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Indoor vs Outdoor Grown Cannabis: Whats the Best Environment?

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If you want to really get a room of cultivators talking and taking sides, there’s one question to rule them all. Indoor vs. outdoor cannabis? Knowing which methods to choose and why can be difficult when starting out. While both methods can produce quality cannabis, there’s really no best way to do it.

There are, however, key differences and constraints to keep in mind when selecting your ideal cultivation style. When growing indoor vs. outdoor plants, indoor tends to be easier; however, sun-grown weed also has benefits.

Indoor vs. outdoor cannabis growing

The first thing that comes into play when deciding between indoor and outdoor cultivation is outdoor viability and space. Some climates are not ideal for cannabis cultivation. It needs temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 30 degrees Celsius) throughout the plant’s life cycle. The space and security to grow outdoors may also be hard to obtain for many home growers. 

Indoor vs outdoor weed plant differences
Indoor vs outdoor weed plant differences

If the climate is right and space isn’t an issue, then outdoor can be considered against indoor. Both will lead you to quality cannabis with the right methods and setup but with slightly different results and varying levels of effort. 

The debate between indoor vs. outdoor cannabis cultivation has been ongoing since indoor cultivation became so prevalent. Illegalization drove growers indoors for obvious reasons and changed how we grow cannabis, but outdoor flower is undoubtedly unique and stands up against it.

Indoor marijuana seeds

Buy Indoor Cannabis Seeds

  • Easy to grow
  • Beginner friendly
  • Guaranteed germination
  • Grow guide available

A recent scientific publication attempts to lay the issue to rest but cannot do so. Rather than finding one method was better than the other, they found that growing weed outside vs. inside from the same genetics produced differing compositions of cannabinoids and terpenes.

There’s also a completely different take on this argument in favor of outdoor cannabis due to the lower carbon footprint. Indoor cannabis grows take a lot of energy and materials. In the long term, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation will be the most sustainable option, barring new discoveries. 

As a consumer and cultivator, I enjoy cultivars rich in terpenes and other cannabinoids. I’ve found cannabis worthy of connoisseurship created by each method. I do recognize the environmental impact of indoor cannabis, though; it’s something the industry and community is working to improve. 

Growing marijuana both indoor and outdoor is easy provided you know the proper technique. Download my FREE marijuana grow bible to get an easy step by step guide.

Overview of indoor cannabis cultivation

Indoor cultivation can be quick and simple or done to rigorous scientific standards. This ease of entry for indoor cultivation makes it a viable option for beginners with a small space or a lower budget. 

With indoor-grown cannabis, the grower plays the role of mother nature, which is a blessing and a curse. It is great to control the light, temperature, water, and humidity, but it can require a high degree of precision to get it done right. 

It can be hard and repetitive work for indoor growers to maintain their garden. Along with this level of control comes administrative overhead – work! I would best describe indoor growing like doing construction in a closet.  The main constraint for indoor growing is the space, as plants must be kept to a certain size.

Growing marijuana indoors
Growing marijuana indoors

Along with this labor comes the cost. That light, temperature, water, and humidity are not free indoors. Nutrients, tents, or a dedicated room/closet, along with needed equipment, can add up and impact monthly bills. That being said, you can start with a smaller level of control and settle on some tradeoffs for quality when getting started. 

In general, indoor cultivation requires at least 1 room to see plants through their vegetative and flowering phases before harvest. This would include providing necessary light, nutrients, support structures, and air quality for the plant. Depending on your setup, there may be times when the plants need repotting into larger containers. 

A major benefit to indoor growing is the perpetual harvest; you don’t have to rely on seasons. This, along with the ability to create more “vibrant” looking flower and better control of the indoor environment to improve terpene content and create diverse and powerful aromas and flavors, is why indoor growing is perhaps the most common method of cannabis cultivation. 

Features of indoor-grown marijuana plants 

  • Indoor plants are smaller than those grown outdoors and often manicured heavily to fit the space. Growers may top them to reduce height and encourage more colas or train them with a screen of green to maximize indoor space.
  • While the goal is to reduce stretching indoors, the length between nodes on the plant may be longer on indoor plants, and the leaf color may look lighter in color depending on the cultivar. 
  • Indoor plants are pruned heavily before flowering to reduce foliage and chances of pests. The plants also may be weaker in structure without a deep root system or be completely rootbound in their containers. 

Overview of growing weed outdoors

Growing outdoors is a great option if you have the space and security to do so. The micromanagement of indoor environments is traded for the natural outdoors. This is also a blessing and a curse for growers. Less labor, lower costs, and lower environmental impact come with less control over the plant life cycle, more risk for pests or adverse weather, and typically more space required. 

With outdoor-grown cannabis, soil can be natural or supplemented with methods like Korean Natural Farming and other living soil techniques. The soil will be more forgiving of ph and micronutrient issues that can occur quickly indoors for potted plants but can still go awry if mismanaged. 

Growing marijuana outdoors
Growing marijuana outdoors

Outdoor growing is extremely vulnerable to poor weather and other natural phenomena that would not occur indoors and is typically only useful for part of the year. Sometimes as an outdoor grower, you’ve got to make the best of it where an indoor grower could make adjustments in their setup and avoid issues like cloudy days.

An outdoor marijuana grow
An outdoor marijuana grow

Cannabis grown outdoors creates larger plants, in general, with larger yields. Outdoor cannabis plants can be huge if left on their own, especially sativa-leaning cultivars in the right climate.  Cannabis plants grown outdoors also tends to produce more terpenes. More terpenes, of course, mean a richer, more complex aroma and taste, along with a more nuanced effect.

