Higher Profile: Ed & Jane Rosenthal, Quick Trading Publishing

Ed Rosenthal is an icon—an OG in the cannabis space with more than a dozen educational books on growing the plant in print. He’s known as an authority on the subject, teaching long-running classes at prestigious Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, where he makes his home with his wife and partner of more than 30 years, Jane Klein.

As one of the founders of High Times Magazine in New York City in 1974, Ed was dubbed the Guru of Ganja, writing his “Ask Ed” column for more than 20 years—long before online community forums or social media were places to gather and share information.

“Tom Forcade, Ron Lichty, and myself developed the concept for the magazine,” Ed shared. “I’d been doing statistical analysis based on a paper by Peter Knocke comparing the number of imported rolling papers over five to six years. The implication was that any increase in imports was generated by increased cannabis use. We looked at other factors as well to guesstimate the number of people using cannabis, including how many joints a day someone would smoke. Our conclusion was that the number of cannabis was vastly underestimated and a large enough community to support a monthly magazine.”

This scientific approach to the early stages of launching a national magazine entirely about weed was encouraging to the team, who were already fringe journalists and cannabis rights activists in the 1970s and had run the Underground Press Syndicate for many years.

“We mapped out 100 stories we thought we could publish, including my column,” Ed added. “Those stories became the first two years of the magazine. We didn’t have any ads at first, so we used national mainstream ads without permission, and that brought in a lot of advertisers to follow.”

As a journalist, Ed was embedded in the underground, reporting on grows that were considered illegal activities at the time. His “Ask Ed” column became the go-to for growers large and small at a time when doing so could land you in Federal prison. Ed knew that though the plant was illegal, people would grow it anyway; showing how to grow it better was a much needed service.

When asked about the decades worth of misinformation about cannabis as a medicinal plant, Ed responded vehemently, “It’s not misinformation, they lied to us to achieve the goal of discriminating against minorities and cannabis users! Even more shameful was the fact that the government knew about the medicinal benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids, patenting them while lying to the public.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Shafer Commission’s report, published in 1972, calling for the decriminalization of cannabis, as it was about to be put on the Department of Health’s Schedule 1. Authored by then former Pennsylvania Governor Raymond P. Shafer, the report was ignored by the administration under Pres. Richard Nixon—who appointed Governor Shafer to the task, then proceeded to keep cannabis on the list of dangerous drugs with no medicinal value.

For those of us like Ed, who have been penning articles and columns to the contrary for years, positive changes have been slow in coming, but we persist.

Courtesy of Ed Rosenthal

Deputized, then Raided

In 2002, Ed was raided at his nursery where he grew plants for patients that got distributed through medical dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay area. The subsequent court case was one of the most high-profile at the time, as Ed had been Deputized prior to the raid by the City of Oakland as an officer, able to distribute legal medical cannabis under California’s Proposition 215, as voted on in 1996.

The Federally selected jury, however, was not privy to this State recognition, and Ed was convicted in 2003 with all charges overturned by the Federal Appeals Court in 2006. This was due to a cannabis-sympathetic juror questioning the trial to a lawyer friend, who provided misinformation about juror responsibilities. But, Ed had a firm belief that he’d never do time for the plant. 

“The judge lost friends over my trial—he and his wife were socialites in San Francisco, but they stopped being invited to parties. Everyone was against convicting me for this plant,” he said. “I was an educator and an activist—I did everything with the plant but sell it. For me, the trial was just another way to help change the public opinion of the law.

Unlike many who’ve been raided, persecuted, and judged for working with the plant, Ed went back to life as usual, publishing, educating, and advocating for the right to grow and use cannabis.

Nuptials, Lilies, and Weed

Through all the trials and tribulations, one little-known aspect of Ed’s life is the one he’s shared with his longtime partner and wife of 33 years, Jane Klein.

Ed was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and Jane grew up in Hempsted, Long Island—but the two might as well have been from two different worlds.

They met through mutual friends, but Jane said he was too much of a hippie for her at the time.

In actuality, Ed’s past life included working as an Assistant Compliance Officer for a stock brokerage company. The year was 1967, and a co-worker brought Jane over to visit; but it wasn’t until the 1980s, after Jane and Ed had both put down roots in California that they became close.

One rumor within the cannabis community is that Jane also grew cannabis when they met, but the truth is, Jane grows other kinds of flowers, and they both grow vegetables together in their at-home hydroponics garden.

“I love to grow lilies, and Ed has a hydro bumper crop of tomatoes growing now,” Jane said. “Ed made onion soup the other night from scallions, zucchini, and peppers from the garden.”

Jane has been indispensable as CEO of their Quick Trading Publishing company, publishing most of Ed’s and other writer’s books for more than 25 years. 

“We don’t just regurgitate his old columns or how-to books,” she said. “Each book is updated to the times, as lighting and growing practices are always changing.”

His current effort, The Cannabis Grower’s Handbook, with Dr. Robert Flannery and Angela Bacca, includes a preface by Steve DeAngelo, a forward by none other than Tommy Chong, and an introduction by Angela Bacca. It’s an epic, updated compilation of just about everything you’d like to know about growing cannabis, and then some.

Ed has collaborated with many talented writers over the years in the space, including Angela Bacca, Ellen Holland, and David Downs.

As for their longevity in the space, both Ed and Jane agree the plant has something to do with that, as well.

“We are very fortunate to be in our 70s and aren’t taking any pharmaceutical medications,” Jane concluded. “Cannabis has taken the steam off tension, anxiety, stress—which can all cause illness, disorders, and psychological damage.”

In classic Ed form, he chided, “Besides my relationship with Jane, cannabis is the longest running relationship I’ve had with a woman in my entire life.” As he said this, Jane chuckled beside him.

Rosenthal
Courtesy of Ed Rosenthal

Backyard Weed for All

Ed’s accomplishments over the years as an activist are too numerous to name, and he has no intention of stopping yet. Recently on stage during the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Barcelona, Spain, he quipped to an amused audience, “Everything they told us about weed is wrong. They said weed would lead to hard drugs, but we all know weed leads to hash.”

“Ed has just launched a lifetime dream towards fulfilling the goal of helping people to grow free backyard weed for all,” Jane shared. “Legalization in the U.S. is almost the law of the land now, and we are focusing on the POWs—the Prisoners of Weed.”

Ed’s Prisoners of Weed book pack includes two of his books, Cannabis Grower’s Handbook and Ask Ed: Marijuana Success, and a pack of seeds—genetics approved by Ed. Ten percent of proceeds go to the Last Prisoner Project, supporting the release and financial help to POWs.

“This is a real win-win-win,” Ed surmised. “I didn’t have to do time after I was raided, and I looked at it as just another form of activism. But, there are still people out there doing time for a plant many are profiting on now, and that’s wrong. We need to change that yesterday.”

For more information on Ed visit edrosenthal.com 

For more information on The Last Prisoner Project visit, lastprisonerproject.org

Follow Ed on Facebook
Instagram @edrosenthal420
Twitter @edrosenthal 

The post Higher Profile: Ed & Jane Rosenthal, Quick Trading Publishing appeared first on High Times.

See, Taste and Touch the Difference with Cryo Cure Cannabis

Cryo Cure is changing traditional cannabis drying and curing techniques with its revolutionary freeze-dried technology that removes water content to preserve cannabis at an optimal moisture level. The drying and curing process is arguably one of the most critical steps for all cannabis cultivators—from home growers to large-scale corporate operations.

This phase ensures that the fragile trichomes and terpene potency are preserved for maximum taste and efficacy. If not performed properly, those beautiful buds are at risk of developing mold and degradation. With Cryo Cure, cultivators can expect perfectly preserved, premium cannabis or hemp that dries in 12-16 hours and is completely ready for packaging or retail in just 24 hours. That’s a fraction of the time that the weekslong drying and curing process traditionally takes.

Not Your Typical Freeze-Dried Weed

A macro shot of Cryo-cured Lemoncello. PHOTO Courtesy of Cryo Cure.

