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8 New Cannabis Cultivars to Be Excited About in 2019

Nate Pennington from Humboldt Seed Company talks us through the newest weed strains that we’re excited to see hit the market in 2019.

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PHOTOS | Humboldt Seed Company
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It’s that time of year again when we rub our resin-sticky hands together with anticipation of the newest cannabis cultivars due to hit the market.

Nathaniel Pennington and his team at Humboldt Seed Company (HSC) recently conducted a phenotype mega-hunt to search through thousands of plants which generated more than a few “Unicorns” of the cannabis genome. We caught up with Pennington to go through their newest strains that we’re excited to see in 2019.

The Bling

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but the Bling will be your farm’s best bud. This strain is productive and fast growing, pest and mold resistant that boasts both insane trichomes and a heavy dose of THC. “Seriously though, this strain is no joke,” said Pennington. “Productive is an understatement and the trichome density on this beauty outshined the rest in a greenhouse with 3k unique seed plants at Happy Dreams Farm, who practices sustainable agriculture in beautiful Humboldt County”.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company/Happy Dreams Farms
  • Genetics: Humboldt Frost x Reserve OG x Humboldt Gelato
  • % Indica/Sativa: 75% 25%
  • Type: Indica Hybrid
  • Smell:  Gassy but also sweet and floral with hints of lime
  • Flavors: Alpha-Pinene, Myrcene, Limonene
  • Appearance: Silver/Green with hints of purples
  • Effects: Potent and intense, more ethereal than sedative

Willy G’s Lebanese CBD

Willy G’s Lebanese is taking the CBD cannabis world by storm. “From the legendary Bakka Valley in Lebanon through our product tester and cannabinoid specialist William Watson aka Willy G,” said Pennington. Originating as a landrace, it’s fascinating to think of the historic uses for this cannabinoid profile.

Upon discovering the unique cannabinoid make-up of this strain, HSC bred, phenotype hunted and selected four times to stabilize the cannabinoid levels of this silk road masterpiece of a medical breakthrough. This strain is incredibly unique and Willy G is a wonderful person who uses cannabis to help with the effects of his cerebral palsy.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company
  • Genetics: Lebanese Landrace x Willy G’s #8 x Willy G’s #2
  • % Indica/Sativa: 20% 80%
  • Type: Sativa CBD
  • Smell: Terpinolene forward with a floral finish, hints of concord grape
  • Flavors: Very rich in terpenes for a CBD strain, some say jasmine or dill
  • Appearance:  Frosty lime green flowers with speckled with purple
  • Effects: Highly medicinal, many say muscle relaxant, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory

Vanilla Frosting

The genetics of this strain are an improvement on what we’ve seen coming from the common various Gelato lines over the past few years. “Vanilla Frosting steers away from the short squat flowers of Gelato and heads to the skies,” said Pennington. Strong stalks leading to less breakage from the heavy dense buds that will fill your 1/8 jars or pipes for days… months, years.

The huge, proud trichome-covered buds with perfect gaps between the nodes lead to easy hand or machine trimming. An uncanny sweet vanilla nose at first followed by a straightforward fuel finish and often a 30%+THC producer.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company x Happy Dreams
  • Genetics: Humboldt Frost OG x Humboldt Gelato Bx3
  • % Indica/Sativa: 65% 35%
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Smell: Creamy Vanilla with a Heavy Fuel Finish
  • Flavors: Oddly Vanilla but OG at the same time
  • Appearance: Silver/Green Flowers with Purple Tones
  • Effects: A lofty high that’s super potent

Lemongrass

“Lemongrass is a new strain that we are extremely excited to share with the world,” said Pennington. With high THC levels complimented by juicy terpenes just gushing with lemon flavor, you won’t be left wondering why it’s called Lemongrass! The plants are huge and display hybrid vigor, meaning disease, mildew and mold resistance is high and flower structure is perfect for machine or hand trimming.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company
  • Genetics: Lemon Kush Bx5 x Humboldt Gelato Bx3
  • % Indica/Sativa: 70% 30%
  • Type: Indica
  • Smell: Lemon Drops, Sour, Fuel
  • Flavors: Sweet Juicy Lemons with Vanilla and Fuel Finish
  • Appearance:  Frosty Lime Green and covered in Trichromes
  • Effects: Extremely potent but uplifting

Banana Mango

With dominant banana and mango aromas, this strain packs a punch that might leave you on a tropical beach soaking up the sun for a little while longer than usual. “The terpene profiles that come together to make these unique seeds are relatively rare in our experience,” said Pennington. Huge plants and amazing vigor are another feature that you will certainly appreciate. THC levels are around 22% and trichome production is high. But it’s the nose that makes this strain so special!

