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THE ORIGINAL CANNABIS NEWSPAPER FOR GROWERS AND SMOKERS, SINCE 1985

ISSUE 1 2011 18+ For adults only. Soft Secrets is published six times a year by Discover Publishers USA, Inc.

In this issue:

Medical Marijuana Doctor ›› 31 HOW TO MAKE WATER HASH To make water hash, we use a method which utilizes ice cold water to loosen the THC crystals from the leaf trimmings or buds, and then separate them with the use of two sieves. One sieve lets the crystals through and keeps the leaf material out, while the other sieve catches the crystals and lets the water through. The process is similar to that used by a ‘skuff machine’, better known as a pollinator. Making water hash is work-intensive but the quality of the product is very high. ››

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Using a deck of playing cards, let’s take a look at some principles of basic Mendelian genetics. Breeders solitaire ›› 38 GROWING MEDICINE FOR FREE The The plants shown in this article were all grown for free. The freedom that this involves will form the basis of this Medicinal Marijuana report. The only thing that was not free during this process was time. Otherwise all of the physical and material aspects of cultivation were free. ››

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In this series for the organic grower each issue will feature another weed farmer from the Netherlands. This time it is the turn of Arthur ›› 8

FROM THE EDITOR

Welcome to new readers and old fans of Soft Secrets! Dear American friends. What you now hold in your hands is the brand-new American edition of the world’s largest and most successful Cannabis publication. It’s free to anyone over the age of 18 and will unlock the secrets of the international Cannabis industry. This will be your new favorite pot publication! With so many weed magazines floating around these days, how do you choose which to read? Perhaps you’re only a smoker for now, but want to learn more; or, as with many gardeners around the world, you simply wish to keep up with the latest cultivation techniques. We’ve made the choice easy for you here at Soft Secrets HQ in Amsterdam by introducing an American installment of our international family of publications. Never before have US growers had such unlimited access to all the latest innovations of the world-wide Cannabis industry, brought to you from the birthplace of the movement. Back in 1985 (!), Soft Secrets NL was offered to the Dutch public for the first time, a stapled ‘zine version of the full-color, professional Cannabis newspaper that has taken over the world. Perfectly complementing the inaugural

indoor hybrids of the decade, Dutch growers finally had all the information they needed in one convenient place. Demand, however, was increasing. In 2002 Soft Secrets UK was saturating England, educating the Brits on Dutch techniques and paving the way for

many more language versions: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish, and Czech. Each country’s industry has its own unique aspects, so Soft Secrets covers content relevant to readers in their own particular region. As information Continues on page 3



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FROM THE EDITOR Continued from front page spreads, so does interest, and European growers always scramble around their home towns in an effort to grab the freshest copy of Soft Secrets from their local grow shops. For years, readers from all over the globe have depended upon us to deliver dozens of pages of detailed product descriptions, international and local Cannabis news, improved cultivation techniques and equipment, grow shop reviews, strain guides, medical updates, legislation changes, hemp innovations and much, much more. Our contributors keep a vigilant eye on the Cannabis industry all over the world, delivering the freshest and most relevant information to you, our loyal fans.

Power Flower is a highly popular commercial strain. Easy, quick and reliable. This variety is suitable for indoor and outdoor grows and does extremely well in good soil, but once planted in a hydroponics set-up, Power Flower will just explode with buds and THC. Mostly indica, Power Flower has a sativa influence which energizes her effect adding a nice high to an incredibly powerful body stone. Power Flower is perfect for beginners and a dream come true for professionals. Power Flower produces reliable, heavy yields (up to 150 gr. per plant! ) of very dense, sticky buds. All in all, a Winner! Genetic background: Height: THC: Flowering time: Yield: Harvest outdoor: Photo: Royal Queen Seeds

Indica dominant with sativa influence 100 – 140 cm. around 15% 7 to 8 weeks ± 500 gr per M2 start of October

Flower Power

Now growers, activists and enthusiasts in the USA have access to the same professional advice in one convenient newspaper. As legislation relaxes around the United States, more and more people are seeking an honest, reliable and authoritative source of information regarding anything and everything related to our favorite plant. Due to our Dutch and European connections,

the Soft Secrets empire has become the world’s largest and most successful Cannabis publication, famous among the most important seed banks and industry giants. We are able to supply you with the most intimate interviews, detailed reviews and specialized guidance from your heroes and mentors, tailored to educate all levels of experience and interest. At Soft Secrets USA, we understand just how tense and stressful clandestine cultivation can become. In order to keep things light, you’ll also find music reviews, competition results from around the world, festival and parade highlights, comics and more. Contact your local compassion clubs, grow shops and garden centers to receive your free copy of Soft Secrets USA. If you can’t find it, free downloads of the entire archive are available on our website. So welcome American readers, happy reading and let’s keep things green! The Soft Secrets team, Amsterdam ›› www.softsecrets.nl

