Автор: [Grower Бот]
When it comes to cannabis, variety really is the spice of life. From Fruity Pebbles to Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, there always seems to be a strain for every occasion. But did you know that all the strains we have today trace back to a handful of original cannabis plant types known as landrace strains?
It’s true. In fact, botanists can trace the entire cannabis lineage back to an original landrace strain in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know — mind blown, right?
So what is a landrace strain, specifically? What makes them unique? And should you drop everything, sell your car, and trek to the back of beyond just to try one?
An Extremely Brief History Of Cannabis
Historical documents from as far back as 2900 B.C.E. (before common era) and archaeological evidence from various regions indicate that cannabis was already in use during the Neolithic period in China.
That means humans could have been smoking weed as far back as 10,000 B.C.E.!
Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Our ancient stoner ancestors probably consumed cannabis as an edible or as a weed tea. It probably wasn’t until later that some ganja genius got it in his or her head to inhale the smoke of a burning pot plant.
We really don’t know for sure about cannabis use, though, because Wikipedia didn’t exist back then and no one wrote anything down (they probably forgot because they were stoned off their weed tea).
Cannabis genetics are a different thing entirely. Botanists don’t need written records to do some pretty amazing things, like trace all the cannabis strains that we know about today back to single plant variety that first developed in the Hindu Kush region of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Keep in mind that this area was a no-man’s land between Indian and Chinese civilizations way back then. But it’s not hard to imagine an intrepid Chinese explorer stumbling upon a crop of wild cannabis in this region, eating it, burning it, or just using the fibers for something, thereby kicking off our current marijuana revolution.
From that earliest discovery, mankind took cannabis wherever they went and the plant spread outside the Kush and China to Russia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and even parts of North America.
Through the intervening years, ganja growers have combined strain after strain of cannabis plants in order to produce different results.
Some growers wanted the plant to grow in cooler climates. Some growers wanted the plant to grow in warmer climates. Some growers wanted to isolate a particular flavor. That led to the production of the myriad strains we have now.
But everything can be traced back to that one original strain and the handful of landrace strains that followed.
What Is A Landrace Strain?
A landrace strain is a variety of cannabis plant that has less diluted DNA than other strains of cannabis. That means landrace strains have not been crossbred with another variety of cannabis.
To take the distinction even further, landrace strains are usually indigenous to a certain part of the world (meaning they have adapted to the environment of a specific geographic location). And since these landrace strains are the original cannabis plant from that area, descendants from those strains often bear part of the region’s name (e.g., Kandy Kush, Durban Thai, Super Lemon Haze).
Let’s think of it this way for clarification: The original strain that developed in the Hindu Kush so many thousands of years ago was a wild species.
Caveman potheads took seeds from that wild species and planted them in various parts of the world in the thousands of years between then and now. Those plants that were directly descended from the original species are now known as landrace strains.
From there (in, say, the past 100-200 years), mankind continued to practice selective breeding of the cannabis plant for genetic improvement. That produced the modern hybrid strains we enjoy today.
6 Landrace Strains From Around The World
Here, for your pleasure, is a brief list of six landrace strains from around the world. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s just to give you an idea of where that Chem Dog you’re smoking came from:
Hindu Kush, Pakistan
Pure Afghan, Afghanistan
Lamb’s Bread, Jamaica
Acapulco Gold, Mexico
Durban Poison, Africa
Panama Red, Central America
Are Landrace Strains Unique In Some Way?
It’s important to understand that the landrace classification only describes the strain’s genetic purity and indigenous upbringing.
It does not mean that landrace strains will get you higher than a good batch of Blue Dream or cut your anxiety quicker than a high-CBD strain.
In fact, modern strains are much better than landrace strains at generating the effects we’re all looking for (be they recreational or medicinal). That’s because growers have bred the plants for those specific effects.
Landrace strains are not “better” than modern strains, or even really unique in any way. They just have less diluted DNA. They’re closer to the original wild species than anything else we have available today.
To put it in perspective, it’s like comparing the very first car (let’s say it was the Model T for simplicity’s sake) with the newest BMW.
You’re going to enjoy cruising around in the BMW more than you would the Model T — the BMW is comfier, rides better, is easier to start, and goes faster (just to name a few) — but it’s still good to know where that BMW originally came from.
