In keeping with the Ferrari nickname, the seeds sprung up quicker than Jeremy Clarkson legging it for the border with an angry mob behind him.
The name comes from the distinctly vanilla flavour it has, but don’t be fooled. Ice Cream, one of the new generation Paradise Seeds varieties, is an exotic strain packed that has the potential to lick you down with its potency.
Ice Cream is one of the new generation Paradise strains that has enjoyed widespread popularity since its introduction in 2007. A 60:40 indica/sativa hybrid, bred from White Widow x Bubble Gum, is characterised by vitality, a fast growth rate, resin in abundance and a smooth, creamy taste – the distinctive vanilla with undertones of skunk and pine.
Aside from the exotic taste, its popularity has owed much to an extremely high THC content of up to more than 20%. The result is a strong trippy high, with an effect that is equally distributed between head and body.
It has also been nicknamed the Ferrari among plants for its tendency to suddenly take off with accelerated growth after a modest start. It’s also known for being quick off the mark in regards to fertilization. The stability of this strain is one of the reasons why the Daya Foundation, in Chile, chose this variety as one of the plants to cultivate in South America’s first legal medical grow project, which began in October 2014 (September/October being Spring in the Southern hemisphere).
It has also impressed the judges since it was first introduced, with a number of awards to its name. The judges of the Highlife Cup 2008 (2nd place for Ice Cream in the Hydro category) and 2009 (3rd place in the Bio Category) much appreciated its psychoactive and aromatic qualities.
Ice Cream takes 55-60 days of flowering to ripen indoors, and is expected to deliver yields of up to 500g/m2. It has acquired a reputation for performance, both as part of a Sea Of Green set up and as a multi-branch plant, as Ice Cream exhibits profuse lateral branching, with the side branches spiralling off a fat main cola.
Outdoors it copes well in the often inhospitable environment of the Northern European summer and positively thrives in warmer climes (or with a decent bit of summer sunshine). One of its endearing traits for the northern European grower to consider is a quick mature time, with plants ready to harvest at the beginning of October before prime time mould season kicks in.
With yields of 700+ g per plant being achievable, this plant is a competent performer without being a heavy hitter on the quantity front. However, what it lacks in volume it more than makes up for in an end product that shouts quality. Ice Cream is a strain that Paradise Seeds claim to be particularly proud of because they invested a lot of time into the breeding of this variety until they were satisfied they had the right combination of growing qualities, taste and power.
So, time to put the Ice Cream to the test… A pack of three feminised seeds were germinated using the trusty moist tissue paper technique. They were then deposited in 11 litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix soil pimped with 5% expanded clay and horn chippings.
In keeping with the Ferrari nickname, the seeds sprung up quicker than Jeremy Clarkson legging it for the border with an angry mob behind him. After two and a half weeks of growing in a set up that was lit by two 600 W MH bulbs and one 400 W HPS bulb the plants displayed a balanced indica/sativa pattern, producing side branches to give a bushy appearance.
Induced into flowering after four and a half weeks of vegetative state (by cutting down the daily light period from 18/6 to 12/12), the three Ice Cream plants measured 40-45 cm in height, having 8-10 internodes, with homogeneous characteristics. Again, Ferrari like, flowering response time was rapid, bringing female pre-flowers within three days.
Paradise Seeds states that different phenotypes should be expected, yet in the case of these three seeds the appearance was surprisingly uniform after two weeks of flowering, all plants taking on a compact and bushy appearance. Displaying a sudden growth spurt they continued to stretch for another week.
After five weeks in flower, the Ferrari in the Ice Cream (must be Neapolitan then!…) kicked in with a surge, producing thick buds with a dense formation of “army-style” resin gland rows and extended side branches. By the sixth week these were crowned with big buds, surrounding a fat central cola. The smell at this grow stage indeed carried a hint of vanilla.
After eight weeks (the time quoted by Paradise Seeds), the Ice Cream was mature, with the plants topping out at 80, 84 and 92 cm. Coming in at under a metre, this is an ideal variety for grow rooms where space is limited. As crop day approached, the grow room resonated to the aroma of intense vanilla with a definite hint of pine and a pinch of skunk pungency in the mix.
The buds were thick and so coated with white trichomes that the ice cream analogy could be extended to the appearance of the buds – which were decidedly frosty. Touted by Paradise as being a particularly resinous strain, these buds didn’t disappoint with abundant and dense resin glands. Once picked and dried, the bud haul of the three plants came in at a respectable 320 grams, averaging more than 100 g per plant.
Once dried, the smell of the buds retained that distinctive aromatic quality – a blend of creamy vanilla, pungent skunk and a fruity undercurrent. These attributes continued to the tasting phase, with the unusual, but very moreish vanilla flavour, and tones of skunk and pine. International cannabis strain resource, Leafly, says of this strain, ‘Much like the frozen treat, Ice Cream has a smooth, creamy taste.’
The 60:40 indica/sativa hybrid mix of Ice Cream makes for a clear sativa high, more positive minded than euphoric, that was described on the IC Mag forum as being ‘very Zen like, as if you are going throughout the day in a state of focused and functional meditation’. This high is underpinned by a turbo indica engine that brings a deep sense of relaxation to the body, powerful but not overpowering. The pleasant effect lasted for around two hours before it tails off, leaving a sweet taste in the mouth and the lingering of sweet sensations.
It is this complex, but complementary, combination of head high and body calm that has made Ice Cream popular with users who crave a strain that delivers a weighty hit that still provides functionality. The partnership of mental lucidity, relaxation for the body and all round feel good factor makes it a good medical variety too, bringing optimism and positivity to the user.
Strain: Ice Cream (White Widow x Bubble Gum)
Vegetative stage: Here: 4.5 weeks
Flowering stage: Here: 56 days, 55-60 days in general
Medium: Plagron Standard Mix with 5% expanded clay and horn chippings, 11 litre pots
EC: Vegetative stage: 1.2–1.5 mS
Flowering: 1.6-1.8 mS
Lights: Vegetative stage: 2x 600 W MH, 1x 400 W HPS / Flowering: 2x 600 W HPS + 1x 400 W HPS
Temperature: 24-28°C (day) / 17-20°C (night)
Air humidity: Vegetative stage: 40–60% / Flowering: max. 50%
Watering: By hand
Fertilisers: Plagron Alga Grow + Alga Bloom, Plagron PK 13-14 from the 4th week of flowering
Stimulators/Additives: Plagron Power Roots, Plagron Vita Race, Plagron Green Sensation
Height: 80, 84 and 92 cm
By Green Born Identity
Originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 115