What is the average life expectancy of a strain?
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What is the average life expectancy of a strain?

The way we purchase weed has changed dramatically. There has been a significant shift in the way that smokers choose the type of cannabis they want to smoke. The hype machine that fuels cannabis cultivation trends is constantly at work, making the life span of any given type of cannabis flower shorter and shorter. Many consumers today make purchases that align with specific growers and brands rather than cultivars. Although Cannabis Cups used to dictate the flavor we would smoke for many years, it is difficult to find specific cannabis crosses in today’s market due to limited availability. The question that is so simple: How long does a cannabis strain last? Elise McDonough, a cannabis expert and author, said that Reeferman, a Canadian, entered the cannabis scene in 2004 and won first place in the sativa category of Love Potion #1. “I believe that what the Dutch did in the ’90s, early 2000s is the same as what Californians do now. The Dutch had some strains and everyone was crossing everything to other strains until eventually they had this model where everything became very similar.” McDonough explained that Reeferman created Love Potion strains by “traveling the globe, finding landrace strains and then making selections and breeding them.” She was able to create unique flowers that were different from what was available in the Netherlands at the time. “I believe the same thing is going to happen in California. McDonough stated that everyone is tired of the Cookies crosses. McDonough stated that everyone has grown the same stuff, and they’ve just made it a mess. “The retailers want us to have something new and different on our menu,” she said. This is in contrast to traditional cannabis breeders who spend years maintaining and stabilizing their genetics. McDonough compares cannabis breeding to dog breeding. She said that it took generations to breed Labradors to poodles in order to create labradoodles. “And they’re still quite crazy,” she said. It takes years to do that. Stabilizing a strain takes years. These are the new hype strains, which are not stable. Mike Doten, chief of sales at Fig Farms, believes that rare strains have a shorter lifespan due to consumer demand. Doten stated that a strain’s lifespan is also affected by its marketing. “Sometimes, we release four to five new strains per month and we don’t have a marketing package for each one.” Doten said that a proper marketing package would also help extend the life of a strain. Luigi Diaz, a comedian and a veteran of the cannabis industry, said that hype strains can last for five years. That’s when it gets popular. Then everyone can grow it to perfection. Then there are the crosses. By that point, the new hype has grown and the growers have moved along while still searching for the next fire. Gas is not forever. Josh Vert, cofounder of Royal Key, is known for his award-winning extracts. One factor in finding a cultivar that can become a concentrate of cannabis. The way a strain grows is another factor. Vert entered some flower entries in this year’s Emerald Cup, including Riddles, which was a phenotype Red Pop that was bred from seeds and then crossed with itself. He said that Riddles didn’t produce enough rosin to make it into rosin. “There were a few phenos… one called Yoplait, which I don’t think was officially killed yet. But it was so mold-prone that it didn’t make it to the cut,” Vert said. “And sometimes you don’t find these details out sometimes for just a few runs of it.” Vert stated that Riddles was the only one who realized he had something special. It smelled similar to Zkittlez’s tropical fruit and bergamot orange essence. “We just look at the people and see what’s really striking and what gets people excited. You never know what we might have missed. Vert said that we don’t always see and smell everything. Vert said Zkittlez’s terpene profile is exceptional, but that it is also a part of why the strain “can’t/won’t die”. Many other brands have also used the strain in their breeding programs due to its popularity. Vert explained that it is difficult to ask about a strain’s durability because you can’t get into how much marketing a brand has done with the stability of the strain. “And then you have market perception, overall acceptance, and desirability.” Zkittlez has both of those things.” Vert said. “Strain variation and differentiation are all determined by the market and what the market wants.”


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