We’ve written before about Humboldt Seed Company, its founder Nat Pennington, and Pennington’s business partner and daughter Halle Pennington. If you haven’t read those articles, you’ll enjoy them. Nat is one of the most ethical, conscious people in the cannabis seeds industry. Halle is a savvy businesswoman, phenotype hunter, and canna-goddess.
When you want the kindest, highest-yielding, truest-growing most profitable cannabis strains nobody else has, the main thing to remember is that Humboldt Seed Company creates exclusive strains that exceed your expectations.
In the past year, we’ve tested several Humboldt Seed Company strains. All were excellent but our favorite right now is Lemongrass, a deliciously tasty cross that includes Humboldt Gelato and Lemon Kush genetics.
As with almost all Humboldt Seed Company strains, Lemongrass genetics come from rare cultivars developed in the many microclimates of Northern California’s Emerald Triangle, a vast three-county wilderness including Humboldt County. When you purchase and grow Pennington’s strains, you’re getting breeding stock few people outside the Triangle have ever had access to before. It’s almost impossible to find clones or seeds of the precursor strains Pennington and his team use to make their seeds.
We had feminized Lemongrass seeds and of the seven we planted, all grew out to be female with no hermaphrodite qualities. Three were grown outdoors in supersoil, and four were grown indoors in soilless mix and fed with high-quality hydroponics base nutrients and supplements.
The phenotypic uniformity was impressive. Usually when you grow from seed you’ll get at least two phenotypes if not more. The indoor and outdoor Lemongrass plants were virtually identical in leaf size and shape, leaf color, and scent, but the outdoor plants grew faster and were 2-4 feet taller than the indoor plants. The strain handled outdoor conditions well, even in the searing summer heat and intense summer sun in a humid climate sun.
Pennington says the strain is resistant to viruses, botrytis (gray mold) and powdery mildew. We found it was also resistant to spider mites and thrips, which were attacking other strains grown outdoors in the same garden. During drying and curing, however, the thickest Lemongrass buds developed gray mold, causing us to lose about 20% of our harvest weight.
We topped the outdoor plants several times and had them in 20-gallon cloth pots, so they grew to be large—about 30 inches in diameter and 6-8 feet tall. They smelled so much like lemongrass, a medically-useful and tasty culinary herb, that grow helpers became addicted to rubbing the gooey buds and smelling the lemony scent. Apparently the limonene and other terpenes that make Lemongrass marijuana smell like lemongrass are medically active and habit-forming.
The outdoor Lemongrass plants which had been planted in mid-May started pre-flowering the first week of July under nearly 15 hours of total light per day. We have a climate-controlled greenhouse with blackout cloth, and force-flowered them beginning the second week of July. Pennington’s website says Lemongrass only needs 50 days in bloom phase, but indoors our Lemongrass was ready for harvest in 60 days and outdoors it took 63 days.
Lemongrass colas weren’t huge, pyramid-shaped or thick like you’d expect from a strain described as 70% Indica. In circumference, they were much more like Sativa buds, except that they were more densely developed and had stacks of resin glands.
Outdoors and under LED lights that included a customized, tuned spectrum and UV-B, the Lemongrass buds put off a heavenly scent starting in peak bloom and continuing to flushing. Bud leaves were small and lime green, covered in resins. Over time, the scent of lemongrass gave way to a more astringent lemon, and then a little diesel. However, after drying and curing, the lemongrass flavor and scent were in full force again.
Harvest weight for the indoor plants averaged 147 grams per plant. This is an acceptably heavy harvest for indoors, achieved because we’d topped the plants, supercharged them with special hydroponics supplements and tuned lighting, and allowed them to get as large and tall as possible without running into the problem of leaf bleaching and other damage caused by a canopy too close to grow lights.
Yield for the outdoor plants was impressive considering the buds weren’t fat but were mostly cylindrical and narrow. The highest-yielding outdoor Lemongrass produced 19 ounces of premium dried buds.
The psychoactive effects provided by Lemongrass are what pushed it into the favorites category, but the effects are confusingly dissimilar. Let me explain…
Those of us on the Growing Marijuana Perfectly team mostly prefer stimulating, creative, Sativa-dominant strains over couchlock Indica and Afghani. We use cannabis when we’re doing exercise, yoga, meditation, making music, dancing at raves, and engaging in other activities that require energy and mental clarity. Many of the strains we test, although fun to grow, profitable and definitely potent, have effects that are too heavily sedating for us.
