Techniques for Growing Hydroponic Cannabis

Techniques for Growing Hydroponic CannabisHydroponic cannabis are plants grown in something besides soil, with nutrient-rich solutions that provide what the plant needs to grow.

The reason marijuana plants, or any other plants, are grown hydroponically is that growth can be sped up and yields can be increased by directly controlling the volume of nutrients received by the plants.

Small-scale hydroponic operations can be as simple as hand-watering plants which grow in pots containing any inert medium. Much larger operations might have more sophisticated systems, automated to manage irrigation and the flow of nutrition.

Hydroponic marijuana media

Strictly speaking, no medium is really necessary for growing hydroponic cannabis, as long as the plants receive the nutrients they need. Since growing mediums are easily obtained and support root development, most hydroponic operations make use of one or more of the following:

  • Rockwool – probably the most commonly used medium and is made by spinning molten rock into single-filament fibers that hold water well
  • Growstones – a recycled glass product which has tremendous properties for retaining air and water
  • Perlite/vermiculite/pumice – all three of these contain a great deal of air space, and they have the added appeal of being re-usable
  • Coco peat – a by-product of coco husks, which holds 1,000 times more air than natural soil
  • Expanded clay pebbles – super-heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, these tiny clay bits retain their heated size and hold air extremely well

Hydroponic growing methods

Having settled on the right medium for your hydroponic growing operation, you then need to select the actual growing method to be used.

  • Aeroponics – this method does not require any growing medium, but instead works by spraying or misting the roots of plants to provide them with needed nutrients
  • Continuous flow solution – by constantly irrigating plants with nutrients, the continuous flow method ensures that individual plants receive nourishment through some kind of setup where roots are supplied with water containing vital ingredients
  • Run-to-waste – a simple hydroponic system has the grower watering a medium either by hand or automated until waste is created in individual pots or containers, then discarded
  • Deep water culture – roots of the cannabis plants are suspended over nutrient-rich water some are even completely out of the water. The very high levels of oxygen in the area directly above the water triggers rapid growth among the plants
  • Flood and drain – a simple cultivation method where trays are used to provide water to plants from below, with plants, either grown in media or not, and wastewater drains away to a main tank for recycling

What is Cannabichromene and why is it Medically Important?

Probably most people have heard about cannabinoids like THC and CBD by now, and what their properties are, but far fewer people are aware of cannabichromene (CBC), which has been getting a great deal of attention from medical researchers because of its very promising qualities in that area. Cannabichromene is produced by cannabis plants, just as THC and CBD are, and it is one of a total of six cannabinoids generated by the plant. Unlike THC, cannabichromene is not psychoactive, because it does not bind well to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, but it does bind well to pain receptors in the body, to help alleviate pains.

What is Cannabichromene and why is it Medically Important?

Cancer-Fighting Applications

There is growing excitement about the potential of CBC to treat a number of medical conditions. Believe it or not, one of these possibilities is even cancer – it now appears that CBC could turn out to be an extremely powerful ally in the fight against this dread disease. In tests conducted on laboratory mice where cancer cells were introduced, CBC was also delivered to the test subjects and it was discovered that inflammation as well as the growth of tumors were significantly halted.

  • Along with another cannabinoid, CBG, cannabichromene has demonstrated clear effectiveness at preventing and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. While THC is also very good at inhibiting cancer cell growth, it does have psychoactive properties, so its medical usage may not be as broad as could be that of CHC and CBG.

Brain Cell Assistance

Cannabichromene may prove to be medically important in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, and other cognitive impairments which have altered  or destroyed brain cells as they progress. Developments in brain cells such as oxidative stress, toxicity, and inflammation can lead to all kinds of brain pathologies and neurological diseases, and these developments are all inhibited by the presence of CBC in the brain. A study conducted recently shows that CBC also has a very positive effect on the growth of neural stem progenitor cells (NSPC’s), which are required for proper brain health and functionality.