IN THIS ISSUE: Welcome new readers

1

FROM THE EDITOR

Page 3 girl

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STRAIN REPORT

A note on self-medication

5

MEDICINAL

CMCR Center for Medicinal Cane

6

MEDICINAL

Arthur and his black outdoor weed 8

MADE IN HOLLAND

The Attitude Seedbank

10

INTERVIEW

DIY: Water Hash

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DO IT YOURSELF

Soil and Hydroponic Gardening

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SERIOUS GARDENING

Mountain High

16

PRODUCT FLASH

Landrace genetics

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INTERNATIONAL GROWERS

Nirvana Seeds

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INTERVIEW

Easy bud

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GROW WITH STEVE & DAWN

Column: Wernard

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PROFILE

DNA Genetics

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SHOW REVIEW

Growing medicine for free

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MEDICINAL

Medical Marijuana Doctor

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MEDICINAL

Detoxification: Clean Up Your Act

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BACKGROUND

DP Jorges Diamond

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STRAIN REPORT

Rudalis

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GENETIC BACKGROUND

Breeder’s Solitaire

38

GROW REPORT

A stoned selection

41

MUSIC

Dear Soft Secrets

42

FROM OUR READERS

Happy in the haze

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COMIC

Colofon

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FROM THE EDITOR



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THE SATIVA DIVA

A Note on Self-Medication Currently, over two-dozen states in the US are upholding some type of pro-pot legislation, and many people are experiencing the myriad therapeutic effects of Cannabis for the first time. While safe access and the removal of punitive policies towards medi-weed users are becoming appropriate and understandable priorities for those in the medical industry, not much has been said in the mainstream regarding self-administration. With the advent of relaxed legislation and attempts by several states to actually distribute medical Cannabis, one concern is that some might feign an ailment in order to illegally gain access to a legal prescription; another is that some patients – whether ganja veterans or rookies – might incorrectly dose themselves, perhaps worsening their condition (not to mention striking a blow to the legalization effort). At present, more folks than ever are aware of the potential relief that Cannabis can bring to those suffering from multiple sclerosis, arthritis, AIDS wasting syndrome, asthma and many more. Unfortunately there are other health issues, such as migraine headaches or Alzheimer’s, that are not as straightforward when it comes to medical Cannabis treatment. Although one thing is usually agreed upon throughout medical Cannabis literature: if

texts, thousands of medical journals on the internet, your local compassion club and even some grow shops. For medical patients in any degree of discomfort or poor health, smoking is definitely counter-productive. One downside of this is that inhaled Cannabis delivers much more immediate relief for certain ailments, such as asthma. The most effective and health-conscious way to inhale Cannabis, therefore, is through a vaporizer. Technically aromatherapy with weed, vaporizers heat the plant product to a range of between 356º and 428ºF, releasing the essential oils (cannabinoids) from within their shiny trichome membranes in steam form, instead of smoke. The trichomes, or resin glands, grow on pistillate structures on female Cannabis flowers, protecting her from winged pred-

ONE THING IS USUALLY AGREED UPON THROUGHOUT MEDICAL CANNABIS LITERATURE: IF A PATIENT GETS ‘HIGH’ OR ‘STONED’, THERAPY IS BY-PASSED AND THE REALM OF OVERDOSING IS REACHED a patient gets ‘high’ or ‘stoned’, therapy is by-passed and the realm of overdosing is reached. That is to say that any time a user achieves this altered state or in fact simply becomes aware of the psychoactive effects taking hold, medicine is no longer the priority as too much has already been consumed. If recreational use is what you’re looking for, that’s fine. In order for the medical industry to continue gaining credibility and positive press, however, all Cannabis users must make an effort to promote healthy and informed selfmedication, to whatever degree possible. For unseasoned users, a smaller amount is often prescribed; whereas with recreational smokers who may be used to quite strong products a more aggressive approach can be taken. A good rule to follow is that the therapeutic effects of Cannabis are easier to build upon, but more difficult to dilute if too much is administered. If this should happen, sugar water or fruit juice often brings sobriety back in a timely manner, although caffeinated beverages should be avoided in order to not compound any negative effects. Much information on this subject can be found via hundreds of scientific

ators and producing plant toxins that have allowed the plant to survive and evolve over the millennia. While male Cannabis flowers, or pollen sacs, also produce staminate trichomes, the drug content for which weed has become famous is distinctly lacking, leaving the male plants relegated to waiting for a breeder to introduce some females so that new seeds can be made. Female Cannabis flowers vary widely in coloring, size, smell, taste and effect, but the majority tend to resemble the ‘buds’ or ‘nuggets’ for which the drug is known. Those paying close attention will notice that when smoking high quality pot, two distinct effects can be achieved: the heavy, stony indica type and the floaty, cerebral high of the sativa varieties. (More on the differences between these two can be found throughout the pages of Soft Secrets USA.) While a doctor should always be consulted before beginning treatment, enough patients have received relief for hundreds of symptoms over thousands of years, laying a foundation for modern Cannabis therapy. Sativa strains tend to be prescribed to those suffering from ailments

in need of bronchial dilation, anti-emetic properties (anti-nausea) or pain relief; while the indica varieties provide muscle relaxation, seizure and spasm control and sleep aid. Since such a distinct effect is often required or desired for different ailments, and due to the individuality of each patient, dosage and strains will vary widely by case. Careful, notated experimentation is often the only way for each person to find what works for them, although over the years other patients have provided feedback that is now helping those in the medical community with this difficult task. Since smoking is bad for anyone, healthy or otherwise, and the vaporizer sometimes delivers the opposite therapeutic effect than required, ‘space’ cakes and tea have also secured a permanent slot in the medical Cannabis world. Grow room trimmings are reduced into butter, resulting in a big batch of green, refrigerated medicine that can be baked into a cake or separated into doses for freezing. Eating pot takes a lot longer – twenty minutes to three hours – before the impact is noticed or felt, making space products a slightly less-predictable (and controllable) method of consuming medi-weed. As with any method of ingestion, only the highest quality and cleanest-grown products should be used, especially as the cooking process for space butter can leach leftover chemicals from the vegetable matter. Anyone who has ever eaten too much space cake can tell you that there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, other than to think happy thoughts and perhaps sleep it off. Those are trauma tales from the recreational realm. If you’re eating space products medically, perhaps to help with fibromyalgia or epilepsy, then obviously getting stoned isn’t a priority. Small pieces of cake, cookies or whatever else you can make should be consumed, up to several times a day, according to each individual patient’s needs. There is absolutely no point in using too much medicine; moderation is the key.

How to Make Space Tea: Simmer one gram of ground Cannabis in one liter (ca. two pints) of water for 15 minutes. Do not boil; this releases the chlorophyll and/or growing chemicals and turns the tea green and bitter. Add chamomile, mint or other tea to adjust/improve the flavor. Mix in some type of fat to release the medicinal properties; i.e. whole milk, butter, heavy cream. Soy alternatives are also possible. Dosage, depending upon ailment, is usually between one and three small cups per day, or until the desired effect is achieved. Store tea in an air-tight container for several days in the refrigerator. If tea turns opaque or cloudy, discard.

In many space recipes it is often considered ‘normal’ to incorporate up to one gram of weed butter per slice of cake, but if the product is highly concentrated then less is required. Almost daily new advances are being made in both the cultivation and medical industries, leading to better and stronger Cannabis medicines. Between the active spread of medical information across the globe, and perhaps the popularity of cooking and baking shows on television, these days the possibilities are endless. However you decide to medicate, remember that Cannabis is a drug, however natural. And just because the plant itself is natural doesn’t mean that it’s always grown organically. Always get your medicine from a trusted source, and make sure to educate yourself as much as possible. Of course, a doctor should always be consulted before electing to try new therapies.