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company
  • Genetics: Mango Trees x Banana OG x Blueberry Muffin
  • % Indica/Sativa: 25% 75%
  • Type: Sativa
  • Smell: Bananas and Mangos with a hint of Terpinolene
  • Flavors: Banana Candy and Mango Nectar
  • Appearance:  Frosty Lime Green and covered in Trichromes
  • Effects: Many claim that this is an excellent medical strain and calms nerves

Magic Melon

“Many inappropriate names were tossed around for these gorgeous melons before we settled on a tame alliteration. We couldn’t help it, it’s uncanny how these buds smell like a luscious honeydew or cantaloupe, said Pennington.

Get ready to feel the magic when you take a toke of Magic Melon because this one hits hard and may bring out the philosopher in you. When it comes to growth and vigor this strain may be the largest growing most productive plant you’ve ever see. The THC levels are not bad, around 22% with around 1-2% CBD on average. The entourage effect of the cannabinoids has great potential to cure whatever ails you.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company
  • Genetics: Mango Trees x Honeydew Melon x Mango Sherbert
  • % Indica/Sativa: 40% 60%
  • Type: Sativa Hybrid
  • Smell: Literally smells like sweet cantaloupe/watermelon with a gas finish
  • Flavors: Uncanny Melon Flavors
  • Appearance:  Lime Green with hints of purples, orange hairs, frosty
  • Effects: Potent and intense, many say sedating

Very Cherry

“Very Cherry produced record amounts of terpenes in extraction and is literally one of the best smelling varieties that we have ever created,” said Pennington. “That says a lot considering that we created the Blueberry Muffins!”

The strain is likely to only produce around 18% THC but it’s incredibly loud and very unique. Bred it from seeds that were passed to HSC by a local old-timer several years back. One plant from that population smelled just like cherry cough drops and they have continued working that into this sweet cherry blossom masterpiece over the last few years. Simply for flower or definitely for sauce or terpene forward projects, this strain will not disappoint the discerning nose.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company
  • Genetics: Old Timer Seed x Lemon Kush Bx3
  • % Indica/Sativa: 30% 70%
  • Type: Sativa
  • Smell: Intense Sweet Cherries and Jasmine
  • Flavors: Slightly tangy with a floral finish
  • Appearance:  Frosty Lime Green and covered in Trichromes
  • Effects: A lofty high that won’t debilitate you. Great mid-afternoon smoke

Caramel Cream

A Phenotype Mega-Hunt winner, meaning that this plant stood out in a sea of 10k plant, scoring a perfect ten in the scent category. This one was a terpene forward selection although the growth, bud structure, disease, pest, and mold resistance were good. “We were so glad that we captured this terpene anomaly in clone form,” said Pennington. “For some reason, the smell captivates you and brings you back wanting more and more, it’s an oddly habit-forming smell.”

Naming this strain wasn’t as easy as naming something like our Blueberry Muffin though, it’s not fruity, it’s a bit fuelly, and it’s a bit nutty, but mostly it’s rich with uncanny salted caramel and cream flavor. Just like it’s namesake candy, it will have you gorging on it again and again.

  • Breeder: Humboldt Seed Company
  • Genetics: Humboldt Reserve OG x Royal Highness x Old School Cookies
  • % Indica/Sativa: 60% 40%
  • Type: Indica Hybrid
  • Smell: Salted Caramel and a Fuel Finish, Very high terpene content!
  • Flavors: Literally smells like Caramel… with a salty finish
  • Appearance:  Silver and Green Frosty, Purple under leaves at harvest
  • Effects: Really strong but still uplifting

Cannabis

10 Couch-Lock Cannabis Strains to Help You Stay Home

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PHOTO | Sunset Sherbert

COVID-19 has changed the world as we knew it. For the foreseeable future, we all have to do our bit and stay home to try and flatten the curve and prevent the virus from spreading further. But it’s not all bad news. Try to think of this time to stay home and reset. Why not start that project you’ve been putting of, or earn a new language? Maybe rearrange all the furniture in your house and alphabetize your record collection. Then, once that’s finished, sink into your couch and enjoy one of these iconic couch-lock cannabis strains while you binge on Tiger King.

