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Wet-Betty

Nutrient Lines and Medical Cannabis #1: Every Grower is Different:

Nutrient Lines and Medical Cannabis #1: Every Grower is Different:

The Graphics on the labels scream out with Beautiful Colors. One is dragged in by images of Highly-Toned Female Bodies named “Wet Betty,” Allusions to Wealth such as “Cha Ching,” Psychedelic Animals, and Alluring Tropical Scenes indicating possible future Trips with the Proceeds of One’s Work.

Wet-Betty

Designers are paid quite nicely to grab the Shopper’s attention in the Garden store. Since the products are often if not almost exclusively used to grow Medical Marijuana, it is easy to see why the Male of the Species is targeted with such blazing graphics and concepts. Most Growers are Male – no reason that cannot change, however. Many People feel that the Feminine Connection with the Exclusively Female plants that we grow as Sinsemilla is indispensable, and spiritually create a better Flower.

Not All Nutrient Brands Are Created Equal

Of course, what really matters is what is contained within that Mostly Water Product inside the expensively-designed bottle. Not all Nutrient brands are equal by any means, in terms of quality or effectiveness relating to the Finished Product.

Although some Companies have recently “Come Out” and made it clear that their Product Line was designed with Cannabis in mind, most choose to not verbalize or print this clearly, for fear of legal action.

A company from British Columbia, Canada called Advanced Nutrients have always been open about Cannabis being what their products were designed and tested for. This created a large Gulf between Equipment and Nutrient Wholesale Companies who were not comfortable selling the Advanced Nutrients Line.

Mainstream Companies such as MIRACLE-GRO have decided to market their products to the Cannabis Growing Community. This is a new development within the last year. The original Nutrients were not at all good for use with Consumable Marijuana, and were proven Carcinogenic. People still utilize the line for growing Cannabis, however. One can only hope that the products that are being sold to Cannabis Growers are a bit lower on the Dangerous Chemical Factor. Medical Marijuana Patients need healthy Medicine.

Going Organic

Organically-Grown Cannabis usually has Fortified Soil as a Medium of Growth. Another option is to utilize an Inert Peat Moss Mixture such as Pro-Mix with Organic Liquid Nutrients. This offers a High Level of Control over the strength of the solutions used.

Organic Growing brings out the best in Cannabis. Some contend that nothing can compete with Soil-Grown Organic. Your Author Might agree with that.

There are Liquid Nutrients designed for Hydroponics that are mostly if not completely Organic. The “Sludginess” of some of the Organic Nutrients and additives designed for Soil growing can clog up tubes and water-delivery lines in a Hydroponic or Aeroponic system.

Many people have found Synthetic Nutrients to work better in Hydroponic applications, in terms of production. The consensus amongst Experienced Producers is that a combination of both Organic and Synthetic is the best method. High-Quality Chemical Nutrients can provide a boost to Flower Yield, and are easily flushed out of the plant at the end of the growth cycle if used correctly. The Organic Feed or additives in the “Recipe” allow for a robust, deepened flavour and aroma.

For the Highest Quality Medicinal Marijuana Flowers, as in Food products, Organic is definitely the technique that connoisseurs prefer. Food’s nutritional value increases greatly compared to conventional methods. The same applies to Cannabis, in a different way.

Some utilize what is called “Supersoil” to grow in. Instead of Liquid Nutrients, this technique relies on an Amended Soil utilizing several different Natural Compounds. Soil Amendments such as Bat Guano, Blood Meal, Greensand, Lime, Beneficial Bacteria/Fungi, Fish, Feather and Alfalfa Meal, amongst many others, can be mixed into the soil at the time of potting.

These compounds release the very same nutrients as bottled Liquid Nutrients, each time One waters the plant. Plain pH-Balanced water is used for at least the first month if not the whole cycle. It is possible to transplant into a specialized “Supersoil” for the second half of the plant’s life. At this stage – if the plant is Marijuana – less Nitrogen is required, more Phosphorus, and more Potassium, among other trace elements. One can then continue with the “Plain-Water” regimen. A very easy way to grow the best quality. all the work is done at the onset.

