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Paradise Seeds CBD Strain reviews

2017-02-01 12:50:38

Paradise goes CBD!

A new chapter in breeding medicinal cannabis: Durga Mata II CBD & Nebula II CBD 

For a long time, worldwide scientific and medical cannabis research had almost only dealt with the exploration of the cannabinoid THC, the agent of the cannabis plant “that dreams are made of”, being mainly responsible for the psychoactive effects of the drug. THC was discovered by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam in 1964. But already in 1940, two independent investigation groups had managed to isolate another cannabinoid from the plant: Cannabidiol (CBD). It was professor Mechoulam again though who actually discovered the chemical structure of CBD much later, in the year of 1963. Together with his elucidation of THC one year later, he thus laid the basis for the modern pharmacology and research of cannabis.

Within the Cannabinoid system, CBD acts as an antagonist to THC, attenuating its psychoactive effects, including negative kinds of: Scientists found out e.g. that smokers consuming cannabis with a higher CBD/THC ratio are less likely to experience schizophrenia-like symptoms. Research has proven that CBD medicinally has anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. Much hope is raised by the fact that it seems to be able to play an important role for new approaches to the treatment of cancer: In clinical studies, CBD showed anti-cancer effects for example in brain and breast cancer cells and also inhibited lung cancer metastasis. Other fields of medical CBD research conducted by scientists are focusing on neurobiological aspects, and the good message here is that CBD, thanks to its antioxidant nature, seems to have a brain cell protective effect as well. There are strong hints that it may help to prevent brain damage in stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and maybe also heart attacks. And if that wasn’t enough, CBD has been approved to treat inflammation, pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and ease or even prevent epileptic seizures. Another highly interesting field of application is the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are a lot of reports from ADHD patients saying that marijuana strains rich in CBD are great for calming down and becoming able to focus on things. If one looks at how many million children worldwide are turned into heavily sedated kinds of deadhearted “zombies” by the strong pills they get regularly prescribed, it becomes obvious what a huge blessing the application of the non-psychoactive, very well-tolerated cannabinoid CBD could mean to these poor young people, free of any negative side-effects!

Luc Krol from Paradise seeds has committed himself to the medical aspects of the cannabis plant. Not only he founded the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour in Spain that each year raises a high five-digit sum of money to fund independent research into the treatment of cancer with cannabis - Luc has also created and released two medical CBD strains now: Durga Mata II CBD and Nebula II CBD. So what made him focus on CBD? Says Luc: “Well I realised already a few years ago that people requested varieties that are not too euphoric not too stoned/high, but with the strongest medical properties. Due to contact with medicinal patient and hearing how the effect of THC helps them getting back on their feet again, literally! living for years in wheel chairs, sometimes addicted on pain killers, morphine etc. with no sight on improvement until they started to consume cannabis products. Using Cannabis changed their lives for the better and stopped their prescription drugs / pharmacy synthetic drugs entirely to get their normal live back again! Knowing that CBD compensates the high effect of THC, it would be good to offer varieties that have both cannabinoids inside. This way people/ patients have a more relaxing state of mind and body and still have the advantage of THC which has in fact the majority of beneficial properties on human conditions. CBD also has a healing effect especially on patients with epileptic seizures and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome for example, but most commonly known and scientifically proven is the healing property on inflammations of bone and tissue. So I realised that the combination of both THC and CBD in varieties would be ideal for a large group of patients. When I heard that there was already a variety with this high ratio of both cannabinoids, I got really interested making some of my own for Paradise Seeds. I contacted the group of persons who were doing this and we agreed to collaborate in a project for Paradise Seeds which has resulted after two years of breeding in two really good medical varieties, one is our famous Nebula which is a mostly Sativa like hybrid, and the other is a strong Indica, our well known Durga Mata! In the future we aim to make more CBD rich varieties also with different ratios. In the Nebula and Durga Mata CBD rich varieties, the ratio is 1:1, about 8 % THC and 7 % CBD.”

Durga Mata in its regular form is a Paradise indica strain with highly resinous dense compact buds that finish within eight weeks of flowering, and Nebula regular consists of indica/sativa, in 60-65 days of flowering producing likewise resin-dripping heavy buds. Mr. Power Planter was curious to find out how these two Paradise classics would perform in their new makeups as CBD rich varieties, and of course also how it would feel to smoke varieties with lots of CBD which he had never experienced before. So he put four feminised seeds each of Durga Mata II CBD and Nebula II CBD to germination, placed into Jiffy pots. All the seeds germinated quickly, after three days the young seedlings were all vigorously stretching towards the CFL lamp hung above them. Mr. Power Planter potted them into 6 litre containers filled with Plagron Grow Mix soil. Due to circumstances, he could give the plants only one week in the vegetative stage, then they were already moved into the flowering chamber, where the enjoyed about 600 Watts of light coming from an Osram Son-T HPS lamp. Which made the eight plants grow into height quickly, and after 9-10 days, the first female preflowers became visible. The four Nebula II CBD plants, due to their indica/sativa nature, expectedly grew more dynamically, also sporting a few side branches, while the Durga Mata II CBD plants focused on building strong sturdy main stems that soon were lined with dense indica-style flower clusters. And also the Nebula II CBD plants were busily producing excellent flowering tops along the main stem and side branches after four weeks. “Everything looks pretty normal, I cannot see any difference so far between the regular and CBD-version Durga Mata and Nebula strains”, Mr. Power Planter reported. “This is also true for the resin output of these eight plants, after four weeks of flowering now, the young buds are already coated with lots of resin glands and I bet that in the end, they won’t fall short at all here of the regular strains. So one can see that a much higher CBD share obviously doesn’t have any influence on the resin production capability of the plants, luckily!”

And indeed, the eight plants had become remarkably resinous after eight weeks of flowering, even THAT insanely resinous that Mr. Power Planter simply couldn’t imagine that these buds wouldn’t give him a mightily strong stoned high as usual. Well, much resin also means much aroma – and these two CBD-rich strains also intensively smelled just like their regular strain ancestors: The Durga Mata II CBD buds gave off a perfume-like sweet odour, while the Nebula II CBD buds proudly presented their trademark honeyed sweet and somewhat fruity smell. At harvest time, all of the eight plants had produced marvellous thick head and side buds oozing with resin. Which also were rock-hard, with the Nebula II CBD buds naturally exhibiting a higher calyx-to-leaf ration than the Durga Mata II CBD buds. Regarding their very short vegetative stage of one week, Mr. Power Planter was surprised how big and productive the plants had become. They also impressed him with a high degree of uniformity, in each strain group, there was only one plant that was about 10 cm taller or shorter than the other three plants that had the same or almost same height. The Nebula II CBD plants had arrived at heights of 55-65 cm in the end, while the Durga Mata II CBD plants measured 40-50 cm. As for flowering times, the four Durga Matas needed 56-58 days to ripen and the four Nebulas 60-63 days – again another perfect match with the respective regular varieties!

With the dry bud yields of 21-25 grams (Durga Mata II CBD) and 28-33 grams (Nebula II CBD) achieved with such a short cultivation cycle, Mr. Power Planter was more than satisfied. Then he got really excited because the time had come that he would smoke his first CBD-rich cannabis strain. He decided to start with Nebula II CBD. As mentioned before, it was hard for him to believe that those super resinous and super fragrant buds wouldn’t pack a most heavy punch, but after having finished the first joint, he realised that it was just like that: Instead of a strong THC high making him stoned, Mr. Power Planter felt a mellow head buzz and a pleasant, both mentally and physically relaxing effect. The high CBD share gently calmed him down, making him feel even-tempered and well-balanced, totally centered. Although he had not felt anxious or uneasy before consuming Nebula II CBD, Mr. Power Planter sensed how this strain noticeably stabilised his inner balance and well-being, while his head remained clear enough to easily perform diverse tasks. As expected, this effect didn’t last for hours, but was gone after about an hour. So he then lit his second test joint, Durga Mata II CBD. Considering the fact that this strain has the same almost 1:1 THC/CBD profile as Nebula II CBD, it didn’t come as a surprise that Mr. Power Planter couldn’t sense any difference in effect between these two, again he experienced that very pleasant relaxation and stabilisation effect, and again, it lasted for about an hour. Only the taste was different, basically very sweet with both strains, but Durga Mata II CBD packed more spiciness, whereas Nebula II CBD expressed its fruity sweet note very distinctly.

Mr. Power Planter gave some sample buds to a friend whose 20 years old son suffers from ADHD. Not having being under tablet medication any longer for two years, this son struggled to keep his disease under control. A week later Mr. Power Planter was told that smoking those two Paradise CBD strains had impressively helped his friend’s son to keep cool and calm, to focus on and master the tasks of his everyday life!

So Luc’s two new CBD-rich strains proved to be medicinally very effective and valuable, indeed. Mr. Power Planter feels that they are a great beneficial addition to Paradise Seeds’ strain assortment, presenting a totally new kind of marijuana effect experience. He definitely looks forward to more of such CBD varieties to be released by this company in the future. 

