Choosing a Strain: The Keys to Success
When you’re choosing a strain to grow, there’s a veritable laundry-list of specifications for you to consider. From the size and yield of the plants you want to grow, to their maturing time, bud density, resin content and scent production, there are many factors for you to heed.
First is size: do you want to grow big or small?
This will guide you toward indica or sativa strains accordingly. Choose indica strains for compact, dense plants that will grow smaller and bushier, with tighter, denser buds if you’re growing inside. Avoid choosing a sativa strain unless you’ll be growing outdoors
After size considerations, you’ll most likely want to consider yield as well as the grow time necessary from the start of the vegetative cycle to the harvest. Some strains have been selectively bred to reach maturity and flower earlier, as well, making them ideal for indoors. Growing from clones or starters is also an attractive option to those who want to guarantee that they have all-females, or who simply don’t want to bother with seeds and germination. In any case, choosing a strain ultimately comes down to personal choice more than anything else.
Medical users may wish to focus on choosing a strain that has been shown to contain a certain percentage of cannabinoids other than THC, such as CBD, CBN, and CBC. Then there are the various terpenes that can be found in different cannabis strains, which have their own unique scents and health benefits.
Help Choosing a Strain that is Right for You
Popular strains of citrus-smelling cannabis for instance, including New York City Diesel, Sour Diesel and Lemon Sour Diesel contain a terpene called limonene. This terpene is also found in lemons, limes and herbs such as lemon balm and lemongrass, and it’s been shown to have therapeutic health benefits as well. Many marijuana users prefer the scent of certain strains over others, and recent research has shown that this may have to do with the terpenes contained in different strains.
If you’re choosing a strain remotely though, such as ordering seeds over the internet, you’ll want to look for reviews from other growers. Many strains, like Northern Lights (NL) or Super Skunk (SS) make good beginner strains, being hardy and resilient plants that can take a bit of abuse and don’t need the same level of fastidious care that more temperamental strains require.
Scent is also an important factor not just because you’d prefer to grow cannabis you like the smell of, but also because you might not want to be growing a strain that stinks the whole neighborhood up like a skunk, if you catch my drift. In a world where cannabis cultivation is still painfully illegal for most people, the unique scent that growing cannabis puts off (including in the vegetative cycle, folks, not just during the flowering phase) is a huge red flag.