In more ways than one, Critical Mass is Big Bud. So, how did these two relate to each other?
Big Bud is a descendant of an Afghani and Skunk. It shot to fame on the strength of the extra-large buds it produces. Not to mention, it does deliver an exceptional relaxing body high.
In the years the followed, an attempt was made to recreate this hybrid using the same genetics, backcrossing a Big Bud clone with a Skunk. One of the phenotypes that emerged, and this is through continuous refinements, did not only have the same traits as the original. It also showed improvements in some key areas, such as resistance to diseases. Unfortunately, the large buds remain susceptible to molds.
At any rate, this progeny - named Critical Mass - would go on to become one of the most famous strains of all time. In essence, this highly-acclaimed hybrid took over Big Bud. Today, not only does it satisfy the needs of recreational and medicinal consumers. It also continues to lend its genetics as breeders use it to create high-yielding varieties.
The Ever-Growing Family of Critical Strains
How large is the family of Critical strains? To put it in context, searching for one is confusing even for experienced cannabis consumers. In the Homegrown Cannabis Co. catalog alone, there are well over 20 choices. Thus, to keep it simple for you, here is the curated list of the best strains - the original and its descendants - in both feminized and auto-flowering seeds.
By default, feminized seeds are the best choice when cultivating cannabis at home. It is convenient in the sense that there is almost no chance of males turning up to ruin the females.
Not until seeing the list of its descendants does it become apparent that Critical Mass is, indeed, in a class of its own. During the onset, it delivers a euphoric head high courtesy of Skunk genetics. The mental stimulation, though, is nowhere as intense. After 20-30 minutes, the full-bodied effects kick into the system, bringing calm and absolute relaxation. Depending on the dosage and tolerance to THC, it leaves one lazy or couch-locked in a happy place.
Homegrown Cannabis Co. has gone to great extents, ensuring that each of the feminized seeds is reliable. Germination, and throughout the growth cycle, this strain is friendly to beginners. Apart from effects, ease of cultivation and potential for high yields are other factors contributing to its popularity. After flowering for only eight weeks, it produces an insane yield of 750 grams per square meter under 600W HPS.
Is Critical Bilbo underrated? The answer is both yes and no.
In Spain, where it originated, it is arguably the most popular strain. However, its popularity has yet to reach other parts of the world. In this regard, based on exemplary traits, it deserves more recognition.
In recent years, though, it has steadily gained a following from all corners of the world - the ease of obtaining Critical Bilbo feminized seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co. is one of the reasons. Another is the massive yields - 400-500 grams indoors, and a whopping 1500-1900 grams outdoors. And, these buds develop fully in as little as seven weeks.
Critical Bilbo, incidentally, is a phenotype of Critical Mass. In staying true to its lineage, this powerhouse delivers a euphoric buzz before melting away tensions from the body. Consequently, it leaves one fully relaxed and in a happy mood. On high doses, the body stone could turn intense, leading to a full-on couch-lock.
The smashing success of Critical Mass has inspired many to embark on breeding projects aiming to enhance classics. It stands to reason that one of the most fragrant strains of all time should have its turn.
Blueberry is a legend. For more than 40 years, it has stood the test of time, serving as the standard by which others are measured - with regards to aromatic, fruity scents, that is. Like Critical Mass, it leans towards the Indica, capably delivering a long-lasting, profoundly relaxing body stone.
Imagine Blueberry with massive buds, and that is essentially what Critical Blue is. Apart from fragrance and full-bodied relaxation, it is also a visually stunning plant. During the flowering stage, it develops large, oval-shaped buds boasting of remarkable coloration ranging from evergreen to shades of purple (sometimes pink or blue). Alluding to its high potency is a thick coat of frosty crystals surrounding the buds and the calyxes.
Indoors, it can produce as much as 400 grams per square meter. On the other hand, it shines the most outdoors - literally - by yielding up to 750 grams per plant. Best of all, Critical Blue feminized seeds are among the least challenging to grow in the comfort of home.
One strain that took over the entire west coast of the United States was OG Kush. It even came to a point in which the choices of hybrids were all its descendants. Today, this American legend has rightfully taken its place as one of the most recognizable cannabis strains in the world.
On yields, it does not matter if the intent is personal or commercial. Everyone wants to have more of this strain. Thus, the next best thing that could happen is to infuse Critical Mass into its genes, giving birth to Critical Kush.
In all aspects - from recreational to medicinal - the new hybrid delivers spectacularly. It does not hold back in inducing a euphoric, relaxing high while also melting away stress and pains.
Moreover, the feminized Critical Kush seeds grow into healthy plants boasting of the same remarkable growth patterns as OG Kush. It does take a little bit longer to develop the flowers fully - some 9 to 10 weeks - after which the reward is a generous 600 grams of buds per square meter. Outdoors, each plant could yield up to 650 grams.
The criticism of autos is that most do not produce high yields. All that changed with the creation of Auto Critical Mass, and since then, its genetics has been used to create new generations of auto-flowering strains.
At one time or another in the past, most breeders had given up on auto-flowering strains. Back then, the autos not only came up short with regards to traits, but many also performed poorly in the garden. All that changed when Lowryder came to the scene. It was, without a doubt, the world's first true auto-flower.
Although it lent its genetics to a new generation of autos, one of the areas in which it could improve is the yield. Hence, the timely arrival of Critical Mass and its subsequent cross change the landscape forever.
The auto-flowering Critical Mass, by its nature, is the first auto to produce high yields that are comparable to photoperiods, sometimes even exceeding.
For many breeders, instead of crossing a proven genetic with Lowryder, more are choosing Auto Critical Mass. As for consumption purposes, it is slightly tamer compared to its kin. However, it remains potent enough to induce intense or even overbearing effects if the dose is high enough.
Critical Mass goes back to its roots in this cross with Big Bud. The offspring, dubbed Critical Purple, has one unique selling proposition - the stunning coloration. Furthermore, the addition of Ruderalis genes also gave it the auto-flowering trait. As a result, it races from germination to harvest in 10-12 weeks.
Granted that there are other autos that could reach harvest time quicker, only few could consistently yield up to 350 grams per square meters indoors, and an impressive 200-300 grams per plant outdoors.
Speed is only one of factors to consider in choosing a strain, though. Auto Critical Purple is also able to produce a high concentration of THC, reaching 25% when grown in the most ideal conditions. Thus, it has no trouble slamming into the body with devastatingly relaxing effects. Plus, it also has potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to ward off pains and aches.
The birth of auto-flowering Critical Mass signaled the start of a new generation of high-yielding autos. In this case, the mash-up with AK-47 led to the creation of a balanced hybrid bearing huge buds.
Critical x AK-47 auto-flowering seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co. takes 11-13 weeks to go from seeds to harvest. It is not the quickest auto, for sure. However, the long way is worth it as it can yield 450-550 grams of large, dense buds per square meter.
Upon consumption, this strain promotes mental clarity as a euphoric buzz uplifts the mood. Eventually, a full-bodied soothing sensation creeps in to complement the mental stimulation.