Cherry Wine: A Trusted CBD Workhorse
Cherry Wine is included as an approved variety on a multitude of state industrial hemp programs around the United States and has quickly become one of the most sought-after strains in the cultivation of hemp for CBD production.
Having cultivated, cloned and produced over 1.5 million seeds / clones of Cherry Wine in the past two years, we’ve developed an intimate understanding of the variety and how it compares to other varieties of industrial hemp. Additionally, we’ve performed A/B tests on grow media, germination methods, light cycles, lighting types and more, collecting over a 150GB worth of data on the Cherry Wine variety.
The intent of this report is to provide factual information about the variety’s characteristics and performance to growers, researchers and regulators.
Note: At United American Hemp, we are constantly testing, refining and learning new characteristics of Cherry Wine. As we publish more information, a change-log will be added to bottom of this page. All images are taken by in-house staff unless otherwise referenced. If any readers discover errors or inconsistencies in our reports, please contact us at [email protected] If you are a researcher who has objective or subjective data on the industrial hemp variety Cherry Wine, please contact Director of Research and Development, Michael Wilson at [email protected]
Table of Contents
- Size & Growth
- Cannabinoid Production
- Growing Conditions
- Methods & Yield
- Germination and Seed Quality
- Root Structure / Development
- Objective Conclusions
- Subjective Conclusions
Originally developed by Tree of Life Seeds, Cherry Wine is a cross-bred hybrid of The Wife (from 303 Seeds based in Denver, CO) and Charlotte’s Cherries (from Tree of Life Seeds based in Little Rock, AR). The two companies joined forces with the intent of creating a high-yield, high CBD/THC-ratio cultivar that could thrive in a variety of climates while producing consistent results.
Tree of Life seeds maintains a well-documented pedigree of the variety and has even taken the necessary steps to pursue a PVP (Plant Variety Protection) with the USDA. Pursuing a PVP is both expensive and time consuming, but Tree of Life Seeds identified the importance of protecting their years of hard work developing Cherry Wine into a consistent and stable genetic. It wasn’t until October of 2019 that the first PVP was granted for a variety named Charlotte’s Web – which many claim is the primary variety to give boom and legitimacy to the growing CBD industry. Needless to say, some very talented and dedicated breeders gave birth to Cherry Wine over four years ago.
In May of 2019, United American Hemp engaged with Tree of Life Seeds to continue breeding the original variety of Cherry Wine under a broad licensing agreement. United American Hemp is licensed to grow “true” Cherry Wine and is proud to continue the hard work started by Tree of Life.
A recurring concern with industrial hemp genetics is the lack of certifying bodies. While AOSCA has taken the lead on the quality of industrial hemp being produced, there is currently no commercially-viable method to prove whether or not a genetic is actually Cherry Wine.
Furthermore, without a PVP in place, it is nearly-impossible for a breeder to protect their hard work and sometimes true varieties of Cherry Wine find themselves into the hands of unlicensed breeders.
In less than a year of working with Cherry Wine, we have discovered five companies selling other varieties under the name “Cherry Wine.” While that may beg ethical questions, there is nothing that legally prevents them from calling any industrial hemp variety “Cherry Wine.” It is up to the breeder to maintain its ethical standards – unchecked by any third-party. This is why states like Texas have issued guidance suggesting that all hemp growers do their homework, ask the right questions and investigate who they are doing business with. We are supporters of this model and feel all potential buyers should have a right to visit the facility in which the genetics are grown, prior to investing their hard earned money.
Size & Growth
Being an indica-dominant variety, Cherry Wine grows “bushier” than many sativa-dominant plants and maintains a dark, hunter green color during its vegetative stage. When grown in soil indoors, we have collected data that shows the plant will reach approx. 3 feet in width and 5 feet in height over a 13 week grow period (1 week germination, 5 week vegetative and 7 week flowering).
When grown in soil in a greenhouse, we have collected substantially more data to show that Cherry Wine can reach up to 3 feet in width and 6 feet in height when grown over a 13 week grow period (1 week germination, 5 weeks vegetative and 7 week flowering).
When grown outdoors, we have been provided data by Tree of Life Seeds collected over the prior four years showing that Cherry Wine will grow approximately 4.5 feet in width and 5.5 feet – 6.5 feet in height. The largest variability in size from all the data collected and provided was in the outdoor growing environments where soil, nutrients and weather play a large role on the health and growth of Cherry Wine.
Similar to its marijuana relatives, Cherry Wine develops a high concentration of trichomes on its floral material and sugar leaves. These trichomes are visible to the naked eye and express a “frosty” or sugary appearance.
When Cherry Wine is cured and dried (10 days drying time and 7 days cure time to approximately 9% moisture content) it finishes with a sweet diesel-like aroma.
