Top Tips for Beginner Growers: Choosing Your Strain

Photo by Justin Cannabis

Over the past five years there has been a serious boom in the canna-industry. With increasing growth and development and medical research prevailing, there has never been so many new growers. Below are my top tips on what to consider when deciding which strain to grow for the first time. 

Space To Grow

It’s essential to understand that the grow space is what your plants and all the other equipment must evolve around. Correctly setting up your lights, carbon filters and fans with some basic physics is one part of having the ideal growroom. The other is understanding how your plants will grow, specifically how different types of cannabis will react when flowering. Your grow space may be a tall bedroom cupboard or it may be a grow tent that is 1.2 meters high. To avoid nightmare scenarios of tall lanky plants that are too close to hot lights, research which strains are best suited for your growroom. Many of the seed companies now days indicate which strain is best for Sea of Green or ScrOG-style setups. Usually their website or seed catalogue will also give a good description of how tall the plant is expected to grow. 

The Genetics

In my opinion, the genetics are what makes the difference between a good grower and a really good grower. Working with high-grade genetics that are well backed up with awards and industry hype can allow you to grow some of the best flowers on Earth. Considering the grow space you have, you should know if you have plenty of room to grow taller sativa strains that demand at least a good 10 weeks to ripen. Or it may be the opposite, and you only have room to grow smaller squat indica-dominant plants that finish budding in a short seven to eight weeks.

Seed banks will also offer hybrids which are considered an equal mix of the two original parents used in breeding. So for example, an indica and sativa may have been crossed to produce a plant that possesses the small squat features of the indica, however also contains traits of the large yielding fruity energetic sativa. Research which strains are crossed with which, and learn about the original genetics that make up many of the modern day strains.

Flowering Time

The amount of time that a certain variety of cannabis will need to fully flower can be as short as 50 days and in some cases 85 days. This is dependent on the genetic makeup of the strain being grown. Sometimes it is not always about yield but logistics, and there are some things to consider. For example, do you have the grow space to happily grow these plants without experiencing any issues with air flow and unwanted stretching and heat issues? Can I afford to wait that amount of time to flip a harvest before I run out of my own head stash? Do you plan to keep a long veg time or a short veg time and will you incorporate any growing techniques into the project?

Growing Techniques

This is where the world of growing can become exciting for a new grower, as this is the hands-on experience that one needs to discover the way plants grow. There is an abundance of information about different growing techniques and learning which ones work for your strain can be a real turning point in terms of overall yield.

Growing techniques can involve low-stress techniques, tying plants down, super cropping, topping, using a screen, snapping stems, fimming and mainlining. Some varieties of cannabis react better to plant training than others, and some have advantages and disadvantages. Learn about which techniques work best for you and which do not, until you discover how to get the most out of that strain in question.

High Or Stoned?

Do you want to be high, stoned or nicely balanced when smoking your final buds? Are you a daytime smoker who requires that motivational, energetic buzz or are you the smoker who needs that morning lemon fuel power punch? It could be your recent interest in growing  is to provide yourself or patients with medical cannabis. A real turning point in the canna-industry was the breakthrough and research of CBD. With 16 U.S. states having some type of CBD legislation on the books, many seed banks are offering CBD-rich strains for those who seek other benefits over recreation.

What Are CBD Strains?

CBD strains are rich in the cannabinoid CBD. These have very high levels within the plant and are considered very medicinal. One advantage of high CBD/low THC strains is that many can now enjoy a balanced smoke without feeling the “high” effects of THC. 

If you are wondering if these will you high from a social point of view, then not so much, as some of the rich-CBD strains are as low as three percent THC. To get the most out of CBD-rich strains, it is advised to extract the plants to create an oil or hash. 

I hope these points have helped you better calculate what the true potential of your next strain can really be. Learning the hard way is not always convenient, so ensure you do plenty of research and find out who the real deal breeders are and who is setting the latest trend! 

Related Grow Coverage:
The Strongest Strains on Earth 2016
Danny Danko’s Top 10 Kush Strains
How To: Finding & Procuring CBD Strains

For all HIGH TIMES’ grow coverage, click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Dry Farming
Read More

Dry Farming in Humboldt

A small region along the Eel River in Humboldt County allows cultivators to grow cannabis without ever watering their plants.