The Best Weed Strains in Canada, According to the Pros
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As the second 4/20 celebration since quarantine arrives and we stare down another summer of WFH, masks, and patio-only dining, there’s still plenty to be grateful for in Canada.
Like legal weed—the hundreds of skunky, piney, and gassy strains, chewy gummies, powerful concentrates, long-lasting drops and other mind-expanding products and experiences, all shippable right to your door.
Do that this year. Stay home and smoke pot on Zoom with your fam. Don’t go to the park or the beach and pass a joint or a frisbee with a stranger, even if their grass does look and smell greener than yours (it always does).
In order to get appropriately toasted this 4/20, we asked a bunch of Canadians working in and around the cannabis industry to recommend their favourite strain or product.
The 18 best cannabis strains this summer
Note to readers and pot lovers alike: You may count only 14 strains here, that’s not because we are high. It’s because some mentions here include more than one recommendation. So without further ado…
Ultra Sour by Namaste
If there is one word to sum up this summer’s ganja zeitgeist, it’s gas. Everyone is in love with petrol sour strains that give off that famous skunk smell. Varieties with the old-school whiff of roadkill are what the OGs want. But this sativa dominant hybrid from New Brunswick-based producer Namaste (by Zenabis) is not just about the smell. It’s about the flavour. THC content: 17 to 23 per cent. Price per gram: $9.75
Sage N Sour by MTL Cannabis
This sativa-dominant cross grown in Quebec came up the most often as a fave among the cannabis aficionados and insiders we polled. Its potency is its selling point. But its chemical profile is noteworthy for the fact that it’s more than one per cent CBG, the so-called “mother of all cannabinoids” that’s more powerful than CBD but without the foggy head high sometimes associated with weed that’s rich in THC. Definitely next level. THC content: 21 to 27 per cent. Price per gram: $10.13
Animal Face by Carmel Cannabis
If the name doesn’t pique your curiosity, the buzz will. This leafy, ultra-potent sativa launched this spring by the Oro Medonte, Ontario-based craft cannabis producer comes with a California lineage (Face Off OG) but a different phenotype emphasizing its lemon and cake flavours. Smooth. Grown in rockwool. Shhh. THC content: 23 to 29 per cent. Price per gram: $11.07
Mint Sour by
This zesty Sour Diesel offspring from the cannabis producer that invites you to experience your “
ness” (i.e.: “uniqueness”). The sativa-dominant hybrid is known for its sticky, deep green buds. The Lemon Berry is also “a show stopper,” according to one member of our expert panel. THC content: 21.3 per cent. Price per gram: $9.99
GMO Cookies by Spinach Cannabis
GMOs are never a good thing, but in the case of this indica strain it stands for garlic, mushroom and onion. As the Stayner-based producers of this strain like to point out, “You can’t make a soup out of it, but it sure goes nicely in a bowl.” If what you’re looking for is a powerful experience… Notable: owned by the Cronos Group, whose brands include noteworthy medpot producer Peace Naturals. THC content: 24 to 31 per cent. Price per gram: $8.27
Wedding Cake by BLLRDR
BLLRDR rode onto the Ontario cannabis scene late last year in high style with the launch of its Afghani Bullrider strain with OVO co-founder Noah “40” Shebib. But it’s the Brampton-grown cannabis house’s California-inspired indica-dominant Wedding Cake that’s creating the buzz lately. With total cannabinoid content in these buds eclipsing 30 per cent it’s the icing on the cake. THC content: 22-27 per cent. Price per gram: $17.13
Cold Creek Kush by Redecan
This Niagara-grown go-to sativa is a cross of dank Colorado faves MK Ultra and Chemdawg 91 and boasts a herbal-heavy terpene profile. Great for a high-energy boost to motor through the work day. Also recommended: Redecan Redees pre-rolls in Wappa, Lilac Diesel and Black Cherry Punch. They come in packages of 10 so you can share with friends and socially “spliff-distance,” notes one of our experts. You can’t go wrong for the price. THC content: 17 to 23 per cent. Price per gram: $7.50, $5.99 if you buy a half bag.