In an attempt to quantify the color of Cherry Wine, we analyzed the photography of approximately 185 Cherry Wine plants in search of pinpointing a color range that Cherry Wine consistently expressed. Through our raw analysis, we have concluded the most suitable color match for Cherry Wine is Pantone 7736 XGC. We compared these results to photos of the sativa dominant strain “Lifter” which has an approximate color match of Pantone 7742 C. The two colors when digitized and put next to each other offer a fair depiction of the color differences between Cherry Wine and a competitive product like Lifter.
As the plant continues into its flowering stage, we have tracked a color change of the leaves and buds. As the buds develop, they lighten slightly from the hunter green color displayed by vegetative water leaves and lower leaves will begin to yellow as the plant directs its energy towards flower production.
The stalks and stems on over 95% of our female plants contained a deep purple hue, common in indica-dominant strains. This occurs regardless of grow medium or nutrient concentration. We have taken notice that our hardiest and highest yielding plants tend to be those that contain the deepest colors of purple on their stalks and stems. In our subjective experience, the more purple, the better when it comes to Cherry Wine.
The scent of Cherry Wine can be most accurately expressed in two stages. During its vegetative stage, Cherry Wine emits a robust full bodied “red” smell that gives the variety its tell-tale name “Cherry Wine.” During the vegetative stage, terpenes continue to develop and myrcene becomes the predominant player in terpene-density. Mycrene is a widely available terpene in industrial hemp and is gaining some traction in the cannabis community as a natural analgesic.
As Cherry Wine continues into is flowering stage, the deep, red myrcene scent gives way to a wide pallet of terpene-based aromas with limonene, alpha and beta pinene as strong second contenders. Pinene is gaining traction amongst medical researchers as “A wide range of pharmacological activities have been reported, including antibiotic resistance modulation, anticoagulant, antitumor, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-Leishmania, and analgesic effects” according to a series of studies published in the National Institute of Health.
Furthermore, pinene is a natural pest repellent. While some breeders will claim Cherry Wine is “pest resistant” there is no evidence to support that the <1% terpene levels of pinene are effective in warding off pests. Pinene has shown to be an effective against head lice and cockroaches – but has not shown to be effective in resisting common outdoor pests, like aphids and beetles.
Cherry Wine is a major CBD/A producer that has been bred to specially cultivate a high density of CBD/A with little attention to breeding minor cannabinoids. While Cherry Wine has shown in our testing to contain small amounts of CBG and CBC, these trace amounts are by no means large enough to be considered a CBG or CBC dominant variety.
Cherry Wine is an indica-dominant industrial hemp variety with a typical CBD to THC ratio of 45:1. The result is a plant that yields an CBD/THC % of 13.5% CBD/A and 0.3% THC/A.
Like many industry breeders, we have always remained skeptical of published ratios. Because of this, we put the plant to the test over the past year and cross referenced our results to those found on open source genetics platforms like Phylos Galaxy and the previously operating Open Cannabis Project. What we found in our analysis of open source databases was a ratio range for Cherry Wine as low as 28:1 and as high as 58:1. In our nine months of breeding Cherry Wine, we have found a consistent range of 48:1 to 54:1.
A recent study from Cornell concluded that CBD/THC ratios are purely tied to genetics and are not influenced by growing factors like UV light and plant stress. “(People thought) there was something about how the farmer grew the plant, something about the soil, the weather got too hot, his field was droughted, something went wrong with the growing conditions,” Smart said. “But our evidence from this paper is that fields go hot because of genetics, not because of environmental conditions.”
Verified Cherry Wine has been praised for its consistent high yield of CBD while maintaining compliance of less than 0.3% combined THC/A. While this variety, like all varieties of industrial, has the capacity of exceeding the 0.3% combined THC/A threshold, in all instances of our cultivation, and our customers’, combined THC/A content has not exceeded the legal limit during regulatory testing.
Cherry Wine is a variety that grows the best in USDA hardiness zones 4-7 and regions that contain a healthy light cycle of more than 13 hours of daylight during summer cultivation. Cherry Wine, like many varieties of cannabis, does not perform well in an overly wet soil where there is an increased likelihood of root-rot.
To successfully cultivate Cherry Wine, we recommend growing with, at minimum, 4 foot x 4 foot spacing in raised beds covered with plastic mulch. Similar to vegetable farming, Cherry Wine is a hands-on variety that requires significant time and attention in order to yield desired results. Unlike grain varieties that require very little maintenance but fetch a much lower price per pound, Cherry Wine has a higher profit potential if given the proper treatment.
The yield of Cherry Wine is highly variable and is affected by growing conditions, growing medium, lighting, nutrients and stress. However, there are generally expected yields for indoor, greenhouse and outdoor cultivation that give us a better picture of just why Cherry Wine has been the go-to variety for many growers over the past four years.