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 113

Buy Paradise Seeds varieties from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

4th Generation Autos

A great step forward in the development of autoflowering strains

There is no doubt that we are living a very productive period in the present cannabic world when it comes to breeding new varieties. We now have strains with very attractive and striking colours, but also an extensive range of aromas and effects that turn the growing of this beautiful plant into something even more engaging and exciting.

I’m not going to use this article to focus on all of these changes. One or other plant, that will appear later in the article, will show some of these reddish noteworthy colours. But I will focus on something that, in my opinion, is where the biggest and most significant developments are taking place: the autoflowering strains. To anyone unfamiliar with this type of Cannabis plant, their distinguishing characteristic is their capacity to flower regardless the number of hours of light they are subjected to. They are not photo-dependent and since they are germinated they have a predisposition to flower and die, which makes it impossible to keep them as mother plants.

As we know there are 3 varieties of Cannabis. Two of them being photo-dependent (needing 12 hours of continuous and complete darkness everyday to start flowering) and psychoactive (containing high concentrations of THC and other cannabinoids). These are known as Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. The other variety is Cannabis Ruderalis, which is very low in THC and known for a low psychoactive effect. But nevertheless there was something in Cannabis Ruderalis that captured the breeders' attention. It was the capacity to flower regardless of the hours of darkness per day that the plants are subjected to. These plants are not bothered with light contaminations during the night cycle and they even produce bigger flowers if we give them a longer light period, like for example 18 hours of continuous light and 6 hours of darkness (per day).

To create these first autoflowering strains the breeders crossed Cannabis Ruderalis plants (neither photo-dependent or psychoactive) with Cannabis Sativa or Indica plants (photo-dependent and psychoactive). With time, the levels of psychoactive effect have been increased in autoflowering plants and only the specimens with the highest psychoactive levels are used for breeding new strains.

It should be pointed out that Sweet Seeds has performed great work throughout the years, working with consciousness to create top quality, autoflowering plants. In which the taste, effect and growth pattern can be very similar to that of feminised plants, shortening the fine thread that separates them, year after year, generation after generation.

This year Sweet Seeds surprises us with the recent 4th Generation Autoflowering strains, finding ourselves in the presence of a quantitative and qualitative advance in this kind of plant. This advance can be really significant and gratifying if they are grown under ideal growing parameters that allow them to show all their potential. They are voracious plants and show a much more vigorous growth pattern when compared to their previous generations, making it important to use a good soil mix. But even more important than that, they should be allowed to receive as much hours of direct light as possible.

To create these new strains the breeders introduced genes from very tall, mostly Sativa plants, something that provides them a more vigorous growth. This allows for larger sized plants that are more productive than their previous generations. With structure and final results very similar to photoperiod plants. As a matter of fact, growing the new 4th Generation Autoflowering strains together with photoperiod plants, the “harvest per day” ratio tends to be higher with autos as, in only 8 weeks from germination, you will be getting multiple high caliber buds. While with photoperiod plants you would need to add an extra month of growth before you flip them to flower.

Now I’m going to talk about and show pictures of an indoor grow that I recently finished with Sweet Trainwreck Auto. I’ll also share some pictures of a grow from a friend of mine who harvested some beautiful flowers of Ice Cool Auto, Bloody Skunk and Devil Cream. All of them 4th Generation Autoflowering strains from Sweet Seeds.

Sweet Trainwreck Auto is a marvellous 4th generation autoflowering strain that develops a branchy structure, strong enough to hold the tight and dense buds produced. All this with very fast growth, exceeding the previous versions of autoflowering strains in height and production. Sweet Trainwreck Auto is a very easy to grow strain that is perfectly adapted to indoor and outdoor growing, with some plants reaching more than a meter in height.

In order to obtain this genetic, jumping from 3rd to 4th generation, the Sweet Seeds breeders crossed tall structured autoflowering genetic lines leaning to the Sativa side with a Trainwreck elite clone that is very famous in dispensaries across the USA. The result is a very fruity and sweet taste, with citrus hints. It features a very well balanced Indica/Sativa effect. Production is very substantial and the plants can be harvested only 8 weeks after germination.

THC: 17-20% CBD: 1% CBN: 0,2%

Indoor/Outdoor Harvest: 8 weeks from germination

Height: 60-120cm

 

The complete Sweet Trainwreck Auto grow report

Light cycle: 20 hours ON / 4 hours OFF, from germination to harvest

Power of light: Vegetative phase with 200w CFL / Flowering phase with 600w HPS

Number of Plants: 9 plants in 1 square meter (3 plants in 20 litre pots and 6 plants in 10 litre pots)

Total time: 8 weeks

Nutrients: Bio Canna range + Magical during flowering

Soil mix: Kilomix by Atami

 

1 – From the jiffy pellet to the small pot. First week of life.

Light: 200w CFL

Nutrients: Cannastart

All the seeds were sprouted in a glass of water with a few drops of H2O2 added. Then they were passed into jiffy peat pellets soaked in water + CannaStart and remained there for 3 days. Before I even saw the roots appearing, I transplanted them to 4x4cm pots where they then remained until their 8th day of life. I also provided them with continuous air renovation and a fan to stir the plants a bit helping to avoid spindly growth.

 

2 – The beginning of flowering. 2nd week from germination.

Light: 600w HPS

Nutrients: None

The plants responded well to the last transplant. It was performed on day 10 from germination and the plants remained in these pots until harvest. I would also like to mention that I introduced a change in my grow parameters and I think it was a good choice. This time I used Airpots and I could observe how beneficial they can be when growing autoflowering plants. Mainly due to their ventilation system, getting more air into the soil mix and allowing for very healthy and fast growth in plants.

I often advise the use of big pots but always together with the use of rich soil mixes that are light and airy to help with fast root development. Sweet Trainwreck Auto is a very fast and demanding plant in that sense, which means that every helping hand we can give her will be more than welcome by the plant.

This time I used two different pot sizes to compare the final height and production. I had 6 plants in 10 litre pots and 3 plants in 20 litre pots.

 

3 – Flowering time. 5th week from germination.

Light: 600w HPS

Nutrients: Bioboost + Rhizotonic + Magical + Cannazym

The growth pattern of this strain is very interesting to watch, they grow very fast, showing a lot of vigour and the changes are visible in a very short space of time.

Around the 24th day from germination I started to stimulate flowering with Bioboost using the maximum dosage and kept on until the 7th week. From the 5th week on, it became necessary to add Magical in some plants that were in the 10 litre pots and already consumed all the nitrogen available in the soil. Using Calcium and Magnesium between the 5th and the 6th week is a good way of helping a plant that shows signs of yellowing, weakness or loss of brilliance when flowering is starting. With this and adding also a bit of bloom nutrients, we can ensure that we will have a healthy plant until harvest time.

It’s convenient to use enzymes on a weekly basis to decompose the traces of dead roots and convert them into nutrients that can be used by the plant. I like to use it simply mixed in the water.

 

4 - Flower ripening. 7th week of life.

 Light: 600w HPS

 Nutrients:  Bioboost + Rhizotonic + Bioflores + Cannazym

Plants developed a lot of branches with multiple dense buds, all covered in resin. In fact the trichome production is copious and the aroma produced by them is incredibly sweet. It features some citrus and liquorice tones that will make you wish to be around the plants all the time. In the end your nose ends up sticky from the resin and you’ll be able to take part of that aroma with you.

The last 2 weeks were crucial for flowers to ripe properly and get that extra dense look to them. To help I used another additive, an organic bloom liquid nutrient solution named Bio Flores, from Canna. While reducing the Magical dosage, I increased the EC value with this liquid nutrient until it reached 1400ms and the plants absorbed it very well. As this fertilizer lowers the pH considerably, I used Bioboost and also added Rhizotonic to raise the pH value and leave it at around 6.2 - 6.6.

 

5- Harvesting the fruits. 8th week of life.

 Light: 600w HPS

 Nutrients: Cannaflush and Cannazym

We arrive at the 8th week from germination and most of the plants are ready to be harvested. A phenotype may need an extra week but as a compensation it will produce more and larger flowers.

For the flush I used Cannaflush about 10 days before harvesting the plants, followed by waterings with Cannazym from then to the harvest time. It is very important to clean the soil even when we only use organic nutrients because some parts of the mineral salts present in the organic nutrients can also concentrate in the soil and become toxic.

The final height of the plants was between 70 and 110cm. The differences between plants in the 10 litre pots and those in the 20 litre pots are remarkable. Plants in the 20 litre pots looked much healthier during the whole life cycle and ended up forming much denser and compact flowers.

As a final note, I’d like to add that the bud structure is that typically found in Trainwreck strains, with multiple dense flowers, crowding out with each other, covered by lots of trichomes that are visible to the naked eye.

