the term “cultivar” to refer to specific varieties that are named landraces or the result of a dedicated breeding program.
Cultivars that do best in outdoor gardens tend to need more light than cultivars that grow better indoors. Some cultivars have very little branching, while others prefer to spread their branches and leaves horizontally. Some are heavy yielders with large colas that will need support as the flowers approach final maturity.
While some varieties may finish in 50 days, it can take as long as 12 weeks before the plant can be harvested. Choosing the variety of cannabis best suited to the grower’s goals can be a daunting task; however, it almost always is a pleasurable one. The right variety is the variety of cannabis that meets those goals, whether they are the plants’ medicinal properties, style of growing, taste, aroma, or any other trait desired by the breeder. There is no single perfect variety of cannabis other than the variety that works perfectly for the grower.
Choosing which cultivar to grow is one of the most important decisions to make when designing a garden. The two most important factors are the quality of the effects and suitability for the growing environment.
Find cultivars that produce desired flavors, aromas, highs, or medicinal qualities. Each cultivar has a genetic blueprint that determines how the plant will react to its environment, and therefore each cultivar will respond differently to different climates and garden setups.
New cultivars are the result of the intense competition among seed breeders hoping to find the next big thing.
How cannabis has been bred and for which traits has changed over the years as well. In 1964, THC was isolated and its molecular structure was described. It was understood that THC was driving all of the plant’s effects, which drove breeders to narrowly focus on THC content.
New cultivars were also bred for many other characteristics such as yield, flavor, aroma, medicinal effects, size, and maturation length, but no other aspect of the cannabis flower has been selected for more than THC potency. Popular varieties from the ’60s and ’70s usually had a THC potency that ranged between 6 and 12%, but ordinary Mexican tested in the range of 2 to 4%.
Breeders selected for a wide variety of desirable traits in new varieties. At first they concentrated on increasing potency, decreasing ripening time, and decreasing the growth-to-yield ratio. Later they developed more of an interest in terpenes, which provide the odor as well as “personality” of the high, as well as for cannabinoids other than THC, such as CBD and CBG. Outdoor environments have come into favor due to legalization, as well as a proliferation of autoflowering varieties, homogeneity, and a more scientific approach to obtaining intentional results and micro-adaptation to specific outdoor environments.
Cannabis is particularly easy to breed because it is dioecious, meaning unlike almost all other annual plants, plants are either male or female. This makes it easy to control pollination; separate all males from the females and only use pollen from selected males to pollinate females. Cannabis is wind-pollinated, so a male in proximity to a female plant will pollinate it. Flowers can also be hand pollinated. For this reason, it is relatively easy for a grower to experiment with breeding.
Compare cannabis breeding to tomatoes. Not only does each tomato plant carry both sexes, but tomatoes have “perfect” flowers, meaning each flower carries both sexes. To breed them, the stamen from the designated female must be removed before it matures, which requires tweezers and a sharp eye. Then pollen must be collected from the candidate male, which is painstaking.
As a result of the ease of breeding there are literally thousands of companies producing cannabis seed for commercial sales, so obtaining seeds has never been easier. They are available over the internet as well as in dispensaries. Many of these companies advertise in magazines that feature cultivation articles.
Clones are also available. Just as many people prefer to use tomato starts rather than germinate seed, clones provide a head start and save 10–15 days of cultivation. Another advantage of clones is that they have identical genetics and respond to the environment in a uniform way.
The “ideal” environment for one variety may not be optimal for another. Having cultivars that are genetically identical optimizes large-scale production, since all the plants will thrive under the conditions that the cultivator provides. Creating many microclimates to accommodate the different varieties is expensive and difficult to do if the commercial grower’s goal is to increase yield without compromising quality.
Home gardeners’ preferences tend to be more varied, and their cultivar selections reflect that diversity. Home gardeners have different goals in mind, which is why growing from seed or having many different varieties in the same garden is perfectly acceptable. Home gardeners may be less interested in crop yields than they are with crop quality. They tend to grow different varieties so they can harvest at different times and choose from a selection of cannabinoid potencies, qualities of the high, tastes, and aromas.
