Mission to sample

My friend and I are on a mission to sample the world’s finest. Do you have any tips for us on where to go on this journey?

Some of the cultivation and pot culture hot spots in North America are Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and the west coast in general. In Europe, Amsterdam has long been considered the center of pot culture. However, Spain has a thriving pot scene these days, especially the urban areas surrounding Barcelona and Madrid. There is a big culture in Berlin but it has been driven underground by a puritanical left of center government. England is a comer, with more and more grow centers. Combine that with the national gardening addiction, and the result is some potent bud.

The next areas you may wish to try lie between the 30th parallel and the equator. Generally speaking, plants at the 30th latitude have about equal amounts of CBD and THC, resulting in a slowed down high with couch potato and body high qualities. As you get to the equator there is less CBD in the resin and more THC. This results in the soaring, psychedelic highs, with racing thoughts and profound enlightenments. Some of them may be lost on the way to the tongue.

The heartland of Africa lies between the 20th parallel N and 30th S. Unfortunately there are only a few areas that are safe and free of turmoil. Some good land races remain in the relatively safe countries of Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia as well as the independent countries Lesotho and Swaziland, which are enclosed by South Africa.

Western Asia at the 30th parallel along the Himalayan foothills is thought to be the birthplace of cannabis. Countries that are intersected by the line include Kashmir, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. There are thousands of land races in these areas. Each population has adapted to its particular environment a little differently. This has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. In the last thousand years, human interactions have also played a role. This area has the widest diversity of cannabis genetics in the world. Indicas, Sativas and hybrids all flourish in the valleys and foothills. In traditional areas you are sure to find exceedingly potent hash as well as some very interesting grasses.

Further south, in south India, the state of Kerala is known for its potent weed. Although it is illegal, it is well tolerated by the authorities there. Goa, a major hippie hangout to this day also has some high potency weed. Thailand and Cambodia still produce some very exotic varieties. However, Thailand is experiencing a big anti-drug backlash and government vigilantes are assassinating suspected drug dealers. It’s not a happy place right now. Cambodia still has a thriving marijuana trade because it is truly part of the culture. However, the grass is usually eaten or served in drinks so it isn’t that potent when smoked.

Jumping back to the Americas, we travel down to Brazil, where the marijuana culture is extremely popular. When Colombia turned away from pot in favor of coca, the Brazilians started growing their own. The result is a series of truly world-wide varieties starting with the local weed, which in general wasn’t very potent. This is overlaid with Colombian and Thai seed as well as offerings from Europe. The result is a very strong equatorial weed that takes full advantage of the intense sun to mature. The culture is also alive in Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay, but Brazil’s culture and cannabis are the liveliest in that part of the world.

Readers with grow questions (or answers) should send them to Ed at: Ask Ed, PMB 147, 530 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California 94117, USA. You can also email Ed at [email protected], and send queries via his websites at www.ask-ed.net. All featured questions will be rewarded with a copy of Ed’s new book, Best of Ask Ed: Your Marijuana Questions Answered. Sorry, Ed cannot send personal replies to your questions.