At a Glance
What Is Black Cherry Punch?
To answer this question and more, we turned to the experts at BZAM Cannabis, FIGR and Flowr.
This indica-dominant strain is known for its strong cherry aroma, deep purple flowers and high THC.
Unlike those strains whose official backgrounds are lost to urban legend, Black Cherry Punch is widely known to be a cross between indica-dominant Purple Punch and Black Cherry Pie, a hybrid.
Black Cherry Punch is renowned for its purple-flecked buds, inherited from its Purple Punch parent. All that purple power comes from anthocyanins, which are water-soluble pigments responsible for the deep blues, reds and purples found in many fruits, vegetables and herbs. The dark purple and forest green flowers are complemented by fiery orange pistils and a thick coat of trichomes.
“It looks almost like a strawberry dipped in a bowl of sugar,” says Aaron Anderson, vice-president of sales at BZAM. “Black Cherry Punch is a truly beautiful plant to work with, and the finished results are something to be proud of. We picked this strain because we knew that when grown well, it would impress even the most seasoned cannabis connoisseur while piquing the curiosity of a novice consumer.”
This strain has a sweet, fruity and citrusy taste, and — true to its name — a cherry aroma. Katie Booth, indoor cultivation manager at FIGR, says, “At our facility, it certainly isn’t hard to tell when we are harvesting Black Cherry Punch. As soon as you enter the building, you can smell it!”
BC Black Cherry is what Flowr calls its Black Cherry Punch strain. Maybe even more impressive than the strong cherry aroma is the effect the plant has on the team’s trimming tools.
“One of the coolest things about this strain is that it has a really thick stalk that turns a deep purple, sometimes close to black, which resembles the purple hues from the plant,” says Dr. Rubens Coelho, plant scientist at Flowr. “When you cut into the stalk of BC Black Cherry, it releases a sap-like blood that is the same deep purple-wine colour, to the point that our scissors actually turn purple in colour.”
All three of the Licensed Producers we talked to have their own unique way of growing this purple-hued strain that they’re equally passionate about.
“Like any strain, Black Cherry Punch requires specific conditions for optimal growth,” says Mike Hofman, vice-president of cultivation at BZAM. “Being indica-dominant, this strain likes to be pushed to the max right off the hop, which promotes short plants that can dedicate their energy to early flower development.”
Over at Flowr, growing is done in rockwool (a wool-like growing medium created by melting down basaltic rock and spinning it into fibres) on flooding tables to both fertilize and irrigate — or fertigate — the plants. This allows feeding and watering to happen at the same time.
“What is unique about BC Black Cherry is that we can grow in different densities and get good results across them all,” says Ray-Ann Gruza, cultivation lead at Flowr. “We’re testing out different densities to see what ultimately produces the highest quality cannabis for the market.”
In the FIGR Biodome — the Producer’s nickname for their hybrid greenhouse — the key to growing Black Cherry Punch is keeping it short, says Booth. “In order to stop Black Cherry Punch from stretching, you have to make sure you top [remove the growing tip from the main stem] at the appropriate times. Topping will provide you with an overall shorter, bushier plant with more top colas, giving you a nice, even canopy.”
What Is a Strain?
To understand what a cannabis strain is, think of it like a breed of dog. While all dogs share similar traits, there are distinct differences among breeds (you wouldn’t confuse a Great Dane with a dachshund, for example). When it comes to different cannabis strains, this means one may have a sweet, lemony aroma, while another may boast a pungent, sour, diesel-like scent.
These differences have been fine-tuned by cannabis growers over many generations. Growers will choose two plants with desirable traits and then cross (or breed) those plants together, creating an offspring with a stronger expression of those desirable characteristics. When breeding cannabis plants, growers are often focused on the unique aroma and taste, and the potential THC and CBD content. Just like no two Great Danes are identical, strains can vary from lot to lot and grower to grower.