Features of outdoor-grown marijuana plants

  • Outdoor-grown weed with optimal weather conditions will be hearty and bulkier than its indoor counterparts. They can still be manicured and trained to fit the desired methods of the grower but will benefit from the full natural sunlight and temperature variations.
  • Depending on the cultivar, the coloration may be darker, and the final product may not be as flashy as certain indoor strains. There can be a “waxy” appearance and feel to sun-grown cannabis due to exposure and the plant’s responses to natural stress. 
  • If growing from seeds outdoors like those available on ILGM, the plants will have a long central tap root instead of the indoor “root ball” to keep them healthy and stable.   

What is greenhouse cannabis growing?

Greenhouses shake up the outdoor vs. indoor bud growing debate. They can be an option for some or all of the plant life cycle, allowing for hybrid approaches to cultivation. For example, cultivators can start seeds and clones inside and veg them for a few weeks in a greenhouse before putting them into the ground outdoors. 

Many commercial growers take advantage of the cheaper construction costs of greenhouses to create massive facilities. Home growers can set up low-tech greenhouses of any size if desired; these can mitigate extreme weather and allow for some degree of climate control.

Growing marijuana in a greenhouse
Growing marijuana in a greenhouse

Greenhouses are a true mix of indoor and outdoor cultivation in that you get some of the natural light without other aspects of the environment that can be hard to control, like wind and pests. Greenhouses are generally much cheaper than growing indoors;  run them for a single season, or pull the shades and get multiple harvests a year.

Greenhouses will almost always need a little bit of light supplementation, especially if growing late in the season when temperatures may swing. For beginners, I’d recommend trying a few harvests indoors or outdoors, but there’s no reason you can’t start with greenhouses if you have the materials, budget, and space. 

The difference between indoor vs. outdoor cannabis

Differences in bud structure and size of weed flowers

The bud structure differs for outdoor and indoor. Outdoor flowers are typically bulkier than indoors thanks to fully developed root systems and natural beneficial microorganisms. The bud structure of outdoor flower is often not as dense (fluffier) as cannabis grown indoors. 

indoor vs outdoor marijuana bud structure differences
Indoor vs outdoor marijuana bud structure differences

Differences in color of the marijuana plant and flower: Flavonoids 

The color is a quick way to distinguish indoor vs. outdoor cannabis. Outdoor will be darker in color and tone with some brown even near the stems. Indoor, on the other hand, is often a brighter palette of color. 

This distinction of color between indoor and outdoor is still up for debate and depends on cultivar selection and environmental factors. The flavonoids in cannabis contribute to coloration. Some research suggests they can influence the flavoraroma profile. Studies are still being done to see which metabolites contribute the most. Optimized cultivars or stress methods during cultivation can create deep blue, red, purple, and yellow cannabis rich in anthoxanthins and whiteyellow in those with anthocyanins. 

Flavor and smell differences between indoor and outdoor cannabis plants: Terpenes 

The Flavonoids mentioned above are small building blocks in the complex flavor profiles of cannabis. The main contributors to flavor and aroma are the terpenes. Cannabis contains more than 150 different terpenes, with many unique to cannabis only. 

The combination and concentration of these create our wildly diverse selection of cultivars and give insight into indoor vs. outdoor weed price variation.  Outdoor weed has been proven to be higher in terpenes, and the flavor and aroma produced are the ideal quality. That being said, indoor cannabis is no joke; growers can create wonderful aromas and high-quality cannabis indoors as well. 

Outdoor cannabis seeds

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Trichome density for indoor vs. outdoor cannabis plants 

Trichomes are typically more concentrated in indoor-grown cannabis due to their optimized environment. The grower can harvest at just the right time, whereas outdoor marijuana is typically on a tight seasonal schedule that can be affected by different weather. This may be one reason why indoor cannabis was found to have higher levels of THCA than outdoor.

The difference in trichome density for outdoor vs indoor grown weed plants
The difference in trichome density for outdoor vs indoor grown weed plants

The previously mentioned study on outdoor vs. indoor cannabis potency found that the outdoor test had higher concentrations of terpenes and all other cannabinoids except for CBCA and THCA when compared to genetically identical plants grown indoors

Yield differences between indoor and outdoor cannabis plants

Due to outdoor plants being bigger and having full sun and more developed root structures, the yields are often larger with outdoor. Indoor plants can be high yielding with the right setups and training methods but are typically grown smaller than outdoor plants. 

Potency difference with indoor and outdoor cannabis plants: Cannabinoids 

This is the interesting topic the Molecules study outlines. The study mentioned that indoor cannabis had higher THCA and CBCA and lower terpenes and other cannabinoids. This means genetically similar plants grown indoors were slightly more “potent” in THC than their counterparts grown outdoors but lacking in other cannabinoids that may contribute to the complete experience or entourage effect of cannabis. Outdoor-grown plants also had THCA derivatives that create less anxiety than the standard type found in very high concentrations indoors.

In general, the potency of indoor cannabis is often higher from a THC perspective. Where outdoor flower is lacking in THC, it makes up for it in other cannabinoids. Outdoor flower can have higher levels of terpenes, CBD, CBGA, and more. 

Growing marijuana indoor vs outdoor comparison
Growing marijuana indoor vs outdoor comparison

Is there a real difference in quality with indoor and outdoor cannabis?  

At the end of the day, the quality argument is not over. There’s no “better” way to do it. Each cultivation method has its merits, and each can produce excellent top-shelf bud. There are downsides to both; in general, indoor cannabis is more accessible. It is easier to pull off than outdoor cannabis, which can take up a lot of space and rely on the weather. 

If the climate is perfect for outdoor cannabis, then it will likely beat indoor cultivars in the same area; sun-grown cannabis is true craftsmanship when done right. But if the climate is not reliable or optimal, then indoor or greenhouse cannabis will be the best that can be had. 

Looking for marijuana seed deals? Subscribe to our seed deals to gain access to weekly deals on marijuana seeds!

