Back down to earth after visiting Spain for the Spannabis trade fair, the biggest cannabis jamboree in Europe. All of this in Barcelona, one of Europe’s coolest cities which continues to thrill and amaze on repeated visits.
Much has been said about Spannabis but if you want a reminder of how good it is check our short video from 2013 which gives a good taster.
As usual we set up HQ in a rented apartment in the old Gothic Quarter, east of Las Ramblas. At the end of the street was one of the many medieval churches that sit cheek by jowl with the narrow lanes full of bars, restaurants and beautiful architecture. At the front of many of these old stone churches are small squares and in this one they had erected a stage.
We awoke on Saturday morning to the sound of the drummers and dolçainers (Catalan wind instrument-players) kicking off on the stage to start the festival of Sant Josep Oriol, a particularly popular Catalan saint.
Not your average God-squad event, when we returned to the apartment later that night the square was heaving with people. The crowd were dancing to the strains of a band playing a fusion of amplified rock and Spanish folk guitar. Echoing in the enclosed space, surrounded by the medieval merchants’ houses with their balconies, the scene was typical of what Barcelona can offer.
New this year at what is still billed as the largest Cannabis trade fair in the world, was a gas chromatography laboratory run by Canna, one of the biggest nutrient companies in Europe. Samples were tested on site and many took advantage of this great initiative.
More prevalent than last year was the amount of extraction & dabbing kits on offer. Extraction of essential oils is becoming ever more popular and many are now beginning to cater for this expanding market.
One of the pleasures of wandering around Spannabis is meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. Many of these folk give us samples of their latest creations and so this year we thought we would share our impressions with you in a sort of alternative Spannabis cup.
The Freedom Seeds Alternative Spannabis Cup
Our only entry in the hash category was a sample made from some Kush. A wonderfully oily rich hash with a warm stone that just rolled on. We loved this. A well-deserved (and uncontested) winner of The Hash Cup.
Another sample in a class of its own was some super high CBD content weed produced by a well-known seed bank that for the moment must remain anonymous. Tested at 20% CBD this plant will be used to parent a family of the next generation medical strains. Watch this space.
Now it gets tricky. Eight buds to sort out, some well-known commercially available strains and a couple of limited editions.
In no particular order first up we have New York 47 from World of Seeds, a cross between New York City Diesel and AK47. Leaves a slight petroleum based taste in the mouth and blows your brains out, so does what it says on the packet.
Purple Cheese from Auto Seeds in Barcelona is an auto with a subtle taste and a powerful stone. Far from being purple it was a beautiful creamy green colour and covered in trichomes. No hint of the characteristic hashy, old skool taste that you associate with the Cheese. So although very nice, it does not do what it says on the packet.
US genetics are more common these days and embracing that, three strains with origins from over the pond.
Bad Azz worked but was a little disappointing. Bad with a small b. Our sample was a little too dry and a little harsh. We didn’t get it from any one at Barneys Farm Seeds, who are set to release a Bad Azz Kush in the near future. This will be available from us at Freedom Seeds, so sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop.
Green Crack is a Humboldt Seeds strain and Headband is from Loud Seeds in Barcelona. Both of these were very nice, the Headband had nice earthy tones but didn’t pack the punch of the Green Crack.
Sugar Black Rose from Delicious Seeds, this batch was tested by Canna at the fair at 24.3% THC. A good sold indica buzz but not brutal with it. This has won awards and it shows.
Skunk Cross was an old classic, did not disappoint, can’t remember what it was crossed with.
If we could pick one to take home with us then the consensus was the Sugar Candy so this has to be our winner.
Some of this weed was grown by people who really knew what they were doing and others perhaps did not meet their full potential. So remember this has just been a bit of fun and in no way should be relied upon as a true reflection on the seed bank genetics.
If you're looking for the results to the offical Spannabis Cup you can find them here.
Before we sign off we’d like to mention a top tip for somewhere to eat - especially if, like us, you’re looking for healthy, vegetarian grub. Vegetalia has three places in Barcelona, the one we went to was on the Placa del Fossar de les Moreres in the Born district. The staff were friendly and welcoming, the menu was original and the food was delicious. We walked past their place in the Barrio Gotico at George Orwell Square which seemed to have more of a café feel, good place to grab lunch, maybe next time. Chao.