Cannabis has been in existence for over 5000 years and its popularity keeps growing every year. Though not every state legalizes the use of cannabis, many people still use the product regardless of the restrictions. Some states in America and Canada are making the use of cannabis legal and there is no doubt that many others will follow suit. As much as people love the product, not many know much about its chemistry. Some may have heard about the word strain but only know the names of the strains without really understanding everything there is to know.
Majority of the experienced cannabis growers know what to look for when they want to purchase weed seedlings or clones. This however is not the same case with new growers. The beauty of cannabis is that it has a variety of strains. This variety is what spices up the lives of those that swear by the product. Some people want their marijuana soft and without too much smell while others want to feel the high of the product with the first puff. Other people want the stuff purely for medical reasons and others want the relaxation effects that come with smoking the product. A few others may want to try out the stuff because everyone else is doing it and they do not want to miss the fun. Then there is the lot that only grows the crop for commercial purposes.
Whatever the reason, if you are new in marijuana growing, then it is only fair to know about the different strains in the market. The different marijuana varieties get many people confused and some may think that one strain fits them all and maybe there is not much difference. Every strain comes with its own characteristics and popularity. In this article, we take you through the varieties in the market and give you guidelines on HOW TO SELECT THE BEST MARIJUANA STRAINS.
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Types of Marijuana Strains
Marijuana has three main strain categories. The three are sativa, indica and hybrid. The three strains produce different effects and people use them for different reasons. Under these three categories are other different kinds of strains that go by other names. In fact, there are over 7000 marijuana strains in the world, which all come from these three main categories. Out of these, only a few are popular with most users. If you tell many of the users about sativa, indica and hybrid, they may not know what you are talking about because they know their products by the other names that fall under the three categories.
Popularity of the strains depends on various aspects ranging from availability of the strain, potency, cost and the effects. Others want strains that can cure certain disease and symptoms while others want strains that can give them the best high. The two main categories, sativa and indica have majority of the other strains falling under them. Hybrid is a cross between sativa and indica but it is also as popular as the other two.
Sativa thrives better in warmer climates as compared to the other strains. They are the tallest of the strains and can grow up to 20 feet outside and six feet indoors. Sativa strains have longer branches with narrow pointed leaves that have a light green color. Sativa compared to the other strains take longer to grow and this can be anything between 10 to 20 weeks depending on the grow medium. There is belief that sativa originated from central Asia and thrived better in warmer climates. It was very popular in Southeast Asia, Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and other places near the equator.
For people looking for a strain with a higher percentage of THC, the sativa is their best choice. The strain offers users more high and more energetic effects. It helps to promote creativity in people and if you have a poor social life or you are a shy person, taking sativa helps to loosen you up. You may even find out that you are after all a food conversationalist and you love to laugh. The high THC levels also help to bring down depression, attention deficit, and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and fatigue.
Some of the best known sativa strains are ATF, Allen Wrench, Amnesia, Bay 11, Chocolope, Cinex, Dirty Girl, Durban Poison, Ghost Train Haze, Grapefruit, Green Crack, Harlequin, Island Sweet Skunk, Jack Herer, Kali Mist, Lambs Bread, Laughing Buddha, Maui Wowie, Panama Red, Purple Haze, Red Headed Stranger, Schrom, Sour Diesel, Strawberry Cough, Super Lemon Haze, Super Silver Haze, Tangie, and Acapulco Gold among many others.
TOP 10 BEST SATIVA STRAINS:
Named cannabis indica in 1785 by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck a French biologist, the indica strain first made an appearance thirty two years after the naming the first sativa strains. The strain got its name after the realization that the Indian cannabis had different characteristics from the cannabis sativa. True to the earlier research findings, both sativa and indica have different cannabinoid effects and profiles. Unlike the sativa strain that grow tall, indica strain is short and stout and takes a lesser tie to mature. The strain matures in 8 to 12 weeks depending on the grow medium.
They are also the best strains for indoor growing because of the shorter heights. The highest the indica strains grow to is four feet. They also have shorter and fewer branches as compared to their sativa counterparts. Whereas sativa leaves are sharp and pointed, indica strain has much wider blades and their color is a darker green than that of the sativa strain. Research further shows that originally, the two strains came from the same species but due to replanting in different regions that have no similarities geographically, the differences occurred.
In the past, indica flourished in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It does better in cooler places because it has resin that helps it to survive the high altitude and cold. Indica has a higher percentage of CBD than THC. People looking for strains that have medical benefits go for the indica strains other than the sativa strains. The strain has great relaxation and stress relief effects. Certain indica strains help with pain relief, insomnia, inflammations. Sleep apnea, insomnia, epilepsy, nausea, muscle spasms and anxiety among many other health problems.
