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As cannabis becomes more popular, first-time and novice users can find themselves overwhelmed and confused when selecting the right bud. One very common question that pops up is – why is this strain more expensive, despite having the very same name?
The answer is that no two seeds are equal, and not every grow is the same. In the same way genetics play a part in say, the selection of show dogs and prize horses, lineage is extremely important when discussing cannabis. When selecting the right cannabis seed for a grow, experienced growers are extremely selective. It is important to ensure that the chosen seeds are derived from a healthy, well-grown parent, whose lineage is not diluted, and aligns with the strain of choice.
A good example would be the Rottweiler breed – despite carrying the same name, there is a noticeable difference between what experts consider an “American Rottweiler”, and a German Rottweiler. The American appearing much more like a Labrador Retriever, while the German is much more muscular, with a significantly larger head. Same name, wildly different result – despite some similarities.
Another extremely important factor, which should not be overlooked, is the grow itself. Let’s say we have 2 seeds of the same strain, sourced from the exact same plant. Despite having the same lineage, the grow itself will return wildly different results. Going deeper, those same strains, grown by the same grower at different times, will usually still have some noticeable (albeit, minor) differences.
Environment, treatment and experience, all play a major role on the quality of a grow. For example, if one of the seeds is grown outdoors in a greenhouse, while the other is cared for in an indoor hydroponic setting, the result will be very different. Many experienced smokers will assert that an indoor grow will almost always produce a superior plant, provided those tending to it are experienced in the craft.
The infrastructure required to run a sophisticated indoor cannabis grow is not only more intricate (usually), but also, undeniably more expensive. Therefore, many growers opt to produce cannabis is an outdoor environment, where hydro and other overheads are significantly less. However, most experts will agree – an indoor hydroponic grow will almost certainly guarantee a superior crop (provided the grower is experienced).
Plants are extremely sensitive to their environment, and one could argue that cannabis is even more so. Different strains come with different challenges, and there are many strains that are considered extremely difficult for a novice horticulturalist to successfully grow.
The difference doesn’t end with the grow. Another important factor to consider is the harvesting process. In a large grow operation, this process is extremely laborious and time consuming. Legalization has introduced machinery that can automate this process more efficiently. However, smaller, more boutique operations will seek trimmers that will meticulously tend to the bud, ensuring the trim is perfect, beautiful, and less leafy than you’ll find in a large, commercial grow.
All these factors (and many more), play a role in how a strain is priced. This is why 2 strains of the very same name, despite their similarities, can appear, smell and taste radically different from one another. This also explains why our own dispensary can have the same strain, priced significantly lower from week-to-week. A different batch from the very same grower will often call for a different price tag.
In short – a well-selected seed, grown in an indoor, hydroponic environment, cared for by experienced growers, grown in a controlled, smaller-scale environment, in a region of the world renowned for its quality, and then shipped several provinces away… Will almost always be superior to a greenhouse grow in Ontario. For this reason, the price tag on the very same strain can vary drastically.
With that said, a local greenhouse grow can produce phenomenal results, and some great deals can be found thanks to their significantly lower cost of production. However, almost all experienced smokers will agree – a quality batch is worth every penny.