Pheno numbers. Lab testings. Research and development. For every batch of prime products we release to market, patients can trust that there is a wealth of care and attention behind every strain to ensure quality and consistency. Through our “Behind the Strains” newsletter series, patients can take an in-depth look at the expert combination of passion and science that drives our in-house breeding program for creating new cultivars.
Each installment walks you through the conception and execution of our most innovative breeding projects— outlining descriptive traits, terpenes, and lineage in the featured strains’ profiles.
Read on for a prime insider’s look at the hand-selected genetics and careful cultivation practices that created a standout offering in our Grower’s Select lineup— Vampire Killer #18.
Planting the Seed: Vampire Killer is a hybrid cross between African Thai and Marie Laveau. Now discontinued in our prime lineup, Marie Laveau was well-loved in the patient community for its garlicky aromas and dense bud structure— traits that shine through in its offspring. These inherited notes of pungent garlic have earned Vampire Killer its mythological name — captured in our exclusive Grower’s Select artwork.
Vampire Killer inherited strong trichome coverage from its African Thai parent. Trichomes are the glands that are responsible for the medical marijuana plant’s resin production. Strong trichome coverage, like that displayed on Vampire Killer flower, is a positive indicator for how a strain may perform in our extraction lab.
Taking Root: Once the parent strains were determined, the breeding process for Vampire Killer started off from the same place as each strain in our genetic library— seed. While many other medical marijuana growers begin their strains from cuttings of pre-existing “mother” plants, our seed-based process is an integral part of keeping our grow environment healthy and prioritizing the patient’s well-being. By germinating seeds for each of our prime cultivars, we naturally mitigate opportunities for pests and pathogens to harm our plants.
After the Vampire Killer seeds were planted in soil, our cultivators then separated the developing male plants from the females. These female plants were assigned a unique pheno number that allowed our team to assess their characteristics throughout development, and the pheno hunt was on. Throughout the meticulous tracking process, one Vampire Killer expression rose above the rest— the #18 plant, our basil pheno.
This expression is characterized by densely packed buds that display strong trichome coverage, boasting basil and garlic undertones. In live varieties— like our diverse concentrate textures that are extracted from fresh frozen plant material— Vampire Killer #18 boasts flavor notes of mushroom, berries, and hash. Our expert curing process for hand-trimmed flower is key to accentuating the basil flavors in this phenotype’s profile.
Budding Medical Potential: Beyond its distinctive flavors and aromas, the basil pheno also comprises a host of potential medical benefits to meet a variety of patient needs. For patients unfamiliar with this strain, exploring Vampire Killer’s terpene profile may be a helpful starting place to identify how it may make them feel. Terpenes—aromatic compounds that make up the essential oils of the medical marijuana plant— may potentially alter the blood brain barrier and work with cannabinoids to provide a range of medicinal benefits. Among the most prominent terpenes in Vampire Killer’s profile are limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene. Both the myrcene and caryophyllene in our basil pheno may hold therapeutic potential for patients of various qualifying conditions— including anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and chronic pain – as these aromatic compounds have demonstrated both sedative and analgesic potential in studies.
This month, we are shipping out a batch of Vampire Killer live resin to dispensary shelves that exhibits over 7.41% total terpenes. This extract texture consists of high amounts of THCa— the acidic precursor to the potentially psychoactive compound THC— in crystalline granules that are mixed with viscous terpenes. Its high concentration of THCa and terpenes means that prime live resin may enable patients with a higher tolerance to consume smaller amounts of medicine and still experience long -term symptom relief, compared to other medical marijuana products.
Patients should check with their dispensary pharmacist on whether this prime product might work for their unique medical needs.