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Bio Cup 2017

2017-04-13 11:36:37

Bio Cup 2017 is to be held on June 2 – 4
Location: Finca mas Solers, do check it out! It's a beautiful outdoor venue 
www.fincamassolers.com

The fourth edition of Bio Cup Spain is on the way to be a great international event!

June 2nd is an industry only / special invite day.

June 3rd & 4th, Open to the public, max 2000 visitors per day. Days filled with, entertainment, music.

Tickets will be sold through: Cannabis clubs in Spain, Grow Shops, online, weedspot and Holland locations to be confirmed.

International media coverage from: Spain, Canada, USA, Holland, Czech Republic, UK and France, both video and press.
We will close the festival and cup on Sunday with an award ceremony and a USA band (we cannot disclose at present) sharing with us their music and energy, to crown what we hope to be a Professional, fun, effective, relaxed event with Organic food, Bio wines and great conferences about Bio Philosophy with professionals and experts in their fields of research.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bio Cup
info@biocup.org
+34 603 543131

Best Regards

Santiago Gomez
Posted in Cannabis News

Grease Monkey Bubble Hash

2017-04-12 13:08:01

Bred by Exotic Genetics
Grown by Old E and Bleezy of Mendo Dope

Processed by Mr. Bond 420
Words by The Dank Duchess

Going big is not always the key to long lasting success, but sometimes it is the perfect expression of long years of dedication, sacrifice and faith. At the Emerald Cup, California’s premier outdoor cannabis cup, hundreds of the finest growers and processors vie for a few coveted spots which indicate they are at the top of their game. Competition is fierce and unyielding. This year, with determination and innovation, Mendo Dope and Mr. Bond 420 accepted the challenge and created a winning larger-than-life specimen called Grease Monkey Bubble Hash and it is truly awesome.

Believing less is more, Mendo Dope (IG:@mendodope) grows massive plants without the use of pesticides and bottled nutrients. Known for their larger-than-life cannabis plants, the Mendo Dope siblings, Old E and Bleezy, are true growers of the big trees. Besides their obvious cannabis growing prowess, they package their earnest cannabis activism in a deep and expansive sound that represents the growers, processors, and patients of the cannabis movement. They make Cannabis Culture music; blending hip hop, rock and reggae to communicate their unique message of cannabis edutainment. Their music boasts a bombastic sound just as enormous as the plants they love to cultivate. Listening to Mendo Dope, I am immersed in their canna-reality. Cannabis is integral to the brothers’ existence; as evident from the track lists of their 20+ albums.

For 10 years, they’ve been “growing and flowing.”

“My passion is ganja
This is a weed dedication
For those who struggle to cope And who really need medication”

- Old E, Follow Me, “Live in the Garden”

Mendo Dope has amassed a massive following of growers who aspire to grow huge yielding plants in an organic and sustainable fashion. Through videos, Mendo Dope has solidified their reputation as dedicated farmers who want nothing more than to advance cannabis for the benefit of all people. Along their journey, the brothers have accumulated several firsts including producing the world’s first studio album recorded entirely in a homegrown outdoor cannabis garden. In 2016, they scored another first; achieving 3rd place along with Mr. Bond 420 (IG:@mrbond420) for Grease Monkey Bubble Hash at The Emerald Cup. Mr. Bond 420, who lives in Rhode Island, has been a dedicated member of the group’s street team and over the course of a few years, has developed a close relationship with the grower-musicians. With more than 10 years of experience cultivating and processing cannabis, Mr. Bond 420 has been on the podium several times including:

2015 Dab-a-Doo Barcelona, Spain 1st place Nonsolvent; 2015 Cannabis Allstars 1st place Best Nonsolvent; 2016 Maine Secret Cup Best Nonsolvent; 2016 Cannabis Allstars 1st place Best Nonsolvent.

I have smoked fantastic herb grown by Mendo Dope and I am a huge fan of their music, so I was honored when Mendo Dope and Mr. Bond 420 accepted my offer to write about their award-winning bubble hash.

Bred by Exotic Genetix (IG:@exotic_genetix_mike), Grease Monkey is a Gorilla Glue #4 x Cookies-n-Cream cross which grew to 14 feet in diameter and 9.5 feet tall in Mendo Dope’s lush garden. Grown in the glorious full sun blanketing Mendocino County and in the midst of the booming non-stop music, Grease Monkey was a heavy yielding Indica with light bright green leaves, and chunky, tight buds. One of the last plants to finish, the Grease Monkey plant was happy and easy to grow, exhibiting strong, and vigorous growth.

At the peak of resin production, buds were hand-picked and immediately fresh frozen. After washing the nugs with love and care, Mr. Bond 420 microplaned the sticky resin. Though freeze dryers are becoming quite the rage in the hash making community, Mr. Bond 420 took an old school approach; opting to air dry it in Mendo Dope’s perfectly climate and humidity controlled Crystal Cave. After thoroughly drying, the Hashish was cold cured in the freezer for a month.

On a pouring afternoon, right before leaving to go back east, Mr. Bond 420 along with Mendo Dope, meet me outside the airport to deliver their precious cargo and to tell me about the Hashish. Once safely in the dry confines of my home, I am eager to test it out, but I do not have much and my upcoming trip to New York seems like a better environment to experience this lusciousness. Two weeks later, I am standing on 49th Street in the midst of the Times Square frenzy. Before I can become too overwhelmed, I head inside a nondescript building and head up to the Penthouse Floor and into a very quiet and plush world.

I am in Quad Studios, a legendary music studio with more than 30 years of recording hits and famous for clients such as Tupac, Rihanna, Coldplay, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Bob Dylan and many others. Stepping into the beautiful wood paneled room; I feel a sense of awe thinking of my favorite rapper, Biggie Smalls, and all of the other musicians who have blessed the space with their inspired creations.

Speaking of inspiration, I am ready for a few serious dabs. Our hosts, Always Goody (IG: @alwaysgoody), behind the scenes photographer, and Droopy Morales, music industry veteran, and friend Doc-G (IG: @nycconnoisseur87), his fiancée Marissa (IG:@greenervibes27) and I are joined by my friend, Billy of Golden State Labs (IG: @golden_state_labs), and we are keen to smoke some LOUD. I pull out copious amounts of hash rosin and live resin processed by Billy using flowers from my personal rooftop garden. I pull out the Hashish last. Billy grins appreciatively when I tell him what is in store for us. I slowly open the small container and peer at the small, amber colored beads of resin; gleaming like champagne diamonds. The aroma of vanilla and peanut butter elicit memories of sweet wafers and cookies I used to steal from my grandmother’s pantry. The Hashish is darker than I expect; probably due to the Mendo Dope boys taking the plant to its full potential, rather than cutting early to get the lightest Hashish possible. I appreciate their patience, as I prefer Hashish from fully mature plants. Sniffing deeply, the soft, cake like smell gives way to fuel and wet earth. These oily morsels are begging to be smoked.

I torch the quartz banger and swivel around marveling at my well appointed surroundings. It’s like being in a chilled 90s video, but instead of unending bottles of bubbly, we have many jars of dank concentrates unseen in these parts. The Grease Monkey Bubble Hash scoops easily, sitting patiently on my dabber while I wait for the banger to cool. In the past I have scoffed at people being too attached to their preferred texture of concentrate. However, I love these sleek and smooth little grease balls: cannabis roe not made for just anyone. As the rig cools, I drop the sacs of goodness on the quartz and instantly the bubble action is followed by berry sweetness and then pure gas. The mouthfeel is full and satisfying. Painting my mouth softly with the flavor of cherry cheesecake, the Hashish bubbles to near nothing and I let out a smooth and easy breath. I take a few cool breaths to clear my palate, but the flavor of berries returns and lingers. Simply delicious. I love when dabbing makes me feel like I am eating.

