Wednesday, May 6, 2015
A Quick Look at Strains - by Veronica Dean
Every day new strains are being introduced here in Michigan, as well as in other parts of the world. Often, strains are cross-bred in order to keep particular characteristics. This process has lead us to the look, aroma, and taste we enjoy most. Some favorites include Blue Dream, White Widow, and Pineapple Express. Hybridization has even lead to the rebirth of CBD dominant strains, such as Cannatonic. However, Landrace strains have secluded themselves in different areas of the world for long periods of time. A landrace strain by definition is a strain that has never been bred and has grown isolated in the wild. Some of these forefather strains include Acapulco Gold of Southwest Mexico, Thai natively from Thailand, and Maui Waui originally found in the volcanic soil of Hawaii.
In the late 1960’s and 70’s Westerners of all nationalities would by thumb, bus, or van travel across the “hippie” or “hashish” trail. On this trail they enjoyed and gathered some of the best Cannabis the world has to offer in countries such as Turkey, India, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. With their pockets full of exciting new seeds, it changed the cannabis growing scene forever. Those seeds are actually known today as being heirloom strains. Because they were gathered, brought back, and circulated heavily. By 1979 the soviets took over Afghanistan sparking warfare that has still continued to this day - turning the well known trail into anything besides peace and love anymore.
Hippies weren’t the only ones collecting seeds and bringing them home though, Vietnam soldiers were too. Army personnel recall trading cigarettes for joints, smoking not only as a political statement but to maintain peace of mind in the chaotic environment. According to research found in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology cannabinoids "contribute[s] to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD." The most popular strain from Vietnam is the sativa, Vietnamese Black.
So now, we’re left with phenotypes. Breeders are balancing strains over several generations before knowing if a strain is stable or not. A true-breeding strain is one that produces consistent offspring of one dominant gene such as being tall, or short, or red, than purple. Crossing two unstable strains could result in offspring expressing any number of unpredictable traits. Afghan is known as a legend with plenty of descendents floating around. Naturally, the plant is stocky, with large fan leaves and because of its short flowering time is often crossed with sativas. This is just one of many strains who have produced award-winning offspring.
The future of cannabis is being written every day by newly developed strains, though we must not forget where the grass roots started. Through the hot desert, on the sides of mountains, and even isolated islands. Now, with more indoor grows taking place then ever before we are approaching a new era! So lets spark ‘em up and see what’s next!