Texada Timewarp: A forgotten past

Texada Timewarp: A forgotten past

Texada Timewarp is an incredibly unique heirloom (something that has been passed down from generation to generation through family members) that can easily outperform most indoor genetics in terms of hardiness, potency and aroma when growing outdoors, in the unforgiving and sometimes unpredictable coastal climate of British Columbia, Canada.


Since the rise of indoor growing in the 1980’s, there has been a sharp decrease of interest in developing and maintaining outdoor acclimated cannabis genetics in the North American breeding scene. That’s a big part of the reason why outdoor cannabis has such a bad rap in this part of the world nowadays, but it wasn’t always like that. Yes, indoor grow facilities provide a perfectly controlled environment, but what if your genetic is predisposed to want sun, wind, soil and an ecology that would be impossible to replicate in an indoor setting?

Few growers possess or understand the value of high quality acclimated outdoor genetics. They truly are a thing of beauty. I have personally witnessed specific genetics grown outdoors in places like Mexico, California and Jamaica that could give any indoor a run for its money. I know people laugh when I say this, but its true: the right genetic in the right climate/ecology can do amazing things, especially when the end product is professionally cured and processed.

Acclimatization is the process by which a plant becomes accustomed to their environment over a period of time, including the surrounding ecology. Well adapted plants show resilience to local weather conditions and pathogens. In nature, this adaptation process happens gradually via genetic and epigenetic changes (changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence) that are accumulated through extended exposure to a specific environment.

In the case of regions with the absence of wild cannabis or traditional cultivars, landrace/heirloom populations hailing from other locations with similar weather/ecology are often selected to be used as breeding stock in order to produce high quality plants that are well suited for the new target location. Primarily, it was the ancestral populations found in Mexico, South Asia and Nepal that were used by the forefathers and foremothers of today’s global cannabis movement bred amazingly hardy outdoor cultivars specifically designed to grow in North American climates in a time before indoor cultivation was even a thing.

This was an exciting time for the cannabis enthusiast and it precisely during the hustle and bustle of this period that the plant that would later be known as ‘Texada Timewarp’ would have its beginnings.

The origins of Texada Timewarp

The story behind this Texada Timewarp goes back to the 70’s, when a group of draft-dodging ‘hippies’ migrated up to Texada and surrounding islands on the BC coast, bringing a whole bunch of heirloom outdoor genetics from the United States with them.

Despite what you have heard from the US government, all cannabis did not contain a maximum of 1%-2% THC back in the 60’s and 70’s. 

In fact, by the mid 70’s there was already a blossoming cannabis breeding scene on the US west coast that was gathering and crossing some very biochemically rich ancestral populations, and Texada Timewarp is living proof of that. These types of myths are what happens when we rely on politically motivated organizations like the DEA to shape our view of history.

Out of all of the old-school outdoor genetics brought by migrating Americans, it was the heirloom that would later be known as ‘Texada Timewarp’ that consistently proved itself the crowd favorite from season to season. Over the years, this cultivar has cemented its place as what is ostensibly the most desired and ubiquitous outdoor cannabis genetic in Canadian history.

The local islander families and individuals who took stewardship of this culturally impactful cultivar understand it’s significance, and have made a concerted effort to preserve the genetic in its original form.

Those with experience growing and/or consuming Texada Timewarp can easily recognize the highly distinctive look and smell which has won the hearts of so many. It would be an enormous loss if this genetic were to disappear, and it is a shame that most Canadians – even most working in the cannabis biz – are not yet privy to its existence.

A sudden shift in perspective

In relatively recent times, some seed companies launched ‘collection’ seeds derived from the Texada Timewarp genetic lines, with most selling the inferior ‘seawarp’ genetics as the original Texada Timewarp, however, any descriptions indicating light green buds and citrus aromas are likely referring to this substantially inferior descendant.

There are other seed companies claiming that they made the ‘original’ Timewarp, of which Texada is a supposed descendant. This of course cannot be true, as the appearance of Texada Timewarp in the BC region predates that of any seed company even in Amsterdam, where this genetic has still not made an appearance (as there is virtually no outdoor scene in Amsterdam).

When I personally discovered this cultivar in the summer of 2003, I saw a different side to the Canadian outdoor scene. Typically, people choose whatever cut (clone) they could get their hands on for their outdoor grow, however it was clear to me from an early stage that indoor genetics could not produce the same quality outdoor as they did indoors, and hence I had come to believe that no outdoor plants could produce high quality in a place like Canada. I did not understand the power of acclimatized genetics just yet.