Do your research into what Nutrient Line is best for any particular Growing Media is important. Whether One uses Fortified Soil, inert Peat Moss, or Hydroponic Rocks, a good “Grow Store” will have Experienced Personnel who can answer Your questions in Your quest to discover the best Nutrient Company for Your Beloved High-Value Plants.

In the second installment of Nutrient Lines and Cannabis We will discuss and compare the Organic and Synthetic Nutrient Lines commonly available at Hydroponic Equipment Stores in the USA.

Is Cannabis Safe Medicine?

As our populace opens its collective mind to the many benefits of cannabis, new studies are being performed. There are many different topical and internal delivery systems for this medicine.  In order to maximize the compounds that are helpful to the human system it is essential to medicate with healthy and consciously-grown marijuana.

The techniques utilized to produce the flowers can be basic or complex, but essentially the same elements and minerals need to be present. The ratio of these components and their strength determine if a balanced feeding plan is used or not.  When shortcuts are taken, it can be dangerous.

Should You Go Organic?

Organically-grown fruits and vegetables can be simpler to produce than hydroponics and are ultimately more flavorful and complete in all ways, except product-yield. Many growers take the easy and greedy path, when making decisions of what growing method to use, which plant foods to use and at what strength.


Pesticides

The cultivation of cannabis is considerably more difficult that most are aware, especially in an indoor environments. Many Growers are forced to introduce controls that are unhealthy in the race to finish out the high-value plants before pests or diseases take control and ruin the crop. Although the treatments may eradicate or control pests and diseases, a residue is sometimes left behind.

Chemicals on the plant can be harmful in the short term and over time.  Health complications can arise because of the use of tainted marijuana flowers and concentrates. The offending pesticides and fungicides render otherwise healthy medicine toxic and harmful.

The half-lives of these harmful chemicals generally lie somewhere between 28 and 60 days. It is essential that the person making the decisions on the pest control program used in the growing has these numbers in mind. It is possible to use even these harmful chemicals, as long as they are used correctly. 

A person with a compromised immune system or chemotherapy patients on drugs to cure or slow cancer, are not in any shape to take in these very dangerous chemicals at any level.

Responsibility falls to the hands of the producers, which is a largely an unregulated side of the informal “Industry.” Testing of finished products would fix this. The state of Florida will most likely enact some form of testing, if not make it mandatory. The surprise to come is that the tests will rule approximately 90% of all grown marijuana as unhealthy. The patient will benefit. True medical-grade cannabis may increase in price relative to more commercial forms of the flowers, due to scarcity.

Organic products and production, while not providing the same high yield,  is the superior way to guarantee safety and efficacy of the Medicine.

Good Things Come To Those Who Slow Down

On another related topic. In the rush to see a return usually financially related, harvesting the plants too early is more than common.  The plant then does not develop the terpenes that carry the odor or taste, as well as the potency. One does not receive the opportunity to actually benefit from the THC and CBD’s/CBN’s (that which provides the medicinal features for many varied conditions) in their full spectrum. The look of the cannabis flowers suffer as well, when harvested prematurely.

The vast majority of Medical Marijuana growers “pull their plants” at least 7 days too early, or more. This is one of the most important decisions that Growers need to focus on in order to realize all the benefits of the plant.

Another important decision the Grower  must make is what sort of a “flush” the plants will get at the end of their life before harvest. Over the growing process, mineral salts build up. These mineral salts must be cleared out of the growing medium in order to insure the most flavorful and smooth taste profile, as well as bouquet and potency.

Heavy Metals

Nutrient companies have more or less heavy metals contained in their products. These are harmful to the human body. These toxins must be flushed out of the substrate used to grow the plants in.  When a marijuana cigarette keeps on going out and burns a grey ash, the heavy metals have not been flushed out.  The metals found are usually ammonium nitrates, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus as well as other trace elements and metals.

Soil-grown plants, with synthetic fertilizers require a longer flush than any other method. Organic soil requires a bit less time and, hydroponic techniques require only a few days of a flush.  The Aeroponic  style of straight water growing, needs a 1 or 2 day flush.

Be Aware of the Safety of Your Medicine

Due to the “wild-west” nature of a fledgling medical state’s program, it will be important for Florida’s medical marijuana patients to be aware of what they are getting and who they are getting it from.  While rushing to make Medicine available, some dispensaries may obtain cannabis and cannabis products for distribution that are not of a high standard. 

