Spring has officially arrived and if you are a fan of sun-grown outdoor cannabis, that means it’s planting season. Growers throughout the Northern Hemisphere are preparing the ground for what they hope will be
a successful and bountiful harvest in the fall (or the summer if light dep is the name of your game). Whether you already have your favorite strain or are looking to try out something new, you should definitely read on.
Cannabis breeders are working year-round to develop the latest blockbuster strain and choosing the right strain can be pretty difficult, so we’ve decided to boil down the list to MSNL’s top 10 outdoor strains to make your decision a little easier. It is impossible to choose ‘the best strain ever’ as people have different needs and desires, so we present the best outdoor varieties with different tastes and preferences in mind, in no particular order.
Anything with Haze in the name is a very good starting point and the sign of some solid genetics. Amnesia Haze fits this label perfectly. This sativa strain is the result of a South Asian and Jamaican landrace cross, which means she will be tall and lean in appearance (up to 220 cm), will have an extended flowering time (12-14 weeks) but will also be a big-yielding girl (up to 500 g/m2).
A plant with tropical lineage, it typically displays bright green colors and will be covered with yellowish trichomes near harvest time. The effects can be described as happy and energetic, making it a great option for treating depression and anxiety. This psychedelic plant will leave you a feeling of euphoria and empowerment. The Dutch are certainly aware of this as evidenced by Amnesia Haze’s presence in so many coffee shops throughout the country. You cannot go wrong with this trippy beauty.
Pure landrace sativas have become difficult to find as a result of the explosion in hybrid cannabis varieties, not that there's anything wrong with that necessarily. However, there is a lot to be said about landrace sativas, as they can be truly unique in their properties, both physical and therapeutic. Durban Poison gets as close to the original cannabis plant that Mother Nature designed. Like Amnesia Haze, Durban Poison contains a good amount of THC (19-22%) and little to no CBD, which means its effects are energetic and quite cerebral.
This plant can also get considerably tall, up to 3m in stature, meaning the yield can get quite impressive (500-600 g/m2), especially with proper training. Its bright green hue is quite eye-catching, especially once it’s covered in glossy trichomes. Along with its delicate earthy flavor, it’s also quite sweet and spicy, making it a very mouth-watering proposition for your outdoor grow. A must-have for a true connoisseur’s garden.
As the name indicates, this variety is a magnificent cross of two renowned and highly delectable strains, the fruity Blueberry and the frosty White Widow. The indica dominance in the genetics of this cross become quickly apparent as these plants are shorter and bushier than their sativa cousins, averaging around 2m in height outdoors, though it can grow well beyond that.
This variety is resistant to mold, so it will perform very well in colder and wetter climates. In addition, its moderate flowering period (8-10 weeks) makes it easier for novices to grow. If grown in colder climates, it will display some gorgeous blue and purple coloration towards the fall. Combined with its fruity blueberry fragrance and sweet taste, this is not just a gorgeous plant but also one that will give you a relaxed, yet euphoric sensation, making it ideal for winding down after a hard day’s Work.
The name ‘Critical’ comes up fairly often when going through strain catalogues and for a good reason. The Critical Mass phenotype has been used by many growers throughout the world to ‘bulk up’ new hybrids with great success and Critical is no different. This is a strain that is great for commercial production, as evidenced by its thick, dense resinous buds. It is an easy plant to grow with a relatively quick flowering time of 8-10 weeks.
Despite being a huge yielder, its THC content is quite moderate, ranging from 15 to 18%. Its indica dominance however can be noticed through its very relaxing body high, though its cerebral effects can also be on the creative side. A good choice for novices and commercial growers alike, its sweet, yet skunky nose will satisfy all tastes.
Also referred to as GSC (we assume the scout lobby is quite strong and lawsuits are the last thing cannabis breeders want), this strain is a superstar hybrid that combines the legendary Californian OG Kush and the South African Durban Poison. Compared to classics such as White Widow or Silver Haze, GSC is relatively new to the game but has become a favorite among connoisseurs and has received awards multiple times, including the High Times Cannabis Cup, for several good reasons.
Its yields are not as big as Critical Mass or Big Bud, however it more than makes up for that with its wonderfully pleasant combination of cerebral and body highs that are physically relaxing yet cerebrally uplifting. In addition to being mold and pest-resistant, is also an eye-catching plant with bright greens and bits of purple peppered with orange hairs. On the nose it is sugary, earthy and cinnamony and smells like cookies freshly pulled out of the oven. It’s higher-than-average THC content (approx. 22%) will help you deal with any physical ailments, though it can lead to couch lock if you aren’t careful. Outdoors it will average 100-180 cm in height with a reasonable flowering time of 8-10 weeks. This is one where quality outweighs quantity.