Acapulco Gold by Jonny Chronic
Wondering where all the classic Landrace strains like Acapulco Gold went in the green rush to legalization? A number of brands now selling the strain claim the Acapulco Gold lineage. But the original is not so easy to grow. This one out of Thorndale, Ontario, is among the more interesting, which is why it’s usually out of stock. THC content: 20 to 26 per cent. Price per gram: $12.84
Karma by Dunn Cannabis
The BC-based craft cannabis producer known for its small batch strains and attention to detail – it uses its own genetics – is slowly making headway in the legal market with a number of top-drawer strains. This indica-dominant cross comes from seeds bred by California mainstay Seed Junky Genetics. THC content: 20 to 25 per cent. Price per gram: $14.27
Jack Haze by 7ACRES
This Kincardine-based producer known for its award-winning White Widow has built on that success with this citrusy sativa-dominant sister strain, which takes its name from the “Emperor of Hemp” Jack Herer.
Bonus: available at OCS in 3.5 and 7 gram jars. THC content: 17 to 23 per cent. Price per gram: $8.76
BC Organic Blue Dream by Simply Bare
Simply Bare has created a tidy brand name for itself with topicals. But the BC-based craft producer’s greenhouse-grown bud is getting notice too. Its highly aromatic version of this popular sativa strain is organically certified. THC content: 18 to 24 per cent. Price per gram: $14.27
MAC1 by Citizen Stash
This Mission, BC-based cannabis producer known for its premium strains has hit a new high with this pesticide-free and hand-harvested and trimmed sativa-indica hybrid. MAC1 is the speed you’ll be flying at with this. THC content: 25-32 per cent. Price per gram: $17.13
Starwalker Kush by Good Supply
Another bestseller from a reliable Ontario brand, this spicy indica-dominant strain promises a ride on cloud nine. But its terpene profile offers a combination of cannabinoids with both relaxing and energizing effects. Big bang for the buck. THC content: 18 to 24.5 per cent. Price per gram: $6.84
Pine Kush by Back Forty Cannabis
Last but not least, this earthy indica-dominant strain with woody taste and orange hairs takes its name from the dominant pinene terpenes in its profile, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Greenhouse grown in Ontario. THC content: 18-24 per cent. Price per gram: $6.56
Enzo was born in Belgium and emigrated with his family to Canada in the heat of Trudeaumania. He is a winner of numerous writing awards and the only (alleged) Commie banned from entering Cuba. It’s complicated. Claims to fame: champion wood-chopper and hammer-thrower.
Why the Strains Grown in British Columbia Are Among the World’s Best
Canada legalized marijuana in October 2018. This has led to a boom in cannabis production, although in truth, America’s northern neighbor has cultivated huge amounts of the plant for a long time.
However, it is the province of British Columbia that has developed a reputation for growing some of the best cannabis globally, let alone in Canada. According to the Fraser Institute, BC had around 17,500 grow-ops in the year 2000! One can only imagine how many there are today now that growing the plant is legal.
This article looks at the reasons why BC bud is among the best around.
A Quick Overview of British Columbia
Also known as BC, British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province. It is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. Its population of around 5.1 million people lives in an area spanning over 357,000 square miles of land. BC’s capital is Victoria, but its largest city is Vancouver. The Greater Vancouver region accounts for almost half of BC’s population.
In 2012, BC was second in terms of the highest cannabis usage per capita in the country.
In 2004, a study conducted by a pair of universities found that over half of BC residents had tried marijuana at least once in their lives! At that time, Vancouver had numerous marijuana coffee shops where patrons openly smoked the drug. In 2012, BC was second in terms of the highest cannabis usage per capita in the country.
It is clear that British Columbia has had a long association with cannabis. What are the reasons for that, and why does the region cultivate such great marijuana? Let’s find out!
The Vietnam War Sowed the Seeds
BC’s reputation for great cannabis owes a lot to the Vietnam War. In the 1960s, conscientious draft objectors, primarily so-called ‘hippies,’ elected to leave the country rather than be forced to join the army. Approximately 30,000 Americans, mainly from Washington, Oregon, and California, moved to British Columbia.
A few of these migrants brought cannabis seeds with them. Growers in BC had only just started growing marijuana in earnest, and this extra supply was a major boost for the illegal industry. Those who moved to BC from the United States were delighted to come to a place where the underground marijuana movement was starting to thrive. They also found that BC has the ideal climate for cultivating the crop.
