Originally published in the April, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.
After his buddy Dockie had great experiences with strains from Dinafem Seeds in recent years, Ellis D. wanted to grow some out as well. He was particularly curious about the CBD strain collection created by the Spanish seed bank, and since Dockie had grown Dinafem’s Original Amnesia and Amnesia Kush, Ellis D. chose Amnesia CBD from the company’s comprehensive assortment. Being an ardent sativa lover, Ellis D. wondered how well Dinafem had managed to transfer the outstanding qualities of Original Amnesia in terms of effect and aroma to its CBD version.
Of course, due to the lower THC and higher CBD content, the potency level would be reduced. This is actually appreciated by medical users who aren’t seeking heavy psychoactive effects or by others who prefer milder cannabis. On average, Amnesia CBD’s 8 percent THC level is slightly outweighed by a 10 percent CBD count. According to Dinafem, this strain reliably performs with a THC/ CBD ratio of at least 1:1.
The high CBD content of Amnesia CBD was achieved by crossing the original Amnesia with the CBD-rich Dancehall strain created by Reggae Seeds. Dinafem bought thousands of seeds from Reggae Seeds as well as the right to use the strain for breeding projects. From that batch of Dancehall seeds, Dinafem’s breeders selected specimens with particularly strong CBD profiles to breed CBD versions of some of their best regular strains.
Amnesia CBD (60 percent sativa and 40 percent indica) is a fairly tall-growing plant with the ability to produce big yields-indoors up to 550 grams per square meter and outdoors up to 1.1 kilogram per plant. Under artificial light, it needs 60-65 flowering days to mature. Under natural light, it finishes around mid-October. Just like its mother Amnesia, it drips with resin, plentifully bestrewn with trichomes. Taste-and smell-wise, Amnesia CBD produces a distinct spicy haze note complemented by hints of lemon and sweet fruits. Dinafem describes its moderate effects as stimulating and inspiring, causing a feeling of breezy cheerfulness that alleviates stress and enhances one’s daily activities. Under the influence of Amnesia CBD, one tends to socialize and enjoy a night out.
Two Amnesia CBD seeds were germinated by Ellis D. in small pots covered with cling film. Both seedlings emerged within three days. After three weeks of vegetative growth, they’d evolved into compact, well-branched plants with dark-green shade leaves, their thin-fingered shape typical of sativa-dominant genetics.
The stem-elongation effect revealed by the plants in the early stage of flowering was stronger than Ellis D. expected. The stretch lasted almost five weeks into flowering with the plants almost tripling in size. At an early stage, it became apparent that Amnesia CBD would exhibit a high calyx-to-leaf ratio as an immense number of white hairs were emerging from the young buds. Resin glands also made an early appearance, and after less than three weeks of flowering the flowers began to twinkle auspiciously.
The flowering stage lasted a bit longer than stated by Dinafem. Instead of 60-65 days, the two Amnesia CBD plants took 69 and 72 days to fully ripen, but yielded 81.2 and 93.8 grams of dry buds, respectively.
Of course, what Ellis D. couldn’t tell from their appearance was the amount of CBD those buds contained. But he believed that testing the Amnesia CBD flowers in his Mighty vaporizer would give him a rough idea, so he placed half a gram in the device’s chamber and, after it heated up, put the nozzle to his lips and inhaled deeply.
The Amnesia CBD vapor felt silky soft when it went down into his lungs, where he kept it for a while to get an optimum effect. In his mouth, it left a tangy, hazy sweetness with a long finish, which prompted him to praise Amnesia CBD as “a most delicious gourmet weed of which one instantly wants to taste more.” Already, the first toke had slightly enhanced his sensory perception. His eyes, previously bleary from a long computer session, immediately opened wide again, and after the second toke they were turbocharged, alert and focused, like the eyes of an eagle with prey in its sights.
