The original Critical Mass dates back to the golden age of cannabis on the North American west coast, although many people are unaware of this history. During the 1970s, the search for superior genetics sparked a green revolution that would forever change the industry, combining classic landraces with new hybrids that facilitated the creation of new, tastier, more productive, and above all, more potent strains.
The Cannabis Revolution on the West Coast
In this period of innovation, strains like Skunk#1 and Original Haze set trends, so they quickly began to be crossed with many other strains. However, one genetic line would stand out for its impressive buds: the Big Bud, created from a cross between a good Afghan and a Skunk#1 male. A similar cross would later give rise to the legendary Super Skunk by Sensi Seeds, demonstrating the extraordinary quality that emerged from the combination of these varieties.
From the United States to the Netherlands: The Evolution of Genetics
With pressure from the US administration, many growers took their art to the Netherlands, where the genetics of Big Bud would evolve into the original Critical Mass we know today. It was the famous breeder Nevil who brought it to Amsterdam in the mid-1980s, and he was so enamored with its qualities that he crossed it with various treasures, first through his brand The Seedbank and later working for Sensi Seeds, the bank that gave this plant worldwide fame. After his time at Sensi Seeds, Nevil began working for Green House where he met Shantibaba, and years later they both founded Mr. Nice Seedbank, the brand that marketed the original Critical Mass. It is a cross between Big Bud and Skunk#1, which in a way further improved the yield, resistance, speed, and organoleptic properties of Big Bud.
Distinctive Features of the Original Critical Mass
Powerful Genetics: Big Bud and Skunk
The original Critical Mass inherits the robustness of the Afghan and the penetrating aroma of Skunk. It is a variety that stands out for its high production and voluminous buds. It is usually recommended for inexperienced growers because the plants are so resistant that they withstand many of the rookie mistakes we tend to make when we start growing cannabis.
Production and Quality: Two Hallmarks of Critical Mass
Commercial growers value Critical Mass for its yield and the quality of its flowers, making it a recurring choice in large-scale cultivation. We do not know of another strain that can offer so much bud production in such a short time, hence its success. It is generally recommended to use supports when growing marijuana, but in the case of the original Critical Mass, this is mandatory because otherwise, the branches bend and the buds end up touching the ground, to give you an idea of the weight it is capable of producing.
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The Influence of Shantibaba on the Original Critical Mass Variety
Mr. Nice Seeds and the Rebirth of Big Bud
Shantibaba, through Mr. Nice Seeds, was key in the relaunch of Big Bud, under the name of Critical Mass, keeping its legacy alive in the cannabis world. Nevil saw its potential quickly, but Shantibaba was captivated by its potential as a breeding tool, so he dedicated time to trying to improve the genetics through crosses with other good plants.
The Contribution of Dinafem and CBD Crew
Dinafem and CBD Crew, with the collaboration of Shantibaba, expanded the family of the original Critical Mass, introducing feminized, autoflowering, and CBD-rich versions. In Spain, a phenotype of the original Critical Mass was selected that went down in history under the name Critical Bilbo, as it emerged in Bilbao, and from it were made the best feminized Critical seeds. Shantibaba himself admitted to the writer of this article that Critical Bilbo is the best selection of Original Critical Mass in history, “A one in a million plant,” he even confessed that it is superior to his selection known as “Critical Swiss.”
Cultivation and Care of the Original Critical Mass
Tips for Growing Critical Mass
To achieve the best results, it is essential to provide Critical Mass with a controlled environment and balanced nutrition, thus maximizing its productive potential. It appreciates an aerated substrate but very rich in nutrients, as it tends to eat more than other strains. It is interesting to do a first pruning at the fourth or fifth node, as this way it is capable of producing even more. During the first part of flowering, it is important to place supports to reinforce the branches, as this is the only weak point of the original Critical Mass.
Harvest and Yield of the Variety
Critical Mass surprises with its rapid flowering and generous harvests, being an optimal choice for those looking for efficiency and quality. It appreciates feeding with organic nutrients, but even with mineral fertilizers, a great flavor is achieved. The flowering and maturation cycle is so fast that it can be harvested after about 50 or 55 days of flowering, but if you let it mature until 60 or 65 days, the flavor is more defined and intensified.
The Continuous Improvement: Critical Widow
The Fusion with White Widow
From the original White Widow emerged a whole family that was very successful, but of all the crosses of this genetics, the Critical Widow emerges as the best hybrid, by combining the production of Critical Mass with the potency of White Widow, another success of Shantibaba precisely. The parents of White Widow are 2 pure sativas, which when combined with the ancestors of the original Critical Mass result in a very varied and high-quality genetic pool.
Why Is Critical Widow the Best Hybrid?
This fusion has resulted in a variety renowned for its perfect balance between yield and quality, becoming the favorite of many. Why is it the best? Because it gathers everything that any cannabis grower and consumer could wish for, resistance, speed, yield, flavor, effect… Everything!
Impact on Cannabis Culture
The Popularity of Critical Mass in Grow Shops, Consumer Clubs, and Dispensaries
Critical Mass is a star in dispensaries around the world, where its fame and demand continue to rise thanks to its balanced effects and unmistakable flavor. In Spain’s consumer clubs, it has been the most consumed marijuana by far, but this also happened in Dutch coffee shops at the time, and to this day it is still in high demand.
The Influence on Modern Cannabis Breeding
As a pioneer in modern breeding, Critical Mass has left an indelible mark, inspiring new generations of breeders in the quest for perfection. For many breeders, the original Critical Mass is the paradigm of cannabis breeding, and in addition to using it to create new strains, it is taken as an example of what a great variety should be like.
Conclusion: The Legacy of the Original Critical Mass
The original Critical Mass has proven to be much more than a variety; it is a legacy that continues to evolve and set the standard in the cannabis world. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend doing so before growing other modern seeds that enjoy a lot of hype but are not so suitable for novice growers due to their difficulty in cultivation. Try the original Critical Mass and discover why it became the favorite of millions of consumers around the world!
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the Original Critical Mass unique?
Its combination of robust genetics, high production, and the quality of its buds make it unique in the market.
How does Critical Widow differ from Critical Mass?
Critical Widow is the result of crossing Critical Mass with White Widow, offering a distinctive cannabinoid and terpene profile.
Is Critical Mass suitable for novice growers?
Yes, its ease of cultivation and resistance make it ideal for those new to cannabis cultivation.
What is the flowering time of Critical Mass?
Critical Mass has a relatively short flowering period, usually ranging from 7 to 8 weeks.
What effects does Critical Mass produce?
It is known for its relaxing and balanced effects, making it ideal for recreational and medicinal use.