Texada Timewarp single-handedly revolutionized my perspective of what outdoor cannabis could do in this country. For the first time in my life, I saw an outdoor crop that could get the same kind of prices as mid quality indoor grown cannabis when done right. What blew my mind the most was the fact that when taken indoors, this cultivar became notoriously difficult to grow, whereas outdoors even in certain years with bad weather, planted right into the ground and barely even watering the damn things, we saw consistent, relatively high quality crops. It almost seemed like magic.

From the very first moment I saw the colors, and smelled the undefinably complex aroma that combines a spicey type of pine with dark fruits, and incense, I understood why this cultivar had built such legendary status over the years. It really did live up to the hype.

What makes Texada Timewarp so unique?

Texada timewarp doesn’t smell quite like anything else, but the look also sets it aside. Phenotypes of Texada Timewarp can range in height however, most finish with deep purple, reds and dark green coloration that can be jaw dropping in appearance.

Ideally, you start vegging this clearly hybridic looking plant indoors starting sometime mid-April so that by the time the 1st of June comes around, you already have a big bush capable of producing over a pound a plant. Harvest time tends to come around the beginning of October, but this can vary depending on climate/pheno expression.

The most interesting part comes when you send a sample of your cured harvest to the lab. Despite being grown outdoors, this old school cultivar can produce THC in excess of 20% of its own weight while also producing an impressive nose.

Like most drug type cultivars, Texada Timewarp tends to maintain a Type 1 chemotype profile (THC dominant) between phenotypes, with CBD consistently occurring below 2%. However, it is worth noting that the famed local 1:1 known as Halley’s Comet (not the one done by flying dutchmen) was in fact a mutant derived from the Texada Timewarp line, with a typical pheno scoring around 8% / 8% (THC/CBD).

While a distinctive overall aroma is maintained between phenotypes, dominant terpene profiles are a bit trickier to pin down as environmental differences between seasons and variations in pheno expression will have a significant impact. Myrcene, Linalool and Beta caryophyllene all made regular appearances as primary terpenes in analysis that I observed during my work at a licensed testing facility located on Vancouver island during the 2013-2014 seasons.

Is Texada Timewarp right for you?

If you want to find out if Texada Timewarp is right for you, the only way to really figure this out is to get your hands on some and give it a go. Whatever you do, don’t listen to any websites peddling one-size-fits all predictions as to how this legendary cannabis cultivar will effect you, as cannabis can affect us all differently. 

That being said, keep in mind that Texada Timewarp is a type 1 plant (THC dominant) with THC content typically occurring above 16%, meaning that it can pack a punch. If you do not have experience consuming potent cultivars, make sure to approach with caution.

If you are an experienced consumer and tend to use your nose to ‘predict’ what you will like or how it will affect you, make sure to keep an open mind when trying old school genetics. They tend to be more unique in aroma and they can surprise you. Texada Timewarp for example plays on the border of being sweet and acrid, making it particularly hard for even the most experienced consumer to know exactly what kind of ride they will have. .

Now getting your hands on the real deal may not be so easy as this cultivar comes down only once a year during harvest season and mostly in one very small part of a very large country. Furthermore it’s always the first outdoor crop to run out (predictably) due to its popularity. Hopefully we will see a courageous licensed producer deliver this product in dried flower form to the regulated market sometime soon.

Up until now, the cost of taxes and storage has made outdoor flower economically unfeasible for the regulated market, but a genetic like Texada Timewarp may just be the key to crack this code.

For any interested home growers, this genetic cannot be sourced from any licensed producer, however the best example of this genetic that can be found on the ‘collection seed’ market is sold by BC Pot Depot in the humble opinion of this author. Most phenos will actually show the dark colorations and spicy-piney-berry aroma that is to be expected out of this line. Otherwise the original can only be sourced mostly as cuts from certain individuals/families found on a few different islands on the BC coast, including Texada of course. Building trust and buy-in from local outdoor island growers will one day share this jewel of our Canadian cannabis heritage with the world.

Until then, keep your eyes open, your nose primed and your fingers crossed.

Originally published on Highly.

Author’s Note

When I was invited to write this piece, my answer was, ‘Sure, I can’t seem to shut up about this plant anyway.’

There’s a reason for that. More people need to know that there are acclimated outdoor genetics worth saving and celebrating here in Canada—and let’s not forget that there is a human element to this story.

The families and individuals who have seen their destinies tied to this plant in one way or another, who are still working mostly in the shadows due to a regulative system that makes it very challenging for the people who partake in this underground economy and culture to take part in the legal cannabis industry.

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