How to Cultivate Weed the Old School Way

Continuing from our guide to growing weed the old school way, follow along with this week’s guide to cannabis cultivation and learn how to cultivate weed the old school way! Step One: Harvest (Continued) The first step is to cut the cannabis plant from the ground. You should cut or saw the stalk (base of […]

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DEA Is Increasing Number Of Medical Cannabis Cultivators for Research

After over 50 years of a monopoly for the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes, the DEA is ending the University of Mississippi’s hold on legal marijuana cultivation, and has begun handing out licenses to other entities. Why is the DEA increasing the number of medical cannabis cultivators, and what does this mean?

You know things are changing when the DEA starts increasing the number of cannabis cultivators to grow marijuana for medical research. It’s been a long time coming. And while research is great, a lot has already been done, and a lot of great products already exist. Take delta-8 THC, for example. This alternate form of THC won’t sap a user’s energy and brainpower like delta-9, and doesn’t cause anxiety either. All of which make it preferable for many users. Check out our selection of delta-8 THC, hemp-derived delta 9, delta 10, thcv, thc-p, thc-o & hhc deals, and experience why cannabis technology is so important.

What happened?

The story of the DEA increasing the amount of medical cannabis cultivators isn’t shiny new, but started back in May of 2021. On May 14th, 2021, the DEA announced that it had for the first time allowed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to three applicants. The applicants are meant to work together to cultivate, process, store, and distribute medical cannabis in order to provide it to appropriate facilities for testing and research. And they are meant to do this according to rules the DEA put into effect at the end of 2020. The MOA means that new approved participants are in compliance with US federal law. One of the hopes in expanding out cultivation, is in expanding out diversity for testing.

Prior to this time, the only entity able to cultivate legal marijuana in the US, was the University of Mississippi, through its National Center for the Development of Natural Products. The University had held that designation as the only cultivator of legal marijuana in the US, since 1968. Over the years, this has caused much controversy, with scientists repeatedly complaining that the quality of what was being produced, was subpar, and that the marijuana grown, infrequently reflected what people were actually smoking. On top of this, the University of Mississippi only provided flower, and not extracts, concentrates, or edibles, making for a limited offering considering today’s cannabis market.

An entire five years ago, back in 2016, the DEA announced it would update policies, and open cultivation to other entities, for the creation of research grade medical cannabis. Of course, five years has gone by since that statement was made. Now, in 2021, the DEA is making good on its promise of five years ago, with its announcement that other parties will be given authorization for marijuana production. At the time the DEA made the announcement, it gave no timeline for the final authorization of new cultivation participants, or when it even expected to get through the mass of pending applications that are still waiting.

medical marijuana research

How its being done

As a part of the DEA increasing its list of medical cannabis cultivators for research purposes, it came up with updated regulations to guide the growing market. The previous March it had issued proposed rules for cannabis cultivation licensing, for which there was plenty of public commenting. When the DEA released its final version, it came with modifications from its original form. The DEA released this final rule on cannabis cultivation, just as both sides of Congress were pushing though bills to expand cannabis research. These bills, in fact, mandate the DEA to license more growers for cannabis research, which also helps explain why after five years of doing nothing, the DEA chose now to open production to other parties. It didn’t actually have a choice.

The bill passed by the House actually includes a provision that would allow scientists to simply pick up cannabis at a local authorized dispensary, and while many commenters on the DEA rule thought this was a necessary thing that should be a part of the DEA rule, the DEA did not agree, and left a provision like that out.

The DEA has been quick to remind, that under its new regulations, it is the sole owner of all the cannabis produced for research purposes. This is in contrast to how it was before, when the University of Mississippi was the sole provider, and under agreement with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whereby the DEA had no ownership, or control, of the product. The DEA says it must be this way now to stay in compliance with international law, based on the Single Contention on Narcotic Substances. Apparently, the prior April, the Office of Legal Council, which sits under the Justice Department, decided that the DEA had been in violation of the Single Convention, by managing cannabis along with two other agencies, instead of being the sole agency to oversee it.

There is some question as to how the recent House bill that was passed will mesh with this DEA ruling. The House bill after all, explicitly allows scientists to buy and study products from state-run dispensaries, whereas the DEA ruling doesn’t allow this. According to  Paul Armentano, the deputy director of NORML: “Time and time again, the DEA has proven itself full of empty promises when it comes to the issue of facilitating clinical cannabis research in the United States… This history of inaction is why Congress needs to enact legislative reforms.” He went on to point out how the House bill would soon end “the DEA’s longstanding fiefdom” by allowing scientists to go around it, and buy cannabis on their own.

New regulations for potential growers

New producers must show licensing in their own state, and that their customer base is certified for product research. They also have to show what measures and precautions have been taken, to ensure the proper distribution of the plant. One detraction that has gotten widespread backlash, is that any prospective grower who has already legally grown in their own state, is considered to have broken federal law, even if what they did was legal in their specific location. This means a lot of applicants will likely be turned away for violating federal law, even though they’re applying to do the same thing they were doing before, and which was being done legally by state law.

There was also a plethora of commenting related to factoring in an applicant’s growing experience, and ability to produce high quality flowers, which the DEA also, apparently, doesn’t think is very important. Nor does it think its important to accept liability for the product when it’s in DEA care. Which means if any marijuana is damaged or destroyed under DEA care, the agency is not responsible, which would indicate that the cultivators would take the loss, regardless of circumstances.

DEA increasing cannabis cultivators

The agency also rejected caring about diversity or accounting for things like socioeconomic status or race. It said all applications will be treated fairly, with no consideration given to personal circumstances. This can be argued either way. Some prefer the level playing field, others prefer to see provisions made to help those who have been damaged by the system, to get first crack at the new industry. This is what many states have done when legalizing recreational markets.

Sometimes things move slow in government (it’s been five years since the DEA originally said it would do this), and sometimes when things start moving, they pick up speed rather quickly. In the case of the DEA, and increasing the number of medical cannabis cultivators, it’s hard to tell what the ultimate pace will be. While some 500 researchers have been granted authorization around the country, many are waiting on cannabis supplies to get going. Each grower, once it is licensed, will have a certain amount it is able to grow and supply. Right now, however, it’s just a waiting game.

Though the DEA refused to provide any kind of timeline for applications, or any streamlining of the application process, it did say it would give a notice of receipt, within 90 days of receiving an application.

DEA wants more medical cannabis and psilocybin

While the DEA has often moved incredibly slow to get things done, it is picking up the pace of late, though this is likely because Congress has also been enacting new legislation, and the country is getting closer to being in a situation where the majority of the states are going against federal policy. This is actually already the case, what with over 30 states legalized for medical, and 18 legalized for recreational. This is probably why Congress has had its own flurry of new legislation. And possibly why the DEA included the provision about judging applicants for breaking federal drug laws, even if they were following their own state laws when previously growing.

It’s basically penalizing people for following state mandates instead of federal law. Which sounds like a bully move to me, and something that will likely get knocked down in court, as it violates states rights. After all, by holding people accountable for actions done legally under state laws, the federal government is challenging the ability for states to have their own rights, and for those rights to be respected. Just as it’s a bully move, its also a salty one, which really just shows a growing frustration of the federal government at what it can’t control.

Regardless of how much the federal government likes it though, when things change, and the government can’t control it, it has the option of updating itself to save face, or to go down swinging and lose all power. In this case, the DEA shows the government is trying to catch up to the current trajectory that it cannot stop. One of the moves that shows this quite plainly, and which was precipitated by ending the cannabis cultivation monopoly, is that the DEA is now pushing for higher quotas for medical cannabis and psilocybin production for research.

more cannabis and psilocybin

Yes, not just cannabis, but fellow Schedule I Controlled Substance psilocybin, from magic mushrooms, is also being pushed by the DEA. Why? Probably because the psychedelics movement has picked up so quickly, and even the FDA is pushing for getting researched products to market.

On September 2nd, 2021, a notice was put up by the DEA, saying the DEA wants to increase the amount of cannabis flower grown for research to 4,400 pounds, which would be a 500,000-gram increase from current quota numbers. Along with this, cannabis extract production would double, making for a new quota of 500,000 grams. When it comes to psilocybin, the main psychedelic constituent of magic mushrooms, the DEA wants to increase production from 50 grams to 1,500, which is an increase of 2,900%. The DEA also wants to increase production of secondary psychedelic component psilocin (also from magic mushrooms), from 50 grams to 1,000.