It will become apparent that knowing the source and trusting the facility that sells the cannabis to you is important. Any retail outlet should be caring with your health in mind, as well as their bottom line, but not instead of it.

Strain Knowledge #4: Medical Cannabis Royal Families and Their Offspring

In this installment, We have grouped the Major Marijuana Varieties by Family. This ties together some of the Lineages, and creates a better understanding of Basic Cannabis Genetics.


The Big Three


Most of Today’s Strains are built from The Big Three. Northern Lights, Haze and Skunk #1. Although there are many new variations – most Strains can be attributed to some connection with the “3 Majors.”

Skunk #1 – “The Building Block.”

One of the Major 3. In many places – the first Sinsemilla (seedless Buds) was Skunk Hybrids. This genetic changed everything in the Cannabis World. It was bred to almost all available strains at the onset of its’ appearance on the scene. One of the Great Hybrids that utilize the Skunk Genetic is “Durban Poison.” Many people consider almost ALL seed varieties to contain at least a trace amount of the Skunk #1 genetic, if not more.

Northern Lights – a basic but high-yielding Indica Strain used quite often for breeding . Used in order to bring flowering times down on Equatorial Sativas,  and to increase yield in moderate-producing genetics. Not a very flavourful strain on its’ own. It has a funky Celery-like flavour, not very pleasing. But it adds a great deal to other genetic profiles, when bred with it.


The Almighty “Haze”

Including  Amnesia Haze – Neville’s Haze – Blue DreamBlue Dream (the ubiquitous) –  An Amsterdam favorite, Haze is very common in the Dutch Canal Village We all love so much. Hollanders enjoy being social and “High” simultaneously, as opposed to Americans who prefer to be “Stoned,” as the Dutch Budtenders call it. Haze does not provide a heavy Body Effect by any means. More of a cerebral, trippy THCV influenced ratio of THC to CBN’s. Most of the long-flowering Strains that contain Haze are originally from Equatorial regions.

Many Mexican, South American and Equatorial varieties contain some of this Haze Genetic. It features a long flowering time, wispy flowers – and an incense-like odor. A Combo called “G13 x Haze” has taken the Northern Europe Cannabis Scene by storm in the last decade. The Famous Seed Breeder called SOMA isolated this Cut and applied it to almost all of His existing plants. 

Based on the above “Big 3,” there are millions of variations – some of which but by no means all – very popular, or generally notable, are listed below.


The Sativa-Dominant Varieities


Colombian Punta Rojo (Red Bud) and Santa Marta Gold – or “Lumbo.” For all You oldsters – Who can forget these classic strains that were so present in the 70’s ? Full of seeds, and sun-dried, it still tasted excellent, and was always a crowd-pleaser.

While we are on the throwback subject – Thai Sticks deserve a special Mention. Usually arriving in the form of bundled up small buds from Southeast Asia wrapped around a stick with hemp string. Very tasty, almost chocolate, and a very “Up” and happy high. Early versions were rumored to be opium-rubbed.

The Arcata Trainwreck – An Amazingly tangy, garlicky, foody unique genetic from Humboldt County, Emerald Triangle, (NorCal) California. An almost 100% Sativa, with many-bladed leaves – up to 13.. A Beautiful plant, like a small Christmas tree. Exhibiting a rare fast-finishing Flower for a Sativsa Plant, The T-Dub has a strong heady effect.

The Super Silver Haze  – Pride of Holland – Developed by the superior Breeder called Shantibaba for the Mr. Nice Seed Company. Perhaps the most complete Hybrid of the Three Majors – NL x Skunk x Haze – May be the perfect Strain, when the correct phenotype is isolated. It has won numerous awards, and is many peoples’ favorite. Considered the most Indica of the Hazes, it hits on all necessities…!

Hawaiian – Was always rare, and even for a resident of the state, not easy to find. It usually appeared wet, with no seeds And it mystified people since it came on the heels of the deluge of seeded Colombian/Mexican of the 70’s.. 

