How do you know the right cannabis chemovar for your location?
Not everyone lives in an area where the climate is perfect for growing cannabis. But by choosing the right genetics, it’s entirely possible to find the best cannabis chemovar for the equatorial tropics or the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest, and everywhere in between.
Why Climate is King for Outdoor Growing
Climate is the most significant consideration when choosing an outdoor chemovar. Traditionally, cannabis thrives in climates akin to the Mediterranean region. It’s a climate best described as warm to hot in the summer, with mild fall weather, and minimal rainfall. In North America, the conditions present in many parts of California and Oregon best represent these ideal conditions.
Those living in northern latitudes – with shorter, colder, summers and reduced light intensity face more challenges than those in equatorial climates that experience abundant sun and heat. But that doesn’t mean that outdoor cannabis can’t thrive further north or south. After all, the diversity in the genetic makeup of the plant, coupled with selective breeding, means that this hardy plant can thrive just about anywhere. But growers must pay particular attention to the genetics to reap the rewards.
Matching Climate to Genetics
Due to decades of interbreeding, the terms Sativa and Indica bear little meaning in modern times. But historically, these classifications thrived in certain parts of the world.
They represent the underlying genetic profiles unique to certain areas. By selecting chemovars that are relatively untouched by interbreeding, it’s possible to select the ideal variety for a given climate.
Where Sativa Genetics Thrive
Sativa genetics thrive in equatorial zones where temperature, humidity, and rainfall generally remain high year-round. Pure Sativa varieties of cannabis have long flowering cycles, something that evolved due to the distinct lack of a winter. Such adaptations mean that the pure landrace Sativa varieties of cannabis won’t do well in northerly or southerly climes due to cooler conditions and shorter summers.
Where Indica Genetics Thrive
Indica genetics stem from the mountainous and arid regions of central Asia. These short, bushy plants are hardy and can handle much colder temperatures than Sativas. Having evolved in a part of the world with short summers, they typically finish flowering in seven to nine weeks, making them ideal in places where an impending winter quickly follows a short cool summer.
Why Ruderalis Genetics Make Growing in Colder Climates Possible
Another variety known as Ruderalis evolved in eastern European climates. They developed a particularly useful adaptation known as autoflowering. Autoflowering allows plants to flower based on time cycles, rather than light cycles.
That’s the reason why it’s possible to grow outdoor cannabis in seemingly inhospitable conditions in far northern latitudes. Ruderalis plants generally produce low cannabinoid content. But clever breeding allowed for the autoflowering capability to express within wider Indica or Sativa-based genetics. And it’s this that allows growers in less than ideal climates to grow outdoor cannabis successfully.
The Best Outdoor Chemovar For Northern, Cold, and Wet Climates
In places with short summers and abundant rainfall, outdoor growing can be more challenging. The Pacific north-west, British Columbia, most of Canada, and north-western Europe, all represent the best examples.
Growers in such areas need to select chemovars that can survive in less-than-perfect conditions. Autoflowering chemovars that incorporate Ruderalis genetics are advantageous where their fast growth and shorter flowering times allow for a successful harvest before the inclement weather returns. Here are some recommended chemovars with the genetic makeup to pull through in colder, wetter climes.
This autoflowering chemovar tends to thrive in places with shorter, cooler, summers. With a combination of California Kush, Northern lights, and Lowryder genetics, it’s a sedating variety. As with many chemovars that thrive in less than ideal outdoor conditions, Polar Express yields THC content averaging at fifteen percent. It grows short at only 30-80 cm and is ideal for conspicuous outdoor grows.
Hindu Kush is a famous landrace Indica variety that originated in the Hindu Kush mountains on the Afghani-Pakistani border. Due to the harsh climate of the region, Hindu Kush is one of the most adaptable hardy strains available and grows well in colder climates.
With a seven-week flowering time, the fast-growing Hindu Kush enables growers to maximize their harvest in short, cool, summers. Highly regarded within the medicinal cannabis community, Hindu Kush helps treat chronic pain, stress, and anxiety, and can also be an effective anti-nausea treatment.
Renowned for bountiful outdoor harvests, Early Skunk is ideally suited to colder climates. With a short flowering cycle of eight to nine weeks, it’s ideal for a short summer growing window. The strong underlying genetics also mean it’s resistant to falling temperatures come the end of summer. And it’s this that may allow growers to obtain a second harvest into the fall in certain locations.
Best Outdoor Chemovar For Hot and Dry Climates
Sativa Chemovars or those with Sativa-dominant genetics are best suited to hot and dry climates. The higher temperatures and longer growing seasons mean they get the time they require to finish out their longer flowering cycles.
With abundant sun and UV radiation, chemovars that thrive in such climates generally yield high cannabinoid content and excellent medicinal benefit.
Amnesia Haze does well in hot and dry climates with abundant sun. With THC levels approaching twenty percent and high myrcene content, it has its roots in Jamaican and South Asian Sativa genetics.
Widely used within the medicinal cannabis community, Amnesia Haze is popular among those looking for relief from pain, migraines, and stress.
With a ten-week flowering time, Tangerine Dream thrives in hot and dry climates. A cross between G13, Afghani, and Neville’s A5 Haze, it’s one engineered to meet the demands of medicinal patients with its euphoric effects coupled with deep relaxation.
Known as an easy chemovar for beginning outdoor growers to cultivate, it produces generous yields and THC content averaging close to eighteen percent.
Best Outdoor Chemovar For Hot and Humid Climates
Tropical regions that experience hot and humid climates generally experience the twelve-hour light cycles that flowering cannabis plants thrive under. But the high humidity in such areas presents the outdoor grower with some unique challenges. With abundant rain, it makes plants susceptible to rot and mold. This means growers need to pay special attention to any lying water and ensure they shake the plants to discourage the accumulation of moisture.
Excessive moisture aside, such climates represent the ideal climates for growing outdoor cannabis, and growers can expect large plants and abundant yields.
Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze is a feminized chemovar that leans significantly toward the Sativa end of the spectrum.
They flower in approximately ten to eleven weeks and generally produce bumper yields if grown correctly. Patients say it can be great for stress. It is very popular among medicinal patients recovering from treatments like chemotherapy, where its anti-nausea and appetite-promoting properties find the most benefit.
Sour diesel thrives in hot climates, and is also highly resistant to the mold formation commonly associated with more humid climates.
It flowers in just ten weeks, and with the preservation of a strong Sativa ancestry, it provides an uplifting and energizing effect that many medicinal patients have come to love. Medicinal cannabis patients use this one for its potent effects on pain, stress, and depression.
Reaping the Rewards
Our relationship with cannabis dates back thousands of years into our nomadic past. Thanks to that, the cannabis plant acquired the genetic diversity to thrive around the globe. With the infinite energy source of the sun freely available everywhere, we now have the unique ability to grow the plant in a surprising array of climates and spread its healing benefits worldwide.