It is true that the heterogeneity of maturation times and types of cannabis grown in the same garden often result in smaller yields than from a homogeneous garden. Heterogeneous gardens require more individualized attention to the different cultivars, resulting in more individual care. Most home gardeners don’t mind, especially when they see the fruits (or flowers) of their labor.
The height and spread of the canopy are two varietal characteristics to consider when choosing which cultivar works best in the garden. This is particularly important whether the garden is indoors or outdoors. Sativa-dominant cultivars tend to grow taller and stretch farther than indicas. An outdoor garden with abundant sun and plenty of room for plants to spread out works well with strong sativa varieties such as Sour Diesel, Lemon Skunk, Vanilla Frosting, Lemon Tree, Runtz, Orange Creamsicle, or Lemongrass. These tall cultivars thrive in outdoor gardens with no height restrictions, and the extra intensity of direct sunlight keeps the plants from stretching too much. If they are pruned early in vegetative growth, they will bush out more rather than grow tall. The higher light intensity promotes shorter branching and thus denser buds.
Indoor gardens typically have size restrictions. Tall varieties can potentially grow close to or into the lights, causing damage to the plants and undesirable flowers that are light and airy. Shorter varieties such as those associated with most indica-dominant and many hybrid varieties are ideal for smaller indoor grows. Cultivars such as Do-Si-Dos, Wedding Cake, Grease Monkey, Lava Cake, Northern Lights, or Super Skunk have indica characteristics and thrive in indoor climates. However, an indoor garden does not mean it has to be relegated to only growing indicas. There are plenty of sativas and hybrids such as Sour Diesel and OG Kush that thrive in even the smallest of indoor settings if they can be grown with either the SOG or ScrOG method.
Cannabis varieties have different rates of maturation once they are set to flower. Typically, this ranges from seven to 11 weeks. The time it takes to reach maturity affects the choice of variety in a couple of significant ways. First and foremost, quicker-maturing varieties allow for more harvests per year. If a grower is looking to maximize yield, and streamline production, quicker plants are a big plus. The other significant reason is that late-season varieties are inappropriate to grow in areas with short growing seasons.
Outdoor growers consider maturation speed depending on the weather in autumn, which can be cold and moist, but varies regionally. Gardens in climates that remain warm through the fall may work best with varieties that have longer flowering times. Finishing the flowering cycle while temperatures are still hot outside can cause the flowers to be less dense and lose a lot of their terpenes (aroma and flavor). Flowering later when temperatures are cool will delay ripening. Conversely, outdoor growers in climates that experience early frosts should plant cultivars that are ready to harvest early in the fall. A lot of the autoflowering varieties flower quickly and still have a lot of the original qualities that make them so great.
Once the size and maturation speed of the varieties have been decided, maximizing yields is often the next decision that needs to be considered when choosing which cultivar works best for a garden. High-yielding crops provide more medicine after harvest. These varieties are vigorous growers and will usually have higher cannabinoid potencies as well.
Maturation speed has a negative correlation with crop yield. In other words, the faster the maturation time, the lower the yield tends to be, and vice versa. Slower maturing varieties have more time to develop flowers, and thus the yields tend to be larger. However, a quick maturation time and low yield are not mutually exclusive. If it is a necessity to have a quick maturation time, the resulting smaller plants can be more densely planted to fill out the given canopy with more buds.
Examples of heavy yielders are Blue Dream, Sour Diesel, Big Bud, Critical Kush, Super Silver Haze, and White Widow.
Flavor, Aroma & High
The quality of the flower is more important than the yield for many growers. The flavor and aroma of cannabis comes exclusively from the terpene profiles of the varieties. Some cultivars have very distinct noses. The decision to grow a specific variety based on flavor and aroma is a personal decision that is best decided by the end user.
Some people prefer fruity cultivars such as Strawberry Cough or Blackberry Kush. Others prefer a sweet flavor from varieties such as Durban Poison, GSC, or some of the “cake” varieties such as Wedding Cake or Ice Cream Cake. Sour Diesel, Chemdawg 4, and Hindu Kush all have gassy noses due to a relatively high concentration of limonene. Flavor and aroma preferences are personal, but they are also very closely related to the high that comes from smoking/vaping these varieties as well.
