All posts by bccannabis

Cannabis Drying Technique

In order to grow the best quality medicine, you need to have an understanding of the techniques growers have been using for decades to dry their harvests.  Nobody wants to put 3 plus months of effort and investment into a beautiful crop that will not burn or taste right due to poor drying technique.  There is far too much at stake to rush the process or not research what methods work best for your precious flowers.  Just like the cultivation process, there are many different ways to accomplish positive results.  Whether you decide to whole plant dry, trim when you harvest, or some sort of combination, with the right technique the drying stage will go smoothly and you’ll be left with some top shelf buds that are ready to cure.

The method that has brought the most pleasing results to my harvests, is to trim each branch as you go before placing them on hangers.  This is my favorite method because not only has it brought great results, but it makes the trimming process easier as leaves and stems are easier to remove when the plant is fresh.   Once all the small leaves harden and dry up into the buds, it becomes very difficult to get stems without removing parts of the flowers as well.  When you are dealing with large yields, trimming is enough work on its own so there is no reason to make the process more tedious then it has to be.

In the drying area your nipples should be hard because you’ll need a cool dark and well ventilated space.  It is definitely important to have a fan circulating the air around the buds but you do not want to have the fan blowing directly on them.  The buds will dry up much faster and have the potential of being too crispy and breaking up into dust when you grind it.   In these environmental conditions the drying stage should take around 4-5 days.  Another good way to verify that they are actually ready to begin curing is to break one of the branches.  If it snaps clean then it’s already too dry and you left them hanging too long but if you break it and it fractures slightly without much resistance that’s the sweet spot.  Getting it down inside the correct time frame is so key because curing too early leaves the possibility of molding out your due to trapped moisture.  Taking them down too late will also make buds lose the sticky feel connoisseurs are looking for.

Timing and using your best judgement on buds appearance/feel is essential to maximizing your product’s potential.  I don’t think people weigh the importance of the drying stage and treat it as a minimal stage in the cultivation process instead of a determining one.  While the method of drying can change, the drying environment can not so don’t settle for using drying racks or not properly controlling/ventilating the designated drying space.  I truly wonder how much of the lower shelf medicine available was actually grown professionally but ended up how it did due to poor processing techniques.

 

Getting Involed in Disc Golf

Sports have been an interest of mine my entire life.  Mostly as a result of being encouraged to stay active from a young age.  Competing athletically has always been very enjoyable for me and I was a part of numerous sports teams throughout high school including baseball, cross country, and basketball.  Taking sports seriously and putting hours in every day to improve your skills is awesome and rewarding, but at the same time it can be too time consuming.  Once high school ended, I gave up my athletic career to study business management and begin working to cover my financial responsibilities. It wasn’t until I was working my way through college I discovered disc golf, and I couldn’t believe I had never paid any attention to it before.

I was introduced from a coworker who had constantly been talking about how he recently got into frisbee golf and how it’s pretty much the most chill sport ever.  The laid back pace was compared to regular golf but he said it’s superior because it requires much less patience and skill while being nearly as rewarding.  He offered that we hit up one of the local courses sometime so I could see what it was all about.  I didn’t have my own disc set at the time, so I took responsibility of supplying the weed for the day instead.

It didn’t take more then a few holes to get in a groove and expand my range with the disc.  Everybody has played frisbee at some point in there life but the discs for disc golf are much smaller in diameter and heavier then traditional frisbees.  After adjusting to the learning curve, I became addicted to the sport rather quickly.  It’s just the perfect sport for smoking because it’s slow paced and there isn’t any running or strenuous activity, only some walking.  In addition, most courses are secluded in the woods and are perfect for lighting up without drawing a bunch of attention.  These courses were built with smokers in mind!  Although you shouldn’t really have to hide your marijuana use from all the other stoners that are on the course doing the same thing.

I believe that playing disc golf is so enjoyable for me personally because it combines 3 of my favorite things in life into one activity.  Being out in nature, smoking weed, and competing with friends are usually all separate activities.  But to be able experience them all in one great activity is always something to look forward to.  There is just this certain peaceful vibe that you can’t get out on the court or baseball diamond.  It’s the simplicity of taking turns throwing a disc into the chained basket.  There are no complex rules or thinking required, it’s just all throwing technique.  When you have to focus on a million things, using marijuana isn’t always the best route.  However with disc golf it’s the opposite and you might even find yourself forgetting the score.  Nowadays I probably play disc golf more than I do any other sport.  I never thought that being a part of the cannabis culture would result in me discovering a new favorite activity.  It’s just one of the million things that I’ve realized go hand in hand with cannabis.

