Cannabis Price Wars

cheap cannabisA recent report claimed that medicinal marijuana users were being forced to go back to buying their medication from dealers because the cannabis pharmacies were too expensive.

Whilst I believe that this may be true in some circumstances, I find it hard to believe that this is about to start cannabis price wars. And it’s not hard to see why…

  • There will always be customers that want to find a cheaper deal; that is just commerce in general and cannabis is no exception. But there are more reasons as to why the masses will not go to dealers for their medication in my opinion.
  • Cannabis users that truly rely on quality bud as a form of medication want to know what they are getting. We all know the huge difference in CBD and THC. And users that are cautious will opt for pharmacies.
  • Personal safety is an important element of buying cannabis from licenced pharmacies. The comfort of being able to just walk in and buy easily will keep playing an important role in medicinal cannabis users.
  • Choice of medicinal cannabis available legally will surpass any unregistered dealers stock.
  • Not everybody that smokes or uses cannabis medicinally will want to or like going to a dealer. And not everyone will even know a dealer who they can trust and use.
  • Things will keep getting better for medicinal marijuana users. This is only the beginning remember. I believe prices will come down and that there will also be loyalty schemes and the like bought into practice in due course. Even now some pharmacies are offering discounts.

You will never stop the black market trade as long as there is still death and taxes. And again why should cannabis be any different.

But the important point to remember is the future of medicinal marijuana use. Laying quality foundations now for the use of cannabis in a controlled and structured way will pave a far safer and level road into the future.

 

 

 

 

 

Indica or Sativa cannabis strains

Indica or Sativa

Cannabis strains are classed as Indica or Sativa. There is also a cross of both strains which is just commonly called a hybrid strain. But here we will look at the key difference between the pure Indica and Sativa strains.

The Indica cannabis strain is identifiable by it’s by its large broad leaf span when compared to a sativa plant.

In this picture you can clearly see that the indica leaf is far broader by comparison to the sativa.

sativa vs indica

Cannabis plant characteristics

The indica cannabis plant tends to grow much shorter than sativa strains and is therefore beneficial to indoor growers with limited growing height.

The smell of then indica strains tend to be far more pungent then that of sativa. A far heavier aroma is produced whilst growing and a light brush past an indica plant that is flowering is enough to leave your clothes or skin saturated with the unmistakable scent.

Indica plants also produce a completely different high to that of a sativa. Indica dominant plants will give you a far more heavy feeling of stoned.  It’s great for aches and pains, stress, headaches and anxiety.

A sativa dominant strain will have a complete different set of characteristics by comparison.

Sativa strains grow tall and almost spindly like in appearance. Their thin leaves are far more delicate in appearance. Slim stalks and branches hold long weighty buds that often take longer to mature than indica strains.

The high that you get from a sativa strain will generally be uplifting and lively. Creative and can do.

sativa v indica

The sativa strains have a far fresher aroma in general and I often find them lemony and citrus like. But they are certainly far less skunky when growing and often a simple extractor fan is enough to deal with any odours when growing.

Outdoors is where sativas thrive best. They can grow over 20 feet in height and produce kilos per a plant.

If growing a sativa strain indoors you’ll often be better of using a scrog to grow with so that the heights of the plants do not create problems.

Hybrid cannabis strains have been bred to give you the best of both worlds from the effects of each strain. It is obviously each to their own when it comes down to finding a hybrid that suits your needs. Some may be 75% indica and 25% sativa. Others may be 50/50 and everything else possible.

So a hybrid strain may give you a real chilled out smoke because of the 75% indica dominance but without giving you a total couch lock due to the 25% sativa.

The other great development within the strains today is the high concentration of the cannabinoid CBD available. It is CBD that has been proven to give huge medicinal benefits without any unwanted side effects.

This is just the tip of the iceberg hopefully now that cannabis is becoming main stream. I believe cannabis strains in the future could really stand a chance of replacing synthetic medicines as a result of the continuous cross breeding and cannabinoid manipulation and enhancements.

As it goes, cannabis users of today have never had it so good and long may this continue.

Cannabis research

In saying that though people that are considering using cannabis medicinally still need to tread with caution. It is my personal opinion that further research is needed to settle the conflicting advice that seems to be all over the internet regarding what each strain is capable of.

Many say that that indica strains relive anxiety and that sativa strains relive depression yet both ailments are interlinked. This type of advice is where cannabis use may result in negative benefits. What works for one by no means will work for another. You will need to find what strain suits you best, hybrid, Indica or sativa.

