Back to the Future: Ortega Indica - The Perfect Soporific
Ortega Indica is the first medical strain officially classified as such by Dutch Passion. Its pedigree dates back to original stock from breeder Neville’s legendary Seed Bank of the eighties, consisting of the original Ortega Indica and Northern Lights #1. Henk from Dutch passion reports about the breeding history of the strain: “In the nineties we did experiments in Switzerland with many varieties. Part of these varieties was old Neville stock, six or seven varieties if I remember well. One of them was the original Ortega Indica crossed with Northern Lights #1 done by Neville.
In Switzerland we did selective breeding on this strain which resulted in our Ortega Indica #3. After the Swiss experiments a different producer continued the work on this strain (for achieving a non-morning-after effect) in Holland which resulted in the current Ortega Indica. This producer does not harvest fast, but lets the plants mature well. Often flowering consists of two or three waves, the third wave taking another extra two weeks.”
Like many other Dutch Passion strains, Ortega Indica is only available as a feminised seed strain. She can be cultivated with good results in both indoor and greenhouse environments. Under natural light, she reaches maturity in the third week of October. Flowering time is 8-10 weeks, leaving the plants with compact buds that provide a medium yield. Ortega Indica plants are expected to stay small (dwarf-like) and compact, being quite homogeneous. The high is medium strong. According to Dutch Passion, “Ortega Indica is a good variety to smoke before going to sleep, a feature present in all Indica’s, but more extreme in Ortega Indica. It works as an effective sleeping pill and tranquilliser.” It’s also expected to provide a good pain killing effect to the consumer. Dutch Passion further reports: “Specific for Ortega Indica in the second place, and not experienced by other Indicas is the fact that its high does not have a cloudy morning after effect. This term expresses that the morning after smoking Ortega Indica, almost no cannabis effects are experienced any more. Waking up with a clear mind is not that much experienced after taking sleeping pills or tranquillisers (side effects).” Ortega Indica’s aroma is described as earthy, spicy and tobacco-like.
German grower The Doc conducted an Ortega Indica test grow. Due to limited space (he also had some other strains growing in his room) he only sowed three feminised Ortega Indica seeds.
The Doc’s plants, however, are always blessed with quite a long vegetative growth period and plenty of light, yielding good results in terms of size and harvest in the end. The three seeds germinated well and were cultivated in the beginning under two 125 W CFL lights (6400 Kelvin). Two weeks after germination, the plants measured about 15 cm and were extremely compact and also homogeneous, already featuring a lot of side branch development. The Doc replaced the CFL lights with two 600 W Planta Star HPS bulbs, so the plants were coddled with plenty of light. In the third week, the plants did not increase much in height, but their side branches began to spurt dynamically, making for a very bushy and compact growth model. After four weeks, the three Ortega Indica plants still were very homogeneous.
The Doc induced flowering by reducing the daily light cycle from 18 to 12 hours. The two Planta Star bulbs were replaced by two 600 W Osram Son-T bulbs specially suitable for the flowering period. The three plants had meanwhile reached a height of 50-60 cm and a diameter of 30-40 cm. The fun was about to begin now.
After the first week of flowering, it became evident that the plants would significantly stretch, a few days later they had already arrived at a height of 70-80 cm, and after two and a half weeks even at 80-100 cm, but they still were quite bushy and compact, due to the many side branches that were very thick and long. Now the first flower clusters became visible at the top of the branches, bud formation was about getting into full gear. After four weeks of flowering, the plants had already produced a lot of resin, spreading a sweet and spicy scent. In the sixth week of flowering, the plants had literally exploded, bud formation was getting more and more massive and the intense scent even more complex and penetrant. With regard to the indica nature of the strain, the calyx-to-leaf ratio of the buds was surprisingly high.
There meanwhile were certain differences in height between the plants, one of them clearly was the tallest, the second one about 15 cm lower and the third one another 20 cm lower, being the most bushy plant. In terms of aroma and resin production though, there were hardly any differences. Also during the seventh week of flowering, the buds kept putting on weight, almost looking like finished. But The Doc knew they’d need 1-2 weeks more until their full potential was tapped. After the eighth week of flowering, countless fat sweet smelling top colas were protruding from the plants, and The Doc was close to let the harvest scissors do their work, but he waited another four days until he harvested the three main colas only, as he was a little bit worried they might fall victim to bud mold, although he actually had a good air humidity of about 40% in his grow room.
One week later, after nine and a half weeks, The Doc harvested the rest of the plants, too. All the three Ortega Indica plants had reached maturity in time, within the time frame of 8-10 flowering weeks stated by Dutch Passion. Also, they had proven to be 100% female, there was not a single male flower on the plants. Ortega Indica is a stable, quite homogeneous strain, apart from certain differences in height, the three plants were pretty much of the same kind.
After they had dried, the Ortega Indica buds were put on the scales. The Doc happily celebrated a fat harvest of 341 grams, plus a lot of resinous leaf material for the Ice-O-Lator. A big yield was to be expected though, in view of the far above average light intensity in The Doc’s garden – in the last four weeks of flowering, he had even added another 400 W Osram Son-T bulb! For the Ortega smoking test, The Doc had invited a couple of friends. The buds provided a quite unusal smoke, it was wonderfully mild and sweet, but nevertheless also a little bit spicy, slightly reminding of a fine cigar. Ortega Indica’s medium strong high fulfilled The Doc’s expectations as well, quickly causing a nice relaxation effect that at a certain point gave way to a sweet sleepiness. Some of The Doc’s friends are suffering from chronic pain, and they reported it was distinctly alleviated after having smoked Ortega Indica.
With 70 Euros for 10 feminised seeds, Ortega Indica has a very affordable price. I guess this strain will become particularly popular amongst medical marijuana patients. But for any kind of weed smoker, it can serve as a perfect soporific if needed.
|Vegetative stage||here: 4 weeks|
|Flowering||here: 9.5 weeks, 8-10 weeks in general|
|Medium||Plagron Standard Mix, 6.5 litre pots|
|EC||Wachstum: 1,2-1,6 mS
Blüte: 1,6-1,8 mS
|Lights||Vegetative (first two weeks): 2 x 125 W CFL (6400 Kelvin)
Vegetative (second two weeks): 2 x 600 W Planta Star HPS
Flowering (week 1-5): 2 x 600 W Osram Son-T
Flowering (week 6-9): 2 x 600 W Osram Son-T and 1 x 400 W Osram Son-T
|Air humidity||Flowering: 40-60%
|Fertiliser||HeSi Blühkomplex, from the 4th week also HeSi Phosphor Plus|
|Additives||Nitrozyme and HeSi Boost Complex|
By G.B.I originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 91