Most popular types of marijuana

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Big Bud XXL

If you’re worried that Big Bud XXL is the supersize version of the already-mighty Big Bud, then you can relax. The XXL bit is just to show that this is the version of Big Bud developed by the Ministry of Cannabis seed bank.

Strength

Big Bud XXL

At about 15% THC Big Bud XXL is in line with its (almost) namesake and is quite strong enough to deal with moderate pain and everyday emotional issues such as anxiety and stress. While its exact genetics have been kept under wraps, it is known that Big Bud XXL is 80% Indica, so this is best thought off as a night-time strain, which will knock pain on the head and send you on your way to sleep or to put it another way, this strain delivers a relaxing stone right after the head high, so be prepared to allow yourself plenty of time to be cocooned in it.

Yield

Yield is on a par with what you’d expect from classic Big Bud. You can feasibly harvest 500-650 gr/m2 indoors and up to 1 kg/plant outdoors. That’s a lot of bud. In fact even today, Big Bud and its various spin offs, like Big Bud XXL are still some of the highest yielders around and the bud is good quality as well as plentiful.

Speed

Big Bud XXL is a photoperiod strain and it flowers in about 7 to 8 weeks, meaning that it is ready to harvest around early/mid-September. That means it is a realistic option for growers in most of Europe, in fact a few Big Bud XXL plants could give you enough medical marijuana to last you all year, particularly if you can grow them outside for maximum yields. If you do want or need to grow indoors then Big Bud XXL is still a reasonable option. In spite of the name, it’s still essentially an Indica, albeit a rather tall one. Left to its own devices, you can expect it to reach about 1.5M indoors, but if you want, you can keep its height down with plant training.

Taste

The taste of Big Bud XXL is pretty much identical to the original Big Bud. It has an earthy baseline with plenty of skunk but there are sweeter top notes to take off the edge and add a lighter touch.

Bag Appeal

Big Bud XXL

For most people the most appealing feature of a bag of Big Bud XXL will be its weight. Apart from that, it has to be said Big Bud XXL isn’t the prettiest strain around, but it does have quality to go with its quantity. Resin production is perfectly respectable so the dense, green nugs stay intact until you actually take the decision to start crumbling them and while there are other strains out there with more colour to them, Big Bud XXL does have a decent sprinkling of orange pistils to make it look a bit more cheerful. There’s also a warm, musky, herbal odour which will go down well with fans of skunk.

Ministry of Cannabis has been very coy about revealing the exact genetic details of Big Bud XXL but as far as we can see it’s pretty much identical to the original Big Bud, with everything that implies. In other words, if you have the space and you put in the work, you’ll get monster yields of high-quality skunk. Just remember that skunk odours aren’t for everyone, so if you plan to grow this strain be responsible about odour control.

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Auto Northern Lights

Northern Lights is one of the longest-established, old-school classics there is, it has given rise to numerous respected hybrids and has also been turned into an autoflowering strain by a number of seed banks. This review is specifically on the Ministry of Cannabis autoflowering version.

Strength

Auto Northern Lights

A THC level of around 15% puts Auto Northern Lights slap bang in the middle of what would be considered a medium level of THC by today’s standards. It’s certainly enough to deliver fast-acting pain relief and a noticeable boost to your mood, but it will keep the high to an energizing lift rather than a return ticket to a newly-discovered solar system. At heart, however, Auto Northern Lights (MOC) is very much an old-school Indica, which means it delivers a powerfully, relaxing body stone right after the initial head high. This means that it’s best kept for evening and is a great all-round option for dealing with any pain which could trouble your sleep and giving you a gentle but firm push into the land of nod.

Yield

Auto Northern Lights (MOC) offers yields of up to 120 gr per plant indoors or up to 250 gr per plant outdoors. While it’s fair to say there are heavier-yielding strains out there, that’s still a more than decent return from an autoflowering strain, which requires such little effort to grow. It’s also worth remembering that the the MOC version of Auto Northern Lights is fairly low on odour even in the later flowering stages, so while you’re still going to have to stay on top of odour control, it’s much less of an issue than with many other strains.

Speed

Auto Northern Lights

You’ll be all bagged up in 6 weeks, in fact you might even be done in a little less. That’s about as speedy as it gets, at least for now. Part of the reason why Auto Northern Lights (MOC) can finish its growth cycle so quickly is because it doesn’t really grow all that much. The original Northern Lights rarely went much above a metre indoors and this autoflowering version has Ruderalis added to keep it even shorter. Having said that, if it has space to grow outdoors, it can get rather bigger – and will give you bigger yields.

Taste

Auto Northern Lights (MOC) is essentially the original Northern Lights with the addition of Ruderalis. This means that the taste is basically the same as the original Northern Lights. It has a strong earthy body but the top notes are sweet and there is pine for freshness. Some people say that this version is a bit more pungent than the original.