 

Best cannabis stories of the week

Cannabis news

Fancy a breakfast with a bit more bang? Then you may want to try this new recipe… Cannabis, Chai, and Chia Seed breakfast pudding. GO have a look

 

It’s crazy, but more results are proving cannabis really can help schizophrenia. This recent test proves it yet again. Read more

 

It seems that cannabis is creating more jobs and money in more ways than one. The police are looking for cleaners to clean up cannabis factory’s

 

Fancy a slice of the cannabis pie? Get in on this podcast and find out how you can  start making your fortune from cannabis

 

Talking of the cannabis business, even Snoop Dog is jumping on the band wagon… He’s launching his new site and you can read about it here 

 

Even though America is leading the way in legalising cannabis, medicinal cannabis users are still opting to buy cannabis illegally from dealers… Read more here 

How to prune and dry cannabis

pruning cannabisCannabis Strains all have their unique characteristics, some being leafier than others. That said, they all require some element of pruning and all need to be dried correctly before usage.

How to prune a cannabis plant

The first thing to do is remove all the large fan leaves. I find it easier to leave the plants in their pots or growing system to do this. Simply navigate your way around the plant and pick of the large leaves.

Once this is done you can begin to snip and trim the bud leaves. Depending on your set up you can do this whilst the plant is still in its pot as with the fan leaves? Or if you prefer, cut sections of the plant away to trim.

I don’t like to be heavy handed when trimming. I take care to move the stalks with the buds on carefully. Knocking the fresh buds around too much can shake of the delicate resin glands which diminishes the quality in my opinion.

Pruning scissors

I like to use a nice light pair of scissors that have more of a snipping action than a cumbersome cutting one. You
don’t have to spend a fortune but if you get a cheap set of hairdressing scissors you’ll find them ideal.

After pruning

After I have pruned a section or stalk of the cannabis plant I will either lay them down first if they need to be threaded before hanging or hang them immediately if I can do so.

I don’t like to stack loads of freshly manicured buds on top of one another as this squashes the bottom ones into an irregular shape.

Once I have a fair few stalks that need to be threaded I do so before I move on to more plants.

marijuana dryingThere are probably many ways to thread cannabis stalks but this is how I do it. I use a wire coat hanger that I cut right in the corner so that I can thread the cannabis stalks on. Any of the stalks that I can’t thread on because they are to thin I hang on the hanger at one of the pruned internodes.

I use a piece of cork to connect the hanger together again.

Another simple way is to use fishing line and a needle or just string tied around the bottom of each stalk and knotted and then on to the next one. Sort of like a Christmas decoration.

Drying cannabis

When it comes to actually drying the cannabis buds this is the method I use.

As we already know, we hang the buds upside down. The drying room/area should be complete darkness once the door or opening is closed. The temperature should be kept slightly warmer in the first few days of drying as this is when then buds are at their wettest and need that bit more heat to dry without decomposing.

Once the buds are around 50 % drier or weigh 50% less you can then reduce the temperature for the final drying period. Drying your buds like this ensures that they do not mould or mildew but also they retain their flavour and aroma. Drying in the darkness also helps removes the chlorophyll from the plant and creates a much smoother smoke.

Controlling the temperature

This is somewhat debatable but it really boils down to the size of your growing area. Where you live also plays a factor.

If I said to you that room temperature was fine to dry cannabis the results may vary. if you are living on the south coast of Spain that may be OK but not so if you are living up in the Canadian Rockies.

As a rule around 20c and humidity below 50% is ideal to dry cannabis; you can then lower the temperature as required. This is not set it stone but you certainly don’t want to overheat the drying room if you are looking for best results.

If you just need to get your buds dry in the quickest time, read my guide on how to dry cannabis fast here.

The drying room

The best dry rooms are made turning your growing room into your drying room. It’s a great solution because you also have your oscillating fan and extractor in there so the environment is easier to control.

It is important to keep the air circulating when drying your buds. Plus the carbon filter on the extractor will eliminate the smells.

If the room is a little on the cold side you can add a greenhouse heater like this to warm it up.

These little heaters are great, they don’t blast out loads of hot air; instead it is a nice gentle, steady heat. Ideal for grow rooms in winter also.

If you have a separate room or area to dry your bud in then just remember to let fresh air in and take the humidity out, especially if it’s a small area. You can use silica gel packs if these drying areas are small.

When is the bud ready?

When the stalks are dry enough that they can actually snap with that cracking sound you’re generally good to go. They will still contain some very small amount of moisture and this result is ideal when you want to finish by curing your buds.

There is a big difference in drying and curing your cannabis.