It is a very resistant and easy to grow strain, perfect for SOG systems. One can obtain deliciously tasty fruits, productive and with a great quality of effect. It also features a sweet creamy hashish flavour together with its peculiar liquorice aroma with citrus tones.

 The other pictures I’m showing in this article are from a grow experience from a friend of mine who filled his grow room in only 8 weeks with the other new 4th Generation Autos: Ice Cool Auto, Bloody Skunk and Devil Cream.

 I wish you all a Sweet and easy grow!

Words and pics by Jaypp

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 112

Purchase Sweet Seeds auto lines from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

CBD – Absolute Afghani

Fifteen years ago, if you had walked into a coffeeshop in Amsterdam and asked about the CBD and THC content of cannabis, the odds are you would have been greeted with a look of confusion from the person behind the counter. If you had found your way to the Cannabis College and asked the same question, however, it’s likely that one of the volunteers would have drawn you a basic pie chart to explain the balance of the three cannabinoids that had been studied most: Tetrahydracannabinoid (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), and Cannabinol (CBN). At the time, CBN was thought to be an entirely separate cannabinoid to the other two; we now know it’s actually a metabolite of THC, which is converted into CBN as the THC ages.

The Cannabinoid Pie-Chart

The pie-chart explanation was an over-simplified way of explaining the effects of different types of cannabis – after all, there are over 85 different types of cannabinoids that occur in cannabis, not just three – but it got the job done. If the THC slice of pie was larger than the CBD and CBN slices put together, the effect was going to be high and uplifting. If the reverse was true and the THC was the smallest slice of pie, then the effect would be more relaxed and soporific. Virtually everyone understood this immediately.

Due to the THC component being the one causing the soaring, giggling, energetic high that was pursued by a great many people, a great deal of time, energy and resources were devoted to breeding strains of marijuana with as high a THC level as possible. The success of this trend culminated – at least in the Netherlands – with proposals from concerned (and generally ill-informed) parties to make the sale of cannabis containing more than 15% THC illegal in coffeeshops. On the mainly 90s – 00s quest to find the ultimate cannabis high, we gained strains such as Silver Haze and NYC Diesel but CBD and CBN were overlooked or forgotten by many of the commercial branches of the cannabis industry as a whole – except for the scientific and medical communities.

As previously mentioned, CBN is created when THC degrades; the two cannabinoids occur in inverse proportion to each other. This explains why, when harvested marijuana is kept for a long time (and especially if exposed to light and air) the buds can produce a stoned effect even if the plant has mostly Sativa genetics. CBN is only mildly psychoactive, and so far has not produced effects beyond those that THC and CBD already cause to a stronger degree. CBD, on the other hand, has displayed a host of properties that continue to have a significant impact on the field of medicinal cannabis use.

The Entourage Effect

By 2014, CBD has become more widely known and been the subject of many more in-depth studies. These have shown that, despite being regarded as non-psychoactive, CBD does have a soporific effect and acts as a mediator for the effects of THC. Experiments on the effects of THC when administered with and without CBD have shown that, when used alone, THC is more prone to cause feelings of anxiety and even morbidity; when used in conjunction with CBD – as, let’s not forget, nature intended – the uplifting, euphoric, giggle-inducing effect that most of us identify as the sign of a good sativa is strongly experienced. Outside of the laboratory, it is virtually impossible to consume pure THC as, in all natural forms of cannabis, all the other cannabinoids come along with it, tempering its effect in ways that actually enhance the high for the user; this has been called ‘the entourage effect’. It is research such as this which strongly suggests that medications isolating THC or made from synthetic THC are both less effective and produce far more unwanted side-effects than the unprocessed, natural plant form. Since cannabis contains such a large range of cannabinoids that we currently know very little about, and produces them in a delicate and complex balance that science cannot, currently, hope to emulate, it is not very surprising that the vast majority of medicinal cannabis users opt for the un-tempered herbal form.

CBD without THC – pain relief without the high

However, when CBD is administered without THC, there are none of the aforementioned negative effects of THC alone. CBD appears not to need THC in order to be a well-received treatment, and this is one of the most exciting facets of its medicinal potential: it can be used for the relief of various afflictions and diseases without causing a noticeable psychoactive effect. CBD has even been described as having even greater medical potential than its more famous cousin THC. Despite the accusations, not always unfounded, that medicinal users “just like to get high”, there are numerous people for whom the “getting high” part is an unwanted and even unpleasant side-effect of their medication. Cannabis that has been specifically bred to have a high CBD and low THC content would be an ideal solution for patients who simply want relief from pain without any psychoactive experiences.

In Israel, which has benefited from legal medicinal marijuana for more than a decade and boasts a medicinal program with around 12,000 patients, a breeding program to create precisely this type of cannabis has now been in progress for over ten years. The Israeli company Tikun Olam has succeeded in creating a strain that has less than 1% THC and an unprecedented 15.8% CBD. This new strain showed very positive results right from the start, as it was made available to licensed patients before clinical trials had even commenced.

Just as an aside, take a moment to think about that. Cannabis is so safe that an experimental new form of it can be issued to patients before they’ve even got around to testing it on mice. That’s how safe it is as a drug.

So what exactly is so amazing about CBD?

Well, in addition to moderating the effects of THC in various ways, including a reduction in the well-known experience of short-term memory loss, CBD alone can do some pretty spectacular things. Despite the reputation of ‘stoners’ for being withdrawn and anti-social, CBD actually has anxyolitic (anti-anxiety) and anti-depressant effects which can help to reduce social anxiety, among other things. CBD also acts as a proven analgesic, relieving localized pain without numbing the area. Research is currently underway into the neuroprotective properties of CBD; neuroprotection, put simply, shields the delicate structures of the central nervous system and brain from damage caused by stress, disease or other trauma. This is the property at work in the treatment of Dravet’s syndrome, when cannabis with a high CBD percentage can dramatically reduce the number of seizures experienced by sufferers. And, perhaps most amazingly, CBD has been proven to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.

Cannabis does not cure cancer – yet.

It is this last fact that has led to the cry of “Cannabis cures cancer!” which, though incredibly exciting in its potential, is a statement made far too early and based on far too little. What we can say at this stage is that CBD may be able to cure certain types of cancer in some cases. Dr Lester Grinspoon, one of the foremost experts on medicinal cannabis and author of the ground-breaking book ‘Marijuana Reconsidered’, has this to say on the topic:

“There is little doubt that cannabis now may play some non-curative roles in the treatment of this disease (or diseases) because it is often useful to cancer patients who suffer from nausea, anorexia depression, anxiety, pain, and insomnia. However, while there is growing evidence from animal studies that it may shrink tumor cells and cause other promising salutary effects in some cancers, there is no present evidence that it cures any of the many different types of cancer. I think the day will come when it or some cannabinoid derivatives will be demonstrated to have cancer curative powers, but in the meantime, we must be very cautious about what we promise these patients.”

Lighting up a fatty – even one rolled with the deepest, dankest, most CBD-rich indica you can find - is not going to save your life, nor is it going to guarantee you a cancer-free existence. But it can make you really effectively relaxed, and for muscular aches and pains such as menstrual cramps, it can be even better than easing into a nice warm bath.

Afghani #1 – original indica from the mountains of Afghanistan

One such indica that is ideal for this purpose is Afghani #1 from Sensi Seeds. Throughout the aforementioned “let’s make the highest, most psychedelic weed ever!” breeding frenzy of the last couple of decades, some strains were simply maintained by Sensi in the closest form to their original landrace phenotype as possible. Rather than being a recently-bred strain of high CBD cannabis, one of the best strains for pain relief may be one of the oldest on the market.

The seeds that were the starting point of the Afghani #1 story were placed in the thankful hands of Ben Dronkers, founder of Sensi Seeds, on an unspecified day in the late 1970s by an Afghani farmer. The sun was shining as Ben traversed the Khyber Pass as part of his journey through some of the finest weed and hashish country in the world. He was originally looking for hemp fabric supplies with which to create the distinctive clothing he designed and sold in the Netherlands, a mix of classic and Mediaeval-influenced styles. The search for hemp, unsurprisingly, led him to vast mountainsides full of cannabis tended by farming families who had made their living in this way for many generations. In Ben’s words, “I asked the farmers about cannabis plants and they laughed rather secretively. One of them gave me a handful of cannabis seeds as a gift and told me the seeds were very important. Naturally, this inspired me to preserve them, to learn about the qualities of seeds from different regions, and to collect more.”

Plants of this ilk, from the fast, heavy, compact side of the cannabis family tree, are named after India, where these strains are commonly grown in the mountainous north of the country and used for making charas. However, the most perfect examples of the dark, ultra-resinous Cannabis Indica genotype are actually found hundreds of kilometres to the northwest, in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Marijuana in Afghanistan: C. indica or C. sativa?