We expected heavy, sedating effects from Lemongrass, given that Nat says it’s 70% Indica. However, in initial testing using a precision desktop vaporizer in a temperature range from 385-423°F, we noted two main results: a delicious diversity of tastes, and an energizing, euphoric, bubbly long-lasting high. The strain’s high reminded us of a classic strain from years ago, called Bubbleberry. The genetics from that strain have drifted over the years, and it’s not as stimulating or fun as it once was, so Lemongrass now takes its place. The creativity, laughter, anti-depressant, and uplifiting Lemongrass effects were accompanied by a body high that gave us pain relief and increased body flexibility.
But then we vaped Lemongrass buds from the outdoor plants. The effects were much more Indica, so crushingly Indica that one of our long-time weedheads got dizzy and had to slump down in a faint. Further sampling revealed that indoor Lemongrass buds were extremely potent but stimulating, while the outdoor Lemongrass buds were extremely potent and sedating.
We’ve seen this kind of disparity before and concluded that the effects of full summer sun on the development and ripening of cannabinoids and terpenoids likely accounted for the difference in effects.
The good news is that Lemongrass buds are extremely potent and very popular with consumers. When you have a refrigerator filled with jars of freshly-dried buds from nearly two dozen strains, and yet you’re always reaching for the Lemongrass, you know you have a winner. Growers who sell cannabis will be able to easily market this strain, as the buds looks so pretty and frosty, hold their shape well, and the scent is wildly seductive.
Pennington and his daughter never rest. Allied with professional craft growers and breeders in the Emerald Triangle, they personally examine tens of thousands of marijuana plants per year, field-testing phenotypes for genetics, cannabinoids and terpenoids, finding the rarest and best cultivars for their breeding programs. Here are some of the other incredible strains you should immediately purchase from Humboldt Seed Company:
This 80% Sativa strain is a cross of Lost Coast Lemons and Old Growth OG—both strains you never see commercially. It was produced in 2018 as part of research project involving 10,000 cannabis plants, in concert with Blessed Coast Farms and the Grow Sisters collective. Due to the vast number of plants and tests involved, Pennington’s team initially discovered and then temporarily lost rare cultivars. They had to spend several thousand dollars on genetics testing to re-discover the rare clone line that ended up as Family Jewels.
Growers can expect the typical viney, leggy structure that most Sativas display, but Nat says Family Jewels stabilizes itself during bloom phase to produce fat colas on sturdy branches with above-average resin gland density. Large, long, purple-tinted colas with the scents of lime, pine and diesel are ready after 55-65 days in bloom phase, and this strain does well indoors or outdoors. Effects are almost psychedelic, but yet not so Sativa-dominant that they cause paranoia. This is one of the newest and best Humboldt Seed Company strains. Take a look…
This heavy-hitting Indica-Sativa hybrid comes from a breeding program involving Honeydew Melon, Mango Sherbet, and Mango Trees. It’s heavy in myrcene, a compound found in mangos, some herbs, and cannabis. Myrcene is a valuable terpenoid that apparently can be a sedative, pain reliever, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and potentiator of THC and cannabidiol (CBD).
Properly grown, this 60-40 Sativa-dominant hybrid smells and tastes exactly like cantaloupes or watermelons, with a hint of diesel. It needs at least 58 days in bloom phase but it’s best if you plan for 62-67 days to get relatively heavy yields of buds guaranteed to erase insomnia and anxiety.
If you love the taste and smell of vanilla, you’ll love Vanilla Frosting. This Indica-dominant cross includes more of the rare Northern Cal genetics Humboldt Seed Company has exclusive access to, including Humboldt Frost OG and Humboldt Gelato. Expect heavy yields on sturdy branches and relatively short (55-61 day) bloom phase, but be careful when sampling this strain, as some buds have tested at nearly 30% THC!
Vanilla Frosting, Magic Melon, Family Jewels, and Lemongrass are just a few of the superlative strains Humboldt Seed Company breeds and sells seeds for. Because this is a craft operation, seed stocks are limited, especially in feminized versions, so I suggest large orders so you ensure that you procure their special genetics before seed supplies are depleted. Also, be sure not to confuse Humboldt Seed Company with a different seed company that calls itself “Humboldt Seed Organization.” Only Nat Pennington’s Humboldt Seed Company is the real deal from the Emerald Triangle!