Even the most seasoned growers tend to avoid certain landrace strains because of long flowering times, difficult growing conditions, or unique bud structures that require tons of TLC. “Landrace” simply means a cannabis strain that is generally only grown in one geographic area without hybridizing its genetics with other strains. These strains are so specialized that they often require more attention, time, and care than hybrids.
With that said, let’s take a look at a handful of the most notoriously difficult to grow cannabis strains:
(Female Seeds photo)
A hard-to-find pure sativa heirloom strain named after the famous Harvard professor and cannabis advocate Dr. Grinspoon, this headstrong cerebral flower is an ideal choice for intellectuals and creative thinkers alike. These sparse berry-like buds grow on thin stems in unusually airy gaps which has the effect of producing lower yields.
Preferring to be grown indoors with a long 13-14 weeks of patient flowering, Dr. Grinspoon needs a good amount of height management and stem support late in the flowering cycle.
(Reserva Privada Seeds)
Here in Denver we’re seeing a resurgence of Headband hybrids like my personal favorite, Blueberry Headband. However, pure Headband is notoriously difficult to grow due to its smallish bud structure. Learning what this plant likes is the key to getting consistent yields that produce the high amounts of THC (25%+) that this strain is known for.
(Ace Seeds photo)
When I hear some of the old-timers talk about how they used to smoke “Thai sticks” back in the day, I used to roll my eyes and think they had no idea what good weed today would be like. After doing my research, I discovered that the original Thai heritage was as good as they come, even by today’s standards.
Notoriously difficult to find and even harder to grow outside of Thailand, Thai strains prefer hot, humid outdoor environments where they can grow tall. Growers will need high quality organic soil and must pay careful attention to pruning, topping, and training their plants over the lengthy flowering period- up to 14 weeks for the Chocolate Thai variant.
(Green House Seeds photo)
Named after cannabis activist Jack Herer, this classic strain is a potent mix of Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk. With a flowering time of 8-9 weeks for only a low to moderate yield, this strain is somewhat difficult to grow outside of hydroponic systems due to how bushy and massive these plants can get.
If growing indoors, be sure to have plenty of space between your plants and don’t forget about supporting the branches as the buds develop to prevent snapping.
(Ace Seeds photo)
A pure sativa hailing from the Salima region of Malawi in Africa, Malawi and Malawi Gold are extremely rare and have perhaps the longest flowering time in the world at up to 120 days. Fabled to produce gigantic resin-soaked colas up to two feet long, this strain is certainly worth the effort.
Unless you live in an African climate, this bud is arduous to grow outside of its native lands. You’ll need a temperature and humidity controlled greenhouse with lots of space for this tropical beauty if you wish to grow indoors.
This post was originally published on July 12, 2017, it was updated on October 5, 2017.