Afghani

Named after its geographic origin, Afghani grows in the Hindu mountains, where cannabis was first discovered over 1000 years ago. Afghani delivers a deeply relaxing,mood-boosting high, perfect if you have issues with insomnia, chronic pain and stress disorders.

Buy seeds from sensiseeds.com

Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

A potent mix of an OG Kush x Durban Poison x Cherry Kush mother backcrossed with a prime-looking OG Kush father created Girl Scout Cookies. The winner of multiple Cannabis Cups and packing a powerful 28% THC, GSC is possibly one of the best Northern California strains of all time.

Buy seeds from homegrowncannabisco.com

Granddaddy Purple

Delivering a THC level between 17-27%, Granddaddy Purple is not a strain to take lightly. If you’re looking for a mental and body high that will feel like you are floating euphorically, as well as being great for easing pain and relaxing muscles, this distinctively fruity tasting strain is for you.

Buy seeds from seedking.com

G-13

Perhaps one of the most notorious cultivars out there, the legend of G-13 is that it is an escapee from a breeding experiment funded by the U.S. government. With 22-24% THC level potential, G-13 provides a couch-locking feeling of euphoria.

Buy seeds from pacificseedbank.com

Northern Lights

Multiple award wins have solidified Northern Lights as another classic indica strain.  THC levels range from 16-26% and promise a mellow and pacifying high.

Buy seeds from seedsman.com

OG Kush

World-renown for its potency and distinct flavour, the legendary OG Kush needs to introduction. Tokers will enjoy equally intense body and head highs from around 20% THC levels.

Buy seeds from royalqueenseeds.com

Superglue

Superglue brings calming relaxation to the mind and body while leaving you functional and energetic enough for social activities or a productive afternoon.

Buy seeds from cannaconnection.com

Sunset Sherbert

Mario Guzman aka Mr. Sherbinski grows some of the finest cannabis you’ll ever smoke. Stress and tension will melt away as a full-body high creeps, delivering a deep physical relaxation.

Buy seeds from homegrowncannabisco.com

Super Skunk

Super Skunk delivers a notoriously powerful body high thanks to a THC content of 20% or higher. Consumers can expect a whole-body relaxation that kicks stress to the curb and will have you in full couch-lock mode.

Buy seeds from homegrowncannabisco.com

Triple Cheese

Known to consistently reach 22% THC or higher, Triple Cheese by world-renowned breeder Barney’s Farm offers Cheese lovers a very enjoyable high and a unique terpene profile.

Buy seeds from barneysfarm.com

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Taking the Temperature of Northern California’s Heritage Cannabis

Long story short, it’s rocky out there for many of the Emerald Triangle’s heritage cannabis businesses — but they want to be doing it legally.

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Heritage Cannabis
PHOTO | Aran

It’s been over two years since Proposition 64 was passed in California. Profit projections, law enforcement, the black market, and climate change have kept the cannabis business in the Golden State everything but predictable. People continue to be imprisoned for crimes connected to cannabis while legal businesses are turning a profit. Legal weed has even backfired on the people who made it legal, as big corporate investors coming in change their business landscape.

Yet it remains a general consensus that legalization is all for the better. No one wants to go to jail anymore for growing or selling weed, there’s absolutely no denying the many medical benefits of the plant and hemp is poised to present itself as the green alternative to the overconsumption of fossil fuel products. Cannabis is a disruptor to big pharma, big alcohol and big tobacco, which in turn has the “bigs” attempting to either sabotage and/or establish themselves in the marketplace.

Long story short, it’s rocky out there for many running legitimate legal cannabis businesses but they want to be doing it.

Northern California took a big hit — and it wasn’t just profit loss. While policymakers tried to model California’s legal market after Colorado, they fell short because the cultivators in California don’t operate the same way. The green rush flooded prime growing communities with people who were so green to cannabis, it doesn’t seem right to even call them that. But many heritage cannabis farmers in these communities wanted to break the cycle of fear instilled over the years and moved forward with legalization regardless, for all the right reasons.