OG Kush / Diesel / GSC – the Chemdog Story.  An ounce of pot from a Grateful Dead Show in Colorado yielded several seeds which were later germinated by a Man to be known as Chemdog. Daywrecker Diesel #1, Diesel, the original OG Kush, and the many spinoffs such as East Coast Sour Diesel, NewDSCN3471York City Diesel, and others became perhaps the ultimate Royalty of Cannabis. For good reason. Not many Buds are as strong as Original OG Kush, or its’ Sisters mentioned above. The Famous Girl Scout Cookies Strain from San Francisco CA is partly composed of OG Kush – so the Circle Completes itself with a modern Classic. Pictured is the excellent Sour Diesel Hybrid Cutting called “Triple Diesel,” “3D,” or “Trip D,” at the time of harvest after trimming. The lighter in the picture shows the scale of the Bud.


Indica and Indica-Dominant

Master Kush, or “The Affie”  –  Like most genetics from the Hindu Kush Mountain Area in and around Afghanistan, the plants structure is very stout, squat, large-leaved, and fast-finishing – due to the always impending early mountain winters. This family of Cannbis is almost exclusively Indica. Sometimes purple in color. Very Medicinal, sleepy, appetite-inducing, and potentially stupifying. A Favorite cannabis family in the USA. Often has flavours of Chocolate, Coffee, and Earth.

The Cheese – Unbeknownst to many, a very flavorful and much-bred strain called “The Cheese” is a special Phenotype of Skunk #1 found in the 90’s in Luton, England, on a Hippie Commune. It truly does smell and taste like sweet cheese with often a hint of blueberries. The cutting was passed around the whole country, and was known as the “Exodus Cut.” The Flowers were first available in Amsterdam Coffeeshops in or around 2004. The Flowers were such a Hit during the Cannabis Cup, that there was a purchase limit of two grams at the Coffeeshop that first featured it (Homegrown Fantaseeds). The Cheese is beyond tasty.

Blueberry (DJ Short’s) – A Classic hybrid that contains Chocolate Thai, Oaxacan (Mexican),  Colombian Sativa, and Panamanian genetics. The strain exhibits mutations in the form of variegated leaves (two color – light and dark) and strange patterns of growth. Although finding a great phenotype is never easy with this genetic – once one DOES isolate one, the flavours and appearance are superior to most other plants. The Blueberry has been bred with so many different plants it is difficult to keep track.

Purple Urkle / The Purps / Grape Ape – Another extreme Indica. Grape in flavour, and purple in color. These are small plants with lovely flavour, low-yield, and quick finish. ALthough many plants will turn purple with chilly temperatures –  the “Erk” will change to a lavender hue on its’ own, regardless of temperature. Patients at the old Oakland California Dispensaries used to line up for blocks to get at this bud.

Summary

Although there are millions of variations possible in the world of Cannabis, it is clearly possible to classify most varieties by tracing back to the original strains used to produce them. Accurate information, while not always available, is important to those making decisions about what Strains to Grow or obtain, based on the Medical Needs in the particular situation. The knowledge is increasingly available with the Normalization of Cannabis Laws around the world.

OG Kush

Modern Heirlooms – Strain Relevance #2

Classic Blue Dream v. OG Kush/Chemdog Cut
OG Kush
OG KUSH / CHEMDOG – Original Cut – Partial History and Background

An Old Cutting, The “Chemdog” was 18 when I got it, almost 30 by now. 432

I grew this genetic as My “Signature Strain” in my early years in “Da Medical Hobby.” The Real “OG Kush.” Original Gangsta, Ocean Grown, There are many acronyms.

The “Kush,” as we called it,  delivers a potent Narcotic Buzz, by no means Boring. Almost Hallucinogenic when produced right.  The original cutting has actually been improved upon in terms of Yield, but the “snappy” flavour of the First and Proper version is not always duplicated in more recent knock-offs. There are many, many copies out there. Some Good, most diluted.

Contrary to popular belief, there is not much Indica within the Genetics. Except perhaps its’ look. The Strain is/was reportedly 70% Sativa. From Boston via Colorado. It is The Legendary “Chemdog” Cut..

