East of Santa Cruz in the Central California inland area you will find the garden of HBK Genetics. Eric Minor has been growing cannabis medicine as long as he can remember. He is a second generation grower who picked up his dad’s craft in his late teens and has continued his family’s strong tradition. Insiders always get a chuckle knowing that HBK stands for Half Baked Kids. Not only does HBK focus on clean, exceptional flower, but because Eric Minor’s motivations have always been towards healing, they also produce an award winning pain cream and lip balm.
As HBK Genetics, Eric and his team have brought home several awards including the 2015 Cali Dep Fest 1st Place award for their Chem/OG, Best CBD Product at the 2015 HempCon Cup, and 2nd and 3rd place in CBD topicals at Emerald Cup in 2014.
Eric grew up on the San Diego border and, in addition to being a successful and respected grower, has played Division 1 competitive paintball.
Unlike many breeders who discover their perfect uber-male and cross those genetics across their whole range of females, HBK selects new males and mothers for each line they develop. For this review, we obtained an array of their flowers but we will focus on HBK’s Black Columbian, Diamond Master, Cheddar Jack and Dawg Walker.
One of the first things the review team noticed was the major differences between each of the strains’ terpene profiles. So often, when breeders use an uber-male or rely on bottled nutrients, flowers within a line can smell and taste similar. Not here. Each of the strains were distinct both in intensity and variety of terpenes.
The Black Columbian had one of the most serene pinene smells we have come across. While we could not determine which terpenes were backing the pinene, it was clearly an array of lesser terpenes backing up and helping set the stage for the full-chest bravado of a solid pinene cannabis hit. The flower opens the lungs and offers an immediate sense of hopefulness and calm, along with an ever-evolving, body-centered stone. Everyone involved with the review was surprised to find so much pinene in an equatorial strain and the backing of apple and vanilla left everyone with a fresh pallet and a happy, ready-to-go-hiking vibe.
The HBK Dawg Walker was also a fresh-tasting hit but, instead of pinene, the profile was primarily the lemon of the Albert Walker line and the skunk of the various Dawg lines. The funky, sweet humus smell alerted most everyone that this was going to be a heavy hitter, but the lemon counterpart kept the terpene profile from going too far into pure skunk. The high was certainly of the joyful dopiness of old-school skunks but with a motivating and pleasant-mindedness of the prevalent limonene.
The whole review crew was surprised that the HBK Cheddar Jack wasn’t really a cheesy hitter. It had far more in common with the Black Columbian, actually, in that the pinene was all forward. The Black Columbian had a really complex terpene profile behind the pinene whereas the Cheddar Jack was pretty much all pinene. That said, we all love pinene because it makes humans feel elated and safe and that was a great feeling from the smoke. The Cheddar Jack is also a 1:1, so the CBD component was there to moderate the intense pinene euphoria.
One of the pleasant surprises we noticed is that the HBK samples we tried were not inundated with myrcene like much of the industry’s commercial cultivars are. Not only were we all able to stay functional and upbeat, but it was really enjoyable to experience some cannabis that was so unlike what is on most dispensary shelves.
When asked about his motivations for dedicating his life’s work to growing cannabis, Eric says, “I grow because it is what I’m meant to do. I love the job every single day, day in and day out, no matter what. No other plant has such a diverse array of smell, structure, size, color and effect as cannabis does, in my opinion. It’s just a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with the plant every day.” If you want to hear more from Eric, you can watch his great interview with Kevin Jodrey as part of the Wonderland Nursery Seed Series here.
You can find HBK Genetics flowers at Wonderland Nursery, Healing Harvest Farms and at cannabis events throughout California. You can score HBK seeds at GetSeedsRightHere.com or through the Get Seeds Instagram. If you’d like to learn more about HBK Genetics, follow them on Instagram.
Would you like more attention for your own cannabis product? You can email Shango Los at HotSpot@ShapingFire.com to find out about current opportunities.