If you are going to just dry your bud to 100% bone dry, moisture free then obviously you will need to make sure this is the case so that when you store it, it doesn’t rot and spoil.

If you are going to cure your buds then you need to do so properly.

Curing your cannabis

 curing weed

Curing your cannabis is easy enough once you’ve done it a few times. It’s an idea to only try and cure some of your crop on the first go or until you get the hang of it. That way you have no danger of ruining your whole crop.

So to cure your cannabis you need to remove all the cannabis from the initial drying room once it has dried to that almost spongy state. The bud will be dry on the outside and the stalks are snap-able as explained above.

Once at this stage, remove all the buds from the stalks and gently fill a glass jar with the bud. Do not overfill. The buds need to be in the jar loosely.

Now from there, seal the jar/s with the lid but remove the lid every day to renew the air inside the jar. You keep this going for the next 10 days. Once these 10 days have passed you can then open the jars every other day for the next 10 days; and from then a couple of times a week for a final 10 days. By then your buds should be fully cured and ready to give you the sweetest smoke ever…

Always let a bit of fresh air into the jars every 7-10 days though, or at least that’s what I do.

If you ever notice a stale grass smell from your buds when curing, leave the lid off of the jar until the smell has disappeared. The stale smell is because your buds were still a bit to moist to go into the curing jars. This obviously is not what you want but the situation is usually recoverable.

 

Weed World Cannabis News

Cannabis news

A round up of the best of the World’s Cannabis News

Looks like there is still plenty to be positive about in the UK… According to reports, parliament is to discuss cannabis legislation next month… Read here

 

Where there’s a will there’s a way… Very cheeky this, looks like college kids have found a way to vape cannabis using e-cigarettes. Accident waiting to happen really. More

 

The green rush… get in on global boom in cannabis profits, the ultimate opportunity for UK growers

 

Going, going, gone… The world’s first legal cannabis auction site… UK take note, we don’t want to get left behind. Read more here 

 

You don’t say… Weed is apparently 114 times less deadly than alcohol… we’ve been saying this for years, but here’s the proof.

 

CBD cannabis helping diabetes sufferers… recent cannabis news claims a cannabis pills launched in Europe may help people with diabetes… It’s CBD based and looks promising. Go there 

 

Whatever happened to hashish and solids??? We might not see it in the UK anymore, but there is still a roaring trade going on in the rest of Europe, Read about it here 

 

Cannabis flowering Cycle

cannabis plant flowering

All stages of growing cannabis are a passion to me. But just like many others feel, the flowering cycle has a certain magic that cannot be denied.

Seeing the actual fruits of your labour develop over those flowering weeks is something I could never grow bored of.

The actual satisfaction that comes from growing and then smoking your home grown has to be experienced to be understood.

The Cannabis flowering Cycle

The cannabis plant will turn into its flowering cycle as soon as we change the hours of continuous light from 24 to 12. Once this is done the flowering cycle is initiated and the cannabis plant will start to develop its fruits or in our case buds.

The cannabis buds grow by the continuous formation of calyx. As more and more calyx form they join together or if you prefer amalgamate and the buds take on their familiar shape.

These calyxes are also where many trichomes are developed and stored that will eventually ooze the cannabinoids THC and CBD.

Different strains and different gains

As there are now so many different strains and varieties of cannabis there are obviously many different time frames for the buds to develop; although the actual development process will still be the same.

Some buds are huge, some dense, some feathery… others are small and compact… there’s all different shapes, sizes and colours. Not forgetting the symphony of flavours and aromas.

This diagram will give you a closer view of how things work.

Cannabis flowering cycle

 

 

 

The weight of the buds and yield

Allowing your cannabis plants to mature fully is imperative to the overall final result. Don’t get to 6 weeks in and think that will do because you can’t bear going another couple of weeks. Not only will you be short changing yourself by smoking an inferior bud but the main weight of a bud is gained in the last 3 weeks of its flowering cycle.

For me personally, I can’t stand the thought of not trying to make my buds the best they can be. Not giving a cannabis plant enough time flower properly seems sad. It’s like taking their dignity away and not letting them bloom in all their glory. What’s the point in drinking unfermented Champagne? Same goes for buds.

Cannabis boostersNutrients, boosters, ph. and flushing

Good quality nutrients are essential to your final results and with so many good options available to you, you won’t go far wrong buying any of the leading brands.

Going into depth about everything regarding flowering nutrients and indeed nutrients for growing cannabis in general can’t be done in a quick couple of paragraphs. There are many technicalities and scientifically contradicting theories and experiments to discuss. Way too much for the scope of this post.

