If you’re going to do anything else with the flowers (like make edibles or tinctures), you need to decarboxylate the buds to release their psychoactive and medicinal properties. Even though it’s at the end of the process, this is a very important step. If you don’t decarb your weed, it will be just like consuming any other plant. For a complete guide to decarboxylation, check out our article Marijuana Decarboxylation: Why And How To Decarb Your Weed . In fact, it’s no more difficult than growing any other plant.
You just have to give it what it needs to stay healthy. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to buying your Ghost Train Haze at your local dispensary. This Sativa strain is the result of a combination of pure strains from the Santa Marta mountain range in Colombia that is home to the country’s highest peaks. Below 2,500m, where the soil is very fertile, can be found anything from typical Andean woods to dense tropical jungle. Cannabis has been cultivated in this area for many generations and, by trying to improve the plant’s medicinal properties through continual interbreeding, the local inhabitants have achieved some of the most genetically pure strains in existence. Our breeder brought back many seeds from this region and we worked with them to produce this tall, vigorous, branchy strain with an intense, sweet fragrance that stands out above all for her taste and potent, psychedelic effects. Old-school seeds in film canisters: A baby boomer’s dream come true. Strains of cannabis go in and out of style like anything else.
Breeders are introducing new hybrids to the market as fast as they can. But a more profound shift is under way: the reappearance of classic heirloom strains like Thai Stick, Maui Wowie, Colombian Gold and Panama Red. There are several reasons why they are making a comeback now, but first let’s examine why they disappeared in the first place. In the old days, when you bought weed you got stems and seeds along with everything else. A nuisance to most, the seeds allowed those so motivated to grow their own. And then came sinsemilla, female plants that were never pollinated because all the male plants were destroyed. That meant greater yields for growers and fewer potential competitors because seeds disappeared. Around the same time, President Nixon’s war on drugs drove cultivation indoors. Growers quickly learned that sativas were too tall for indoor grows and took too long to flower. Because the plants were all female, cloning became the norm. Cloning produced genetic copies, but it required knowing somebody with a live plant to start. It was just like a sourdough starter: you need one to start one. Complicating matters further, live plants are fragile, and unlike seeds, they have a shelf life much like fresh produce. Fast forward 30 or 40 years and now we have a very different gene pool, one tilted toward indica-based hybrids grown from clones. The gene pool has been narrowed by indica-based breeding with fewer and fewer outside influences. Introducing new strains is hard enough when male plants and pollen are rare. It’s even more challenging if the gene pool has become smaller due to breeding habits. What about those old seeds tucked away in boomers’ attics and basements? Individual seeds are different, which means they carry unique genetics, unlike clones. Some will produce plants with the characteristics you want, others will surprise you. Injecting new genetics from age-old heirloom cannabis is a genetic breath of fresh air. Many old-timers stashed seeds from a favorite strain with the idea they’d reproduce the experience one day. Inevitably, priorities like careers, children and other obligations got in the way and the years slipped by. Now, as baby boomers approach empty nests and retirement, they are rediscovering pot. With legalization, decriminalization and the rise of medical marijuana, much of the legal and social barriers are gone. Boomers are comfortable picking up where they left off.
Many will gravitate toward the strains of their youth.
Mention Thai Stick or a good sticky Jamaican and watch heads turn. A pleasant side effect is watching younger smokers discover heirloom sativa strains which contrast sharply with the indicas they grew up with.