When choosing cannabis strains for your grow, there are some things you’ll want to consider.
Medical or Recreational?
A general perception exists that marijuana can be either used for medical or recreational purposes, but for anyone who uses cannabis for any reason will attest, the line between the two can often be blurred – if it exists at all.
That being said, marijuana for medical uses is real and most of our home grow seed buyers are looking to produce their own cannabis gardens to relieve or deal with the symptoms of a host of medical and/or psychological issues.
And while cannabis strains have come a long way towards being “indicated” for particular medical conditions, they’re not ailment-specific at this time.
Instead, there’s some general themes that many medical marijuana patients will attest to, and what most budtenders will agree on, and they fall upon sativa/indica lines.
Sativa strains tend to be energizing, awakening and active. They can inspire and engage, encourage you to move or clean or think or write or work or hike. They very generally tend to be more like daytime itself – the time for getting things done.
Many people find sativas helpful with emotional issues such as depression, low energy and lack of creativity. Some sufferers of ADD find sativas to be helpful for focus.
For some, however, sativas can be too “racy” – maybe you’ll get the jitters or get chatty or can’t stop cleaning. But don’t worry, there are “indica-leaning” sativas which can be said to be strains that are sativa-based but also have a less energizing feel. They may be slightly more soothing, relaxing and something that will allow you to manage your day but with poise and cool.
These types of strains are particularly helpful for those with PTSD or anxiety or who need a bit of relaxtion to keep focus and remain functional.
Nearly all modern cannabis strains are a hybrid of some kind, in the same way that you could be 95%, Northern European but 5% Japanese.
Unless a strain is an unmodified landrace (indigenous to a particular location), the likelihood is that it will have some variation and/or combination of sativa and indica genetics. The extent of that blend, and the strains involved, will be primary elements that dictate how the strain feels to the user.
Any strain, however, can impact a person differently based on any number of factors, including tolerance, mental state, energy level, health status, method of ingestion and so on. In the same way that tequila makes some people dance and other people take a nap, cannabis strains can be the same.
That being said, there absolutely are variances that any marijuana user will confirm – some strains feel more “hybrid” – relaxing but clarifying, chill but engaging, focused but without anxiety. Many people who have busy lives but need to be medicated try to find strains that exist in this realm.
Indica strains are those that tend to be considered the most “medicinal” because they can have a stronger impact on things like pain, anxiety, insomnia, nerve and muscle conditions, as well as alleviating nausea and symptoms from issues like cancer and chemotherapy treatments.
Indicas tend to also have higher levels of CBDs, which current science and use/testimonial suggests has significant benefits for epilepsy/seizures as well as, potentially, preventing and curing certain types of cancer.
They also tend to present the user with a “body high” and are incredibly rich sources of relief for restlessness, trauma, pain and nerves, and it’s for these reasons that strains with a higher indica profile tend to fall more in to the “medicinal” or medical category.
Sativas are daytime, indicas are nighttime and hybrids are that place around dusk and dawn. Depending on who you are, how you feel and the reasons you use cannabis, you’ll probably find a happy spot with a particular strain for a particular ailment. Or, like many cannabis users, you’ll have a strain for any occasion. Bright sativa for a hike, mellow hybrid for the afternoon and potent indica to wrap up the day and ensure a good night’s sleep.
Home or Commercial Grow
Naturally, you’re also going to use the volume and purpose of your garden to help you decide what strains to grow. Some strains are bigger, some are smaller, some produce more, some produce less, and it’ll be these factors that can contribute to your strain choices.
If you’re growing for your own garden, you may tend to focus more on strains that provide a specific type of experience rather than a concern on the ultimate yield. We tend to call those “boutique” strains – those that might produce smaller batches of incredible quality.
If you’re growing for a commercial enterprise or enjoy a larger harvest you’ll probably look for strains that are more “high yielding.” What is nice is that yield and potency or quality are not mutually exclusive and even the highest yielders can provide top-quality flower.
Indoor or Outdoor
The majority of our breeding, testing, growing and refining has been done in our indoor grows, as it is for nearly any provider of dispensary cannabis. That’s why most of our most specific grow tips may be more indoor focused. But don’t worry. Our seeds are prolific producers indoors or out and we have seen very significant and beautiful outdoor grows using only our genetics.
So while we don’t parse our genetics out to which ones we think you will want to grow indoors or outdoors, our seeds will work equally well for both, though outdoor grows tend to seek early finishers.
On every seed strain page on our site, you’ll see what we call “strain attributes” – quick summary terms that we use to affix certain designations to a strain. They’re designed as a general reference guide on what to expect from a particular strain. Size and height is one of them.
Generally, sativa strains grow to be tall and lanky and require more “headspace” – which means that you’re going to need a higher ceiling once you factor in your lights and if you’ve got your plants up on a table.
If you’re growing in a closet or a someplace with limited height you may find sativas a little troublesome. Of course if you’re an outdoor grower, sativas will enjoy love the open space and it’s not uncommon for plants to reach over 7′ – even up to 12′ in height with a crown as large as a small apple tree.
Indica and Kush strains, tend to be more stocky, stout and bushy, due to their origination in harsh and hard climates like those found in mountainous areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They’re generally going to be bushy, shorter, and have fatter and more stout structure in the overall plant and bud formation. That makes them sometimes more attuned to growing in spaces with height restrictions. Some Kush may be only 4′ tall, but they can be packed dense and tight full of buds.
The question of yield is probably the most common and people want to know how much bud they’re going to get out of a particular strain. And while there’s definitely some strains that produce much more and some that produce less, the key thing to remember is that the yield is ultimately going to come down to you. Your skills, your equipment, your nutrients and your methods.
Our seeds are little genetic capsules encoded with a lot of instructions, but they’re not robots. They’re going to respond with great sensitivity to how you manage your garden, and that’s ultimately going to modify your yields.
As we like to say, we grow big fat plants with healthy yields and you will too if you know what you’re doing.