The best indoor and outdoor cultivars at ILGM 

Cultivar selection is always a fun part of growing. ILGM has a wide range of seeds available. The smaller cultivars, or those that grow shorter like indica-leaning varieties or autoflowers, are a good place to start for indoor setups. For the outdoor growers, you’ll want to select cultivars that can thrive in your environment based on where you grow geographically. Although there can be some difference between indoor and outdoor strains, ILGM seeds are selected and sold because they can thrive indoors and outdoors.

Best ILGM marijuana strains for outdoor grows 

California Dream Strain
California Dream Strain

California Dream, with its ability to flourish in multiple climates and its good yields and potency profile, is always a great choice.

Plant type 70% indica 30% sativa
THC Up to 24%
CBD Insignificant amount
Climate Indoors | Steppe | Mediterranean | Mold Resistant
Plant size Tall
Vegetative stage 4 to 8 weeks
Flowering time 9 weeks
Yields 21 oz per plant
California Dream Strain

Buy California Dream Seeds

  • 70% indica 30% sativa
  • Extreme THC levels up to 24%
  • Good yield indoors, even better outdoors
  • Powerful sedative relaxation

Amnesia Haze Seeds
Amnesia Haze Strain

Amnesia Haze is another solid outdoor option to take advantage of the outdoor space. This high yielder has awards on the shelf as it is a previous winner of several Cannabis Cups.

Plant type 20% indica 80% sativa
THC Up to 21%
CBD Insignificant amounts
Climate Indoors | Mediterranean
Plant size Tall
Vegetative stage 4 to 8 weeks
Flowering time 9 to 12 weeks
Yields 21 to 25 oz per plant
Taste and Smell Citrus | Earthy | Lemon | Sweet
Effects Creative | Energetic | Euphoric | Happy | Uplifted
Awards Cannabis Cup | sativa Cup
Amnesia Haze Seeds

Buy Amnesia Haze Seeds

  • 20% indica 80% sativa
  • THC levels up to 21%
  • Very high yielding plant
  • Lemon taste with an uplifting effect

Purple Haze
Purple Haze Strain

Purple Haze can pack a similar flavor profile to Amnesia Haze but in a smaller package. The cultivar is very popular thanks to its ability to live healthily in multiple environments. 

Plant type 30% Indica 70% Sativa
THC Up to 20%
CBD Insignificant amounts
Difficulty Easy
Climate Indoors | Mediterranean | Temperate | | Steppe | Mold Resistant
Plant size Average
Flowers 9 weeks
Yields 14 to 19 oz per 3x3ft
Taste & Smell Berry | Blueberry | Earthy | Fruity | Spicy | Sweet
Effects Creative | Euphoric | Happy | Relaxed | Uplifted
Purple Haze

Buy Purple Haze Seeds

  • 30% Indica 70% Sativa
  • THC levels up to 20%
  • Great yield & easy to grow
  • High energy long-lasting buzz

Best ILGM weed strains for indoor grows

Super Skunk Seeds
Super Skunk Strain

Super Skunk is easy to grow and delicious to smell. It has a smaller stature. While the yields are high, it requires careful attention to its indoor environment.

Plant type 80% indica 20% sativa
THC Up to 14%
CBD Insignificant amounts
Difficulty Easy
Climate Indoors | Mediterranean
Plant size Average
Vegetative stage 4 to 8 weeks
Flowering time 8 to 9 weeks
Yields 18 to 21 oz per plant
Taste and Smell Cheese | Citrus | Earthy | Fruity | Skunky | Sweet
Effects Euphoric | Happy | Relaxed | Sleep | Uplifted
Super Skunk Seeds

Buy Super Skunk Seeds

  • 80% indica 20% sativa
  • THC levels up to 14%
  • Easy-growing strain
  • Skunky smell with strong full-body high

Big bud seeds
Big Bud Strain

Big Bud is another hearty cultivar that can put up with a lot indoors. It’s an average-sized cultivar that also has multiple cannabis cup wins in its past.

Plant type 80% indica 20% sativa
THC Up to 18%
CBD Insignificant amounts
Difficulty Easy
Climate Indoors | Steppe
Plant size Average
Vegetative stage 4 to 8 weeks
Flowering time 9 weeks
Yields 16 to 25 oz per plant
Taste and Smell Earthy | Fruity | Herbal | Pepper | Spicy | Sweet | Woody
Effects Euphoric | Happy | Relaxed | Sleepy
Awards Cannabis Cup
Big bud seeds

Buy Big Bud Seeds

  • 80% indica 20% sativa
  • Known for its easy to grow high yield
  • Delivers full-body effects
  • Pleasant earthy flavor

Critical mass strain
Critical Mass Strain

Critical Mass brings a higher CBD level than the previous two, along with a potent yield. It won’t be too difficult to tame in indoor setups. 

Plant type 80% indica 20% sativa
THC Up to 22%
CBD 5%
Difficulty Easy
Climate Indoors | Mediterranean
Plant size Average
Vegetative stage 4 to 8 weeks
Flowering time 8 to 9 weeks
Yields 14 to 17 oz per plant
Taste and Smell Earthy | Pungent | Sweet
Effects Happy | Relaxed
Critical mass strain

Buy Critical Mass Seeds

  • 80% indica 20% sativa
  • High CBD and High THC levels
  • Easy to grow
  • Eases your mind and physical aches

Indoor, outdoor, greenhouses, or combinations of the three can all produce wonderful quality flowers. The different methods bring out different characteristics in cannabis. Growers and consumers should decide which they like best. 

The skill of the grower and the optimization of their setup and workflows will determine quality more than whether or not it was sun-grown. Along with those skills, good genetics are necessary for creating fine cannabis. Legacy strains with a proven track record help to take some stress out of the process. Find the right cultivar for you at ILGM

FAQs About deciding between growing indoor vs. outdoor cannabis  

How much of a difference in quality is outdoor vs. indoor weed?

