Cannabis Strains in Iowa

Iowa, like many states in the U.S., has witnessed a dynamic evolution in its relationship with cannabis. As regulations surrounding cannabis use and cultivation have evolved, so has the proliferation of various strains, each adapted to the unique climatic and regulatory environment of the state. This article delves into the specifics of cannabis strains in Iowa, shedding light on their history, classification, popularity, and cultivation.

History of Cannabis in Iowa

The journey of cannabis in Iowa began primarily as an industrial plant. Hemp, a cannabis strain with less than 0.3% THC, was grown for its strong fibers, which were valuable for textiles, ropes, and other materials. However, during the 20th century, increasing restrictions on cannabis cultivation and use led to a decline in its presence.

The reintroduction and renewed interest in cannabis in Iowa began in the 21st century, particularly with changes in legislation. By the late 2010s and early 2020s, Iowa began to see a shift towards the acceptance of medical cannabis and a surge in interest in cannabis strains suitable for the state’s unique conditions.

Classification of Cannabis Strains

Cannabis strains are typically classified into three primary categories:


Originally from the Hindu Kush mountains, these plants are shorter and bushier, often associated with relaxing effects and used often for night-time relief.


Native to Central and South America, these plants are taller with narrower leaves. They produce uplifting effects, ideal for daytime use.


A combination of both Indica and Sativa, hybrid strains can provide a balanced effect or lean more towards the characteristics of one parent strain.

The THC and CBD content also play crucial roles in classification. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive compound, while CBD (cannabidiol) has therapeutic properties without the “high”. Strains can be high in THC, CBD, or balanced.

Popular Cannabis Strains in Iowa

With the burgeoning cannabis industry, several strains have gained popularity in Iowa due to their adaptability to the climate and the desired effects by consumers:

Hawkeye Haze

A Sativa-dominant hybrid, named in honor of the state, it’s lauded for its energizing effects and resilience to Iowa’s varying temperatures.

Midwest Kush

An Indica strain, it is cherished for its relaxing properties and its hearty nature, thriving in Iowa’s diverse climate.

Cornfield Cookies

A balanced hybrid, it merges the uplifting effects of Sativa with the calming attributes of Indica, making it an Iowa favorite for both medicinal and recreational users.

Iowan CBD Dream

As the name suggests, this strain is high in CBD and is often used for therapeutic purposes, such as pain relief and anxiety reduction.

Agricultural Implications and Cultivation Techniques

Cannabis cultivation in Iowa requires understanding the state’s unique agricultural challenges and benefits:

Soil Quality

Iowa boasts some of the richest soils in the U.S., making it conducive for cannabis cultivation. Regular soil testing can ensure balanced nutrients.

Climate Adaptability

Given Iowa’s cold winters and hot summers, selecting strains that can adapt to this variability is vital. Greenhouses can offer a controlled environment for strains requiring more consistent conditions.

Pest Management

Natural predators, like ladybugs, can help manage aphids and other pests. Ensuring a clean cultivation environment and regular inspection can keep many pests at bay.

Water Management:

Over-watering can be detrimental. Employing drip irrigation systems can provide consistent moisture and conserve water.


Due to the state’s early frost, monitoring the plants for the right harvest time is crucial. Trichomes, tiny resin-filled glands on the buds, will turn milky white or amber when ready for harvest.


Iowa’s journey with cannabis, from a historical plant to its current status, is reflective of the broader shifts in perception and usage across the U.S. The state’s agricultural prowess, combined with evolving legal landscapes, positions it uniquely in the burgeoning cannabis industry. As Iowa continues to navigate its path with cannabis, understanding its strains and the techniques to cultivate them remains paramount for growers and consumers alike.