The basic principle of freeze-drying removes water from a product as a vapor via a high-pressure vacuum. During the process, the product is solidly frozen, eliminating or minimizing shrinkage and resulting in near-perfect preservation. This novel approach to drying and curing cannabis has various advantages: It keeps fresher for longer; it inhales smoothly; and the fluffy buds have great aesthetic appeal. 

However, traditional freeze-dried cannabis is not without its drawbacks. The amount of moisture that freeze dryers remove is detrimental to the cannabis flower’s integrity—in terms of both looks and potency.

Cryo Cure is different. Utilizing proprietary freeze-drying technology in its cannabis and hemp curing machines, the right amount of moisture from flower or trim is extracted. This revolutionary cannabis drying and curing process perfectly balances moisture levels for terpene and phytocannabinoid preservation, creating a “fresh from the farm” feeling that’s a delight for the senses. This process can take as little as 12-16 hours, shaving weeks off the typical hang drying phase.

The Cryo Cure Process

Cryo Cure high capacity machine.
Cryo Cure’s high capacity freeze-drying machine. PHOTO Courtesy of Cryo Cure.

By dialing in the ideal measurement of time, temperature and pressure, “Cryo Cured” flower is far superior to freeze-dried cannabis in terms of quality and experience. Cryo Cure’s patented machines don’t merely zap moisture away and call it a day. They keep cannabis aromatic, tasty, strong and euphoric. Let’s review how. 

STEP 01: FREEZING

The first step in the Cryo Cure process is to freeze the cannabis or industrial hemp to -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit for no less than 10 hours. This preserves the flower’s shape and integrity. Select Cryo Cure models have a built-in freezer for this purpose, or you can use a separate freezer that’s the right size and meets specifications for sub-critical temperatures.

STEP 02: VACUUM PRESSURE

The now-frozen product is placed into the material chamber under vacuum pressure in order to facilitate sublimation.

STEP 03: SUBLIMATION

Sublimation is a process during which a solid is turned into a gas, skipping the liquid stage in between. Controlled radiant heat is applied during this process, converting the frozen moisture in the product directly into vapor.

STEP 04: CONDENSATION

The vapor is condensed back into a solid and collected in the ice bank.

STEP 05: DEFROST

The ice in the ice bank is melted and drained from the ice bank in the form of a hydrosol liquid. Any terpenes lost in the sublimation process can be reclaimed from the hydrosol to be used in other processed products such as vape pens and oils.

Cryo Cure has developed different sized cannabis freeze-drying machines that cater to all curing needs. The bestselling models are the CC360, which can hold between 66 and 132 pounds of wet weigh-in per cycle, and the HC10 which can hold 1,000 pounds of wet weigh-in per cycle. There are also two commercial walk-in freezer options available in both 10’ x 10’, and 10’ x 20’ models.

The Cryo Cure Difference

Cryo Cure cannabis
Cryo-cured cannabis is ready for packaging or retail in just 24 hours. PHOTO Brie Brewer.

With Cryo Cure, the color, taste and texture of cannabis that are typically lost during traditional processes are perfectly preserved, resulting in higher yields and less time between harvest and product distribution and sales. In other words, you can expect more money in your pocket sooner. This is a game-changer for commercial grow ops, as top-shelf cannabis customers will notice the vibrant, fluffy, aromatic buds that have up to 95% terpene retention. 

Currently, Cryo Cured top shelf cannabis and hemp brands are available at limited dispensaries in Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Michigan and Massachusetts. Additionally, there are planned rollouts in Washington State, California and Rhode Island, Maine, Canada and Jamaica by the end of 2022. Look for the Cryo Cured seal of approval.

Ed Rosenthal, the Guru of Ganja, said, “Cryo Cure is a revolution in curing technology that keeps terpenes trichomes and THC content more intact than any other process.” 

In a market of good weed, Cryo Cure will make yours stand out for being great.

The post See, Taste and Touch the Difference with Cryo Cure Cannabis appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Exclusiva: Ed Rosenthal, el ‘Gurú de la Ganja’, Habla de Autocultivo e Industria del Cannabis

Nota por Nicolás José Rodríguez publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

“El gurú de la ganja”, Ed Rosenthal, es una autoridad internacional en horticultura del cannabis, además de autor, educador, activista social y pionero de la legalización.

Cofundador de la revista High Times, Ed es profesor en la Universidad de Oaksterdam, en Oakland, California, y es autor de la guía de cultivo “Ed Rosenthal’s Marijuana Grower’s Handbook“, libro que, desde 1978, ha inspirado a millones de personas a aprender las mejores técnicas de cultivo de marihuana.

En 2002, Ed fue enjuiciado por cultivar marihuana y su caso cambió la opinión pública a favor de las leyes estatales sobre la marihuana medicinal. En 2003, California aprobó la Ley SB420, que reglamenta y formaliza el régimen de autocultivo en el estado y regula por primera vez la industria del cannabis medicinal en los EE.UU.

Contenido relacionado: Legalización de la Marihuana en EEUU: Qué Dice el Borrador del Proyecto de Ley Presentado en el Senado

A los 77 años, el profesor y autor pone en perspectiva los avances del movimiento por el autocultivo, se plantea algunas cuestiones inherentes a la industria y regala algunas pistas para pensar el futuro de la legalización en Latinoamérica.

Todo el mundo debería tener derecho a cultivar

Desde que Ed comenzó a militar la causa del autocultivo, hace 50 años, el movimiento ha logrado algunos grados de libertad en términos de dónde podemos cultivar nuestro cannabis y bajo qué reglas. Sin embargo, él cree que es una revolución incompleta y que aún quedan cosas por conseguir.

El horticultor explica que existen varias leyes estatales en Estados Unidos que permiten a la gente consumir y comprar, pero no cultivar por su cuenta. Por ejemplo, en el estado de Washington, donde actualmente la gente no puede cultivar, pero sí puede comprar cannabis en los dispensarios habilitados.

Razones para defender el autocultivo

En primer lugar, el autocultivo se trata de una reivindicación de los placeres y del goce colectivo e individual. “Cultivar una planta es un placer”, afirma Rosenthal.

Otra razón para sostener el autocultivo es una cuestión de salud: “Cuando cultivamos sabemos lo que consumimos y así evitamos consumir pesticidas, herbicidas o fertilizantes”.

Foto por Christian Peacock

Y, por último, existen razones de justicia social. “Es muchísimo más barato (y por ende más accesible a todos) cultivar cannabis de modo natural, antes que salir a comprarla”, agrega Ed.

“El uso de la marihuana puede no ser adictivo, pero su cultivo sí lo es. Hay personas que ya no usan la marihuana, pero todavía les gusta cultivar. Cultivar es muy adictivo, y la razón de eso tiene mucho de antropomorfismo: la marihuana es una planta anual y tiene etapas de crecimiento, una etapa vegetativa, una etapa reproductiva y, luego, muere. Y eso es algo así como los seres humanos”.

De ‘marihuana’ a ‘cannabis’: la resignificación de una planta

Desde finales de la década del ‘70, los EE.UU. vieron una explosion del autocultivo y la cultura cannábica se expandió por todo el mundo. En parte, gracias al trabajo de personas como Ed, desde medios de comunicación contraculturales como la revista High Times.

Memoria viva del movimiento, Ed participó de la escena contracultural del condado de Marin y del histórico barrio de Haight-Ashbury, en la ciudad de San Francisco. Por caso, de allí provenían muchos de los primeros cultivadores que arribaron al norte de California para forjar (para bien o para mal) la primera región cannabica ampliamente reconocida en la cultura pop. Región que es considerada como la meca de la autogestión y de la vida por fuera de los conservadores suburbios blancos estadounidenses típicos de la postguerra.

Desde entonces, cambió el modo en que pensamos a la marihuana: pasó de ser una bandera revolucionaria contracultural a convertirse, además, en una medicina potenciadora de la vida en individuos cada vez más productivos, relajados y felices, que acatan las reglas sociales dominantes.