Chiah Rodriques and her husband James Beatty run River Txai Farms and Arcanna Flowers, the brand and sustainable cannabis farm and nursery in Mendocino County. Rodriques and Beatty grew up on a large back-to-land intentional community and are second-generation Mendo cannabis farmers.

Chiah Rodriques and James Beatty. PHOTO | Trina Calderón

Committed to legal growing since the 9.31 ordinance enacted in 2008, they founded Mendocino Generations, a collective of sustainable cannabis farms in Mendocino County who strive to work together as a brand, farm landrace genetics, and promote “better living through cannabis.”

But keeping Mendo’s exceptional cannabis tradition alive throughout legalization has presented challenges. Visiting the area during this season’s harvest, I took the temperature with Rodriques.

“Basically over-regulation is like the ankle-biter,” shared Rodriques. “It’s the Achilles heel of the small farmer because in order to compete in this market you have to cultivate enough cannabis to compete with farms in other counties with larger cultivation allowances. Ultimately, they’re our competition but on a shelf with jars of cannabis, they’re not, because you wouldn’t want to put that cannabis in a pretty jar on a shelf — most of that product is going to oil and biomass. You have different levels of competition. You have competition for pricing because their cannabis is still going into the market, which makes prices fluctuate. Then you have the shelf space for all the brands, and lots of these brands thought that they could do a small brand and survive with that, but I don’t think that that’s really going to play out as we thought. Running a small brand takes a lot of overhead.

PHOTO | Trina Calderón

“Basically it’s hard to know if your brand from one small farm can have enough cannabis if your brand goes big,” she continued. “You may need to start reaching out and getting cannabis for your brand from other cultivators. In Mendocino County, we have a disadvantage because we can only cultivate 10,000 sq. ft., but there is a push for there to be a ballot to change it to one acre. That has mixed reviews from the farmers too, basically half the farmers hate that idea and half the farmers are into it. I think that’s mostly because they don’t have the space or the water or the infrastructure to handle that much.”

Rodriques believes that a contributor to the disconnect in policy is that no one consulted with Mendo’s heritage cannabis farmers when creating regulations.

“Farmers were not invited to the table until much of the ordinance was in place and there was a big rush to push things through as is and make changes later — so the county was ready for Prop 64 to go into effect. It was a race to the finish line. They didn’t think we had valid concerns, or maybe felt like the hippies needed to get organized. Admittedly so, we were all over the place with requests and needs that I’m sure it was overwhelming to lawmakers,” Rodriques said.

There was no real insight into what is actually practical or what is actually happening on farms in the area. Most of the regulations were written around indoor cultivation and don’t play out for sun-grown farms in Mendo.

A more community-oriented step towards action is the Mendocino Appellations Project, a group designed to set up a process for defining cannabis appellations, which are geographic areas in which small farmers can classify their crop with that name. A valiant effort, it plays into marketing and promotion, though the true cannabis aficionado will appreciate the information the same way a wine connoisseur likes to know where exactly a pinot noir grape is grown.

PHOTO | Trina Calderón

Small farming is no easy task in itself and going legal has created hardships for many.

“I think last year sucked so bad most people were struggling pretty hard, and in terms of pricing, it was bad last year,” said Rodriques. “Crops this year were a mixed bag. We definitely had a lot of people who had frost, and we had mold. There’s a lot of powdery mildew this year because the rain didn’t come. It’s like this weird humid that makes no sense because it’s really been dry. There’s been a lot of theft. There have been a lot of fires, so there’s smoke damage material.

“[As for] the market, who knows what it’s actually going to look like in the next couple months. Right now, its sort of a mixture, a lot of people are saying they’re going to back out. A lot of people are scared, but then there’s a lot of people that are moving forward with all these other ideas and plans. They’re doing okay, so it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen with the ultimate heritage cultivators, like my parents’ generation. Most of them aren’t doing it anymore because they were on the brink of retirement anyway so who wants to go through all this bullshit, right?”

