Ultimately the plant you select will be the one of personal taste and effect. But there are many other considerations before making a selection that could turn out to be a big waste of time and a lot of frustration. Don’t be fooled by colors and beautiful photography. Its taste and potency you’re after. Ask around, try some for yourself if you can. Not everyone has the same effect or the same conditions.
Crystal vs. Hash Resin
Above taste and effect, above Indica and Sativa, there is a noticeable difference in crystal content and more so type. Take the Hash Plant for instance that has more pollen like resin growing on the buds as opposed to the clear droplets that form on a Hawaiian. You will find that many breeds such as AK47, Afghani, White Rhino or Humboldt are types of Hash Plant pollen resins. If you want to make some Hash then select this kind of plant. In general we have found that the hash plants have a limit of THC content production and that the effect of this THC is not favorable to the majority of medical patients. In general go for the clear crystal producers. These types can actually produce so much resin that it will drip off the plant. The effects are increased and have a longer life. That said go for the most crystal producing strains.
Forget about growing Thai outside in the northwest and plan to be real patient if you grow indoors because this variety takes 12 to 14 weeks in the bloom cycle alone. The average cycle for Stoney Girl Gardens strains is 4 weeks in the green stage and 3-5 weeks in the bloom stage. This means that we look for a full season to be only 7 to 8 weeks, beginning to end. Be sure you check the length of growing time for the strain you want. Don’t get caught waiting longer than you should. Be aware that some species take a long time and if you want to enjoy them you better have lots of patience. Remember there are alternatives and new strains that deliver better performance with better tastes. Don’t get stuck on old technology like skunk, kush, afghani, g-13 or AK47. Try some new stuff like Sugar Plum, Pit Bull, Berkeley Blues or P91 (government replacement for g-13).
Sativa vs. Indica
There has been a lot said about the two of these types but in general you will get the “Earthy” old time orient taste from a broad leaf Indica and a sweet Hawaiian flavor from a thin Sativa leaf. Most new species are combinations of these. I find myself wanting to keep both a species that leans to the Indica and another that leans to the Sativa side for variety. I am one who believes that if you consume only one variety you will acclimate to the effects of that variety and therefore become less effective.
I’ve read a lot of seed catalogs that list Indoor vs. outdoor strains. This is somewhat true and of more concern for the outdoor grower than the indoor grower. I have raised a very large outdoor species in a 3’ closet with great success. If you’re really confined for space like an attic or crawl space then there are species such as NL5 and Sugar Plum that stay small but produce heavily. Be careful not to confuse the NL#5 with NL. Northern Lights is a big monster that grows 12-14’ even indoors. I have had to tie this one down several times to keep it contained. All in all select the one that is best suited to your taste, provides a sufficient quantity, is easy and fast to grow, and has a strong, lasting effect.
Every flavor awaits you. From spicy to tangy, chocolate to fruity, sweet to sour, its all out there. I recommend a variety for a number of reasons. The first reason is that it is fun to have the “spice rack” full of flavors. The second is the acclimation or getting used to a particular effect. The third is the effect itself. Some species is certain couch lock while others act like a speed causing you to be unable to rest for a second. Some is better for morning allowing for a normal work day and others are perfect for bed time. All of this coincides with the next item Effect.
As mentioned before there are different effects from different species. August West and Berkeley are one of the best species for getting on the go. They are also bad for people with anxiety conditions as they will not relax you. On the other hand, Crippled Rhino will place you into the couch for a 4 hour death grip leaving you with no other choice but to stare at the ceiling. The biggest thing I have to say here is that a good strain is good, no matter what. You should never wonder if you got an effect. If you’re asking then you did not. The effect should be sudden, strong and lasting. An average range should be about 4 hours even if swimming or eating. If your following our organic recipe then you can certainly tell when your not consuming organic product.
Some species are quite delightful. I have Exotica which throws the most eloquent looking lavender buds. The incense like smell is nothing compared to the grape taste and devastating effect. The problem was that the plant only produces about ½ an ounce and took 8 weeks in the bud cycle. Although I hated to loose a prize taste from my collection, the time and trouble was not worth the end result. Perhaps we will breed this species to perform quicker with more bulk for our next years product, but for now we put it out to pasture. Remember to weigh the quality for quantity. The other side is the production plants like White Rhino. This species grows fast and furious and that is why the commercial boys like it. The buds are light and airy and make beautiful looking packages. The quantity is huge per plant. Unfortunately the plant is not that good for medical use. Lots of nitrogen will make any plant huge but turn it into “no high thai”. Don’t settle for a plant too small or too promisingly large.
Select a strain that stores well. Generally this is a tighter bud. Keep it in glass jars. Make sure it is dry. Put it in the Freezer to prevent molding.