THC Extraction: How to Turn Trim to Profits

Growers, tenders, trimmers, producers and distributors all take different risks, skillsets and roles. Working with cannabis insiders operating on both sides of the law gives insight into the process of cultivating these plants and turning them into profit. Utilizing trim is one such way.

The strain of cannabis grown doesn’t matter as much as the process you use to grow, harvest and prep the product for sale. Fruit and vegetables bought in a store aren’t just ripped from the ground and sold as is – they’re gussied up and made presentable. Cannabis is no different.

The types of nugs most dispensaries look for are indoor grown nuggets. A proper farmer can trim an outdoor nug to look like an indoor nug, but it takes the careful removal of all water leaves and stems from the product.

The trimming process is the variable that determines the value of your cannabis. A haphazard trim shaves valuable crystals off the buds while leaving crow’s feet and stickers in the product. To inspect a dispensary’s inventory quality, pick up a nug and rotate it to check the trim job.

A properly-harvested and trimmed plant leaves a large amount of trimmings. These are the water leaves, sugar leaves and unformed nugs left on the stems and stocks that have been harvested for nugs. This product now needs to be trimmed again and sorted through, stem-by-stem, in order to clean the stems and stalks out, which can be discarded.

Water leaves (leaves without crystals) are often left in the trim to be extracted. Although THC isn’t extracted from them, the leaves contain a variety of terpenes and other valuable nutrients that round out the plant’s capabilities and the extract’s flavor. By the time the trim is ready to blow through an extractor, what will be left will look like the trimmings from mowing the lawn. The extraction from this will be as good as anything one would get from extracting nuggets.

Extracting Product From Trim

Extraction can be accomplished in several ways. There are open-and closed-loop solvent (butane, propane, etc) systems, CO2, alcohol, dry ice, and even ice water extraction systems. The system used is dependent upon what is available and what the extractor is competent enough to use, although if a solvent is used, know that a safe closed-loop system could cost between $50,000 and $200,000. An open-loop system can explode because of inherent impurities in the solvent.

When using a solvent system, be careful not to overload the amount of product blowing through the tubes. Processing 10-20 lbs of trim should take at least 24 hours on a closed-loop solvent system and up to 10 days with alcohol and water distillation methods. The longer it sits, the more product is yielded.

A nug run is accomplished using nugs that wouldn’t make it to retail. Don’t shove the biggest head nugs (a.k.a – colas) into the machine. That’s sellable product – juices and jams aren’t made with the choicest produce. Instead, run nugs smaller than a thumbnail.

Once extracted, lay the gooey liquid out on wax paper in pans. To make honeycomb or wax, stirring the extract rapidly adds air, which whips the product, making it appear bigger, even though it has the same weight.

Extracts made from solvents are considered purer than those made without. A concentrate made with solvent has a higher THC or CBD content with 70 to 90 percent contents. Wax made from these concentrates will be an eggshell color and very crumbly. These are best dabbed in a vape pen.

Extracts made without solvents tend to be sold as bubble hash, as they’re basically just kief mud. These will often be much darker in color, although still provide a great high, and many people prefer the flavor of hash, which is popular in various parts of the world.

The extract will then need time to set. The sludge will bubble as gasses from the solvent, alcohol or water are released from the bubbles within. Wait at least 48 hours for the concentrate to cure before attempting to smoke it. Otherwise, there may be serious health risks, including damaging your throat and lungs or explosion because dab rigs use high heat.

Wax is known to be the least consistent concentrate and over time it gets drier and harder to deal with. Those lighter crumbly waxes may look good, but they can be difficult to work with — not to mention how easy it is to lose a lot of crumbs. Shatter is marketed as the most stable concentrate, but it, too, loses its consistency over time. Shatter is similar to a Jolly Rancher, which can be either chewy or hard, depending on how long it’s been sitting in the sun.