The high from cannabis comes from the interplay of the different cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant. With hundreds of active ingredients, there are practically endless terpene and cannabinoid combinations. Finding the high that works best for different situations is part of the fun of exploring cannabis. Terpenes such as a-pinene and limonene are bronchodilators and tend to give an uplifting energetic high. B-caryophyllene and linalool are smooth muscle relaxers and are generally found in varieties that provide a relaxing, calming high. Cannabinol (CBN) is the only cannabinoid that is regularly mentioned in lab testing that is also a smooth muscle relaxer and can cause that calming high. Many consumers use cannabis to ease anxiety and will look to cultivars with higher than average cannabidiol (CBD) content, such as AC/DC, Cannatonic, Sour Tsunami, Harlequin, and Ringo’s Gift.
Cannabis is susceptible to gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) and powdery mildew, which is caused by a number of fungal species. Both of these fungal infections thrive in stagnant, high-humidity environments. Gardens with humidity controls or naturally low humidity and substantial air movement around the plants are less susceptible to mold and fungi. However, cannabis is grown all over the world, and there are a number of regions where high-quality cannabis is grown in high-humidity environments. Cultivars that are grown in high humidity gardens need to have some level of mold resistance.
Cultivars derived from varieties and hybrids from Thailand, Vietnam, and other countries in Southeast Asian where it is humid have a higher resistance to mold. Varieties such as Pineapple Thai, Super Lemon Haze, Voodoo, and Juicy Fruit have Thai ancestry and are less prone to fungal infection.
Finding high-quality cannabis seeds in Europe is about to get easier. Franchise Global Health announced that its Danish subsidiary, Rangers Pharmaceutical, will be Europe’s first legal and registered seed bank in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to an April 28 press release.
The seed bank is home to one of the largest collections of its kind with 286 strains, including several world-class genetics and winners of 19 High Times Cannabis Cups. The company has a footprint all over the globe, including Germany, Canada, Colombia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Portugal, and Denmark.
While seed banks can be found in places such as the Netherlands and the U.K., this seed bank is licensed to store, sell, and export cannabis seeds globally under legal international trade frameworks, with permits to import and export. Rigorous adherence to good manufacturing practices (GMP) is part of the equation.
“In Europe, we abide by EU-GMP standards, which requires a rigorous approach to production of all medicines,” Franchise Global Health Executive Chairman and CEO Clifford Starke told High Times via email. “Medical cannabis is by definition a medicine and we are committed to adhering to these requirements so that patients can have the confidence that they are ingesting consistently high-quality product.”
New Frontier Data special contributor Oliver Bennett explained in an article why EU-GMP certification is critical in Europe—especially in the world of medical cannabis, in which quality control is of the utmost importance. Adhering to those good manufacturing practices is key to surviving in the regulated market.
Starke continued, “In our conversations with patients in Germany and other European countries, we became acutely aware that they are discerning and demanding, wanting quality control at all points of the journey, thereby making the procurement of high-quality genetics vital to our vertically integrated business model.”
According to the news release, Franchise Global will set aside its most distinguished strains for its own internal flower production for global markets. In 2021 it received a third-party audited valuation of C$9.5 million.
“Our goal is to become Europe’s most trusted source of high-quality EU-GMP cannabis. This will be achieved in part by establishing our seedbank as a source for high-quality, Cannabis-Cup winning genetics,” Starke said in the announcement. “Essentially this is 30 years worth of IP from landraces all around the world with strong genetic heritage including from Thailand, Colombia, and other highly sought after sources of origin.”
Franchise Global Health gained early mover advantage in Europe after securing licenses in Germany to import and distribute cannabis, with a 90,000 square foot EU-GMP-certified processing facility. In Germany, Franchise Global also operates a 500,000 square foot reserved cultivation capacity at an EU GMP certified facility in Ontario, Canada that has delivered to Germany, as well as a 30,000 square foot EU-GMP facility.
Last May, the Danish government permanently authorized licensed companies to produce and export medical cannabis, independent of an existing pilot program, Hemp Todayreported. Many Canadian-based companies have their sights set on working with operations in the country.
The discussion of cannabis strains has evolved to a point where it can feel like an entirely foreign language. While most consumers are familiar with the bedrock categories of sativa, indica and hybrids, concepts like minor cannabinoids and terpene profiles have expanded the conversation dramatically. Additionally, the sheer volume of strains on the market today can make the experience of selecting the best option for your needs feel downright overwhelming.