British Columbia Has the Ideal Marijuana-Growing Climate
BC’s abundance of sunshine and rainfall makes it a fantastic place to grow marijuana. Admittedly, the climate varies significantly across the province. However, in the most populated areas, the annual mean temperature is 54 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the mildest in Canada. Also, the average yearly rainfall is 47 inches. Overall, BC has several hot summer days and a relatively mild fall season.
Kootenays is widely regarded as the home of outdoor marijuana cultivation in British Columbia. It boasts pure rocky mountain water, clean air, and extremely rich soil. Indeed, the Kootenays has among the most fertile soil on the planet.
British Columbia is famed for its low-cost hydroelectric power. Hydroelectricity is electricity produced by hydropower. It generates more than one-fifth of the world’s total electricity and almost three-quarters of all renewable energy. Furthermore, it is expected to grow steadily across the next quarter of a century.
BC is mainly powered by 21 enormous hydroelectric facilities and seven smaller units. According to the BC Sustainable Energy Association, the province generates almost 11,000 Megawatts of clean, emissions-free electricity. It powers almost two million homes across British Columbia. Overall, the province draws 94% of its power from its hydroelectric facilities.
This abundance of cheap power gives cannabis growers the option of cultivating strains indoors.
The Hills Hide Eyes
BC’s topography made it a haven for cannabis growers back in the days when the plant was illegal. The province consists of numerous hills and dense forests that made it fairly easy to obscure a cannabis-growing operation. This is one of the reasons why British Columbia had far more illegal ops than other provinces. The sheer scale of cannabis production ensured that BC had a major advantage over the rest of Canada.
How to take advantage of Canad…
In 2010, the province exported around at least CA$4 billion in marijuana annually. Approximately 95% of BC’s crop was smuggled across the border with America.
Now that it is fully legal to grow cannabis in BC with a license, the market has swelled. The provincial government is well aware of the plant’s economic importance. It is worth up to CA$9 billion to the BC economy each year. Even when it wasn’t federally legal, BC law enforcement was rarely heavy-handed when it came to the marijuana market.
The SpeakEasy Cannabis Club is a prime example of just how much marijuana is produced in BC. In 2020, the organization estimated that it would harvest 60,000 cannabis plants in its 24 hectares of land in Rock Creek. This equates to around 70,000 kilograms of bud. It was set to be the biggest harvest in the history of the country.
Residents of BC have generally favored cannabis legalization more than in any other Canadian province. In 2012, an estimated 14.5% of BC residents said they used marijuana in the previous 12 months. In 2017, Statistics Canada published a report saying that British Columbia was #2 in terms of per capita usage of over 24 grams per person per annum.
In 2012, a large nationwide poll found that 61% of BC residents wanted the legalization of marijuana. That percentage was just 53% in the rest of the country.
Now that cannabis is legal, BC residents aged 19+ can buy, consume, and possess the substance. They are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in public. Please note that it is illegal to smoke or vape cannabis anywhere that tobacco smoking is also prohibited. Adults can cultivate up to four plants per household.
Who Are the Major BC Cannabis Players & What Are the Best Strains?
Cannabis users are spoiled for choice. The combination of the factors mentioned above has spawned an incredible number of expert cultivators. These include:
- Sacred Gardens Craft Exotic Cannabis
- Gastown Craft Cannabis
- Doja Cannabis Co.
- Tantalus Labs
- Good Buds Company
- Kootenay Outdoor Co-Op
- Habitat Life
- Broken Coast
- SpeakEasy Cannabis Club
The highest nations in the wor…
As for the best cannabis strains grown in British Columbia, these include:
- BC God Bud
- Alien OG
- Jedi Kush
- Citrus Haze
- Holy Grail Kush
- Star Power
Final Thoughts on Why British Columbia is a Hotbed for Great Cannabis
British Columbia has a huge number of things in its favor. First of all, it benefitted from an influx of cannabis lovers in the 1960s who discovered BC’s incredible climate. The province has the ideal set of weather conditions to cultivate great outdoor weed. Its hilly landscape helped these early growers avoid detection.
As marijuana was so important to the local economy, law enforcement was happy to turn a blind eye.
As marijuana was so important to the local economy, law enforcement was happy to turn a blind eye. Now that BC uses cheap hydroelectricity, indoor growing is also extremely popular. Finally, the province’s residents have always been in favor of marijuana legalization. These factors ensured that BC made it to the top of the industry, and it intends to stay there.