Throughout the cultivation process, every grower uses their own unique technique in the way that they care for their plants. There are a ton of paths one can take to end up with a premium grade harvest. The germination stage is just one step in that process and there are also a variety of unique ways this stage can be initiated by the grower. Like most new growers, when I first started I went with one of the more popular methods using paper towels. There is no doubt plenty of growers who have had success using this technique, but I still would not recommend pursuing it unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
The paper towel method involves placing one or more cannabis seeds between a few moist paper towels and placing it in a dark area of the house. It seems that the main issue with this strategy is the fact that paper towels are very absorbent by nature and will not stay moist for a long period of time. So unless you are able to dampen the paper towels every few hours, the environment will be far to dry for the taproot to emerge. Remember that moisture and darkness are the two key environmental factors that a seed needs in order to start germination. Another reason I avoid the paper towel method is that the taproots are extremely delicate and can be exposed to potential damage when transplanted to the growing medium. Taproots are the foundation of your plant’s structure and should not be touched or exposed outside of the soil.
The number one method I have had the most success with and find the easiest is germinating directly in the soil or another preferred growing medium. It’s simplistic, but every time I have tried it with healthy seeds a stem broke the surface just 5-6 days after planting. Make sure that the seed is not too deep below the surface of the soil. This is a common mistake and for whatever reason people assume the seed should be a half inch or deeper into the dirt. Ideally, there should only be a 1/4 inch of space or a sprinkled amount of soil covering the seed. It’s important to keep a thin layer of growing medium above the plant so that moisture is still present and it also won’t take too long to break the surface once sprouted. Leave 7 days time before digging up the seed to see what is causing it not to sprout. Patience is key and checking on its status too early could damage the taproot and potentially kill your plant before it can even grow.
There is some disagreement among growers about when exactly a planted seed should be exposed to a light source. I would argue from experience that the seed will sprout just fine without any light. The optimal time to turn on the light would be right after the main stem becomes visible above the soil. This is when the plant will need UV rays in order to continue to grow more sets of leaves and stronger roots. Others have claimed using a light before the seed sprouts add heat to the process which helps speeds it up. In my opinion, if you can’t wait 4-7 days for a sprout then growing isn’t the hobby for you. Either way, the best type of light to use for the beginning of the seedling stage is CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lights. They generally have the spiral design and do not generate much heat which is perfect. Young plants shouldn’t be exposed to high wattage lighting because it will be overwhelming and can drastically stunt growth. It’s best to change the light type after the seedling stage has passed and there are several sets of mature leaves and branches.
Just like in many other states licensed to sell medical marijuana products, Michigan has a large variety of competitors and brands fighting for their own market share in the industry. Pre-filled vaporizer cartridges are still a relatively new to the industry, and many different producers are attempting to dominate that niche. One of the first brands to do it was The Clear. Although they were one of the originals to introduce the technology of pre-filled vape cartridges, other emerging companies are making a name for themselves. From better mouthpieces to new heating elements, newer technology is making it harder to stick with the Clear.
Not too long after the Clear’s release, dispensaries began to stock their shelves with an overwhelming amount of options. I have tried several types of cartridges including: FlavRX, Platinum Vape, Illuminati, Claw Concentrates, Fire Stix, Thon, and Pure Michigan Oil. The list of brands currently producing cartridges here in Michigan is so long I probably haven’t tried half of them. One reason for my lack of cartridge exposure is the price point of some of the oils. I don’t find it sensible to spend more then $40 each time on a refill. Some of the top shelf or larger gram size cartridges go from $60-90 a piece, and I’m simply not willing to give those a try for something I only use when I can’t smoke flower.
Out of the options that are reasonably priced, me and my friends prefer Thon over the rest. As I mentioned earlier, the mouthpiece and heating element are a step up from the traditional cartridge design. The heating element is no longer a wick at the bottom of the chamber, but a cylinder that evenly heats the medicine and eliminates any waste that might otherwise get stuck to the sides. Another must have feature is the the anti-leak design built into the bottom of the chamber. With other products, its a constant struggle making sure that my pen is sitting upright so none of the good stuff goes below the heating wick. All these perks to the design are nice, but it wouldn’t be too helpful if I didn’t mention the medicine itself. After just a few pulls, it has pretty noticeable effects. A few more and it’ll have you stoned for an hour or so. With all cartridges duration has been an issue when compared to buds. There are no test results or cannabanoid percentages labeled on the packaging but it is identified as a distillate. The various flavors they offer are named by the strain that the oil originated from, which is more helpful then calling it strawberry or peach cream. Every strain I have tried is tasty in its own way, and if you’re not careful you’ll catch yourself hitting it constantly. If this brand is accessible in your location I highly recommend picking some out from the overwhelming wave of options.
If you have a sweet tooth and love shoveling down gummy bears one after another, you should be extra careful when dealing with Sweetstone’s edibles. I haven’t written any articles about any other brand of edibles and there is a reason for that. No other medicine in oral form has delivered a comparable potency in my personal experience. My own experiences with edibles have been extremely disappointing overall as I’ve spent tons of money on different varieties of products with either little to no effect. The gummy bears from Sweestone has been a far different story. These were the first edible I ever felt and I immediately fell in love with the overwhelming effects of a 11-Hydroxy-THC high. I’m not even going to lie about it I ate these things in excess when I first discovered them. It was like discovering weed again in a way for the first time. For the first time ever I could consume cannabis in a stealthy manner and be higher then ever for hours at a time.
In my case, I would eat the entire thing which according to the labeling was 100mg of thc. I think they are underestimating, but again that’s only being based on comparisons of other brands I have tried in the past with similar or higher thc content. For people new to edibles or smoking, I would not even eat more than a leg to be honest. It is likely it will not be enjoyable if you are exposed to more than that. Even for those who consume a decent amount of cannabis, I would start with half and wait at least an hour. Sometimes the full effects don’t hit for 2 whole hours though, so play it safe the first time and take less then you think you can handle. There is also a variety of flavors to choose from with cotton candy being my personal favorite. While the flavoring helps somewhat to cover the overwhelming taste of strong cannabis oil, it is definitely noticeable. I guess at least you know it’s in there right? That would be the one negative that you should be prepared for when it comes time to eat them. (Also they do make me pretty tired, probably because I’m eating the whole thing). I have had edibles that tasted far worse though. so they are still killing it in my book. While the company is headquartered somewhere in California, they might be stocked at your local dispensary. That is where I find mine, and Cali is a long drive from the Midwest.
So give them a try, they’re the only edible I recommend to both those using it medicinally and those trying to relax and have a good time.