High Times’ cultivation specialist Danny Danko answers all your burning questions about being the best grower you can be. But first, some quick tips from the expert himself:
- Calibrate your pH and PPM meters monthly in order to ensure they’re working properly.
- Use a timer to turn off CO2 supplementation equipment when your lights are off.
- Intake fans for fresh air should be installed low in your room, and, because heat rises, exhaust fans should be installed near the top.
Subject: Vegetative Stage
From: Martha M.
How do I know when plants are in the vegetative stage? I’m new and I don’t understand all the growing terms. Thank you!
There are two main stages of cannabis plant growth: the vegetative stage and the flowering stage. These stages represent the different growth patterns of annuals from spring into summer and then into fall, when the plants reach maturity. When a seedling sprouts, it enters the vegetative stage, during which it grows branches and leaves. Outdoors, as summer ends and light begins to diminish, the plant enters the flowering stage, during which it slows branch and leaf growth while focusing its energy on producing male or female flowers in order to fill up with seeds before it dies with the first frost of winter.
Indoors, we re-create these seasons using a timer into which we plug our grow lights. For vegetative growth, we provide our plants with 18 or more hours of light per day. When we decide to induce flowering, we cut the light cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off per day. The plant will then transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage and begin its march to harvest.
From: Charles T.
My question is in regard to the preservation of a strain that has been reduced over time from environmental or genetic drift by using colloidal silver to produce feminized seeds. I’m talking about an incredible strain that I obtained through clippings when it had already been cloned many times and has since been cloned many more times. My biggest concern comes from the difficulty I’m lately having getting this strain to root during the cloning phase. I’m waiting on a shipment of 120 PPM colloidal silver; once it arrives, I plan to begin my first feminized-seed project. I would like to know what I should expect from the seeds produced. Will they also have difficulty rooting, or should the genetic blueprint be completely restored? Thanks for any help you can give me!
You are embarking on an interesting but difficult breeding project. You’re planning to spray colloidal silver on your female flowers in order to force them to show hermaphroditic tendencies and induce “male” flowers to form within them.
The pollen from these flowers contains no male genes, so this should result in females or hermaphrodites. When this pollen is spread onto the same female flowers, it’s called “selfing,” or creating an S1. If all goes well, the resulting seeds will be similar or identical to the original clone-only plant.
A different way to bring back the vigor of the original hybrid is to use a tissue-culture technique. This is similar to cloning, but on a smaller, cellular level. Once a plant has been duplicated with tissue culture, the resulting cuttings will be free of any pests, pathogens, diseases or other issues that result from stress, such as difficulty rooting or a general lack of vigor or potency.
From: UP Grower
Hi! We love reading your expert grow advice in High Times. We’ve been growing in Michigan for about six years and have used both seeds and clones. We recently purchased some feminized Gelato seeds, one of which sprouted twins! (Included is a photo you can publish to show what we mean.) We’ve never seen this mentioned in High Times. Is it a rare occurrence?
Thanks for the kind words! Your plants are exhibiting a common mutation called polyembryony, in which two or more embryos exist inside one seed. Thus, like identical human twins, the seedlings that emerge will be exact copies of each other.
Subject: No-Till Tent
From: Giggle Grassachusetts
Greetings again! I’ve been wanting to create a no-till living soil (teeming with worms and microbes and using soil blended
with compost). I have a 2′ x 2′ and a 2′ x 4′ tent. Is this possible?
If so, do you have any recommendations as to what to use to hold the soil? I have found a few fabric containers, but they have compartments. Do I need to build my own container? I’d prefer to use fabric instead of wood. Also, would it be a bad idea to bury compostable kitchen scraps in the soil? Thanks for the awesome podcast!
No-till farming is a very interesting growing concept in which soil is left undisturbed and organic material is added on top. Compost and other natural soil enhancers are piled on, and cover crops such as clover are grown and gently mixed into the top layer of soil in order to avoid destroying the beneficial mycelia that permeate the medium.
No-till growing can be accomplished in beds, boxes or fabric containers in even the smallest of spaces, but the important thing is to avoid adding any nonorganic or toxic nutrients or pesticides to your soil mix. It’s better to put your kitchen scraps into your compost bin or pile in order for them to heat up, break down and cure, rather than adding them directly into your soil. Thanks for your support of the Free Weed With Danny Danko podcast!
