Craft cannabis: what you need to know
You likely know about craft beer, but have you ever heard of craft cannabis? Read this article to get informed, and find out the best craft companies and strains out there today.
- What Is Craft Cannabis?
- The History of Craft Cannabis
- Craft Cannabis vs Commercial Cannabis: What’s the Difference?
- What Are the Benefits of Craft Cannabis?
- What Are Craft Cannabis Strains?
- What Are Craft Cannabis Growers?
- What Are the Best Craft Cannabis Seeds?
- Does It Make Sense To Invest in Craft Cannabis?
- Craft Cannabis: The Marijuana of the Future?
Ever wonder how we went from just a handful of cannabis strains to the thousands of cultivars on the market today? Nowadays, you can find all manner of indicas, sativas, and hybrids to suit every stoner preference.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in an era of craft cannabis. It’s all thanks to the brilliant growers and breeders who’ve spent countless hours developing and enhancing the magic herb. And their dedication to improving the quality of cannabis has certainly paid dividends.
Some of you reading this may be hearing about craft weed for the first time. This article is meant to shed light on what this phenomenon is, and to provide helpful information as we enter a new age of cannabis.
What Is Craft Cannabis?
We already gave you an idea of what craft cannabis is all about. But, to sum it up, craft weed is high-quality marijuana grown with great care, usually in small batches. It is devoid of anything synthetic, and is often produced by smaller companies.
Growing craft cannabis involves a ton of effort. The very first step, even before the actual cultivation process, is picking premium genetics. In some cases, entirely new strains are created to meet the requirements of high-end connoisseurs.
Then comes the more challenging aspect of breeding craft weed strains: retaining all the positive traits while weeding out the negative, all while maintaining squeaky clean production standards.
Craft cannabis cultivators put a lot of time, effort, and dedication into their trade. As such, their price points are usually higher, much like craft beer.
The History of Craft Cannabis
This is an interesting tale, and one that goes all the way back to the small Spanish village of Guadalest. It’s in this village where age-old farming methods were developed and passed on to future generations.
As time went on, these growing techniques travelled to other small villages, like Castell de Castells. Here, farmers began crafting more eco-friendly cannabis strains using local natural resources.
One of the notable strains to come out of Guadalest is an upgraded version of the already well-known Critical. As legend has it, local growers developed a much better phenotype exclusive to Guadalest, and thus it became one of the first craft cannabis strains to be developed.
As for the process itself, one of their strategies was to use ladybugs as biological pest control. Growers would also use nutrient-rich water collected from nearby waterfalls.
And to protect their crops, farmers would attach bells to a string to serve as an alarm against wild animals or intruders. Talk about old-school operations and sheer ingenuity.
Craft Cannabis vs Commercial Cannabis: What’s the Difference?
Simply put, commercial cannabis is a large-scale operation where quality may be compromised for a lower price. Many would say that those involved in the commercial cannabis industry prioritise revenue over all else.
Commercial cannabis producers largely cater to consumers seeking high THC levels and cheap prices. Other aspects, like flavour, texture, and preparation, aren’t given as much attention.
Craft cannabis production, on the other hand, takes a slower form and is conducted on a small scale. In other words, it focuses more on quality than quantity.
What Are the Benefits of Craft Cannabis?
Craft cannabis tends to be more thoughtfully grown and processed. For example, commercial cannabis companies often use machine trimmers for their crops. Since the process is more aggressive, it may result in the loss of trichome heads, which compromises the overall quality.
Craft cannabis growers, on the other hand, give individual attention to each plant and trim the buds by hand. This method allows for better preservation of trichomes, which contain the essential cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Craft companies will also likely cure the buds for a longer period.
And, unlike commercial operations that use synthetic pesticides and other chemicals, small-scale craft growers won’t employ any synthetic interference. They either use natural pesticides or predatory insects to protect their crops. It’s a meticulous process that takes more time to complete, but it’s worth it to cannabis craft companies that take quality seriously.
The one disadvantage of craft weed is that it is more expensive. However, consumers are often willing to pay for the quality, and they’re happier to support smaller operations.
What Are Craft Cannabis Strains?
Craft cannabis’ rise to prominence comes in tandem with the innovation of hybrid strains. Breeders select the finest genetics and experiment, sometimes for years, before releasing their final product.
Haze and Skunk are just two great examples of potent, high-yielding hybrids used as the basis to create new craft cannabis strains. From here, unique and rare cultivars are added to the mix to spice things up. As more cultivators play the mix-and-match game, the variety of craft marijuana strains will only continue to grow.
Experts highlight four main components of boutique, craft cannabis strains: taste, aroma, look, and high. A strain that scores a high grade on all four is considered a rare breed, right off the bat.
What Are Craft Cannabis Growers?