There was a fresh, tingling sativa drive at work, providing an invigorating effect, both physically and mentally. After four tokes, Ellis D. had enough for the time being as he felt elated. His inner sun had risen, painting a happy smile on his face and conjuring nice thoughts in his brain. There it was again, that mentally stabilizing effect of cannabidiol that can make one feel unshakable. While that peppy sativa drive was gone after about 20 minutes, Ellis D. still felt harmoniously balanced one hour after his first vaporizer session. When he switched the vaporizer on again, he took six tokes as it was the second round and the weed was no longer pristine. But the effect was still stimulatory and incited him to put on his rollerblades and cruise around outside.
“Amnesia CBD is a lovely CBD-rich strain with a very pleasant, activating, mood-lifting and balancing effect,” concluded Ellis D., “a beneficial and flavorful medicine not only applicable for habitual cannabis users. Also, hor-ticulturally, this super-hazy CBD powerhouse has fully convinced me, thanks to its easy management and ample yields. Altogether, I’ve experienced a dazzling Dinafem Seeds strain premiere in my growroom! There surely is a lot more to come…”
Today’s world of cannabis strains is almost unimaginable without the ubiquitous Cheese strain. From a genetic point of view, it’s actually an old acquaintance as it evolved from the “mother of all indoor strains,” the legendary Skunk #1. In the late 1980s, a grower in South East England selected a highly special genotype that had supposedly undergone a spontaneous mutation, gaining enhanced powers. He preserved it as a cutting, and via the Exodus home-growing group this cutting was spread all over England from 1995 on.
Dinafem Seeds managed to get hold of a genuine Exodus Cheese cutting and brought it into seed form by means of sophisticated breeding techniques. Then the company not only put the pure Cheese on the market as a seed strain, but also created and marketed hybrids such as Blue Cheese and Critical Cheese.
However, Dinafem breeders thought that a sublime variety like Cheese should also be available for lightweight smokers who cannot handle a strong cannabis high or simply don’t need it-for people who strive to benefit from the medicinal blessings of the cannabis plant without getting totally spaced out. Since they possessed the original genetics of the famous Dancehall strain-with its extremely high CBD count-the breeders had an obvious solution: create a CBD version of Cheese.
Crossing Cheese with Dancehall resulted in Cheese CBD, a very productive 50/50 indica/sativa hybrid that proudly boasts an unadulterated Cheese flavor, skillfully transferred by the breeders from mother to daughter. That unique signature flavor has a spicy complexity that reminds one of cured cheese—savory and sweet, but also slightly flowery. Due to the penetrating nature of this smell, Dinafem strongly recommends using a well-functioning carbon exhaust filter.
The THC/CBD ratio of Cheese CBD amounts to at least 1:1, depending on the cultivation conditions, and the CBD content may be higher, with the ratio approaching 1:2. Under good conditions, a total cannabinoid (THC and CBD) amount of about 15 percent can be achieved. Growers don’t have to wait very long for their blooming reward—after a moderate flowering period of 50-60 days, they can reap a harvest of up to 500 grams per square meter. The plant’s appearance leans more to the sativa than to the indica side, with fairly narrow, long shade leaves and symmetrical branching. According to Dinafem, Cheese CBD requires only moderate amounts of fertilizer.
This variety is suitable for the outdoors, too, growing to heights of up to 2.5 meters and ripening around mid-October. Given optimum conditions, yields of up to one kilogram per plant are possible. With the high CBD count attenuating the psychoactive THC effect, Cheese CBD delivers a mild and mellow turn that causes a pleasant state of wellbeing with a great deal of inner balance. So relaxation and calmness are on the agenda, which makes Cheese CBD a good treatment for anxiety and muscle tension. It’s also supposed to increase one’s appetite.
As an aficionado of “cheesy” cannabis strains and such with high CBD counts, Ellis D. quickly had Cheese CBD in his sights and, no sooner said than done, he put it to a cultivation test. Due to his small grow area, and the fact that he wanted to simultaneously test Dinafem’s Moby Dick CBD as well, he could only get two feminized seeds started. The seedlings poked out of the one-liter pots filled with soil after less than two and a half days, eagerly stretching toward the LED light.