When growing indoors under controlled conditions, we have seen (in our own operations) an average dry weight yield of approx. 1/8 of a pound over a 13 week growing period. (1 week germination, 5 week vegetative and 7 week flowering). We utilized living soil as our growing medium and MAC-9 LED grow lights from MOMAC LED. It is important to note that we did not experience a statistically significant dry weight yield when comparing SoHum living soil to Fox Farms Happy Frog as our growing medium.
When growing in a greenhouse, we have seen a noticeable and quantifiable increase in growth of Cherry Wine. Consequently, we are seeing larger yields when compared to our previous indoor growing operations. These yields range between 1/2 pound – 9/10 of a pound in dry weight yield. Currently, we are growing in (2) 3,000 square foot greenhouses purchased from Year-Round Garden, and manufactured by Stuppy’s Greenhouses.We are utilizing Fox Farms Ocean Forest as our grow medium and have discovered that depending to the increased growth of the plants in our greenhouses, they require more nutrients than the soil can provide. To compensate, we have deployed organic compost teas through our drip irrigation system to boost nutrients beginning in the second week of flowering.
While our company has not grown Cherry Wine outdoor, we have started field preparations for the 2020 growing season on 8 acres of land surrounding our greenhouse facilities. This will increase our total plant management count from 1,600 plants to 12,000 under management and gives us the ability to collect data on outdoor cultivation of official Cherry Wine. Tree of Life Seeds has been kind enough to provide data to help with general expectations on outdoor cultivation yields. “You can expect 1 to 4 pounds of dry weight yield when growing Cherry Wine outdoors,” Tree of Life representatives informed us. We have learned outdoor yield (on any variety) is highly dependent on the nutrients in the soil, irrigation and cultivation methodology. Tree of Life and United American Hemp recommend planting with 4 foot x 4 foot or 4 foot x 6 foot spacing in raised beds with black or white plastic mulch (if possible).
It is important to note that growing any high yield CBD variety is more similar to vegetable farming than traditional row crop farming. This is important to note as the equipment, methodology, time and resources are drastically different than many growers’ expectations when first entering the world of industrial hemp cultivation.
While high-CBD industrial hemp varieties like Cherry Wine can be planted as seed directly in the field, it’s our experience that starting your seeds indoors or in a greenhouse and then transplanting advanced starts into the field is preferable. This provides a level of stability for the small plant and increases germination rates.
We have documented a 95-99% germination rate for Cherry Wine seeds started in a multitude of media, including peat pellets, Pro-Mix HP soil, rockwool cubes, Oasis cubes, coco coir and paper towels. In all cases, we found ideal germination temperatures of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit and ideal humidity levels of 80-95%. Depending on the medium, taproots begin to form within 2-10 days. When using seedling heat mats and humidity domes/tents, we have experienced 100% plant viability when removing the heat mats on the first day that sprouts appear and removing the humidity domes/tents after 3 days of sprouting.
Quality seeds should have a darker brown tone to their shell and potentially display a speckled pattern. Green or lighter colored seeds are typically immature, indicating they were harvested too early, and have a much lower germination rate.
Based on data we have collected through our own cultivation efforts, regardless of whether Cherry Wine is grown from seed or clone, it develops a strong root base and female plants provide similar yields.
Seeds begin their life with a taproot, a central, dominant root from which secondary roots sprout. Clones, on the other hand, do not possess a taproot. Instead, they immediately being sprouting secondary roots that search for water and nutrients. In both cases, root structure has shown equivalent vigor and strength.
If started in a 50 or 72-cell tray, both seeds and clones become root-bound in approximately 3 weeks, at which point they should be moved to a larger medium or planted in the field. In our experience, Cherry Wine can be transplanted into a 3-gallon pot and grow all the way through flowering and harvest without becoming root-bound. Field planting at a spacing of 4 feet between plant centers will also provide suitable room for root growth.
- Cherry Wine is an indica-dominant variety that grows optimally in USDA hardiness zones 4-7.
- Cherry Wine is a variety that can consistently meet THC/A compliance standards.
- Cherry Wine is a variety that can yield 10-20% total cannabinoid content while remaining compliant.
- Cherry Wine has a strong terpene profile of 1-1.9% total terpenes.
- Not all Cherry Wine is the same. Some breeders sell other varieties as Cherry Wine in order to gain cache.
- Cherry Wine is a workhorse. It is resilient and performs well as an industrial hemp variety.
- Cherry Wine continues to be a high yield CBD producer.
- Cherry Wine grows very consistently and expresses nominal variance in genetic expression from seed.
- Cherry Wine is a pleasure to cultivate. Its overall stature and phenotype expressions are not burdensome.
- Cherry Wine, like all CBD varieties, has the capability to run as high as o.49% combined THC/THCA. Growers must pay close attention to timing of harvests.
- Last updated 4.7.2020