Some of the most popular indica strains in the market today are; Blueberry, Afgoo, Afghani, G13, Grand Ape, 9 Pound Hammer, Bubba Kush, Berry White, Granddaddy Purpleingrid, Herijuana, Kosher Kush, Lavender, Obama Kush, Hindu Kush, Master Kush, Pushberry, Northern Lights, Purple Urkle, Pez, Plushberry, Presidential OG, Zkittlez and Willy’s Wonder.
TOP 11 BEST Indica STRAINS:
Golden State Collective (GSC) Cannabis Laboratories wrote in 2011 that 99% of the cannabis in use all over the world was from the two main marijuana strains which is sativa and indica this however did not mean that the cannabis was either sativa or indica. This meant that whatever was in the market was a cross between the two strains. Today, many cannabis farmers cross breed sativa and indica strains to come up with hybrid strains used by many people across the globe. The hybrids harvested fall into three other categories which are indica-dominant, sativa-dominant and fifty-fifty.
The reason why farmers merge the two strains to get one strain is to allow the sativa dominant strains to survive in harsh climates while the other reason is to balance out the effects of both strains. Hybrid takes on the characteristics of both the indica and sativa strains. Today majority of the commercial strains are hybrids and growers can determine the impact of the strain. Another popular kind of a hybrid is the auto flowering strain.
The most popular hybrid strains are; ACDC, Chemdawg, AK-47, Blue Dream, Cannatonic, Cherry Pie, Banana OG, Cinderella 99, Chernobyl, Dancehall, Juicy Fruit, Double Dream, Jellybean, Dutch Treat, Jean Guy, Golden Coat, Ewok, Fruity Pebbles, Headband, Gelato, Larry OG, Permafrost and OG Kush. Others are, Lemonder, Lodi Dodi, Middlefork, Mendocino Purps, Mango Kush, Pineapple Chunk, Sour OG, Snowcap, Pineapple Express, Pink Kush, Snoop’s Dream, Skunk No. 1, Rascal Og, SAGE, Shiatsu Kush, SFV OG, Sour Tsunami, Tahoe OG, Space Queen, White Widow, White Fire OG, Uk Cheese, Sunset Sherbet, Tangerine Dream, X-13 and Trainwreck.
What to look for when selecting your marijuana strain
With all the different types of strains in the market as we have indicated above, it can get extremely difficult to know which one is the best. Many people get disappointed by buying the wrong strains due to lack of knowledge. You can however avoid this by learning how to tell good weed from bad weed. Below are some of the guidelines that may help you especially if you are looking for the best strains to grow.
When it comes to marijuana, one of the best testing tools is your sense of smell or rather your nose. By smelling the weed, you can tell the kind of aromatic compounds present in the product. The compounds, called terpenes are present in every strain and you can easily smell the type that you want and the type that you do not want. In some states, this may be difficult because there is a state regulation requiring the sealing up of all pot before sale. Those that use the smell technique effectively are those in states that have no laws against marijuana sales or their packaging styles. If you cannot use your smelling powers, then the only other alternative is to find a seller that you can trust to give you the best.
No specific color determines the quality of weed but unique strains have their own signature hues that you cannot miss. The natural hues range from dark purple, bright green and gold. If you find weed with a discoloring, then most likely it is bad weed. Long exposure to sunlight bleaches the buds and you can easily tell that by looking at them. There is also a difference between bleached buds due to too much light and buds with a naturally light color.
Bleached buds have irregular discoloring while the light coloured buds have an even color on the entire bud. A bleached bud will not have the same aroma as a normal bud. You may also notice that some of the buds have a faded gold color, which is an indication of staleness and old age. The best gold coloured strains do not look green but they have an even attractive color all around the buds. One good example is the Acapulco Gold strain, which is one of the most popular weed strains.
Size and shape
It is always wiser to pick the larger pot nugs because most likely they have more potency than the smaller ones. This however does not mean that all small pot nugs are not potent enough. The popcorn nugs for example are small with very high potency. Just as the size is important, so is the shape. Before selling their pot, growers trim off the leaves to ensure there are no oily glands that could get you high. Farmers either do the trimming by hand or use automated machines. While machines make the work of trimming easier, they also damage the flowers and shake off the most important part of the flower, which is the trichome.
Machine trimmed flowers look neat with even edges but this does not necessarily mean they are the best. Hand trimmed flowers on the other hand have irregular edges but lose very few trichomes. If you check the jar containing the flowers, you may find a pile of crystals at the bottom. If the amount of crystals is huge, then it means that the strain you are buying lost several trichomes and it may not do you much good.
