Structure

For every strain there is a photograph of the plant at maturity, just before it is being harvested. There is also an image of this strain dried and manicured as you would buy it from a coffeshop or dispensary. What follows next is the grow info of that plant. This includes the structure of the plant and the growth behavior it takes. It includes the following values: slow, fast, lanky, strong, stretchy, sturdy, bushy, squat, like a Christmas tree. The terms used here are self explanatory. A plant might have one or more of these attributes. The shape and form it takes is essential for every grower because he can then calculate the space and efficiency of his grow room. It is also an important factor about the number of plants that he will grow and the growing technique that he will choose. By this he can predict the behavior of the plants and can adjust the growing schedule accordingly.

The next part of information is about the type of plant and the dominant traits it carries throughout its entire life span. It is about where it looks and grow like a Sativa or Indica. This is independent of the lineage it follows. For example a plant could be Sativa dominant (60/40) but might look and grow like an Indica. Or it may start as an Indica and then follow a Sativa grow pattern.

What comes next is the percentage of stretching after the initiation of flowering. Cannabis plants can grow indefinitely until a grower switch the photo-period from 18 hours of light to 12. Outdoors this happens when the day decreases, usually during the summer (in the Northern hemisphere) and that is why the plants flower and harvested during autumn. When the initiation of flowering is induced they sometimes double or triple their size depending on their genetic lineage. I state the percentage of increase along with an example that describes accurately that stretch in centimeters. (I live in Europe and we use the metric system). So if a strain is induced to flowering when is at 35 cm height and finish at 70cm it will have a stretch of 100%, meaning that it gets another 35cm of height during flowering. The accurate stretch info is very useful for indoor setups because it determines the level of pruning or training, the grow techniques that will be used and the correct timing for all these, so an even canopy of plants will be made and the light will spread out evenly. The height of light systems will also be adjusted accordingly.

The next factor is the side branches it builds. Some plants grow a large main cola (the upper central part) with just a few branches and others have a large number of side branches that compete with the main cola. First goes the number of branches a plant has. These include the following values; not very many, less to average, an average number, average to many, a lot of, a great many, extremely many. After that comes the length those branches might have. These include the following values; very short, short, short to average, slightly below average length, into an average length, slightly above average length, medium to long length, long, very long. The last part including information of the branches is about their strength. Those values could be; below average strongness, ordinary strong and vigorous, slightly above average strogness, above average strogness, strong and vigorous, very strong and vigorous, extremely strong and vigorous. The terms used are self explanatory.

The next factor is about the formation of buds on those branches. Whether they form hardly ordinary buds on the side branches or if they build many, thick buds on those side branches. And of course where they need to be supported (because of their own weight they might collapse, or where they do not need any support at all. I must note here that most of the strains I chose need to be supported as they build a heavy production of buds, the number one factor they have been selected for.

There is also the buds to leaves ratio. That means how many leaves a strain has in proportion to the buds it produces. There are some strains that are very leafy and need a significant amount of time to be trimmed and others that have huge buds with fat calyxes and minimum foliage. That means that minimum time for trimming is required. It is something of great importance if the amount of yield is huge or if there is a great number of plants. The values here are; below average, slightly below average, ordinary, slightly above average, above average, very good, extremely good and absolute peak.

The rest ot the attributes of the plant include whether they can be placed together or need space. Whether they respond well to the pruning of the main stem or if they should not be heavily pruned. Their tolerance of over- or under-fertilization and whether they need much fertilizer or not. Their vulnerability against fungal diseases as well as if they are susceptible to mold. Their tolerance on temperature fluctuations and whether they like, or have no problem with, either low or high temperatures. Whether they need a lot of room upward or if they are suited for low grow rooms. The growing techniques that this plant can be grown such as SOG (Sea of Green), SCRoG (Screen of Green), Supercropping and LST (Low Stress Training).

For quick reference in a SOG system we place 12-20 plants in a square meter close together, we do not top and we induce the initiation of flowering at minimum height (usually at 30cm). What follows is that they concentrate their power to the main cola and since they are close together they form a sea of green, hence the name. I measured the productivity for all strains according to this method because it is the fastest and most productive way either for indoor setups or even greenhouses. The SCRoG method involves a net put over the flowering plants. The grower then weaves stems through the screen as they grow. When the plant starts flowering it already has a flat structure with lots of bud sites well spaced under the light. This way he increases the yield per plant so he can put lesser plants per square meter but it is a time consuming method and it does not apply to massive commercial cultivation as it requires a lot of time and effort from the grower. It is more for smaller setups where the number of growing plants is an issue. Supercropping is a technique that involves extreme bending and hurting the plant in a planned way. This way the plant will grow bushier, with more buds and maybe even higher THC, hence the name. The last technique LST (Low Stress Training) involves bending the top of the plant since the early vegetative stage, so that the rest of the branches make it up to the top. As a result there are multiple colas on one plant adding to its yield. This is also a way to manage the height of the plant, especially if it is Sativa dominant and will grow tall.

