Following on from our ‘5 Tips for Choosing Cannabis Strains for Beginners,’ we thought we’d better not leave out the experts. You may think you know exactly what you’re looking for in a cannabis strain, and if that’s the case, then I salute you. But if that is the case, you’re probably not reading this guide. This is for everyone who’s not quite sure - maybe you want to try something new, but are overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers available - hopefully we can help you find the special strain for your collection.
As with our beginners guide, price is an important factor when choosing which strain you want. For beginners, we recommended staying away from the most expensive seeds until you’ve got your eye in. But once you’re confident in your abilities, it’s time to reach for the top shelf. Don’t just throw money around for the sake of it, though, as there are plenty of other factors to consider before you make your decision…
Lab tests are becoming more and more important in the world of cannabis. If you’ve got a certain level of experience, you likely know what cannabinoid profile you’re looking for in a strain. In fact, even the most inexperienced grower is likely to know vaguely what they want - even if it’s usually as simple as ‘high THC.’ The problem is, even though most if not all seed companies include THC and CBD levels on their packaging and/or website, the vast majority of them are unable to back those claims up with verified test results.
That is slowly but surely beginning to change, so it’s always worth looking for these kind of lab test results when choosing a new strain. Of course, until we get to a point where every strain comes with a full, detailed, cannabinoid profile, you can’t base your decision solely on this requirement. But it’s a good thing to look out for, and as more and more people utilize this tool, it’s only natural that more seed banks will catch on.
It is worth noting, of course, that these tests are not foolproof. Depending on how stable the genetics are of your chosen strain, as well as variable growing techniques, etc. your end product isn’t guaranteed to be exactly the same as the test subject. Most strains will throw up different phenotypes, but at least this way you can rest assured that the percentages of cannabinoids claimed by the producers haven’t been plucked entirely out of the air.
This one is by no means a given - reputation alone is not a guarantee of success, and reputations change over time and even depending on who you talk to (novice growers often seem to think Green House have a good reputation, for example) - but when it comes to more high-end cannabis strains and seed banks, it’s always worth considering what your fellow connoisseurs have to say.
Especially at a time when new seed banks are popping up all over the place, and new hybrids, with increasingly strange names and confusing genetic lineages, are appearing at a seemingly exponential rate, it’s worth taking the time to do a little research. Mostly - and in pains me to say this - that will mostly come down to Googling it. There are plenty of websites out there for growers to share successes and horror stories, and if you’re not tapping into them then you’re missing a trick.
As an expert grower, you probably have a fair idea of what qualities you’re looking for in a cannabis strain. Flavors, smells, and physical/mental effects are all decided by a plant’s genetics, as are things like flowering time and the size of the plants you’re likely to grow.
It makes sense then that if you know what you’re after, you’ll dig into the genetics of a range of new strains to find out which one is best suited to your needs. This information is often provided by the seed banks themselves and you should be able to find it when purchasing seeds, but if not the information is usually obtainable online. Falling that, the people who run seed banks are generally speaking pretty helpful, and can often advise you on the genetics of a particular strain, as well as many other things.
Pretty much all of the above boils down to doing your research and not rushing into purchases for the sake of it. Let’s face it, if you’re an expert grower you’re likely to have a pretty good handle on what you want to buy, and don’t really need me to explain things for you - but if you’re looking to experiment with new strains, it pays to take your time. Be diligent in researching every aspect of a new strain before jumping in feet first, and it could mean the difference between disappointment and a new favorite.
Best Value Cannabis Strains
- Be diligent in your research
- Experiment and expand your knowledge of different strains
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