Conclusion

Right now, a lot is being spoken about, and a lot of laws are being written and passed, but not much has been done to put things in motion. If the DEA is really increasing the amount of medical cannabis cultivators for research purposes, it will need to get those licenses out, and that marijuana growing.

More interestingly, how will the new research bills that Congress just passed, (and which at times go in contrast to the DEA cultivation ruling), play out? And will there be any friction in the end? It all remains to be seen, but the one thing for sure is that one way or another, there will be way more weed around.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Ohio Cultivator and Non-profit Organization Offer Education Program in Cultivation

An Ohio non-profit organization and a cannabis cultivator are working together to help individuals who have been incarcerated for cannabis-related charges to receive education in cannabis cultivation.

Riviera Creek Holdings LLC cannabis cultivator and United Returning Citizens (URC) organization, which are both based in Youngstown, Ohio, are partnering together to support a program called URC Grows. The program will provide educational and job opportunities for those who have been convicted of cannabis crimes.

URC is a non-profit organization that helps those who have been affected by mass incarceration. They assist individuals with job searches, training, financial support, education and so much more. Through URC Grows, the organization hopes to extend these services and more by partnering with Riviera Creek. “United Returning Citizens created an Education, Workforce and Business Development Training Program for the next generation of workers,” URC shares on its website. “This program will be comprehensive and unique due to the nature of program phases, and the ultimate goal of creating employment opportunities with the enrollees while they are in the course.”

Those interested in growing cannabis have plenty of options to do so, but URC’s program stands out from the crowd due to its special certification. “URC Grows seeks to be different by providing an Ohio Department of Education Approved Certification, in three focused areas. We will also provide entrepreneurial development services and land for each entrepreneur to grow on, or employment in a URC operated grow facility,” the website shares.

Dionne Dowdy, Executive Director of URC, told local news station WFMJ there is a great need for reform and support of those who have been negatively affected by cannabis charges. “There were so many people that were jailed by this and now that everyone is making money off something that they are already sitting in jail for, we want to give them an opportunity, everyone needs a second chance and these are the things that they can do that were just natural to them that they will thrive in so why not give them this opportunity,” Dowdy said.

Riviera Creek CEO Daniel Kessel added that it is imperative that this program help prepare students with everything they will need to get a job in the industry. “We at Riviera are intending to help build the overall course work, what it looks like and as they graduate, Riviera is intending to bring some of those in house so they wind up with jobs right after graduation and we’re excited for that program to begin,” said Kessel.

Three Programs in Ohio Teach All Angles of Cultivation

URC Grows is split up into three programs. The first includes an agriculture program with a focus on hydroponic and aquaponic education. The second is a full-scale education program that covers the process of hemp production, from growing to processing and sales. The final program includes a focus on medical cannabis, but will ideally prepare students for when recreational cannabis becomes legal.

Following the completion of these programs, students will be “offered the opportunity to maintain and grow their own hemp for their hemp based business or agricultural goods.”

URC is one of five organizations that received grant funds from the Hawthorne Social Justice Fund within the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. On June 10, 2021, the Hawthorne Gardening Company announced that it would be granting $2.5 million in funds to organizations whose efforts support criminal justice reform and social equity applicants. URC, as well as Last Prisoner Project, Marijuana Policy Project Foundation, Minorities for Medical Marijuana and NuLeaf Project received support from this fund.

Dowdy added that supporting those who have been wronged by the War on Drugs can only be a boon for the city of Youngstown, Ohio. “We already have a problem with workforce now but if we’re taking the next people that are coming and we’re training them and giving them an opportunity to have a job, to have a career to take care of their family, not only would it help them, it would help our city, it would help our community, it will help with the crime,” she said about her hope for the program’s success.

The post Ohio Cultivator and Non-profit Organization Offer Education Program in Cultivation appeared first on High Times.

DEA Wants More Marijuana and Psilocybin Produced for Research

For years, the US federal government has waged a ridiculous, horribly damaging, and incredibly expensive war on drugs. Enough money has been spent to ruin lives, that it’s maddening, and all for something that was never going to work. It says quite a bit about the recent turn in tides, that rather than being more restrictive, the DEA just stated it wants more marijuana and psilocybin produced, for research purposes.

You know the tides are turning when the DEA puts out a notice saying it wants more marijuana and psilocybin produced for research purposes. Luckily, a lot of the US is already legal, and this means there are a range of products on the market, and not just standard marijuana. Take delta-8 THC for example. This half-brother to delta-9 THC creates less psychoactive effect, provides virtually the same medical benefits, and causes less anxiety, cloudy head, and couch locking effects. This is preferable to many users, highlighting why having options is imperative. We like options. So take a look at our delta-8 THC, THCV, THC-P, THC-O, HHC and delta 10 deals, and the array of other cannabis compounds on offer, and pick your favorite product.

What’s the news?

In the last couple days, the DEA made a complete 180º turn from its general stance of ‘cannabis is bad’ and ‘psychedelics are bad’, and turned it into, ‘let’s make more’. Yup, the US Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it intends massive increases in the production of both marijuana and psilocybin for research purposes, specifically to get federally approved medicinal products to market. The notice was published on September 2nd, 2021. The notice states the DEA’s intention to increase the amount of:

“…the schedule I substances psilocybin, psilocin, marihuana, and marihuana extract, which are directly related to increased interest by DEA registrants in the use of hallucinogenic controlled substances for research and clinical trial purposes… DEA firmly believes in supporting regulated research of schedule I controlled substances… Therefore, the increases reflect the need to fulfill research and development requirements in the production of new drug products, and the study of marijuana effects in particular, as necessary steps toward potential Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of new drug products.”

It should be remembered that all of these substances, whether psychedelic mushroom-related, or cannabis-related, are currently Schedule I in the DEA list of Controlled Substances. Which means the DEA wants the Schedule I substances THC and psilocybin to be used as medications, and is upping the ante to get them to market. Even though these substances are currently 100% federally illegal, and considered not to have any medical value at all.

DEA wants more marijuana and psilocybin research

This is not the first time the DEA has adjusted quotas for the production of Schedule I compounds. However, it does stand out in terms of the DEA’s stated desire to actually get products FDA-approved, and to market, signaling an understanding that things are changing in terms of popular opinion. This is backed up already by the 18 states legal for recreational cannabis use, the over 30 that are cool with medical use, and the new inclusion by Oregon in 2020 for legal medical psilocybin.

If the DEA wants more marijuana and psilocybin, how much does this mean?

It should be noted that the term used by the DEA is ‘marijuana’, and not ‘cannabis’, showing the intent for high-THC plants, not just cannabis in general. How much more does the DEA want to see produced in 2021? A massive two million grams, which equals about 4,400 pounds, and which is an increase of 500,000 grams from its initial quota amount. As far as cannabis extracts, it more than doubled the original quota, bringing the new amount to 500,000 grams of extracts.

When it comes to the two main psychedelic compounds of magic mushrooms, psilocybin and psilocin, compounds that have not yet reached the acceptance level of cannabis, the DEA is aiming for pretty big production increases as well. The quota for psilocybin just skyrocketed from 50 grams to 1,500 grams, a 2,900% increase for those following along. That’s pretty big! In terms of its counterpart psilocin, the DEA is looking for an increase to 1,000 grams from 50. While 1,000 might not seem high, it’s a massive increase from the current 50.

This is all great news for activists, medical patients, researchers, and advocates who want these substances legalized for medical use, and beyond. Many are still irritated, however, by the idea that plenty of medical evidence already exists confirming the efficacy and safety of these compounds, and yet they’re still in Schedule I…which is especially confounding considering some of the most dangerous drugs, opioids, are given out like candy.

What happens next?

Will it happen right away? No, that’s not how things tend to work in government. In this situation, there will be a 30-day period for people to submit feedback on this possible increase, which is available to do here. The subject might require a public hearing before changes can officially be made to update the 2021 quota amounts. Realistically, this proposed increase shows the necessity the government must be feeling to update laws, in order to not be left behind by its own country, which is defying federal mandate almost everywhere (when adding up medical and recreational legalizations, as well as decriminalization measures).