The concentrate many aim to duplicate is a light honey-like amber, which has maximum flavor and effect (usually around 60 to 70 percent THC/CBD content), and retains the consistency of Play-Dough throughout its lifecycle. This consistency makes dabbing easy with both a vape pen and dab rig.

TELL US, do you make your own wax, shatter or concentrates from trim?

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The Cannabis Now Croptober Harvest Roundup

There are signs that the most special time of year has come. The sun dips lower in the sky every day and the temperature drops. The leaves on the plants turn yellow and begin to die. The colas swell to almost forearm size – it must be harvest time!

We’ve curated a collection of harvest content spanning from how-tos to an inside, intimate look at a Northern California grower’s ever shifting harvest experience. We’ve also got you covered on the top strains.

PHOTO Gracie Malley

When to Harvest: How to Achieve Peak Ripeness

The best time of the year is upon us. October, otherwise known as Croptober to those already in the know, is the month when the annual outdoor cannabis crop is harvested. Soon the marijuana marketplace will be flooded with choice outdoor herb, but knowing just when to harvest is not a straightforward proposition. To answer a question like “When’s the best time to harvest?” growers must take into account a plethora of factors and, ultimately, let Mother Nature take the wheel.

PHOTO Xhico

A Brief Guide to Harvest Time

It’s that time of year again!

All of the grower’s hard work culminates in an organized frenzy of chopping branches and moving them to the safety of a drying room. All manner of structures are used for drying, from yurts to containers and attics and spare rooms. Oftentimes harvest is dictated by when the rains come. If they hold off, people will let their plants go in order to get more weight and potency. Early rain leads to a mad dash for the hills and a frenzy of branch-chopping. Whether it rains or not, many of the delicate trichomes are lost at harvest. The best farmers are the ones who can be as careful as possible during takedown.

PHOTO Nikki Lastreto

An Unusual Harvest Season

Climate change is impacting the harvest season of cannabis in California.

Clearly we have yet to fully accept that climate change is real. As the weatherperson is prone to say, “Expect increasing frequency of random catastrophic meteorological events.” In other words, anything can happen. Last year it was the same thing only different. The drought had become such a constant reality that no one foresaw the rains that poured right through October, leaving lots of mold and mildew on cannabis plants in their wake. 

PHOTO Resinated Lens, Grown by Meraki Gardens, Bred by Capulator

Harvest Hype: 5 Strains Likely to Crush the Competition

In recent years, one of the most exciting things for me to work on has been whittling down the thousands of varieties of marijuana grown outdoors in California in a given year to find the top of the pack. I’m looking for where the real magic happens: when great genetics are put into the hands of above-average farmers.

Harvest season is now in full blast as farmers not only work to get the final sections of late running Sour Diesels and various landrace genetics chopped, but also to find space in the stuffed storehouses for the cannabis to dry and cure.

A New Harvest and a New Way to Do It
PHOTO Nikki Lastreto

A New Way to Harvest

Veteran grower Nikki Lastreto brings tidings from her latest harvest in this dispatch from the farm.

We’ve all felt it coming and talked about it for years, but this past season, the enforced changes in how we harvest our favorite plant were clearly evident.

The recurring mantra around here has been “Just one more crop the old way…” But that won’t work when you enter the legal realms of cannabis cultivation. For farmers like us up here in the Emerald Triangle, renowned for our autonomous nature, it has taken quite a while to accept the concept of being told what to do on our personal farms — it’s just not our style. But we are trying.

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Start Strong: Tips for Choosing the Right Clones

Growing quality cannabis requires a harmony of many factors. There’s some amount of leeway with light, pH amounts, pests and even mold – but most of these can be easily dealt with as cultivators surf that often-challenging and unforgiving wave of cannabis’ flowering cycle. However, without healthy, vibrant plants at the onset, even the best effort can be for naught and that highly-anticipated Super Silver Haze will likely look and smell more like Super Silver Hay.