From: Peter G.
Remember the good times from three years ago on the 420/710 catamaran cruise? This is Pete, who was disgusted with the Amsterdam
Cup the previous year. You said you remembered me, but I don’t know how because you obviously come into contact with many people.
Anyhow, I’m happy to report I’m four weeks into flowering a spectacular Acapulco Gold grown in coco under LED and fluorescent lighting to limit my power footprint. She’s looking great despite the lighting limitations. I’m alternating nutes and water every fourth day, and it seems to be working great. This way I’m not overwatering or overfeeding.
I switched to a 10/14-hour light/dark photoperiod from a 12/12 cycle a week ago as advised by Jorge Cervantes in his Cannabis Encyclopedia. The branches have just started to sag from the bud weight, and I’m now staking the plant to relieve any stress. Maybe next time I’ll just go with SOG netting, but it didn’t seem feasible to go that route in a closet. I really don’t have a
question, I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for all the great advice you give in your column.
Wow! Thanks for reaching out and thanks for the tips on properly feeding your plants. Overfeeding and overwatering are the two biggest mistakes made by beginner growers, and it’s always best to err on the side of caution as you describe. I’ll have to do a bit more research on the 10/14-hour photoperiod you mentioned because I haven’t heard of that being used before, unless it’s to save money on electricity or to reduce heat at the canopy level.
Subject: Wet and Dry Cycles
From: Humdrum Bum
I’m about to start a RDWC (recirculating deep-water culture) six-bucket system, which does not allow the plant’s roots to receive a dry period. Is the dry period important, or will plants thrive
with the proper amount of oxygen?
The wet/dry period relates to growing in a soil or coco-based mix. With most types of hydroponics, the nutrient solution is so well oxygenated that the roots can handle not drying out; in fact, they must remain moist at all times.
Deep-water culture relies on the roots dangling into an aerated solution so they have access to water, food and oxygen at all times. This mist feeds the roots and allows the plants to exhibit explosive growth rates. The important thing is to always keep the solution at the right temperature, pH level and PPM levels of nutrient salts in order for the plants to thrive.
Subject: Wick System
From: A. Cabrera
I am currently in the process of setting up a hydroponic grow. I have chosen to go with wick hydroponics, since this will be my first run of growing. I have built a frame for a box that will be 4″
tall, 4′ long and 20″ wide. The walls will be wood sealed with caulking then covered with Mylar. I am going to use a 120-volt 4-foot T8 ballast with two 16-volt LED bulbs until the plants are about 1 to 1½ feet tall in the vegetation stage, and from that point I will change to an LED grow lamp. I’m planning on using 5-gallon
buckets as reservoirs with rope leading up to either a 3-gallon bucket or a 1-gallon nursery pot. I am at a loss on which grow medium I should transfer the plants to once they are out of the seedling stage. I currently have the plants outdoors in Sunshine brand seedling mix. I water once or twice daily. I have two
questions: What is a good material to use as a wick that will not rot? And what grow medium can you recommend?
A wick system uses capillary action to suck up water from a reservoir as plants need it. Cotton ropes are easy to find and use as a wick, but they are also prone to rot when exposed to water over time. Nylon rope will last longer, and it’s the best material to use for a wick system as long as you’re not opposed to using something acrylic and unnatural.
You can continue to use the Sunshine mix or transplant your plants into a different soilless mix such as ProMix, which is peat-based, or coco coir, which is made from the recycled husks of coconuts. Your roots will suck up whatever they desire, but you must be sure your reservoir buckets contain nutrient solution.
From: Uncle Buck
Hi, Danny—please help! I’ve accidentally mixed my seeds, both autos and feminized. I have managed to separate them by size.
Now I have three normal-size and nine small grey ones, and I have no idea which are which. Additionally, I don’t know how many of each I originally had. Cheers from Australia!
Dear Uncle Buck,
The size of the seeds will not tell you which are auto-flowering and which are feminized. You must plant them and grow them out to determine which are which. The ones that begin to flower regardless of the amount of light they receive are the autos. The others will be the feminized ones. Good luck!
Send your cannabis-cultivation questions
This feature was published in the March 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.
The post Dear Danko: Expert Grow Advice on Plant Stages, Strains, and More appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.