While this is more true for cannabis than psilocybin, the fact that psilocybin has been increasingly in the spotlight signals that the same process is happening with it, as it is with cannabis. Perhaps the government would be smarter this time by getting out in front of it, instead of trying to stop it, while being defied by state after state.

medical marijuana

The groundwork for all this was set earlier in the year when the DEA ended the monopoly that the University of Mississippi has enjoyed since 1968, for the production of federally sanctioned marijuana. This should make meeting the new proposed production goals that much more possible. With additional growers approved for production, considerably more marijuana can be legally produced, which begs the question of whether the ending of the monopoly really was a first step, meant to facilitate the increase being put forward now.

To give an idea of how split everything still is, a petition was filed in a federal appeals court, which was ruled on at the end of August. The appeal was to require the DEA to reevaluate the current scheduling of cannabis. The court dismissed the petition, requiring no reevaluation or change to the Controlled Substances list. However, to shine a light on the understanding that such rulings won’t hold for much longer, one judge was forward-thinking enough to state that he thinks the DEA will be forced to make a policy change soon, owing to the glaring misinformation about the therapeutic value of the plant, which current laws are based off. U.S. Circuit Judge Paul Watford stated the following:

“I write separately to note that, in an appropriate case, the Drug Enforcement Administration may well be obliged to initiate a reclassification proceeding for marijuana, given the strength of petitioners’ arguments that the agency has misinterpreted the controlling statute by concluding that marijuana ‘has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.’”

Why the DEA wants more marijuana and psilocybin for research

The reason this is happening is stated in Judge Watford’s statement, or at least partially. He stated the likely need to update laws based on misinformation about health benefits, but what he left out was that the overall tide is changing on these compounds, leading states to break with federal mandates in large amounts. Considering how much this erodes federal government power, it really will become a necessity, if the federal government doesn’t want all 50 of its states to have some kind of marijuana and/or mushrooms policy in direct contrast to its laws. The federal government has initiated a few bills for legalization, but whether they are capable of passing yet is hard to say.

The DEA is not the first government agency to make it clear it wants products on the market with these compounds. In terms of marijuana, we already know the federal government is okay with it, because there already are plenty of marijuana products on the market. They come in the form of Dronabinol (marketed under Marinol, Syndros, REDUVO and Adversa), which was created by Solvay pharmaceuticals; and Nabilone, which was originally developed by US pharma company Eli Lilly and Company in 1985 (also known as Cesamet, among other trade names). In that sense, the contradiction already exists that pharmaceutical cannabis products are somehow not Schedule I, but other non-pharmaceutical products, are…

In terms of psychedelics, in 2019, the FDA earmarked psilocybin as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for major depression, and this was the second time it did it. This designation is meant to speed up products to market, though the agency doesn’t just dole out this title randomly. When a company is doing trials that show a compound to be possibly better than existing options, it can apply for this label, which Compass Pathways, and Usona Institute, now have.

medical psilocybin

Just to make it clear how much psychedelics are entering the main stage, these designations given to psilocybin, came after a 2017 breakthrough therapy title was given to MDMA, due to its trials by the organization MAPS, for use with PTSD. In this case, the FDA actually worked in conjunction with MAPS to plan phase three if its trials, to ensure results would meet regulation standards.

DEA, Marijuana and Psilocybin – Conclusion

The federal government has sure been dragging its heels in terms of acknowledging the backward nature of current laws concerning marijuana and psychedelics. It does seem fine to let pharmaceutical products in, a stunning, often ignored, contradiction that doesn’t get enough attention. There are already legal products on the market for both drug classes. I’ve mentioned the marijuana products earlier in the article, and in the case of psychedelics, the compound esketamine, which was legalized for use with depression in 2019, and then updated for suicidal thoughts in 2020. The company that puts it out? Johnson & Johnson, under the name of Spravato. To simply say the federal government is against these compounds, is absolutely ludicrous.

Luckily, when public opinion changes to the point of being out of the control of lawmakers (as in, smear campaigns can’t work anymore), it means change can happen, even if at a slug-like pace. Considering the DEA now wants an increase in marijuana and psilocybin production, and the FDA is earmarking psychedelics as breakthrough therapies, it’s quite likely legalizations are coming soon. The government seems to finally be realizing that it no longer has a choice.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post DEA Wants More Marijuana and Psilocybin Produced for Research appeared first on CBD Testers.

Pretty in Pink: A Glimpse at Green Source Garden’s Pinkleberry Strain

Amidst the forested foothills at the junction of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges, a steeply terraced hillside garden sits resplendent with row after row of dazzlingly vibrant cannabis in magnificent full bloom.

On this south-facing slope in southern Oregon, chuffy colas gleam with vigorous vitality as they bask in the midmorning sun. A kaleidoscopic array glows in vivid shades of green, splashed with bright yellow fennel and dotted with plush purple buds radiating florid fuchsia pistils.

The brilliantly hued varietals on display at Green Source Gardens did not acquire their exotic coloration by accident. Co-owner Elizabeth Luca-Mahmood says a joking motto around here is: “If it ain’t pink, it better stink!”

“And if you’ve got a pink bud that stinks, that’s what we call a keep-stink,” she says. “The Pinkleberry is a keep-stink.”

Overlooking an expansive vista from the top of the hill, the thick magenta Pinkleberry flowers are almost unfathomably luscious. Because these plants are grown from seed, each is a unique individual with slight variations from her sisters.

“I love watching it grow, and the smell is all piney and so good, and then you’ve got that deep relationship with it when you smoke it,” Luca-Mahmood says. “[The high is] really zingy, heady, active. It gets your brain flying, which I love when I’m cleaning the house, or I need to go out and do some monotonous task or something. I like that zinginess.”

Her husband, Nick Mahmood, says that Green Source Gardens’ original genetics are primarily derived from a handful of Blackberry and Afgoo seeds obtained in Northern California’s Mendocino County several years ago. Developing Blackberry eventually produced the striking mix of pink and purple that distinguishes Pinkleberry.

A close up photograph of Pinkleberry in a shallow depth of field shows off the brightly colored tendrils of this floral strain.

Charming the Bees & Dragonflies

These gorgeous specimens have achieved Instagram fame, with glamour shots routinely garnering thousands of likes from more than 40,000 followers.

As surely as fennel attracts butterflies and bees, Green Source Gardens’ flamboyant flowers attract the attention of admirers.

Among those drawn to the pretty pink pictures are Kelly Dunn and Josh Sarvis of Dragonfly Earth Medicine, who share a passion for breeding colorful plants.

Dunn recalls how she and Sarvis came across Green Source Gardens through Instagram and quickly realized they were kindred spirits.

“We were like, ‘Wow! These people used to be vegetable farmers, just like us.’” she says.

Dunn says that when she and Sarvis traveled down from British Columbia to the 2015 Emerald Cup in California, they visited several farms they believed to be “truly regenerative,” among them, Green Source Gardens.

A large purply plant shoots up on a background of Oregonian mountains.

“We’re a little bit picky about who we give our genetics to,” Dunn says. “We want to know that they’re going to be grown with pure cultivation practices and the utmost respect.”

Both Green Source Gardens and Dragonfly Earth Medicine exemplify an approach that goes beyond organic to produce the cleanest cannabis possible using methods that improve the health of the ecosystem.

When Dunn and Sarvis met the Mahmoods, they knew Green Source Gardens was a perfect fit for Dragonfly Earth Medicine’s “DEM Pure Certificate,” which recognizes farms that meet the highest standards for regenerative growing practices.

After trading seeds, the couple grew a few of Green Source Gardens’ strains at Dragonfly Farm.

Dunn said she’s particularly pleased with Willy’s Goo, describing it as “tremendously purple,” with an aroma of “crushed grapes and dusty cedar closets.”

The First Crop

Meanwhile, back at Green Source Gardens, White Grapefruit x Tangilope from Dragonfly Earth Medicine is ripening alongside Chem 4 x Pinkleberry.

“This is the combination I wanted,” Luca-Mahmood says. “The structure and the density and the resinousness of the Chem 4 but you get the pinks of the Pinkleberry.”

