By R.J. Villa
Photo on the Right: Clockwork Orange by Riot Seeds
Our friends at Green Candy Press have recently released Cannabis Indica: The Essential Guide to the Worldâ€™s Finest Marijuana Strains, Volume I, their first book in a series of six that sets a new standard for cannabis strain guides. As you turn through its pages, you will find a great guide featuring genetics from over 100 different seed breeders and strains from various countries, such as Afghanistan, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, India, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and all throughout the United States. Each book in the series looks to highlight 100 breeders and 100 strains.
Such an extensive strain guide shows us how much the seed industry has evolved over the last couple of years. A lot of your favorite seed companies can be found in this book, but it also opens your eyes to some of the new up-and-comers starting to make a name for themselves with high quality genetics. The works of well respected companies, like DJ Short, High Bred Seeds, Holy Smoke Seeds, Paradise Seeds, Sagarmatha, Serious Seeds, and even Subcool and TGA get their props, as well as our local San Diegan companies, OtherSide Farms and Riot Seeds.
â€œI think it is difficult to pick any one country, as each one has a thriving and interesting cannabis community doing fantastic work,â€ explained S.T. Oner, editor of Cannabis Indica. â€œFrom a North American perspective, it can seem as if the USA and Canada have the most forward thinking breeders in the world, and we are treated to some real talent over here. But once you start scratching the surface of the worldwide scene, you will be amazed at what is going on globally.â€
â€œEurope is a veritable hotbed of activity at the moment and it is not just limited to the Netherlands and Spain anymore; France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK are all getting in on the act and producing some amazing strains. I really love the Mazar-I-Sharif from Ukraineâ€™s Bomba Seeds that is featured in the book, and the story behind it is so interesting. A soldier brought it back from Afghanistan after he was done fighting there. He was a pacifist forced into the army, and bringing the plant back was his way of honoring the local breeders and growers that he had connected with.â€
â€œBut beyond Europe too, there is some fantastic work being done with the climate in places like South Africa and Australia, giving rise to plants that we just could not grow in North America. Russia also has a surprisingly great scene. My favorite breeder there, Original Seeds, is so passionate about landrace strains that it is hard not to be impressed. It was particularly nice for me to be able to include a Danish company, Zenseeds, as when I went over there, I was blown away by the quality of genetics and the skill of their breeders and growers.â€
Oner is a highly successful grower, chef, and author of the best-selling cannabis books Marjuana Chef Cookbook and Marijuana Outdoor Growerâ€™s Guide. This resource guide, six-part series takes an in-depth look at an unprecedented number of new and established cannabis pioneers and the plants they are famous for. Their list of 100 breeders and 100 strains compiles more than all previous strain guides combined. The information found within the pages of this book is invaluable to connoisseurs, enthusiasts, growers, patients and vendors alike. This is a perfect resource guide for those looking to identify specific strains, helping them zero in on the best cannabis to treat their particular medical condition.
â€œBecause of the legal aspects of growing in Europe, they tend to have freer access to good genetics; but that doesnâ€™t necessarily mean that their genetics are superior,â€ Oner said. â€œSome of the best genetics I have found come from extremely small-scale breeders and growers who live in countries where the penalties for cultivation are extremely harsh. This book is really about the worldwide culture of marijuana strain breeding and the benefits to be had from looking further than your own front door for seeds and clones as well as bud. I am really into the work being done in California and Australia at the moment, and they are two places to watch when it comes to breeding.â€
Onerâ€™s research for Cannabis Indica did bring him into contact with breeders from all across the globe, but he is well aware of our own domestic efforts in breeding superior and designer strains. He did have some kind words for active seed companies in California, even mentioning a few of our local efforts here in San Diego with Riot Seeds and OtherSide Farms.
â€œI love the scene in California, especially the San Diego area where I cannot get over the wide variety of high quality genetics available. One of my favorites in the area is the fantastic Clockwork Orange by Riot Seeds (pages 50-51). That strain is amazing and people should definitely check out the work being done by those guys. Really cool stuff.â€
â€œOtherSide Farms also has great stuff in your area, like their Olivia Kush (pages 144-145). These are breeders and growers to watch out for, especially for cannabis enthusiasts and medical patients in the San Diego area where NUG Magazine is based. You have a great scene there.â€
The introduction at the beginning of the book was written by Greg Green, best-selling author of The Cannabis Grow Bible and The Cannabis Breederâ€™s Bible. The introduction goes on to give us a crash course on the breakdown of what an indica truly is. It explains its differences from sativa, both in effects and growing characteristics, something us patients are becoming more familiar with. It grazes the subject of growing differences between strains and the effects that ruderalis has had, as it is starting to be bred into the stronger and more potent strains.
