By Dan Vaillancourt
4trees Cannabis Building Ltd
Aside from alcohol cannabis is the most used recreational substance in the world.
According to a 2019 study done by the World Health Organization over 200 million people are enjoying this beautiful plant worldwide.
With regularly changing taste preferences and thousands of strains to choose from it can be difficult to decide which strain your customers will like best.
So many taste palates to please and constantly evolving cannabis genetics can easily overwhelm growers. This will cause many old-school growers to retrogress and new growers to try and re-invent the wheel.
Although “Acapulco Gold” could make a come-back, or the thought of smoking some “Crouching Tiger Hidden Alien” sounds intoxicating, there are many different key factors that should go into picking a great strain to produce first.
Like any good business, the cannabis industry is driven by its consumers. The potency, look, aromas and taste of your cannabis will determine the end market goal. Preference changes regularly as developments in genetics occur, but one thing always remains the same, the desire for potent, aromatic, highest yielding strains.
The types of aromas and flavors that are popular have shifted throughout the years much like fashion. Things that where hot decades ago will generally make a comeback. Right now, we are leaving a “gassy” trend and entering the “sweet & skunky” phase once again. These terms refer to the distinct tastes and smells that the different genetics provide.
To stand aside from the competition in a busy recreational cannabis market your micro cultivation facility or licensed producer needs to have a unique strain that is hot on the market. Even if you are growing for your own consumption its always nice to have the newest and best strains available.
Aside from what is popular on the market it is necessary to consider other important factors such as: growth characteristics, bug & mold resistance, growing periods, space limitations, harvesting and storing before picking your strain.
Not all genetics take the same time to grow and mature in the same environment. Sativa varieties tend to be much taller, less bushy with longer flowering times (9 – 16 weeks). Although a good Sativa may take longer to mature, you can be rewarded with high yields of unique flower that has uplifting effects. Keep in mind, the larger the plant, the more root room it will require.
Indica dominant strains tend to be lower in height, bushier with a shorter flowering time (7 – 9 weeks) and offer a more relaxing high. Auto-flower, or Ruderalis is a third type of cannabis that genetically is lying somewhere in between Indica and Sativa. Ruderalis strains can generally be quite unique in their terpene profiles and produce large flowers due to their photosynthesis periods. They will grow short and flower very fast under vegetative conditions (18+ hours daylight). Of course, hybrids are a mix of any 2 of the above varieties, but more commonly Indica/Sativa.
If you have high ceilings in your grow room, spaced apart plants and can house a large root base in your growing system then you can safely think about growing a Sativa dominant strain. However, if you have shorter distance between your grow lights or closely spaced plants, then it would be best to go with an Indica or Auto-flower variety. Also, a bug and mold resistant strain is always a plus.
Auto-flowering strains are generally reserved for the craft, home grower interested in unique lineages as they are harder to reproduce with traditional mothering & cloning techniques due to their flowering photoperiod.
TOP 5 STRAINS OF 2022
Compiling decades of research, up to date market analytics and good growth characteristics these are the top 5 strains to grow in 2022.
#5 Jungle Cake
Jungle Cake from Seed Junky Genetics is as delicious and exotic as it sounds. They crossed Wedding Cake with White Fire #43 to bring this deliciously sweet & spicey cake collaboration to the table. The effects are relaxing and engaging, excellent for a movie night.
#4 Exodus Cheese
This is for all the skunk lovers! Also known as “Cheese” or “UK Cheese” Exodus Cheese by Greenhouse Seeds is the original gangster, originating in Southern England during the late 1980’s. Even though many breeders use it to cross with other varieties, we believe crossing this strain with anything only diminishes an already winning strain. Living up to its name this is a very piney, earthy smelling strain that tastes strongly of cheese.
#3 The Soap
Seed Junky Genetics teamed up with Cookies to create The Soap. Don’t be fooled by the name, this strain has huge floral and vanilla notes. It is a delicious cross of Animal Mints and Kush Mints that was named “The Soap” for the distinct vanilla smell the cannabis gives across. This is a strong Sativa leaning hybrid that regularly tests over 25% THC. The flowers are very dense, with amber trichomes and deep red pistils.
#2 91 Krypt
DNA Genetics brings yet another winner with 91 Krypt. This extremely potent, high THC hybrid is renowned around the world for its medicinal properties and incredibly unique flavor. Some of its intense aromas are exotic wood, citrus, diesel fuel and mango. 91 Krypt grows short plants with very fat buds, it is best grown in tightly spaced systems like drain to waste hydroponics.
You must be creators of something special to make it on to this list three times. Jealousy is exactly that, Seed Junky Genetics knocks it out of the park with this one. Jealousy is an extremely potent indica leaning hybrid combining Cookies’ Gelato 41 and a winning Sherbet cross. With aromas of sweet candy and creamy vanilla, this strain is sure to get 2022 on track.
Its important to always start from seed rather than someone’s clones. This will ensure that you not only get the strongest guaranteed genetics, but also that you don’t bring molds or bugs into your grow room. There is nothing wrong with cloning for yourself down the road but bringing clones in is not recommended.
Remember that not all genetics are the same as well. Out of 10 feminized seeds of the same variety, 7 may be very close to the desired variety, where 3 can take on traits from either the mother or father that you may have not expected. It’s always best to get more seeds than you need and plan for some mistakes.
Regular seeds will be an excellent option for strong genetics but does come with a bit more work involved. You will need to grow them and determine the sex on your own, pulling the males out when you see signs of them. Most growers do not like to throw plants out and opt for feminized seeds because of this.
The breeders that have created these amazing strains have done most of the hard work for us, however, to really be rewarded with top quality craft cannabis it will take some selecting and fine tuning of the exact phenotypes that you want within those varieties. Take your time, treat your mother plants as good as your flowering plants and you will be rewarded with some of the best cannabis in the world.