This question will always vary based on the growers’ methods and the cultivars they are growing. Certain cultivars, climates, and processes create quality. Good cannabis can be made indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses. 

Is indoor cannabis stronger than outdoor?

Some studies show indoor cannabis has a higher concentration of THCA, which is one way to consider cannabis’s “strength.” This is not always great, as it can drown out the complex flavor and effect profiles that outdoor cannabis brings to the table. 

Can outdoor weed be top shelf?

One hundred percent. Outdoor cannabis grown in the right climate by an experienced grower can be exquisite top-shelf quality, especially when done so with good curing methods. 

Scientific references used for this article: 

Comparison of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles in Commercial Cannabis from Natural and Artificial Cultivation – Fereshteh Zandkarimi 1, John Decatur 1, John Casali 2, Tina Gordon 3, Christine Skibola 4, Colin Nuckolls 1 – PMID: 36677891 PMCID: PMC9861703 DOI: 10.3390/molecules28020833

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36677891/



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Pheno-Hunting: How to Pheno-Hunt for New Strains

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The evolution of cannabis, as we know it today, is the result of the hybridisation of many classic landraces, and pheno-hunting has played an important role in this process. By selectively breeding plants with desirable traits, growers have created new and unique strains with characteristics not present in the original landraces.

Firstly, it is important to comprehend the terms genotype and phenotype. Genotypes carry all the genetic information about an organism’s traits, while phenotypes are the observable physical expression of those traits. Environmental factors can influence the expression of specific genes, leading to different phenotypes. Let’s delve deeper into phenotypes, what they are, and how they play a role in growing cannabis?

What is a phenotype?

The term phenotype describes the features or characteristics of plants created by the same parent, including posture, cannabinoid content and yield. It is a quintessential factor when selecting and breeding cannabis strains since it represents how a plant’s genetic makeup is expressed in its physical appearance.

A top view of various cannabis plants stacked together

For example, some strains have phenotypes expressing a high concentration of anthocyanins, which are only expressed in cold conditions, turning the foliage purple, like the Purple Cookie Kush Feminized. On the other hand, Jamaican Pearl exhibits an open bud structure during flowering. Understanding phenotype allows growers and breeders to identify desirable traits and work towards developing new strains with specific characteristics.

What is pheno-hunting?

Pheno-hunting is a method used to identify and handpick specific cannabis plants based on their desirable characteristics. These traits may include flavour, aroma, potency, yield, and resistance to pests or diseases. Growers often decide to either clone or remove a plant from the lineup based on their desired traits. This process is essential to ensure that only the best plants are grown and harvested, resulting in high-quality cannabis strains for growers and consumers.

Ben Dronkers inspecting a cannabis plant in a greenhouse

Pheno-hunting is an art that requires patience, knowledge, and a keen eye for detail. One of the best examples in the cannabis industry is the founder of Sensi Seeds, Ben Dronkers. He travelled the world to find the most exotic strains, brought them back to The Netherlands, and spent years refining their genetics to enhance their terpene profiles, cannabinoid content, and growing difficulty.

At Sensi Seeds, we are dedicated to pheno-hunting and have established our research and development facility to showcase our expertise and commitment. Our breeding programs are designed to identify the most exceptional phenotype, ensuring stability and uniformity while making them available to cannabis enthusiasts worldwide. We take pride in our meticulous approach and aim to provide the best possible experience for growers and consumers alike.

A step-by-step guide on how to pheno-hunt

Pheno-hunting is a process that requires careful observation, and it can take several generations to achieve the desired results. Experienced growers understand that creating a strain that stands out in the market takes considerable time and effort, but the results are worth it. With dedication and a sharp eye, growers can identify and select the best phenotypes from each generation and carefully breed them to create strains that suit their preferences.

A person in white gloves holding a cannabis plant

Before embarking on your pheno-hunt, properly arranging your equipment and preparing the growing area is essential. Taking detailed notes of each plant’s intricate growing details throughout the cultivation cycle is vital to selecting the best phenotype. Keep in mind that having more space means the ability to grow more plants, but be advised that finding the best phenotype will require a significant amount of space. Let us discuss the five fundamental steps to a successful pheno-hunt.

1. Germinate seeds and label your seedlings

Two cannabis seeds that started to germinate on a black surface

Start with several high-quality seeds of your chosen cultivar for pheno-hunting, like those from Sensi Seeds. Germinate them, plant each seedling in its container, and label them with the strain name and germination date, which helps identify each plant as a unique phenotype. Considering the container size and expected growth, space the seedlings a few centimetres apart. It is advisable to maintain adequate spacing between the plants and use labels to monitor the growth developments.

2. Clone the original

After several weeks of vegetation, clone the original plant to maintain its genetics and keep the original in the vegetative stage. This practice ensures that the genetic traits of the original plant are preserved and allows growers to supply clones for future harvests. This is especially important for experienced growers looking to preserve their favourite strains’ unique characteristics while maintaining a healthy mother plant for future harvests.

Cloned cannabis offspring growing in indoors

Choosing a healthy and robust-looking branch with at least two nodes is advised. The cutting should be 10 – 15 centimetres long, and all the lower leaves should be removed. Maintaining a sterile environment during cloning is essential to prevent contamination or disease. The cutting should then be dipped in rooting hormone and placed in a rooting medium such as rock wool or perlite.

Once the cutting has successfully taken root, observe the offspring and monitor its growth carefully. This process can take a few weeks, and patience is a virtue. During this time, looking for any signs of disease or deficiencies is vital. If the clone displays the desired traits, such as exceptional potency, yield, or terpene profile, it can be further propagated and grown to maturity.