 

Marijuana has been farmed in Afghanistan for thousands of years, leading to the evolution of several distinct landraces. There is even a possible subspecies of cannabis, C. sativa var. afghanica, which was proposed in 1926 by the Russian botanist Nikolai Vavilov. However, 2013 saw the publication of ‘Cannabis – Evolution and Ethnobotany’ by Robert Connell Clarke and  Mike D. Merlin, currently the most comprehensive and up-to-date book about cannabis in the world, which classifies afghanica with the Cannabis indica subspecies. C. afghanica does posess many of the hallmarks of classic indica varieties. The leaves are usually extremely wide, and are dark green with occasional purple tinges. The cannabinoid content is high in THC but also high in CBD and CBN, leading to a soporific, sedative effect. The mature plant rarely exceeds two metres in height – although thanks to the general tendency to breed for compact phenotypes, this is now considered tall for an indica - and there is little space between the internodes and dense, resin-rich flower formations. 

 

Dedicated students of Indica bloodlines often refer to these varieties as ‘Afghanica’ when speaking of their favourites and as ‘hash plants’ when talking generally of the strains found across India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many Indica-lovers prefer their ganja without a trace of Sativa or Skunk, while some purists will only consume weed or hash that they know to be 100% Cannabis indica.

The quest for the ultimate Afghanica

In years past, the most determined Indica fans have journeyed all the way to Pakistan, then across the Afghan border into ‘hashish country’ — the high reaches of the Hindu Kush between Chitral, Mazar-i-Sharif, down to Kandahar in the south — in search of pure, unaltered local seeds which might be brought home to grow into the Afghanica of their dreams.

With this in mind, Ben set out to create an ultimate Afghani using the finest examples produced by the seeds he had gathered from the region. These genetics were carefully preserved in a form as close to that of the original landrace types as possible as well as being used in a number of exciting new crosses that would emerge during the 80s and 90s. The very best parents from Sensi’s unparalleled range of Afghani cultivars were distilled into a single seed variety capable of giving growers textbook examples of the Afghanica genotype every time. Eventually, the perfected result of the pure Afghani breeding project was released: Sensi Seeds Afghani #1.

Robust plants with sticky buds

Anyone looking for a fast, easy-growing indoor strain capable of copious yields and almost-frightening resin production need look no further. The pure indica composition of Afghani #1 makes it ideal for medicinal users looking for a straightforward stone, and the strength, especially in the hands of an experienced grower, is a stone to be reckoned with. Be warned: this is not a weed for everyone to smoke first thing in the morning! Even first-timers find it hard not to succeed with this strain, as its robust, survivalist nature will reward even fairly haphazard attempts at gardening with dense, heavy buds that are sticky to the touch from early on in the flowering period. Afghani #1 can sometimes produce a taller phenotype than is usually associated with Indicas, especially if given a long vegetation period, thanks to the dedication of the Sensi breeders to preserving the truest version of an ultimate Afghani possible outside of its native regions. This can be a disadvantage to those with limited ceiling height but if your grow space allows it, you can achieve larger than usual yields thanks to this trait.

Whether you’re consuming for pain relief or just for fun, Afghani #1 is definitely a variety to experiment with. Experience a taste of the Khyber Pass – just be careful not to pass out!

Words and pictures from Sensi Seeds

First published in Weed World Magaine edition 111

Buy seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Kandy Kush: Forbidden sweetness - Too potent for the confectionery shop!

Another famous Kush cross from DNA Genetics that has been available for a longer time already is Kandy Kush, a mostly indica strain (60/40 indica/sativa) consisting of OG Kush x Train Wreck (T4). In 2010, Kandy Kush won a remarkable prize when out of 140 strains she was chosen as the best medical marijuana at the 1st Colorado Cannabis Crown contest. Another award followed at the Spannabis Outdoor Cup 2012, where she took third place. DNA Genetics says about its growth and bloom behaviour: “Classic stretch of the OG Kush that bulks up and fills out like the TW to give you OG flavor and TW nugs.” The Train Wreck strain was used for this cross because of its commercial productiveness, very high resin content and lemony aroma. Just like the OG Kush, it has become a highly popular American flagship strain in recent years, so Kandy Kush is another exciting meeting of two giants in the world of cannabis strains. Marrying Train Wreck to the OG Kush led to an insane sweetness reminding of kandy, “a true California flavour” according to DNA Genetics. They praise Kandy Kush as “one of the most resinous plants in their catalogue” (which certainly means a lot), announcing the onset of heavy trichome production after the 5th week that won’t stop increasing until the very end. With 9-10 weeks of flowering, Kandy Kush takes a bit longer than most of the other DNA Kush varieties, but with regard to its big yield potential of 450-550 g/m2, nobody will get impatient I guess. 

She is available both in the form of feminised and regular seeds. Growulff sowed half a package of six feminised seeds only as he shared the other half with a friend. Together with Kandy Kush, he also started Stacked Kush and a few other varieties. Placed into Jiffy pots, the three Kandy Kush seeds popped up within three days and were raised under under two 75 Watts high-efficiency CFL lamps in a Secret Jardin one sqm. grow box at first. The leaves soon produced by the plants were quite broad in the beginning, but then became a bit thinner with every new set, until they were more on the sativa side. After two weeks, Growulff had transplanted the plants into 22.5 litre Air Pots filled with coco ground and watered by hand. Then they were moved into the actual grow room that was equipped with 6x 600 Watts lamps (3x HPS, 3x MH, adding up to +600 Watts/m2), where the vegetative stage was continued for another two weeks. The Kandy Kush plants exhibited a very early onset of strong side branch growth, but at the same time vividly stretched to height, growing very vigorously and also homogeneously. After four weeks, at the end of the vegetative stage under a daily light cycle of 18/6, they measured 86, 91 and 98 cm in height already, lined with a lot of long side branches, adopting a rhombus or diamond shaped growth model. An already intense kushy sweet scent gave a good hint of what was to come, a true “aroma bomb” as Growulff did expect. Highly satisfied with their vegetative performance, he sparked the three Kandy Kush plants into flowering mode by cutting down the daily light cycle to 12/12. Three more 600 watts HPS bulbs were installed in the grow room, replacing the MH ones to give the plants a perfect light spectrum for the flowering stage.  

Within 7-9 days, the first female preflowers became visible at the tops of the plants. And the Kandy Kush plants would waste no time, fully switching to the flowering mode without hesitation. While lots of dense clusters of female flowers were developing allover the plants, they kept on stretching to height for about another four weeks. It became obvious that similar to the Stacked Kush plants, long drawn-out mighty main top colas would steeply arise from a wide carpet of side branch top buds located in the middle of the plants. The budding pattern was clearly dominated by Kandy Kush’s indica genes, with fairly big calyxes shaping chubby succulent buds that exhibited quite a high calyx-to-leaf ratio. One could not have said there was little resin on the buds before flowering week six, in fact, there already was quite a lot of. But as announced, resin gland production was noticeably changing into the highest gear from that point on, in the following weeks also packing the edges of larger leaves in the buds into crusty thick layers of resin. At the same time those intense sweet Kush aroma clouds spread by the plants were accordingly becoming even more overwhelming, it almost was as if one could have cut the air into pieces. 

After nine weeks of flowering, Growulff scheduled harvesting the plants in about half a week or one week, so it was all going according to plan obviously. In the end, those frosty plants were 118, 122 and 132 cm tall, laden with tons of juicy tight indica-like nuggets. The tallest plant had produced a tremendous main stem top cola that was longer and thicker than a strong tall man’s underarm! This majestic Kandy Kush plant needed 69 days to ripen, the other two 66 and 71 days. So once again a DNA strain had proven to perform very evenly, the more so, as also that incredible smell given off by the plants was all the same. Also, not a single male flower showed up.

When the buds had been dried and slightly fermented, Growulff weighed those silvery white, super sticky and dense Kandy Kush buds, reading harvest weights of 115, 123 and 135 grams off the scales. Needless to say he was extremely delighted about that fantastically fat yield that even surpassed his expectations! And the buds’ odour was simply awesome and highly alluring, spreading an incredible spicy sweetness, smelling like peppered kandy. Their yummy flavour then would keep this promise of a particularly savoury smoke experience, delivering a full-mouth piquant sweetness that lingered on the palate extraordinarily long. Last but not least, the long-lasting turn effected by Kandy Kush was another real smasher, shifting Growulff into a state of deep physical and mental relaxation in no time, but at the same time he remained active and mentally clear enough to properly think and move, so he wasn’t totally devastated and instead also sensed a certain grade of bright euphoria in his mind. He appreciated that state of mind and body very much and considers Kandy Kush’s kind of high as ideal for respective medical treatments.