One plant in particular catches her eye.

“Oh, that one is amazing,” she says, pointing at the impressive specimen. “It’s gotten so fat! Look at that!”

Nick Mahmood examines it thoroughly, leaving the tip of his nose sticky with resin.

“That smells like Chem 4,” he says. “This has the dank, disgusting, wonderful smell of Chem 4. It’s so gross; I love it! Doesn’t it smell like an ancient ship filled with rotting limes?”

A vibrantly purple plant of Goo Tang from the mountains of Oregon.

At the farm, more than 900 cannabis plants are interspersed with a cover crop of comfrey as well as pineapple weed, salad burnet and plantain running wild.

Since Green Source has been issued a license for recreational production by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, they are no longer limited by plant count. Now they are free to grow as many as they want within a set square footage, which has always been their dream.

“It’s such a better way to be able to work because you can grow out thousands of starts instead of just a few hundred,” Luca-Mahmood says. “So you can really experience the diversity and genetic spectrum that exists in your seed bank. That gives us a lot more opportunity to develop strains, and so we’ve been growing smaller plants here but much higher numbers.”

And unlike the massive trees found at many pot farms, these are modestly sized bushes.

Luca-Mamood says she loves the smaller plants, because they require little to no trellising and are easier to harvest.

“They get to be healthier because they’re not trying to maintain this giant structure,” she says. “And they still flower really nicely.”

This is the end of their first season on this land, so everything is an experiment. Last year, when the Mahmoods acquired the property, it was a barren hillside that had previously been mined for gold, heavily logged and overgrazed by ranchers.

Testing the soil indicated that it was free of chemical contamination, but the serpentine bedrock made it less than ideal for cultivation. Having spent the past six years growing medical marijuana on flat bottomland, they welcomed the challenge.

“If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere,” Luca-Mahmood says.

“Anybody can go to a prime farmland soil scenario, do just a very little bit, and get production,” Mahmood adds. “By taking a space that isn’t set up very well for production, we can turn something that is not thriving into something that is thriving. And anything that has been produced on a space that’s been healed is going to get the healing energy.”

Despite its initial lack of fertile soil, the location suits their needs. The climate in this region is optimal for cannabis. The surrounding second-growth forest offers biological diversity. And at 2,000 feet in elevation, Green Source Gardens is at the top of the watershed, with access to pure mountain water unpolluted by agricultural pesticides.

Short purple spikes jut out of green leaves on the Rosebud cannabis plant.

Rather than clearing the area and bringing in large pots filled with store-bought soil, they used a technique called hügelkultur that involves building raised beds from compostable material.

They gathered the compostable material from their 80-acre parcel, burying logs and other decomposing organic matter to form mounds. They covered these with straw and a layer of manure produced by their own small herd of goats, sheep, llamas, donkeys, chickens and a cow.

Relying on locally available resources reduces expenses and avoids the negative environmental impact that comes from commercial production and shipment of soil amendments and fertilizers.

“We want to provide something that is defining a place. We’re not depending on anybody else,” Mahmood says, though Luca-Mahmood did clarify that they do source raw materials from other local farms. “I think people can tell there’s something different about cannabis from Green Source Gardens, because it is a life-based, zero-commercialized product.”

He says that feeling people get comes from the broader social and environmental mission of Green Source Gardens.

“It’s grown with that intention of recovering health to the planet. That is where the highest quality will come from — from a space that’s brought into health, and not from a commercialized perspective, from a perspective of caring and wanting to nurture a scene to be healthier,” he says. “And I think that transfers.”

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own

The medical psychedelic boom has already started with the release of esketamine. Now, with MDMA and psilocybin on the way, medical psychedelics are looking to majorly disrupt the standard mental health treatment industry. And the great thing about psilocybin is, much like cannabis, the mushrooms it comes from, can be grown in home. Here are some basics to know, if you want to learn to grow mushrooms.

Psychedelics are getting more popular, and now you can learn to grow mushrooms on your own. If you’re not quite ready for mushrooms, there’s still cannabis, and plenty of new options like delta-8 THC. This alternate form of THC creates less psychoactive effect as delta-9, and has less associated anxiety and paranoia. Plus, it doesn’t cloud the head or couch lock users in the same way. We’ve got tons of delta-8 THC, delta 10, THCV, THC-O and even HHC products, so check out our deals and find a product perfect for you.

Disclaimer: While legalization is almost a sure thing, psilocybin is illegal in most states, while holding decriminalization status in some, and medical legalization status in Oregon. Mushroom growing equipment is legal to own, and this article is merely helping people learn the process to grow mushrooms, it is not telling anyone to do so, or telling them they should grow any specific kind of mushrooms. This information covers mushroom growing for all types of mushrooms.

What are magic mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms are a group of varying fungi that all contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin, as well as lesser psychedelic compound psilocin. These psychedelic compounds operate like other psychedelic compounds like LSD, and MDMA by being serotonergic – attaching to serotonin receptors, and creating a ‘psychedelic experience’.

The term ‘psychedelic’ refers to a class of compounds in the general grouping of hallucinatory drugs, which is itself a subset of ‘psychoactive drugs’, or drugs that can change perception. Psychedelic drugs vary, but they are known for creating a similar experience, complete with hallucinations – things that are felt, seen, heard, smelled, or tasted, that are not actually there. Along with hallucinations, psychedelics are known for creating a sense of spirituality in the user, a feeling of connectedness with others and the universe in general, a feeling of over overall well-being, mystical feelings, and euphoria.

If you’ve ever heard someone talk about a ‘bad trip’, this refers to a negative psychedelic experience in which the user has negative – or scary – hallucinations and physical symptoms, like fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, and anxiety. Though psychedelics have been generally judged as safe, dosing is important, with bad trips more often associated with too much of a compound being taken. New users might want to start with micro dose amounts, as is often what is used in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

magic mushrooms

Learn to grow mushrooms

For those that like to do it on their own, growing mushrooms is not the most intense exercise, and can be done with just a few different tools and basic instructions. The first thing you need, of course, is mushroom spores, which generally come in a syringe, much like the oil syringes used for cannabis oil. They are usually 12CCs. To be clear, mushroom spores are legal as they contain no psychoactive compounds within them.

  • The first real step has to do with growing the mycelium network, a network of tiny thread-like structures that are produced by fungal spores, and which is necessary for any mushroom growth. In order to do this, you need a substrate – or way in which the mushrooms will grow. For this, something called vermiculite is used, which is a mineral that looks like a rock, or rock chips. Approximately 2/3 cup is used in a jar, as creating a mycelium network is best done in a jar. ¼ cup of water is added, and ¼ cup brown rice flour.
  • The jar being used should have a tightly fitting cap, and should have about four holes drilled into it. The vermiculite and water are mixed and then strained, and then the rice flour added. This mix is then packed into the jar up until about a half-inch below the rim. Dry vermiculite is put on top. It should be noted that all tools used should be sterilized with rubbing alcohol to ensure no bacterial contamination.
  • The jar is tightly closed and covered with tin foil or plastic wrap to keep the drilled holes covered. The jar is placed in a pan, with water filling the pan until about halfway up the length of the jar. The water is brought to a slow boil, and for 75-90 minutes the jar is steamed. More water can be added to the pan if too much boils away. The jar is then allowed to cool for several hours.
  • Then come the spores. The holes on the lids are uncovered and the syringe is inserted as far as it will go and split between the four holes. It’s good to clean the syringe in between putting it in each hole. The jars should then be kept in room temperature, and out of sunlight. Many people prefer to keep them in a dark closet.
  • It takes about 1-2 weeks for the mycelium network to begin to grow. It takes about 3-4 weeks for full colonies to grow and form cakes. At this point, another week should be given to strengthen the mycelium cakes. Any jar that looks contaminated should be disposed of as soon as possible, making sure all equipment used is sterile is best to ward off contamination.
learn to grow mushrooms
  • At this point, a plastic storage container is taken and holes are drilled all over it in even intervals. The container should be put on four stable objects to keep the bottom from touching the surface so air can flow through. A towel is put over it to retain moisture.
  • The next step is to take something called perlite (a volcanic glass which expands when heated), clean it with water, and then put it at the bottom of the container. There should be about 4-5 inches covering the base. The mycelium cakes are taken out of the jars where they’ve been growing, and carefully washed to remove vermiculite, and then put in lukewarm water – made to stay underneath it – for about 24 hours. This is to rehydrate them. Then they’re taken out, rolled in dry vermiculite, and put in the storage container on foil squares, so the cakes don’t directly touch the perlite. They should be evenly spaced. Then they’re sprayed with a  mist bottle, and fanned off before the lid is closed.
  • The container should have mist sprayed on it about four times a day, being careful not to soak anything. The container should also be fanned several times a day to make sure there’s air circulation. Regular light is generally fine at this point, though some growers use growing lights on a 12 hour cycle. The mushrooms will take varying times to grow, but the grower will know something is happening when white bumps appear on the cakes. These then sprout into ‘pins’, and harvest comes about 5-12 days after this point. The whole process takes approximately 1-2 months, which is far less than the 3-6 associated with growing cannabis.