3. Eliminate males

A close-up of a male cannabis plant and main stem

Identify the gender of your plants around week 3 or 4 of the vegetative stage, and eliminate any undesired male plants, leaving you with a pure selection of females. To identify males in your garden, pollen sacs are usually found on the nodes of the cannabis plant, where the branches and leaves meet the main stem. In comparison, female flowers develop hair-like structures called pistils, which emerge from a bulbous calyx and appear in female pre-flowers.

Males can pollinate your females, resulting in the production of seeds rather than the desired buds. By removing the males early on, you can focus your attention and resources on the female plants, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients and care for optimal growth and development.

4. Identify and select your phenotype

Now is the time to carefully choose a cannabis plant that exhibits the desired traits and ensure that it maintains the same characteristics as the original plant. This will help you identify your preferred characteristics and decide when selecting the best plant. So, let us check out some of the characteristics to consider.

A woman in white coat, eyeglasses and blue gloves inspecting a cannabis plant indoors

Height

Selecting cannabis plants that grow to the desired height is crucial for optimising space. Maintaining an even canopy is essential for proper light distribution in indoor cultivation, and manageable plant sizes make caring for and harvesting them more accessible. It is also vital for stealth and security in outdoor or discreet cultivation.

Morphology

The physical appearance of weed plants, including their height, leaf shape, and branching, is significantly influenced by their genetic structure and plant morphology. Generally, indica-dominant strains are shorter and bushier, while sativa-dominant strains tend to be taller, with sizeable internodal spacing and elongated leaves.

Flowering time

Depending on the strain, the flowering period can range from as little as six weeks to as long as 16 weeks. Some growers may prioritise strains with shorter flowering times to achieve quicker harvests, while others may prefer strains with longer flowering times for their distinctive traits and effects. Ultimately, it will depend on the grower’s goals and preferences during the pheno-hunting process.

Flower appearance

The visual appeal of cannabis flowers is critical for marketability, and resinous flowers with vibrant colours are more attractive to buyers. The appearance of cannabis flowers can indicate potential cannabinoid and terpene content. Although appearance does not determine potency, characteristics like trichome density and pistil colour indicate maturity and potential cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Resistance

Selecting cannabis phenotypes resistant to pests, diseases, and environmental stressors is beneficial for a more sustainable and healthier cultivation environment. Resistance to pests can reduce the need for pesticides, disease resistance helps prevent infections, and environmental stress resistance ensures a more robust and resilient cultivars.

Trichome production

Trichome production is also something to consider when selecting cannabis phenotypes. Abundant trichomes produce cannabinoids and terpenes that influence the potency and aroma of the final product. Such phenotypes are often associated with higher potency and aesthetically pleasing appeal. They are also favoured for cannabis concentrate and extract production, yielding higher amounts of resin.

Terpene profile

Terpenes play a significant role in determining the unique aroma and flavour of various cannabis strains. They also contribute to the high experienced by consumers, influencing their sensory experience and overall enjoyment of the plant. They also play a vital role in the entourage effect, which maximises the therapeutic experience by synergising with cannabinoids and other compounds in the plant. A well-balanced terpene profile is often sought to achieve this effect.

5. Dry and cure

Dried cannabis flowers that fell out of the glass jar

As most cannabis plants are grown not just for their cannabinoid content but also for their flavoursome terpene profiles, each phenotype must be cut down and cured adequately. Proper curing allows the growers to see the final product’s loud aromas, trichome content, and colouration. Experienced growers know that proper curing is just as necessary as the growing process itself, and they take great care to ensure that their final product is of the highest quality possible.

6. Choosing your mother plant

Massive cannabis plant growing indoors under artificial light

After identifying your preferred phenotype, you can select it as your mother plant. By taking clones from the mother plant, you can reproduce your hybrid with the desired traits you have identified in your pheno-hunt. Once you have taken the clones, the next step is to carefully remove and discard all other plants that do not exhibit these traits. Eliminating undesired plants ensures genetic consistency, and you can focus on growing high-quality cannabis that meets your specific needs.

The future of genetic development?

Passionate growers are always looking for ways to push the limits of what is possible, and we at Sensi Seeds understand that. That’s why we are constantly striving to stay ahead of the curve. Through our Breeding Grounds program, we collaborate with breeders worldwide to develop the most advanced genetics for our customers.

A close-up of green cannabis bud with yellow pistils against the blue background

When it comes to pheno-hunting, the key is to engage with the cannabis plant and be patient in your search for the perfect pheno. With thousands of cultivars available, it’s normal for the process to take some time. Remember, the most critical aspect is enjoying the journey and learning as much as possible about the plant. Good luck!

  • Disclaimer:

    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.



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Pop seeds 2024-Part II: Attack of the Sours

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Read Part I

World’s best seeds and clones to grow in 2024

There’s a universe in every nug, so let’s continue our journey through time and space with Part II of the World’s best seeds and clones to grow in 2024, aka Attack of the Sours. Also starring Purps, Tangies, sativas, and vintage stuff.

Sour Diesel strains

An AJ's Sour Diesel appears. (David Downs/Leafly)
An AJ’s Sour Diesel appears. (David Downs/Leafly)

As New York City finally warms up to legalization, expect an onslaught of Sours. We all love Sour Diesel for its sour lime and gas smell and energetic hybrid sativa effects.

At the top of my list for sours to check out: Humboldt County-based, 7 year-old CHAnetics’ whole line of Lime Sour, spotted in the cave at The Ego Clash 2023 in Mendocino, and online now for $100 a pack. Lime Sour consists of Skunktech’s Sour D x Lime F5. CHAnetics Weasel’s Sour may prove the most sour, but we’re also intrigued by the Zangria and Zoap hybrids.

All your sour—are belong to us. (David Downs/Leafly)
All your sour—are belong to us. (David Downs/Leafly)

Karma Genetics keeps the sour flame alive in 2024 with their latest Sour Lemon Mochi—(Mochi x LemonTini) x KG Sour D bx.