Inflammation and Body Pains

Cannabichromene has already been shown to be effective at blocking pain felt by people who have severe inflammation and osteoarthritis. In addition, CBC does not have any of the side effects which NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) do, and since NSAID’s are one of the most common forms of treatment for arthritis currently, it could be that CBC can provide a very useful alternative. In terms of reducing inflammation in various sites around the body, it has been discovered that combining CBC with THC can have a powerful, double-barreled effect that neither of the two cannabinoids can achieve on their own.

5 Potent Strains of High THC Marijuana

THC structureThe most potent strains of high THC marijuana are considered to be those which contain 20% or more of the psychoactive component known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the element responsible for the euphoric state users feel when they use. It’s worth knowing which are the most potent strains because of the benefits that come from the strains richest in THC.

However, there is a caveat to labeling certain strains as the most potent ones. There is a lot variability in the THC content due to climatic and growing conditions.

For instance, a normally high-THC variety grown in one area can have a significantly lower percentage of THC than grown in another area, just because conditions were less favorable in that growing season.

Here are some of the marijuana strains which consistently tip the scales at over 20% potency. These provide the most powerful recreational and medical benefits.

Girl Scout Cookies

Yes, it has an ironic kind of name for something pretty far afield from activities normally associated with Girl Scouts, but anyone who tries this variety will become a believer quickly.

Numerous lab tests have confirmed that the typical potency of this strain averages 28% THC levels.

Users have frequently described its effects as overwhelmingly euphoric and providing a peaceful warmth that can literally go on for hours.

Kosher Kush

This is a relatively new strain, developed sometime around 2010. It is one which has quickly taken its place among the leaders of marijuana strains that are on a high-THC makeup.

Identifiable by its surrounding coat of crystalline resin, Kosher Kush invariably tests out above 20%, which makes it a serious contender in the most potent competition.

Bruce Banner

No one knows how or why this strain was named after the alter-ego of The Hulk.. but the nomenclature seems to be appropriate.

Lab tests confirm that this strain of herb tests out at close to 30% THC content, which can make anyone feel like a much larger version of them self.

It has mowed down the competition in Denver and retains a place as one of the premier potency champs on the scene today.

Ghost Train Haze

Another newcomer, developed by Rare Dankness Seeds. Ghost Train Haze is a sativa strain which routinely tests at 25% potency and above.

After imparting a rush of euphoric energy, this variety is known for fostering intense periods of creativity and powerful focus.

Gorilla Glue

This is a hybrid variety of marijuana which derives its name from the resinous appearance of its buds.

It is known for having THC content between 23% and 28% across numerous samplings.

The feeling it imparts to users is nothing like the aggressiveness you might expect from a real gorilla. It’s much more like a fierce mellow that will leave you content for hours.

Official Disaproval of Marijuana as a Gateway Drug

In the 1950’s, the US Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics,

candidate as gateway drugs are prescription drugsHarry Anslinger put forth his famous theory about marijuana being a ‘gateway drug’; a substance which led users into harder and more harmful drugs. That perception was taken up by literally thousands of other officials and people in the medical field, with no specific statistical evidence to back it up.

Apparently the fact that it seemed logical was enough people to adopt the theory as fact. For decades, that has been the prevailing opinion among many Americans, even though not a shred of evidence has been found to prove it.

Recently however, more research has been done about the positive effects marijuana has and how its medical properties bring relief to people suffering from an illness. It seems that the time has come for an official renunciation of the ill-conceived notion offered by Anslinger all those years ago – and that’s just what is now happening.

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The US Attorney General Speaks

In a recent talk at a town hall meeting in Richmond, Kentucky, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch clearly acknowledged for the first time that marijuana should not be considered a gateway drug. That it does not encourage users to progress into harder, more addictive drugs.

The meeting was specifically set up to talk about the dangers of opioid abuse among high school teenagers, but during the course of a question-and-answer session, the focus turned more to marijuana usage. In response to some very specific questions, Attorney General Lynch admitted that government statistics simply do not support the notion that marijuana usage leads to opioid abuse or any other drug.

Prescription Drugs as the New Gateway

Instead she pointed out that the more likely candidate as gateway drugs are prescription drugs. Since statistics do bear out the fact that users of prescription drugs tend to seek more and deeper highs, these ought to be considered the real gateway drugs in society today.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has corroborated the statements made in Lynch’s talk at the town meeting, declaring that the majority of cannabis users do not go on to use harder, more addictive substances.