I take another dab and all of the stresses of being back home with my parents begin to fade away. Billy takes a few dabs and agrees that the Grease Monkey is indeed phenomenal. I have found that each processor usually holds a strong preference for his/her type of concentrate. Therefore I am especially pleased that Billy, a staunch BHO processor, especially enjoys this icewax. Fifteen minutes later, I feel a surge of joy shoot through me and I somehow know intuitively that our success is all but an inevitability for all of us. Mendo Dope and their message of ganja love will be perfect for this world famous studio. I am suddenly very confident. I feel naturally in sync with the flow of life and just as the rose doesn’t strain to become a beautiful flower, neither do I feel a strain to be exceptionally gregarious or exemplary. Anxiety is usually my unwelcome shadow, but I feel no trace of that. I literally feel on top of the world. I chatter animatedly about the cannabis wonders of the West Coast while I lament the inevitable change of my beloved, and now uber popular, Brooklyn here on the East Coast. Billy and I keep the room laughing as we trade stories and keep dabbing everyone out. I am brimming with near euphoria and my eyes shine brightly even after a few dabs. Upon hearing about a wrap around balcony, I step outside to chilly temps, and a blinding scene. It is Christmas time and the lights of 42nd Street, customarily garish, blare even more insanely as huge advertisements slam into my face. Initially taken aback, I catch my breath and watch with interest as Time Square pulses beneath me like one of Bleezy’s original bass lines. This cacophony is the sound of New York and it is found nowhere else. As the flurry of activity continues, I stand upon a large crate, affording myself an even better view and feel compelled to shout out my name. The sound is quickly lost in the wind, but in my ears, it rings over and over.

A few days later, at the turn of the year, I am entertaining at a posh rooftop Midtown restaurant on 5th Avenue. It’s my yearly birthday brunch and having enjoyed several deep and flavorful vape pulls of the assuring and encouraging Grease Monkey Bubble Hash, I have been sashaying around the chic venue like I own the place. I remark to Nicholas that though I do not usually buy Hashish, I may have to buy this Hashish for my headstash. Self-doubt seems the farthest from my mind as I relish in the birthday attention and adoration. After a long and luxurious meal of sumptuous fare, I step out onto the patio to digest, and wince at the brisk wind that slides by. At this moment, the sky is crystal clear and the air is crisp. Before me stands the majestic Empire State Building; its silhouette bisecting the landscape. Pulling slowly on my vapor pen, I turn to take in the rest of the swanky rooftop. Large geodesic plastic spheres dominate the space. I walk into one and am enveloped in perfectly warmed air. Able to seat 11 comfortably, the dome literally has me in a fat bubble and I am about to take advantage of it. Save for my husband, no one else is up here and the stillness is eerie. This high up, we are far removed from the hustle and bustle of the New York City streets and it feels like we are sitting on top of the world; perched above the ‘trees’ of the concrete jungle. I repack my vape pen and pull steadily, smiling at the huge cloud of smoking sweetness that billows out; and I imagine I am a candy dragon. Instead of dissipating, the smoke collects at the top of the dome like a heavy nimbus cloud. Another drag and my mouth is filled with the delicious taste of fresh baked muffins and the acrid after taste of diesel. Nicholas takes a puff and remarks how much the flavor of OG Kush comes through as the smokes slithers down his throat. The shared parentage of Chemdawg is probably to blame for that flavor cross over. Turning on my phone, the mellow first verses of SmokeOne from their “Live in the Garden” DVD breaks the quiet atmosphere.

“Let the smoke fill up the room...Let the smoke fill up the room...”

The once clear dome is now opaque: ash vapor has filled up the room. The blue smoke makes the clear blue sky appear as a hazy periwinkle as the sun struggles to shine through. Nicholas and I trade puffs, making the air thick and heavy. The music continues languidly, but my body feels electrified; a steady buzz washes over me in waves and I swear I hear my cells vibrating.

I stand in the middle of the chairs and as the song changes, the throbbing bassline of Pheno hunter vibrates my organs mightily and I bop my head and shrug my shoulders in time to the music. I must make quite a picture, dolled up like a princess while illegally hotboxing a VIPpod high above the NYC streets. My only concern, though, is staying in the flow and sync of this groove. Mendo Dope’s ambitious vibe has wound its way into the growth of this Grease Monkey plant. Mr.Bond has distilled the essence of phenomenal funk into this Hashish. Consequently, I am flying high and I am feeling myself.

It is a New Year and it’s my Birthday!

The sensation of charging up creeps over my slowly, but steadily. I felt this way at the studio before, when I held court talking about East Coast versus West Coast, but now, with the overlay of my birthday, the magnificence of the view, and feeling of being higher than any Goddess on Olympus, I am ready to take on Superman. I am living my own fantasy, it is incredible, and I hope it can last forever.

In a city where performing above expectations is the only path to epic level endeavors, making a distinct impression on my birthday is truly a feat. Surrounded by the largess of New York City, Grease Monkey Hashish elevates my sense of self-worth and is the perfect component to expressing esteem and self-belief. In the midst of giants, the Grease Monkey Bubble Hash proves to be as tall, shiny, and unique as the best of them.

This article first appeared in Weed World Magazine Issue 127

www.TheDankDuchess.com

IG: @TheDankDuchess

 

Posted in Cannabis News

Cannabis Terroir

2017-04-11 14:16:54

By Frenchy Cannoli

A terroir is the “aggregate characteristics of the environment in which a food or wine is produced; including regional and local climate, soil, and topography”, the flavor imparted to a food or wine by such characteristics” is also called terroir.[i]

Terroir is a French word that has no synonym in English; the etymology of the word comes from terra, the Latin for earth. The knowledge of terroir was the catalyst in the quest for quality pursued by the wine industry before being adopted by farmers of other agricultural products like meat, lavender, lentils, honey, olives, butter and spirits. However, the recognition of terroir in France actually started with a cheese - Roquefort, which was regulated in the year 1411 by a decree from the French parliament in order to preserve its intrinsic qualities. 

The Land is the Creator of all Diversity and Uniqueness 

Life was born as a unicellular organism in the depth of the planet’s oceans over a billion years ago, and migrated to land approximately five hundred million years later in the form of an alga with photosynthesis[ii] capabilities; the ancestor of the plant kingdom, and source of the environmental conditions and resources that support all life on the planet. It took the original ancestor of all plants over three hundred million years to diversify into today’s higher form of plant life.

Since life on land started from this most basic living organism, the evolution of an alga into the diversity that is today’s plant kingdom can be said to be a representation of the land itself; from the natural topography, the climate and the soil that defines a region. In other words: by the terroir.

The Earth is made of countless terroirs, which are the product of billions of years of geological formation of the landmass; the extraction, transformation, and consumption of the energy taken from their habitat have shaped all living organisms since the birth of the first unicellular life.   

“The evolutionary histories of species have general aspects in common, even though species may differ greatly in their attributes. Each species has a beginning in some geographically defined context, all successful species spread from their focus of origin, most species undergo some geographical differentiation”[iii]. In plain English, all existing species of plants, insects and mammals were born in one specific region of the planet, the most adaptive spread from their birthplace and transformed in function to their new habitat.

One very important aspect of adaption is the transmission of memories; of information handed from one generation to the next; plants have an epigenetic[iv] memory spanning generations, information around stressful climatic or physical circumstances are passed down to the next generation, the experience triggering new DNA combinations in the plant that will be inherited by all following descendants and will define an evolutionary increase in tolerance to various stresses.[v]

We have to assume that if plants have the ability to sense and act upon external and internal stress stimuli that they would in turn respond as well if not better to positive stimulus. This suggests an interesting angle to the co-evolution of the plant and insect kingdoms as well as to the birth of human sedentary life and agriculture. 

Jared Diamond believes that “Agriculture grew from human behaviors and from responses or changes in plants and animals, leading without conscious plan toward the domestication of plants and animals”[vi] which could actually mean that humanity was guided by plant evolution toward sedentary life and agriculture.

Cannabis was one of the first plants “unconsciously” domesticated by humanity; so far back in time that its putative ancestor and birthplace are unknown today due to early biological dispersal; a very rare if not unique happenstance in botany.  

Cannabis was potentially born at the feet of the Himalayas with a tropical plant’s physiognomy or in Central Asia with desert plant’s characteristics; the simple fact that the plant’s potential region of origin are so completely opposite in terroir is testimony to the plant’s power of adaptation. Cannabis has in fact transformed into so many genotypes to adapt to new habitats and has become so diverse that until recently it was mistakenly classified as three different species - C. Ruderalis, C. Sativa and C. Indica, again a very rare if not unique happenstance in the history of botany.

Cannabis is a dioecious[vii] wind-pollinated flowering plant with the ability to become hermaphrodite and fecund itself. The plant has adapted to every climatic zone except for the polar region; can endure drought, frost and large fluctuations of temperature and rainfall; Cannabis will grow in all types of soil from fertile to rocky and at most altitudes. It is also resistant to most fungus, disease, pests and major predators: it is the ultimate survivor.  