Plants that are unhealthy do much the same as humans do when they’re sick – they rest and try to get better. While its healthy sisters race towards the light, be it artificial or the real deal, a weakling plant’s growth stops and stalls. As its leaves clench in frustration, nutrients stop being absorbed and the plant sits in a state of stasis that it might not ever fully recover from. If thrown into flowering, there’s a small chance that the plant might snap out of its slump but that’s pretty unlikely. What will result is a plant that is low in resin, terpenes, potency and yield that gives up the ghost long before finishing time.

Here are a few tips to help with choosing the best clones and getting the best results.

ROOTS

There’s an ancient saying that goes, “From the fruits you shall know the roots.” With cannabis, however, the opposite makes a better maxim. Look for vibrant white roots that are actively shooting from the medium, reaching for more water and nutrients so as to grow strong and healthy. Avoid roots that look brown and inactive. It’s a good indication of what the plant wants to do at that moment in its life. White roots want to thrive; brown roots want to slumber.

LEAF TIPS

Growth is what it’s all about, so the next inspection should be plant tips. Do they have the bright green of fresh growth? Do they look active? If not, the plant may be locked up and is going to take some time to recover. Unless you’re prepared to wait until that plant is good and ready – which will definitely be long after you are – move on to a fresher specimen.

COLORATION

The above two points are easily the most essential aspects to look for when shopping for great clones. However, there are more signs an astute cultivator can tune into to see if the young plant is ready to get it on. For instance, a slight yellowing of the leaves (of an otherwise happy plant) is a sign that the plant wants more nitrogen and is ready to grow more. Develop an eye for what makes a healthy clone and the skill will serve you well in the long run.

A yellow grided card attracts bugs to it, rather than the cannabis plant.

SICKLINESS

Avoid any plant with either current or past signs of insects, be it spider mite webs, pocked leaves or powdery mildew, which presents itself like fuzzy white areas. This probably seems obvious but it’s worth stating again to underscore the fact that unhealthy young plants are a flashing sign that something is wrong.

CONFINEMENT

When importing a starter plant into your garden, have a quarantine space ready that is well lit and with good air circulation, so your new ward can live in a safe little bubble while you treat it with preventative measures.

Harry Resin is a world-renowned cannabis breeder and cultivator with figurative roots in Amsterdam

CULLING

When taking your own clones from your own garden, use only the best and throw away the rest. Some of the most experienced cloners throw away the weakest 25 percent or more of any tray, with the thought that a weak child makes a weak adult. If you want the best possible chance at big robust flowers, you want to start with the best from the very start.

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

TELL US, how do you choose your clones?

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8 Hybrid Strains to Smoke This Fall

Welcome to the time of the year when the high energy of summer has begun to wind down and we’re settling into the more relaxed rhythms of fall. When the sun is hot and outdoor activities are high, it’s a good time for uplifting sativa strains that match your social calendar full of events where you want to feel energized, happy and upbeat. But now that things are calming down before winter, the strains you’re choosing can start to reflect the new season.

Hybrid strains provide a nice balance between the floaty, cerebral high of sativas and the calming, body high from indica strains. They’re usually great to smoke any time of day, though some people may prefer to hold off on strains with heavier indica effects until the end of the day or another time when they can relax into the experience. If you’re looking for some new strains to try out while the leaves turn from green, take a look at the list below for some suggestions on where to start.

Gorilla Glue #5

This potent strain is good for anyone looking to experience the deeply calming effects of an indica strain along with the euphoria of a sativa at the same time. Prepare to feel relaxed and maybe a little sleepy along with a mood boost that will keep you pleasantly serene after just a few puffs.

Bruce Banner

The effects of this heavy hitter come on quick and intense with a mellow but energizing buzz that can lift even the lowest of spirits. It can help relieve stress, depression and even ease body pain and inflammation. Opt for this strain when you want a focused-but-stoney high where you’ll feel uplifted, creative and chill.

Skywalker OG

OG Kush (hybrid) and Skywalker (indica) are responsible for the strong body high and anxiety busting buzz of Skywalker OG. Though this strain is good for taking the edge off of insomnia, it won’t knock you out or keep you couch locked. By helping your body and mind slowly unwind simultaneously, you’ll feel at ease without being drained of energy when you start coming down.

