There is change in the air these days. Well, maybe it's not just change, but change that is taking the form of some pleasant smelling and distinct smoke. That's right, throughout the United States, where carrying a small amount of pot could once get someone tossed in prison for decades, states are slowly allowing their citizens the herbal medicine (or pleasure) they want.
There are a few reasons for this new phenomenon, ranging from a decreased belief in the drug war (losing cause that wastes a laughable amount of money) to the belief that smoking marijuana actually produces no victims and therefore should not be a crime, building off the argument that it is no responsibility of any government to dictate what free citizens put into their bodies.
Whether you are a daily consumer who likes to get high early and have it last all day, or you are the type who smokes before bed time, or even the "every now and again" type, it's a good time to be alive. Of course, this doesn't apply to those who smoke because running from the cops is exciting (they exist). Even still though, times will be even better when the debate over pot is a thing of the past and governments have moved on to more pressing problems, like their own spending and their bureaucrats watching adult movies all day, every day. But that's a story for another day... Back to marijuana, one of the most popular debates between stoners is where they can find the best green. I've always been a believer that when talking about pot, beer or women, the best one is the one currently nearby and cheap, but this is not the method of thinking for everyone. There are some strains of bud that produce a better high than others and the issue of smell, and how long the buzz lasts, are also criteria for what makes the best pot. Here is our list of countries who just get it right when it comes to marijuana.
While it is most widely known for cocaine, it still produces weed that packs some decent kick, and a great deal of it. Colombian bud can be found across North America and throughout northern South America. The country itself has been close to legalizing the drug (along with blow) for a few years. One of the best from the country is Colombian Gold, which (as with all sativa) produces an energetic and alert high.
While many fans of Colombian Gold swear by its flavor and effects, growers trying to buy seeds in the United States should be wary, as quality is inconsistent.
Those trying to grow Nigerian strains of bud outdoors in North America may be disappointed, but there has been some success with indoor methods. Another pure sativa, Nigerian is a powerful strain that is known to "take you away" and some suggest making sure your day is free before indulging. While there are other strains of marijuana commonly grown in Nigeria, many are crosses with plants from other regions, one popular and powerful example is Afghan/Nigerian, (spoiler alert) more on Afghani stuff later.
Mexico is one of those places that produces great weed but we really don't encourage anyone to go there; it's in the middle of one of the ugliest drug wars the world has ever seen. There was a time when Mexican weed was considered some of the best in the world, but legalization in the United States has hit the Mexican weed business hard, as has the drug war, which has nearly destroyed the quality aspect of that industry.
Mexican producers used to make some of the highest quality sativa strains in the world, but as of 2015, Mexico has taken a slide down this list.
Canada is still one of those places where yes, pot is still illegal, but if you look around, few people are ever penalized. The small-time dealer may get shaken down by the cops and given a stern talking-to and the massive grow ops are occasionally shut down. But look around; whether heading to work or just in a park after a miserable day at high school, Canadians are enjoying their bud.
From the east coast to the west, there is a great deal of variation in Canadian weed, but for the best high, anything with B.C. in its name is a great bet. B.C. stands for British Columbia, which is a Canadian province, but for our purposes it is also Brilliant Chronic.
While there are those places that specialize in pot that will take you to another planet, Jamaica is the place to go if you want a simple, easy going, delightful high, with amazing tasting weed. While the technology and methods that can lead to these powerful strains are available, Jamaican herb is generally produced without these; leading to a natural taste (in a good way) with a pleasant high that will make you forget your troubles, mon.
Despite Jamaica being known worldwide for Rastafarianism, a religion that encourages pot-induced spirituality, marijuana was illegal until February when small amounts for personal use were decriminalized.
Oh those hard-partying Aussies, they not only pound beers all night, but also produce some mean dope. While many of the strongest strains in the United States range in the mid to high 20% area in terms of THC, a group of Australians were rumored (a couple of years ago) to have developed marijuana with a 40% THC content.
They have been known for years to produce some out of this world bud down under, but the 40% rumor from back in 2013 is still somewhat up in the air, as some in the United States have disputed the authenticity of such claims.
The Netherlands is famous for having been one of the first places in the world to have a tourist industry partly based around marijuana consumption. I say partly because the red light district also had a hand in the tourism boom. Of course, the authorities in the country, especially around Amsterdam, have recently scaled back some of the measures as locals became fed up with foreign youngsters wandering their streets completely blasted.
With regard to the pot itself, it is unquestionably among the best in the world, often achieving hybrids of other widely beloved strains created for both potency and flavor.
For those who thought that Borat was the only thing Kazakhstan is known for, they also produce great weed and a great deal of it...the two actually go nicely hand in hand. It is one of the few places thought to be the first in which cannabis was first harvested for use by people.
The herb grows naturally in many parts of the country and has been enjoyed by locals for millenia. Of course, back in the days of the Soviet Union, pot consumption was made illegal. There are still some draconian laws in place, but mainly for distribution, as opposed to use. Whether it is the wild plant or a variant that has been modified, marijuana produced in the southeast is widely considered to be of the finest quality in the world, combining a great, peaceful high with great flavor. Some of the world's best hash comes from the region and many popular cross-bred species of marijuana include Kazakh roots.
Talk about persistence, Afghanistan got looted and pillaged by the Soviets decades ago, and even after the lengthy conflict between the Taliban and the United States and their allies, they still grow some of the best Mary Jane in the world and an obscene amount of it. In recent years production has been reduced, partly due to a declining demand, but also because of officials in some provinces cracking down on the drug.
Afghanistan is another place in which some believe marijuana to have first been cultivated. Some of the finest indica strains, many of which are widely grown and enjoyed in the United States, such as anything with the name "Kush" in it, hail from Afghanistan. While Kush may not be the best of all strains in any given way, it does find a great combination of relaxing, peaceful high along with a great aroma.
1 United States
While nearly none of the strains of weed that are popular in the United States actually originated there, American growers are in the process of perfecting the game. For a quick parallel; in the beer industry, many of the worst beers are mass-produced garbage that comes from the United States. On the flip side however, craft brewing has led to some of the finest ales and lagers in the world to be American made, even if other nations like Germany and Ireland don't wish to hear it.
The same can be said of marijuana. There is plenty of backyard trash in the United States, barely fit for human consumption, but at the same time, so much science is going into new methods of growing that the options are so numerous and the new hybrids are plentiful and creative. Especially with the gradual wave of legalization and decriminalization, marijuana production in the U.S. is reaching new levels of dedication and study, leading to new strains all the time. No matter what your purpose, whether you have a serious illness or you just want to enjoy the film Heavy Metal to the max, there is a perfect strain of American pot for you.
In short, while other parts of the world may be the birth places of brilliant strains of dope, the U.S. is the place that has some of all of them, along with dedicated enthusiast/ scientists working to breed them together for new and interesting strains.