That’s how you can look at landrace strains today. They’re really only useful to historians, scientists, and pot purists.
The one benefit from trying a landrace strain would be experiencing more genuine effects that are closer to those produced by the original cannabis strain. Maybe the high or the medicinal effects were completely different. We just don’t know.
Where Have All The Pure Landrace Strains Gone?
You may be wondering why you haven’t heard about landrace strains before. Where have they all gone?
To answer both questions at the same time: the original landrace strains have been taken out of their native environment and endlessly crossbred with other varieties to produce something new.
When a landrace strain is removed from its indigenous environment (say, Pakistan) and forced to grow elsewhere (say, Mexico), it has to mature in different growing conditions. In response to those new growing conditions, the plant will exhibit new characteristics (e.g., smaller flowers, longer grow time, higher THC).
During that transition from indigenous environment to new growing conditions, some of the characteristics of the original plant will be lost. To get those characteristics back, you’d have to return the plant to its native environment.
Even then, the “purity” would be in question because you’ve grown a plant in a different location (Mexico) — producing slightly different characteristics — and then tried to return the seed to the place where its grandparent plant came from (Pakistan).
See how quickly things can get murky and diluted? It’s enough to make your head swim and your eyes go googly (even without taking a toke). That’s why we recommend not thinking about it too deeply.
It’s enough just to know that landrace strains exist. You don’t have to get intimate with the subject. Just give a polite ‘sup nod as you pass by on your way to the local dispensary for a dime bag of Yoda OG.
Should You Try A Landrace Strain?
Our answer to questions like these is usually a resounding, “Yes!”
There are a few times when we have to say no — like, should you make your own THC-O-Acetate or CO2 cannabis oil — but, for the most part, it never hurts to try.
That said, don’t cash in your life savings for the chance to puff a landrace strain. You’ll probably be disappointed. Modern strains are often better at producing the recreational or medicinal effects that you’re looking for.
Remember, landrace strains aren’t stronger, more potent, or better in some way. They’re just less diluted (genetically speaking) than other strains.
And, honestly, even that’s debatable given how much time has passed since the discovery of the original landrace strain and man’s tendency to crossbreed plants to make them grow “better.”
It’s good to know about landrace strains, but we seriously doubt they’re going to be the next big thing in cannabis consumption unless scientists find something in their DNA that cures cancer better than Rick Simpson oil or completely cures anxiety and depression.
You’re better off using organic, pesticide-free marijuana than spending your hard-earned money on something that claims to be a landrace strain.
Автор: [Grower Бот]
Organic Fire on the Mountain
It’s no secret that the Emerald Triangle, in Northern California, has been the reigning champ of cannabis production in the United States for decades. However, with the advent of legal recreational pot in California, the rules of the game have changed. Growers are now forced to comply with legalization restrictions while hopefully not losing sight of what should be the goal—growing great pot. For many of us, this is a breath of fresh air, literally, as chemical fertilizers and pesticides will no longer fly thanks to lab testing. If you’re new to farming or transitioning from nonorganic farming practices, growing organically is the highest ideal a farmer can strive for. It’s essentially replicating the soil biology in the natural world around us, but in our garden beds. From developing good soil and fertilizers to harvesting and trimming for quality hash production, we’ll share some secrets and tips on how a couple of mom-and-pop operations are still getting it done the organic way.
About an hour outside the town of Willow Creek, up one of the many long dirt roads and perched on a boreal-forest ridge, sits Love and Laughter Farms. The farm is an impressive tract of forested land that rises from a creek and valley to a craggy mountaintop, and it is home to black bears, cougars and fishers. Old-growth Douglas fir and madrone surround the two gardens that sit high atop the mountain at an impressive 3,900 feet.
Love and Laughter was founded by Stephen DiTuro and his partner, Brianne Aalders, as a small medical farm in the late 2000s. With backgrounds in chemistry, environmental engineering and herbal medicine, the couple have always aimed at producing medical-grade full-sun flowers with a respect for sustainable practices. Now almost a decade later, the crew at Love and Laughter is navigating the waters of legalization, including the emerging recreational market, and learning to embrace California’s new regulatory landscape.
