If you’ve ever cultivated a cannabis plant then you’ll probably be familiar with a number of properties. How big a plant can get, what the leaves look like and what THC percentages you can expect from weed. But there are varieties which fall outside the norm. These are the freaks of cannabis cultivation.
1 - The Unrecognisable Weed Plant, Frisian Duck
Let me introduce myself: ‘I am Frisian Duck, a descendant of ‘Duck’s Foot’. Dutch Passion discovered the weird leaves of my ancestors and started to cultivate me. I use natural camouflage!’
Frisian Duck develops what look like grape leaves making it appear quite unlike cannabis.
What makes you special? ‘My leaves have mutated into something that no longer resembles cannabis. Dutch Passion then decided to further cultivate these crazy leaves. To be honest, a collection of Frisian Ducks looks more like a vineyard than a cannabis plantation! Even the smell of my flowers is a bit different from what you’re used to with weed.’
Why is that of interest to the grower? As you can imagine, not everyone appreciates having weed plants in the neighbourhood. That’s exactly what makes a camouflaged appearance important. It means you can grow weed in places where it can be seen.
What will the future bring? When Dutch Passion saw the mutation as a positive rather than a negative, it really kick-started the cannabis ‘paralympics’.
Weed has numerous mutations. Some are of interest to growers and are comparable to a runner with an extra set of legs. Just think about flowers clumped together (polyploidy), a flower on each leaf (leaf bud) or rampant shoots which create an entire weed jungle within a few months because they creep over the ground and propagate new roots.
A collection of Frisian Ducks looks more like a vineyard than a cannabis plantation!
Incidentally, it’s by no means easy to keep hold of such a good mutation. This is because a mutation doesn’t always remain in the genetics. That’s why there are few varieties (or rather strains) that use mutations as a selling point. In the future there will be more varieties coming on the market which are guaranteed to contain a mutation but it’s still not clear when producers will manage to do this.
Photo of a polyploid weed plant (genetic mutation).
What else should we know about you? ‘Don’t let my appearance and non-standard aroma deceive you. I produce a high percentage of THC. And my youngest leaves around the flower in the final weeks before harvesting start to look like weed.’
2 - Peak THC with Gorilla Glue Weed - When will the THC-Ceiling be Reached?
Let me introduce myself: My name is Gorilla Glue and it’s the THC which makes me sticky.’
Gorilla Glue Weed is bursting with THC. It’s one of the strongest varieties around. Photo: herbaconnect.com (CC BY 2.0)
What makes you special? ‘Why is my THC percentage special? My peers lose important nutrients when creating cannabinoids like THC. Nutrients which are otherwise used to allow our buds to grow further and make the plant big and strong.’
The balance between these three factors - big plant, large buds and high THC - is very challenging for growers. Gorilla Glue (also known as Original Glue and GG4) gets to 2 metres high, has enormous buds and produces a THC percentage of around 25%. And that’s approaching the upper limits.
Is there an Upper Limit for THC? Yes, because weed plants need a lot of nutrition to produce THC, there is a maximum THC percentage that weed can contain. The theoretical limit is about 35% THC by dry weight.
Why is that of interest to the grower? Naturally, you want all three together. A combination of big plant, large buds and high THC will give you a large harvest and ensure that every drag of a joint will hit like a bomb.
Are you the only one? There are no cannabis plants with THC percentages higher than 35%. What’s more, the development of THC and CBD in any plant is heavily dependent on the feeding, water, ambient temperature, soil and light. Consequently, not a single company claims that their seeds produce the strongest weed. Gorilla Glue GG4 is one of the THC champions. Other varieties of weed with a THC percentage of about 25% are Ken Dawg, Kimbo Kush and 707 Headband. Next to Gorilla Glue, these are the strongest and most reliable strains on the market.
3 - Weed Plant with Maximum CBD: The CBD Smash Hit Candida CD-1
Let me introduce myself: ‘I am Candida, the parent plant from Medical Marijuana Genetics and I’ll give you a lot of CBD.’
Candida CD-1 from Medical Marijuana Genetics is a weed plant known for its high CBD percentage and low THC percentage.
What makes you special? ‘My niece Gorilla Glue already mentioned that there is a limit to how much THC a weed plant can contain. I’m exploring the limit for CBD in a weed plant.’
Can a weed plant contain 25% THC and 25% CBD? No, it is either one or the other. Let me explain it in simple terms. Just like THC, CBD is produced by converting nutrition. It’s a matter of the total amount of cannabinoids which a weed plant can contain. CBD conversion is a less efficient biological process and that’s why you don’t see any percentages like 30% CBD.’
Candida CD-1 has a CBD:THC ratio of 20 to 1. The percentage of CBD in the flowers can run up to 20% while the THC percentage does not exceed 1%.
Why is that of interest to the grower? If you don’t want to get high but do want to enjoy the other benefits of weed, you should choose a high percentage of CBD. CBD even suppresses the high so be assured that a few drags of Candida from Medical Marijuana Genetics will leave you with a clear head.