So all I’ll say is for the hobby grower, any 2 part of the shelf nutrient solution will be as good as each other without over complicating things. I’ve had great results with Canna and Vitalink.

Cannabis flowering boosters

As far as flowering boosters go I’m not sold on this concept of growing. Too many growing factors determine best results. Genetics, air, light, temperature, humidity, ph all contribute to the yield.  I have never gained a weight advantage to write home about using any of the flowering boosters available. PK 13/14 seems to increase flowering vigour and health but not necessarily yield from my observations.

If all growing conditions were optimum all at the same time and continuously throughout the flowering cycle then maybe a booster will have an impact.

As for hobby growers, spending the money on a new bulb and a bottle of superthrive is a better investment in my opinion.  Also increasing the root mass as discussed here will give better yielding plants at least as good as any flower booster will give.

Boosters seem to me to be a gimmick, like selling slimming pills to overweight people. The slimming pills always seem to work better when you control your calorie intake and diet.

Ph levels for flowering cannabis

As always keep your ph range from 5.5 to 6.5 with 6 being optimum when growing and flowering hydroponically. Some real grow techies say that staggering the ph up and down within a range works well. Others claim that raising ph over the flowering cycle improves yields. If this was fact I think we’d all be doing it. So just stay with what we know works.

If growing in soil its far better to buy a soil mix that has a stable ph than it is to adjust the nutrient solution. If you can’t buy ph adjusted soil you can make your own by adding dolomite lime [limestone] at the required amounts to raise the ph. Or increase the nitrogen in the soil to lower the ph. There is a good article on soil ph adjustment here  

 Flushing your cannabis plant

This step remains as important as any other step in the entire growing cycle. The act of flushing your cannabis plants with nothing but plain water is essential if you want to smoke a smooth and distinct bud.

Flushing your plant will remove the build-up of toxins, nutrients and other impurities that the cannabis plant has taken on during its life cycle. If you don’t flush your plants through, the final taste will be far harsher than it should or needs to be.

How to flush a cannabis plant

Flushing is not rocket science and all it involves is hydrating your plants with plain water for a period of time before the harvest. By doing this you will force the plant to use up the nutrients that are actually stored in the plants. Once these stored up nutrients have been depleted, the final bud will smoke smoother once cured or dried.

Flushing your plant if grown in soil will take slightly longer to do. If grown in soil flush for the final 10days/2 weeks of flowering. Most other hydroponic systems will only require a week of flushing for optimal results.

Only you will know the perfect time to start flushing your plants. An experienced grower will be able to pick the right time no problem, but if you are a newbie the final week of the given flowering cycle is a good start. So if your plant is said to flower in 8 weeks, flush from week 7-8.

When are your cannabis plants ready to harvest

Over the flowering weeks your cannabis plant will go through many physical transformations. Some strains [mainly Indica] develop their flowers faster and you can notice the formation of the buds far sooner than others. Sativa strains may look like they are doing very little for up to 4 weeks and then boom… of the go and develop rapidly after this period.

The cannabis flowers will develop over their estimated flowering time regardless, so just be patient and let science and nature do its thing.

Flowering for longer than necessary does not equals bigger yields or stronger product. There is a right time to harvest for optimal results.

The actual time to harvest your plants will obviously be around the stated, but remember that this flowering time is only an estimate. Underlying factors down to your growing methods and optimum conditions will ultimately determine the final cropping date.

As a general rule, your cannabis plant is ready to be harvested when 75% of the pistils have turned that golden red brown colour.

There are conflicting theories on this though. Some say that a greater amount of THC is available when 50-60% of the pistils have changed colour and that allowing more pistils to darken after this stage increases the amount of CBD available. I suppose it is all down to taste at the end of the day… literally.

Another method for identifying the harvest time is by looking at the trichomes under a microscope or using a strong magnifying glass.

What you are looking for is a high amount of trichomes that have a head and are an off white colour or milky.

When looking at the trichomes under a microscope you will notice that some of the trichomes are straight and some Trichomes cannabislook like almost mushroom shaped [the head]. If the majority of the trichomes are this mushroomed shape and the colour of the fluid in the trichomes is a milky kind of colour then the plant has reached maturity. Or peak THC production.

If the trichomes appear to have a darker almost amber hue then the buds are past their optimal THC range and are producing/reverting to CBN/CBD compounds.

This is great for more of a medicinal bud if you have been unable to get any quality CBD seeds.

As always, don’t over do things when flowering, less is often more.