Grow kits

Not everyone wants to put that much time and effort into growing their mushrooms, and – to show how far along this industry is – there are mushroom growing kits that greatly break down the amount of time and energy needed to grow mushrooms. Mushroom growing kits generally contain all the needed equipment, and are streamlined to help the grower. This is like buying marijuana growing equipment which has already been streamlined to help the user have an easier and more productive experience.

Growing kits often include a box, or log-type instrument, which is already seeded with spores and ready to go, meaning the entire setup phase is not necessary. These are called pre-colonized fruiting blocks. The kits must be kept moist, and at the right temperature, but this is menial work compared to actually growing from nothing. Since the kits already have the mycelium network setup, the whole part of creating a mycelium network from scratch, doesn’t have to happen. They also usually come with a mushroom growing bag, which can remain dormant if kept in low temperatures.

Each kit will come with its own instructions, and when looking to buy a kit, a prospective grower should ensure the kit they buy is good for the kind of mushrooms they want to grow. These kits are not sold specifically for magic mushrooms at all, but are made so that all kinds of mushrooms can be grown in-home. If you want to learn to grow mushrooms with a kit, it means you will learn how to grow all kinds of mushrooms.

grow any mushrooms

Why should we expect psilocybin to be legalized?

There is actually very little saying psilocybin won’t be legalized for medical use in the US. In fact, Oregon already applied such legalities to the compound in the last 2020 election. But more importantly than Oregon specifically, is that the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration), has already earmarked psilocybin as a ‘breakthrough therapy’. What does this mean? According to the FDA, a ‘breakthrough therapy’ is a:

“…drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.”

The FDA doesn’t randomly assign this, but the designation is given when a company has done – or is doing – medical trials that signal they have a compound that might be a better option than existing remedies. In 2019, the FDA assigned its second designation for this to Usona Institute, the first was given a year before to Compass Pathways in their study of psilocybin as a therapy for treatment resistant depression.

The reason this matters is because psilocybin is currently a Schedule I drug in the US Controlled Substances list, made completely illegal in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill in the US, and then followed with the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, and the international drug treaty, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971, which actually only illegalizes the psilocybin, and does nothing to illegalize magic mushrooms, a conundrum seen in many parts of the world. The idea that a government agency could – and would – allow this designation for a Schedule I compound does a lot to say how the US government actually feels about it.

After all, the breakthrough therapy title is meant to get drugs tested and to market. A similar designation was made for MDMA in 2017 for the organization MAPS, and their study of the compound for PTSD. Phase three of MAPS trials were even planned in conjunction with the FDA to ensure that results would meet all regulation standards. Now, that really says a lot.

Conclusion

Anyone looking to grow mushrooms should know the laws of where they are, and be prepared to deal with any issues surrounding their grow. Realistically, as mushrooms get closer to legalization, they will likely follow in the same steps as cannabis, with home growing becoming standard, and very little the government can really do about it. For now, these basic instructions highlight the general process. Prospective growers should do further research, and remember, these instructions are for growing all mushrooms.

Hello and welcome! You made it to CBDtesters.co, the #1 spot for the most relevant and up-to-date cannabis and psychedelic-related news globally. Read through the site every day to stay aware of the ever-changing world of legal drugs, and become a part of our newsletter list, so you always know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Psychedelics Are Coming: Learn to Grow Mushrooms On Your Own appeared first on CBD Testers.

The Truth About Illegal Cannabis Grows in California’s Mojave Desert

The Mojave is a vast, forty-eight thousand square-mile stretch of wide open land dotted with captivating desert vegetation, charming small towns, compelling roadside attractions, and lately, a rising number of illegal cannabis grow ops.

Many in the industry already anticipated it would be this way, but cannabis legalization has not gone as expected in California. Not only is tax revenue short of the predicted mark, but the situation is actually so bad that a $100 million dollar industry bailout has been proposed. Seems strange, considering how many people we all know that smoke weed and use other cannabis products; but there is one major roadblock in the success of the golden state’s pot program – the still-thriving black market.

We all see the unlicensed shops with minimal overhead costs and no permit fees, offering prices and incentives that regular stores simply can’t compete with. But that’s not where it starts, the root of the problem begins with the thousands of illegal grow ops appearing all over rural parts of the state, the Mojave Desert as of late.

They are sometimes brushed off by locals because “it’s just weed” and many small communities in the US have bigger drug problems to worry about than pot. And yes, as someone that is a firm supporter of fair cannabis legislation and safe access for all, I fully understand that we couldn’t have gotten to the point we are now without breaking rules along the way. However, as a naturalist and conservationist, I also see a different side to it. The problem here is not the growing of the pot (which I support and do myself), but rather, the way many of these large-scale cultivators operate.

The often-overlooked negative impacts of illegal grows – especially in a desert – run the gamut from tapping into scarce local water sources, to polluting the surrounding environment, producing unsafe low-quality products, and undermining the efforts of companies that are operating legally.

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What’s is most troubling… in this region of the world that is particularly strapped for water, over 1,000 unlicensed cannabis grows have been discovered in the past few years. It takes about 150 gallons of water to grow one pound of weed. If each of these farms are growing upwards of a few thousand plants (at least), what does that mean for the future of the Mojave, its wildlife, and its residents?

The cannabis industry is so much more complex than others. Not only is it new and rapidly growing, but people working in this sector face many challenges that are hard to fathom for people working in nearly any other field. While most of our industry is on the up-and-up, there are still a few seedy things going on below the surface sometimes. Once issues like these are resolved, more people will have faith in the industry and it will be easier to push for fair legislation and safe access for all. For more articles like this one, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter, your hub for all things industry-related.


Benefits of Growing at Home

I definitely do not want anyone to get the wrong idea here. I am 100% in agreeance with people being allowed to grow cannabis at home for personal use. I also believe most of the existing plant limitations (like 6 per household, for example) are too low. Home cultivation is gaining traction, according to a National Gardening Survey that found roughly 15% of households in legal states are currently growing cannabis or have previously tried to.

At the end of the day, there are undeniable benefits to growing your own flower. For example, lower costs, a consistent supply, and cleaner higher quality products are all benefits of at-home cultivation. Growing bud is something every medical cannabis patient or recreational user should strongly consider, especially if you use daily and it’s something that is consuming a lot of your money.

That said, there is also a huge need for professional cultivators, because let’s face it, not everyone has the time or the green thumb for growing at home. Black market growers can get away with random strain names, vague descriptions, and wavering consistency; that’s not the case for legal commercial growers. Anyone following the rules has very strict regulations they need to follow when it comes to quality standards, lab testing, product labeling, and so forth.

Again, the issue in this particular situation is the way cannabis is grown at these illicit set ups. Let’s pretend all the illegal grow ops were being considerate of the environment and wildlife, procuring their water in legal ways, and not using dangerous pesticides in their products – then there would be absolutely no issue with growing illegally, even at a larger scale.

Environmental Impact

“Large-scale marijuana grows can inflict tremendous damage on desert lands and resources,” said Cody Hanford, deputy executive director of the nonprofit Mojave Desert Land Trust. “In preparation for growing, parcels are often scraped of vegetation, killing both plants and wildlife, including desert tortoise. Deep depressions are dug into the earth, and wells are dug to draw water from aquifers.”

