Unfortunately, the bright, sunny beaches and never-ending summers seen on your favorite TV shows are not a reality for most of us. Instead, many of us have to settle for mediocre temperatures and a more than volatile weather system. When the reality is a less than Mediterranean climate, what are your options when it comes to growing weed outdoors?
Cannabis can be a temperamental specimen, and despite all the goodness it brings to harvest, the cold can often have detrimental effects on bud potency and yield. No matter your experience level, there’s only so much you can do to control the weather.
Despite how bleak it may look, both in weather and your potential bud harvest, there are several strains that may help get you to harvest without sacrificing quality. The following varieties have been developed to fight back or thrive in the colder climates that many hobby cultivators experience. Here are 10 colder-weather strains to grow in 2018.
The 2006 Cannabis Cup winner for best outdoor strain, Early Skunk is a hybrid featuring the prestigious genetics of Skunk #1 and Early Pearl.
Expect a strong couch-lock; although, with 35% sativa genetics, a more cerebral high runs alongside the physical sedation. Perfect for hashing out creative thoughts. Strong skunk-like flavors complement the flowery aroma provided by the Early Pearl.
Early Skunk's lineage has given it a hardy resistance to mold, perfect if temperatures start to drop unexpectedly. The true stature of this strain must be seen to be believed, with explosive growth occurring during the flowering stage.
A short flowering cycle (8–9 weeks) is another reason why it is perfect for colder climates. Those who plant late or get caught with an early onset of lower temperatures can still receive a sizeable harvest.
Afghani's heritage goes deeper than just the strain. Steeped in centuries of tradition, it has come a long way from humble beginnings in the Hindu Kush mountains.
Firmly an indica strain, expect to achieve very little from the high other than surfing the cosmos from a sofa. Full-flavored and complex, many first time smokers can be taken aback by the woody, earthy, and often harsh flavor.
Short and strong, this strain has developed such resilience that it can be grown no matter the biome. Well-suited to the SOG growing method, very little maintenance is needed throughout its life cycle.
Another short flowering time (7–8 weeks) means harsh frosts can be avoided in colder climates. Undiluted genetics make this one of the most versatile strains available.
An easy-to-grow and unique strain. Unique in the sense that it doesn't even look like a regular cannabis plant! With leaves shaped like duck feet, passers-by will never know the dank buds coming your way. This is one of the many reasons Frisian Duck has become well-suited to an outdoor growing environment.
With both an indica and sativa presence, you get the best of both worlds. A mixed high of relaxing and uplifting sensations with spicy aromas will take you on an intoxicating journey.
Expect dark purple buds to be produced, favoring the outdoors or greenhouses. This particular strain actually thrives off the unreliable nature of the weather. With an affinity for the great outdoors, it is not too afraid of sudden temperature changes, adapting well to cold spells.
The lineage of Critical, or Critical Mass as it is originally known, could not be of a higher standard. Skunk #1 and Afghani, both legends in the world of cannabis strains, came together to create this modern day legend.
Numerous awards stand in the wake of this potent plant; it is exactly that potency that often takes novice smokers by surprise. This particular high continues the trend of a delightful mix of body relaxation and bursts of creative, uplifting thoughts.
Perhaps the hallmark of this strain are the branch-snapping buds that hang from her—so heavy and dense, she can often be found bowing under their weight.
Like music to many grower's ears, this high yield does come with some caveats. High humidity has a negative impact, with Critical's mold resistance being quite low. Therefore, she favors a colder, drier environment.
Considered the perfect first-time-grower strain, the autoflowering nature of this Northern Lights cultivar means many growers can’t help but achieve decent yields even in the more demanding or colder climates.
At home, both indoors or outdoors, her sweet, delicate flavor has become a favorite among cannabis enthusiasts. An ideal Netflix and chill strain, she is best enjoyed in the late afternoon when productivity is not a huge concern.
Reaching an impressive height of 120cm, just 9 weeks is all it takes to get from seed to harvest. She is well-suited to colder climates, as an almost inherit stubbornness ensures bud production, no matter the conditions.
Clear-headed and focused are two words not often used to describe an indica-dominant strain. Powerful THC levels up to 17% provide a rich, rewarding high, ideal for helping to alleviate the pain of chronic physical ailments. Other users report that there are no signs of a weed hangover.
A perfect candidate for chilling on your day off, then going back to work the next day without fear of any repercussions.
Staying small throughout her grow cycle, the lack of training needed makes her ideal for tight indoor growing environments. Typically, this kind of grow setup can be difficult to adequately heat, but Ortega shines through, proving she's one tough cookie.
Ready to harvest in October outdoors, she doesn't shy away from cold spells.
A result of hardy environments, Guerrilla's Gusto shows some good old-fashioned grit when it comes to battling colder climates. Originally grown in the northern parts of Spain, the introduction of Skunk genetics gave Gusto the resilience to stand up to cold growing environments.
A sweet aroma with spicy undertones will give indica connoisseurs the high they know and love, whilst first-time growers can try her out with success. She does not punish simple mistakes as much as other strains can.
Tall in nature, the relatively short flowering time of 7–9 weeks is respectable for an indica strain. She isn't afraid to show off her stature, much like a gorilla, producing long-fingered leaves with large flowers to match.
This strain is revered by many, having won multiple Cannabis Cup awards and providing the base genetics for a whole host of Kush variants.
One of the purest indica strains available, her origins date back thousands of years to a mountain range between Pakistan and Afghanistan. You are essentially smoking a piece of cannabis history.
Expect that all-over body high, like a warm blanket slowly soothing you back into a permanent, heavy stasis on the sofa.
It is this mountainous beginning that gives Hindu Kush the perfect grounding for difficult climates. Perfected over the years with selective breeding, she is growable almost anywhere, in any conditions, warm or cold.
A small growth spurt and a 7-week flowering time prove she really does live up to her reputation as a legendary indica strain.
Fasting-growing and featuring an exciting blend of genetics, many users of Polar Express can vouch for her heavy, yet slightly cerebral high.
A mix of California Kush, Northern lights, and Lowryder, this autoflowering beauty is well-suited for the grower that wants to wipe out an afternoon catching up on a box-set or listening to their favorite playlist. The strong physical high may also make it suitable for medicinal users.
She grows incredibly short, only 30–80cm, making her the ideal choice for stealth growers. It is also this small height, combined with her quick autoflowering nature, that makes her sublime for colder environments.
With a little planning, she can easily be harvested before any frost sets in or the temperatures start dropping too far.
The 10th and final candidate in our cold-resistant strains. Impressive yields match her equally impressive ease of growth.
Often, autoflowering strains can have lackluster yields, but this is simply not the case here. Her genetics come well-regarded, with commercial growers often opting for Critical Mass as their strain of choice.
Giving a distinct skunk-like flavor, the high is long-lasting, easily able to knock-out experienced stoners.
Whilst her flowering time may be slightly longer, the engorged indica buds are well worth the wait. Expect to be able to harvest after 9–11 weeks post-germination, with her compact structure and vast bud growth making her a viable option for colder temperatures.
Even if colder weather does hit early, the yields are still impressive.