Product Review – T-H-SEE Magnifier
To make sure that you have a good view of the trichomes, it is advisable to use magnifying glasses. Using the naked eye may not give you a clear view of the trichomes since majority of them are very tiny. One of the best magnifying glasses in the market today is the T-H-SEE Magnifier, which magnifies images to forty times their sizes. The magnifier has 3 LEDS with 2 of them being bright white and the other ultraviolet. The all-metal constructed magnifier comes with accessories that are specifically engineered for marijuana viewing.
It helps to determine the quality of the marijuana strains, determine the degree of ripeness and give you a better observation of the gland heads. The super white UV LEDS of the magnifier can easily spot any contaminations such as mildew, mold, bugs and hair on the strains. It uses replaceable batteries and comes with a handy hard storage case. If you want to take photos of your strains, you can use the macro lens of the magnifier with your phone to take shots you will love to keep looking at or showing your potential clients the magnifier is easy to clean and maintain and it comes with its own polishing cloth. It is easily portable too and you can use it as a key ring.
Weed hairs and crystals
Good weed should have some hair on it. If you notice this, then it means that your weed went through proper care and handling. As you check out for hairs, also check your weed for the presence of salt like crystals. Crystals appear in the form of white dots on the weed plant. the white dots are glands that produce the cannabinoids responsible for the high. The saltier the plants the better it is because it is proof that they contain more cannabinoids.
In some states, it is a requirement that all weed should have their cannaboid percentage on the labels as it gives you the label of THC contained in the product It is very important to check the labels if you are in the hunt for good quality weed. The cannaboid percentage should not be the only determining factor though. You should also find out the profile of the terpenes present in the strain you choose before purchasing.
What to expect from some of the most popular weed strains
People take weed for different kinds of reasons. Some take it because of the relaxing effects, others fir medical benefits, while others take the same for their anxiety and depression. There are still those that feel energized after a few puffs of pot and others take it to enhance their creativity. Some also take weed because they have difficulties sleeping and a very small percentage take it due to peer pressure and because they just want to know how it feels like to be high. if you are venturing into weed growing, it is good to note the most popular strains in the market and to learn what their effects are. Below are some of the strains that people take for various symptoms.
Energizing weed strains
Acapulco gold is one of the most popular weed strains. It has euphoria inducing effects, enhances energy, reduces fatigue, nausea, stress and pain, other popular strains that have the same effects are Maui Wowie, Sour Diesel, White Widow and Pineapple Express among many others.
Relaxing weed strains
The strains in this category give soothing effects that leave you relaxed with a feeling of euphoria. They also help to ease pain, inflammations, cramps and insomnia. They also help to lift the mood and generally leave you feeling like a new person. The most popular strains that offer these effects are Blue Dream, Fruity Pebbles, Pineapple Express, Bubba Kush, Afghan Kush, LA Confidential, Northern Lights, and Granddaddy Purple among many others.
Pain relief wee strains
One of the other main reasons why many people take weed is to relieve pain. This is so especially for patients going through chemotherapy and those suffering from health problems such as Alzheimer’s and other chronic pains. Some of the most popular strains in the market that have the best pain reducing and relieving effects are, Acapulco Gold, Super Silver Haze, LA Confidential, Purple Kush, Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, Bubba Kush, Northern Lights, White Widow, and Afghan Kush among many others.
Creativity booster strains
There are times when some people need to feel productive but they cannot do so. With the help of some weed strains, they are able to bring out their creativity as the strain energizes them. Some of the strains that help to boost creativity are Maui Wowie, White Widow and Golden Goat among others.
Sleep aiding strains
Fatigue, anxiety, bad mood and pain can all make one lose sleep and even have sleep apnea episodes. The following strains help with relaxation and better sleep. The strains are Northern Lights, Purple Kush, LA Confidential, Granddaddy Purple, Afghan Kush and Bubba Kush among many others.
Wrapping it up
Getting the best out of your weed strain also largely depends on your growing methods. Many people are today turning to indoors growing by using mediums such as POTTING SOIL and HYDROPONIC SYSTEM to maximize their yields and ensure that they have strains with the highest potency levels. They are also using no hassle harvesting kits to ensure that they do not spoil the trichomes or the flowers.
The above-mentioned strains are some of the thousands of strains there are in the market today. We hope that by reading through the article, you now have an idea of how to select your next strains if you plan to take this journey, for any questions or comments, you can reach out to us and we will respond.
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