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BACKGROUND

CMCR Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research If you’re looking for scientific proof that Cannabis is a viable medicine for dozens, if not hundreds, of ailments, then look no further. The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in California has compiled hard biochemical evidence that medi-weed is a valid therapy for many sick patients. In addition, they conduct their own studies exploring the safety and efficacy of Cannabis and its related compounds, plus alternative means of administration. In order to most thoroughly examine the issue, the CMCR also collaborates on scientific medical research with experts in state- and Federal experiments, as well as The Sativa Diva those of academic institutions.

listed, Dr. Donald P. Tashkin. For over three decades he strove to uncover a definite link between smoking Cannabis and lung cancer, and was certain of its existence. A pulmonologist for UCLA, Tashkin was partially funded by the NIDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to permanently seal the fate of legal weed in America. If he had succeeded, not only would the War on Drugs have experienced vindication, but any efforts to legalize or distribute medical Cannabis would have been crushed under likely even more punitive policies.

Imagine you are a medical patient experiencing the positive therapeutic effects of Cannabis for the first time. Unless the doctor in question is the one prescribing the weed, you may have a difficult time even being permitted to speak about the subject during medical check-ups. These days, some experienced medi-weed users are insisting that their doctors hear their feedback, and are pro-actively researching their ailments and bringing along the backing scientific evidence to support their claims.

The largest of its kind ever to be successfully completed, Marijuana Use and the Risk of Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancers: Results of a PopulationBased Case-Control Study permanently dispelled the notion that Cannabis smoke is carcinogenic, although no one will argue that smoking does not lead to other respiratory complications, such as chronic

Much literature exists in the way of patient testimonies regarding the plant’s efficacy; however, many people still believe that the science has yet to catch up. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, which acts as a database for scientific studies assessing ‘the safety and accuracy of’ Cannabis and its related products from a medical and biochemical perspective. The CMCR website is no trouble to navigate and the articles are relatively easy to understand, compared to Cannabis entries in certain medical databases that ten years ago were the only commonly-used sources of information. Fully accessible to the public, completed studies are provided as PDF downloads, including such titles as: Effects of Medicinal Cannabis on CD4 Immunity in AIDS, Effects of Cannabis Therapy on Endogenous Cannabinoids, Short-Term Effects of Cannabis Therapy on Spasticity in MS and many more. Studies that are currently active or ongoing are also noted on the site, such as The Analgesic Effect of Vaporized Cannabis on Neuropathic Pain in Spinal Cord Injury. It’s important to keep your research current, as previously unknown positives and negatives of Cannabis therapy are constantly being discovered. In comparison with the thousands of years the plant has existed on this planet, the amount that even scientists concretely know about the chemical workings of it is relatively low. Luckily, with more progressive legislation sweeping across the United States, it’s become evident that thorough medical

research is a modern necessity, and longheld theories are being proven to be fact. If you need background information on or are suffering from a specific ailment, or simply wish to see how the relevant therapy and information has changed throughout the years, a portion of the website is dedicated to discontinued studies. While

Cannabis world, thanks in large part to the internet. In addition, groups or organizations with a more political or pharmaceutical slant can also benefit from other information provided by the CMCR. Some of the studies on their website can be used as a policy template or guide, due to the detailed coverage of legislation relating to topics such as bureaucracy surrounding scientific studies on controlled substances. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and FDA (Food & Drug Administration) regulations are supplied in an effort to clarify the guidelines and restrictions by which all US researchers and scientists must abide. In light of the progress of whole-plant part medicines like Sativex, Investigational New Drug (IND) applications are being obtained from within the Cannabis community at a growing rate. Links to proper procedures and relevant info can be found here, as the CMCR attempts to make it easier for legal issues to be predicted and avoided. If any further clarity is needed, the DEA Controlled Substances Act is also accessible by a single click of the mouse. In our modern times there is almost no excuse to be ignorant when it comes to medical Cannabis, especially due to recent

IT’S IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR RESEARCH CURRENT, AS PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF CANNABIS THERAPY ARE CONSTANTLY BEING DISCOVERED some of these articles may sound familiar – Treating Chemotherapy-Induced Delayed Nausea with Cannabinoids, Cannabis in Combination with Opioids for Cancer Pain: A Pilot Study – others merely reveal just how much the average user doesn’t know about alternative applications of therapeutic Cannabis. Read, for example, the study on Cannabinoids in Fear Extinction. It is often possible to learn more about your own condition by reading up on others, so the variety of articles provided on the site is more helpful than perhaps it seems at first glance.

bronchitis. Tashkin fully expected to prove definitively that Cannabis causes cancer; however, he and his colleagues not only found ‘no association’ between the two, but revealed an actual ‘protective effect’ that the THC provided. Apparently the much-loved chemical compound acts as a sort of anti-tumor agent, where ‘cells die earlier before they age enough to develop mutations that might lead to lung cancer.’ It is favorable and promising research such as this that has turned former opponents like Grinspoon and Tashkin into legalization supporters over the decades.

Access to dozens of scientific reports is a major advantage of the CMCR compilation, and both traditionally pro- and anti-Cannabis organizations are equally represented. Peruse titles from authors as varied as the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids in Human Therapeutics (CCIC) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research also supports the publication of other scientific reports, many of which are investigated in conjunction with the MD’s and PhD’s acting as CMCR directorates, coordinating core, scientific review board and national advisory council. The latter includes Dale Gieringer, PhD (CA NORML) and Lester Grinspoon, MD, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, noted author and proponent of Cannabis medicines.

The CMCR functions as a one-stop online shop for research and studies at this level of significance and academic authority. Activism and education have become much easier and more accessible in the

Interestingly enough, a link to one of the most infamous threats to Cannabis legalization – the cancer question – is also

advances regarding legalization (Prop. 19 aside). There is no longer any such thing as ‘just a smoker’; we all have a responsibility to proceed in a respectful and knowledgeable fashion towards our goal of Cannabis as a mainstream medication. With organizations such as the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, it’s now easier than ever to get involved and informed, at any level.