The Cannabis plant’s ability to modify its genetic code into such diversity and become adapted to so many regions, climates and eco-systems is based on information that defined the evolutionary step of the next generations. Like every other species in the plant kingdom, the more information retained the higher the power of adaptation. The land’s substance is the source that empowers and nourishes this evolution so that the more adaptive the plant is; the more powerfully the terroir will be expressed in its form. 

As noted in the scholarly analysis Method for the Analysis of Cannabinoids and Terpenes in Cannabis, “Agricultural crops inherently have a large amount of natural variation resulting from differences in environmental conditions, genetic background, developmental stage, farming practices, and seasonal changes, which result in differences in organoleptic[viii] properties, appearance, nutrient composition, shelf life, and crop yield.”[ix]

Plants with little adaptive power like most agricultural crops convey the characteristics of a specific terroir; the Cannabis plant goes beyond, she becomes the terroir.

The grapevine has the ability to capture in its fruit the essence of a region so well that it brought to my French ancestors the first insight into the relationship between a specific region and the intrinsic quality of the food grown there. Most winemakers and scientist agree that a soil’s drainage, heat absorption and retention capacity affect the growth of grapevines, as well as the development and ripening of the grapes. The physical properties of a soil’s ability to regulate water supply to the vines is considered to be the determining factor in a wine’s quality. Interestingly enough, viticulture experts generally consider the actual chemical composition of the soil irrelevant to wine quality but recent research on the effects of minerals on plant physiology are proving them wrong[x]. The root system of plants attract and nurture specific microbial organisms to extract and break down mineral nutrients from the soil; a whole eco-system is in symbiosis with the plant, and most certainly defines not only its living conditions but also the characteristics of its fruits.

I can only imagine the reaction of winemakers and farmers when confronted with the notion of a Cannabis terroir; it may be perceived as a sacrilege toward viticulture and all agricultural products whose value are defined by their terroir, however, the Cannabis plant’s adaptability should be ample testimony to its ability to express like no other plant the characteristics of a place.

I have experienced Cannabis terroir at the feet of the Himalayas while collecting the live resin of Cannabis plants, at the peak of their flowering cycle, on the palms of my hands. The genetics from Nepal to Kashmir are of the Narrow Leaf Drug type cultivar (NLD) known as Sativa but the diversity in phenotypes, each expressing distinct terpene profiles changing from valley to valley was simply mind-boggling, and a sure expression of the terroir.

The Himalayas is made of three parallel mountain ranges with climates wildly contrasting from tropical and Sub-tropical at 1,650 to 3,300 ft. to more temperate in middle elevations of 6,600 to 9,800 ft. and arid at elevations over 10,000 feet.[xi]

Cannabis growing at low elevations in a tropical climate will express very different characteristics from a plant growing at a higher altitude in harsher conditions; the different eco-system, climatic environment and altitudes trigger specific adaptations which are expressed in the terpene profile of the plant and its potency. Wild Cannabis plants capture the essence of their habitat in their terpene expression to an amazing level, mimicking, for a better word, the terpene profile of the wild strawberries, mint, and the oak or pine trees surrounding them. Cultivated Cannabis does not have the same extraordinary adaptive power as its wild cousin whose terpene profile changes considerably from one valley to the other, or from one village to the next; I have even perceived a difference between plants in neighboring fields! However, the most amazing experience of Cannabis expression and adaptation was to see over the course of seven seasons cultivated fields of totally uniform plants left intentionally unattended transform into a truly diverse range of wild Cannabis - displaying an astonishing variety of phenotypes after a few years.

The fact that Cannabis seeds enduring the rigor of a winter do not express the same phenotype as seeds planted in spring may well be the most apparent evidence of the plant’s unique potential of adaptability.

The expression of the land is dramatically manifested in sun-grown Cannabis, this is apparent to anyone taking the time to study the plant. Discovering the full potential of a region’s terroir is the first step toward claiming the ultimate agricultural product recognition for our farmers, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (controlled designation of origin).  

“The AOC designation links a product with its geographical origin and makes it subject to rules of production and manufacturing. It expresses the close relation between a product and its terroir, coupled with the decisive and enduring impact of human savoir-faire.

AOC regulations go far beyond the question of geographical delimitation itself. They encompass all aspects of the production process relating to terroir in the largest sense. These regulations embrace all of the features that characterize an AOC product – geography, pedology (the science of the soil), climate, technique and human in-put.” 

“An AOC area is born of an alliance between the natural environment and human ingenuity. From that alliance comes an AOC product with unique, inimitable characteristics. A product so different that it complements rather than competes with other products, possessing a particular identity that adds further value.” [xii]

A most fitting definition for the Cannabis plant I would say!

Frenchy Cannoli is a consultant, educator and writer in the Cannabis industry with special focus on hash making using traditional methods.  Frenchy can be reached through his website at: www.frenchycannoli.com or seen on Instagram @frenchycannoli.

 Published originally in Weedworld Magazine 126

 


[ii] A process by which green plants and other organisms turn carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen, using light energy trapped by chlorophyll

[iii] The Origin, Expansion and Demise of Plant Species By Donald A. Levin 

[iv] Epigenetics studies genetic effects not encoded in the DNA sequence of an organism, hence the prefix epi- (Greek: επί- over, outside of, around). Such effects on cellular and physiological phenotypic traits may result from external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells express genes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics

[v] What a Plant Knows By Daniel Chamovitz, Chapter Six: What a Plant Remembers

[vi] The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond 

[vii] Characteristic of a species, meaning that it has distinct male and female individual organisms or colonies, meaning that a colony contains only either male or female individuals. Dioecious reproduction is biparental reproduction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioecy

[viii] Aspects of food, water or other substances that individual experiences via the senses—including taste, sight, smell, and touch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organoleptic 

[ix] Method for the Analysis of Cannabinoids and Terpenes in Cannabis, Authors: Giese, Matthew W.; Lewis, Mark A.; Giese, Laura; Smith, Kevin M. Journal of AOAC International, Volume 98, Number 6, November-December 2015, pp. 1503-1522(20) http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/aoac/jaoac/2015/00000098/00000006/art0000 

Posted in Cannabis News

Seeds Of Africa

2017-04-10 11:51:58

...Our story

" When you smoke the herb it reveals you to yourself." Bob Marley

Whatever walk of life you come from, generally it is safe to say that smoking 'The Wisdom Herb' is a turning point in our lives. A time when we were more in tune to nature and having the zeal to live life as uncomplicated as possible - in peace and in unity.

If, like some of us, you grew up in the 70's and 80's in Europe it was a lot different to how it is now. Everything was imported or, if not, it was very green "home grown" that generally tasted of grass...the cow 'n' goat eating variety that is!

Depending on what country you grew up in or whether you lived in the sticks or the city would determine what imports were available. In the UK, most of the country was served with Hash mainly from North Africa and Asia. Good quality hash was hard to find as a lot of impurities were mixed into the commercial slabs available. There was certainly quality Charas and 00 coming in, but these were few and far between as well as being usually saved for the connoisseurs in town. 

Ganja was a welcome break  but usually only found in the bigger cities where, with a good contact, you could get some Sensi from Jamaica or Thai sticks, we also had an annual visit of Durban Poison which was a delicious treat. We appreciated the Ganja as it felt like a much purer way to smoke our Sacred Herb.

In the rest of Europe, Hash was also common but came from different countries. In France and Holland there was a regular supply of red and yellow Leb, a high grade hash in a cheese shape Baby Bell of 250g, and 00 from Morocco.

Afghan 200g slab with a gold stamp in Arabic and wrapped in transparent plastic was a welcome treat. The Ganja was generally Congolese, Zairoise and some tasty Columbian from time to time. Skunk started to be "The New Kid on The Block" around the early 80s, some loved it and some were very skeptical of the "electric" growing methods. We have moved at lightning speed from then till now. As with all human progress, some is a lot more progressive than others.

As we write this 5th article for WeedWorld we give much thanks for our journey thus far. At times it has been rocky, there have been times we nearly lost all we had spent years building up...partly due to our naivety and sometimes to the dodgy dealings that controls some of this special work that we do. We are sure that a good thriller could be put together with the stories that many fellow seed lovers go through to keep this work moving forward.

Soa is a Seed Bank with the preservation of African land races at its core. This journey started as we looked back at what used to be available to smoke and what there is now. On our journeys in Africa we saw that Landraces were not as lucrative and our way to help keep theses special genetics alive was to track them down and bring them to you as we find them. There are many places in the vast lands of Africa where commercial hybrid seeds have not penetrated, but caution, knowledge and respect are needed to  acquire some of these seeds of ancient wisdom.