Ed considera que es muy interesante que el cannabis haya pasado de ser un paria, a ser considerado un producto esencial durante la pandemia. Y cree que, en parte, esto se debió a una cuestión de control social: si la gente iba a quedarse en casa, la sociedad entendió que sería mucho más saludable que consumieran marihuana antes que alcohol.

Y, además, Ed destaca la expansión de la cultura cannabica a nivel internacional como impulsor de un cambio global. Algo parecido a lo que sucede en la industria de la música.

“Como con Seth Rogen fumando un porro en la televisión, ¿cómo saber a dónde puede viajar ese chico con su mensaje? ¡Por todas partes, claro! Hay un aspecto internacional en la expansión de nuestro movimiento y también hay un aspecto fuertemente regional”.

Contenido relacionado: Porro en la Tele: Conan O’Brien Fuma Marihuana con Seth Rogen y la Audiencia Enloquece 

El horticultor experimentado afirma que en distintas zonas se puede cultivar un determinado acervo genético por su resistencia a la enfermedad u otras condiciones ambientales. Las variedades y técnicas de cultivo difieren en cuanto a su rendimiento por zonas y el rendimiento varía según la latitud. En tanto, todos estos aspectos influyen en que cada región desarrolle distintas formas de relacionarse con la planta y que distintas culturas cannábicas contribuyan al avance del movimiento.

La legalización en perspectiva

Ed Rosenthal cree que el avance de la legalización en California avanzó como una cuestión de justicia racial, por un lado; y, por otro, como un cambio cultural que barrió el país entero, a partir de 1974 cuando la marihuana se despenalizó por primera vez en Oregon, y la gente comenzó a familiarizarse con ella.

Y aclara que “en el norte de California, los cultivadores estuvieron notablemente ausentes en el impulso de la legalización, una buena parte de ellos quería que siguiera siendo ilegal para seguir teniendo un mercado con precios inflados por el riesgo de ser atrapados”.

Según Ed, una vez que la marihuana se presentó como una cuestión médica, “más y más personas se familiarizaron con ella porque más personas la estaban usando”. La aceptación general de la marihuana creció y “llegó a la mayoría de los votantes en algún momento a finales de los años 90”.

ed rosenthal snoop dogg
Ed Rosenthal junto a Snoop Dogg

“Fue a largo plazo, llevó 50 años, pero la sociedad pasó de estar dos tercios en contra a, quizás, dos tercios a favor. Ciertamente una mayoría. Y un buen ejemplo de ello sería Oklahoma, que es un estado muy conservador, votó por Trump la segunda vez, pero también 70% votó a favor de la marihuana medicinal”, analiza Rosenthal.

Lo que muestra cómo, incluso en un estado conservador, el esfuerzo concertado puede hacer el cambio.

“Creo que hay un gran número de empresas internacionales que están tratando de entrar en varios lugares en América del Sur. Esto tiene sus puntos buenos y malos, pero no hay ninguna razón por la que el cannabis tiene que ser nada más que regional”, explica el “Gurú de la Ganja”.

De acuerdo con Ed, no hay ninguna razón por la que no se pueda producir cannabis en cooperativas o tener tanto cultivo casero como producción a pequeña escala.

“Mi principal preocupación es que la gente tenga derecho a cultivar su marihuana. Cuanto más cerca de la flor esté el consumidor, más fácil es que el cannabis se mantenga regional. Por eso, no me importa que haya empresas industriales gigantes de cannabis, mientras la gente tenga derecho a cultivar lo suyo en su casa”.

California: ¿un faro para la industria?

Y si de regiones cannábicas se trata, es imposible no pensar en California. A menudo, el estado se proyecta como el faro de la industria. Sin embargo, Ed mantiene sus reservas en torno a la posibilidad de hacer de California un modelo for-export.

Contenido relacionado: EEUU: California Inyectará USD 100 M a Industria de Cannabis para Licencias

Lacónico, el septuagenario autor afirma: “No estoy de acuerdo con eso de que California sea un faro de la industria. Tampoco es una receta. Ni, mucho menos, una bala de plata”.

Rosenthal explica que California ha hecho que sea muy difícil entrar en la industria.

En primer lugar, muchos condados no permiten la industria en absoluto y no permiten el cultivo casero en exteriores, mientras que la ley estatal restringe a los cultivadores caseros a seis plantas.

“Así que si quieres cultivar un montón de plantas pequeñas (en California) estás infringiendo la ley, aunque no produzcan mucho. Y hay muchas razones por las que la gente puede querer cultivar plantas pequeñas. Es una cuestión de espacio y se necesita menos tiempo para hacerlo. Además, la gente necesita más variedades para su propio uso”.

Ed nos explica que, además, existe un problema de licencias limitadas, lo que hace que la gente común y las empresas compitan por ellas, y no huelga recalcar que cree que la marihuana “debería ser un mercado abierto”.

A modo de ejemplo, explica que si la gente pasara los requisitos higiénicos y otros requisitos comerciales, “deberían poder abrir una tienda. No creo que todos deban pagar millones por las licencias. Esto crea una situación poco equitativa y hace muy difícil que la gente entre en el mercado”.

Otro problema en California, según Ed, es el recuento de plantas como medida de la cantidad que la gente puede cultivar y considera que “contar la cantidad de plantas es un método totalmente anticientífico, improductivo e inutil que debería ser eliminado”.

“La idea de etiquetar las plantas es ridícula. ¿Te imaginás que hiciéramos eso con el maíz o el trigo o algo así? Estoy seguro de que en el futuro estos métodos serán eliminados porque son estúpidos y frenan el uso industrial de la planta, dispara todos los costos que te imagines y es malo para el medio ambiente”.

Ed explica que, a menudo, en California, la gente se ve obligada a cultivar plantas más grandes que son muy ineficientes y, nuevamente, como buen docente, clarifica con un ejemplo:

“Tomemos una planta típica. Ya sabes, que tiene un metro y medio de altura, digamos. Pasa gran parte de su tiempo vegetando, haciendo crecer un montón de hojas y ramas, que no son cosechadas. Así, pasa mucho tiempo en un estado inútil para nosotros. Las plantas más pequeñas permiten acortar los tiempos de floración y garantizar una provisión casera de cannabis constante para el usuario”.

Ed Rosenthal junto a Tommy Chong // Foto: Kerry Raynolds

En torno a cuál es el método de registro y medición de cultivos que él recomienda, Ed aconseja concentrarse en la canopia o dosel arbóreo de las plantas. En conclusión, la sombra que proyecta las copas de las plantas sobre el terreno: “California debería basarse en la ciencia para medir la cantidad de plantas. Es decir, en la cantidad de espacio y la cantidad de luz que recibe en determinadas condiciones ambientales y en la superficie”.

Cannabis, equidad Social y movilidad entre clases sociales

Además de los problemas regulatorios y técnicos, Ed señala que el estado todavía guarda una deuda enorme con las minorias raciales y clases sociales que han sido históricamente criminalizadas por el consumo de cannabis y apunta a los programas de equidad social que buscan habilitar la entrada de pequeños negocios de personas de color en la industria.

“Si hubiera facilidad para entrar en el mercado, no se necesitaría un programa de equidad”.

Contenido relacionado: Por Qué la Equidad Social es Tan Importante para la Industria del Cannabis

En pocas palabras, Ed nos cuenta que si la gente tuviera suficiente dinero para abrir una tienda de cannabis, si pudiera obtener una licencia similar a la de una tienda de comestibles, en general, no sería una situación restringida. Simplemente lo haría. Pero aquí están diciendo, ‘oh no’, sólo un cierto número de licencias, ‘sorry’, solo tenemos 12 licencias disponibles y no, no, no hay licencia para ti”.

Rosenthal cree que, parte de la razón por la que muchos estados proceden de esta manera, es por una cuestión impositiva, ya que es más fácil grabar a unas pocas grandes corporaciones “que salir a recaudar de muchos pequeños agricultores”.