GDP is more than just a colorful plant as the name implies, this strain is an all-round all-star. Originating in California, this beast is a cross between the gorgeous Purple Urkle and the high-yielding Big Bud, resulting in a strain that produces huge, dense colas, is very easy on the eyes and packs a punch in terms of THC content (21%).
Typical of its indica characteristics, this is a plant best suited for physical symptom relief though it can also provide a nice cerebral buzz. Novice growers won’t have too much difficulty with this variety and advanced growers will also like it for its yields (450-500 g/m2) despite its moderate height (100 to 180 m). Its intense purple color is complimented by bright orange hairs and its berry/grape-like aroma is what you would expect from something of that color, in other words it tastes like it looks. On top of being sweet, it’s terpenes are peppery and piney, making this a gorgeous, mouth- watering monster of a plant.
Sometimes strains unfortunately carry with them a negative connotation thanks to their name, but don’t be fooled by the moniker, this is a fantastic sativa that will put a spring in your step and a huge smile on your face.
Outdoors this plant can grow up to 4m tall (!), although flowering times resemble those of an indica (7-10 weeks). Yields are quite robust and the plant is very resilient yet forgiving, so even inexperienced growers shouldn’t find it too difficult to cultivate. Its bright green leaves and fiery orange hairs also make this an attractive girl to grow and as is typical for an equatorial variety, it has pleasant notes of pine and citrus, which are reflective of the energy-boosting terpenes contained within the plant. Green Crack also has great therapeutic properties, specifically for anxiety and depression. You can’t go wrong with this rock star of a strain.
This is a classic strain that everyone will be familiar with, but bigger. White Widow Max is an indica-dominant hybrid that combines the classic features of White Widow with the impressive yields of Big Bud. Simultaneously providing a cerebral and physical stone, its above-average THC content (around 20%) will give you an intense cerebral rush initially, followed by a relaxing body high. The energetic and social, yet calming combination of effects can be applied for a wide range of medical conditions.
Although the plant doesn’t get very tall (up to 120 cm), it’s high yields will make any commercial grower happy, particularly with a moderate flowering time of 7-10 weeks (mid autumn). Buds are deep green in color, caked with frosty trichomes (hence the ‘white’) and peppered with radiant orange hairs, making it also very appealing to the eye. Skunky and peppery on the nose, it also has notes of citrus, indicative of its sativa heritage. A reliable, delectable legendary strain that will stand out in any garden.
Sounding like the name for a secret government spy operation, this strain is another cup-winning variety that combines physical relaxation with cerebral stimulation. Silly origin stories aside, this citrusy hybrid packs a punch with its high THC content (21%) and is known for its bursts of cerebral, euphoric energy while also being able to provide a nice and relaxing physical stone. Its Hawaiian lineage comes out in its appearance and aroma, with its compact bright green buds and orange hairs, which give off a citrusy, sweet and spicy aroma.
As is expected of a sativa, this plant can grow up to 3m in height and has a flowering time of 12-14 weeks. This doesn’t mean that it’s a small yielder, quite the contrary. It can produce over 600 g/m2 under the right conditions. This is a powerful, yet relaxing strain that connoisseurs love and is a must for sativa fans.
A legend among legends, this strain has won multiple cups over the years and continues to be the gold standard for sativa-dominant strains and is also a great jumping-off point for hybridization, though some will say it is a sacrilege to cross this with anything as it is a stand-out on its own. As the name would indicate, it is covered in white and silvery trichomes as a result of its lineage (Skunk, Northern Lights and Haze). Like its Haze cousins, this plant can grow beyond 2 m and can also yield up to 600 g/m2.
Despite its physical appeal and yields, it can be a tricky one to grow as it likes heat and has a long flowering time of 12-14 weeks. However, the effects more than make up for the challenges growers might face. The effects are very creative, uplifting, cerebral and happy. On the nose it is very sweet, almost candy-like and has notes of cedar and incense. Few strains are as euphoric and energetic as this one, which would explain its popularity in Amsterdam’s coffee shops and cup contests worldwide. Simply put, this is a super must have.
The number of knock-out cannabis strains keeps growing every year, however people always end up going back to classics sooner or later. Our tastes and preferences may change with every season, but you can always rely on legends like the ones listed above to best suit your needs. The choice is yours. Good luck and happy planting!
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