After that great Kandy Kush cultivation experience, DNA Genetics strains keep on impressing Growulff and he looks forward to testing more of their new Kush crosses such as Lemon OG Kush, Chocolope Kush and Holy Grail Kush…

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

First Published in Weed World Magazine edition 111

Buy Kandy Kush seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News


The dark side of cannabis force:
 TH Seeds’ devastatingly strong Darkstar

It has paid off for the Amsterdam-based seed company, TH Seeds, to establish outposts in other countries in recent years. TH Seeds Colorado, launched by TH founder Adam Dunn himself, can openly produce seeds for medical marijuana, thanks to the med-pot laws and the historical legalization of cannabis in that U.S. state. This is a stark contrast to the Netherlands, where the seed companies have had to do their work via underground means since 1999 when the ban on drug cannabis seed production was released. In Spain, TH Seeds Iberia is prospering under the rich Spanish sun and liberal marijuana climate; they had their Cannabis Cup debut in November 2011, presenting, amongst others, their new Darkstar strain to the public. Those who tried it were stunned by its overwhelming indica potency. Later on, for its “strongest strains of 2013” list, High Time Magazine conducted a THC laboratory test with Darkstar, yielding an impressive 22% - it's no wonder that Darkstar easily made it into their annual elite list. A big success for TH Seeds and its young Spanish outpost.

Darkstar merges a range of oldschool classics into a three-way mostly indica hybrid with a lineage of Purple Kush (Hindu Kush x Purple Afghani) x Mazar-i-Sharif. Those Purple Kush genetics may lead to Darkstar plants exhibiting purple colored leaves, but not in the majority. One can expect 400-500 grams p.sqm. of dense fat nuggets from her, having a high calyx-to-leaf ratio and copious resin amounts. Taking 70 days of flowering to ripen, Darkstar arrives at heights of 120-140 cm by the end, so, despite her mostly indica nature, growers should not underestimate her height/growth behaviour. TH Seeds say that “her potency is out of this world” which is going along with a great deal of medicinal value; it is great for relieving pain and enhancing appetite.

Master grower The Doc, suffering from chronic arthralgia, is always in search of super strong, highly medicinally effective strains and thus was full of happy expectations when he conducted a Darkstar test grow with a package of five feminized seeds. After three days of germination, all of them had come off the Jiffy ground. He gently planted them into 11 litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix soil  “pimped”, as usual, with 5% expanded clay and horn chippings. Together with plants of two other strains, they were grown under a 600 W MH bulbs at first and ten days after germination, the five seedlings looked strong and uniform. Another ten days later, the plants were about 20 cm tall, exhibiting eight internodes, as well as very solid stems and vivid side branching. The Doc had added another 600 W MH bulb in for good measure – this guy can certainly not be accused of being miserly with lights! The more so, as he even hung up a 400 W HPS bulb to top it all off.

Four weeks after germination, The Doc induced flowering by switching the lights from 18/6 to 12/12. To accomplish an optimum flowering light spectrum, he replaced those two 600 W MH bulbs with two 600 W HPS ones. At that point of time, the five Darkstars had already passed the 50 cm height mark, due to a noticeable stretching effect having set in. They still shaped into a bushy appearance with lots of long dense side branches that were about to level off at the exact same height, forming a plateau around the main stem that was emerging from the centre. After two weeks of flowering, The Doc reported: “I think that two different phenotypes are developing within this beautifully growing batch of mostly indica plants. Two of them are meanwhile showing a stronger stretching effect and producing darker leaves now with every new set, with dark purple streaks gradually conquering them; I guess that the upper leaves will be fully purple in the end. The other three are brighter and staying more compact during bloom than the other two plants.”

When five weeks of flowering had passed, he continued: “The two plants that are becoming more and more purple, are measuring 110 and 130 cm in height now, the other three between 90 and 95 cm. All of them are having abundant flower clusters that are getting very thick and dense, shaping a high calyx-to-leaf-ratio, indeed. A deliciously sweet-not-pungent smell is given off by the plants with almost no difference here between the two phenotypes. Their resin production is most promising, the young buds are already densely covered with countless silvery white trichomes.” Two weeks later, considering the officially stated flower time of ten weeks, The Doc was quite surprised to find that already about one third of the flower hairs had withered and become brown. “Seems as if my Darkstar plants will be finishing faster than usual”, he reported, “and also the fact that their buds are already so well-developed, so fat and dense and incredibly resinous, makes me feel that they are particularly quickly travelling cannabis stars.”

After 62-65 days of flowering, the five plants had reached the homestretch already, having fully matured one (or almost one) week earlier than predicted. “It’s some fantastic eye candy”, The Doc enthused, “those numerous buds are so copiously dipped in silvery-white resin that they are brightly glistening just like stars in the sky! They are ridiculously thick, fat and rock-hard like stones. The real deal, I love it. Although it had intensified during the last weeks, Darkstar’s smell doesn’t rank amongst the strongest, it’s very sweet though and a bit spicy, with a slight hint of pine.”

The fairly low leaf share of the buds made harvest work a breeze and quick indeed. After the Darkstar buds had been dried, The Doc weighed them and was flabbergasted by a whopping 589 grams from those five plants, about 118 grams per plant. “Hell yeah, Darkstar really gave me a wonderful harvest heaven”, he commented. And he’d stay right there in heaven when test-smoking his first Darkstar joint: Raw overwhelming indica power came over him in no time, and The Doc felt liked being drawn into a black hole in his own inner cannabis universe, shifting into a dreamy and most heavily stoned state of mind. At the same time, his arthralgia almost totally disappeared, leaving The Doc deeply relaxed. This strain proved impressively that it has a strong medicinal effect. The taste was expectedly sweet and mild, and also in the smoke, a slight hint of pine came through.

“Darkstar made me feel the dark side of cannabis force, but it turned out to be a good beneficial force, temporarily curing my pains”, The Doc said, “and that mighty effect lasted for more than two hours during which I wasn’t able to do anything but watch TV, but hey - that’s what I expect from a strong indica, full relaxation! Also for me, Darkstar is one of the strongest strains ever encountered, amazing stuff that will surely be loved by any indica afficinado.”

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 110

Buy Darkstar seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Timewreck breeders report

2017-01-31 12:23:54

A Pause in the rotation of the planet

Timewreck!

As many of my readers may know, I am not a huge fan of the flavor of Trainwreck or even our amazing (rare) cutting which we call Bloodwreck. However, she has quickly become one of our more popular strains due to her sheer potency and ease of growing. So, many people said to me "Sub, you have to grow this thing out for yourself". Now, while I have tasted and tested dozens of batches of Timewreck, the cat was correct, so I started a 5 pack and got 3 nice females and we ran all three through the garden in TGA Super Soil.

The results blew even me away. Even the plant we deemed a non keeper, due to her shape, will knock you on your ass and the best of the three is a cash-croppers dream. With very little work we grew a massive plant whose buds were rock hard and the top cola had a crown of secondary buds that were just as dense.

I should take a moment to clear up the whole Trainwreck Versus Bloodwreck thing and how Timewreck came to be. People want to create some conspiracy about it but it's really simple. I grew the Arcata Trainwreck and documented her in my book, Dank, complete with Thomas the Choo Choo models. I found the cuttings to be lanky, they took too long and produced heavy amounts of male stamens (even at week 7 of budding) and so I decided not to work with her. Later on, the head TGA breeder, Dioxide, came across a cutting that was obviously Trainwreck dominant but very short, fat and turned an amazing shade of Blood red at week seven. We have been told she is a possible Trainwreck/Trinity cross but we simply don't know for sure. What we do know is that she is one bad ass cutting which will not hermaphrodite, she resists mold and mildew and, best of all, she passes this trait on to anything she is bred with.

I basically ignored the plants, just using Super Soil and water from my well that measures 170 PPM and is high in both Calcium and Magnesium. We use RO water on our clones and babys, but the full size plants seem to love the extra minerals as they stay lush and green up to week 6-7 before they start to naturally fade. The buds on Timewreck #2 started to get rock hard at this point and 2 days from harvest I am not sure I have ever held buds that felt like Pinecones before, I'm talking resin coated grenades!

The smell is amazing, while there is a hint of the earthy smell that comes from Bloodwreck, the Vortex added an amazing lime/citrus smell that's quite pleasing and, of course, it's a TGA strain so there is a hint of that baby poo smell as well. I couldn't wait to start taking some of these meaty buds down but this story had to wait a few more days...The plant was just a joy to trim, producing heavy amounts or sugar trim we used to make some incredible full-melt, ice water Hash. The volume of white beach sand looking trichomes was staggering and we got jars full. One surprise was that in the 160 bag, which is usually just waste, it was full of off-white resin which tastes just as good as the 120 UI. We got just over 7 ounces on this fairly short plant and this was mainly due to the density of the buds. We were so impressed that our summer indoor run will be 16 plants of this one Timewreck #2 clone.