Ed apunta a “los requisitos burocráticos que están pensados para proteger a la gente que ya está en el negocio y que hacen que sea muy caro abrir una tienda de cannabis”.

De hecho, las licencias pueden costar desde cientos de miles a millones de USD.

Ed Rosenthal llama a estos programas “programa de inequidad social”, a lo que agrega: “En Nevada, por ejemplo, sólo para aplicar, tienes que poner u$s 500.000. Eso es parte del programa de inequidad. Y es una cuestión de clase. Se trata de una diferencia entre clases sociales que los reguladores no entienden”.

Y agrega que, a menudo, la necesidad económica de algunas personas inscritas en los programas de equidad social permite que sean utilizados como fachada por inversores más poderosos que permanecen en las sombras.

“No estoy diciendo que la equidad social sea un montón de mierda, pero sucede que, a veces, se incluyen inversores de minorías raciales que ya están en el negocio, o gente que oportunamente encuentra supuestos socios que haya sido perjudicado por las leyes penales, para armar emprendimientos de supuesta equidad social, para luego comprar su participación tan pronto como sea legalmente posible y dejarles fuera del negocio”.

Para revertir este proceso de “inequidad social”, Rosenthal propone más y mejor formación de la fuerza de trabajo de la industria en el estado: “Si realmente quisieran alcanzar equidad social en esta industria, lo que se debería hacer es financiar programas de pasantías y formación empresarial”.

La idea de Ed no es nueva para Latinoamérica. Básicamente, el profesor plantea que la industria debería servir al ascenso social de los trabajadores de la industria a través de la inversión en educación. Esto, para él, significa equidad social en el cannabis y un aporte a la justicia social que es posible.

ed rosenthal
Foto: Dabsel Adams

“Mi idea es que la gente realmente se mueva entre clases sociales” más allá de seleccionar arbitrariamente “a algunas cuantas personas de minorías raciales a las que se les ha negado la equidad”.

Si lo que realmente se quiere hacer es que la sociedad en general avance, lo que se debe hacer es que la entrada en el mercado no sea tan ardua y costosa como lo es ahora y dar herramientas a los productores para mejorar su negocio. Esto es un negocio y se debe dar licencia a todos los que quieran tenerla y pagar impuestos”.

Ed se refiere a la concesión de licencias de forma continua como una posible salida al esquema actual.

“Ahora en California han autorizado la cocina casera para que la gente pueda vender productos de panadería o, ya sabes, diferentes cosas. Bueno, ¿por qué no hacer lo mismo entonces para el cannabis?”, suma. Y agrega: “Esto impediría que cuando la gente compre cannabis, una gran parte de ese dinero se fugue de la comunidad y quede dentro de la comunidad de productores”.

Clases sociales y sindicalización en la industria del cannabis

Ed Rosenthal cree que los sindicatos deben tener un lugar en el cannabis, ya que hay mucha mano de obra en el sector.

Contenido relacionado: EEUU: Cada Vez Son Más los Sindicatos de Cannabis

“E incluso con la mecanización y la automatización, siempre habrá una cierta cantidad de mano de obra. Y creo que sería bueno tener sindicatos tanto en la fase productiva como en la venta al por menor del cannabis”.

Rosenthal cree que los trabajadores tendrán remuneraciones y condiciones laborales justas, al paso que impediría la explotación laboral de trabajadores migrantes que llegan a California con la ilusión de ganar sumas impensadas en sus países de origen. Pero que, a menudo, se encuentran viviendo en condiciones de explotación, haciendo un trabajo monótono y repetitivo con poco descanso y sin estándares de seguridad e higiene.

Denominaciones de origen en Cannabis: el caso de Mendocino y Humboldt

Una de las estrategias en boga en California, para realzar el valor de los productos regionales de cannabis, son los regímenes de denominación de origen, como con el vino. Los productores de los condados de Humboldt y Mendocino, al norte del estado, están aprontando las regulaciones para hacer de su cannabis un producto distinto, que aproveche la creciente reputación cannabica de la región, para penetrar en nichos del mercado nacional e internacional.

Consultado al respecto, Rosenthal considera al sistema “controversial”. “Porque los productores suelen cambiar el terruño, el suelo autóctono en el que se cultivan las plantas”.

Foto: Dabsel Adams

Dado que no utilizan realmente los suelos autóctonos, ¿por qué deberían tener esa denominación?

Por otro lado, Ed afirma que a pesar de lo que la mayoría de los cultivadores piensan, que tienen variedades “autóctonas” (landraces), en realidad no lo son y están constantemente siendo manipuladas.

“La razón por la que los productores arribaron al ‘triángulo esmeralda’, a los condados de Trinity y Humboldt, no fue por el buen suelo o el maravilloso clima, que definitivamente no tienen. Si realmente quieres cultivar un buen cannabis, lo que quieres es mucha luz solar, radiación UV y una buena cantidad de calor. No necesitas venir a Humboldt”.

“No ves a los agricultores corriendo a las montañas del norte del estado para cultivar maíz o verduras. El único motivo por el cual la gente subió allí es la difícil intercepción por parte de la policía. Muchos de ellos han hecho cosas ilegales en lo que respecta al medio ambiente, recortaron las cimas de las montañas, introdujeron nutrientes en el suelo y filtraron combustibles en las napas lo que mata la vegetación nativa”.

Y agrega entre sonrisas: “Esto que acabo de decir me traerá un montón de correos electrónicos cargados de odio”.

El Modelo del Tomate

A propósito del futuro del autocultivo y la evolución de la industria, Rosenthal considera que debería existir lugar para todos. Y explica su estrategia para la producción de cannabis a baja escala, a través de lo que él llama el “Modelo del Tomate”.

Contenido relacionado: California: Pequeños Agricultores de Cannabis se Unen para Mantener su Independencia

El Gurú explica que “existen empresas internacionales que cultivan tomates y, en paralelo, existen agricultores agrupados en foros regionales, cooperativas, cámaras y agricultores individuales o jardineros que pueden vender sus tomates al costado del camino y pueden competir en el ‘segmento boutique’ con un tomate industrial”.

“Más personas cultivan sus propios tomates en casa para su propio consumo que todos los grupos industriales tomateros combinados. Y creo que, si tuviéramos regulaciones inteligentes, eso es lo que pasaría en el cannabis”, aclara.

Rosenthal afirma que no le importa que haya organizaciones industriales multinacionales que ciertamente contribuyen al progreso de la industria. Pero aclara que “este avance no debe proceder entre restricciones para los individuos y los pequeños cultivadores”.

Fotos de cortesía

The post Exclusiva: Ed Rosenthal, el ‘Gurú de la Ganja’, Habla de Autocultivo e Industria del Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

Tips for Planning Your Spring Cannabis Garden at Home

There’s a lot to consider before making the decision to create and sustain a cannabis garden. Cultivators can never know too much about growing cannabis, so being educated about the process and diligent about the health of the crop will make a world of difference.

We’ve collected some articles designed to help you prepare your home garden for spring. Happy planting!

PHOTO Gracie Malley

READ: How to Prep Your Home Garden to Grow Cannabis

While cannabis is similar to plenty of other crops that home gardeners might be used to, given that the same key ingredients are soil and light, the cannabis plant still requires some unique expertise. Ahead of the planting season, Cannabis Now spoke with two experts to get their take on how home growers should prepare their gardens for a successful marijuana cultivation season.

PHOTO PD-USGov

READ: Guano is the Way to Go

There are lots of people who have tried their hand at growing cannabis with guano and there are many who have failed for a few simple reasons. Guano, especially bat guano, can actually be a deterrent to your crop rather than the great gift most seem to think it is.

PHOTO Gracie Malley

READ: 10 Things to Know Before You Grow

Some may think that getting into growing marijuana is an easy affair. That idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Cultivating marijuana successfully takes a great deal of detailed planning, skill and consistent effort. Each crop takes eight to 10 weeks to mature, so the grower will have to spend at least an hour a day while caring for them to ensure the plants live up to their potential.

