Industry pioneers have been breeding the first Israeli legal cannabis cultivars back in it’s first days, but when the market quickly grew it demanded more variety - fast. Most manufacturers chose to pause the R&D and start importing proven genetics & inflorescences. One would expect that the imported, global, well established genetics will outperform and force the local cultivars out of the market - but that’s not the case with those five Israeli cannabis cultivars that seem to keep a steady foot in the local market and could even be heading towards international waters soon.
Israeli cannabis cultivars
The Israeli medical cannabis is just more than a decade old this year. The $300 million annual market has started it’s way as a compact group of NPOs freely producing and supplying cannabis goods directly to their clients. Each manufacturer was free to develop cultivars & unique products, collect reviews from a closely knit group of patients and choose what to keep and what to dismiss.
But when the industry started to grow & open up to the world, this peaceful idyllic state altered. The demand for medical cannabis rose and with it the number of patients & businesses. The industry turned into a multi-million dollar regulated market that couldn’t rely on independent R&D and had to use imported powerhouse cultivars.
Some Israeli classic cannabis genetics are still growing strong though, maintaining local popularity and even enjoy representation overseas. Most crafted in the laboratories of the companies distributing them, but some credit also goes to the Israeli scientific community that excels on it’s focused work on cannabis genetics.
Megido is a true Israeli classic that was grabbed off the retailer shelves like hot buns even in the earliest days of the cannabis industry in Israel. It was bred & regrown from tissue cultures for cleansing purposes by Pharmocan, one of Israel's pioneering cannabis companies.
In it’s base, it’s simply a cross between an undisclosed Sativa strain and an OG kush. But the Megido genetic isn’t uplifting like his parent strains, but a unique night time Indica dominant phenotype producing a potent 18% - 20% THC estimate.
Megido is known for producing a sleepy & euphoric effect that is mostly popular for treating Insomnia & chronic pain, but will also help patients suffering from lack of appetite & muscular dystrophy.
Carmel is another classic from Pharmocan, one of Israel's first medical cannabis producers. Although also named after a local mountain, Carmel is an uplifting hybrid. It’s one of Pharmocan’s first strains, and it is still popular today, which makes him a beloved Israeli cannabis veteran.
Carmel is an interesting cross between a G13 and an undisclosed Sativa that has been groomed for the last two decades to express a very stable appearance, aroma, taste, & most importantly - effect.
Carmel is mostly recommended for patients suffering from fatigue and various complications in the digestive system. Local patients that choose to purchase this strain comment on its perfect balance between Indica & Sativa profiles, creating a relaxing effect that is energetic enough for daytime use as well.
Roma is an Indica dominant, sedative, classic Israeli cannabis strain created by IMC - an established Israeli cannabis company. The strain is a popular member of the company's first line of genetics that were all named after big cities.
Rome probably received it’s name for its unmistakable cheesy taste, resembling a fine Parmesano or Gorgonzola. The company did not choose to share Roma’s genetic lineage as of yet, but it’s known to have a pain numbing, sleepy effect, 19%± THC and high percentages of Caryophylenne, Limonene & Myrcene in its cheese resembling terpene profile.
Although Roma is very popular & also pretty pricey in comparison to other competing cultivars, IMC was not able to produce enough Inflorescences lately. Batches were too small, rendering product availability in local dispensaries sporadic at best.
Avidekel is probably the most scientifically researched cannabis cultivar on the planet. It is a CBD rich, Indica dominant strain created by Tikun Olam, the first Israeli medical cannabis company. To craft this medically proven cultivar, the Israeli cannabis pioneer invited the country's top cannabis researchers to it’s laboratories.
Tikun Olam tells us “Avidekel is an Indica dominant hybrid strain that will help restore and stabilize you”. Its terpenes profile is composed of mostly Myrcene, Pinene & Limonene, providing a tropical medley rich with fruity notes.
It has almost no THC (below 1%), but it’s high on CBD, boasting between 16% & 19% percent that make it very effective treating depression, restlessness, rage attacks, anxiety, seizures, agitation, digestive problems, trouble sleeping, autism symptoms and more.
Avidekel is one of Israel's finest cannabis cultivars. It is already available in the US and Canada and has been winning cannabis awards there since 2015. The company has also already putten an extensive amount of research into this cultivars effects on various ailments, with more than 90% of patients tested reporting improvements in quality of life and disease symptoms.
Another Indica dominant classic from TIkun Olam is called Erez, named after the company's first patient. It was the strain chosen to participate in a study first of it’s kind on crohn's disease patients, where it helped 90% of the test subjects report an improvement in their lives.
Erez which translates to “cedar” in Hebrew is a sedating, calming, grounding cannabis cultivar with noticeable pine aroma and taste. In the Israeli medical cannabis market, Erez is sold in three variables with varying THC levels between 10% & 24%. Terpene-wise, it is rich in Myrcene, Pinene, Limonene & Humulene - four terpenes especially useful for people battling with cancer.
Erez is a popular veteran cultivar and product line in the Israeli cannabis market. Although an Israeli classic, Erez had also been winning awards in Canadian cannabis competitions as a ‘top Indica strain’. It is already distributed in Canada and also in the US.
The medical cannabis industry in Israel is unique for crafting it’s own local cultivars. In its first years, before product importing was regularly used, the Israeli medical cannabis industry had to do it’s own R&D to make quality cannabis products available for its patients. Among those are classics that still maintain a high liking among local patients & some even joined the highly competitive US & Canadian markets as well.
Those Israeli cannabis classics have been crafted for years with the reviews of tens of thousands of patients and researchers while getting biologically accustomed to thrive in the sunny, sometimes arid, middle eatern climate.