LSD

Though you will benefit from the light pain relieving properties of this strain with a controversial name, it’s really known for its high THC content that will leave you feeling super buzzed and blissful. Expect a clear-headed, cerebral high that might be followed by an uptick in your appetite and your mood.

Dr. Who

For people who need deep relaxation but don’t want to feel worn out or lethargic, Dr. Who is a good choice for a buzz that won’t take you out of your comfort zone as long as you keep it moderate. It’s balanced genetics combine Timewreck (sativa) and Mad Scientist (indica) for a strong buzz that does wonders for pain, stress and nausea.

Girl Scout Cookies GSC Cannabis now

Girl Scout Cookies

This quintessential Bay Area strain is both classic and common among smokers who can’t get enough of its rich flavor and sky high effects that come on immediately and linger for awhile. Be ready to feel pleasantly high and in good spirits. If you have a high tolerance, you may be able to still be productive, but not if your tasks require lots of concentration.

A flowering Shangrila plant sits in front of a black background.

Shangrila

Unlike some of the other strains that kick in fast and strong, this slow-building strain starts off mellow before pleasantly sweeping you away into a serene, zen-like high. Try this strain if you need some assistance melting away the stress from demanding schedule, want to decompress after a long day or need some relief from body pain.

springtime strains

Orange Velvet

Like the name suggests, this citrusy strain tastes and smells like orange sherbert and tastes almost like an orange creamsicle with a bit of skunkiness. This is a good choice for anyone who wants a sharp, concentrated high that won’t make them feel wiry or distract them during a busy day full of things to do.

TELL US, what do you like to smoke on cozy days?

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How To Battle Animal & Mold Infestations in Outdoor Cannabis Grows

All outdoor marijuana crops have the potential to be destroyed by one or two of the various problems lurking in the wilderness, unlike indoor growing where plants are protected. In checking on the crop, make sure to keep an eye on the little details that will spell trouble later. There are a few different things to look for:

Aphids

An aphid infestation is a hard infestation to get rid of. For most of us, using chemical insecticide is the no-brainer solution, and they’re right. Aphids are very hard to kill. Chemicals can be used if the plant is still in the green foliage growth stage. If the scheduled harvest is just 2 or 3 weeks away, don’t use chemical insecticides, as the chemicals will still be present in the finished product. No one wants to risk the dangerous side effects of smoking chemicals.

The natural way to get rid of an aphid infestation on a marijuana plant involves a few steps and a bit of work. Go out and buy a few geraniums. Geraniums exude hormones that pests don’t like. Make a few palm sized cloth bags full of the geranium leaves and hang them on each plant. The hormones the geraniums exude will keep the aphids away. Now the aphid eggs left behind have to be dealt with.

Find a good thick soft cloth and some antibacterial / insecticide soap. The aphid’s eggs will be found mostly on the underside of the leaves of the plant. Using some care, just run the soapy cloth under each leaf, just once. You don’t want to scrub the leaves; just one pass over them will do if the cloth is good and soapy. You’ll feel a slight tug on the washcloth with every aphid egg that you’re displacing.

Depending on the degree of infestation, if you’re using a growing medium such as a peat and perlite mixture, the top coat might have to be replaced. The peat and perlite growing medium gives the aphids many crooks and crevasses to lay eggs in. Dig out the first inch or two and replace it with pH balanced peat and perlite mixture. Be sure to be careful around the roots and everything will be okay.

Since antibacterial / insecticide soap was used, be sure to mist the underside of the leaves for about a week to remove any traces of the chemicals in question. If there are buds present, try not to spray the pH balanced water on them. A happy nug is a dry nug.

Molds & Fungus

Since every grow operation requires standing water of some kind, one must at all times be vigilant when it comes to mold and fungal infestations. They both like to grow in standing water or on surfaces that are wet most of the time. Both molds and fungus can be made of some very nasty substances that can harm humans. If you suspect an infestation of mold or fungus, wear rubber gloves while checking things out.