›› www.cmcr.ucsd.edu ›› cmcr@ucsd.edu Address: Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research 220 Dickinson Street, Suite B Mail Code 8231 San Diego, CA 92103-8231 (619) 543-5024



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MADE IN HOLLAND

Arthur and His Black Outdoor Weed In this series for the organic grower each issue will feature another weed farmer from the Netherlands. This time it is the turn of Arthur, a 38-year-old bricklayer from a region around Nijmegen, in the south of the country. Not under the rays of an artificial light, but in the full glory of sunlight. He shares his outdoor expeText & Photos by Smiley Grass riences here with Soft Secrets… “The biggest difference between growing weed outdoors and growing it indoors is, of course, that you can only harvest your crop once in a year. It is, in principle, anxious work because the closer you get to the harvest period the more nervous you become. (I’m not just talking about myself, practically half the village does.) That mostly comes from the light aircraft that sometimes fly so low that you can read the badges of the national police force members inside. They know everything and brought everything under their surveillance by photographing the entire district. We have a little bit of luck on our side. We mostly grow Double Powerplay (Double Purple) and this is much harder to recognize from the sky as a weed plant. For as long as it lasts, at least. We can always hang artificial roses among the plants as it gets close to harvest time. Growing weed outdoors is, in itself, not a source of great stress. You put the plants in and you then have pretty much nothing more to bother about. So long as you prepared the soil in advance a bit, to get things just to your plants’ liking. The real work starts again in autumn: the harvesting, the drying and the trimming. You have to keep a close watch on the weather and the various weather stations during autumn. Once I almost lost a complete harvest because mold struck, thanks to the [humidity] being too high. The plant comes in nature from areas where the autumn is warm and dry; whilst here we often have to contend with a damp and cold autumn. That is precisely the opposite. You have a much greater chance of mold infection here, and if it does strike you have to harvest immediately. That is the disadvantage of outdoor weed. It can happen that you have to harvest before the crop really hasn’t fully ripened. You’ve got to... [or] else everything will just rot away. Then you end up with not such good quality. You are always dependent on nature. Last summer was a really lovely one, but the end of summer and autumn were great too. These are the kind of conditions that lead to marvelous, ripe weed. But we do still get bad years and then the weight of the weed is negligible.

my eyes, the variety with the best resistance to all kinds of sickness. The result is always perfect and above all it is a plant that you can harvest before most other varieties; it’s ready by the end of September, mid-October or even later. I find it better than any other variety and I have tried quite a few in the 20 years that I have been growing. One other big difference to growing indoors is the large quantity that needs drying and trimming all at the same time. People who try and raise a field of weed for the first time outdoors underestimate this part of the process. If it is the first time you have planted outdoors, my advice is, try not to grow more than 50 plants. Some people begin with a couple of hundred or more. Then when it comes to harvest time, they discover what a huge amount of painstaking work is involved.

Harvesting Come harvest time, first of all we remove the crown buds, so that the side buds can still spend a bit more time ripening. Before we start hanging them up to dry, we pluck the large leaves off. Actually, this part is a really social bit of the job. We set to work in

chance of rain – and the buds are already pretty well ripened – then I just gather them in. You should never bring your buds in if it is wet weather. If the buds are full of water then I guarantee that at least half of your harvest will rot. And this happens quickly; within just a couple of days it’ll be gone. If I think it’s going to be wet for a couple of days and they still need a short while, then I usually gamble, leaving it until a sunny period afterward. The last week of September [or] the first week of October are the most favorable weeks in which to harvest. When this time comes around, it is incredibly busy. Then the whole village is busy trimming. I don’t just check to see if the little hairs are already brown, but also whether the seed cases are ripe. If the Purple has been allowed to really ripen well, then I reckon there is not better outdoor weed around. Then it can be almost black. I ‘do not know’ exactly what the percentage of sativa and indica this variety contains. That is a secret that the breeder (of the original) let me in on.

We are also [experiencing a] problem with industrial-scale weed. This is going to be the biggest single problem in the future. A couple of villages down the road have got [several acres of] this industrial stuff. Despite being a good six miles or so away, we can notice it here. Sometimes when there is a south-easterly wind blowing, several fields here in this area get pollinated by the male pollen. It just has to blow once in the wrong direction and your plants end up only producing seed. In Eindhoven and even as far as Den Bosch they’re having to deal with this. The weed is no longer sell-able, there’s so much seed in it. We are the only growers who so far have managed to stay reasonably seed-free.

Theft in the Industry

The Soil

What you also have to take account of when growing outdoors is the theft of your almost-ripe buds. We had a lot of trouble with this in [this past season]. When we began here growing outdoor weed, only the people in the immediate vicinity knew about it. But in the ‘weed world’ it often goes that as soon as a few people know that weed is being grown somewhere,

Location is really important... in Holland. Where we live happens to be really good. We are located on sandy ground, on the moraine of a prehistoric glacier. It is a sandy spit with a layer of loam under it. That sand has the same structure, composition and deficiencies as the plant is used to in nature. Actually, it is heath land. Once it was all heath here, but that has been

YOU SHOULD NEVER BRING YOUR BUDS IN IF IT IS WET WEATHER. IF THE BUDS ARE FULL OF WATER THEN I GUARANTEE THAT AT LEAST HALF OF YOUR HARVEST WILL ROT

Powerplay – especially the Double Powerplay – is sacred to us. This plant is, to

a large group... sometimes we have around 20 trimmers going at it at the same time. Having said that, I should point out that the last time we did have around 600 plants to get through. That was a bit over the top; it was also just a try-out. Thanks to the lovely autumn we were able to harvest in three slices. First the crown buds, and then working from the top downwards. It was simply a question of, each day, taking a walk through the field and snipping off only the ripe buds. As long as the weather allowed us to, at least. Just before the planned harvest I take a close look at the plants to see how ripe they are. The riper the better. I have been known to be dumb enough in the past as to harvest too early, but of course I do have to take account of the weather. If I hear on the forecast that there is expected to be a period of rain, with a week of 80-90%

“HOW TO MAKE WATER HASH”

“SOIL AND HYDROPONIC GARDENING: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?”