Wick System main
PHOTO Ed Rosenthal

READ: Building a Wick System: An Easy Way to Grow

Leading cannabis horticulture authority Ed Rosenthal has released a new book that delivers useful ideas for starting your own homegrown, like this excerpt about creating a wick system. The wick container system is an easy way to garden because it’s self-watering and removes the uncertainty of when to water.

cannabis male plant cannabis now
PHOTO DoobieDuck

READ: How to Tell if Your Cannabis Plant is Male or Female

Cannabis cultivators the world over know the obsessive, purgatorial feeling of waiting for their plants to mature to discern sex — female, male or hermaphrodite. There’s no way to ascertain if a seedling is male or female with the naked eye. This article lays out the way to tell the difference between sexes in cannabis plants.

The post Tips for Planning Your Spring Cannabis Garden at Home appeared first on Cannabis Now.

What Is Shatter?: The Science Behind the Golden Glass

Cannabis concentrates have been around for about as long as humans have been enjoying the benefits of cannabis, but the way they’re made and consumed has evolved dramatically in just the past few years. If there’s a single style of concentrate that epitomizes this seismic shift in cannabis technology and culture, it’s definitely shatter.

Produced in crystal clear sheets of glittering golden glass, nothing else looks quite like a slab of superb shatter. The shimmering clarity invites you to gaze into its reflective surface, while the tantalizing aroma (and the promise of swift, efficient cannabinoid impacts) urge you to, well, shatter it and consume the intoxicating vapor hidden within.

Shatter is more than just one of the most popular concentrate styles on the market, it’s a symbol of the new wave in cannabis and a high watermark for ambitious extractors who want to make the best. Its dramatic aesthetics often inspire shock and confusion in the uninitiated — and even those who enjoy dabbing shatter often know little about how its made.

The History of Shatter

Long gone are the days when smoking hash in America meant purchasing a piece broken off a brick shipped from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Morocco: By the early ’90s, the advent of prefabricated “kief boxes” and “bubble bags” inspired a dry sift and ice water hash boom that transformed the U.S. market into a largely domestic affair. NorCal dispensary shelves were overstocked with bubble hash by the early ’00s — just in time for the next revolution in cannabis: solvent extraction, which is how shatter is made.

What Is Solvent Extraction?

Solvent extraction isn’t new — it’s used in countless industrial processes, including the decaffeination of coffee and the production of perfumes and food flavors. In fact, none of the “new” techniques for making concentrates are really new, but the application of solvent extraction to cannabis was absolutely groundbreaking. Solvent extraction is complicated, but essentially, a solvent is run through cannabis plant matter, which strips the desirable oils from the plant. Because of its low cost and wide availability, butane has emerged as the most popular solvent option for hydrocarbon extraction, which has led to the term Butane Hash Oil or BHO.

BHO vs. Shatter

But what about shatter? All shatter is BHO but not all BHO is shatter. BHO can take on many forms, including the newly popular extraction, terp sauce.

Consider this metaphor from Larry Blackmon of the ’80s funk-pop group Cameo: When it comes to the many physical forms it can take, BHO is “just like candy.” There are exceptions, but candy is usually just some treatment of the same ingredient: sugar syrup. You can take that syrup and heat it to 270˚F – 290˚F and create a malleable taffy, or you could also raise the heat to 300˚F – 310˚F and end up with a hard, brittle consistency like a lollipop. It’s the same with shatter. Think of shatter as the hard candy of BHO.

The Science Behind How Shatter Is Made

In a molecular sense, shatter is basically cannabinoid glass. Its appearance is the result of its tight, orderly molecular structure. Part of what makes this structure so hard to attain is the perfect balance between the components it entails. The THC and other cannabinoids are solid, while terpenes are liquid, so shatter is basically an emulsion of the two. As with all emulsions, it will eventually break down and “nucleate,” which creates the “buddering” or “sugaring” effect.

As with candy, the key to achieving an orderly, glass consistency is largely based on temperature.

The “classic” methods of extracting cannabis were mostly mechanical, relying on agitation and screens to physically remove and refine resin glands from plant matter. Solvent extraction uses chemistry to strip away the desirable cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in a volatile mixture of those and the extraction solvent. Depending on how you purge that, you can end up with wax, shatter or any of the other physical styles of BHO. My book with Ed Rosenthal, “Beyond Buds: Next Generation,” explores different methods of extraction as well as new ways to consume cannabis concentrates.

There are idiosyncratic factors with every strain and batch, but as with candy, certain temperature ranges will generally produce certain respective characteristics: For shatter, the temperature settings for your vacuum purge will generally fall between 95˚F and 115˚F, with a vacuum pressure of at least -600 mm Hg.

The post What Is Shatter?: The Science Behind the Golden Glass appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Dutch Passion Spreads the Seeds

In 1997, a man named Henk van Dalen found “the Holy Grail.”
Starting in the 1970s, he’d grown his own cannabis, opened an Amsterdam
coffeeshop and founded one of the world’s first cannabis seed banks, but he
knew he was also capable of achieving a long-anticipated goal for cannabis
breeding: discovering how to create feminized seeds.

When van Dalen bred those first feminized seeds in 1997, he solidified his seed bank, Dutch Passion, as a pioneer in the international cannabis industry. Today, it’s been more than two decades since the invention of feminized seeds and the cannabis industry has new holy grails to chase — but van Dalen and Dutch Passion are still here chasing.

Dutch Passion’s Shaman.

I met Dutch Passion’s head of genetics and new territories, Mahmoud Hanachi, at the legendary cannabis author Ed Rosenthal’s home garden on a brisk Bay Area winter morning. Hanachi was visiting California from Amsterdam and looking to meet new potential business partners. In a crisp white button-up, faded jeans and white sneakers, Hanachi appeared the quintessential new school European cannabis businessman, and his sensibility matched. He’d woken up early, taken advantage of the time difference to get some work done and called his wife and children back home.

When we talked in Rosenthal’s garden, over a cup of tea and a smoke, Hanachi spoke about the cannabis industry with a clear-eyed candor. He joked about the ridiculous nature of cannabis laws around the globe (for example, in Austria, it is legal to grow cannabis as an ornamental plant, but not to harvest and sell the flower you’ve grown), but noted that the rest of the world is increasingly challenging America’s prohibition hegemony.

“The future is definitely going toward worldwide
legalization,” Hanachi said. “Some places will move faster than others, but
it’s just a matter of time.”

Then, as squirrels played in a nearby tree, Hanachi gave a
glimpse into what Dutch Passion’s new holy grail might be: a truly global,
recognizable cannabis flower brand, sold legally around the world.

Canada & Beyond

When it comes to the legal global cannabis market, all roads pretty much pass through Canada. For the past three years, Dutch Passion has been working on entering the Canadian market, and by 2018, they legally exported their seeds to many of Canada’s Licensed Producers. Hanachi says Dutch Passion is one of the only commercial cannabis seed companies that has been able to navigate the complex government regulations in Holland to get the necessary phytosanitary certificates to legally export their seeds.

Dutch Passion’s Passion #1.

But, perhaps most interestingly, Dutch Passion is now moving
beyond simply selling seeds. The company now also has branded pre-rolls and
cannabis flowers for sale through one Canadian producer, Weed Me — and those
products are sold in the same packaging as the Dutch Passion pre-rolls and
flower they now have for sale in Italy, where cannabis with less than 0.6
percent THC is legal for sale.

“We’re using the same packaging in Italy as Canada, because we want to have uniformity across the world,” Hanachi said. “In the future, if the U.S. opens up, we’d want to use the same packaging here.”

However, he added that Dutch Passion doesn’t have much interest in the U.S. hemp market, where — unless the FDA releases regulations limiting the sale of hemp flower with less than 0.3 percent THC — it is likely that a new legal market will develop rapidly this year.

