Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, has been used for millennia both for its medicinal properties and as a recreational drug. With the changing legal landscape regarding its use, there has been a surge in interest in different cannabis strains, their properties, effects, and cultivation techniques. Illinois, like many states in the U.S., has evolved its stance on cannabis use and cultivation. This article delves into the popular cannabis strains found in Illinois, their origins, characteristics, and their medical and recreational uses.
Historical Context: Cannabis Legalization in Illinois
Before diving into specific strains, it’s essential to understand the historical backdrop of cannabis in Illinois. The state approved the use of medical marijuana in 2013 through the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. However, it wasn’t until 2020 that recreational use of marijuana became legal for adults 21 and over. This shift has resulted in an increase in cultivation efforts within the state and a burgeoning market for a wide variety of cannabis strains.
Popular Cannabis Strains in Illinois
Originating from California, Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant hybrid resulting from the crossbreeding of the Blueberry indica with the Haze sativa strains. This strain is celebrated for its balanced effects that offer full-body relaxation with a gentle cerebral invigoration. Its sweet berry aroma is courtesy of its Blueberry parentage. Blue Dream is commonly prescribed for medical marijuana patients to treat pain, depression, nausea, and other ailments requiring a high THC strain.
Also known as GG4, Gorilla Glue is an award-winning hybrid strain renowned for its potent effects and sticky resin that “glues” users to the couch, giving it its name. Born from Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel strains, it carries earthy and sour flavors. This strain is known for its relaxation properties, often recommended for patients looking for pain relief, relaxation, and sleep aid.
Girl Scout Cookies
GSC is an indica-dominant hybrid created by blending the OG Kush and Durban Poison strains. It boasts a sweet and earthy aroma and is known for its euphoric effects and full-body relaxation, making it popular among both recreational users and medical patients. Patients with chronic pain, nausea, and appetite loss often find relief with GSC.
Cultivation of Cannabis Strains in Illinois
The state of Illinois has strict regulations concerning cannabis cultivation. While it’s legal for medical marijuana patients to purchase cannabis products, they are not allowed to grow their own plants. However, adult-use consumers can cultivate up to five plants per household, as long as the plants are kept out of public view and in a locked space.
When cultivating these popular strains, growers need to consider several factors:
Climate and Lighting
Cannabis plants generally require a lot of light, around 12-16 hours during their vegetative stage. While indoor growers use high-intensity lights, outdoor growers in Illinois need to consider the state’s temperate climate and ensure plants are not exposed to frost.
While cannabis plants are relatively hardy, they thrive best in well-aerated soil rich in organic matter.
Watering and Nutrients
Cannabis plants require consistent watering and a balance of nutrients. Over-watering or over-feeding can be detrimental to the plant’s health.
Timing is crucial for harvesting cannabis. The best time is when 50-70% of the trichomes (tiny resin-secreting stalks/hairs) on the plant have turned from clear to a milky amber color.
Cannabis strains in Illinois reflect both the historical favorites of users nationwide and the evolving preferences of its residents. As the state’s cannabis industry continues to grow, one can expect an even wider variety of strains to emerge, catering to both medical and recreational users. It remains essential for consumers to remain informed and for growers to strictly adhere to state regulations to ensure a safe and prosperous cannabis culture in Illinois.