GrowHealthy Flower Review: Vaca Key (Indica)

Hey everyone – hope you are doing well! We’re here with yet another Florida Keys phenotype; in fact, it’s the 3rd phenotype from this line that we’ve tried and reviewed.

GrowHealthy recently changed the game in Florida cannabis by being the first MMTC to label different phenotypes, and sell them as entirely different strains with unique names. I really appreciate GrowHealthy for doing this. For those who didn’t click the informative phenotype link, I’ll try to explain it in a simple/concise way:

Phenotypes are basically just different expressions of the same genetics. We can even think of them like human children: two parents can have several children; unless there are identical twins in the mix, chances are that each child will have their own unique looks and personality. While there may be (sometimes extremely close) similarities, the children are different; they are their own individuals, they have their own names, and they serve different purposes in the world as they live their lives.

Phenotypes are basically the same for cannabis strains: two parent strains have the potential to produce several different “children” (phenotyopes), depending on several factors such as the strain’s genetic predisposition to have a large variance between different batches. Many of us have already familiarized ourselves with phenotypes: If you’re aware of the Girl Scout Cookies strain, you may have heard of various Cookies strains such as Thin Mint, Platinum Cookies, etc. – these are all phenotypes of the Girl Scout Cookie strain.

GrowHealthy, by labeling and selling their Florida Keys phenotypes as different strains, is doing something I think everyone should be doing. Why not label the different phenotypes? It’s a mutual win for both the MMTC and the patients: the MMTCs have a larger product selection (more appealing to investors and others who fund the operation), and patients are more likely to dial in a strain that works for their unique morphology and conditions.

I can’t iterate this enough: every MMTC should label and sell their various strains’ phenotypes as completely different strains with unique names, because the variance between phenotypes can be just as much or greater than the variance between entirely different strains/genetics.

Quick Facts:

Vaca Key (Indica)

Price at time of review: $50/eighth 

Lineage: Bubba Kush x Key Lime Mints

Batch Number: F-072120-VCKY-1

Cannabinoids

THC: 22.786%

CBD: 0.00%

CBG: 1.281%

Total Cannabinoids: 24.067%

Terpenes

R-Limonene: 0.552%

Trans-Carophyllene: 0.366%

Beta-Myrcene: 0.262%

Geraniol: 0.109%

Alpha-Humulene: 0.101%

Fenchyl Alcohol: 0.091%

Total Terpenes: 1.643%

Appearance/Cure

Physically, Vaca Key seems to resemble the “main” Florida Keys phenotype with a more vibrant green color than the Key Largo phenotype that I last reviewed. The pistils are medium-dark orange, and the trichomes are mature and visible to the naked eye in normal lighting.

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but GrowHealthy continues to pump out phenomenal quality flower on a consistent basis. Every single full-priced eighth I’ve gotten from them has contained flower that was cured to near-perfection, with a possible exception for an eighth or two that was slightly dry. This eighth of Vaca Key is another masterful grow, with a lot of stickiness to it – so much that it gave my grinder some trouble.

There isn’t much more to say. GrowHealthy flower is GrowHealthy flower – which is consistently excellent to outstanding in 2020.

Appearance/Cure Rating: 9.50/10.00

Smell/Taste

Vaca Key is the first phenotype in the Florida Keys line that I have found to take on more of the smell of its Bubba Kush parent – which features more kushy, chocolate, and coffee terpenes.

Like both Florida Keys and Key Largo, limonene is the dominant terpene in Vaca Key, and this is apparent when first opening the jar as a musky, cookie/dessert-like sweetness is one of the first smells that becomes apparent. There is a lingering citrus as well, another commonality between this strain and the other phenotypes in its family that I have tried.

However, Vaca Key is the heaviest, muskiest smelling of the Florida Keys strain I have tried – especially when ground up. For patients who have tried GrowHealthy’s Bubba Kush flower, you will recognize the hints of chocolate and coffee that lie underneath the more dominant terpenes.

The taste when smoked has a cookies-esque sweetness, with the heavier hashy and spicy notes on the exhale. Overall, Vaca Key is a great smelling and tasting flower.

Smell/Taste Rating: 9.00/10.00

Effects/Medical Use

I was a bit surprised at just how heavy and sedating this strain was for me. The last phenotype I tried before this one was the Key Largo, which was not sedating by any means; in fact, it could have even been a “daytime indica” that many patients speak of – a functional indica that doesn’t slow one down during the day.

Vaca Key, however, made itself known as a creeper with a hell of a punch. For the first 15 minutes, the mood-enhancing effects of limonene were most noticeable. But at the 15-20 minute mark, the hammer dropped, and I found myself in a complete daze. I had been watching TV, but I quickly found myself in one of those endless gazes where you lose focus and complete immerse yourself in the mind. My wife pointed out my condition to me, and only then did I realize it was the effects of this highly sedating strain that had put me into that state. It’s been consistently sedating ever since, and with the exception of medicating with a bowl before and while writing this review, I now reserve it strictly for the late night.

I’m not sure why it didn’t click with me sooner than this was the phenotype heavily expressing the effects of its Bubba Kush parent, which is one of the most sedating strains I’ve ever found. I guess Vaca Key is like the “Bubba Kush pheno” of the Florida Keys line. Use it with caution, folks. You might be locked down to your couch, chair, bed, or whatever surface you’re on after medicating with it.

Possibly good for treating:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia (Especially in higher doses)
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD & related sleep issues
  • Moderate aches and pains
  • Moderate nausea/gastrointestinal issues
  • Heavy Relaxation 

I’m definitely no medical doctor, so please take the preceding conditions only as my own personal observations from using this strain and having experience with a multitude of different cannabis strains. Everybody is different, and every body reacts differently to various medications. 

Effects Rating: 9.40/10.00

Overall Rating: 9.30/10.00

Overall, I would best describe Vaca Key as an “outstanding” indica strain from GrowHealthy.

Again, I’m really glad to see GrowHealthy leading the charge on labeling different phenotypes. It’s something that the entire industry needs to adopt as a standard practice, and I look forward to seeing others follow suit soon.

The entire Florida Keys line has proven to be enjoyable so far, with desirable medicinal effects that have subtle variances between the different phenotypes. I look forward to trying the other members of the Florida Keys family soon – wonder how many there are in total?

Be well, and stay healthy. I appreciate each one of you and all your support, and please know that all that positivity will come back to you.

Be sure to join our email subscriber list and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with all the latest in the Florida medical cannabis industry! You can find a quick-subscribe button in the righthand column on this site. Thank you for taking the time to read; we genuinely hope you find this site beneficial to helping you as a patient.

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