Dutch Passion’s The Ultimate.

“For us, [hemp] wouldn’t be that interesting,” Hanachi said.
“We are recreational breeders and we have always bred recreational strains.”

Dutch Passion is certainly not the only cannabis company to
be eyeing global expansion, with Canadian firms acquiring the top brass in
pro-cannabis U.S. states almost every day and a handful of cultivating
companies expanding to newly legal countries like Colombia, Lesotho and
Macedonia. But given their unique position as a legal seed bank that can move
their genetics across international borders, as well as their OG legacy in the
industry, Dutch Passion could be the first to set up a recognizable and legal
cannabis product line that — like so many other products in our increasingly
globalized world — is exactly the same on one side of the planet as the other.

Strain Symphony

When it comes to the actual flower being sold, the
Amsterdam-based seed company is still focused on developing new seed lines. In
January, they released four new strains, all of them featuring genetics
garnering hype on the American side of the Atlantic.

There’s Meringue, a sweet cross between Wedding Cake and
Animal Cookies. There’s Mokum’s Tulip, a frosty Gelato and Sherbet cross, and
an autoflowering version of their award-winning Lemon Zkittlez. And finally,
there’s HiFi 4G, an interesting cross between a North American cut of WiFi OG
and Dutch Passion’s best European-style OG, Glueberry OG.

Dutch Passion’s Critical Orange Punch.

“Smoking HiFi 4G makes the experience of listening to music
a different kind of thing,” Hanachi says, lifting his hands up over his torso.
“You feel your body uptake the music.”

Hanachi says that they intentionally bred a top American OG with a top European OG in order to bring together two different terpene profiles and create a new flavor palate.

Dutch Passion’s seed relationship with Weed Me currently only flows in one direction, with Dutch Passion sending seeds to Canada. But soon, Hanachi says that they’re going to have a partnership in Canada where they can grow out their own strains and phenohunt on a large scale.

Dutch Passion’s Frisian Dew.

“Right now, we are working in our political climate in Holland, which is still underground, more or less,” Hanachi says, referencing Holland’s “backdoor problem,” whereby it is legal to have cannabis seeds and sell cannabis in coffeeshops, but not legal to grow on a large scale. “With the partnership we are building in Canada, we can work at a faster pace and breed for different cannabinoid levels. There are some interesting times still ahead of us.”

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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THCA Diamond Mining

Diamonds have been considered the quintessential precious gems since the age of antiquity —unadulterated expressions of the crystal form, prized both for their luminous clarity and all-but-unbreakable strength. This innate fascination with carbon diamonds is partially behind the rise of THCA “diamonds,” the latest craze in cannabis extraction and the reason your dispensary’s concentrate shelf looks like a jewelry store display case.

Steinfarm, a Seattle-based photographer who specializes in photographing THCA diamonds, says that the similarities between the two types of diamonds was central to his transition into professional cannabis photography. Before becoming a cannabis photographer, he spent eight years working as a commercial product photographer and the majority of his clientele were in the jewelry business. The most common item he was paid to photograph? Diamond rings.

Stacked diamonds on a dab tool of the strain Middlefork from DabX

As it turns out, there aren’t that many aesthetic differences between carbon diamonds and cannabis diamonds, and as soon as he started photographing them, Steinfarm realized he already knew what he was doing.

“I was shooting diamond rings, and I started seeing these [crystalized] concentrates come out,” he says. “I was looking for an edge into the industry and the diamonds are kind of where it hit off, cause honestly, they’re really similar to earth diamonds.”

That similarity explains the appeal of cannabis diamonds, but what are they, and why does it seem like they’re everywhere lately?

Mandarin Headband from DabX

The diamonds are made from THCA, which is the acidic compound in the plant that becomes THC when it is exposed to heat. Crystalline THCA has been widely available for several years, but even at purity levels as high as 97 percent, it tends to have a powdery appearance to the naked eye. Then, Guild Extracts in California pioneered the use of molecular isolation and became famous for their large THCA crystals with purity levels over 99 percent. Some other companies managed to more or less reproduce Guild’s results with lower potency isolation, but the large crystal refinement wasn’t ever consistently replicated by anyone else, largely because of how technically involved the process is.

Then, as the tastes of dabbers turned from shatter to sauce, which is basically just a semi-separated mixture of viscous high-terpene extract and small THCA crystals, extractors found a simple, low-tech method for encouraging larger crystal formations. These “sauce diamonds” have become an object of obsession for many concentrate connoisseurs and are a favorite on social media, where their striking aesthetics make for some dazzling imagery, whether it’s a casual snap from a bragging dabber or a studio portrait of a massive crystal.

Legend of Nigeria from Phat Panda

How THCA Diamonds Are Mined

Cannabis extraction, in general, is all about removing inert plant matter and isolating the primary cannabis compounds desired by humans, which break down into two main groups: terpenes and cannabinoids. Terpenes, which give cannabis its unique spectrum of scents and flavors and play a crucial role in the entourage effect (the idea that cannabinoids work best in harmony with one another) are liquid at room temperature and regular pressure. On the other hand, cannabinoids — compounds which directly interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to produce the physiological impacts of cannabis consumption — take solid form under typical conditions.

Almost all cannabis concentrates contain both terpenes and cannabinoids, making them susceptible to a process called nucleation, which ultimately causes them to separate. If you’ve ever seen what happens to an old envelope of shatter, then you’ve witnessed the result of nucleation, which is fundamentally the same physical process that creates sauce diamonds. The difference is that when shatter nucleates, it generally doesn’t form crystalline structures, at least not ones that you can see. But using a simple process sometimes called “jar tech” or “diamond mining,” you can create large crystal formations using little more than time.

Sour Tangie from Dab Lab

As I noted in my book with cannabis legend Ed Rosenthal, “Beyond Buds: Next Generation,” most large sauce diamonds start as BHO live resin, which is created by running fresh or flash frozen cannabis (instead of cured buds) through a closed loop extractor. The resulting oil receives a light purge without a vacuum to offgas most of the oil’s residual solvents. The liquid that remains is poured into jars and left alone for two or three weeks, at which point there should be substantial crystal growth. The process is based on separation, so you’ll also get a viscous, high-terpene extract with cannabinoid crystals.

Some extractors will boost crystal formation by adding other solvents, but not Josh Zeise, lead extractor at DabX, an extraction company based out of Oak Harbor, Washington that specializes in sauce diamonds.

“We do a live butane or propane extraction. We don’t use pentane — that’s called cheating,” he said. “We’ll use natural-derived, steam-distilled terpenes. All we use to make the diamonds is live resin for our live diamonds or fresh/cured material for our regular diamonds.”

Topical OG from DabX

Steinfarm says DabX diamonds are some of his favorite to photograph, and a glance at these images explains why. But he stressed that the quality can be both seen and tasted, and that he’s yet to find anything else quite like it in the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s crazy flavorful,” he said. “I haven’t found anything that tastes quite like it up here.”

Zeise said it’s fun to watch the crystals form in the jar, and that for a certain kind of cannabis consumer, dabbing a big THCA diamond is the ultimate experience. However, he said he also makes sauces with smaller crystals for those seeking a more even-handed potency.

“You get those THC chasers, so it’s always nice to offer the big diamonds just for them,” he said, adding that his deep stash of in-house genetics lets him dial in strains for both crystal size and terpene intensity. “The Orange Kush is what you need for big crystals, the Dutch Treat brings the terps.”

When it comes to Zeise’s favorite form of cannabis? It’s the same answer you hear from about 80 percent of extractors and hash makers.

“I actually smoke flower,” he said. “I just dabbed so much it gets me lifted for like fifteen minutes, but I love dripping the terps on the flower.”

Kiwi Skunk from DabX

Diamonds Aren’t Forever

The science behind “jar tech” is relatively uncomplicated, but as with many facets of the emerging legal cannabis industry — particularly in California — the regulations concerning extraction are dense and sometimes a bit arbitrary.