This Cut is the Mother to Sour Diesel and the Sister to Original Daywrecker Diesel #1, as well as other Historical Diesel-Related Strains. Legend has it that here were 8 seeds in a bag obtained at a Grateful Dead Concert in Colorado. Some were later bred, such as the Original Chemdog Cut x Massachusetts Super Skunk to comprise ECSD – the famous East Coast Sour Diesel. Otherwise known simply as Sour Diesel, Sour D, Diesel, or SD. In itself, absolutely unique. 438

The Folks that kindly shared the Original Cut with Me after Two Summers of Service to Them, called it “OG Kush” – Original Gangster Kush. They said that “the Hippies do not like the name  ‘Chem’ in it.” Thus, the name change from Chemdog.

I was not even told of the actual lineage for two years.. And I can see why. People clamoured all around Me trying to obtain the “Cut.” Even a well-known Seed Bank visited Me in Northern California, and clipped off 8 cuttings from a Large Mother Plant when I was out of the room. Which I never should have been..!Lesson Learned.

The reason for the name Chemdog was that reportedly, it was the only strain that actually performed better in a Grow situation when CHEMICAL NUTRIENTS were employed, rather than more Organic options.

The unique part of the name was that Chemdog was the moniker for the Inorganic-Grown version, while the “Chemdawg” spelling was used by connoisseurs for the Same Genetic grown Organically, or more naturally. Unique within the Cannabis World, that a name is different in different growing conditions.

My Associates back then were from Families where Parents and Friends ghad grown this for years.

The Original Chemdog cut pictured above in its’ Dried form, and below as a living plant, takes at least 65 Days Indoors to REALLY finish. Usually, it gets taken at 55-58 days. At a loss of potency, flavour, appearance, and bouquet.

As I always state, 90% + of the Marijuana Growers Worldwide “Pull” (Harvest) their Indoor and Outdoor plants early. 430

Outdoors, in a Greenhouse, the OG Strain is just lovely, if ventilation is sufficient. Rock-Hard Nuggets that can almost scratch Glass, can be produced.

Powdery Mildew, a Fungus, is a problem with this strain. Preventative spraying until Mid-Flower is wise.

Now 094INDOORS, the reality is that OG Kush is Horrible to grow due to spindly Branches, low yield, and large internodal space between Flowers, as well as 3+X Stretch.

The First 3 weeks of flower (12/12 hour light regimen) see a 1 foot plant go to 4 feet, with no support for the heavy Flowers….  To Root cuttings it takes at least 14 days, but usually more like 21 days to clone, with a success rate of about 50%. While other strains take 10 days to truly root, with 90%+ success rate.

In a wild fit of Glory-Seeking, I shipped One Ounce of the best Headies from my Organic Greenhouse Grown OG Kush Marijuana Flowers as well as some Bubble Hash to the High Times Amsterdam Cannabis Cup, in 2006. And then I met the box there in an apartment rental. I was liberal with Sharing my Stash…

No one (including the C’Shop owners and Breeders) could stop screaming about it. Imagine the “Pied Piper,” leading the flock. Almost every One said that they had never experienced anything like it. Tastewise, looks, or Effect.

Derry of Barney’s Coffeeshops and Restaurants, as well as other “Amsterdam Luminaries” called it the “Best Pot in Town.” They liberally stated that if I could have entered the Flowers in the Cannabis Cup Competition, it would have easily won.  Derry Ended up winning the Cup, with his worthy G13 x Haze. Obviously, Having taken several Cups over the years, Derry had a good idea of what a “Winner” constitutes.

Happily trading from their “Personals” to get their mitts on this NEW thing that got them so Twisted. I felt like a local Celeb.

Based on the People who I shared it with, and the Ensuing High-Drama that occured in the following Year with Unsaid Seed Company, in Your Author’s Emerald-Triangle Mother Room, I may have caused some of the onset of the OG Mania that took over Amsterdam almost immediately after that Cannabis Cup and continues to this day. Rightly so, it was completely new to a large swath of devoted Cannabis Connoisseurs.. Hysteria happens with the Chemdog / OG.Has nothing to do with Me, personally. The Strain speaks for itself. The original “Loud” strain.

In its’ real form, OG has possibly the best effect out there. Best Flavour, as well, somehow –  as many have said in My Presence, and in “print.” In a Blind Taste Test, amongst other Strains, it always was the Chosen One. Women Love “The Kush,” as well.