As the flowers cured we could not wait any longer than 4 weeks and MzJill had the honor of the first hit and she loved it from the first puff. It instantly replaced Vortex as her favorite smoke because it shares that same sour fruit smell, but it has a much calmer high that allows you to function throughout the day. As time passed (pun intended) the jar of rock hard buds smelled better and better, and while Jill smoked only those flowers I matched her toke for toke with the amazing 120 and 70 UI Hash powder. As we let other people sample both the flowers and the Hash it was apparent that we had a real winner on our hands. People everywhere had just been bragging like crazy about this hybrid and now I fully understand why. While I have tasted many samples the best way to really get to know a strain is to grow it yourself for a few runs. This is one that no grower should pass by as I feel it is unique and different from anything I have ever smoked before. I must warn you though, while a few hits creates a nice euphoria just a few additional leaves you staring at the walls happy to just sit immobile until the high subsides. A bit like many of our hybrids, it serves a duel function. I use it in small doses when I have to do some chores or work on a project and just want to feel better about the day (but still be able to perform the task properly). When I want to just forget about the day and melt away into the couch, listening to some tunes I will enjoy, then I just need to rack up about 6 bowls and I'm pretty much FUBARED.

We named this one well as it is certainly capable of Wrecking Time!

Words and pictures by Subcool 

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Buy Timewreck seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Ace of Spades from TGA Genetics Grow Report

This past year, I had the privilege of growing out one of TGA Genetics' newer creations: 'The Ace Of Spades'.  This gorgeous and delicious strain is a hybrid of Sub's prized 'Black Cherry Soda' UNK and his 'Jack the Ripper' (which is comprised of a lineup of great strains including Jack Herer, Purple Haze and Romulan).  TGA doesn't have a feminized seed option in their lineup so with my small-scale type of grow, I ran the risk of getting a male and ending up with nothing - but my curiosity in this strain got the best of me.  The past few years have seen my grow-room make the big switch from soil to hydro as I tried out some waterfarm units.  With limited time and space, only one plant was grown out - but superior genetics (and some good luck) proved that was all that was needed to obtain some truly impressive results!  Fun fact: The Ace Of Spades was appropriately released on April 20th, 2011 (4/20)

Setup

With the space that I have and the size of plants achieved with the waterfarms, I'm able to run two units under 2 separate 600w HPS cool-tube/reflector lights. With a carbon-filter drawing in air from within my tent it filters out the odor and ducts it through both cool-tubes and out through the top of the tent.  For fresh air and circulation, I've got a small inline fan in the bottom corner of the tent pulling air in and another fan in the middle of the tent keeping things moving as well.  Temperatures during lights-on are kept to the 75-79 degree range this way.  The Ace is sharing the 7x4 ft footprint in my tent with one other waterfarm and each plant has its own 600w HPS light.   I use waterfarms that are a hybrid drip / DWC system, and use hydroton as a medium.  

Helpful tip:  Replace your grow light bulbs once per year for indoor grows in a perpetual grow-room, this will ensure you're not loosing lumens from used HID bulbs.

Germination and Seedlings

Using the paper-towel method, the seed took about 3 days to crack.  Most of the time my seeds take about 2 days, but this one appeared to have a thicker shell.  I've had almost 100% success with germinating seeds in a wet paper-towel.  After about a 1 day soak in a shot-glass of filtered water, the seed goes into the moistened paper-towel and in a zip-lock baggie (not closed all the way) and wrapped in a handkerchief.  I then put the handkerchief onto a dark, warm surface, like the top of my computer sub-woofer speaker, and it works like a charm!

This seedling got off to a bit of a slow start and had some early leaf damage which I suspect was due to the hydroton in the waterfarm being fresh and unused.  I've found that once your hydroton has been through one grow, it's easier to start seeds in it as it's 'seasoned' from having had water flowing through it for a few months – this can often cause plants to suffer through some early leaf damage even before the roots have made it all the way down through to the water in the reservoir of the waterfarm.  I had a Vanilla Kush plant in another waterfarm next to this one and it was almost twice the size of the AoS at about 2 weeks from germination. Now that the plant's root had reached the water in the lower reservoir through the hydroton, things really started to get into gear.

Veg Stage

The AoS proved to be a very flexible but strong plant in veg.  As soon as this plant was 6 inches in height I started low stress training.  The first 4-5 weeks included some extensive LST control and the plant really opened up.  By the end of week 6 of veg, this plant was looking amazing and definitely ready to start flowering.  We had around 15 nice tops coming in distinctively at this point and you could already see a nice even canopy developing.  All the way up until now, I hadn't noticed any serious deficiencies on the AoS and it was a very 'happy and healthy' looking plant!  Over these first 6 weeks we slowly increased the nutrient PPM from 150 to about 500.  I use GH's Flora Nova Bloom nutrient throughout my grows and using one nutrient at different levels, as needed at the different parts of the grow, has given me awesome results.  I also supplemented my last few weeks of res fills in veg with a small amount of GH's Flora Micro to give it a bit of an extra nitrogen boost before going into flower.

Flowering Stage

There were early signs of female flowers in this strain, showing obvious white hairs at around the 5th week of veg, but I didn't change my lights to 12/12 until just past the 6 week mark.  The LST tie-downs were mostly removed at this point and the already nice canopy was looking even better - even without a scrog screen to manage the tops.  The typical first two weeks of flowering showed some nice stretch, but nothing like some other strains that have more sativa in them.  At the end of the first week of flowering, I did some fairly aggressive super-cropping by twisting and pinching all of the tops (about 4-6 inches from the top on each). I've had great success with all of my grows using this method as it both limits the stretch during this period of the grow and ultimately gives some 'heavier' buds.  My theory is that due to the high level of growth at this point, the stem-stress causes the plant to focus on repairing the pinched stems and thereby providing more of that 'growth spurt' energy to those parts of the plant.  That's why I try to super-crop in these locations of the tops, as further down the road it provides buds that fill-out better, all the way down the stem.  Upon weeks 3 and 4 of flower, the buds really began to take off and show their stuff.  The leaf structure was showing some heavy indica signs with nice, dark, wide leaves and thick healthy stems. At week 6, the developing buds were really starting to show a strong purple-pinkish colour as well, together with a bit of lime-green - a truly beautiful plant. According to the parentage of this strain, the phenotype I apparently had was the Black-Cherry Soda dominant one, showing a shorter, thicker, heavier stature – other phenotypes with heavier Jack the Ripper influence being greener, taller looking plants.  The smell in my grow tent was a back and forth mix of berries (from the AoS) and lemony-pine (from the Vanilla Kush) and the frostiness just seemed to keep building more and more on this plant!

Harvest

By the end of week 8 of flowering, we were seeing enough amber trichs on this girl to pull the plug and start chopping.  The last two weeks of flower allowed us enough time to bring the PPMs down to about 250 and the big healthy fan leaves faded out nicely right before we began harvest.  Some beautiful purplish solid buds had established on this plant which were super-sticky and frosted with orange hairs.  Trimming and manicuring took us almost an entire weekend. Maybe I'm slow, but I tend to spend extra time manicuring my buds, and keep all of the sugar-leaves and popcorn buds (small non-manicurable buds from the lower stalks and branches of the plant) for making BHO, cannabis-oil and canna-butter. Our dry climate here required us to only need a 5-day hang-dry before splitting our buds, weighing them and dividing them into mason jars to begin the curing process. This plant ended up yielding over 7 ounces of dried, sticky product. 

Cured Product

After a few months of curing, the AoS reached a nice point where it's moisture content was just perfect and broke up beautifully in our herb-grinder.  It produced that satisfying 'chill' and keen interest when taking a sniff of freshly ground sweet cannabis. Having kept all of our 'popcorn' buds from this plant in an aerated paper-bag stored in the deep-freeze, we soon discovered that those buds which were thought to be destined for oil and butter, would instead be completely smokable!  This technically added another ounce or so to our total yield.

Smoke Report

One of the things Subcool uses to describe the smell of the Ace of Spades is blue sex-wax – I think this is what best describes what we ended up getting from this heavy Black Cherry Soda phenotype; a very deep, concentrated berry smell.  The taste is difficult to explain as it's fruity, but very strong when smoked in joint form.  Vaporizing seemed to be the way to go with this strain, as we experienced some extremely tasty and pleasant-smoking tokes from the AoS.  As for the effect, we noticed this one to be an immediately 'heavy' head and body stone – very relaxing.  Late in its cure however, we noticed the AoS would not couch-lock us, but rather act as quite a motivational high when used during the day, and great to use on a weekend to easily complete otherwise bothersome chores.  We also discovered that, when used as an evening smoke, the AoS will guarantee you an amazing night's sleep – my wife thoroughly enjoyed medicating with this strain in the evenings for this reason.

Overview

It was truly a privilege to grow this strain as the true brilliance and quality of TGA's genetics really comes through here.  Looking like this at only 8 weeks of flower is an impressive thing indeed, with most quality of this level requiring closer to 10 weeks for other strains.  With minimal feeding, this plant stayed remarkably healthy in all stages of growth and we didn't exceed 1000 PPMs of nutrient by much in flower as she didn't show any signs of needing more.  It was easy to leach and flush the plant in the last 2 weeks of flower because of this and we ended up with a nice, potent, tasty result.  Being a 70/30 Indica/Sativa split, this plant makes a great candidate for producing cannabis-oil due to the heavily crystal-coated buds and leaves.