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hold of their weed from home.

then half the world soon knows it too. I’m talking mainly about people from the big cities... not just those around here, such as Windhoek, Nijmegen and Den Bosch, but people even make their way from Arnhem in to the countryside to take a look around and see if they can uncover a few fields. Then they return for the almost ripe buds. [Vacationers] from Amsterdam... are also involved in this. They only come here in the summer and spend their weekends sitting around on a camping site. This is something we never used to have to deal with, and we are getting a bit pissed off with it. Criminality goes up because of it. Out here in the sticks we want to keep the weed trade nice and relaxed, without any hassle. The kids from ‘round here do not go pinching buds. Their dads or moms often have a patch of their own, so they can get

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plowed up and made into agricultural land. It is, by nature, pretty infertile soil. When we plant new weed plants in the sandy soil, in a patch of earth where there have never previously been weed plants raised, then in the first year you should do nothing to it. Do not fertilize – nothing – and then the plant will always do [its] best. The worst thing in the whole growth cycle that you can encounter is that the soil becomes really dry, and that you have to give them water at the beginning. (On top of the nutrients present they also get a lot of nutrition out of the air.) We try to not give them any water at all. Only in the first two or three days, just until they get a good start. As soon as you can see that they are going to make it, don’t give them any more water; even if they look as if they might be a bit short, just let them get on with it because then they will be nice and

“GROWING MEDICINE FOR FREE” 28


9 busy sending out roots to go look for it. The deeper the better. This is what produces the loveliest plants. The roots go off in search [of water]; they are active and go deep into the ground. The main tap root gets into the loam layer, which is usually found at a depth of 20 to 30 inches. This loam has such a compact structure that water is trapped here for a long time. With many other soil types this is not the case, and water runs easily away, so that in a dry summer you are forced to give water to your plants. Luckily we have that loam layer, which works as a buffer. Loam is even finer than clay and has the same buffering qualities [regarding] nutrient salts. As well as this loam holds water for longer than clay, for example, or just sandy soil alone. Of course you don’t want too wet a summer though, otherwise the water has trouble running off. Then you get puddles lying around on the surface, and this is not good.

Clones I do not use seeds, only clones. [In the winter] we keep the mother plants in a greenhouse ‘round at a friend’s place, where we use extra light to create a constant 18 hours of sunlight each day. (They need that in order to be able to remain in the vegetative stage.) Also, then we know that soon after winter the whole field is going to be

it over your garden. Add a bit of lime and blood meal and you have the perfect soil. What I also use sometimes is Osmocote, a total fertilizer used in the garden industry that works for a good five months. This is a granule that lets its nutrients slowly dissolve, with nutrients in a 14-9-15 NPK ratio. It’s very good for using when making up the soil for tub-grown plants, for weed you want to grow on a balcony, for example. But not for indoor growing, because the majority of the nutrients will only become available when the indoor plant does not actually want any more nutrient, after eight weeks of bloom and shortly before harvest time. Nor should you use dry cow dung, not directly at least. It’s fine to use as a preparation for a nice garden next year... or for the years thereafter, because it will be a good five years before it has been totally removed from the soil. Then the fresh cow dung is actually a bit better for being taken up immediately thanks to the presence of urea (urine). The best option then is to mulch your garden in advance in order to avoid having to add extra nutrients during the growing process. Then you can pretty much leave the plants unattended for the whole summer. If you do it well, you will end up barely being able to squeeze through the plants, even with one plant per square yard (three feet

TAKE THE USED-UP SOIL FROM INDOOR GROW-OPS, EITHER BY YOU OR FRIENDS WHO GROW INDOORS, AND DUMP IT OVER YOUR GARDEN. ADD A BIT OF LIME AND BLOOD MEAL AND YOU HAVE THE PERFECT SOIL filled with female plants; we don’t need to do any further checks on them. At the end of the winter we clone the mother plants and at the same time make new mother plants. From these plants we eventually take the clones we need, as well as those [that] we share with a couple of other farmers. We plant these around midMay outdoors. If you want to grow for several years after each other in the same place then you have to make sure that the soil is adequately compensated. Your soil gets increasingly depleted of nutrients so you have to process the soil and enrich. The best way is actually the classic way, fresh cow dung spread over your growing patch before the beginning of winter. I am fortunate in having a stall with a few goats, chickens and pot-bellied pigs. I mix their manure up with some bird guano that I get from a couple of friendly pigeon enthusiasts, and then just leave it to ferment. Preferably for three years, so that it breaks down nicely. You have to look at it as everything that [you] fertilize today is not going to do its good work until a year later. That changes the structure and the biological life of the soil. The ground becomes more grainy, and just better for the purpose we have in mind. Another possibility is to take the used-up soil from indoor grow-ops, either by you or friends who grow indoors, and dump

by three feet). Just let nature take her course. After the harvest I, first of all, leave the ground to rest for a while and just do nothing. In November [or] December I rake it totally clean and spread some manure around.... Preferably I’ll leave the roots from the previous crop in the ground too, for the nitrogen, but because of the annoyance of legal evidence we no longer do that. In the spring I give the soil a good turningover. Then it is clear how nice and granular and healthy it is. Sometimes I toss some pigeon guano around for the large quantities of lime it contains. That keeps the soil nice and neutral. The majority of weed farmers – if they want to go the ‘whole hog’ and really do things right – spread calf manure, cow manure and horse manure together. Everything from a dairy farm. My brother also experimented for a couple of years with digging rabbit droppings into his garden. His plants were more than ten feet high! Thanks to the high concentration of nitrates they shot up like rockets. We had to saw them down! ([Unfortunately] the buds also grew upwards into the air and so the eventual harvest was, sadly, no bigger than usual.)