One very good friend, a lifelong “Pothead” was positive that the Bud was “Laced.” It was just grown to maturity..! I let them Go until they are actually finished. Usually this Cut ikes 65 days of Flowering. There is a bit of “Trippy” to the Buzz. THC-V, a different form of THC than the commonly known variety, is the psychodelic compound sometimes found in Sativa-Dominant Strains.

The Politics of not sharing the Chemdog Cut with everyone I knew was a Stressor. Pester, Pester, they did.. A couple Friends were lost, because of a pact I had made to NOT distribute the Cut freely.

This Chemdog/OG Kush cut won 2 Private Local Cannabis Cups in a row, Held in a secret Location 7 miles inland from the Pacific, in the Emerald Triangle. Also was the standout in several impromptu smoke tests held at “Harvest Parties,” amongst Local Growers after harvest. Ah, the “mid aughts in the Em Tri…!!” A bit of paradise for a few years, no longer the case.

Pictured is Ice and Water Processed Pure Organic Bubble Hash.

Nuset 006Og Kush, Chemdog, East Coast Sour Diesel, most similar Genetic Variations and Crosses all make the Best Concentrates and Cannabutter. When produced with an eye toward purity. The consistency of the Finished Hash Product is Jelly-Like, which makes the need for potentially unhealthy Butane-Processed Concentrates unnecessary. One can also simply “Melt” the Substance in Any Fat, such as Butter or Olive Oil, to imbibe with the use of food.

Eating any Cannabis brings a much more substantial High and is not recommended without experience, or the supervision of one who has knowledge of dosage, and potential negatives.

Smoker’s Pleasure –  Grower’s Problem. Described in 4 words and a hyphen. OG Kush/Original Chemdog Cut. “Pure Kush” – in NorCal and SoCal… Platinum OG, and other names. Hybrids exist as well, some available from reputable Seed Breeders. Many are cheap knock-offs. I am now content to let others Grow the Inconvenient, low-yielding Strain.



Blue Dream – Ubiquitous, yes, but The Perfect Sativa hybrid Clone-Only Cutting…?

 A Sativa of a different nature. Specifically, DJ Short’s Blueberry Original Indica phenotype x Super Silver Haze – although some say Neville’s Haze, which is a rare 75% Haze. Bd

Blue Dream delivers a clear, slightly edgy, tasty, hazey, “go out and do something” effect. I actually see My jar of BD emptied First – the real test of One’s Preferences. It is a special Hybrid, a GREAT Upful feeling, but Yes, like a Great song overplayed – the Dream is now ubiquitous.

Ubiquitous maybe, but nonetheless, a Strain  which is in the top 5% of quality. BD always will have a place in my Stable.

If grown Organically, with Care, One can truly taste the Blueberry and the Haze simultaneously. That’s Unique, as well.  The Most interesting thing,  for Me is the Overwhelming Incense-like Haze smell that permeates the whole room. Perhaps the whole house. If One is the Smoker, it is not always easy to detect this strange, unique odour that Haze-hybrids can offer. Walking out of the room momentarily, and then returning, will bring that wafting Pleasure-Vapour to the Smoker’s nose.

From a Grower’s Standpoint, BD is a Major Standout, as it finishes in 60-62 days, depending on One’s tastes. With a Nice Big Yield. For a Sativa Dominant, or any Plant,  that is an extreme rarity. Blue Dream is a Genetic that approaches the rarely-attained  “Holy Grail” status. The antithesis of the problematic and disease-prone OG Kush.Blue dream

Many Sativas, although extremely exotic, and some truly worthy, take up to 14 weeks to Flower fully. This extended Flowering Period makes the endeavor not economically feasible for those who need to look at Electric Company balances.  Or those who depend on a few extra (or a lot extra) dollars to be generated from the Grow Process.

Due to the “Bagseed” phenomenon – wherein One finds an isolated seed in a Bag of something, grows it out and calls it the same thing. Due to phenotypical variation within seeds, odds are that the new version will NOT be the same. But, the name has been chosen by the person, and is passing around the cuts as “Blue Dream. Hence, the “dilution” of Strains continues.

To be explained in the next article, “Strain Dilution.”



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