How to Select the Best Strains for First Time Growers
Blue Dream remains one of the most popular strains in the cannabis economy. It has that sweet blueberry smoke inherited from one Blueberry Indica parent and the gentle, calm, relaxing euphoria of Sativa Haze from the other.
Blue Dream relieves medical stresses quickly without heavy sedation, so it remains a favorite among new and long-term smokers. But, it’s also popular because it is easy to grow. So are Green Crack, Guerilla Glue #4, Dutch Treat, and Northern Lights.
Having written about these strains before, we see an opportunity to consider other first-time grower options.
How to select the best strains for first time growers:
Selecting the best strain depends a bit on where you live, what the climate is, and where the plant was bred. Some of them are native to and more easily available in certain sections of Alaska, Washington, or Oregon, for example. Growing indoors or outdoors makes a difference, as do plans to raise organically or hydroponically. But, this list assumes you are a first-time small-scale grower for your own supply.
You should be satisfied if you look for certain criteria in seeds, plants, or clones for your first try:
White Widow is a several time Cannabis Cup winner, a Sativa-dominant hybrid (60% Sativa/40% Indica with THC: 18% – 25% and CBD: 1%). Its product punches hard and fast to eliminate stress and anxiety and leave you couch-locked.
Grown indoors, White Widow should flower in 54-75 days at 3.5’ high with a yield of up to 4oz per plant.
Lowryder (Ganja Dwarf) is a balanced hybrid (50% Sativa/50% Indica with 20% THC). Amsterdam Seeds calls it “the fastest auto-flowering strain there is.” The THC euphoria relieves stress and nausea with a pronounced stony relaxation.
It should flower for 6 to 7 weeks after 8 to 9 weeks germinating at 11 to 12 inches and yielding approximately 5.3oz per plant.
AK-47 is Sativa-dominant hybrid (65% Sativa/35% Indica with cannabinoids at THC: 13% – 20%, CBD: 1%, CBN: 1%). It grows fast, potent, and flavorful. It’s heavy cerebral buzz will take care of stress and anxiety for a long time.
This strain yields 1.5-4oz per 2’ – 3/5” plant within 53-69 days, but the strong odor may give your secret grow away.
Sour Diesel packs a wallop as a Sativa-dominant hybrid (90% Sativa/10% Indica for a staggering THC of 26%, CBD 2%, and CBN 45). The 26% THC produces near psychedelic effects: cerebral energy, creative drive, and pain and anxiety relief.
The auto-flowering version grows fast (9.5 weeks) to a height of 20”-27” and yielding 18oz/m2.
Grow Box Grow
Yumboldt 47 is an Indica-strong hybrid (Indica 90% and Sativa 10%) socking a 20% THC punch. Its popularity lies in its candy flavor and its substantial medicinal benefits. The heavy drowsiness treats insomnia and stress.
Plants grow to 40” and yield 12oz/m2 from dense, resinous, and large buds.
Dutch Passions has registered Blue Auto Mazer® to protect its breeding. It’s a Indica hybrid (75%/25% that produces a pleasant fruity flavor and strong funky aromas. Strong and sedating, it treats pain, migraines, stress, depression, and ADD.
You can harvest flowers from this bushy Christmas tree shape in 75 days after germination, and they should dry harvest as 11-12oz/plant.
You’ll want to look for cannabis competition award winners. The cannabis economy is relatively young, so it takes itself quite seriously. The industry sees the economic potential in branding, and banned from advertising, they use major competitive events to communicate their message.
In the U.S., you should research performance and winners at Best Bud (D.C.), Cannabis Cup, Dope Cup, High Times Medical Cup, Northwest Cannabis Classic, and Stony Awards. In Canada, you can check out Prairie Medicinal Marijuana Cup, Tokers Bowl, Toronto Cannabis Cup, and Winnipeg Cannabis Cup. New events are popping up everywhere throughout the year.
Questions for first time growers to ask:
To select the best strains for your gardening experience, you need to research and ask the following questions:
- How much space does this strain take up? If you are growing at home, you need to allocate floor space for the plant’s potential height and breadth of its growth.
- Who are the parents, the ancestors in this strain? Genetics contain a lot of info on growth habits, yields, nutritional needs, and pest resistance.
- How long does it take from seed to flower and flower to harvest? If you take this seriously, you must schedule and calendar growth, feedings, and irrigation, so knowing the seed to harvest timeframe rules.
- What tricks and tips help raise this strain? Each strain has its own quirks, and generations of breeders, farmers, and users have adapted special treatments to special stain needs.
- How high is the high or how stoned is the stone? You don’t want to be disappointed in the effects of your first growth, but unless you know the expected potency, you won’t figure it out. So, you must shop for potency as much as any other reason.
- Do I want or need THC or CBD heavy? Because of restrictions, many medical patients have taken to growing their own stash, and because strains serve different medical conditions differently, you want to know what you are doing in terms of THC/CBD percentages.
There’s plenty of information out there!
There’s much more to the decision to grow your own. Fortunately, the web has filled in the knowledge gap that has widened over the illegal years. Experts have been farming weed for centuries, and the internet has become the depository for that encyclopedic knowledge. And, if you are not resident in a state that has legalized grow, sales, and possession, you will have to trust to online info from providers of seed, grow media, lights, and nutrients.
Your best option is to be upfront about interests, concerns, and problems. There are serious minds willing and able to help you.