Fortunately, getting a better grasp on exactly what makes a strain a strain can be as simple as taking a quick journey through cannabis history. To start, let’s take a closer look at the aforementioned bedrock strains.
A Botanist’s Desire: The Origins of Indica and Sativa
While mainstream cannabis culture has long relied on sativa, indica and hybrids to define a given strain, these terms are largely considered outdated. For many years, common wisdom suggested that sativas offered a more cerebral high while indicas, by contrast, would put consumers “in da couch,” courtesy of a body high. Hybrids, by extension, offered varying combinations of the two.
This line of thinking can be traced back to the mid-1700s, where the terms indica and sativa were separately established as cannabis subspecies by Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus and French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Though far less prevalent, it should also be noted that a third subspecies, ruderalis, was identified by Russian botanist Dmitrij Janischewsky in 1930. Owing to the murky taxonomy of cannabis — a situation undoubtedly exacerbated by the fact that cannabis was illegal in most of the world until recently — indica and sativa caught on while ruderalis became more of a historical footnote.
What’s important to understand is that these terms are botanical in nature, not pharmacological. Rather than telling us about the potential effects that come with consuming a sativa or indica, these categories speak to the shape and size of a given cannabis plant’s leaves and the fiber they produce. In short, these concepts remain helpful to cultivators but do little to give consumers a clear picture of what they can expect to experience.
All Crossed Up: Hybrids and Cannabis Naming Conventions
Fast forward to the 1960s, and we arrive at the onset of modern cannabis breeding.
As demand for cannabis in the U.S. continued to grow, the longer flowering cycle required of the pure sativas grown and transported from Mexico and the Caribbean caused a lack of supply. In search of a solution, California cannabis breeders began crossing these sativas with indicas native to Nepal and Afghanistan, hoping to create strains that offered the quicker flowering cycle of the latter with the higher potency of the former. Their success would ultimately establish California’s position as a capital for world-class cannabis while also kicking off a hybrid cultivating craze that continues to this day.
Naming conventions for cannabis strains can also be pegged to this milestone moment.
Prior to the 1970s, strains were usually named for the geographic region in which they originated. Also known as landrace strains, this straightforward process resulted in mainstays like Panama Red, Afghan Kush, and Acapulco Gold. From there, these strains were crossed, and then those crosses were crossed, and so forth. As a means of establishing lineage, subsequent strains were named to reflect the “parent” strains of a given hybrid.
Today, however, strain names are inspired by a variety of factors. In some cases, the name may speak to the strain’s effects, while others may highlight a given strain’s notable coloring, trichome density or aroma. And then there are strains named for pop culture figures, cannabis icons, and in some cases, just whatever the breeder in question felt like using. As a result, while some names can tell us a lot about a given strain — though even that can vary from market to market — going off name alone is not always a reliable metric.
Instead, most budtenders will likely tell you about a strain’s terpene profile and featured cannabinoids. Unlike strain names, knowing the amount and type of terpenes and cannabinoids a strain contains is an excellent method for determining which options will work best for you.
Safe Keeping: The Importance of Seed Banks
As cannabis breeding continues to diversify the strain pool, it’s never been more important to ensure that cultivators have access to the seeds that make it all possible. Thankfully, we have seed banks.
Seed banks are businesses that specialize in storing and selling cannabis seeds. With many showcasing incredibly robust inventories, seed banks can be seen as a kind of living library for the flower’s genetics, featuring both classic options as well as the latest and greatest.
In addition, seed banks will often feminize the seeds they sell — an incredibly important facet of the process considering it’s only the female cannabis plant that can produce the buds we know and love. Some seed banks also offer what’s known as auto-flowering seeds, which some growers may prefer as the resulting plants mature quickly and produce maximum yields.
Lastly, it’s important to note that the story of strains is still being written. As advances in genetic mapping continue to evolve, it’s possible our understanding of strains will dramatically expand in the months and years to come. But for now, with the above information in mind, you should feel fully empowered to begin your own strain quest in search of the perfect match.
Buying marijuana seeds and growing them can be both exciting and a daunting undertaking. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process and point you in the right direction. Firstly check your local state and national laws. Make sure you are familiar with all the implications and what exactly is legal in your area. […]
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