Words and pictures by Dayzt

 First published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Posted in Cannabis News

An opportunity in the great outdoors

Many self-sufficient growers prefer to grow their stash of recreational or medical pot indoors.  It allows a controlled environment, a wide choice of varieties and a reasonably predictable way of producing your pot.   But an increasing number of indoor growers are finding that growing a few outdoor plants can be just as much fun and, with the right planning it can be a great way to get a top quality autumn harvest.  But for those that have never grown outdoors before there are a few things to consider.

Why grow outdoors?

Outdoor growing can be done in a quiet sunny spot of your garden if it is concealed and safe.  If you are lucky enough to have a secure private greenhouse then you can really have some fun.  But most outdoor growers often spend time to find a secluded, sunny and private plot in the countryside.  Finding the right spot is often the hardest part of successful outdoor growing. Google Earth is an ideal tool but it has to be supplemented by hard work, which means walking and trekking to see the spot with your own eyes.  And then the hard work often begins, many successful outdoor growers spend time improving their plot and the soil.  But outdoor growing has some real advantages and for many growers it is their preferred way of growing.  The costs are low – the sun does the hard work, you just need to prepare the plot and provide the seedlings.  The risks are low – the only real risks are bringing seedlings to the site and bringing your stash home with you.  The rewards are high – even in a poor UK summer it is quite possible to regularly harvest 4-5 ounces++ from individual plants, and if you grow a real monster even higher yields are possible.

Why don’t more people grow outdoors?

There are two main reasons that people are reticent to try outdoor growing.  For those that have never done it before there is the challenge of finding and developing a good plot.  This can be tricky, but once an outdoor grower (or ‘guerrilla grower’) finds a good plot it will often provide years of service.  The other reason growers are reluctant to venture outdoors is simply a lack of experience doing so.  After the summer of 2012 it is easy to understand the sceptical view that growing outdoors is a mugs game.  But with a good grow plot, and a little bit of legwork it is really easy to be self sufficient with just a few outdoor plants.

How many plots is enough?

Indoor growers often germinate a few feminized seeds and expect more-or-less every one of them to bloom into mature females.  Outdoor growers often allow for the fact that some plants will succumb to the weather, and some plots will be compromised and lost.  For that reason the outdoor growers often has several locations to grow in, and will have few plants in each.  Having all your eggs in one basket is not an ideal position for the outdoor grower, it only takes one problem and you could lose the lot.  Far better to spread the risk and have several grow locations with a couple of plants in each.  Many guerrilla growers spend years accumulating a selection of grow locations, and many hours of hard work optimising conditions in each.  But perhaps the most important plot you will ever find is your first one, that is the one that can show you just how easy and satisfying it is to grow your own pot under mother natures very own grow light in the sky.

Is outdoor pot any good?

This will sound like a silly question to those that have been growing outdoors for years.  But to the virgin outdoor grower it seems like a straight-forward question.  Some people have only ever smoked indoor-grown pot so the idea of growing good quality weed outdoors will have a question mark over it.  Many outdoor (and greenhouse) growers will tell you that pot grown under the sun has an extra ‘kick’ to it, they will say that growing naturally with sunlight allows a more complete spectrum of cannabinoids because cannabis evolved over millions of years to respond to natural sunlight.  So yes, outdoor grown cannabis can be every bit as good as indoor grown pot and some growers would argue it is better, or at least more natural. 

Few varieties will grow well outdoors

Many seedbanks have specialised in producing indoor varieties which combine quality with good yields.  But outdoor varieties often take many years of careful selective breeding with specially chosen genetics to produce varieties that are hardy enough to grow under borderline outdoor conditions.  The further away from the equator the more demanding the conditions and the tougher the genetics need to be.  It is far from easy to produce a solid, reliable outdoor variety that can cope with the worst of the North European climate.  Some seedbanks have been successful in their quest to produce tough and resilient outdoor genetics, but in reality the choice of dependable varieties is far smaller than the indoor grower has.   In Mediterranean climates many ‘indoor’ varieties can be grown successfully outdoors, but take these varieties into a cold and cloudy climate and most of them will be unable to ripen before winter arrives.  So the outdoor grower can’t successfully grow any variety, they are restricted to a relatively small number of varieties which have undergone years of work. 

Choosing the plot(s)

There is no substitute for getting your feet on the ground and walking the areas you are considering growing in.  Google Earth and other online mapping software will allow you to narrow down your choice of plots.  They may allow you to see how much sun your plot will receive, they will show you the nearest footpaths and parking.  They will give you an idea of potential concerns and hazards.  But you need to visit the plot yourself to see the lie of the land.  The best plots are often off the beaten track and in a spot where a normal walker, or dog-walker, would not find them.  Perhaps they are protected by brambles, ditches, a fallen tree, an earth bank.  Perhaps the only way to access them is by crawling or even wading.  Favourite locations include the inside of a large gorse or bramble patch, alongside disused railway lines, amongst the weeds that line rural rivers.   Some growers venture up hills and into woodland, others will look closely at sparsely occupied coastal regions.  Some will be prepared to drive an hour or more to find the remoteness they want, other growers will make the best of the grow opportunities in their immediate location.  Above all else, get your boots on and start looking for a sunny, sheltered and private spot. 

Preparing the plot

The best growers will often do their best to improve soil quality and fertility at the plots.  Compost can be carried in a rucksack, as can fertilisers such as manure, worm castings, bat guano etc.  The ground can be dug over to improve soil structure and aeration.  Many guerrilla growers buy themselves a cheap garden fork and shovel which they can fit in a rucksack.  If the spade has a long handle the end can be sawn off with a hacksaw so that the spade can fit neatly in.  Some growers get army-surplus spades that can be folded down, or separated into different sections.  This allows them to navigate their way around the countryside without curious hikers asking why they have a shovel sticking out of their rucksack.  Some growers will plant groups of 1 or 2 seedlings, whereas others may feel more inclined to get 5 or more plants established at a given location.  The 2 most important criteria to outdoor growers are the sunnyness of the location and the privacy of it.  Soil quality is an important factor, but soil can be improved.  The main consideration is a plot which gets lots of direct sunlight and is unlikely to be noticed by anyone else.

Growing outdoors with feminized seed

Many growers will start the plants indoors at home and establish the seedlings for 2-3 weeks before planting outdoors.  Plants are at their most vulnerable when young, so give them a good start.  When planted outdoors growers will very often make a protective tube from chicken wire or plastic equivalent.  This can be pinned to the ground with a few tent pegs and it will protect the young plant from rabbits.  Slug pellets are often scattered around the plant to deter slugs and snails.  Deer are harder to deter, some growers tie fishing line around the perimeter of their plot, this won’t hurt deer but it will encourage them to graze elsewhere.  Growers often prefer feminized seed for outdoor growing since it allows them to avoid the hassle of revisiting the site to remove male plants.  For many outdoor growers the security of their plot is paramount, and many will only visit the plot once to plant and once to harvest.  This ensures that the plot is not compromised by paths through the undergrowth.  Varieties such as Dutch Passion’s Frisian Dew, Passion #1 and Durban Poison are ones which have become outdoor favourites, with Frisian Dew having perhaps the best reputation as the toughest of the tough.  Seedlings are often planted outdoors after the last frost in May or June, and harvested around October.

Growing outdoors with auto’s

Autoflowering varieties are becoming a popular choice with outdoor and greenhouse growers.  These varieties will probably not yield quite as much as traditional varieties, but they have the advantage of requiring just 11 weeks from germination to harvest.  Again, seedlings are often started indoors under 24 hour light and planted outdoors once they are 2-3 weeks old after the last frost, typically mid-May or June in the UK/Northern Europe.  Auto’s allows the outdoor grower the chance to harvest their first weed as early as August, well grown auto’s will often produce 50-100g of dry buds per plant.  Mediterranean growers often start their first outdoor auto’s in March and will get 3 successive crops.  Auto’s are often feminized (‘Autofem’s) and this allows growers to plant their 2-week old seedlings and return only once to harvest them a couple of months later.  AutoFrisian Dew is Dutch Passion’s ‘specialist’ outdoor auto.  These days a good quality modern auto from a decent seedbank will produce great quality pot, just as good as traditional varieties.

Harvesting time!

The best part, and the most nervous, part of an outdoor grow in going to the plants to chop them down.  Hopefully all the plants are there and mature!  Most growers chop the plants down, remove the buds and seal them inside a couple of layers of plastic to transport home for drying.  There are few feelings as satisfying as enjoying the long evenings of winter with an excess of quality pot which was produced more-or-less for free.

Keeping the plot tidy

Once winter arrives the foliage that may have acted as a privacy screen for your plot will die back.  For that reason the responsible guerrilla will tidy their plot before he leaves, removing any litter, tools etc so that the plot will remain intact for the next years grow.