Uprooted Joshua tree, a species recently designated a candidate for listing under the California Endangered Species Act – Photo provided by Tom Egan, Wildlife Biologist and California Desert Representative at Defenders of Wildlife

According to the California Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), a special unit tasked solely with investigating cultivation violations, there are over 1,000 confirmed illegal grow ops in the Mojave desert region of Southern California. It’s hard to say exactly how much pot is grown in at these illicit farms, but it’s a lot. For example, last month Antelope Valley law enforcement conducted a raid of 205 illegal cannabis grows which resulted in 131 arrests and the seizure of over 33,000 pounds of weed. At 150 gallons of water per pound of cannabis, that equals 4,950,000 gallons of water used by only a fraction of the illegal operations that have been currently discovered.

Twentynine Palms, my hometown, and the surrounding desert region known as Wonder Valley, is a particular hotbed for these set ups. The problem is this area is a true desert with very little rain or periods of humidity throughout the year. San Bernardino County averages 15 inches of rainfall annually, but 29 Palms only gets about 6 inches. While other illegal grows are situated in areas that at least make more sense geographically, like Humboldt County which averages 55 inches of rainfall per year, and is coastal so there is also more natural humidity in the air; desert grows are unsustainable in the long run.

To make matters worse, massive areas of important vegetation and crucial wildlife habitats are being gutted to make room for these enterprises. “Our desert is being destroyed as we live and breathe,” says Tom Egan, Wildlife Biologist and California Desert Representative at Defenders of Wildlife. “Barren expanse levelled for unregulated cannabis cultivation – in a very dense tortoise population area designated as critical habitat for this species and per our research, may be completely extirpated from the western Mojave wilds within 20 years. Further, the area is crucial habitat for the threatened Mohave ground squirrel.”

“Some people have a deep abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country… And some people don’t…” Egan added.

Also of major concern is the use of dangerous pesticides. Not only is that bad for consumers who are potentially smoking pot laced with toxic chemicals, but runoff and disposal of these materials is threatening the landscape in unimaginable ways. At a recent bust in Lancaster, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Fish & Game were called upon the discovery of two dead bears near the area. Necropsy showed that illegal pesticides where the cause of death. It has also been reported that it’s common for growers at these sites to bury containers of sewage and other garbage below the desert floor. After windstorms, a lot of trash can surface.

Most Precious Desert Resource

Let’s talk a bit more about water. We already discussed how much water the region gets and an estimate of how much goes toward illegal pot; but what we didn’t cover yet is how exactly these cultivators are even obtaining so much water. The short answer, a lot of it is stolen.

illegal cannabis
Illegal desert grow, scattered trash, Joshua Trees in background – Photo provided by Tom Egan, Wildlife Biologist and California Desert Representative at Defenders of Wildlife

Pot growers are certainly not the only ones stealing water, and with California experiencing record droughts, water theft across the state is at an all-time high. There are numerous ways this can be done – like pulling water from remote filling stations, tapping into area fire hydrants, pumping water from rivers, lakes, dams, reservoirs, and pipelines, and even stealing water from homes and farms that run off private wells. By the second quarter of this year, 126 Californians have already reported water thefts to state authorities, which more than double from a decade ago.

Some thieves have even resorted to conducting elaborate break-ins of pressurized water mains, a dangerous and potentially destructive method referred to as hot-tapping. In Antelope Valley, there used to be an average of 2 hot-tapping incidents per year. In 2020, about a dozen had been reported and that number is still rising. Every water main break-in can result in “over $10,000 worth of equipment damage”, says Anish Saraiya, public works deputy for the Los Angeles County Supervisor.

Undermining Legal Operations

Starting a business in California can be difficult, but opening a cannabis business in the state is especially challenging. Don’t get me wrong, this industry can make you incredibly successful in CA, but it won’t come easy. Whether you intend on opening a dispensary, running a delivery service, or plan to set up as a cultivator, prepare to spend a ridiculous amount of money on licensing and fees, more than startups in any other industry.

Then, you will need to pick the location of your business. This can be problematic if you plan on growing because it will require a lot of space, which is not cheap in California, and you will need to find an area that allows cannabis cultivation, as it is prohibited in many localities. Most experts agree that it can take an initial investment upwards of $500,000 to get your foot in the door of California’s legal cannabis industry – not to mention the annual overhead costs, exorbitant taxes, and the list goes on and on.

All that blood, sweat, tears, and cold hard cash, and legal operators are still stuck competing with underground businesses who do not have to worry about any of the aforementioned stresses.  Cameron Wald, executive vice president of Project Cannabis, which owns four stores in LA, said the illegal dispensaries can profit in ways completely out of reach for legal businesses. “We have outrageous price compression that we have to see at our stores to compete with people that are not paying their taxes,” he said. “They’re not paying their permitting fees. They’re not paying the city.”

New Frontier Data, a Denver-based company that studies cannabis trends, estimates there are $70 billion in illegal sales nationally — making it seven times the size of the legal market. “This means the legal market is capturing only a fraction of total demand,” the company said in a summary of U.S. cannabis demand trends released this month.

Those operating illegal businesses aren’t bound by the same laws that legal ones are, such as limits on daily sales, laboratory testing of products, and zoning regulations. Any legal grower or dispensary owner that breaks the law can be fined thousands of dollars per week and eventually get shut down. Illegal operators that get shut down often save so much money from the fees and taxes they aren’t paying, that they are able to reopen in a matter of weeks, a process that can take years for anyone working through the legal channels.

Local Voices

“When our family moved to Twentynine Palms nine years ago, it was peaceful and calm,” said local Amy Tessier, 38. “The invasion of pot farms changed all that. … We don’t go for walks under the stars anymore. It just doesn’t feel safe.”

“The smell of pot farms smacks me in the face every day,” said Patricia Domay, 80, longtime resident of Landers. “It’s like a bad dream. New ones are popping up every day, and there’s not a sheriff’s deputy or code enforcement officer in sight.”

Patricia Horwath, a Wonder Valley resident of 23 years, looks off into the distance of the creosote-lined desert horizon. “Straight ahead are just a few of more than 20 illegal cannabis grows that have sprouted within a few miles of my home over the past year or so.”

“Some [people] carry guns,” she added, with a sigh of frustration, “and have lookouts who sit in trucks and vans, closely scanning — and even photographing — people and vehicles passing by.”

She also mentioned a very awkward encounter with a stranger that showed up at her house one day in the spring. Getting straight to the point, he told Horwath that he needed some of her land to grow weed. She declined, along with several other local property owners who shared similar stories.

“The subjects at these locations are intimidating the residents by brandishing firearms and not allowing them access to the areas,” says San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon. “The individuals cultivating illegal cannabis become territorial, shoot at each other, and steal the cannabis being grown.”

Final Thoughts on Illegal Cannabis Grows

To sum it all up, it’s not the illegal growing of cannabis, in and of itself, that gets most people riled up. It’s the environmental destruction and element of crime that often trail not far behind. We have come very far in bringing cannabis to the mainstream, but black market operations that pollute the land, scare locals, and take money away from legal operators paint the entire industry in a negative light – making it that much more difficult to pass progressive legislation that could benefit everyone.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. For more articles like this one, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter.

The post The Truth About Illegal Cannabis Grows in California’s Mojave Desert appeared first on CBD Testers.

Weed Seeds: Top 5 Cannabis Seed Banks for Home-Grows

Growing cannabis has gotten even more popular now that 18 states have recreational legalizations, and over 30 are cleared for medical. But where can a prospective grower buy the best quality seeds? Here’s a run down of the top 5 cannabis seed banks, for the best home-grow possible.

If you’re into home-growing, finding the best cannabis seed banks is important. However, not everyone has the time and patience for self-cultivation. And that’s why we already have a great selection of Delta 8, Delta 10 THC, THCV & THC-O deals for you, so you don’t have to worry about making your own product. Delta-8, for anyone just tuning in, is an alternate form of THC which doesn’t cause the same anxiety as delta-9, and leaves users with a milder, clear-headed high. If you want great products without worrying about making them yourself, then the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter is the one for you!