As we get deeper into the world of seed collection and preservation we have had to make choices and for now we are staying with regular seeds. We feel that balance is needed, there is a purpose for males and if it is only to teach the next generation the difference in the sexes then it's a job well done.

We feel there is a strength in the plants of regular seeds, as feminized ones are usually made by using White Widow pollen that seems to be available on mass.

This feels to us to be a watering down of the landrace strains, a lot of herbs  have a homogenized look and taste which is not our style. Every man, woman, child, animal and plant has a right to be proud of their origin. There are also a few well established seed banks that do not do feminized seeds and they have good reasons for this.

We are producing heirlooms. As some of our strains are getting harder to acquire, we can't always return to the same place at the right time to get what we had before. We have also found some amazing phenos that need to be saved and bred. As we learn, sadly too often, that man puts up physical barriers of borders and wars that stop us acquiring landraces that need to be continued. Generally heirlooms are selected for strong regular genetics and have been bred with the European climate in mind. In our view it is important to keep the strain as close to its original so as to preserve nature's gift of pure Sativas. It has been said that the long lanky plants of the Sativa, with its fluffy, crystal-covered cluster buds are too tall to grow; that the extra flowering time and it's so called smaller yield is not worth that time.

But we disagree. When the time comes when we can legally grow this gifted plant we will be able to see how the commercialization of this sacred 'cure-all' herb has been used and abused.

What is feminization, how does it benefit you and how does it benefit the seed producer? This is one of the big stories that needs a movie or a novel to really get our teeth into, but we not here to ruffle feathers - simply to take you on our journey, to share with you our experiences and do what we can to keep the 'Oldies and Goodies' safe for the future generations.

Written by Seeds of Africa and published in Issue 126 of Weed World Magazine

Posted in Cannabis News

Sweet Gifts.

 As you all know, some things only happen once or, at most, very few times in a lifetime. Some moments happen as a result of a pile of circumstances that casually occur, while in other occasions as a result of the tireless search for perfection that characterizes mankind. Since immemorial times we have manipulated as we please a big part of natural wild life to make our life more comfortable and, with that, perpetuate ourselves as the dominant species in the planet. We have also been looking for a long time for answers to the question of the meaning of our lives and this is where the search for substances that change our perception and our emotional mood probably started. One of the most used plants since ancient times for this purpose is our beloved Cannabis Sativa.

Regarding the search for perfection, the breeders at Sweet Seeds managed to preserve all the interesting genetics that crossed their way along the years. Because of their organoleptic qualities, their production and flower density or for their effects, our elite clone collection could certainly be seen as an art museum of Cannabis. Or even better, a candy shop if you have a sweet tooth like I do.

But the essential nature of mankind always takes us one step further and the Sweet Seeds’ R+D department works hard to use the best of each of these strains to obtain new varieties while keeping the best traits from both parents. There is a strain that has been developed with great interest and we have been working very hard to obtain the maximum expression of its genetic potential. This is how the highly recognized Green Poison® (Sweet Seeds variety SWS14) was born. This strain was developed from a cross of two famous Skunk and Early Skunk elite clones, both selected for their most characteristic traits. All together, these traits gave shape to this great indica hybrid that has been delighting every grower and receiving multiple awards in various cannabis competitions.

As you will see from reading below, this is a strain that perfectly represents the Sweet Seeds’ philosophy of offering a product with a better quality than its own ancestors, with no need for previous selections to get the best results with each and every seed that the growers germinate. 

 Green Poison®: Easy growing, great results.

 1.Vegetative stage

A few weeks before the spring started I decided to germinate a few seeds of Green Poison® that I had in the fridge. My idea was to make my last indoor grow before the hot summer arrived, as extreme heat does not allow me to keep using the grow room. In there I have a grow closet with 150cm x 150cm in which I installed a 600w HPS kit, two fans and two extractors: one of them as an 'intractor', inserting fresh air into the closet, while the other extracts the hot air. The extractors were kept on almost 24 hours per day. To keep a constant temperature, I installed a greenhouse with a thermostat. This is important, because if the temperature in the grow area gets lower than 18ºC, the plant’s growth may occasionally stop, leading to a deficient nutrient intake.

At this moment, the most important thing was to start with the germination and so I dropped the seeds into a glass of water to which I added a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide. The seeds floated in the water, fully hydrated, and after about 24 hours they were already showing the tips of the roots, while opening their shells. I dropped them into soaked jiffys and quickly passed them to the growing area. The light used for the vegetative stage was a 200w CFL grow light, which helped me to keep an optimal growth, creating strong specimens with a very short internodal space. As this light does not generate much heat, it is possible to keep the bulb very close to the plants. In the beginning it is better to avoid taking the risk of leaving the light too close, at least until the first set of leaves shows up. If you keep the light too close before that, you run the risk of dehydrating the seedlings.

The happiness felt by a grower whose seed germination was 100% successful has no price. And I have to emphasize that the work of the Sweet Seeds breeders plays a very important role in this matter.

I soaked the jiffy very carefully, every day, so they would not get dry and by the 3rd day I potted them into a small 1L pot with a soil mix which was very rich in nutrients. Within only 12 days I had to transplant them again because the roots had the whole soil colonized. This time I used a 3,5L pot and the same soil mix. The vigor of Green Poison® is incredible and the richness in THC crystals is visible from the moment the first leaves show up.

In the first weeks it is very important to keep the air moving inside the grow area. It is even desirable to have the plants slightly moving with the air flow as it helps them to develop strong stems, generating more cellulose and preventing excessive stretch. A strong main stem and structure will allow the sap to flow much better and with that the nutrients will reach to your plant in a much more efficient way, keeping the plant healthy and ready to develop big and compact flowers. As the soil is already rich in nutrients, the first weeks were very relaxed as I only had to water them when they needed it.

Green Poison® is a strain that grows a lot in the first stage of flowering if you give it too much vegetative time, so it is not advisable to keep the plants vegging for more than 30 days if you are aiming for medium-sized plants of less than 100cm of height. You can use methods like SOG, SCROG, LST, Cropping, etc. if you are looking to shape your plant to your needs. With small pots the plants usually stay within 70 or 80cm of height, which is ideal for adequate light penetration, reaching every stem and originating plants that are productive even in the lower branches.

By the 28th day it was the right time to pass my Green Poison® plants to flowering so, about four days before this change, as I usually do, I transplanted them to the final 7L pots. The soil used was the same, with a NPK of 12/14/26. This ensured me that the plants had nutrients for at least 4 or 5 weeks. I got rid of the lower branches to allow the plants to focus on the top branches and to help me in keeping the place clean, but also to make the watering procedures easier.

If you have noticed, at this moment almost 30 days have passed and I have not used any liquid fertilizers. The nutrients present in the soil, together with the vigor demonstrated by all the specimens, were more than enough.

 2. Flowering

High Pressure Sodium, the hot spectrum so much loved by our plants, means that the time of changing to flowering is something very enjoyable for every Cannabis grower. It means that soon we will enjoy our precious buds.

The 28 days of vegetative time were more than enough for all the plants I had. They started flowering with about 25cm of height. They were kept very low and robust, developing multiple side branches. The big fan leaves showed a shiny green color and covered the whole pot. With the change to 12/12, during the following 25 days they started to show a more pronounced growth. Once they reached 50cm and started to show their first pistils they stopped growing  to focus on their flower production.

Consequently, I started to add a flowering bio-stimulator to the water and kept using it until almost the end of flowering, as it does not affect the taste and does not accumulate in the soil. But one should not abuse of the dosage because it can stress the plants. I use it in every watering but only half of the recommended dosage, except occasionally when I give them the full dosage for an explosive flowering as Green Poison® is very appropriate for that.

By the 5th week the smell that invaded the room was like the aromas in a candy shop. Very dense but with subtle hints that made me keep smelling it every now and then, trying to decode such a pleasant aroma. The formation of buds was very visible and the surrounding leaves were totally covered by trichomes that were still transparent. What stands out in this strain is the formation of the main bud, which usually has the shape of a donkey's penis, creating large and dense colas. The calyx-to-leaf ratio makes this plant even more appealing, making it easier to manicure.