Rodney Galgiani is the head of extraction at Apex Solutions in Oakland, California and is responsible for their top-shelf products, including those from leading NorCal brands like Terp Boys. He says regulatory restrictions make “jar tech” as it’s practiced illegal.

At issue are the glass jars used to store the crystallizing hash oil. These containers don’t comply with the stringent process requirements for extractors under California’s regulatory framework, and while Galgiani has experimented with other containers and workarounds, he says it’s proven to be more trouble than it’s worth. He said the profit margins are already so slim that creating compliant procedures is hardly worth it.

Mandarin Headband from DabX

Unfortunately, he says he doesn’t see big sauce diamonds featuring in the legal market moving forward. During a visit to the Apex laboratory, he pointed to a 2-ounce jar filled with big, glimmering crystals sitting inside a vacuum oven.

“Those are the last big diamonds that’ll ever come out of this lab,” he said. “It’s all about applesauce [with smaller crystals] moving forward… when it comes down to it, you need the terps, and if you just have a couple of huge crystals in the jar, it’s not getting distributed evenly.”

Of course, the regulatory hurdles that seem poised to slap the lid on jar tech won’t affect producers like Guild, who create crystalline THCA diamonds using other proprietary methods, but if it becomes a little easier to distinguish your cannabis social media feed from a boutique in Antwerp in the coming months, you’ll know why.

Chem Brulee from Dank Czar

Behind the Hype for THCA Diamonds

Industrial applications notwithstanding, carbon diamonds are predominantly valued for their dramatic appearance in jewelry, and it’s really no different where THCA “diamonds” are concerned.

From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to chase large THCA diamonds. Most obviously, smaller crystal formations more evenly distributed throughout a terpene-rich base allow for more uniform potency. But also, the smaller crystals in terp sauce are quicker to produce, there are fewer testing and regulatory headaches for the extractor, and on balance, it’s a more useful product for the consumer.

Killa Gorilla from DabX

Still… I find myself gazing into the glimmering asymmetry of a 2.5-karat THCA diamond, regarding its luminescent clarity with a dreamy smile I’ve never given to a half-gram of hash before. I gingerly clutch the shimmering crystal with a pair of tweezers and raise it into a sunbeam that’s captured and refracted into prismatic flashes of sparkling rainbow light. These become more intense and frequent as I subtly tilt the diamond in the light, and for a moment I’m mesmerized, lost inside its jagged natural facets.

My hypnotic trance is broken by the insistent electric screeching of a timer I’ve set for my dab. With just the slightest pang of regret, I drop the gem into a warm banger. It melts into a bubbling puddle and vanishes into a wisp of mist and rides the light once more, as I exhale upward and that same sunbeam illuminates an angular blade of vapor, framing the turbulent trajectory of whirling spectral serpents on their first and final flight.

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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Terp Terms 101

As legalization speeds (or crawls)
forward and we learn more about the plant and how best to enjoy it, a whole
slew of new words and scientific terms have made their way into the mainstream
of cannabis culture and it can be hard to wade through the haze and keep up.

But worry not — your days of working off third-rate definitions from the internet are over. Here’s an overview of some terms, each in their own way associated with terpenes (the compounds that give cannabis its tastes and smells) from the scientific stuff to the slang, excerpted from “Beyond Buds: Next Generation,” a guide to cutting-edge cannabis consumption written by Cannabis Now contributor Ed Rosenthal and Associate Editor-at-Large Greg Zeman.

Study up, and you won’t leave another
concentrate-focused conversation feeling like the only kid in class who didn’t
do the assigned reading.

BHO: An abbreviation
for “butane hash oil”; can refer to any number of concentrates derived from
butane extraction; also can refer to raw, unpurged, liquid solution of butane
and extract bubble hash.

Closed loop:
An extraction approach that recycles the extraction solvent and contains the
process inside a closed system, as opposed to open blasting.

Crystalline: Refers to the molecular structure of a solid; the more orderly that structure is the more it will resemble a crystal. This is the natural state of “pure” cannabinoids, which are solids, and which can be purified and refined using recrystallization processes.

Decarboxylation: the removal of a carboxyl, which is a carbonate molecule (COOH). When carboxyl molecules are attached to the THC molecule, it is called THCA, or THC acid. In this form, THC lacks most of its psychoactivity. Decarboxylation removes the COOH acid molecule, leaving behind THC. Mild heat is often used to convert THCA to THC. This happens during drying, vaporization and smoking. Some decarboxylation happens naturally as marijuana cures and ages.

Diamond mining: Also
known as “Jar Tech,” this is a simple process for recrystallizing freshly
extracted BHO; this process works best using live resin.

Distillate:
The refined high-cannabinoid extract produced by distilling concentrates;
increasingly the most popular option for filling vape pen cartridges.

E-nail:
An electrical heating element for a banger or nail attached to a temperature
controller, allowing for consistent, targeted temperature dabs with no need for
a torch; apart from a quick swipe of a Q-tip, there is no downtime between
dabs.

Live resin: BHO
produced using live or flash frozen live material; the higher terpene content
makes it an ideal choice for producing sauces, sugars and other BHO
consistencies that rely on recrystallization.

Nucleation:
A natural separation process that occurs in all mixtures; in cannabis
concentrates, this means the separation of the cannabinoid solid from the
terpenes, which are natural solvents and fundamentally liquid.

Oil: A catch-all term that refers to any cannabis concentrate produced through solvent extraction, not generally used for hash or rosin.

Open blasting:
The original BHO extraction process; filling a tube with weed, blasting butane
through the tube and collecting what comes out the other side for purging; not
actually as dangerous as often presented, but more or less a non-starter in the
current regulatory climate.

Oxidation: The
action of oxygen when it unites with another substance chemically. This happens
quickly in fire, but also takes place at a much slower pace at room
temperature. For marijuana and its products, oxidation is deterioration. The
oxygen in air interacts with marijuana to reduce its THC content.

Purge: The
act of removing a solvent from a solution, as occurs during BHO or CO2
extraction.

Resin glands: General term for all trichome types on the cannabis plant.

Rosin:
The refined product of applying heat and pressure to raw buds or hash.

Rosin tech:
A mechanical extraction or refinement process for buds and hash respectively;
heat and pressure are used to coax a potent, flavorful, full-spectrum product
that is dabbable.

Shatter:
A highly regarded type of BHO characterized by its translucence and its
brittleness at room temperature; can range in consistency from “true” brittle
shatter (like golden or amber glass) to a sappy snap n’ pull consistency.

Solvent:
A substance that dissolves another substance, creating a solution — water is
the most basic solvent in the universe; because cannabinoids and terpenes are
oils, solvents used to extract them include alcohol, petroleum-based liquids
and liquid CO2.

Subcritical:
CO2 extraction done below the critical temperature and pressure
point of carbon dioxide when it turns to liquid.

Sugar:
In this context, refers to “terp sugar,” which is a sandy, granular variation
of BHO that has a damp appearance and consistency from terpene saturation.

Supercritical:
An unusual phase that occurs when a substance is held at or pushed past its
critical point when it changes from gas to liquid or similar. A supercritical
substance has different characteristics (solubility, diffusivity) than the same
substance has as a liquid or a gas; it is considered a “cloud.”

Winterization:
In bio-industry, the act of removing waxes from
an oil, usually through the application of cold temperature.

TELL US, is there any cannabis lingo that’s left you puzzled?

The post Terp Terms 101 appeared first on Cannabis Now.

10 Cannabis Books To Stock In Your Highbrary

No other plant has garnered quite so much attention as the humble weed plant.

Throughout history it has been celebrated — even deified — for its curative and euphoric properties. But, especially in recent decades, it has also been vilified, wrongly categorized and cast into the center of raging controversy.

From “Reefer Madness” in the 1930s, to planting “Hemp for Victory” during WWII, to our current status — knocking at the door of legalization nationwide after decades of strict prohibition gave way to a gradual policy thaw — cannabis has been a ubiquitous feature of the American experience.