Growing cannabis

When discussing nearly any cannabis topic, its hard not to draw comparisons between how things were a few decades ago and how they are today. With so much change in cannabis policy the world over, the comparison is extremely relevant, and probably will be for quite some time. In this case, the comparison relates to growing cannabis at home. During the heaviest parts of cannabis prohibition, when every state was illegal, and being caught with cannabis was almost sure jail time in most places, growing at home was done extremely quietly.

Plenty of people have been growing on their own all throughout prohibition, but a relaxation in laws has surely helped it along. There aren’t, unfortunately, many statistics about home growing out right now, but it suffices to say that with less restrictions on it, the numbers should only be rising. Though there aren’t official or consistent numbers out there, the increase is reflected in the multitude of cannabis legalizations all across the world, that allow home cultivation for medical use in places where the plant isn’t legalized recreationally, or for recreational use, where it is.

home-cultivation

Countries like Italy and Argentina have made sure that residents have the right to grow, and the state of New Jersey showed its unhappiness when recreational cannabis was legalized without a home-grow law. Organizations like Mama Cultiva push not only for cannabis legalization in general, but for home-grow rights, particularly for medical patients. The organization helped push through Argentina’s home-grow laws, as well as in Chile, which allows self-cultivation for recreational use, even though recreational use isn’t legal.

These days growing cannabis has become much more commonplace, with laws in legalized states often allowing users to grow a certain number of plants, and many medical legalizations allowing the same thing for medical patients. Even the equipment to grow the plants, once demonized as much as the plants themselves, is considered pretty standard, with no more fear of selling products on the open market. A few decades ago, a person could get themselves in hot water just for buying marijuana growing equipment. Now there are tutorials made by dispensaries and organizations, waiting to show you how to do it.

Whole articles could be written on the process of growing cannabis, but that’s not terribly important here, since our main concern isn’t in the entire growing process, but simply, the best cannabis seed banks to buy seeds from. However, to give an idea of how easy it is to grow it, a basic rundown of the process is given at the end.

Best cannabis seed banks

If you’re going to do a home grow, you want it to turn out well, and the very first thing to consider for this, are the seeds being used. Here are five of the best cannabis seed banks if you want to do a home-grow.

5. The company Seedsman provides a huge selection of seeds. They sell feminized, regular seeds, and auto flowering seeds, using over 120 top breeders. The company offers bitcoin discounts, has a customer loyalty point system, and includes free seeds in every order. The company offers fast shipping, and stealth packaging. This company ships seeds worldwide.

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4. The company I Love Growing Marijuana also ranks high in terms of providing quality, trusted, seeds. This company has a very high rating on Trustpilot (9.4), and provides a money-back guarantee. The company also offers free shipping to both the US and Europe, growing support 24 hours a day along with a  growing guidebook, and a selection of seeds that encompass their own creations, plus well-known strains. The company uses very discreet packaging for customer privacy.

3. MSNL is a company out of the Netherlands, which is also a great provider of quality seeds. MSNL delivers worldwide, and has been a trusted cannabis seed source since 1999. The company offers its own versions of over 200 popular strains, and offers regular, feminized, and auto flowering selections. The company is a pro at stealth delivery, offers bitcoin discounts, and is the winner previously of both the High Times Cup and Cannabis Cup.

cannabis seed banks

2. The company Crop King Seeds has been in business for over 15 years, and offers a massive selection including 500 new varieties of regular, feminized, and auto flowering seeds, all sold under the company’s own brand name. Crop King Seeds accepts bitcoin payments, has fast and discreet shipping, and is very much a trusted company, coming in with a score of 4.2 on Trustpilot. This company is run out of Canada, but ships to the US as well.

1. My favorite seed bank is Seed City. This brand offers plenty of new cannabis seeds, along with rarer strains, from over 200 breeders. The company ships throughout the world, using crush-proof tubes for delivery, and fashions packages to look like a gift (the ultimate in stealth). Seed City is known for its niche cannabis seed options, ability for consumers to pick their own free seeds, and a choice of over 5,000 single seeds. The company translates into 22 languages, making it ideal for non-English speakers. This company offers bitcoin deals, and has a 4.8 rating on Trustpilot, making it the most trustworthy company on the list.

How-to grow it

Usually home grows are done inside, though this is not a rule. When done inside, the grower has much more control over the environment, with the ability to adjust and control temperature, humidity, and light. This is beneficial for keeping a consistent environment, especially in locations where there is more weather variation that could stress the plant. Cannabis plants do best when not stressed out, so consistent environments are generally best for the highest quality flowers. Each grow comes with some choices for the grower to make:

  • What kind of light? This can be the sun, fluorescent lights, LEDs, (LECs) Light Emitting Ceramic, or metal halide & high-pressure sodium lights. Each of these has benefits and detractions that a prospective grower will want to go over in order to choose the light source best for their grow.
  • The next choice is what to grow the plant in, which is less obvious than expected if you were just thinking ‘soil’. In fact, plenty of options exist, including soil, soilless mixes (used in hydroponics setups), water (also for hydroponics), or even air, if the plant is being grown aeroponics style, though this is less common. Prospective growers must choose the growing medium correct for their grow.
  • Next choice regards nutrients, and the options are relevant to the growing medium. A hydroponics grow and a soil grow, will require different forms of nutrients.
  • The last major choice is in the cannabis seeds themselves. These run the gamut in terms of options, and growers can choose their seeds based on the plants they want to get out of it. The cannabis seed banks listed above are the best way of ensuring the delivery of quality seeds.

Once these choices have been made, the growing can begin. There are some basic steps for every grow, even if the exact amount of time varies by strain, or by grow. Though every strain varies in the time it will need on average to grow – from start to finish – it should take approximately 3-5 months. Here are the basics:

cannabis seed banks

Germination – Usually done in a separate (and smaller) pot from where the plant will actually grow. Some people place the seed in wet paper towels until the growth starts, at which point the seedling is put in a hole in the soil, and then covered afterwards. It can take 1-7 days for germination.

Vegetative state – This is where your plant spends much of its time, and its an important phase, because this is when your plant can really grow big. During this time the plant will expand out greatly, and letting it grow bigger will allow for more buds later. Flowering does not occur during this phase. This lasts approximately 4-8 weeks.

Flowering stage – This is when the big buds grow. This phase can last anywhere from 6-14+ weeks. Strains vary in how long they are in the flowering stage, with a pretty hefty difference in time frames.

Harvest – This is when the plants have reached full maturity and and are ready to be cut, trimmed, and cured. There is generally about a 2-3 week window here.

Post-harvest – This is when the plants are dried and cured, a process that can last anywhere from 2.5 weeks to over 1.5 months.

Conclusion

Getting in on home growing is the new thing. In the past, prospective growers had to put some seeds in generic soil, and hope for a feminine plant. These days, a grower can order whatever seeds they want from cannabis seed banks, in whatever strain is available, making home growing that much more precise.

The most important thing for any grow? The seeds of course! If you’re looking to grow your own plants, take a look at the top cannabis seed banks, and choose the perfect seeds for your home-grow needs.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.


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Origins of Cannabis: Plant Was First Domesticated 12,000 Years Ago

Researchers investigating the first domestication of cannabis have determined that the plant was originally cultivated in what is now northwestern China, according to a recently released study published in the journal Science Advances. The team of researchers investigating the origins of cannabis analyzed the genomes of more than 100 cannabis plants from around the world to conduct the study.

“It confirms it is one of the oldest cultivated plants,” said Luca Fumagalli, a biologist working at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, who led the study. “We think it was a multipurpose plant. It was exploited for fiber, food and oil, and possibly medical and recreational purposes,” he said.

The research contradicts the commonly held belief that cannabis originated in Central Asia, perhaps in valleys of the Hindu Kush mountain range. The study determined that there are four genetically distinct categories of cannabis including a primordial group, a hemp group, and two groups bred for drugs. The researchers concluded that the first domestication of cannabis occurred in northwest China about 12,000 years ago, and that the plants cultivated likely had multiple uses.

“We show that cannabis sativa was first domesticated in early Neolithic times in East Asia and that all current hemp and drug cultivars diverged from an ancestral gene pool currently represented by feral plants and landraces in China,” the study reads.