 

Using Tents vs. an Open Grow Room

One of the many decisions that you will have to make as a cannabis cultivator is how exactly you want to use the available space at your disposal.  If you have a bedroom or basement that can be transformed into a cultivation facility, should you purchase and put up a bunch of separate tents or just use the space as it is?  I would like to say that it’s a straightforward answer and everyone should be using tents but like most things in life each option has it’s benefits.

To start off, lets go over why I have used grow tents in all of my medical marijuana grows.  In my situation space has always been a constraint when it comes to producing the amount of plants that I would like to.  If you only have one room that you can dedicate to your garden there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using tents unless you’re really short on cash for equipment.  By adding tents you can have multiple stages of growth going on all contained and controlled separately.  This is a huge advantage because if you have grown cannabis in the past you know it takes a minimum of 3 months for the entire process from plant to harvest.  If you didn’t buy any tents and didn’t go through all the work of separating your room into a bunch of individual sections, your entire garden will be in the same growth stage.  To trigger flowering requires that there is only 12 hours of light per day, so if you want to have different growth stages you have to block the light from entering the flowering area.  In this business it’s all about the turnaround and if you can have another tent right behind your flowering one, there will be many more harvests in the same amount of time.

Tents are great for more then just separating the light cycles from the different areas of growth.  They also make containing the scent of your buds much more manageable than an open room full of skunky scents.  Adding a carbon filter to the air that is trapped inside will make it near impossible for uncleaned air to exit the tent.  In addition, all tents that I have installed also have hanging poles on the top making it easy to hang fans, lights, and carbon filters without any extra equipment.

If tents are so great then why do so many people still opt to go with the open grow room?  The most likely scenario where you would see rooms with no tents is in warehouses full of 5,000-10,000 plants.  If you are going to be producing on a large scale then using tents is going to be a waste of resources and just more unnecessary costs that you don’t need.  People that have multiple rooms can do the same separation I spoke of before, but on a much larger scale and without tents.  Rooms can be climate controlled just as easy as a tent so that is not an issue either.  When it comes to smell, the warehouse cultivation centers in recreational states don’t have to worry as much as most home growers with neighbors.  Hanging all your equipment and keeping plants of different heights at the appropriate distance from lighting will just take some extra creative designing on your part but still makes much more sense than installing a bunch of separate tents.

For those that grow on a small to medium sized scale at home,  I would highly suggest using tents to get the most money out of the same amount of time.  There is no doubt in my mind that it’s possible to grow high quality buds without containing your grow inside tents, but at the end of the day you might just have less bud and a stinky house.

 

 

 

Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña on Monday had made a decree stating that cannabis is now legal to use for medical purposes in the country.  It’s surprising, and this seems to be the opposite approach to what he has had in the past.  This comes after a landslide victory for the same bill in April of this year in the lower house in parliament and this momentum seems to have something to do with the president taking action.

Products made and sold will have to contain less than 1% THC or lower currently. However cannabis cultivation of the whole plant for scientific or medical purposes will not be a punishable crime.  Which is very important language luckily that was added to the proposal.  I hope in the future both raw cannabis and extracts with high percentages of THC and CBD are available by purchase like we have in the states so they also can have safe reliable access.  Within the next couple weeks the Health Ministry will be establishing guidelines and regulations for this brand new medical marijuana movement.

Like anywhere Mexico has plenty of people suffering from a number of severe and minor aliments that could be treated by this plant.  Many of these conditions need all the chemicals that the entire natural plant produces and this most definitely includes THC. To try and reduce the amount of this important chemical is almost defeating the point of using the medicine in the first place.  Yet, this is still an important move because it is a clear signal from the government that the people and legislature can’t be ignored for long.  As we hear more about exactly what patients are allowed to possess and their rights, we’ll get a better idea on how Mexico plans to treat the thousands of suffering people who are looking for a natural alternative to harmful medications.

Dealing with Tolerance

Any seasoned smoker will tell you that cannabis produces noticeably milder effects when you use it too often.  For some people their tolerance takes much longer for it to increase and they receive the full effects of cannabis even when using it consistently.  I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re wishing that person was you.  However, there is something that you can do about it and you don’t have to stop using weed for long periods of time.

The best way to approach a high tolerance is the next time you want to indulge, just use far less then what the your normal routine is.  So if you normally smoke an entire joint at a time then next time you smoke just smoke a quarter of the joint and put it down.  Time is your enemy when it comes to lowering your tolerance and if you wait even just a few hours before re dosing this will definitely help increase the intensity of your medicine.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing is better then just stopping completely for a few days to a few weeks when it comes to resetting tolerance. At the same time,  you would be surprised with what using less each time and consuming it fewer times then normal will do after a while.  Pretty soon that small amount will get you feeling just as high if not higher than the whole joint did back when you were smoking all day long.