Cannabis is again taking center stage. So it’s fitting that we take a look back at the most influential recent writing on marijuana and celebrate the books that have highlighted the subject and the triumphant march toward freeing this useful plant.

 

1) “The Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits” By Ed Rosenthal

This compilation highlights strains that have withstood the test of time and crossed into the glistening light of the new era of legalized cannabis. It’s culled from cannabis legend Ed Rosenthal’s iconic “Big Book of Buds” series.

How To Smoke Pot David Bienenstock Cannabis Now

2) “How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High” By David Bienenstock

VICE and High Times reporter David Bienenstock’s breezy, smart paperback for weed fans and allies covers standard “Weed 101” reference material. Topics include flying high and travel, how to throw weed-infused dinner parties and what to do when you’re “too high” in public.

Cannabis Books Newbies Guide to the Cannabis Industry Cannabis Now

3) “The Newbies Guide to Cannabis & The Industry” By Chris Conrad and Jeremy Daw

The authors of this book teamed up to produce a detailed work about the nuts and bolts of the cannabis industry in response to the onslaught of newcomers entering the legal green rush. A great entry point for consumers, entrepreneurs and financiers looking for entry into the new marijuana economy.

Medical Marijuana Guidebook Cannabis Now

4) “The Medical Marijuana Guide Book” By David Downs

A comprehensive work detailing the nuances of safe medical marijuana use and access in the U.S. It covers topics ranging from how to obtain a doctor’s recommendation, to which states cannabis is legal in, to medical uses and plant varietals.

Three a Light Cannabis Now

5) “Three A Light” By Joshua Haupt

This book breaks down the methods employed to attain the Holy Grail of weed cultivation – three pounds of killer cannabis grown under one sodium light. Growing procedures are straightforward and concise, and the book itself is a work of art.

Tokin Women Cannabis Now

6) “Tokin’ Women” By Nola Evangelista

A collection of intriguing profiles about women and cannabis, accompanied by images and quotes from each source. The book highlights a broad spectrum of diversity in age, era, ethnicity, social status and profession, giving us a rich blend of perspectives.

Stoned Marijuana Book Cannabis Now

7) “Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana” By David Casarett, M.D.

A physician’s journey as he searches for the answers to the question of cannabis use and its value in medicine. Casarett describes his personal experimentation and encounters with a wide array of cannabis users, including a couple treating their two-year-old child with the plant.

Medical Marijuana Memoir of a Pioneer Cannabis Now

8) “Medical Marijuana in America: Memoir of a Pioneer” By Alice O’Leary-Randall

With a highly-readable and entertaining narrative style, this book recounts how the author’s husband, Robert Randall, was able to become the only legal pot smoker in America through a federal Investigational New Drug program.

Green A Field Guide to Marijuana Cannabis Now

9) “Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana” By Dan Michaels and Erik Christiansen

While the bulk of the book focuses on stunning photos of high-quality bud, it also includes an adept chronicling of major and minor active cannabinoids, plant anatomy and phenotype as well as many of the terpenoid compounds present in cannabis.

Thai Stick Cover Cannabis Now

10) “Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana TradeBy Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter 

Told in an entertaining and scholarly manner, the authors relate the fascinating true tale about the history of smuggling Thai-weed during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Interviews with the pioneers of the first legendary weed trade make this a must-read.

TELL US, what is your favorite book about cannabis?

Originally published in Issue 24 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post 10 Cannabis Books To Stock In Your Highbrary appeared first on Cannabis Now.

The Guru of Ganga: Learning about cannabis with Ed Rosenthal

There are very few people who have been compared to both a superstar homemaker and kitschy advice columnist, but Ed Rosenthal — aka the Guru of Ganga — is that person. According to the NY Times, “Mr. Rosenthal is the pothead’s answer to Ann Landers, Judge Judy, Martha Stewart, and the Burpee Garden Wizard all in one.” 

Over Rosenthal’s 35-year career in the cannabis world, he has been an educator, writer, researcher, culture expert and activist, and is continuing to leave his mark on the ever-growing industry to this day.

Widely considered to be the world’s leading expert on marijuana cultivation, Rosenthal boasts a large body of written work including Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, The Big Book of Bud, Beyond Buds, Closet Cultivator and his long-running column, Ask Ed, which ran in High Times Magazine for many years. 

And of course, he continues to be a horticulture expert for cannabis training programs like those at  Oaksterdam University and Cannabis Training University. In fact, the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook is often referred to as the cannabis grower’s bible and features a forward from pot culture icon Tommy Chong

Mixing cannabis and business with Ed Rosenthal

Rosenthal has said, “Marijuana may not be addictive, but growing it is,” and his Handbook bears witness to his enthusiasm and knowledge. Geared toward both beginners and advanced growers, it features more than just growing tips, and includes scientific research, developments in technology, best practices for both indoor and outdoor grows, and how to save time, labor, and energy. In fact, Oaksterdam, based in the city of Oakland, uses the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook as the official course text for classes on marijuana cultivation.  

But his expertise is much broader than that. Rosenthal’s unceasing contributions to cannabis culture and widespread marijuana acceptance include founding the cannabis organization Quick Trading Publishing and marijuana consulting and technology company Quantum 9

Currently, he works as CEO for the charity Green Aid: The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund, whose mission is to provide services to protect the interests of the medical marijuana community in the United States. He is also a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, a group dedicated to a deeper understanding of cannabis compounds like CBD and THC.

Advocating for cannabis patients and dodging jail cells

Rosenthal has always viewed cannabis as a crucial social issue, and in the early 1990s, he dedicated his time and research to examine the medicinal effects of cannabis. His objective, he told The New York Times in 2003, was to determine which varieties of marijuana could be most effective in alleviating the symptoms of diseases that today’s patients do without second thought, including cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and depression. 

After the passage of Prop 215 — the trailblazing 1996 initiative that legalized medical marijuana in California — Rosenthal was made an “officer of the City” by Oakland officials in 1998. His job? To grow medical marijuana for patients in the city of Oakland. 

Following that dictum, Rosenthal sold starter plants to many Oakland co-ops and medical marijuana clubs. However, he was arrested by federal authorities and charged with marijuana cultivation and conspiracy in 2002. 

But his conviction and subsequent legal fallout never landed him in jail for any substantial amount of time. In fact, after his conviction, several jurors, who had not been told that Rosenthal had been appointed by the city of Oakland to grow medical marijuana, renounced their previous guilty verdicts because the information had been withheld at the judge’s order during the trial. 

Rosenthal was sentenced to one day in prison, and in 2006, his conviction was overturned. However, he was re-indicted in 2007 and convicted on three of five counts, including conspiracy, cultivation, and intent to distribute. Once again, he escaped the courtroom relatively unscathed, serving no prison time. 

What’s Ed Rosenthal up to now?

During the years of Rosenthal’s legal battles, Green Aid was founded to support Ed’s trial. The 501(c)(3) continues to advocate for medical marijuana patients and has worked with marijuana reform organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to keep the children of medical marijuana patients safe from home removal by Child Protective Services, and to help patients travel by air with their medicine. 

The organization also advocates to cease the practice of asset forfeiture, a dubious legal tactic whereby local law enforcement may seize money and property without evidence and without a charge or conviction. Ostensibly created to protect society at large from drug traffickers, the funds from asset forfeiture are typically fed back into law enforcement agencies who see the marijuana industry — whether operating legally or not — as easy targets. 

The founder of NORML, Keith Stroup, has said of Rosenthal, “Ed has always been an out-front marijuana legalization advocate, someone willing to push the envelope, often at some personal risk, to achieve social change.” 

Rosenthal continues to show up and challenge the War on Drugs — even in courtrooms as an expert witness for federal, state and civil marijuana cases — and will continue to leave his mark on a cannabis industry that is growing in acceptance and accessibility.

Featured image by Harold Adler/Shutterstock

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