If you love sours, you’d be foolish to ignore Clearwater Genetics’ Sour Diesel crosses to Triangle Kush, Lime OG, Maitai #4, or Pablo’s Revenge.

Related

How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

Pushin’ OG Kushes

Sour Diesel and OG Kush are cousins—no doubt. If Sour D hits limey and biting and zippy, OG hits lemony, biting, and relaxing.

Purple City Genetics founder and head breeder Auryn McCafferty said, “We want to see more high-quality OG Kush on the market.” 

Preach. PCG brings back ‘BTY OG’ this year—which stands for ‘better than yours.’ And they don’t put out new OGs lightly. 

“BTY OG is one of our favorites and Oaksterdam OG is one of the best performing. BTY has got more lemon-pine and reminds us of LA. Oaksterdam is a huge yielder and easy to grow and has more of a tennis balls and gas to it, and reminds us of Humboldt.”

All Gas, no brakes. Humboldt Seed Co All Gas OG. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Co.)
All Gas, no brakes. Humboldt Seed Co All Gas OG. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Co.)

Buy the OG seeds and cuts you want to see in the world, said Auryn. 

“We’re gonna keep dropping OG’s over the next few years from our archive if we get a good response. We have six other cuts in mind that we feel like fill out the fullness of that family, so let’s hope they hit.”

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The whole world should can tap Humboldt Seed Co.’s All Gas OG—with notes of skunk, orange and pine. It comes in feminized and autoflower.

“Everything about All Gas OG is huge—the plant, the leaves, the nugs, and the high. It’s a great producer of dense, bright green nugs,” HSC writes.

Double OG Chem wrapping it up in 2023. (David Downs/Leafly)
Double OG Chem wrapping it up in 2023. (David Downs/Leafly)

The multi-Emerald Cup Award-winning Rebel Grown Seeds returns in 2024 with their Double OG Chem crusher. We grew that last year. It slaps.

And for the transition to the Tangie section—peep Wonderbrett’s Byrdseed brand and their Tequila Zee—mixing Brett’s OZ Kush (Z x OG Kush) with Pineapple OG x Clementine. That’s how you keep it Cali Sober.

Take me to Tangie town

A photo of Mimosa (David Downs/Leafly)
Mimosa. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

Citrusy strains rock for all-day creativity that goes into evening.

It’s such a great time to buy iconic Clementine seeds straight from Crockett Family Farms in the Sierra Nevada, or legit Mimosa seeds from Symbiotic Genetics in Sacramento. Pour it on even thicker with Lemosa (Str8lemonade x Mimosa V6) this year.

Brian at Crockett Family Farms said younger smokers don’t even know about anything besides mainstream purple candy-gas. He predicts more “fruity strains and real OGs in 2024. Strawberries and Tangies—big wave, bro,” he told Leafly.

Also, branch out with highly regarded Biovortex and his Kurious Orange. It’s Mandarine crossed to his highly respected Black Dog x (Tangerine Haze x Golden Goat).

“Huge plants, super-terpy, very unique, and great high that finish in early October.”

Auryn McCafferty, founder, Purple City Genetics, on Orange 76

Furthermore in ‘24, PCG drops small batches of tester seeds, like their favorite modern sativa, Orange 76, which will finish on time; unlike other sativas. It’s Orange Cookie Dough x Motorbreath15 x Moroccan Peaches. 

“Huge plants, super-terpy, very unique, and great high that finish in early October,” said McCafferty. 

Also check out Cel-Ray—Lemon Tree Skorange x GovernMint Oasis—with “a super unique ginger lemon pepper terp, and a great high, and also finishes in October.”

Vintage sativa thrills

Spotted in NYC, the narrow green Piff Haze. (David Downs/Leafly)
Spotted in NYC, the narrow green Piff Haze. (David Downs/Leafly)

Speaking of sativas, add some diversity to the cannabis gene pool this year—grow a feral, weird equatorial strain.

Equilibrium Genetics specializes in such fantastic beasts, and recommends Maui Bx, and Vietnamese x Blueberry. You can get them delivered right to your house from Leafly in California.

Compton, CA’s force of natural selection, Masonic Seeds, sells a vintage Haze x Colombian x Rainbow Belts dubbed Rainbow Escobar for this season.

Masonic Seeds' Rainbow Escobar pack. (Courtesy Masonic Seeds)
Masonic Seeds’ Rainbow Escobar pack. (Courtesy Masonic Seeds)

Also, sample some real deal old-school New York Piff haze from Purple City Genetics with the strain Sango.

“We lament the increasing lack of diversity in the gene pool since the end of Prop 215 and continue to try and inject more of our 8 to 9-week modern sativas into the market that test around 30%, have bag appeal, and are bred for production,” said McCafferty.

“We see more farms taking chances on planting some long flowering sativas too. We love Sango (Cuban Black Haze x Gush Mints) that tastes like the perfect mash up of late 90’s New York piff and that modern Cali gas.

PCG also offers a Congolese Bubblegum (Bazooka Joe x Black Congo) x Gush Mints that “has an incredible high and metallic piff and cedar terps, so exotic for the true connoisseur.”

One more from the 16 year-old PCG: Bob Hope (Super Lemon Haze x Durban Biscotti) looks “like purple candy-gas, but tastes like Dutch herb from the ’90’s and has an amazing well-balanced sativa high.” 

Vintage indica chills

Purest Indica. (David Downs/Leafly)
Purest Indica. (David Downs/Leafly)

Come down from your astral sativas with some vintage indicas. Todd McCormick at Ag Seed Co recommends another run of his ‘83-era Purest Indica. We grew it last year and it’s such a satisfying reference point for what we talk about when we talk about indicas. This short, squat, icy bush smelled like burnt brakes and sent us to dreamland. It’s upstream of Northern Lights, and Todd said it contains a lot of skunk aroma called thiols.

