There’s no denying the fact that marijuana is becoming accepted in more and more places throughout the world. Whether you’re in the USA and living in one of the 31 states where it has been legalized medically, or one of the 9 states where it’s legal recreationally (or even in places like the Netherlands or Portugal), marijuana is becoming more common.
This undoubtedly leads to more people smoking, but it also leads to more consumer choice as the market expands. After all, the more people there are that want to smoke weed, it stands to reason that there will be more providers and types of strains.
Out of all these strains, there are not many professional cultivators out there that would argue with the fact that some of the very best ones available come from one single place: British Columbia.
But why is British Columbia making such excellent strains? What is it about its history and people that creates such righteous bud? Read on to find out.
British Columbia: Weed Strain Capital of the World?
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, home of the well-known bohemian city of Vancouver and more mountain ranges and wildlife than you could possibly imagine.
British Columbia is also famously right above Seattle, creating a situation that is ideal for many people to that want to cross quite freely between Seattle and Vancouver as their needs dictate.
However, British Columbia’s reputation as the home of the best weed strains around feels incongruous with its other properties – why on earth is this lush, verdant province also home to the finest marijuana growers around?
For starters, British Columbia’s climate is a big factor. Despite being at an ostensibly cold latitude, British Columbia enjoys relatively mild, humid weather in several parts of the province thanks to the so called “Banana Belt” – a region of British Columbia that, as a result of numerous geographical and wind factors, is warmer than the country’s average.
This means that marijuana grown in this region is healthier, and thus more potent and flavorful, than plants grown elsewhere. This excellent climate is also one of the main reasons that people moved so far west when the colonization rush of the late 1800’s began; warm, lush climate means an excellent environment for growing crops.
The strange climate of British Columbia can be said to contain a microcosm of many of the climates around the world; in the Banana Belt you get warm and humid weather, whereas in Vancouver you might think you were in the United Kingdom due to the sheer amount of rain, wind, ice and cold.
Not surprisingly, this weather in Vancouver has attracted a great deal of “just the right type” of people who enjoy excellent marijuana. People who enjoy cannabis can be said to be both equally in love with exploring nature, and sitting indoors.
The inclement weather of Vancouver means that it is perfect either for staying inside, but when those nice mild days do come around, there are not many better places on earth for exploring the surrounding wilderness.
As well as the climate, however, there are a few other very useful features in British Columbia that help the growing of supremely high-quality cannabis.
Natural Power & Lots of Hills
British Columbia is not only a leading cannabis producer, but it is in fact leading the world in hydroelectric power. This is because the Canadian province has a huge amount of natural water reserves that feed into the Atlantic Ocean.
British Columbians power their homes and entire lives using power generated from these hydroelectric dams. The consequence of this is a population acclimatized to a more natural way of life – they prefer being able to power their lives from a natural source.
Alongside this, the topography of British Columbia is exceedingly hilly; why would this help weed growers?
Well, until very recently marijuana was still illegal in Canada, even if its use was actively ignored by the police and governments. This means it was still necessary to obfuscate your growing operation, even if people were generally okay with it.
Thanks to the hilly locality and dense forests around British Columbia, it was extremely easy to keep crops nice and hidden, tucked away out of eyesight of any busy bodies who might not want you growing your weed.
Legalization has of course now happened nationwide in Canada, meaning that this may no longer be the case as long as growers are sticking to legal limits.
However, the reason there are so many people who enjoy marijuana in British Columbia is to do with a certain section in BC’s history, namely the Vietnam War.
Vietnam War Draft Dodgers – Hippies Find a New Home
As strange as it might seem, the Vietnam War has a large amount to do with the weed growing potential of British Columbia.
Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Vietnam War was in full swing and the USA needed a lot of additional men for its campaign.
To aid this, it instituted the draft – a system wherein young men between the ages of 18 and 34 were forced to serve their country, or face jail time.
However, the Vietnam War was widely protested in the USA, so much so that people were prepared to fight against the draft. However, the only way to do this was to either hide from the US government, or to somehow flee the country.
A large number of people, in fact, did just that.
According to the BBC, upwards of 60,000 people fled the country into Canada to escape the draft during the Vietnam War. Of these 60,000, half of them moved to British Columbia, creating a Canadian province with an incredibly high proportion of US Expats.
However, the “type” of people that opposed the war were predominantly belonging to the burgeoning hippy movement, a culture of free love and frequent drug use that advocated peace above war.
As a result of this, British Columbia was suddenly flooded with lovers of marijuana, who found themselves in a freer, more accepting society than they were used to back home — as well as a great climate to grow potent weed.
The Best British Columbia Weed Strains
Now that you understand why British Columbia seems to be the home of some of the very best weed strains around, what strains should you be looking for when you visit the province?
Some US officials believe that upwards of 95% of the 20,000 home grow operations in British Columbia are smuggled over the border into the USA, but what kind of strains are being taken? Here’s a short list of the very best strains that British Columbia has to offer.
God Bud is a weed strain that lives up to its name. Famous for its intensely high amount of THC at 27%, this strain is widely used as a sleep aid, as well as a lack of appetite.
An indica heavy strain, God Bud nevertheless possesses a history of sativa in its breeding, lending it some of the powerful mind-bending properties of other famous sativas. It’s also won a plethora of awards for its potency, thanks to its ability to practically knock you out after a few hours.
Whether this weed strain is named because of British Columbia’s affection for William Shatner, or just a general love of Star Trek in general, Romulan is a strong indica with an intense body high. This is one of the more famous strains in British Columbia across dispensaries throughout the province.
An intense, lethargic, and almost serene body high coupled with a citrusy flavor redolent of lemons is what awaits you with Romulan. This is incredibly popular as a medical marijuana strain, but is equally loved among recreational users.
Chemo Kush is a famous strain that’s perhaps the most well known weed to come out of Canada in its history. Chemo was developed at the University of British Columbia to help treat patients with cancer, specifically to help them deal with the side effects of chemotherapy treatment.
Despite its medicinal origins, Chemo is incredibly potent, giving a wonderful mind and body high as well as an earthy aroma and flavor profile that is usually described as “woody”.
Final Thoughts on British Columbia Marijuana Strains
British Columbia is indeed a unique (some might prefer to call it “strange”) place; temperamental weather, beautiful landscape and mountains, and a relatively relaxed, very liberal culture. All things considered, the province is kind of like a weird mix between the United Kingdom, San Francisco and Amsterdam. This is especially fitting because all three of those places have a reputation as being pretty “friendly” when it comes to the use of cannabis (well, maybe not the UK so much).
Regardless of the quantity of its “free-spirits” – or perhaps specifically because of it – British Columbia is home to some of the world’s finest strains of marijuana. Though it caters heavily to the medicinal marijuana market that exists throughout Canada, the huge amounts of weed produced there every year means that people all over the world can enjoy the strains grown from this odd little corner of the world. British Columbia might be a black sheep to the rest of Canada, but it no doubt produces some incredible marijuana.