It may have taken 70 years to do it, but the ridiculous notion of marijuana being a gateway drug has finally been officially debunked. Once the general public embraces this new reality, a great deal of the stigma associated with marijuana usage in the past, may finally be overcome and laid to rest.

Marijuana Grows Better Inside or Out?

There are many misconceptions about outdoor-grown marijuana

Marijuana Grows Better Inside or Out?
These have risen as a result of the days when crops had to be hidden from view, and especially from prying legal eyes. This means that they often had to be grown in shady areas near trees and properly covered, in places that are not generally conducive to producing high-quality plants.

In fact, many of the marijuana plants grown in this country in the past could probably have been considered sub-standard, but that’s all changing now, with marijuana plants enjoying a new legal status, and crops coming out into the open to enjoy ideal growing conditions.

Here are some of the ways that outdoor marijuana plants have improved under new legalization.

Pest free outdoor plants

Marijuana plants grown by reputable dispensaries are virtually free of the chemicals, molds, mildew, and pests that may plague cannabis sold by private growers.

In the states where medical crops are grown, stringent requirements are in place to test for microbiological contaminants and pesticides, before they are ever processed and sold to medical dispensaries. In addition to state requirements for purity, many dispensaries apply their own requirements for quality to ensure there are no negative impacts imparted to patients.

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Outdoor grown plants are just as potent

In the days when marijuana plants had to be cultivated near areas where they could be hidden from view, it was very common for plants to mature with considerably diminished stature and potency, earning a reputation for being ‘lightweight’ plants.

With crops now out in the open, plants can enjoy the benefits of full sunlight and reach the maximum potential with regard to stature, bud production, and cannabinoid content for full potency.

Packaging and shipping methods are also much better since they don’t need to be concealed This has allowed plants to prosper in prime condition, as opposed to the secretive, compressed packaging of the past.

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There’s something special about outdoor cannabis

When marijuana plants are grown outdoors, they are part of an extremely complex ecosystem which has a major impact on the flowering plants. This is something that simply cannot be reproduced by indoor grow lights because they don’t have all the elements present in natural sunshine.

There are a number of outdoor influences which subtly impact the growth, the flavor, and the natural development of marijuana plants.

While external growing conditions certainly can’t be controlled to the extent that indoor conditions can be, there’s still something special about the way cannabis plants interact with and become part of the natural environment they’re grown in.

How to Admit to Family and Friends That You’re a Cannabis Lover

Admitting to family and friends that you smoke cannabis does not carry the same stigma that it might have a decade or two ago, but in conservative circles it can still take a pretty big leap of faith to ‘fess up, and hope that the fallout won’t be overwhelming. Owing to the fact that there is now a decisive majority of states which have legalized marijuana, and a growing number which have even legalized adult legalization, coming out of the cannabis closet is simply much less difficult than it used to be.

But if you’re a person who happens to live in an area where legalization is still on the horizon, and the prevailing opinion remains on the conservative side, there are still ways you can broach the subject with people you know – without setting off a firestorm. Here are some tips for you to follow, when you’ve decided that candor is the best policy.

Cannabis LoverPick the Right Circumstances

Don’t drop a bomb on your family/friends at an awkward time – if you have to, wait until just the right gathering, where there will be time to discuss the matter, and opinions can be freely expressed by both sides. If possible, include an ally in the group for moral support, and for bolstering your case, if you should happen to get a little tongue-tied.

Prepare for Negative Reactions

Your parents might surprise you and be totally understanding about it. After all, they listen to the news too, and they have probably heard all the same things you have about the prevailing trends and opinions in this country toward legalization. However, it could go the other way just as easily, and if you can gauge your parents’ reaction somewhat ahead of time, you can prepare yourself with reasoned responses to whatever objections they might have.

Tell Your Side of the Story

Be ready to explain all the positive effects cannabis has had on your life personally. In addition to the improved mood, maybe it has provided some medical benefits for you that have had a major impact on your life. That’s where the next point comes in handy.

Know the Health Benefits

There is all kinds of documented evidence about the positive benefits that medical marijuana has provided for some patients – everything from reducing anxiety to eliminating headaches, to killing some types of cancer cells. These are legitimate advantages provided by cannabis, and are part of the package.

Observe Compliance Requirements

So that your parents don’t have a reason to object to you smoking cannabis, make sure to keep it all above board and legal. If you are doing anything against local laws, they would have a legitimate reason to withhold approval, but if you’re doing everything by the book, that takes away a possible objection.

Be Sensitive to Your Audience

If things don’t go well with your audience, don’t leave the meeting in a huff. Act mature, and try to understand their points of view as offered. It’s always possible they will come around to your viewpoint at a later date, and until then, just agree to disagree – respectfully.

Grow Marijuana Indoors

Growing marijuana indoors is a very convenient and cost-effective proposition because, over period of time, it will save you a ton of money. It’s a very hardy, quick-growing plant that only takes around four months to go from seed to a mature plant, and it doesn’t even require ideal growing conditions. Chances are even a first attempt at growing will be successful.

The best place to grow is indoors

It’s much safer to grow indoors, because it can be hidden from public view, and it’s not dependent on external weather conditions. The best place to set up would be in a small room like a closet, a shed, a garage, a cellar, or an attic – any enclosed area which no one else has access to. The area selected must have a source of electricity, and some kind of venting system to supply fresh air and exhaust used air.

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Growing requirements

The equipment needed for growing indoors includes standard hydroponic parts

  • A good source of light
    • Use High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps, because they produce a good supply of light with very little electricity and they’re inexpensive. If HPS lamps are unavailable, LED grow lights can also be used, although these are a lot more expensive. Fresh air is important, because if the growing area is not well ventilated, it will have a tendency to develop insects, which can reduce your harvest.
  • A reliable fan
    • Getting rid of old air inside is a good idea so there isn’t a powerful smell accumulating in the growing space, and a carbon filter will help immensely with this. The simple combination of a fan and a charcoal filter is all that’s really needed to remove the strong smell.
  • Fertilizer
  • Fabric pots
  • Seed germinations
  • Potting mix
  • And optionally, a grow tent

The last item is extremely useful for keeping the light contained and concentrated, so it helps the process considerably.

The last requirement is, of course, great cannabis seeds, which can be ordered online from several discreet vendors overseas.

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Grow Marijuana IndoorsGrowing your plants

  • Germinate the seeds – start with between 10 and 20, embedded in peat pellets. Only feminized seeds (those which parties female plants) will actually produce marijuana, so male plants must be discarded later. Within 3 to 7 days, plants will sprout, after which lighting must be provided for 18 hours a day, with six hours of off-time, keeping the plants moist at all times.
  • Transfer to pots – When the roots can be seen growing outside of the peat pellet, transfer the whole peat pellet with plant into a pot filled with potting soil, and water lightly.
  • Water the plant – Young plants need water once a week, mature plants once a day – just water when the soil is dry
  • Switch to flowering mode – after 3-1/2 weeks, the plants will switch to flowering phase and begin to make seeds, and then the light source should be dropped down to about 12 hours a day
  • Eliminate males – after four weeks of flowering, the first buds will appear on all the plants, but the females will have whitish-looking hairs and the males will have hanging balls. These have to be eliminated because they will pollinate the females and drastically reduce your yield.
  • Fertilize regularly – with regular watering and fertilizing, the plants will ripen in 2 to 3 months, and there isn’t much else to do except let them grow.
  • Harvest – use scissors to cut away all the leaves from the buds and discard them, since they have no active ingredients. Trim the buds – and enjoy!

Marijuana Infused Wine?

I’m sure the thought if infusing Marijuana in lots of different foods and drinks are pretty abundant, but what about wine?

LA Times posted an article recently about how Lisa Molyneux, a long time Marijuana advocate and dispensary owner from Santa Cruz, has decided to do make this infusion happen. She is pairing up with Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, owner of Verdad Wines in Santa Maria to try this new infusion.

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Apparently, the thought arose while camping together in Yosemite Valley back in 2010. This infusion is called Canna Vine. High-grade Marijuana fused with biodynamic farmed grapes.