For more old school, Rebel Grown Seeds out in Vermont brings out Segunku Skunk, an improvement on Adirondack Gold, an old skunk of the Northeast; with proceeds going to a local indigenous tribe.

Furthermore, Masonic Seeds connects the ‘60s hippie trail to your gardens with a straight-up Mazar Sherif.

Aged Cheeses

Before we go, let’s put out a little charcuterie board for you this year with three cheeses from our reporting.

On Jan. 27, Dynasty Genetics released a line of crosses of the famed Exodus Cheese—from the ‘90s English rave commune. We’d run the Super Silver Cheese ‘98 for fun.

Equilibrium Genetics unites two continents in his African Cheese.

More modern—Masonic Seeds offers a Cheese Romulan that should leave you stunned.

And a fistful of Purps

Rest in resin, Frenchi Cannoli. (David Downs/Leafly)
Rest in resin, Frenchi Cannoli. (David Downs/Leafly)

Lastly, we wrap up part II with two purps—another old-school flavor everyone would love to see come back around.

Equilibrium Genetics serves up an Urkle GDP worth adding to your library.

Meanwhile, CHA honors the legacy of famed hashmaker Frenchie Cannoli with multiple crosses of Frenchy’s Grapes (Frenchy’s Force x Creme De Papaya). 

This line unites a ton of hitters: Glue, GAK, Papaya, and Grape Cream Cake. 

CHA put pollen from a male Frenchy’s Grapes on 31 insanely hype crosses from 15 breeders. Start with Frenchy’s Grapes x Masonic’s (Grape Gas x Peach Ringz).


So that’s another 1,000 words of wisdom on what to pop this Valentine’s Day. If you’re bored by the usual suspects—don’t hate, germinate.

Next up: Pop Seeds 2024 concludes with Part III, dubbed ‘Hash Rules Everything Around Me.’



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7 Best Strains in Italy

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The impact of Italy on the cannabis industry is remarkable. Gelato and strains with dessert-like flavours are gaining significant popularity among enthusiasts. Moreover, there has been a noteworthy increase in Italians’ cultivation practices documented through various platforms like Growdiaries, highlighting the country’s growing prominence in the cannabis community.

Italy’s climate is diverse and varies significantly between the northern and southern regions. The northern areas, such as Liguria and Lombardy, have a continental climate with shorter summers and colder winters. Conversely, the southern areas enjoy a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, making it an ideal location for outdoor cannabis cultivation.

In Italy, planting typically occurs during spring, and harvesting occurs in autumn when the days are shorter and the temperatures are cooler. This timing allows for optimal growth and development of the cannabis plant, resulting in a high-quality harvest. If you’re looking for the top cannabis strains to cultivate in Italy, then you’re in luck. Here are the seven best strains to consider.

1. Caramellow Kush

Caramellow Kush Automatic combines two potent hybrids, the heavy-hitting Gorilla and the flavoursome Zkittlez. Italian cannabis growers have widely embraced this strain due to its high potency and ease of cultivation. This strain has proven successful in various climates, from the damp northern regions to the sunny south, making it a versatile choice for growers across the country.

Like a classic Kush, Caramellow Kush produces big, chunky buds covered in trichomes that fill the internodal spacing with a classic indica appearance. Despite being an autoflowering strain, it is known for its high-yielding nature, with growers recording yields of up to 550 grams after a 55 to 70-day flowering period. Similar to a traditional indica strain, Italian cannabis users have reported experiencing a sustained body high that induces feelings of euphoria and contentment.

Well-known for its sweet and creamy profile, Caramellow Kush Automatic is almost reminiscent of your grandparents’ Werther’s Originals. It also has a subtle, sweet, and fruity fragrance that leaves a candy-like taste in your mouth, thanks to the influence of Zkittlez. Upon exhalation, users can experience the distinct, robust, earthy flavour and skunky undertones commonly associated with Kush varieties. If you’re a Kush enthusiast fond of sweet flavours, it is definitely worth trying out!

2. Sweet Tangerine Tango

This potent indica strain, Sweet Tangerine Tango Automatic, was created by crossbreeding three highly potent cultivars: OG Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, and Face-Off OG. It is a heavy-hitting strain that delivers a strong punch. Sweet Tangerine Tango Automatic has been a popular choice among Italian cultivators since its addition to our White Label collection in 2023.

Sweet Tangerine Tango is a versatile strain that thrives in Mediterranean climates. Thanks to its autoflowering traits, this strain is easy to grow and its compact and robust nature. With a flowering period of between 55 and 65 days, this strain produces compact buds that stack on themselves, filling the short internodal spacing. However, growers should be aware of the heavy foliage throughout the vegetation period and consider defoliation to ensure optimal growth.

True to its name, Sweet Tangerine Tango boasts an exquisite terpene profile featuring loud notes of zesty tangerine and subtle fragrances of spicy charas. These delightful aromas are sure to make your mouth water in anticipation of the strain’s potent effects. As a well-balanced hybrid, users can anticipate an uplifting euphoria that frees the mind, enhances creativity, and gradually transitions into a long-lasting subtle body high.

3. Guerrilla’s Gusto

For outdoor growers in Italy, Guerrilla’s Gusto is the perfect indica strain. It boasts a quick flowering time, easy growth, and can tolerate even the harshest weather conditions. While it was developed to enhance Indian lineage, its tall posture stands apart from other indicas. One thing to note is that this is a regular strain, so you will need to determine the sex of your plant after about four weeks.

Despite their indica-dominant genetics, Guerilla’s Gusto plants can reach impressive heights when planted in open soil. However, indoors, they can be kept at a manageable size with the help of training techniques. This strain is highly resilient to temperature changes, pests, and precipitation, making it suitable for cultivation in any climate across Italy. Its large and dense buds coated in a sticky resin layer make Guerilla Gusto an attractive addition to any garden.