For those of us that like to use the concentrates regularly just switching back to flowers will also work wonders.  Hitting the rig after a week wax break will have you floating away again after you cough out a lung or two.  Switch up your methods of consumption from using your heady piece to rolling up some joints etc.  Repetition is what can make a valuable experience mediocre and something new always seems to have an added effect.  Even changing up the location or the activity you usually end up doing can make a big difference.   There are so many things you can do without quitting completely to strengthen the effects of cannabis.  The rule of thumb is to change up your routine and dosage and taking occasional breaks to reset the mind.

 

Growing with High Pressure Sodium Lights

If high pressure sodium lights aren’t the most popular lighting systems used in cannabis grows, they are most definitely among the top 3 with florescent and metal halide.  These lights in the flowering stage, will provide the required energy for a bigger yield per wat in comparison to any type of grow light out there.  That’s a perk most growers can’t ignore, despite their higher electrical usage than alternatives like LED or CFL’s.

I like to start off the seedlings and the first few weeks of vegetative growth under a compact florescent set up.  After i feel the plant is strong enough to take the intensity from the high pressure sodium(it has several sets of leaves), I will replace the CFL”s with a 1000 watt High pressure sodium light.  I think this light works great for both the vegetative and flowering cycle of the plants life.  You most definitely can get away with using a different lighting system for the entire vegetative cycle.  I would highly recommend using these type of lights for flowering though because that’s where these bulbs really separate themselves from the rest.  Plants respond better to the red spectrum of lighting for flowering, as it promotes the plant to stretch and bud more efficiently.  Plants may also have a faster transition to flower under a light that is closer to the red spectrum.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing to go with a HPS, is cooling the growing environment.  There has to be a fan attached to the reflector at all times or it will emit too much heat for your medicine to be grown optimally.  As long as the area is well ventilated and you have hot air going out with fresh air coming in there is no issue with using these lights.  Remember that growing temperatures should be between 73-85 during the vegetative stage and you’ll have to compensate for this added heat.  A couple feet is a good maximum distance to separate the plants from the glass.

These lights are very powerful and they produce powerful medicine.  I remember my very first grow when I wasn’t too sure what I was doing outside of reading, and I purchased a high quality HPS bulb.  My first harvest turned out to be surprisingly good quality and I was quick to give credit to the expensive light.  My yield was low, but that was because I was still trying to figure out the correct nutrient mix and wasn’t using proper pruning techniques.  Now that I have a few years of growing experience I can say for sure that these lights will produce wonderful buds if you know what you are doing.  Start growing now and as young as you can, I can only imagine the quality of medicine I will be producing 20 years down the road.

Seeds or Clones?

One of the first decisions that you will have to make when starting a garden of your own is whether to go the route of purchasing either a clone from another gardener or start the delicate process from the very start.  There are different advantages for each method depending on how much experience you have growing, the size of your garden, and simply personal preferences.

I will start with my preferred method which is starting from the beginning with feminized seeds.  One of the main reasons people choose to go the other route is because seeds can either be male or female.  Seeds that turn out to be male plants will produce no flowers and will pollinate all of your’e existing female plants(If you don’t remove them prior to flowering) making their medicine also unusable.  Buying feminized seeds is one way to ensure you can start from the beginning and not be wasting your time.  The key reason that I choose to start from the seed is because that means you have complete control over the entire cycle and are not mixing your techniques with the previous grower.  This could mean for example that the clone that you purchased is in a different grow medium/mix then what you will be using for the rest of the process.  Outside of this problem, most growers agree that establishing good health in the seedling stage and early vegetation stage are key to having your plant run this marathon of a growing process.  So to have no control over this time frame is not something that interests me much as a grower.

Even though I made it sound like seeds are the superior way to go, clones most definitely have perks to them that many growers find attractive to their operation.  If you are operating a large scale grow operation or are trying to maximize the number of harvest you can get in a given period of time clones will definitely be ideal.  When you purchase a clone they are priced based on how far along they are in the growing period as well as the quality of the genetics you are taking a copy of.  Regardless, even if it is in the first few weeks of vegetative growth you saved yourself nearly a month in time.  It takes almost a week for germination and another week of growth as a seedling before it reaches a foot or so in height.  So you most definitely are cutting time out of the harvest cycle.  Large operations could benefit because they can simply take cuttings off their other plants and plant them in the ground and get the exact same genetic copy.  No money is spent on seeds, time is saved, and you know exactly what to expect out of that plant months in the future.  This eliminates the problems of purchasing them from another grower and having different growing techniques.  If you currently have a lot of plants growing, it would be foolish to not take advantage of cloning.

Happy Growing!