Getting into the 30th day of flowering I had to use some liquid fertilizers as some specimens were showing early signs of nutrient deficiency. I used organic nutrients in their maximum dose and also Calcium and Magnesium until the 37th day, when I stopped to use CAL MAG. But I kept with the organic nutrients until the 45th day and, as I said before, the bio-stimulator was used until the end of flowering. The last 10 days I used a product to flush the plants, followed by some catalyst enzymes to clean any salts occasionally accumulated in the soil.

By the 55th day all the plants were showing swollen calyxes and stopped the creation of new pistils. The trichomes were changing from milky to amber so it was the right time for harvest.

Smoke report and final conclusions

From my point of view Green Poison® could be seen as a standard plant that is ideal for inexperienced Cannabis growers. It is ideal to newbies but also for expert growers who can get the most out of it without much effort and, most importantly, in a very short flowering time.

In my grow I was able to harvest before the 8 week mark, harvesting all the plants, every one of them with big shiny buds all covered in resin. The height of the plants was around 70cm and the yield was more than 1gr per watt. But the most impressive thing about them was the quality of the flowers. Very hard and compact buds with a lot more flower than leaf and a smell that takes you to very exotic places. It is extremely easy to manicure Green Poison® due to the few leaves and density of the flowers. After drying and curing, the buds become so hard that your grinder will work as never before. I just don’t want to tell you about the aroma in too much detail...but it is a high class perfume!

In the mouth it is extremely sweet, with fruity and mint hints that last for a long time on your palate. It has such a deep taste that you don’t need to inhale many times to feel the potent aroma of this variety. It is one of those herbs from which you can enjoy each puff, from the first to the last. If you are a vaporizer user you can feel all the exotic notes of this piece of art from the Sweet Seeds collection.

The effect is also very well balanced and versatile. It is adequate to socialize with friends and have some nice laughs, but it is also a good choice to watch a movie or to simply enjoy at the end of the day as you relax. The effect is not heavy. A great sensation of creativity invades you while under its effects, improving your senses (unlike other strains of similar size, with which you feel as if a brick was hitting your head). This is good ganja!

Sweet Smokes :)

Jaypp

Green Poison®:

Variety SWS14

Indica/Sativa: 70%/30%

Indoor Yield: 500-650 g/m2

Outdoor Yield: 500-700 g/plant

Indoor Blooming: 7 weeks

Outdoor harvest: mid to late September

Posted in Cannabis News

Lost in Spannabis

2017-04-06 09:11:35

Spannabis 2017 Report

Barcelona, a city of culture. Walk into the graceful architecture of Gaudi and the gothic quarter then stroll the quieter backstreets before soaking up the Spanish sun with a glass of wine outside a fine local bar. There are few more enriching ways to escape the English winter than to spend a weekend in the richness of Catalan hospitality; a couple of smokes in the day, dining out on local cuisine and visiting a cannabis social club in the evening.

Unfortunately, an assignment for Weed World meant sharing my weekend with 30,000 other people packed inside in an exhibition hall on the outskirts of town. Welcome to Spannabis - three days of fluorescent lighting, endless green carpets, shuffling through crowds and the aroma of dense, sweet smoke blended with sweat.

Of course there is a bonus. In the discomfort of the trade show were some of the finest horticultural technicians this world has ever known. Alongside the expert gardeners, the inhaling crafts provided the very latest technology to carry healing cannabinoids into the body. In the company of people who have dedicated their lives to cannabis, you can also find some of the finest weed that ever grew.

My previous visits to Spannabis had been a first smoke that never ended. That initial puff soon turned into a mind-blowing weekend where, somewhere along the journey, I got lost only to find myself again on a Monday morning, bag packed and straightening up at the airport. That is how I usually remember Spannabis. But this year I made a bet with my travelling companion that I could attend three days of Spannabis without consuming any cannabis. 

Walking through the exhibition hall I felt like the only vegan at an all-you-can-eat Hog Roast.  Fortunately, there was substitute medicine: free coffee and donuts courtesy of the Spannabis VIP hospitality suite. I filled up and wandered over to the adjoining World Cannabis Conferences to hear a range of fascinating speakers including porn stars talking about Foucault (a French philosopher), Social Psychologists talking about how to do drugs, and big shot US lawyers talking about…the law (no surprises there). Then back to the VIP for more coffee and donuts before heading into another lecture. I would have spent the whole weekend going back and forth between hospitality and power-point slides but the caffeine and sugar cycles brought on a bad case of the jitters. There is a YouTube clip of a man with Parkinson’s disease who is shaking badly before he has a spliff, but after smoking, he is relaxed and still; I looked like version the before the smoke . Itching for conversation, I hustled down onto the show room floor to talk to some people.

In many respects Spannabis is just another trade show; a temporary market made from exhibition hall furniture of interlocking poles, banners, and tables. Skinny girls in vests and tight shorts hand out promotional leaflets to the endless chain of passers-by. Free lighters, pens, stickers, and beer can coolers – all branded with company name or logo.  Bright lights and glossy brochures confront you with every step. Loud rumbling conversation, the constant ambient sound. There is no escape. Five hundred traders are showcasing product; travelling sales people selling their wares in a tradition that has gone on for thousands of years. I’ve been to the Boat Show, the Ideal Home Exhibition, the Exotic Pets show, International Garden Furniture UK and even spent a less than thrilling day at Photocopier and Printer World 2015, but what distinguishes Spannabis from them all is the weed and the type of people who like weed. Unlike the boozy, dull suits, fake smiles and numbing sales patter of other trade shows, the guys from these companies are fun, know how to party and put socialisation ahead of forcing a sale down your throat. Spannabis is buzzing on overload, I love it here, even on coffee and donuts. And this is why…

First stop out on my coffee and sugar rush, a visit to my friends at Snail Rolling Papers. A Slovenian hospitality suite the size of a small car, full of big hand shakes and crushing warm embraces. We talk rolling papers for the next hour and a half. They have a new range out from the Kif Mountains. We also talk the big stuff -  Brexit, Trump, Volkswagen and ice-cream. I discover that Juri, their sales lead, used to be a professor in Balkan Studies, now he sells rolling papers around the world. Somewhere on a crowded table dedicated to rolling, they squeeze some wine and cheese. We sit behind the counter eating and drinking as thousands shuffle past gazing at the rows of papers on the stand. Customers wanting to make purchases keep interrupting our social, but I guess that is what a trade fair is about. Amid the hubbub of Spannabis, people are incredibly friendly. That’s the cannabis legacy.

Then I pop over to see Line and Shantibaba at CBD Crew. What these guys don’t know about cannabis is not worth knowing. They are industry leaders and very well respected in the business.  No need for any trade show razzmatazz, they trade on reputation alone.  I am shown a documentary they just made with People Who Care Productions called ‘Misunderstood Medicine’. The film examines the world of pharmaceutical and natural medicines. It is not a promotional video, instead the aim is to help people take control of their modern lives. There is such a lovely vibe coming from these people.

Then off for a research venture into new technologies. A four-in-one vape run by a one man company from Leicester. Two stalls down a bigger business - cannabis extraction vessels from a cartoon science lab that are technically fascinating and a aesthetic delight. Opposite that, a large plastic inflatable joint and other throw away nonsense. Round the corner the latest in LED technology and control systems. Through a door into another hall and a company that sells odour – a smell to counter the terpenes – apparently more reliable than extraction filtering. Badges, stickers, pipes, bongs, extractors, vaporisers, oil presses, fertilizers, cannabis foods, cannabis beers, bags made from cannabis, bags to carry cannabis, silver tents, bright lights, plastic pots and tubing, stall after stall after stall. Everyone has a story, all are happy to chat. And then there are the seeds. The source of it all from where this entire sector grows.

If you liked Disneyland as a kid you’ll love this place. Courtesy of Barney’s Farm there is even a cannabis version of Mickey walking around  - a short, sweaty guy dressed up as a big furry cannabis leaf smoking a big furry spliff. It looked like herbal cannibalism. There aren’t any rides or a princess parades but you can sit in the sun enjoying a slice of fire cooked pizza while watching a stage of good sounds including Luv Messenger and the Bundem Squad, or Zatu, Gordo Master and Little Pepe and a tribal moves number by Olive Tree Dance that looked a lot like twerking.

On Saturday evening in the World Cannabis Conference there was a moving tribute to Franco Loja from Greenhouse Seeds who died at 42 years old. He been researching cannabis treatments for malaria in Democratic Republic of Congo. UNICEF estimate the disease kills a staggering 3,000 children every day. Ninety percent of malaria deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. During his research, Franco caught an aggressive form of malaria and died soon after. The ultimate sacrifice and proof of the dedication that some in the industry give trying to help others.