In this section, we’ll recognise the brilliant teams behind the most notable craft cannabis strains today. These companies and associations thrive mainly within North America and Europe.
The land of the free and the home of the brave is also the country where you’ll find two premiere craft cannabis companies: Aficionado French Connection and 1933 Industries.
Aficionado French Connection
In the US, and the rest of the world, California is known for its grade-A bud. So it’s no surprise that a company like Aficionado French Connection thrives in the Golden State.
Herb-lovers expect high-quality products from this brand, and that’s exactly what they get. A good example would be Rosso Corsa. This indica-dominant hybrid will leave you in a relaxed, euphoric state as you enjoy delectable citrus flavours.
A lot of companies took off when medical cannabis gained traction in the early 2010s. One of them is 1933 Industries, an organisation dedicated to creating top-notch CBD and hemp-based products.
Through its two subsidiaries, 1933 Industries is in full control of every essential process, from cultivation and extraction to processing and manufacturing. That alone ensures high-quality results from start to finish.
The legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018 opened up the opportunity for successful ventures in craft cannabis. Here’s a brief overview of two highlights: the Craft Cannabis Association of BC and Alberta Craft Cannabis.
Craft Cannabis Association of BC
When the Craft Cannabis Association of BC was established, it had one main goal: to give credit to small-scale growers and their contributions to local communities.
Since legalization, the association’s main goal has been to further utilise the plant’s range of benefits. It goes beyond recreational consumption, also giving importance to the agricultural, economic, and medicinal impact of cannabis.
Alberta Craft Cannabis
When you visit the Alberta Craft Cannabis website, you’ll immediately see what the company is all about: “cultivating artisanal small-batch cannabis of the highest quality”.
This Edmonton-based company guarantees nothing but superior results. Their expert growers have a great eye for detail and work tirelessly to achieve the brand of excellence they’re known for.
Craft cannabis isn’t as big in this region of the world just yet. Nonetheless, you’ll find some companies that distribute cannabis of the highest quality.
Super Sativa Seed Club
If you enjoy Haze, Skunk #1, and Afghan strains, then you have Karel Schelfhout and Super Sativa Seed Club to thank. It has two primary goals: to spread its seeds around the globe, and to “empower cannabis consumers”.
Some of their specialties include Frosty Friday and Karel’s Haze. Based on these two products alone, it’s easy to see why SSSC is part of the High Times Hall of Fame.
Little Chief Collabs
For any herb-lover in the UK, Little Chief Collabs is a brand that resonates well. Especially when it comes to first-rate products, this company does not disappoint.
If you want a taste of what they have to offer, try out two exclusive strains: Killer Glue and Tangie Ghost Train. They come in limited batches, which only adds to the brand’s mystique.
What Are the Best Craft Cannabis Seeds?
We dropped some strain names in the previous section, but, as a bonus, here are three more standouts.
A shining star in the Aficionado French Connection line is Pianono. This indica-dominant strain will leave your body enveloped in relaxation after the first hit.
In terms of flavour, this product is all about a delectable blend of sweet citrus with hints of spice. What’s not to love?
For those looking to blow off some steam after a long day of work, a few hits of Witchy Wonder should do the trick. This is another indica you’ll want to savour, especially when winding down before bed.
This outstanding strain brings an eclectic mix of fruity, sour, and tropical flavours to the table. And did we mention that Witchy Wonder is 100% organic and vegan? Definitely an A-plus all around.
Here’s another organic and vegan strain. Garlic Haze does indeed have hints of garlicky spice, combined with a citrus aroma that makes for an interesting flavour profile.
This one’s a balanced 50-50 indica-sativa hybrid, so you get the best of both worlds. Smoke your worries away while feeling mentally energised.
Does It Make Sense To Invest in Craft Cannabis?
Short answer: yes. Over the last decade, we’ve seen an exponential rise in the global cannabis industry. As more countries and major territories create legal frameworks, we can only expect a further boom.
Just to put things into perspective, experts predict cannabis consumer spending to reach $23.4 billion by the year 2022. Let that sink in for a second.
Sure, there is a possibility for bigger cannabis companies to dominate the small players. But, as long as there’s a high demand for the finer stuff, despite the price tag, the craft cannabis industry can only thrive and attain more success. If you’re an investor, that’s an opportunity too sweet to pass up.
Craft Cannabis: The Marijuana of the Future?
Think about craft beer; thanks to technology, innovation, and the love for a fresh take on ice-cold brewskies, the industry was valued at $38 billion as of September 2020.
Can the same thing happen with craft cannabis? As legalization spreads like wildfire throughout the globe and regulations are streamlined, all signs point to yes.
And, as more brilliant minds come up with their own products, we are pretty much looking at a craft cannabis takeover in the years to come!