A wall of drying plants releases its moisture; Ian Stout
The Soil Is Everything
One can spend a lifetime reading about soil—and if you’re a farmer, you should. For those embracing legalization and organic growing methods, proper soil development begins with knowing what you’ve got. Whether you’ve just had your first load of soil dumped or you’re an experienced grower with established beds, you should have a soil sample tested by a local soil-testing lab.
Through the analysis, the lab establishes the pH balance, nutrient content, fungal and bacterial count, and soil composition. This is especially important if the soil might have had chemical fertilizers and pesticides running through it in the past. Many of those compounds are insoluble, or they break down extremely slowly, and can stick around for many years. Even clone stock from mother plants that were treated with conventional fertilizers and nonorganic pest-management products can introduce contaminants into a grow site, which can lead to a dirty test at market time.
If you’re pretty sure that your beds are clean and want to forgo the soil test, an electric soil or electrode meter, available at your local hardware store, is highly recommended to help dial in your pH. pH levels are the key to unlocking a plant’s ability to synthesize the provided nutrients. For outdoor growing, the soil pH should ideally be in the range of 6.4-6.8. All too often, nutrient deficiencies in the growth cycle can be traced right back to a pH imbalance.
There are essentially two kinds of outdoor growing styles when it comes to garden beds: aboveground or in ground, or, to put it in grower parlance, pots or trenches. Both have their pros and cons, but trench beds can be developed over time. The idea is to have soil that consists of the necessary components of organic matter, minerals, air and water, but also contains a healthy mix of bacteria, fungi and worms. Essentially, it’s the creation of a whole permaculture environment in the growing beds that, if properly maintained, will give back to the plants year after year.
The key minerals or macronutrients for marijuana are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, or NPK. Nitrogen helps spur growth and photosynthesis in the plants’ vegetative cycle. Initially during this phase, the nitrogen level in the fertilizer should be raised, as the plants will require more of it as they grow through the summer. Phosphorus is needed for nutrient uptake, and it also has its part in the vegetative cycle, but it’s usually associated with flowering. Initially during the vegetative stage, phosphorus levels should remain lower.
As flowering approaches, nitrogen should be dialed back and phosphorus and potassium levels increased. Sometimes overlooked, potassium takes care of the plant’s roots, metabolism and immune system. During flowering, phosphorus and potassium will be the driving force in flower or bud production. The amount of phosphorus and potassium used during this time has a direct impact on the growth and final size of the buds.
Dry and liquid amendments, including compost teas, should be used as organic fertilizers. Dry amendments, which are used as a general fertilizer and soil conditioner, are more insoluble and break down slowly over time. Compost teas are like a quick hit, and because they are soluble or water-based, the plant will be available to synthesize or use the nutrients more quickly. Both types of amendments can be used on a schedule throughout the season, but the teas should be used to quickly correct for deficiencies or to add small amounts of nutrients at different stages of the growth cycle when nutrient requirements change.
Growing beds are filled with organic material in mounds; Ian Stout
So How Do They Do It?
The foundation of Love and Laughter’s soil begins with a growing method called Hügelkultur, or “hill mound,” which is kind of a mix between the in-ground and aboveground methods. Hügelkultur is an ancient practice, used by many native peoples around the world, but it gained its most recent popularity through farmers in Germany and Eastern Europe. The basic idea of Hügelkultur is to bury wood and other organic plant material in a trench beneath the growing bed. Soil and other nutrient compounds are then added and mounded slightly above the existing ground level. As the wood matter slowly rots underground, it creates a long-term source of nutrients rich in nitrogen, increases water retention, helps aerate the soil and produces heat that will keep roots happy as fall temperatures drop during the flowering season.
For the gardens at Love and Laughter Farms, Hügelkultur was implemented in a big way. For the bed rows, five-foot-wide trenches were dug five feet deep, then filled with various types of oak (except for black oak, which has excessive toxins in its acorns). After the wood and leaf matter were placed at the bottom of the trench, organic mushroom soil, loaded with earthworms, was added on top of the wood base. Next, mealworm castings from an organic avocado farm in Southern California were mixed into the mushroom soil. Finally, a 50/50 mix of organic compost and potting soil, from a local landscape supplier, was added on top—just the tip of the iceberg of the Hügelkultur trench. The soil was then mounded over with the peak of the bed sitting about 16-20 inches above ground level. As the plant matter underneath decomposes with the help of proper amendments, the soil is rich in life and singing.