The tribute was followed by the Spannabis Awards. Categories included highest THC, highest CBD, best butane extract and best non-butane extract, and there were awards for best stand and best paraphernalia too. This year the best hemp product went to some mead (a honey wine) that was made using cannabis. But, as my bet covered all cannabis products, I had to decline that as well.

With all that going on, and with so many people, you should expect a bit of trouble. But there isn’t any. I interviewed the Spannabis organisers who said they don’t have any fights, which for a large three-day event of getting wasted is very unusual. Peaceful vibes at a highly intoxicated mass public gathering – another cannabis legacy.  You don’t get that effect with alcohol.

The friendly atmosphere and the income of 30,000 people makes Spannabis a popular part of the annual calendar for Cornella, the suburb of Barcelona where the event is held. The reason that there has been so many Spannabis events is because they make it work for business, visitors and the local community and each year strive hard to make it better. They tell me that after 14 events in Barcelona they have got a got production team who know what they are doing. The biggest problem they have right now is how to register so many people for the event to reduce the long queues outside.

Spannabis has come a long way since it started in 2002 at the former Olympic volleyball venue in Palau Sant Jordi. Photos from 2004 show some of the same characters around today: Hesi seeds, Mila with her pollinator, Evert with his vaporising machines, and Patrick and Luc from Paradise Seeds with big smiles. The event was smaller then but, like today, had demonstrations of the latest technology. Back in 2004, visitors watched in astonishment as butane was used to make a cannabis extract. The event then moved to Cornella where it has stayed ever since. During that time, hosting a hemp show has become a far less radical idea. Figures on Spannabis 2017 are still being collated but in 2016 they had 123 national and international media companies at the event, including Sports Illustrated who had gone to the wrong venue and stayed the weekend.

Spannabis was originally set up to normalise cannabis as a plant with a variety of uses and remove the stigma associated with cannabis users. They also wanted to make the Spanish aware that they could legally grow plants for their own use. By bringing together business, innovation and education in a public show they have helped lead the way towards greater social acceptability of cannabis.  Although they do not see themselves as political activists, Spannabis do recognise that they are an important platform for those interested in cannabis to gather, network and discuss.  Over the years many great projects have come out of people meeting at Spannabis. More recently, Spannabis has seen smaller spin-offs in Madrid and Malaga.

Late on Sunday evening, the doors close and everyone starts packing up. Cargo crates are wheeled in as the stands come down. Products are carefully put away ready for the next show. Most of the stall holders are tired by now, three long days at Spannabis are exhausting, yet many will be back at work again the next day. Security staff gently encourage stallholders to leave, even after a weekend of Spannabis the cannabis industry are still socialising with each other. It is a competitive business but events like Spannabis bring people together in a convivial way proving that good relationships makes better, more enjoyable, business. At the airport the next day, I collected my winnings from my friend, changed my flight and headed back into Barcelona to enjoy a couple of smokes and two extra days of uninterrupted pleasure in the sun.

Words by Sheldon West

For more information on Spannabis go to Spannabis.com

Posted in Cannabis News

A stick that is often used by policy makers to beat back calls to relax attitudes towards cannabis is that it is a ‘gateway’ drug. The argument goes that weed is just one step down a long and slippery slope that leads to a smorgasbord of harder drugs and puts the user at risk of falling victim to addiction. But, what if cannabis could be part of the solution as opposed to the perception that it is part of the problem? What if cannabis had a role, not as a gateway, but as an exit gate for harder drugs such as heroin?

In the past couple of years a number of reports have highlighted the fact that medical cannabis could play a role in weaning addicts off opioids. These include a report in America by the medical journal, JAMA Internal Medicine showing states with legal medical marijuana had a 25 percent reduction in opiate overdose deaths, and a study by the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System which used THC to eliminate opiate dependence.

The scientific research process is a notoriously (and justifiably) slow one. While we wait for science to catch up with the potential use of cannabis in this area, personal stories (and filtered from the wilder claims zipping around social media) provide an insight into the experiences of those battling on the front line of drug addiction. Policy makers are no friends of anecdotal evidence, but in life we live and learn from our own experiences and we also learn from the experiences of others…

Sky Black is a confident, good looking 23 year old who currently lives in Utah after some years living in LA. He has worked as a fashion model for brands such as Finish Line athletic shoes and glasses.com and is a fitness model whose work has taken him across the US and to Europe. An advocate of HIT (High Intensity Training) he runs fitness courses and has numerous clients. He is also a recovering heroin addict. This is the story of how he overcame his addiction and has kept clean, not with rehab or substitute drugs, but with exercise and cannabis.

Sky Black started out in life as plain old Daniel. He grew up in the state Utah, in America’s Midwest, which is home to a sizeable Mormon population (over 60% of the state are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  Members of church abide by a strict health code which eschews tobacco, alcohol and other addictive substances, and Daniel’s Mormon upbringing reflected this, in that he ‘never touched a substance’ until he was nearly 17.

However, it was at this point that he hit a slippery patch in his life and the culmination of a chain of unfortunate events prompted him to seek escape by experimenting with a range of drugs, including heroin. Initially introduced to the drug by someone he refers to (complete with inverted commas) as ‘a friend’ he quickly fell into the familiar heroin trap. “It was basically an easy way to escape from my reality,” Daniel explains. “All the pain and the bullshit went away immediately. As the months went by I stopped experimenting with other drugs and just fell into H Town…”

At this time, Daniel was still at school, and it wasn’t long before his desire to flee from reality took its toll as his enthusiasm for school was sapped away by his heroin habit. “I was always very introverted,” Daniel says. “I was shy of the world and afraid of people’s judgment. I never wanted to let anyone down to the point where I’d never try to speak my mind.” He describes a desire to be ‘invisible’ and heroin helped him to achieve this state.

Daniel’s ride through H Town lasted another 6 months before he realized he had a problem. As nobody in his close circle was aware of his addiction, Daniel was unable to call on family and friends to serve as a support network. He knew he had to get off heroin and he knew that he would have to do it for himself. In a bold move, he decided to go it alone.

“I went through HELL. I took myself off to my friend’splace. I went through cold turkey while people were shooting up around me, oblivious to what I was going through. After all the numbness that heroin brings, in those initial days all your sensations come back, amplified. I was beyond hypersensitive. Any touch to my body would either provoke extreme pain or cause me to orgasm (yes, I know that sounds weird).  I lay on a bed in my own vomit, feces, piss and semen for three days… but I made it out alive.”

Free from heroin, Daniel wasn’t out of the hole yet. He replaced one habit with another – in the form of booze – and for the next two years went through some bad times as he tried to get his life back on track. However, he says that this period and the experiences he went through had a positive element in that he developed an empathy. Throughout this time there was also a constant in his life - exercise.

“I came from a wrestling background so I had that work ethic implanted in me. Once I came off the heroin, I started wrestling again and working out in the gym, pushing weights. This wasn't only important but vital to my recovery. It allowed me to obsess about something. Looking back, it (exercise) was an overall constant positive but I had so much negativity in my life I guess I didn’t recognize it at the time.”

Daniel also discovered cannabis. He had used it briefly as a teenager, but had too soon skipped over it in the reach for harder drugs with more impact. However, now he was focusing more on his exercise and the health of his body, he realized that cannabis actually offered something that he had been missing. He says; “After a while of smoking I started to understand how cannabis was making me feel and the benefits it was providing. I had lost a lot of weight too, so the appetite stimulation was a real benefit. It was almost like I was normal again.”

And what about the combination of cannabis and fitness? “The light bulb moment came after a friend of mine offered me a smoke before going to the gym one day. I ran to the gym (about a mile) and then I realized how easy it felt – the weed had put me in the zone. Then in the gym I took note of how my body and mind seemed to be able to push past barriers I wasn't able to before. Like I was able to truly internalize and focus on the task at hand and grind out reps I feel I couldn't before. It made my lifting go from physical/mental to a mixture of physical/mental and something that was bordering on the spiritual. I got so in the zone, like never before. Where nothing or no one mattered and I could just push myself. I completely loved every second. It was a pretty defining moment.”