The first sign of mold or fungus is the smell. It’s hard to not take a good sniff of each plant, as most stoners enjoy the scent of a marijuana plant. If you smell a damp and rotted scent while sniffing, you’ve got a problem. It might be time to break out the chemicals.

The first place to look for mold is on the part of the main stem that sticks out from the roots. Check to see if there is a slimy residue on it. If there is, then it’s time for the chemicals to come out. There is just no way around spraying the stalk with fungicide if it is moldy. This is because the base of the stem is where the plant supports itself and is the first part of the plant that allows the nutrients from the root to spread within the rest of the plant.

There might be the urge to wipe the now dead mold off of the stem. Try not to, because the mold might have punctured the stem all the way to the hollow core of the plant. Wiping away the dead mold will also wipe away the stem if it is dead. This will cause a stop in growth and possibly the loss of the plant as a whole. Leaving the stalk and the dead mold intact will keep the stem sealed – exposing the hollow inner core is a death sentence for the plant.

Marijuana is a very hearty and strong plant. It can live through some pretty major damage. While a mold and fungus infection may kill other plants, if the procedures outlined here are adhered to, the plant will live to maturity. It may have smaller buds than those plants without an infection, but it will still be greedily harvested once the buds have matured.

Mammals & Rodents

Animals love to nibble on marijuana. Whether it’s just the smell or taste or if they know that they can get high is unknown. The culprit most of the time is deer, as the first sign of having a foraging visitor nipping your buds will show on the top of the plant.

The only way to stop this foraging is to push a light mesh cover over your plants or to hang geranium bags on your plants. Animals hate the scent of geraniums, so they stay away from your plants. Another scent-based solution is mothballs. Most animals will shy away from mothballs, as the scent isn’t comparable to anything they eat in the wild.

In growing in the wild, there are bound to be a few deaths in the crop. Whether this is due to male culling or animals or mold or fungus, plant a few extra plants to make up for the future losses and the crop will turn out fine.

How do you combat pests? Tell us your grow tips below.

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Strain Review: Sour Banana Sherbet

In the past few years, Sour Banana Sherbet has picked up major hype in Oregon. We reached out to Benjamin Nadolny of Fox Hollow Flora to get the story on their popular version of DNA Genetics and Crockett Farms’ new heavy hitter.

To understand the quality of what Nadolny was working with, you have to understand what’s generally coming out of Crockett Farms — a third generation farm made up of some of the best cannabis breeders California cannabis has to offer. When it comes to heavy hitters, Crockett Farms stands alongside folks like the Cookie Fam and perennial Emerald Cup contenders 3rd Gen Fam.

In 2016 Crockett Farms’ famous Tangie — a cut they’ve been growing for a decade — blew up on the West Coast scene, where everyone and their brother grew it last season. The resulting flowers and concentrates were a pleasure to enjoy through the fall and spring this year.

With their Sour Banana Sherbet, you’re dealing with equally exciting genetics — and you can expect to see the strain on Best of the West Coast lists. It’s a pairing of the long-renowned AJ’s Sour Diesel cut and Banana Sherbet.

AJ’s Diesel cut had found its way through many cannabis breeding tales over the years. Some say it’s what Headband and Sour OG actually are, predating the two strains by quite a few years.

In 2010, JJ from Top Dawg Seeds, one of the East Coast’s long-respected outfits before the cannabis progress of the last decade, said that AJ’s Sour Diesel was, in fact, the original. With the way the timelines coincide, there is also a chance the ultra-high-end Sour Diesel that hit Mendocino and Humboldt at the turn of the millennium was, in fact, AJ’s.

“The Sour D was from AJ at Top Dawg,” Crockett of Crockett Farms told Cannabis Now. “We worked with The Cookie Fam about four years ago and were gifted Sherbet, Cookies and Y-life pollen.”