After transplanting into larger pots and three weeks in the vegetative stage, flowering was induced. Merely two weeks later, all the shoot tips were sporting white pistils. Both Cheese CBD plants doubled their height during the first four weeks of flowering, at the same time busily enlarging the volume of their buds. Each plant yielded approximately 66 grams of dry flowers.
To test the effect of Cheese CBD, Ellis D. invited a friend who suffers from restless legs syndrome (RLS) and had her inhale Cheese CBD from his vaporizer. She took two tokes, leaned back and—guess what?—after less than a minute noticed that the restlessness began to fade, and soon thereafter was completely gone!
Of course, from just those two tokes she didn’t get high; she simply relaxed both physically and mentally. Ellis D. himself experienced the effect of Cheese CBD in just the way he’s used to when imbibing high-grade CBD weed: It served him as an anchor of mental stability, providing a harmonious feeling of inner balance and calmness. “From now on, I call that sort of feeling a ‘cheesy state of mind’!” he chuckled.
After vaping the Cheese CBD that evening shortly before going to bed, Ellis D. enjoyed a deeper sleep than usual, with considerably less waking and no undesirable side effects. Said Ellis D.: “When using regular THC-rich marijuana for my sleep disorder, after I get up in the morning, I feel like I have a bell jar over my head for hours. By contrast, CBD-rich weed with a CBD/THC ratio of about 1:1 makes me wake up feeling as fresh as a daisy.” He also liked the savory sweet Cheese CBD flavor a lot: “It’s really a special treat, absolutely palatable and with a long-lasting, piquant aftertaste, just like the Exodus Cheese mother.
“Cheese CBD is a markedly well-done CBD adaption of that famous THC-rich strain. Dinafem has done a great job here again,” Ellis D. concluded. “This cannabis is medicinally valuable, and the resounding success when treating my friend’s RLS with it was simply astounding! But it’s also fantastic for Cheese aficionados who don’t wish to be stoned to the bone all the time, but nevertheless enjoy that toothsome cheesy flavor.”
OG Kush CBD
As the most influential and iconic strain of recent years, these outstanding genetics originating from California are well-known among everyone interested in cannabis cultivars. It wasn’t by chance that OG Kush took first place in the High Times “25 Greatest Strains of All Time” list, published in 2014.
OG Kush’s stunning potency and highly specific overpowering aroma blend a gassy diesel-fuel smell with conifer-and citrus notes.
Dinafem managed to reel in these original genetics and soon thereafter OG Kush became one of the company’s best-selling strains. Due to its popularity for recreational and medical use, breeding a CBD version of it was the obvious direction to go. So OG Kush was transformed into the “defused potency bomb” OG Kush CBD, a strain that retains a two-digit THC count of 10 percent but leads to a pleasant, somewhat euphoric and more-cerebral-than-bodily effect of medium duration. Its CBD content is specified at 10 percent as well, with Dinafem guaranteeing that the THC/ CBD ratio is always at least 1:1, but can even amount to 1:2 depending on the phenotype.
Dinafem describes OG Kush CBD as a very resinous sativa-dominant (60:40 sativa/indica) plant with fairly wide internodes and broad leaves—plant attributes that are also true for the mother strain, OG Kush. And OG Kush CBD also shares the growing characteristics of its mother: 55-60 days of flowering, indoor yields of up to 550 grams per square meter, maturity under natural light around mid-October and outdoor yields of up to 1,100 grams per plant. As a matter of course, the famous OG Kush flavor has been retained, jam-packed with notes of gasoline, lemon, wood and spices.