In the spring, the beds are weeded of their winter ground cover of alfalfa. Love and Laughter Farms practices a “no-till” method of farming. This means that other than the removal of the ground cover, there’s no root-ball removal or yearly tillage of the soil as is commonly practiced in modern commercial and home farming. After the harvest, stalks are cut as close to the soil surface as possible. By not disturbing the soil, healthy bacteria, fungi and worms are not harmed and allowed to flourish.
Put Them in the Ground
After the beds have been prepped and fertilized, and the proper spacing has been determined, the plants are ready to go in the ground. For each plant, a hole four times the size of the root-ball is dug out of the beds. The soil is saved and mixed with composted goat manure, mealworm castings, mushroom compost and mycorrhizal powder. This will surround the plant with an added mix of bacteria and fungi along with what’s already present in the soil. The manure is composted before being directly applied, which removes excessive ammonia and nitrogen levels that can burn plant roots, and it also kills grass seeds that are still alive in the manure, saving the farmers many hours’ worth of weeding and nutrient loss to pesky weeds. Once the plants are in the ground, they’ll receive only water for the first week or so as the roots establish themselves.
Supercritical CO2 oil fills up cartridges for vape pens; Ian Stout
The Magic of Tea
As the roots take hold and the young plants begin to grow, custom compost teas are introduced into the feeding regimen. Although there’s a wide variety of great concentrated premixed solutions on the market, Love and Laughter Farms’ custom tea consists of, but is not limited to, bat guano, earthworm and mealworm castings, yucca extract, silica, bacteria, fungal spores, bone meal, oyster shells, dolomite lime, fish concentrate and emulsion, seaweed powder and molasses, which is a chelating agent. The compost tea is brewed in 60-gallon pickle barrels in the shade for 24 hours at an ideal temperature of 72°F. Aeration with a standard aquarium pump and air-stone diffusers produces oxygen supersaturation. When the tea is done, it’s hand-watered into the plant wells through a standard inline feeder, usually a quart dispersed throughout 150 gallons of water.
Initially, the tea is richer in nitrogen, but a couple weeks before flowering begins the nitrogen is dialed back and a higher-phosphorus bat-guano solution is maintained. Some people like dialing the nitrogen way back, but Love and Laughter actually keeps it somewhat high. This keeps the plants stronger and more disease- and pest-resistant throughout the plant’s natural life cycle.
Prune Her for Production
There are many techniques out there for pruning marijuana for higher yields. The preferred method at Love and Laughter is a technique called bending. The structure of the plants will vary depending on whether they’re indica- or sativa-dominant and how far along they are, but essentially young plants will have a main stem referred to as an apical meristem and then sub-stems called laterals. Traditionally, growers cut main or apical meristems, from which several more meristems will grow. These additional stems are the key to creating larger colas versus one main cola on an unpruned plant.
Cherry Pie is a well-known strain in Humboldt County; Ian Stout
Cutting, however, can stress the plant for sometimes up to a week or more. By bending the main stem 90 degrees 7-10 days after the young plants are in, auxiliary growth points are created. And from this auxiliary growth point, several more meristems will begin to grow (eventually forming additional colas). This process is ideally repeated three or four times over the vegetative cycle, but should be completed a couple weeks before flowering begins.
Another important aspect which falls under pruning is defoliating. Yellow leaves will develop on marijuana plants for a variety of reasons, but the most common are due to nitrogen deficiencies, overwatering, a pH imbalance or shock from cold weather. It’s easy to correct for these problems, but leaves that have begun to die are removed before they start to mold.
Another defoliating technique that increases yield is the selective removal of fan leaves throughout the plant. This creates better airflow and allows more light into the inner and lower canopy, which in turn creates larger buds in places that might usually end up with larf (spindly lesser buds). By paying attention to the plants throughout the day, farmers can see which ones receive less light and remove those selectively. Lastly, if the bottom third of lower branches are removed (which usually produce larf anyhow), a plant will divert its energy up to the apical buds. This results in healthier colas and bigger yields.
