Strain Review: Critical Mass

By Rachel Wilde
Published: June 22, 2017 | Last updated: April 23, 2021 01:06:06
Key Takeaways

Named for its huge branch-breaking buds, Critical Mass is an indica-heavy hybrid that novice cannabis enthusiasts will find easy to grow, but perhaps a little hard to handle.

Origins and Genetics

A new take on the famed Big Bud strain from Mr. Nice Seeds, Critical Mass is a cross between a heavy Afghani indica and the sativa-dominant hybrid Skunk No. 1. The strain’s name alludes to its flowers and overall yield, which are both so big they can break branches in half.


Not surprisingly, Critical Mass is popular with growers and on dispensary shelves. This strain packs a strong 15-22 per cent THC punch, and it is also known for its relatively high CBD levels. There is also a high-CBD version (1:1-1:2, THC:CBD) that is produced by crossing Critical Mass with a high-CBD strain.

Physical Description

Critical Mass produces large, bright green buds strewn with orange hairs and a decent dusting of trichomes. They smell earthy and pungent—almost skunky—and have distinct sweet undertones. It’s that sweetness that comes through when the flowers are heated, as do other earthy and herbal flavors. A word to the wise, however; Critical Mass buds smell strong, so keep this one locked up in an air-tight container.


Effects and Uses

An 80/20 indica-dominant hybrid, Critical Mass is best known for a strong body stone that lasts a couple of hours. In lower doses, it doesn’t necessarily draw users to the couch—but some just might find themselves getting through a whole season of that show they’ve wanted to watch if they do sit down.

Also, Critical Mass has a reputation for inspiring the munchies, so keep some healthy snacks around. In higher doses, though, it’s best to go straight to bed. There’s a reason Critical Mass is a popular strain for treating insomnia.

In general, users remain clear-headed and collected with Critical Mass. Still, most find it produces a good mood boost and a sense of relaxed well-being when taken in lower doses. A couple hours in, though, the cheerful high fades and sleepiness settles in.


Overall, Critical Mass is a slow, mellow strain with a bright twist. It’s great for unwinding with at the end of the day or for use on a lazy weekend when chores still need doing.

Thanks to its heavy body stone, Critical Mass is often recommended for pain management, including for those suffering from muscle spasms, chronic pain, migraines, and nausea. Since it’s a calming strain, it’s also good for a nervous stomach, stress, and some depression.


On the negative side, Critical Mass can lead to both dry mouth and dry eyes. More serious, the strong bodily effects can also lead to dizziness, which can make it unsuitable for those with anxiety.


Critical Mass is a medium-sized plant that, as mentioned, consistently produces big yields. Growers can expect to produce up to 600 grams per square meter when outside and up to 750 grams per square meter indoors.

While easy for even novices to cultivate, these big buds do require some special attention. Critical Mass is known to break branches in half, so give this strain plenty of support. Indoors, it works well with Sea of Green (SOG) set-up.

Also, more than one growing guide for Critical Mass mentions that the big, dense buds can have mold problems, so keep growroom humidity levels low. Outside, this strain likes a warm and sunny Mediterranean-type climate. If all goes well, indoor growers can expect this strain to flower in about eight weeks and outdoor growers can assume a mid-September harvest.


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Written by Rachel Wilde

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Rachel Wilde is a Canadian freelance writer who regularly uses cannabis as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.

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