Crockett pollinated a multitude of females and made an array of possibilities choosing the (Banana OG x Sherbet) male to cross with the Sour D female creating the Sour Banana Sherbet. The Banana OG used was created by crossing Banana Kush x OG Kush.

As for the version now gaining steam in Oregon, Nadolny and the Fox Hollow team did get a bit lucky. Many folks will pop hundreds of seeds in search for the best phenotype of a strain, but they were able to find this cut of Sour Banana Sherbet with just a couple packs of seeds! They definitely hit the genetic lottery from the look of it.

But did they know they had a winner immediately?

“I got the winner off the bat, but it wasn’t the winner right away,” Nadolny said. “When I started flowering it wasn’t that strong, I ended up letting it go 11 weeks. The result, for myself, was a flower where — after I smoked it — I would end up scrubbing my entire kitchen. I started using it to do tasks around the house.”

When the cut got into the hands of Fox Hollow’s patients, the results were immediate.

“One of our PTSD patients said it was the reason they were able to get out of the house,” he said.

They also received word from others experiencing the racy-yet-functional high. Those patients’ experiences made Nadolny decide to hold on to the cut. He had always based his cuts off what patients were digging on, but he has never received this type of positive feedback for any one cut before.

“It’s not a huge yielder and it takes a long time to to finish,” Nadolny said, adding that was the patient response that encouraged him to keep growing the strain.

He went on to note that one can expect a lot of lateral branching while growing this strain. This made for some fantastically productive mother plants, with Nadolny saying he was able to score almost 200 clones off just two plants recently.

The heavy branching does lead to quite a bit of clean up and they’ve experimented heavily on the best approach for it. Nadolny suggests folks get down to just a few colas up top because the heavy branching, in this case, can lead to a lot of garbage popcorn buds down south on the plant. You’re better keeping super clean for that final push after the stretch.

“I’ve finished it in so many rooms now in 25-, 10-, and 5-gallon pots said Nadolny. “I would definitely have to say the 5-gallon pots were the most gorgeous.”

The last round cultivated in the greenhouse was able to get up to 30 percent THC, the indoor version that dropped after made it to 25 percent.

Nadolny closed with a warning on the high. It comes on slow and lasts, which many people find enjoyable, but if you’re prone to things like panic attacks, don’t overdo it.

Linage: Sour D (AJ’s Cut) X Banana Sherbet
Profile: 50% Sativa 50% Indica
Flowering Time: 8-9 weeks

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

TELL US, have you ever smoked Sour Banana Sherbet? What did you think?

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How To Reduce Odor When Growing Indoors

Everyone who has grown a substantial crop in their basement will attest to the strong odor the crop produces as the plant matures. Most people have been busted simply because of the strong smell of a mature plant permeating the air around the home in question.

There are a few things that can be done to keep the smell of cannabis down both within and outside the house where it is being grown. Running a hepa filter in the growing area will stop a large amount of the odor, but not all. While the activated charcoal in a hepa filter will stop most of the smell, some ventilation to the outside will also be needed.

Hepa filters come in many sizes and shapes. Some are just the filter, while others incorporate a of fan. If you have the choice, choose the filter with the fan. Most basements have at least one small window, so use it is as the output of the filtered hepa filter. Remove the glass and replace the window with a board with the hepa filter shape cut in. Choose a window that vents to the backyard or a window on the side of the house with low traffic.

Another way to keep the scent down is with eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is great for covering odors and replacing them with the cool scent of the plant. Eucalyptus is also great for keeping the humidity down, an action which negates the growth of mold and fungus, since they both need a damp environment to grow in.

The eucalyptus needed is usually in the form of an oil, which won’t do its job if the surface area is as small as the diameter of the jar it came in. To that end, pour the oil in a wide, shallow pan. This will result in a decreased marijuana odor. The eucalyptus will also reduce the humidity due to its very efficient moisture retention properties.