Pots For pots on balconies in the city it is, of course, a bit harder to make use of the pungent ‘brown gold’ from a dairy farm. So too, guano – whether Peruvian seagull poop or bat shit – can stink quite badly when it

is used. In order to fill your pots you can [most] easily use the complete mixes from the grow shop, or even put together your own recipe based on compost made for geraniums. [Other options are] a compost that you dilute by a couple of percent with clay mixed into it, or an ordinary compost with clay and some lime mixed in, to get a neutral pH of 6.8 to 7.0. In order to get relatively good plants then the [capacity] of the pots must be of 20 liters (5.3 gallons) or more. ‘The bigger the better’ also applies in this case. A cement tub is ideal. Do make sure that whatever size you use... has good drainage by, for example, filling the base with hydro-granules or perlite. Your babies will not like wet feet at all. They don’t like it in the countryside and they won’t like it at your place in the city, either. Double Powerplay is actually... very easy [to clone], certainly when grown in soil. Particularly with clones, the plant reacts better to soil than rock wool. The rooting takes place twice as fast. (Certainly, when there’s a dry springtime you can run into problems when using rock wool, because the moisture from the rock wool is sucked into the soil rather than vice-versa.) What’s more, the plants just take off... which can quickly make up a week’s difference. It’s as if the rock wool plant has difficulty in getting used to the soil. You can get very nice clones off the mother plant, but sadly not many of them. I prefer to plant the clones in the wind. Between the rows in maize (Indian corn) fields is ideal. Both the planting and the harvesting of the maize take place at the same time as the weed. By the constant movement of the wind, the roots develop a good firm grip and you get a nice sturdy plant. The plants are woodier, and it does look as if they are better able to fight off diseases as a result. An additional advantage is that the plants, especially in

spring, have all their moisture dried off them thanks to the blowing of the wind through and around them. This of course gives mold less chance of establishing a foothold.

Yield The yield varies. If the plants stay short, are put in late and the summer is a bit dry throughout, then you have to reckon on about 6.4 to 7 oz. per plant. That is actually very poor. But if everything works well during the summer you can easily count on double that. I reckon 17.6 oz. a plant is possible, certainly if you give the plants a bit of space. At the most one plant per 1.2 square yards, but preferably 1.8 square yards per plant. Actually it’s the same story when growing indoors. If you give them enough soil, it’ll turn out alright. The loveliest plant that I ever had gave me 26.5 oz. (ca. 1.7 lbs.) of fantastic weed. In general, you can reckon on – with a bit of knowledge and understanding of the soil and your garden – getting 14 oz. off each plant without any problem. On a balcony it is certainly possible to get 3.5 oz. per plant. At least if you take it a bit seriously, that is. But whatever the pot, tub or vat you choose to use, it can never be as marvelous as the yield you can get [from] growing in real earth. That has, I reckon, mostly to do with the moisture-holding qualities of the soil. You simply cannot imitate that. The self-regulation of the plant is maximized by this ability. The best thing you can do is take a sample of the soil in your garden – before you are due to set out on your grand, weedgrowing adventure – and have it analyzed at a laboratory in order to know how things sit in your garden and what you can expect in the coming years. Not everyone is so fortunate as to have such good soil in their plot. Now there is something I believe we have been very lucky with.”


10

INTERVIEW

GOT ATTITUDE?

The Attitude Seed Bank If you’re a grower (at any level of proficiency) and aren’t yet familiar with The Attitude Seed Bank, then you’ve got some catching up to do. Luckily, just in time for the charter issue of Soft Secrets USA, proprietor Keith was more than willing to introduce himself and explain just how his company – with 1,500 varieties from over 80 brands – became the largest seed bank in the world. The Sativa Diva What makes someone quit his job and decide to create the world’s largest collection of Cannabis genetics? Three-anda-half years ago, working in occupied Baghdad was more than enough reason for Keith to move back to the UK and create The Attitude Seed Bank. SSUSA asked him about the very moment that changed the lives of collectors looking for all the best strains in one place. During a much-needed respite from work in Baghdad, a friend offered him some weed. “It was Christmastime... we were sat on a roof, just me and this guy... I thought, why not? We weren’t doing any work because all of the teams [had] gone home... I thought to myself, enough’s enough. It’s a dangerous place; I’ve got to get out at some point. “So I said to myself, what business can I get into? And because I obviously enjoyed smoking... I thought, well, why not open a seed company?” If only it were that easy. “I came back to the UK and basically started from there, in my bedroom,” he recalls. “People are very discriminative towards people who... sell seeds or have anything to do with the word Cannabis. People suddenly start judging you.” Naturally, legality is an ever-present issue, still frustrating for seed banks in the UK despite the seeds themselves actually being legal. Different laws in different countries complicate the problem. Keith adds, “It’s a very difficult industry to be in, in that sense.” It’s not the responsibility of international seed banks to confirm that customers are allowed to possess or purchase their products. “We can’t be responsible for people

Now graduated into a proper professional space, a staff of 15 extremely helpful and cheerful people provides support regarding telephone queries and emailed orders. Each order is checked promptly and personally and each customer is treated as a valued individual, belying the stereotype that everyone in the Cannabis industry is just interested in profit. This respectful approach to a sensitive business is what has propelled The Attitude towards the top in such a short period of time. Keith proudly reminds us, “We are the world’s biggest seed bank; there isn’t anybody who even comes close to us at the moment, and it’s going to stay that way. I mean, we are a very new company but... the difference when dealing with us is that our primary focus is our customers, which in turn we believe has resulted in us being the best seed bank.”

“You always want to have original seeds... and basically a large proportion now is going auto-flowering. New technology gets placed into these seeds; new

WE ARE THE WORLD’S BIGGEST SEED BANK; THERE ISN’T ANYBODY WHO EVEN COMES CLOSE TO US AT THE MOMENT, AND IT’S GOING TO STAY THAT WAY Orders from almost every country in the world are present in the company’s database, proving the necessity for such a comprehensive seed bank. Keith – nowadays a non-smoker – was never interested in the minimum-effort approach. “Initially I wanted to sell only the Cannabis Cup winners; that’s what I originally thought: I’ll only sell the finest genetics. After I met loads of different seed banks I realized... you can’t just narrow it down to one label’s genetics, or just the Cannabis Cup winners, because there’s so many great genetics out there. So we had to make the company bigger, and now we stock as many genetics

AFTER I MET LOADS OF DIFFERENT SEED BANKS I REALIZED...YOU CAN’T JUST NARROW IT DOWN TO ONE LABEL’S GENETICS, OR JUST THE CANNABIS CUP WINNERS, BECAUSE THERE’S SO MANY GREAT GENETICS OUT THERE who don’t follow their laws. Obviously we do our best for all our customers and we understand the difficulties people have, but we... have to leave it up to the customer to make the choice whether it’s legal for them and whether they’ve checked that before ordering; we cannot be held responsible for customers ordering from us despite the laws of their country, as laws vary.”