Are you the only one? The arrival of plants with a high CBD percentage is a development of recent years. There was not much call for it before because little research had been done on CBD. But that has all changed since the 1980’s. At that time, people started to cultivate and cross-fertilize plants which contained a maximum percentage of CBD. But there still wasn’t much of a market for it.
Candida from Medical Marijuana Genetics contains up to 20% CBD!
Now there is even a cup for CBD-rich weed plants in the most important international cannabis competitions. And the records are continuously being broken. We are not yet at the limit but Candida CD-1 with its CBD percentage of just under 20% is getting close to emptying the barrel. What’s also important is that Candida is a strong plant with reliable results. That’s why this plant has also become the parent plant of all Medical Marijuana Genetics’ weed plants.
In the future more top notch CBD plants will come onto the market. In addition to Candida CD-1, you are now able to choose between Green Doctor GD-1, Orinoco OR-1, and Nightingale NN-1 (also from Medical Marijuana Genetics) or CBD Auto Charlotte’s Angel from Dutch Passion.
4 - Biggest Weed Plant, Green Crack: In Competition with the Neighbour’s Tree
Let me introduce myself: ‘I’m Green Crack from Humboldt Seeds and I suffer from megalomania.’
Don’t let this modest top fool you. Green Crack can get to 4 metres in height and thus belongs to the biggest weed plants.
What makes you special? ‘If there was basketball for weed plants, I’d be on the podium.’ Green Crack is a weed plant which can reach 4 metres in height in open ground with sufficient light. A bit more and you could trim your harvest from the attic window.
What is the advantage of a large plant? That has to be the yield. Humboldt Seeds has no problem in promising from 1 to 3 kilos.
Are you easy to look after? ‘You can grow me indoors or outdoors but I love space, light and plenty to eat. I think that must be because I often have my head in the clouds.’
Our tip? Plant out Green Crack in open ground and full sunlight in a south-facing garden. Then it’ll shoot up to the first floor within a few weeks. But keep giving it plant feed because that’s what makes it big and strong.
If there was basketball for weed plants, Green Crack would be on the podium.
Are you the only one? ‘If I look out from on high across the surrounding gardens, I recognise Kilimanjaro (the strain, not the mountain) and Lemon Thai. All of us have a lot of Sativa blood. Sativa varieties are usually taller than Indica ones. If they also have small drop of Indica in them, then the plant will often be stronger and the buds bigger as well.
5 - Cannabis Sprinter, Big Bang Auto: There can only be 1 that is the Fastest
Let me introduce myself: “I’ll keep myself short because I’m in a hurry. My name is Big Bang Auto, and I am a super-fast autoflower plant.”
Big Bang Auto from Greenhouse Seeds is one of the fastest flowering weed plants.
What makes you special? “I am a super-fast autoflower plant. I give a high return for my modest stature."
Why is that of interest to the grower? If you cultivate indoors, you can grow several times a year. Once one plant has finished flowering, you can plant the next seedling in the growing cabinet. In this way you can grow one after the other and end up producing more weed than you can smoke on your own in a year. ‘I become mature very quickly. In just over 2 months I will have finished growing and flowering. Then you’ll get around 45 grammes by dry weight per plant from my buds.’
What else should we know about you? ‘You can also plant me outdoors but I don’t like the cold. My lower limit is 10 degrees Celsius. Oh, and by the way, I never get taller than one-and-a-half metres.’
What will the future bring? Autoflowers (weed plants that bloom without changing light) are an answer to our lack of time. We also have less and less time. We also want a lot of weed when growing weed and we want it now.
There are also non-autoflowers that have a high yield in no time; the so-called fast flowers. Fast Flowering cannabis therefore has a colorful future, because you can do a lot with little. Fast flowers are the next step in the cannabis evolution, but so far there are only a handful of plants that have a nice balance between speed and yield.
In the future we will see more Fast Flowering cannabis seeds.
Exploring the Boundaries of Cannabis
There will always be producers or growers who push the boundaries. In this article we’ve shown you some of the biggest, fastest, most striking and strongest varieties. What the future will bring us in this area is as yet unclear given that we weren’t able to predict there would be so much interest in CBD prior to the explosion in CBD strains. It’s a similar story with the autoflower market. But let the freaks keep coming because we are ready and waiting for them!
Autoflower? What’s that about? Having difficulty with the terminology in this article? That's okay! Learn more with these articles!
- Cultivating Cannabis Autoflowers: Myths, Benefits and Points to Note
- Indica vs. Sativa: Stoned or High?
- Test results, Analytical 360, n.d., Available at: (https://analytical360.com).
- Peak THC: The Limits on THC and CBD Levels for Cannabis Strains, Nick Jikomes, 8 Apr. 2017, Available at: (https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/ peak-thc-cbd-levels-for-cannabis-strains).