Green identifies indicaâ€™s genetic history and how most indica genetics are rooted in Afghani or Kush origins. The plantsâ€™ resilience, reliable genetics, and impressive results mirror that of the will and energy of the people of Afghanistan. From one of the most battled for and war torn regions of the globe, comes the killer herb we look for in its potency, couch lock, and body relaxing properties.
â€œThe genetics harvested from Afghanistan are some of the best indicas out there,â€ Oner commented, on Greenâ€™s introduction. â€œWhen I talk about the heyday of the scene in Afghanistan, I am obviously referring to the â€˜60s and â€˜70s. Before things got so crazy over there, they had a very interesting and knowledgeable scene and a lot of talented breeders. I am a strong supporter of landrace plants and I think we should give massive respect to local growers in that area who have maintained these plants for centuries. I do not think that a bunch of Westerners should go over to steal their genetics, obviously. More so, we should embrace growers in that region and have a healthy exchange of work and passion for the plant to promote a more global cannabis culture.â€
That is exactly what Green Candy Press is doing with their six-volume strain guide, helping promote a global cannabis culture that continues to grow. Their attempts to document these strains and their breeders have revealed that the talent among the industry continues to evolve today. This is no advertising book, every strain and breeder is documented by the merit of their work and product. This book gives them the appropriate platform to showcase what they are capable of in the world of cannabis. Even at 100 strains and 100 breeders, Oner still felt inclined to give some honorable mentions to those that did not make the cut for Volume I.
â€œHonestly, I could have had 200 different strains in this book, but I wanted to keep it down to 100,â€ admitted Oner.Â â€œIt was difficult to cut some breeders and strains, but it turned out to be necessary and it is by no means a reflection of the strain or breederâ€™s merit. I am a real fan of Eddie Funxtaâ€™s work and I would have loved to get his strain â€˜Funxtaâ€™s Get Riteâ€™ in the book. It was a bummer, but Eddie was totally cool about it and he is going to be featured in my next book. I am planning on doing six volumes of this strain guide and he is definitely in volumes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. I want people to look at these books in 20 years and get an accurate picture of all of the incredible genetics available in our lifetimes, like the definitive encyclopedia of strains, you know? The Encyclopedia Pottanica. â€“Haha!â€
Cannabis Indica: The Essential Guide to the Worldâ€™s Finest Marijuana Strains, Volume I is the first in a series of six. The next in the series, Cannabis Sativa: The Essential Guide to the Worldâ€™s Finest Marijuana Strains, Volume I, will be out in May 2012. Oner is currently working on it as we speak, diving into the interesting histories of how these various strains have been acquired.
â€œI am a huge sativa fan and so many sativa strains have interesting histories, with some like the Chems being totally shrouded in folklore,â€ says Oner. â€œI am currently talking to breeders and gathering the content, so it is an exciting time for me and I learn something new everyday. To do these books is really a dream come true for me.â€
To NUG Magazine and our readers, Oner had some final words for us.
â€œI really love the scene in San Diego and I always have a blast when I visit,â€ revealed Oner. â€œOtherSide Farms and Riot Seeds are great breeders and growers in the area, and I would love to see more San Diegans support these guys in their workâ€¦because they have really cool genetics. I would always encourage smokers, growers and breeders to remember why they love this plant and to give back to their local scene when they can. I hope your readers enjoy my books and I would love to hear from more growers and breeders down there. I would also love to hear whether â€˜San Diegoâ€™ really does mean â€˜A whaleâ€™s vagina,â€™ or notâ€¦if they can clear that up for me. Haha! Gotta love Anchorman! Peace, and thank you San Diego. You have a great scene and you are blessed with some fantastic genetics there!â€
Cannabis Indica: The Essential Guide to the Worldâ€™s Finest Marijuana Strains, Volume I is available in all good bookstores and on Amazon. Storefronts can get copies from Homestead Book Company and Quick Distribution. For more information, please visit: