Growing a small number of plants to be compliant with new laws doesn’t necessarily mean you need to grow small plants that may not tie you over until the next harvest date. There are a number of steps you can take to enhance final yields. Below are my top tips on what to consider when growing bigger buds and working with a plant-count of four.
Choosing the Right Genetics
The branding of cannabis seed banks and the marketing of certain strains can leave you feeling like a kid in a candy shop: teleported back in time to a world where the color, name, and flavor are the latest and greatest. Genetics, however, play a huge role in the overall result, which has less to do with the brand than you may think. It does boil down to experience and which varietal species are more suited to your personality.
Our top tip is to research as much as possible about the very basics of indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties. Beginner growers should work with indica-dominant hybrids that will grow easily compared to other challenging strains. If it is your first grow, try and avoid lengthy sativa strains as these do require some experience and will cost more to grow in the long run in terms of electricity, flowering time, nutrients, and grow space.
Cannabis is generally a light hungry plant. Knowing what lights will provide the best results can be down to the Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) rating of the manufacturers complete output. PAR is the amount of light that’s usable to plants– the wavelengths that will be used for photosynthesis. Just like the difference between a growing area and a canopy, PAR is not the measure of all the illumination a grow light gives off. Rather it’s the measurement of the wavelengths plants will absorb. These are red, white, and blue lights. And although HPS lighting burns with yellow and green lights, the complete spectrum provided by HPS is not as efficient as LED lighting that focuses on these specific spectrums.
Most evidence seems to suggest 400-700 nm is key for horticultural lighting. But our suggestion is don’t pay attention to the lumen (LUX) count displayed on the lamp as this does not reflect PAR and is actually a measurement used for the human eye to see light. Look for what the plants actually need and this will allow you to provide a more efficient grow light in terms of spectrum output and electricity use.
Plant training is a great way to become really hands-on with your plants and turn your grow into the canopy of your desire. There are different methods and styles of training plants, ranging from low-stress to high-stress techniques. Certain strains will react better than others when training, but you want to make sure you do not administer an excessive amount. We suggest to research low-stress training, super cropping, fimming, lolly popping, and mainlining.
There will be lots of easy to follow tutorials on Youtube and plenty of information online about these. Plant training can really make a big difference in the final canopy and it can also allow you to better practice your skills in the garden. Only ever perform training in the vegetative stage and avoid after the flowering phase has begun.
Compared to growing organically, hydroponic systems can produce a greater yield. This is why they are so popular in commercial farming and horticulture. There are a vast number of systems that all use an inert medium. As you are able to provide the nutrient solution, the ability for the plants to grow faster, bigger, and produce more buds is easily achievable. The different hydroponic systems that may be ideal for a tent with four plants inside are dripper system kits, deep water culture (DWC), nutrient film technique (NFT), and flood and drain.
All of these concepts allow the roots to stay in contact with a highly oxygenated, nutrient-rich solution. This is important because it allows the plant to uptake far more minerals than if it were in an organically grown medium. In regards to hydroponics, our best advice is that hydroponics require a thorough understanding of how plants work– including pH, E.C, the properties of water, etc. But the most important thing is to keep everything clean and sterile. Plants can deteriorate because of an unfixed issue as quickly as they grow– something else to keep in mind.
Beneficial Bacteria and Fungi
These little microscopic spores may not seem like much, yet there has been a universal bond between plants and the Earth that dates back billions of years. These tiny, yet mighty helpers are not only an excellent addition to supercharge an existing grow medium, but they will also form a symbiotic relationship with the root zone.
Think of it as a secondary root zone that acts like a web delivering bonds of food. Overall the plants will function better and respond to photosynthesis and metabolism quicker than without the microorganisms present. We suggest you do your research on these amazing microorganisms and learn how to maintain the soil science so your future crops can benefit from the same soil amendments time and time again.
Using Felt Pots
It seems no matter where you look, there is always someone showing off a rootbound pot, celebrating the stunted root zone. Rootbound plants are not only restricted to a hard wall surface, they are also then forced to grow to the very bottoms and corners of the plastic pots most growers use. This can have a number of negative effects including toxin build-up and lack of root diversity. Our advice here is to use felt pots. The reason is to prune your root zone and to avoid rootbound growth structure.
The way that fabric pots work is the plant’s roots search out for moisture and available nutrients, they will encounter the fabric wall which will have air passing through. Once the tip of a root hair encountered the air pocket, it will turn back on itself and create two root tips. In the exact same way that topping plants cause two new crown shoots, the same is replicated within the root zone naturally. Felt pots can be made at home to any custom size and can be washed and reused if needs be.
Pruning is our personal favorite technique for maximizing the final yields. Pruning is an excellent way to remove the pats that won’t be as productive. It’s also a way to improve airflow around the lowest parts of the plant. When growing a small number of plants, you want them to focus as much energy as possible on the thickest, greasiest nugs. The lowest popcorn-flower and fan leaves will not do much for a real connoisseur and will only be dedicated to a trim pile for extracts or hash making.
The best thing to do here is to get a clean pair of scissors and select the highest points of the plant and then work out what parts will be totally removed. You will want to remove all leaves of all shapes and size and any lower shoots if they are hardwood or softwood. This is also a great time to take clones. But the main point is to convert all of the new growth energy to the remaining top growth. It may seem counterproductive and you can even feel like you are butchering your plants, but in the long run, pruning is highly beneficial for multiple reasons.
The best way to describe how to correctly feed plants is to imagine having a full fridge at home. Naturally, we eat when we need to and on the basis that we do not need to overeat or be left hungry. The same applies for organically grown plants. As long as they have all of the primary nutrients and trace elements available in some form by using a buffering zone, the plants will take what they need as they need it.
We suggest not to overfeed your plants, as the balancing act of deficiency and toxicity can easily get out of hand– especially if you’re an inexperienced grower. Avoid doubling up on nutrients because you want your plants to quickly grow or as a way to enhance the size and biomass of the buds. This will cause problems further down the line affecting the overall health and performance of the plant and root zone.
Temperatures and Humidity
The environment your plants are flowering in will play a big role in their performance. During the flowering stage, plants require a low humidity of 30-35 percent, and a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius or 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
In order to grow the tightest, hardest buds you will want to keep your plants as dry as possible in terms of humidity. Also be sure your nighttime temperatures do not correspond to the day time temperatures. Many strains enjoy a colder nighttime temperature, including O.G Kush and Sour Diesel. Our tip here is to find the perfect balance between relative humidity, temperature, and air movement in the flowering stage.
Using Molasses is a liquid refined sugar that’s a byproduct of pressing sugar cane at different processes. Organic mediums will use the molasses to provide a ready source form of carbon that beneficial bacteria and fungi can use to expand. Blackstrap molasses can be found in most supermarkets and is inexpensive.
Our best advice is to make sure that it does not have sulfur. Some do contain sulfur, which will have a harmful effect on the microbial life present in the growing medium. When dissolving molasses, use warm water to help the thick substance break down before mixing it in with your nutrient solution. This will make sure that the nutrient is evenly mixed and can easily be absorbed into the medium.
The post Our Top Tips On Growing Bigger, Better Buds Naturally 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.