Guerilla’s Gusto provides a classic old-school indica experience with sticky buds offering a physical and relaxing high. The strain’s aroma combines the subtle fragrance of citrus with fresh sandalwood and earth, creating a unique and pleasant blend. Guerilla’s Gusto is best enjoyed in the late afternoons, as the high begins with an uplifting sense of euphoria that eventually transitions into a long-lasting and soothing body high.

4. Banana Kush Cake

Banana Kush Cake, an indica-dominant autoflower, is highly suitable for cultivation across Italy, including the colder northern regions. It is a true powerhouse with genetics, including Wedding Cheesecake, Banana Kush, and Hindu Kush Auto. Its unique terpene profile provides a delightful aroma, yielding a substantial quantity of flavourful buds from an autoflowering variety.

Banana Kush Cake is a robust and compact cultivar boasting a sturdy posture and a sizable apical stem. Its distinct autoflowering characteristics make it an ideal choice for growers in cooler climates with higher precipitation levels. After harvest, Banana Kush Cake yields dense conical buds distinguished by their swollen calyxes and vibrant orange pistils, making it a visually striking addition to any collection.

This indica-dominant strain is known for its calming effects on the body, accompanied by a mild euphoric and uplifting high that can boost energy levels and creativity. Banana Kush Cake is characterised by a skunky aroma with hints of sweet citrus and banana, which is where it derives its name. Its dominant flavours include refreshing notes of sweet citrus, ripe banana, and creamy brown sugar combined with spicy charas.

5. Purple Skunk

Sensi Seeds Research strains boast impressive genetics, and Purple Skunk Automatic is no exception. With a genetic makeup of 75% indica and 25% sativa, it is a hybrid of Hindu Kush Auto, Shiva Skunk, and Skunk #1. As the name suggests, the buds have a high concentration of anthocyanins, which display a multitude of purples throughout the flowering stage. Purple Skunk Automatic maintains a compact size throughout its growth cycle, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space.

The Purple Skunk strain boasts a dense central bud that is heavy and oversized, coated in trichomes and adorned with a rich purple hue. With just eight weeks of flowering, this cultivar is remarkably tough and resilient, able to flourish in any Italian garden. For those cultivating marijuana outdoors in the Northern Regions, such as Lombardy, Veneto, and Piedmont, the lower temperatures in the final stage of flowering can aid in bringing out the beautiful purple shades.

Growers should note that as the Purple Skunk Automatic plants approach harvest time, their skunky, earthy, and moist aroma with a hint of sweetness and exotic sandalwood becomes more pronounced. This is due to the strain’s lineage, which includes three indica-powerhouses, resulting in a high that leans towards indica. Users often report feeling an intense, long-lasting, soothing effect that relaxes them without causing couchlock.

6. White Diesel Haze

White Diesel Haze is a popular sativa-dominant hybrid created by breeding Diesel with the indica-dominant White Widow. Due to its unique characteristics, this strain has gained popularity for indoor and outdoor cultivation in Italy. Unsurprisingly, this strain has become a favourite among cannabis enthusiasts!

White Diesel Haze is a strain known for its ease of cultivation and maintenance. It has a compact structure and a delightful fruity flavour profile. The buds of this strain are usually dense and covered in resinous trichomes, with dark green foliage and fiery orange pistils. Although it has a long flowering time of 65 days, the strain can yield significant results. You can also use training techniques like SCROG, SOG, and supercropping to increase your yields.

With a robust diesel-like fragrance and subtle notes of citrus and earthiness, the aroma of White Diesel Haze is intricate and complex. The flavour profile is similar, with a dominant diesel taste accompanied by sweet and tangy undertones. This strain’s high cannabinoid levels contribute to strong cerebral and uplifting effects, with users reporting increased focus and creativity, making it an ideal choice for daytime use.

7. Blueberry Zkittlez Automatic

Blueberry Zkittlez Automatic was introduced into our collection in 2022, quickly gaining widespread popularity among Italian consumers. This strain’s genetic heritage comprises Blueberry, NL #5, Skunk Kush, and Durban. The buds are characterised by their delightfully fruity taste, complemented by hints of cacao and sandalwood. Additionally, it delivers a relaxing and all-encompassing high. Blueberry Zkittlez Automatic is a compact, low-maintenance hybrid that is easy to cultivate.

It is a visually striking plant with a compact structure, tightly spaced internodes, and one dominant central cola. During the flowering phase, purple tones can be observed beneath the layer of thick, large-headed trichomes. The plant’s compact structure is filled with dense buds, while bright orange stigmas adorn the green and purple plant material below. Blueberry Zkittlez Automatic is a hardy strain that can flourish throughout Italy, from the northern regions of Lombardy to Apulia and Sicily.

As the Blueberry Zkittlez Automatic is harvested and cured, it emanates a beautiful blend of fragrances. Its aroma is intricate, multifaceted, and energising, with a sweet and fruity scent that is complemented by hints of grapefruit and chocolate on the palate’s back end. Being a well-balanced hybrid, the initial cerebral euphoria induced by Blueberry Zkittlez Automatic gradually fades into a soothing body relaxation that promotes a mild sedative feeling and induces drowsiness.

Another serving of Gelato?

Undoubtedly, there are numerous other exceptional cannabis strains being grown throughout Italy, and the ones mentioned here are just a small selection of what’s available. We want to thank the Italian growing community for their dedicated efforts. It’s delightful to witness the impact of the community on the European cannabis scene. With an increasing number of Growdiaries, cannabis expos, and trade shows in Italy, we eagerly anticipate what the future holds for Italy.

  • Disclaimer:

    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.



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