Cannabis has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history, from medicinal to recreational. With its legalization in Canada in 2018, there has been a surge of interest in the unique cannabis strains that are cultivated in different provinces. One such province that has gained attention for its cannabis production is Alberta. This article delves into the distinct cannabis strains grown in Alberta, their characteristics, and the factors influencing their growth in this region.
History of Cannabis in Alberta
Before delving into the strains themselves, it’s essential to understand the history of cannabis in Alberta, as it lays the foundation for the current cannabis industry.
Historically, cannabis in Alberta, as with the rest of Canada, was illegal for recreational use. Despite its illegal status, many Albertans cultivated cannabis covertly, often opting for strains that could withstand the province’s diverse climate. These covert operations provided foundational knowledge that has since benefited the legal industry.
With the passing of the Cannabis Act in 2018, Alberta quickly embraced the cannabis industry. The Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) became responsible for overseeing the distribution, sale, and licensing of cannabis in the province. Alberta’s liberal approach to licensing has resulted in a plethora of cultivators, processors, and retailers, fostering a competitive market for strains suited to local preferences.
Alberta’s Unique Climate and Its Impact on Cannabis Cultivation
Alberta’s geography and climate significantly influence the types of cannabis strains that can be cultivated successfully.
Alberta is characterized by its prairies in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the west. This topographical variety results in a range of microclimates, allowing for diverse strains to be grown across the province.
Alberta experiences a continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The short growing season and potential for early frosts mean that cannabis cultivators often select strains with shorter flowering times, ensuring a successful harvest.
Popular Cannabis Strains in Alberta
Several strains have gained popularity in Alberta, both due to their adaptability to the climate and the preferences of Albertan consumers.
- Northern Lights: This strain is known for its resilience, making it suitable for Alberta’s challenging climate. It offers a relaxed and sleepy effect, often recommended for nighttime use.
- Blueberry: An award-winning strain, Blueberry is favoured for its sweet flavor and relaxing effects.
- Sour Diesel: Adaptable and robust, Sour Diesel is loved for its energizing and uplifting effects. It boasts a pungent aroma reminiscent of diesel, as its name suggests.
- Jack Herer: Named after the cannabis activist, this strain is renowned for its cerebral elevation and potential creativity boost.
- Girl Scout Cookies (GSC): A blend of the best of both indica and sativa characteristics, GSC is known for its euphoric high and is favored by many Albertans for its versatility.
The Future of Cannabis Strains in Alberta
As the cannabis industry in Alberta matures, cultivators continue to experiment and breed new strains, tailored to the preferences and needs of Albertan consumers.
With advancements in genetic modification and breeding techniques, Alberta’s cultivators are developing strains specifically adapted to the province’s climate. These strains may not only have shorter flowering times but could also be more resistant to pests and diseases prevalent in the region.
Focus on Terpenes
The future of cannabis in Alberta may also see a shift from a focus solely on THC and CBD content to a more nuanced appreciation of terpenes. These compounds contribute to the aroma and flavor of cannabis and are believed to influence the effects of different strains.
Alberta, with its unique climate and progressive approach to the cannabis industry, has become a hotbed for cannabis cultivation. While the strains mentioned above are among the most popular, it’s essential to note that Alberta’s cannabis landscape is ever-evolving. As cultivators continue to innovate, and consumers become more educated, the province is poised to remain at the forefront of the cannabis industry in Canada.