The new “Green Wine” is also getting a lot of hype from celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Melissa Etheridge. These new bottles are ranging from $120-$400 so you better be ready to fork up the big bucks for the infusion.

Read the full articles from LA Times here!

Medical Marijuana on High Blood Pressure

Medical Marijuana on High Blood PressureMany people have the mistaken notion that cancer is the number one killer of men and women in America, but this is simply not true.

The real culprit and the number one threat to good health to all adults in the United States is actually cardiovascular disease. And the main contributor to cardiovascular disease is high blood pressure.

The importance of managing your blood pressure cannot be overstated

If your heart is working too hard in when going about your normal activities, it will be under significant strain most of that time, and that’s when heart attacks develop.

The really dangerous thing about high blood pressure is that there are no real visible signs of it. You can look and feel just fine, and can carry out all your daily activities without noticing any real difference.

Behind the scenes, however, a person with high blood pressure might have his heart working so hard, that it’s generally only a matter of time before it fails under the prolonged strain.

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Here’s how medical marijuana can help

Medical marijuana has been shown to help control high blood pressure to take the stress off your heart.

People who use medical marijuana almost universally experience lower levels of stress. They enjoy deeper, more prolonged sleep at night, which leads to a more restful and relaxed state the following day.

Patients who have experienced chronic pain in their lives also report that medical marijuana relieves many of these symptoms for hours. They are able to enjoy a fair amount of pain-free time and a more contented outlook on life.

Medical marijuana’s impact

Because medical marijuana has demonstrated an impact, it has consistently been shown to lower high blood pressure.

This is not to say that marijuana cures high blood pressure – but it can manage the symptoms that contribute to high blood pressure.

Of course, the effectiveness of marijuana on high blood pressure does vary from case to case. It is rarely so effective that you can completely do away with blood pressure medications.

Still, in virtually every case where it’s been used to counteract high blood pressure, it has been shown to be effective.

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Growing Marijuana Outdoors

Getting started

The first thing to consider when growing marijuana outdoors is the location. The chosen location must have proper sunlight and sufficient warmth to assist in the growth and development of the plants.

H2O is another essential of course. When considering growing, make sure to think about how dry the climate is.

What to grow?

There are several different types of marijuana varieties to consider when planting. The most common types are Sativa and Indica. There’s also a huge variety of hybrid options to consider as well.

Sativa plants are generally taller and heavier while Indica plants are shorter and denser.

Feminine seeds VS regular seeds

This small point can have an enormous impact on marijuana plants. There are big differences between feminized seeds and regular seeds. Regular seeds produce some male cannabis flowers, which are identifiable by their small banana shape.

Male plants are not harvestable and can actually damage the crop by fertilizing female plants. Feminized seeds produce all-female plants, so make sure to look out for these when buying seeds.Growing Marijuana Outdoors vs Indoor

Reaping the harvest

Most marijuana growers harvest their plants too early, when the tiny droplets of resin on the flowers turn color from clear or cloudy, to amber. If harvested too soon, the buds will not have the full potency of ripened flower clusters.

If harvested too late, there’s a risk of oxidizing the THC component. If oxidation takes place, the marijuana plant will go bad and could cause users to feel nauseated or quite sick. So it’s better to harvest a little early rather than a little late.

Once the flower clusters are harvested, they need to be cured carefully or they could mold and lose potency. Curing should be done in small batches, hanging buds on racks to dry, and then stored in Mason jars to retain potency.

Important Factors

  • The potency of the strain can help determine which varietal to grow
  • Ensure the plants have enough UV lighting and warmth
  • Make sure they are protected from scavengers like rabbits and deer
  • Be aware of the weather: obviously growing marijuana outdoors exposes plants to more danger than indoor growing because they are subject to the whims of weather. A sudden frost or prolonged drought can spell disaster for the crop

How to combat challenges

  • Use seeds that are hardier and more resistant to pests
  • To minimize the effects of frost, place special pots outside to generate warmth to push off cold temperatures

Once you’ve successfully grown and harvested your first crop of marijuana, you’ll be able to start refining your process, and grow plants that get better and better.