Along with eating the right foods, cannabis soon became part of Daniel’s fitness regime. He credits it for having a positive impact on his life, helping him to focus and a positive influence on his thoughts. He hasn’t done heroin for 6 years, and although he feels the cravings still at times, he credits cannabis with keeping him on the right path. Typically he smokes bongs or consumes edibles.

Is this a route he would prescribe for others who are wanting to quit harder drugs? “I know it has helped me in many ways. If it has worked it for me, I don't see why it can't help others. I would recommend it to people struggling to overcome, but, if you're new to smoking, and are prone to anxiety, stick to indicas. They make you relaxed and comfortable so it helps with withdrawals of any kind. Once your body understands it better then you can start having fun with the sativas.”

Over the process of getting clean and building a career out of fitness, Daniel took on the moniker Sky Black (he did live in LA for a while after all!). In the past few years he has also used his own experience to persuade others, walking the fine line with substance abuse, of the benefits of a healthier life. What he brings to the table is the fact that he knows what he’s talking about. So does he have any advice for those who may be in a similar situation to his younger self, stalked by demons and strapped into their own ride through H Town?

“My first bit of advice would be for them to ask themselves who they want to be in 5 years. What steps they can take today to be that person. When you're in that hell, that state of mind, it's fucking hard to say the least. I needed to do it myself personally. This WILL be the hardest thing you've done from physical to mental to spiritual. You will be broken. You will need to recreate yourself. My formula was to improve myself, you need to find and form passion.

Find a healthy outlet. I wanted to do bodybuilding and fitness. I wanted to become confident and healthy and honestly, to test myself and see if I could go from the lowest, from heroin addiction to a role model and inspiration on a massive scale. I am still doing that test but I've come a long way!! You need to be REAL with yourself. No one can do this for you. You can't blame or lean on anyone. No wiggle room, no excuses. You need to be strong. Once you get past this, I promise everything else in life seems a hell of a lot easier.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkyBlackFit/
Insta: @Sky_Black_Official

 Words by Che Capri

Posted in Cannabis News

Budding Breeder

I started growing for myself in 2010.  I deal with some chronic pain issues from about 25 years of riding a skateboard and Cannabis provided me a safe alternative to deal with the pain. I've always been a do-it-yourself kind of person as well as a creative person my whole life, so it's in my nature to create things - it's kind of what I do. These feelings of wanting to create something for the cannabis world hit me in late 2012. I had been listening to episodes of Subcool's 'Weed Nerd' show and hearing him talk about crossing strains and breeding which got me more than a bit interested. So, I started looking into it more - reading everything I could on breeding, genetics and plant selection. I was so fascinated by the genetics and where they came from and how modern hybrids were made that I had to start playing and learning myself.

Dirt Farmer Genetics was founded in 2013 with the creation of my first project: Purple Tears. I had been interested in breeding, and phenotype selection for a while now so I decided to create my first strain to further explore these aspects of growing.

I started off with a QuerkIe male that was very Purple Urkle dominant. I was really into colorful plants when I first got into growing and when deciding which strains I wanted to start with, I knew I wanted something to bring some color to the mix. For the female I chose Delahaze, a girl I had been running  for her sweet mango flavor and heavy resin production. She had no purple traits so this would be a good one for me to see what the male would provide color wise. This cross became Purple Tears.

In the first batch of test seeds I ran the first seed to pop was (and still is) my favorite to this day. When I topped her for the first time she gave off a little purple colored tear drop at the end of the meristem. This is where the name Purple Tears came from. She grew with tight internodes in veg and during flower she quickly started packing on resin. By day 40 you could already see her changing color. She finished around day 63 with dark purple leaves and dense resin-covered purple buds. I cracked open a nug to reveal a beautiful magenta-colored inner calyx surrounded by trichome forests.

I have been working Purple Tears for the last three years now. From here I've been selecting traits for purple coloring, resin production, and a grape hashy- terp profile in further generations.

She makes for a really great hash strain, whether it's bubble, oil, or rosin. She also works great medicinally for chronic pain, muscle issues, anxiety, and sleep aid.

Purple Tears seeds are currently available in two versions: Bx and F3. Both are great pain meds with slightly different flavor profiles with the Bx leaning more towards musty grape hash and the F3 delivering a grape/fuel flavor explosion. I also have a few F1 hybrid crosses made with the Purple Tears F2 male. These plants grow with a nice tight nodal structure and early topping is recommended for multiple colas. She likes a little longer veg time and can be a heavy eater, but she will reward you with nice dense purple buds just glistening with heavy resin production. No need for cool temps to bring out the purpling in these girls. The F2 male selected showed lots of purpling and greasy resin production - just like the female counterparts. They are sure to add resin and color to any variety.

Most phenos finish with pinkish purple to full on magenta and dark purple buds with a flowering time between 60-70 days. When you first get a jar of Purple Tears you can already see the pink and purple hues through the glass and as you open the lid the aroma of fresh grapes and hash fills the area. When you look inside at some beautiful pink and purple buds covered in trichomes, you will pull a nug out to admire the color and quickly put it to your nose and inhale deeply while giving the bud a gentle squeeze. Aromas of fresh grapes, and hash will tickle your nose. Start breaking open the bud to reveal even more beautiful colors inside as you pack your bowl. Spark that flame and inhale...Her smoke is heavy and dense, it fills your lungs with a potent mix of cannabinoids and terpenes. Upon exhale the taste of grape fuel lingers as your eyes get heavy. Sit back and relax as a calm wave comes over your body, your legs start to tingle and eases your pain away.

 Take a few extra puffs of her just before bed for a good nights rest. She'll have you feeling good as new in the morning.

 Purple Tears has been my labor of love for the past three years but she's going to take a little pause from further workings for a bit. While working her I have been pheno-hunting new varieties to breed with and have been working to create my own males to use in future projects. This is where I hope to bring some unique new genetics to the mix.

For me the selection of the two parents is key. Breeding for me isn't finding the one male and making crosses. Its about making those proper selections and pairing the right male and female then working through those seeds.

Next in the lineup to get worked is SourBlime. SourBlime combines the legendary Black Lime Reserve male crossed with a very special clone only cut of Sour OG female. This project is in its initial phase and is already shaping up nicely.

My goal with Dirt Farmer Genetics is to create interesting seed varieties that have great flavor profiles and medicinal value at a price for the working grower.

Follow Dirt Farm genetics on Instagram... Instagram @dirtfarmergenetics

Posted in Cannabis News

30 Years Of Dutch Passion

2017-04-03 11:52:48

Dutch Passion are celebrating their 30 year anniversary in 2017, not many seed companies have stayed in business long enough to reach that landmark.  It’s a good time to look back at some of the highlights from the original ‘Masters At Work’

Humble beginnings

Dutch Passion was formally established in 1987, but the first genetics were collected in the 1970’s when Henk van Dalen was a Biology Student at Amsterdam University.  In those days cannabis was being imported into Amsterdam from all over the world.  Henk began collecting the different seeds from various batches of cannabis which in the early days came from numerous sources.  Nigerian, South African, Brazilian, Filipino, Thai and even Californian cannabis was making its ways to the early Amsterdam Coffee shops and, unsurprisingly, these varieties were often quite different in terms of the effect of the cannabis and the quality.  The seeds were collected and became the basis of the early Dutch Passion breeding.  At the time, indoor growing techniques and equipment were quite basic, but Henk managed to grow the seeds and eventually the best plants were selected for breeding and eventual crossing.  Soon it was clear that the cannabis being grown in Amsterdam was of superior quality to that being imported.  The 1970’s indoor growing scene was small, but the community of first seed pioneers was already at work, and they had a good selection of cannabis genetics from all over the world to start from. Today, Dutch Passion still operate out of Amsterdam and have remained true to their original goal - to focus exclusively on supplying the best quality cannabis seeds.

Feminized cannabis seeds

Indoor cannabis growing began to take off in the 1980’s and 1990’s as good quality indoor varieties became increasingly available.  At the same time the availability and quality of indoor grow lights and growing equipment began to improve.  Cannabis was now being grown indoors and outdoors in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.  Now that it was possible to grow your own cannabis, the focus began to shift towards growing with maximum convenience and quality.  However, home growers were unhappy, and slightly paranoid, about having to germinate and grow male plants and calls were growing louder for feminized cannabis seeds (and since feminized vegetable seeds were already available many wanted feminized cannabis seeds).  After numerous tests and techniques were tried, eventually Dutch Passion found a way to produce the first feminized cannabis seeds in the 1990’s.  Dutch Passion may have been the first to invent feminized cannabis seeds, but eventually everyone else would follow.  Today feminized cannabis seeds account for over 95% of all cannabis seeds sold.  