Germination went very well. After less than three days, the seedlings had shoved their heads through the soil’s surface. The plants spent three weeks in the vegetative stage, exhibiting uniform growth with fairly low height and short internodal spacing. By the time Ellis D. switched the timer to a 12/12-hour day/night light cycle to usher in the flowering stage, his two OG Kush CBD specimens had still grown less than a foot, but he was prepared for them to stretch.
One of the plants lived up to that expectation in the period that followed, mightily shooting upward during the first five weeks of flowering—it was one of the strongest stem-and-branch-elongation effects Ellis D. had ever witnessed in a cannabis plant. The other plant, however, stretched only slightly, keeping its bushy shape during flowering. But regardless of their different growth, flower production set in equally early and vividly with both plants. After three weeks they were already full of white blossoms.
Initial trichome frost appeared super-early on the taller plant, and after four weeks not only the calyxes and sugar leaves were covered in resin, but also the stalks of the big leaves protruding from the buds. The smaller plant wasn’t sparing with resin glands either, though, soon becoming just as resinous and, much to Ellis D.’s delight, producing very voluminous chubby side buds that surrounded a pointier head cola. This plant had a somewhat lower calyx-to-leaf ratio than the very hairy tall specimen of OG Kush CBD that was apparently driven by a stronger sativa impulse.
Ellis D. was happy when he noticed that both plants were giving off that typical OG Kush scent he loves so much. “Welcome to the petrol station!” he exclaimed. “While all the buds are basically smelling oily, differences can be found in the secondary notes—the tall plant comes with a coniferous hint of pine, whereas the other reveals a slight dash of lemon. Both these melanges are so delicious that I could keep sticking my nose into these buds for hours.”
With a final height of 93.5 centimeters, the tall plant had become 4.5 times taller than at the beginning of its flowering stage. It was harvested after 64 days, which exceeded the official harvest window by a few days, but given its visual and olfactory qualities, Ellis D. felt that this was absolutely acceptable. The bushy OG Kush CBD specimen—56 centimeters tall in the end—achieved a timely finish when reaching the home stretch after 58 days.
When the harvest was dried and cured a few weeks later, Ellis D. was well satisfied with dry yields of 55 grams from the small plant and 69 grams from the tall plant. After plenty of chlorophyll had disappeared from the buds, their aroma came forward even more distinctly: The smaller plant’s “citrus fuel” buds caused Ellis D. to envisage himself standing in a smelly car-repair shop while grating a lemon peel. The other plant’s buds made him fantasize that he had parked his car in the middle of a pine forest and changed the oil.
Ellis D. test-vaped the “citrus fuel” buds at first. In view of their indica-style appearance, he wasn’t too surprised that he began to feel pretty stoned after some hits from his vaporizer, but not devastatingly so with a dull and numb sensation in his head; instead, he was just pleasantly cushioned and mellow.
He entered into a mental comfort zone and the stress that had accumulated during the day was released. Further, his back muscles, painfully tensed-up from a long day’s physical work, started to relax.
Next came the “pine fuel” buds. After a few vapor puffs, the sample provided a stimulating burst of freshness to Ellis D.’s head that further elevated his mood. However, that refreshing shot of sativa euphoria didn’t last very long and gradually gave way to an overall calm feeling of placidness and mental balance. Physically, this pheno of OG Kush CBD had a relaxing effect right from the start, just like the other one. Flavor-wise, it also was just as intense and palatable, with the only difference being that on inhale, its secondary pine note had already merged with the predominant gassy character instead of separately running ahead first.
Ellis D.’s final conclusion: “A sublime CBD strain adaptation by Dinafem that definitely does honor to its legendary mother strain OG Kush. The flavor comes very close to the original, and the softened buzz it delivers is highly pleasant and therapeutically effective, leading to a sense of physical and emotional well-being. I think the high share of CBD is strongly noticeable here. It’s a kind of OG Kush marijuana that doesn’t send the user sprawling on the floor, but nevertheless retains the high coolness factor of this strain legend. For me, OG Kush CBD is the coolest green medicine!”
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