Another way to negate the odor of a healthy crop is to hermetically seal the growing area. This takes time and a bit of building know-how in order to achieve the best results. Basically you encase the growing operation in plastic, with all four surfaces being within the bubble. You simply don’t let out any air from the growing area. Keep your visits to a minimum and make sure the plastic doesn’t touch the grow lamps.

If you’re in a city and the houses are close together, you should be using all three of the odor-proofing strategies presented here. Run your external facing hepa filter late at night / early morning and replace the eucalyptus every week. You should also run the interior hepa filters at all times. Most hepa filters last about a month before they need to be replaced and are relatively cheap and easy to use.

Activated charcoal is designed to react with its surrounding air and trap odors. While most hepa filters incorporate activated charcoal, not all do. All grow ops have a fan of some sort to move around the air in the growing area. Put a shallow pan filled with activated charcoal in the main stream of air flow from the fan. Stir occasionally. This will help keep the smell down considerably. Make sure to replace the activated charcoal every week.

By following these easy to implement odor remedies, you’ll be safe from nosy neighbors and your crop will be healthy due to the reduced humidity. Keep the grow area sealed and be liberal with your hepa filters and you can’t go wrong.

TELL US, what do you do to reduce odors in your grow?

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How to Choose the Best Seeds for Planting Cannabis

There are all kinds of techniques people use when it comes to growing premium bud. Some people have their tried-and-true methods that they swear by while others are still in the trial-and-error period of their growing journey. Regardless of skill level, when it comes to growing a flourishing crop, the first place to begin when choosing to grow cannabis plants is with knowing how to properly select quality seeds.

Seeds that are not mature are typically small with a greenish hue and soft shell. Good, healthy seeds will be more greyish to brown with speckles and have a glossy appearance free from cracks. They are typically bigger in size as well. Seeds that are very dark or near black and appear to be dull may be old. To avoid immature seeds or aged seeds, try not to purchase seeds that have recently been harvested as well as those that have been kept in storage for long amounts of time.

Fresh seeds have a high germination rate that drops dramatically over time — from 90 percent down to 20 percent after three or four years. Excellent seeds are the cornerstone of successful plant growth because each one contains the genetic material that determines certain characteristics like size, shape and potency.

The strain of the seed determines what type of effects will be experienced after consumption. Indica and sativa are the two main strains that have distinct characteristic. Indica strains are known for their physical effects, with a noted body high and deep relaxation being the most commonly reported feelings, while sativas provide a cerebral buzz often associated with increased sensitivity to sights and sounds. Most seeds are hybrid strains that are either more indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.

It’s helpful to consider how long it will take plants to grow before picking out seeds. After deciding whether to grow indoors or outdoors, calculate the amount of time estimated for a plant to come to full maturation. Most plants take between seven and nine weeks until they are ready to be harvested, although indica plants tend to grow a little bit faster than sativas.

Deciding on a location for where the plants will grow make a huge difference in the success of failure of a crop. Seeds must be properly suited for the intended growing environment. There are benefits and drawbacks to both indoor and outdoor growing. Conditions for indoor plants are typically more temperate because they aren’t subject to fluctuating weather, but can be a financial burden due to high electricity bills from artificial lights. Growing plants outdoors helps cut costs by utilizing the sun as a free power source but leaves plants more susceptible to bugs and pests.

There are several advantages to growing plants from seeds. Cloned plants can transfer diseases to the next generation of plants whereas seeds are free from viruses, diseases and pests. Plants grown from seeds also exhibit slight genetic variation, so growers can choose the best plants out of a crop instead of possibly growing uniformly mediocre plants from a single mother plant.

Lastly, it’s important to make purchases from a reputable source or dealer who specializes in providing fresh, mature seeds. Because growing cannabis is an investment of time and money, it’s worth the effort to track down the best seeds commercially available. Once a trusted company is located, practice careful consideration, high selectivity and patience before making any choices. Being picky during this process will definitely pay off.

TELL US, have you ever grown cannabis from seeds?

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