there will always be growers who prefer to stay with what works for them and their unique situation. The European seed companies have been around since

as possible because it gives people a greater variety. It’s got everything under one roof.” The extensive list of strains from the best seed companies in the world holds an irresistible draw; hours can be spent browsing the menus on The Attitude’s website. Trends in the Cannabis industry are changing constantly; conversely

the beginning of the home-growing movement, and folks deserve to have a seed bank that offers honest access to the strains that made quality Cannabis cultivation possible – and worthwhile. Due to relaxing Cannabis laws around the world strain collectors are also enjoying outdoor gardens, made possible by solid seed stock from labels that have had the benefit of years of experience and selection – especially the Dutch brands, now chased closely by the Spanish. Keith points out that due to the current trend “sales are slightly more on the indica side... ‘slightly’, but obviously an indica/sativa mix. We also have feminized seeds, which are very popular at the moment.” The Attitude also plans to continue flowing with the tides in the market, offering the most stable and reliable varieties out of the auto-flowering (crossed with ruderalis) corner of the industry. While much has been said about the quality and stability of both feminized- and auto-flowering seeds, Keith reminds us that his job is not to judge. The Attitude exists simply in order to provide access and variety, not necessarily to force opinions upon the customers who purchase their seeds. Besides, the first feminized and ruderalis hybrids have been replaced with much more careful crosses.

techniques in potency come in to play... it’s constantly evolving and things will always change. Auto-flowering is getting stronger, definitely.” The Attitude is an incredibly successful business, destined to go only upwards from here. Keith naturally had some helpful advice for anyone attempting to recreate his success with their own seed bank. “I’d say: get up at six o’clock every morning and get your ass in to work, and be prepared to finish late. Commitment, drive, ambition and a bit of hard work: it’s as simple as that. If you get passionate enough about anything, you’ll succeed.” ›› www.cannabis-seeds-bank.co.uk



12

DO IT YOURSELF

How to make water hash

To make water hash, we use a method which utilizes ice cold water to loosen the THC crystals from the leaf trimmings or buds, and then separate them with the use of two sieves. One sieve lets the crystals through and keeps the leaf material out, while the other sieve catches the crystals and lets the water through. The process is similar to that used by a ‘skuff machine’, better known as a pollinator. Making water hash is work-intensive but the quality of the product is very high. The most expensive hash you get offered in most Dutch coffee shops is usually the water hash. Water hash will get you high as a kite, rather By Bart B. than flat-out stoned. What we need to make water hash is a bucket with a volume of about 20 liters (4.4 gallons), a set of ice-o-lator bags or bubble bags, a food mixer, some leaf waste, ice cubes and ice-cold water. The colder the water the better, as the crystals more easily break loose when they are agitated. For that reason it is a good idea to put a few large plastic bottles filled with water into your freezer an hour and a half before you are set to make the water hash. Mind that you do not leave them in too long or the water will freeze. Fill the bucket with the ice cold water from your bottles, topping it up with ordinary tap water. Place the sieve with the smallest holes in first, as this is the one that will be catching your THC crystals, and then the sieve with the larger gauge. You can add some ice cubes now too to the water, then start adding your leaf trimmings, then throw some more ice cubes on top of these. The idea of the ice cubes is that they make the water as cold as possible so that the crystals that come into contact with them will more easily be knocked free of their vegetation. In fact, you probably don’t need the ice cubes if you can make sure that your bucket is about 80% full of water out of the freezer. This water is so cold it will hurt your hands if you keep them in it for more than 20 seconds. Ice cubes melt really quickly thanks to the churning of the food mixer and they will last longer if you use them in this way. We are now ready to start mixing. Since the mixing of the leaf trim will take a good hour and a half or more you need to build yourself a system whereby you can fix the mixer in place so that it can operate without you having to hold onto it the whole time. There are so many ways of doing this that I will not go into it in detail, except to say that whatever way you choose, make sure that the mixer is firmly kept in place. There are several attachments you can use for the mixing. Just make sure that the one you use does not have any sharp edges on it; an attachment you use for beating eggs or whipping cream is ideal. We just want to make sure that the crystals are beaten loose, not

that the vegetation is emulsified. If you let this happen you will pollute your hash, meaning it will be less pure. It is also worth noting to make sure that the speed of the mixer is set to slow or medium and not let it run on high speed. Once again, we are not aiming to beat the marijuana into a puree. By observing the color of the water you can see how large your yield is going to be. The darker gold-brown the water turns, the more crystals there are in it. By mixing for too long at too high a speed the chlorophyll from the leaves will be released and you’ll get a green coloration. In order to give the crystals that have been beaten free some time to settle and be caught, you are best off letting the mixer rest for a few minutes every half hour. If the mixer is running constantly you can get a suction effect that lifts the crystals back upwards to be mixed up with the leaf waste again. Your choice of bucket should preferably be a deep, elongated one so that the loose shaken crystals can sink deep enough so as not to be whisked back up once the mixer is switched on again. A broad, shallow bucket is not recommended; not that it will do any harm, just that it will take a lot longer to wait for the crystals to be gathered. The first time you make water hash will be a pleasure and an experience in itself. Just like a gold prospector you will taste the joy of hauling your sieve to the surface and beholding your treasure. But once the novelty has worn off it will become just another tedious chore that eats into your valuable time. That is why it is handy to rig up your mixer to a time switch that can be programmed with the number of minutes to run. With this you can set the mixer to switch itself off for a few minutes every half hour and then automatically switch itself back on to continue mixing. Then you do not have to rush back to your mixer every 30 minutes. But to reiterate: make sure that you have 100% confidence that the mixer is secure. After a period of time you will be ready to remove the sieve and harvest your


13 crystals. We take the first sieve – the one with the leaf trim in it – making sure that no leaf matter falls into the sieve with the crystals. Squeeze the majority of the moisture out of the vegetation and lay the sieve down gently somewhere clean and out of the way. We do not want to get the underside of the sieve covered in dirt or dust before we put it back in the water. Take the sieve with the crystals out and hold it up, with a firm grasp. All