A common mistake that novice growers make is improperly flushing before the end of flowering. Flushing helps the weed burn cleaner and improves aroma and flavor. Different strains, even different phenotypes of a same strain, will have different flowering times. By knowing the flowering time of the strain you’re growing, you can subtract two weeks from the total flowering time. Also, paying attention to the trichomes will help as well. If they look big and sticky but are still clear, it’s a good point to stop fertilizing. Love and Laughter harvests when about half of the resin glands have turned from milky to amber. During the last two weeks, a good trick is to flush by alternating between water alone and water mixed with humic acid, fulvic acid and molasses. This mixture will help break down the remaining insoluble fertilizer still in the soil and stems.
Until very recently, many farmers discarded their trim and waste material. But in a short time, this material has become a sought-after commodity for those with knowledge of extraction techniques. While nugs may yield the most flavorful concentrates, hand trim and even machine trim can be more valuable to an extractor’s bottom line.
Take a half day’s drive down Highway 101 to Route 1, at Monterey Bay, and you will find an enclave of cutting-edge extraction artists. Among them is John Ollila of Santa Cruz Concentrates and Hushpuff. An early adopter of CO2 extraction, Ollila is fighting the wave of investment dollars pouring into many large hydrocarbon labs that are tanking concentrate prices in parallel with what farmers have experienced with flower rates in recent years.
Love and Laughter Farms provides properly cured, organic, pesticide-free trim that is ideal for supercritical CO2 extraction. Raw material is sorted for remaining stems and fan leaves before being vacuum-sealed to preserve terpenes. While many manufacturers start with fresh frozen material to achieve a “live resin” or “sauce,” this is only a viable option for solvent-based extractions—mainly butane, though ethanol extracts are on the rise. California has always frowned on hydrocarbon (butane and propane) extractions because of the risk to public safety, and it should be noted that this is still an illegal practice without a local hazardous-materials license and applicable state license. The rest of us are allowed to use CO2, ethanol, water, manual press and sifting techniques.
Properly cured trim will be free of excess water, which is detrimental to most of the above-mentioned techniques. Using a liquid CO2 extraction machine fabricated by Paradigm Supercritical Innovations of Springfield, Oregon, Santa Cruz Concentrates prefers to operate extraction chambers at roughly 2,700 psi and 100°F. Ollila’s unit, named Lucy, is powered by a 15-horsepower compressor that keeps the flow rate high. It takes roughly 7.6 liters of supercritical CO2 to extract one gram of THC, so patience for this process is necessary while being limited to processing a maximum of 101 pounds in a 16-hour day.
Many turnkey CO2 systems that allow an operator to walk away and return a day later to a completed extraction cycle run upward of 4,500 psi and 130°F; while this will allow for a more complete extraction of cannabinoids, it also pulls many impurities that decrease the initial potency of the extract and make it more difficult to achieve maximum oil potency after refinement. There are, of course, solutions to any problem if you have deep enough pockets. Wiped-film units are becoming increasingly common, and, similar to turnkey CO2 systems, they allow operators with little or no chemistry knowledge to hop in the game and refine crude oil to shockingly potent distillate.
The final product—a golden concentrate that’s ready to dab; Ian Stout
Here on the Central Coast, Santa Cruz Concentrates does it the old-fashioned way. Supervised by an intelligent chemist, the short-path distillation of a properly dewaxed and bleached CO2 extract yields just as potent oil as a wiped-film unit running crude B/PHO. Pressures and temperatures on the lower end of the supercritical spectrum during extraction also allow Santa Cruz Concentrates to achieve a shatter with no additional post-processing required other than a few hours in a vacuum oven to remove residual water content. And in an exciting move to more accessible cannabis-derived terpenes, innovation continues further as Paradigm has just provided an in-line terpene trap to add to its extraction units.
With all the dollars flooding into this industry with the goal of mass-producing marijuana vaporizers, Santa Cruz Concentrates is just fine with being a micro-brew, proud to source from small organic farmers, like those at Love and Laughter Farms, who take pride in their process.
Patients and recreational users should be encouraged to be picky about what they inhale; while our lungs may be able to take some hits, they are very sensitive and, especially in a smoker’s life, often the most susceptible to compromise by heavy metals or carcinogenic pesticides. Know your grower and your extract artist. Demand test results. Be very wary of bottom-dollar extracts. And #puffon.
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Регистрация 31.03.2020 13:17