Bag Appeal

Auto Northern Lights

The original Northern Lights got its name because of its covering of glittering white trichomes and you’ll be pleased to hear that Auto Northern Lights (MOC) is just the same. While the resin may be the highlight (literally) of the contents of your bag, overall Auto Northern Lights is quite attractive to look at. There isn’t all that much in the way of orange pistils, but the dark, glossy green nugs catch the eye nicely and feel good and solid in the hand.

It’s good to see that Ministry of Cannabis has basically left a popular favourite largely untouched, they’ve just added ruderalis to make it easier to grow. Overall, we’d say Auto Northern Lights (MOC) was a really solid choice for anyone and particularly for beginners since it offers a winning combination of compact size, speed, ease of growing, decent yield, good taste and meaningful medical benefits. We especially like the fact that Auto Northern Lights (MOC) is a reliable and consistent performer, which will do just fine in soil, coir or hydro and genuinely is perfectly happy both indoors and outdoors rather than being one of those strains which will only grow outdoors if you’re prepared to pamper and cosset it.

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Autopilot XXL

Autopilot XXL is basically the autoflowering version of Big Bud XXL, by Ministry of Cannabis. It keeps the best of its illustrious parent but makes it even easier to grow.

Strength

Autopilot XXL

Big Bud was (and is) known for its stupendous yields rather than its high THC content and Autopilot XXL is in the same vein. It has around 15% THC, which these days puts it firmly in the “medium” category and probably hits the spot nicely for quite a few people in that it’s enough to deal with everyday aches and pains and to get you moving and grooving again on days when you’d really prefer just to stay under the covers and not get out, but, at the same time, it stays within the sort of limits most people are going to find safe and comfortable, rather than strapping you to an ejector seat and sending you hurtling into the stratosphere. Autopilot XXL is still mainly an Indica, so you probably want to keep this strain for night time use.

Yield

It has to be said that Autopilot XXL does not match up to Big Bud when it comes to yields. You can expect up to 125 gr per plant indoors or up to 250 gr per plant outdoors. On the flip side, it doesn’t match up to Big Bud when it comes to height or maintenance either and this is still a pretty respectable output from an autoflowering strain.

Speed

Autopilot XXL

Autopilot XXL takes 8 to 9 weeks to deliver its harvest. That’s certainly on the longer side for an autoflowering strain but fairly average for modern strains in general. The good news is that this time is put to use developing buds rather than stretching to the skies. Whereas Big Bud could easily reach 1.5M even indoors Autopilot XXL keeps its head down a bit, although it has to be acknowledged that it’s still on the taller side for an autoflowering strain. Like Big Bud, Autopilot XXL generally grows one main bud along with a lot of smaller side buds and may need a bit of support during the flowering period.

Taste

The taste of Autopilot XXL is everything you loved about Big Bud all over again. It has that classic mixture of earthiness and skunk together with floral overtones to add sweetness and counterbalance the solidity of the base.

Bag Appeal

Autopilot XXL

Autopilot XXL looks good when harvested. It’s a pleasing mixture of dark green leaves, bright orange pistils and those frosty trichomes. It feels good too, nice and weighty. Even though it’s not a strain with a super-high resin content, like Northern Lights or White Widow, it still has plenty of trichomes so nugs have a decent level of hold rather than just crumbling as soon as you look at them. There’s plenty of skunk pungency and the odour has more of a herbal edge than a floral one, some people say pepper and others parsley.

Big Bud has been around for a long time and Autopilot XXL is essentially just a modern update of it. As an autoflowering strain, it’s a bit smaller than its predecessor and yields are therefore somewhat lower, but at the same time, it’s also rather quicker and easier to grow. It has enough THC to make an impact without getting anywhere close to the sort of “rocket fuel” levels seen in some of the modern strains (like Gorilla Bomb). In shot, Autopilot XXL is a good, all-rounder, which will please skunk lovers looking for a nice, easy grow with a decent harvest at the end of it.

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CBD Star

CBD Star is an exciting new addition to the range of medically -balanced strains, which aim to provide moderate THC and high CBD for a combination of fast-acting and long-lasting relief from chronic pain and insomnia.

Strength

Even though CBD Star’s headline benefit is, of course, the CBD, it still has 12% THC. While this is on the low side by modern standards, it is quite enough to deliver noticeable pain relief for many conditions both physical and mental. With a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, CBD Star does indeed have one of the highest CBD levels out there and is therefore definitely a strain best kept for night-time use. In fact, CBD Star should probably go right to the top of your list of options if you’re looking for a strain to keep chronic pain at bay all night long so you can enjoy some decent sleep.

Yield

Yields are very respectable. Indoors you can expect 500-550g/m2 and outdoors you will be looking at 700g/plant. What’s more CBD Star is a nicely compact strain, which makes it a great choice if you have limited grow space.