The final factor I examine on the grow info section is whether a strain needs much care or not and if it is a good choice for beginners, an intermediate level of growing is required, or whether it should be bred by experts. This sums up the grow info section.

The next section is about the time a strain needs to flower measured in weeks. This applies to both indoor cultivation and greenhouses with a lights system added. For outdoor setups or greenhouses without lights I state the month of harvest and the time interval; early, middle or end of this month.

The most important section for professional growers is this one. How many grams per square meter a strain might give when grown in a SOG (Sea of Green) setup. It has minimum and maximum values. I also state the grams a plant might give individually for outdoor setups or greenhouses that prefer an equal space between the plants with no growing technique applied on them. The values presented here are an average of the grow reports I studied. Advanced growers might achieve better results.

The following section provides with the minimum and maximum height of a strain, in an indoor grow setup. It is the final height it might reach during flowering if no toping, pruning, bending or twisting occurs. This is more important for indoor cultivation or low greenhouses, because in mass production greenhouses, height is not an issue.

Next is the percentage of Sativa or Indica dominance of the plant. The majority of all the cannabis strains out there are hybrids as they come from a mixed lineage of Sativa and Indica species. Identifying this percentage gives an indication of the profile of the plant.

What follows is the percentage of THC of a particular strain (Tetrahydrocannabinol). It is the most famous of all the cannabinoids a strain consists and it contains the principal psychoactive component of cannabis. There are minimum and maximum values.

The other major cannabinoid is CBD (Cannabidiol). It does not have any psychoactive effects, but has massive medical properties. The number stated in this section is the average number from test results coming out from laboratories and the information provided by breeders.

The next bit of information is the genetic lineage of this strain. It states the parents of the strain, whether it is only two of them, or if it is the result of multi-crossing. Some of the strains used by the breeders are still unknown, as being business secrets.

The following section consists of the different phenotypes a strain might give. It is very common to have more than one phenotype on a species. This happens in nature because some plants will look like the father and some of their mother. It also happens because the breeders do not stabilize their strains enough to be homogenous. Sometimes market needs, the rush to success and profit hunting makes them impatient so they distribute those seeds before they stabilize them. I must say here that for most growers this is a pleasant surprise, and the opportunity to grow a variation or rare phenotype is considered to be the spice of life. There comes a time when a special phenotype comes in and changes the course of history in cannabis world. On the other hand in indoor settings and low grow rooms this could be an issue as it tends to tear apart the uniformity of the grow setup and adjustments need be made.

One of the most identified senses for cannabis is the smell. I state in this section the aroma, scents and hints that a species might have. I use simple words with no exaggerations and no flattered comments (except maybe for the ones they deserve it). It is a simple, plain, objective description that the reader can immediately understand.

This is one of the most popular sections for most of the users and one of my favorites too. It is about the taste, notes and flavors that a strain might have. Again I use the most specific words for the reader to understand without exaggerations or emotions. I also state the aftertaste if it differs from the general flavor of this strain.

This section is the most popular of all. It is about the effects of the strain. I state here the initiation of the effect and how quickly it takes place. The effects it provides both mentally and physically, its intensity, the duration of the effect and how this changes over time. I also include the amount of potency this strain has. It has those values; affects slightly below average, not too strong, affects slightly above average, affects middle-high to high, strong and long lasting, very strong and long lasting, extremely strong and very long lasting.  Finally I include the tolerance this strain builds. By this I mean how easy for a person is to get used with the effects of that strain over time. There are some strains that one can get used to in short time and others that feel the same even after months of consuming it. The values here are; fast to average tolerance education, ordinary, slow to average, slow tolerance education, very slow, extremely slow and quasi not any tolerance education. The last means that there is no way someone will ever get used to this strain no matter how long time he consumes it.

The final section refers to the medicinal properties of the strain. It is the most important section for patients, researchers, doctors and medical companies. On this section all the attributes of the medical aspects of a strain are described in a simple and easy to read way.