A Global Sample of Cannabis Strains

To conduct the research, Fumagalli and investigators from Britain, China, India, Pakistan, Qatar and Switzerland analyzed the genomes of 82 plants collected for the study and genomic data for 28 more plants that had been previously collected. The 110 plants included landrace strains, feral plants, historical cultivars and modern hybrids.

The researchers determined that the wild ancestor of modern cannabis is likely extinct, but strains growing in northwest China are its closest living relatives. The genomic dating of about 12,000 for the first domestication of cannabis is consistent with archaeological evidence, including pottery with hemp cord markings from about the same time.

“Our genomic dating suggests that early domesticated ancestors of hemp and drug types diverged from Basal cannabis [around 12,000 years ago], indicating that the species had already been domesticated by early Neolithic times,” the study adds.

The study into the origins of cannabis also determined that farmers began breeding distinct strains of cannabis for drug or fiber production only about 4,000 years ago. The researchers identified several changes brought about by selective breeding, including a number of mutations that inhibit branching in hemp strains. These mutations cause the plants in the hemp genetic group to grow taller and produce more fiber in the stem.

The first domestication of cannabis cultivars for drug production took advantage of mutations that increase branching, resulting in shorter, bushier plants with more flowers and boosted resin production. Plants in the drug groups also showed several mutations that increase the production of THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis.

Previous research into the origins of cannabis cultivation has been limited due to the difficulty in obtaining a wide range of samples from around the world. The new study included samples collected by researchers from the wild, as well as strains being cultivated by farmers around the globe. But geographic challenges were not the only obstacle to collecting plants for the genetic research – investigators also had to keep the legal implications of possessing cannabis in mind.

“You can’t just go and collect samples because you go to jail,” Fumagalli said.

Research Implications

The study contradicts the belief that cannabis originated in Central Asia, which is based largely on the fact that the plant can often be found growing wild in the region, which also has a cannabis culture dating back thousands of years. But Fumagalli said that the plant readily adapts to growing conditions found all over the world, adding “That’s why it’s called weed.”

The researchers determined that the genomic study and other evidence suggests that the origins of cannabis lie farther east and discounted the commonly held belief.

“Contrary to a widely-accepted view, which associates cannabis with a Central Asian center of crop domestication, our results are consistent with a single domestication origin of cannabis sativa in East Asia, in line with early archaeological evidence,” the authors of the study wrote.

The authors wrote that the study provides an “unprecedented” base of genomic information for ongoing breeding, as well as functional agricultural and medical research. They added that the study “provides new insights into the domestication and global spread of a plant with divergent structural and biochemical products at a time in which there is a resurgence of interest in its use, reflecting changing social attitudes and corresponding challenges to its legal status in many countries.”

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Cannabis Planting: Summer in the Mendocino Highlands

Late June and July have been sizzling in dry heat up here in the mountains of the Emerald Triangle, home of Swami Select cannabis. Although we still had some frosty mornings in late May (cold enough to lose some tomato plants), luckily the young cannabis plants here at Ganja Ma Gardens survived. There were even two days of unexpected and blessed rainfall in early June. But now, in this heat, somehow the cannabis girls are loving it – as long as they get adequate water and nutrients from drip lines, compost teas and foliar sprays. At the present moment, the plants are looking good – a nice color green, with sturdy stalks and bushy branches. They are about as tall as they have ever been for this time of year, a testament to our springtime preparations. But no time to get cocky…We always think we’re gonna win the World Series when we start the season. It’s a long haul from sprouting to smoking.

Transplanting Preparations

May and June were busy with the many remaining tasks to get the garden ready for the immanent surge of transplanting. The compost tea soil drench continued, and the final amendments were added: a mix of homemade compost, worm castings and the neighbor’s alpaca manure. The new holes for the “hugellettes” (individual small mounds of living soil for each plant) we added to the garden this year were filled with short logs and sprinkled with gypsum powder, which helps loosen the clay in the soil. They were topped up into little mounds with a mixture of wood chips, leaves, manure, alfalfa meal, worm castings and our own soil mix.

Every year we do things a little differently, learning from the crises and problems of the previous year, refining our technique and responding to the challenges of climate change. This year, the biggest difference is that we had Leafworks test all of our seedling starts for their gender. They have a special way of analyzing the DNA code to look for the three genetic markers that determine maleness.

For several days in mid-May, we tested the samples. The crew mobilized around the process, which was precise and painstaking. We all wore sterile gloves and had to sterilize the scissors in alcohol after each leaf was clipped (the lab needs just the tip of a leaf after the plant has three tiers above the rounded cotyledon leaves). Next, we labeled each plant to coincide with the test tube that held its sample leaf tip. It takes a lot of concentration to keep track of everything.

We received the first batch of results about a week later, when we could tuck the first plants into their hugellette beds on May 28, which was a full three weeks earlier than the first planting in previous years. This means the plants were in their final spot in the ground for a longer period of time. And with the days getting longer and longer leading up to the Summer Solstice, the yield will hopefully increase.

Transplanting Day

Transplanting day is a rush – almost a sacrament. It’s a bit like the day the seeds are started, and a bit like the first morning of harvest. Considering the blazing hot sun, we decided to start the transplanting in the early evening so the delicate girls wouldn’t get sunburned. Later in June, we actually put shade cloth over the fresh transplants. 

In the process, the female starts were taken out of their one-gallon pots and placed in their mound beds, protected deep in the soil by a hardware cloth basket around the roots. Since they were transplanted so much earlier, there weren’t any root bound plants, which can be a problem if you have to wait until late June or even July for the girls to show their sex in their original pots. Once tucked in with a little water and a dash of mycorhyzol, each mound had a drip tube secured in a spiral around the plant, and the bed was covered with wheat straw mulch.

Once all the girls were in their beds, each plant had its blue Metrc tag (California Track and trace system) attached to its trunk. A feeding regimen consisting of a soil drench of compost tea and foliar feeding was set up. Then, the strongest males chosen for breeding were transplanted to larger pots and moved to isolation, far away behind the barn. The remaining males were put down, and we saved their soil for next year’s starts. 

For the next big task, we dipped the trellis system’s bamboo and metal poles in hydrogen peroxide to kill any mold and set them out in the sun’s rays for purification. Each mound was then fixed with a square of four vertical poles about four feet apart, ready for the attachment of the horizontal bamboo sticks with zip ties. We start with just one tier of horizontals, about two feet off the ground. As the plants shoot higher, we continue to add more tiers at two-foot intervals.

Fire Season Ready

One of the biggest jobs was getting the farm ready for fire season. Because we live in the Mendocino Highlands, at the edge of an old growth Douglas Fir Forest, this meant trimming off all the low hanging branches on the trees near the buildings – barn, sheds, cabins and the house. In regenerative fashion, we sent the trimmed-off branches through a woodchipper and set them aside for next year’s garden – yet another way cannabis farming can sequester carbon.  

In addition, the gutters and roofs were cleaned of debris and the ground around the buildings was raked clear. We also cleaned up the fallen trees that had blown down in the gusty winter winds along the entrance road.

Finally, in compliance with Cal Fire directives, we added street address numbers at each turn off along our long private road. We also have a fire hydrant and a small trailer set up with a 200-gallon water tank and a transfer pump with a 50-foot hose as a first response unit. May we never have to use it. But we can’t forget last year’s fires, which were just fifteen miles to the southeast and fifteen miles to the northeast of us. Fortunately, they did not damage the cannabis crop, although the grey skies may have stunted the yield a little. We p that California is spared the all-threatening fires this year.  

Come mid-July, we fed each plant about one half gallon of bokashi to stimulate microbial growth in the beds. The fermented grains consisted of wheat bran with EM-1 and molasses that we had started in late June. We also started a new compost pile using the wood chips from the fire preparation cleanup as a base, to which we add organic vegetable kitchen scraps and oak leaves, and then water and inoculate with compost tea.

Monitoring the Garden

Now, as the dog days of summer kick in, we maintain vigilance for pests and pathogens, and monitor the plants for any signs of distress. We will also keep checking each girl to confirm that she is still a female, because under stress, they can sometimes change their sex to male. 

In the meantime, we continue to focus on all the painstaking details of obtaining the permits we need for our CEQA (California Environment Quality Act) clearance so that we can continue cultivating the magic cannabis plant to supply our dear customers. It’s all a labor of love and our passion.

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