Speed

CBD Star has an eight-week flowering period, which is about average for modern photoperiod strains. You can certainly get autoflowering varieties which finish more quickly, but you’ll almost certainly lose out on yield and you’ll be pushed to find many options which deliver the 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD. Outdoors, you’ll be looking to harvest in mid-/end-September, which means that growers in most of Europe have a fighting chance of beating the autumn frosts. If you’re not entirely sure you’ll get the weather you need right to the end of the flowering period, you could look to split the difference and grow under glass, just to give your precious plants a bit of extra protection from the elements

Taste

The taste of CBD Star is full of warmth, musk and mild spice, some people say incense. We think it would appeal to most people unless you’ve absolutely set your heart on a specific flavour such as diesel or fruit.

Bag Appeal

Speaking of appeal, CBD Star does look good when bagged up. You get lots of weighty green nugs, livened up with orange pistils and a decent sprinkling of trichomes. While it has to be acknowledged that the low level of THC means that this is a pretty frosting rather than the sort of eye-dazzling glitter you get from the likes of White Widow and Northern Lights, it still looks good. It also smells good with an odour somewhere between musk and incense.

CBD Star was developed to provide fast-acting and long-lasting relief from chronic pain and insomnia, so if you’re suffering from either or both of these conditions, then CBD Star is definitely worth considering for night-time use. Whether or not you can use CBD Star in the daytime basically depends on how much you need to focus during your day. If you need to do anything complex, particularly driving, then you probably want to give CBD Star a miss for the simple reason that it’s meant to have a long-lasting effect and it does, which is great when you have plenty of time to appreciate it but far from ideal when you need to clear your head quickly and get on with your life. In that situation, you might want to look at a strain with high THC and low CBD to control your pain in the daytime and keep CBD Star for use at night.

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Mandarin Haze

Many people just love fruit-flavoured strains and if you’re one of them then Mandarin Haze may be the perfect strain for you.

Strength

Mandarin Haze

With 23%, THC Mandarin Haze is strong enough to deal with severe physical pain and more challenging emotional conditions. In fact if you’re new to marijuana, you may want to start with a lower THC strain just so you get a realistic idea of what THC levels mean in practice (taking into account the fact that everybody’s different). Alternatively, if you’ve set your heart on the delicious taste and happy, energetic high of Mandarin Haze, go very gently with the dose until you’re clear about how you, personally, respond to it.

If you’ve already tried Sativas then you might find it useful to know that Mandarin Haze is about 15% Indica and while that might not sound like much, it’s enough to give a stable anchor to the high and ensure that you come back to earth in a gentle glide rather than with a harsh bump.

Yield

Mandarin Haze

Looked at in terms of headline figures, Mandarin Haze offers good yields with indoor growers looking at 550-600 gr/m2 and outdoor growers looking at 750gr/plant. In the real world, however, you need to remember that Mandarin Haze is a Haze, meaning it is a Sativa dominant, meaning it likes to stretch.

In other words, there are plenty of compact Indicas available, which will yield almost as much bud in much less space, hence, frankly, the harvest is far less impressive than it initially sounds. On the other hand, while there are plenty of gorgeously fruity Indicas out there (Tangerine Dream springs to mind), even these days, you’d be hard pressed to find any Indica with this kind of THC level.

Speed

Taking 10 weeks to flower, Mandarin Haze is never going to win any awards for speed, although the touch of Indica genetics does help to bring the flowering time down a fraction.

Outdoors, you can expect to harvest around end-September to mid-October, which means that really it’s only suitable for true outdoor growing in the very sunniest parts of Europe. Depending on where you live, you may be able to work around this, at least to some extent, by growing under glass so you can take advantage of natural light and heat as much as possible, but back it up with electric lights as days get shorter.

If you do want to go down this route, then you’ll have to think about managing light cycles the way indoor growers do.

Taste

The clue is in the name. Mandarin Haze is fruity sweet, citrus fresh and clearly a Haze.

Bag Appeal

Mandarin Haze

To be perfectly honest, Mandarin Haze doesn’t look like much in the bag. For a strain with Mandarin in the name and a pretty high level of THC, there’s isn’t much to see in the way of orange pistils or frosty trichomes. On the other hand, there is a simply mouth-watering tangy/sweet odour of mandarins, which wafts out clearly even before you’ve started breaking up the chunky nugs.

The Haze family have always divided opinion. Some people absolutely love them, others think they’re just more hassle than they’re worth. If you’re one of the former than Mandarin Haze should definitely be high on your list of strains to try. If you’re still making up your mind, then we won’t pretend that Mandarin Haze is the easiest strain in the world to grow and frankly beginners should probably give it a miss and wait until they’ve confident growing photoperiod Indicas, but if you’re up for a challenge, then Mandarin Haze could be a very rewarding strain to try.

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