Relentless search for quality

The Dutch Passion team operate in Europe, Russia, South America and Canada with employees in several different countries.  Dutch Passion still have some of their original geneticists and breeders as well as young, eager new breeders and the team also enjoy established links to some of the best legal growers in the world, such as some USA, Canadian and South American licensed growers.  This ensures continued access to the best emerging cannabis genetics around the world.  Dutch Passion are now an international organization: their website is translated into 10 languages and seeds are supplied to growers of all sizes.  From the self sufficient home grower looking to grow a few plants for personal use, to large legal growers producing thousands of cannabis plants, growers of all types and size trust Dutch Passion for their cannabis seeds.  30 years of Dutch Passion success comes from many years of repeat business from thousands of growers that demand the best quality and consistency.  Many of the original Dutch Passion customers, resellers, grow shop owners and distributors are still with them 30 years later thanks to the same philosophy: To supply the best quality cannabis seeds and to continually innovate and explore new genetic lines.  

Genetics, genetics, genetics.

Although they are remembered for giving feminized cannabis seeds to the world, Dutch Passion also point out a few other key contributions to the cannabis community:

         • Outdoor genetics - By selectively breeding their outdoor varieties in Holland, Dutch Passion created a family of toughened outdoor varieties that could grow throughout Northern Europe and North America, even in tough climates.  These varieties, such as Durban Poison, Frisian Dew, Hollands Hope and Passion #1 became the building blocks for many of today’s outdoor varieties.

         • CBD-rich genetics - Whilst CBD-rich genetics are not mainstream for recreational growers, they are some of the most valued varieties by the medical growing community.  Dutch Passion worked with specialist breeders ‘The CBD Crew’ to help create the first CBD-rich commercial varieties.  Dutch Passion are also working on a future CBG-rich (Cannabigerol) cannabinoid variety.

         • Autoflowering cannabis - By partnering closely with ‘The Joint Doctor’, who helped create autoflowering genetics, Dutch Passion established a strong pioneering position on the development of autoflowering cannabis over the last 10 years.  Today autoflowering varieties are another mainstream cannabis seed development which few predicted.  They grow from seed to harvest under 20 hours of daily light in 10-11 weeks with the same potency as traditional varieties.  For many home growers, autos are easy and convenient for growing indoors and outdoors.

         • Traditional photoperiod genetics - Many growers will be familiar with famous THC-rich Dutch Passion varieties such as Orange Bud, Mazar, Blueberry, White Widow, Master Kush and others.  We can thank Dutch Passion for some solid genetic lines which have served the cannabis community well over the last 3 decades.  

         • Dutch Passion are the only seed bank with stable outdoor photoperiod and auto ‘Duck’ varieties.  These grow with webbed cannabis leaves (similar shape to a Ducks foot print), they give natural stealth camouflage and are extremely difficult to identify as cannabis.

Continued focus on quality and convenience.

After 30 years at the top, and with a reputation for innovating, we look forward to seeing another 30 years from the Dutch Passion team.  They have already begun expanding into the LED grow light industry with their sister company ‘Crazy LEDs & More’ and there are rumors that they are planning some other major new projects.  We look forward to seeing the next chapter from Dutch Passion… 

By Tony

Source: https://www.dutch-passion.com

Posted in Cannabis News

An autoflowering strain that changes your mind: Think Different 

Autoflowering strains keep on improving in performance quality, meanwhile competing with traditional ones in terms of potency and yield. Dutch Passion is leading in this field, and with one of their latest AutoFem strain releases Think Different, they aim at setting a new standard that stands out of the crowd. For creating this very special easy-to-grow strain, the Dutch Passion breeders used a strain from their genebank named AK420 which is a very productive AK47 hybrid with an extremely high THC content. It was hybridised with a carefully selected ruderalis plant to yield a superior autoflowering variety that would even outperform Dutch Passion's AutoFem bestseller AutoMazar. Think Different’s pedigree consists of approx. 60% sativa, 20% indica and 20% ruderalis. Dutch Passion promises good homogeneity, with the plants achieving heights of 1-1.5 metres and yields of 250-300 g per plant when grown under optimum conditions. Indoors, even harvests of up to 500 g/m² have been reaped by commercial growers in The Netherlands. Thanks to a short life cycle of only nine weeks from seed to harvest, also impatient growers will feel comfortable with Think Different, and they’ll surely also appreciate its stunning THC content measured at 18%.

It was a cultivator called “Growulff” who put Think Different to an indoor performance test. He hadn’t cultivated any other autoflowering strain before as he was very sceptical, not convinced of that whole autoflowering thing, but the description of Think Different caught him, raising the expectation of a good first time autoflowering experience. Out of a bag with seven pieces, he germinated five Think Different seeds that quickly sprouted within three days, placed into Jiffy pots. At first the plants, together with other strains, were maintained in a separate grow box (equipped with a 600 W HPS bulb) in Growulff’s grow room for two weeks under a light regimen of 18 hours per day. The young seedlings, soon planted into 11 litre pots filled with coco ground and automatically watered by drip irrigation, developed very well and after two weeks, the first single female flowers were already visible at the top of the plants. Growulff had to move them into the actual grow room then, as he needed the grow box space for starting other strains. This meant that the Think Different plants would receive 18 hours of light per day only for two more weeks, because at that point of time, Growulff would have to induce the flowering period (12/12 light cycle) of some regular strains already present in the grow room. However, merely twelve hours of light per day are suboptimal for autoflowering strains, but Growulff hoped that the rich amount of light available in his grow room (+600 W/m²) would compensate for this to a certain degree. 

After four weeks, the plants were between 40 and 55 cm tall and extremely bushy, having produced plenty of side branches beset with many closely spaced internodes and leaves that expectedly were more on the sativa side. There already were nice little buds along the main stem and branches, flowering production was notably increasing pace now and Growulff was very confident the outcome of his first autoflowering grow would be great. Another two weeks later, the plants still kept on growing into height a bit while flowering, but height growth seemed to come to an end very soon. Proper resin production meanwhile had effected an attractive silvery bud appearance, and the flower clusters were becoming pretty dense now. Their highly pleasant smell was sweet, but also revealed a tiny hint of ruderalis. When another two weeks had passed, about fifty percent of the flower pistils had withered and Growulff expected that the flowering time of nine weeks as stated by Dutch Passion would prove to be the case so that there was still about one week to go. The plants were 55-75 cm tall now which was considerably lower than expected, but had produced a big fat main cola and several thick long side branch colas that were looking quite impressive and raising the hope of a very good yield. After 62-64 days, Growulff could harvest all the five Think Different plants that, by the way, hadn’t revealed any male flower. 

18 days later, the pretty resinous Think Different buds had been thoroughly dried and slightly fermented, so it was about time for Growulff to find out the weight of the dry outcome and he put the beautifully looking nuggets on the scales. He determined a yield of 52.5 grams on the average which was absolutely excellent – Growulff could have placed nine of these plants on one square meter and his total yield then would almost have equalled the 500 gram mark accomplished by those Dutch commercial growers. He wondered what would have happened if his Think Different plants had received 18 hours of light or more throughout the whole cultivation cycle, arriving at the conclusion that this light scenario most probably even would have let his plants surpass the 500 gram mark. 

So as for productiveness, Think Different had fully satisfied or even exceeded the expectations of Growulff, now it was the question whether the same would happen in terms of potency and flavour. When test smoking a decent Think Different joint, his first impression was that this autoflowering strains tastes surprisingly mild, there was no hint of ruderalis in the taste at all and instead a yummy clear sweetness. Think Different’s turn rushed over him quickly, providing a strong sativa up-high effect with a vibrant happy bright feeling in the head and crystally clear optical perception, combined with a small bit of simultaneous indica stonedness also. Growulff is rather a heavy than a light smoker, requiring a certain high amount of THC in order to really get high, but Think Different easily did that job for about 1.5 hours and gave him what he needed plus a bit more – Altogether, Growulff was highly satisfied with the premiere of an autoflowering strain in his grow room. Also, Think Different really lived up to its name and, indeed, made him think different: About autoflowering strains and their potential. In the future, he will surely give other such varieties a try – well, Dutch Passion’s soon to come AutoFem release StarRyder certainly does have good chance to make it onto his agenda…

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 100

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Posted in Cannabis News

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