Heritage Cannabis

Chiah Rodriques. PHOTO | Trina Calderón

Recently, the county has realized they’re not getting as much tax money as they hoped and the Board of Supervisors are planning to give the small farmers what’s called a Cannabis Cultivation Amnesty Transition Pathway. The plan would give more years for legacy growers to transition into county compliance, which may help attract more applications. The vote was unanimous to create the Amnesty, which Rodriques sees as the county throwing them a bone. Considering 1588 total people applied to participate in legal cannabis in the county, and only 232 were approved and issued permits, and it appears not many more would apply since the regulations are so problematic. Building and planning issues like commercial zoning and ADA rules for bathrooms and parking lots are costing farms money they don’t have. Especially when the reality is it’s usually not probable to have anyone in a wheelchair working on a farm. Workarounds are likely because people are trying to be compliant, but the same rules are putting people in uncomfortable positions.

“Comparatively to Humboldt, I would say that Mendo is struggling a little bit harder and that’s more because the bureaucracy hasn’t allowed people to get into the system,” Rodriques concluded.

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Everything You Need to Know If You’re New to Dabbing

Dabbing is an ideal ingestion method best for those that have a high tolerance to cannabis or patients that need a quick, controlled dose of cannabis.

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Dabbing
PHOTO roxxyphotos

Dabbing is an ideal ingestion method best for those that have a high tolerance to cannabis or for medical users that need a quick, concentrated and controlled dose of cannabis. However, it can be confusing, even for long-time pot smokers. In fact, unless you’ve done it, seen it, or read up on it, dabbing can be a total mystery.

Dabbing is a relatively new way to consume cannabis and it is has become very popular in recent years despite rumors that it is dangerous.  It is a highly concentrated experience, with THC at levels much more elevated than most regular flower you would encounter in a joint.  For patients, dabbing can be a very effective way to dose because the effects hit the user very quickly and can typically be measured more easily. For those with a high tolerance for cannabis, dabbing can be a way of feeling the effects of pot with more potency.

Before you can get into dabbing, you need to know a little about cannabis concentrates and extracts. Shatter, budder, wax, crumble, pull and snap, and hash oil are a few of the most popular types of cannabis concentrates and extracts. Extracts and concentrates are named so because they are products of a process where THC and other cannabinoids are extracted from the flower. Sometimes, during the extraction process, a solvent (like alcohol or butane) can be used and other times a solvent is not used. Either way, the final product is a smaller, stickier package that packs a powerful punch.

The Dabbing Process

Keep in mind that nails and domes can get incredibly hot. Like, RED hot, literally. Do not underestimate the heat that can occur — be cautious to prevent any burns.

First, you will need something to dab. We have heard the recommendation more than once to keep away from alcohol-based extracts when dabbing. Consult your budtender about this one, or just skip alcohol based-extracts — your call. There are a lot of concentrates and extracts to choose from, enjoy the hunt for your perfect pick.

Next you need something to dab out of. You can purchase a dab rig or just convert an existing glass water pipe with glass dab attachments. You are also going to need a titanium, ceramic, quartz or electronic nail that fits the glass dab attachment you are using. A typical nail is going to require the use of a dome in order to trap the vapor before it dissipates into the air. A dome can be as simple as a glass piece that fits over the reservoir where the extract or concentrate is vaporizing.

Get your dabber ready. A dabber is a tool that is ceramic, metal, glass, that is used to place the dab, or concentrate/extract, on the super-hot nail.

Lastly, unless you are using an electronic nail or e-mail, you will need a mini torch. Some less patient dabbers will use a full-on, propane-fueled torch in order to more quickly heat their nails — experiment at your own risk. In case the dab is a little overwhelming for you and your body, the safest place for you to be is sitting down to avoid any falls.

Turn on your e-nail OR use your torch to heat your nail until it is red-hot. Allow it cool for at least 10 seconds (for titanium) and up to 45 seconds if you are using ceramic or quartz nail.

Once cooled, use your dabber to place your concentrated dab on the nail. Place the dome over the nail as you inhale. Then, exhale. Victory!

If you weren’t already sitting down, you probably will be now!

Take these words of advice to heart — start small. If you haven’t tried dabbing at all before, don’t make your very first dab a large one. You won’t regret taking a small dab, but you might regret taking one that is too big. Always ask your budtender any questions you have about your purchase and if the product you are buying is the best thing you can buy for dabbing, vaporizing, smoking, etc.

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