And that is it!  In its simplest form outdoor growing is a great way to supplement your pot requirements.  The most difficult part is selecting your plot for your first successful grow.  After that you will have found a great new hobby which may even allow you to find a wider love of the great outdoors.  Choose proven outdoor genetics from a seedbank you trust and good luck!

Words and pictures by Tony at Dutch Passion

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Posted in Cannabis News

Silver Kush Cultivation Report

2017-01-30 12:57:09

DNA Genetics strain story: Silver Kush - Legendary oldschool trio encounters OG Kush

Once again, DNA Genetics’ omnipotent OG Kush #18 male was looking for a new wife, this time capturing and pollinating Silver Bubble (a mix of 1/4 Northern Lights, 1/4 Skunk and 1/2 Haze), in order to launch this legendary old-school trio strain into a new orbit – a Kush orbit! The vigorous result is called Silver Kush (feminised seeds only) which is a new cross released by DNA’s Californian partner breeder collective Reserva Privada. Silver Bubble has been very popular in Amsterdam for ten years already and the OG #18 quickly rose to prominence after having served as a crossing parent for a a couple of outstanding hybrids and its release by DNA/Reserva Privada as its own strain. Their offspring, Silver Kush, is described as a “strong sativa dominant hybrid” (70/30 sativa/indica) delivering an uplifting high and, thanks to the OG #18, blessed with a great deal of medicinal power. High yields of 450-550 g/m2 can be expected, to be achieved in only nine weeks of flowering.

Silver Kush immediately was a hot candidate for Mr. Power-Planter’s grow room and he sowed a complete package of six feminised seeds into jiffy pots which all germinated quickly and healthily. Together with other plants placed under a 600 watts metal halide lamp, the seedlings naturally stretched a bit at first but soon developed the first set of serrated leaves and shortly after that also the first set of three-fingered leaves. Then growth became noticeably more compact, with the leaves coloured dark green; despite the 70% sativa pedigree, the OG #18 came through here. Mr. Power-Planter let the plants remain in the vegetative stage for four weeks (after some days they had been transplanted into 6.5 litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix soil). Within this time the six plants produced a lot of side branches and arrived at heights of about 63-80 cm, all looking very similar in terms of growth pattern the shape of which was reminiscent of cottonwood.

Then Mr. Power-Planter triggered flowering by switching the daily light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 hours (also replacing the MH bulb by a 600 watt HPS one) and the six Silver Kush plants did respond to that within 7-9 days, starting to develop the first white female pre-flowers. During the first four weeks of flowering, there was a considerable ongoing stretching effect that led to a bit more space between internodes and flower production had gotten into full gear, with great looking dense nuggets full of white hairs emerging from the main stems and side branches. What particularly stroked the eye was the fact that resin production had a very early and vivid onset, already occurring after one month of flowering the buds were trichome-laden with a silvery white appearance and sported medium to big calyxes. Mr. Power-Planter was very confident Silver Kush would prove to be a super resinous strain in the end.

In the following weeks of flowering it was confirmed that the Silver Kush buds were developing quite a high calyx-to-leaf ratio on most of the plants, so the influence of Silver Bubble on the budding pattern was obvious. The flower clusters were becoming very tight and extremely resin-covered indeed, a real pleasure to look at and gently touch for Mr. Power-Planter but his nose was also captivated by the six plants that gave off a wonderfully deep, rich, Kush-dominant aroma. After about 7.5 weeks of flowering, almost 50% of the flower hairs had turned orange and the plants were obviously getting on the home stretch in the remaining 1-1.5 weeks. The calyxes kept on swelling and became even more sticky, jewelled with dense white resin carpets (just like large parts of the flower leaves), and that kushy smell meanwhile was overwhelming. In the end, the six Silver Kush plants had reached heights of 95-116 cm, which was considered fairly homogeneous by Mr. Power-Planter, and with finishing times of 59-64 days they proved to be pretty uniform in this regard too. After Mr. Power-Planter had harvested and dried them, the Silver Kush buds had turned into rock-hard silver nuggets that were spreading an intense kushy sweet and spicy scent. With his big storage glasses full of heavy Silver Kush nuggs in his hands, Mr. Power-Planter felt like having plundered a silver mine. He scaled the dry harvest, finding out that four of the six main top colas had produced weights of 25-31 grams which he felt was marvellous. The other buds of the plants weren’t scaled separately, so Mr. Power-Planter could only state an average yield per plant which amounted to 76.7 grams - An excellent outcome as the total was 460 grams per sqm.

The smoke’s flavour was awesome, with a lot of Kush spicyness and sweetness rounded off by hints of haze, brought in by the Silver Bubble, and an aromatic aftertaste that remained on the palate for a longer time. Silver Kush’s very strong and  intense high was affecting both body and soul, at first a mighty cerebral sativa buzz took possession of Mr. Power-Planter which after about an hour slided into a more calm feeling, leaning more towards the indica side of this strain and lasting for almost another hour. Altogether a deeply satisfying smoke experience for Mr. Power-Planter who needs extra potent strains for getting decently high. Silver Kush did fulfil all his expectations and to his mind this strain has successfully joined the great line of Kush strains developed by DNA Genetics.

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Purchase DNA Genetics seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Serious 6 Strain Report

2017-01-30 12:40:18

The story of Serious 6

 

Serious 6 is the first new strain developed by Simon, the breeder and owner of Serious Seeds, in the last 10 years. This strain was developed from mixing genetics from Canada with Sativa-landraces from Africa through a time consuming process of selection and cross-breeding. The goal of this long selection process was to create an early-finishing Sativa type of plant which is very mold-resistant and will finish outdoors in the humid and cold Dutch climate at the end of September. In Holland this is an important date because after that time strong rains and winds start which will cause bud-rot in most varieties. With this plant we think we have reached that goal; in Holland the majority of the plants can be harvested at the end of September. Outdoors, in Spain, this will be much earlier and we estimate that most plants will be ready to harvest by the 15th of September or maybe even earlier!

 

We introduced Serious 6 for the first time at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in November 2009 and she was greeted with much respect and love from the cannabis community; everybody wanted to get their hands on the seeds of this new strain.

We planned on releasing the seeds after that Cannabis Cup but the final indoor test for the variety was not good enough for Simon. He let a batch of indoor-plants flower for much longer than recommended (more than 3 weeks longer) and two of those plants showed one or two single male-bananas. This is a natural reaction of a sinsemilla plant at the end of her life-cycle when she feels threatened that she will die without producing seeds; although most cannabis plants will do this, because its a survival mechanism which has proven to be successful during the evolution of the cannabis plant, Simon said he will not release a plant that shows even the slightest hermaphroditic traits.

So we had to go back to the beginning and started to select for a different parent combination again.

Outdoor plants can only be tested once every year; during the summer season. Every summer for the last couple of years we have tested new parent combinations of the Serious 6, and therefore it took us so many years to create the plant that Simon desired.

Finally, after great results this summer, we feel this unique strain is ready to be released.

Outdoors she grows tall and slender like a true Sativa, with one main stem with side buds, not the christmastree-shaped plants which is more Indica-like. Despite the dutch outdoor climate the buds will grow few small leaves and build a particularly thick layer of crystals compared to other outdoor plants. Approximately half of the plants will show strikingly beautiful pink pistils, which can be seen in the photos next to this text. The pink pistils are only noticeable on the living plant as once the flowers ripen the pink hairs will turn to a normal brownish colour. At the end of the flowering cycle these pink colors are substituted by purple colors of the calyxes and leaves.

The Serious 6 is a very beautiful plant to have in the garden which is certainly one of the positive charecteristics for growers. We have noticed how much visitors loved the Serious 6 test plants from the looks alone, making remarks like, "Hey man, I want to grow this awesome plant in my garden!"

The Serious 6 is an almost pure Sativa with a short flowering time (about 8 weeks indoors) which gives also quick results indoors. Indoors she will fill up and produce dense long buds glistening with trichomes, spreading a very aromatic fragrance. The aroma of Serious 6 is a new combination of odours which cannot be compared to other cannabis varieties. She has a smell and taste that is different and new, and seems to be built up in layers; citric, anise and spicy are only a few of the recognizable aromas.

Her effect is a cristal clear head-high, once you smoke her you will get creative and active and you will want to do something creative like painting, writing or playing some music. The Serious 6 is not as strong as the other varieties in the Serious menu because we had to sacrifice strength for earlyness and mold resistence. People in Spain are lucky enough to be able to grow seeds of strong plants like AK-47, Bubble Gum, Chronic, White Russian or even Kali Mist outdoors, because in this climate they will finish without getting bud-rot. Growing the Serious 6 outside next to them, may have the advantage that the Serious 6 is ready to smoke while you wait for the other plants to finish flowering.

All in all this plant is perfectly suited for outdoor growers in a wide range of climates or for indoor growers who like a quick-finishing sativa. Serious 6 offers a very nice alternative to the wave of hard-hitting, couchlock Kush-strains that dominate the market today.

 Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 104

Posted in Cannabis News

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