Gently press the crystals together while they are in the sieve. You can use a hand towel or kitchen roll when doing this to absorb most of the remaining moisture out of the wet hash. Once this is done you can spread the sieve open on a clean surface of a nice, level table. We can now use a credit card or something similar to scrape the hash together into a single pile. Gently scrape together all the crystals from the sieve and press them once

SOME CANNABIS VARIETIES MAINTAIN THEIR TASTE WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN MADE INTO WATER HASH, WHILE OTHERS LOSE THEIR FLAVOR the water will slowly dribble out, but the crystals can slow down this drainage. To speed the process up you can hold the sieve bag with one hand and with the other, squeeze gently downwards on the sieve. After a couple of minutes most of the water will be out.

again with your bare hands to press out the excess water. To get every last drop of moisture out of the hash you can stick it in your freezer for a night. The next day all the moisture will be drawn out as a layer of ice on your water hash and this can simply be rubbed off.

The difficulties in making water hash are mostly to do with drying it out. I have noticed that if you just lay it out in the open the hash will become hard sooner. The really good quality water hash should easily become knead-able from the warmth of your hands or from sitting in your pocket for a short period of time. Even though the freezer has removed a lot of the moisture there is still some left in the hash. What works for me is to put the water hash I have in a plastic bag and let the remaining moisture evaporate, while especially in the first few days, opening the plastic bag and wiping away the damp before closing it again. In this way it can take up to a week before the bag gets damp again. Should you forget to open and wipe, then your water hash may become moldy. This is not really a problem if you smoke the hash within a week or two, but if you wish to store it for a longer period then you will need to keep a continuous check on it for

mold and even if the hash seems dry and smokable, bear in mind that there is still moisture in it that can result in mold damage when stored for a longer period. It will only take about a month – without exposure to a source of heat – before your water hash has fully lost all its moisture. So to wrap things up, various types of Cannabis make various types of water hash. Some Cannabis varieties maintain their taste when they have been made into water hash, while others lose their flavor. With one variety you can make better skuff and so should use a pollinator, and the other is better for water hash (some are good for both of course). It’s up to you to test things out for yourself, and do not forget the higher the quality of your leaf trimmings (i.e. the more THC in them), the higher your yield of hash will be! Good luck!


14

SERIOUS GARDENING

Soil and Hydroponic Gardening: What’s the Difference? As long as her roots are supplied with air, water and nutrients, Lady Cannabis is amazingly flexible as to the exact method of cultivation. All successful systems address these needs, but in slightly different ways. Grubbycup The difference between soil and hydroponic growing is more a matter of degree than a black and white line. On one extreme is a plant growing naturally on a hillside, on the other, a medium-less aeroponic system. Everything else lands someplace between the two. Nutrients are delivered as an ‘aqueous’ or water-based solution. Even if nutrients are

about as ‘soil’ or ‘bio-’ as you can get. Light, air, nutrients and water are either naturally occurring, or the plant dies. One advantage to human intervention is that if one of the requirements is not naturally present it can be added to the system, dramatically expanding the range of possible planting locations. A tended garden grown outside benefits from additional nutrients, removal of competing plants and a regular watering schedule. As the initial nutrients are consumed they must be replaced, as the system does not generate fresh nutes (unless care is taken to do so by composting or otherwise fertilizing). Outdoor container plants benefit from a more controlled environment, but in return are more dependent on human intervention to survive.

A DWC SYSTEM CAN BE AS SIMPLE AS ADDING AN AIR LINE TO THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION FOR AERATION. BECAUSE THE SOLUTION IS NOT SITTING STAGNANT – AND AIR IS REINTRODUCED – DWC SET-UPS CAN HOLD MORE NUTRIENT SOLUTION THAN PASSIVE SYSTEMS supplied directly as a solid (e.g., sprinkled on top of the medium), water acts as the transmission agent to the roots. The plants have to have some form of moisture available to them, and how the moisture is made available to the plant varies from system to system. Damp medium (soil or rock wool), direct contact – as in an NFT or DWC environment, or misting in an aeroponic rig are all ways to make moisture available to the plant roots. Air is another necessity that the roots require; again, the exact method depends on the technique used. Soil growers allow the soil to dry slightly, keeping the medium from staying too wet for too long. Hydroponic systems sometimes allow the roots to breathe through this same method, or by adding air to the nutrient solution. Air pumps and air stones are a popular method of aerating nutrient solutions. The root system must have access to both air and water. Similar to a human throat, too much water and too little air causes drowning; too much air and too little water causes dehydration. In both cases, slight dehydration is a less traumatic experience than a slight drowning. While you are adjusting the watering schedule, erring on the side of too dry is better than accidentally making the plants too wet.

Soil A plant growing naturally in the ground – receiving resources from its environment without human intervention – is

tain proper aeration, only a day or two’s worth of nutrient solution should be used, and the medium should be very airy – or allowed to dry slightly before adding more solution. Most hand-watered systems use a variation of this principle. The principle uses capillary action to draw the water up; although, in practical applications, occasionally watering the top of the medium to introduce new solution is recommended to help flush the medium itself. The total amount of water in the system must synchronize with the plant’s usage, so that water is not allowed to stand long enough for the dissolved oxygen to disperse and start to become anaerobic.

Active hydroponics uses some sort of mechanical force. On one end of the scale is an ‘ebb and flow’ system, which introduces large quantities very quickly, alternated with periods of no access to solution. On the opposite end is an aeroponic system that uses a small amount of nutrient solution continuously, without any break in the application cycle.

This is an excellent method for beginners to use: simply fill a pot with your chosen medium (such as perlite), set in a tall dish or ‘1020’ tray and water by hand with a hydroponic nutrient solution, as needed. For the price of some growing medium – and a couple of bottles of fertilizer – you can try a simple passive hydroponic system without making a large financial commitment.

Roots grown in hydroponic medium

When moving indoors plants that naturally grow outdoors, some choose to bring a little pocket of soil with them. Growing plants in pots of soil is a very common traditional method. There are benefits to this: pots of soil buffer against changes; the plants have a very natural root support structure and the method is a familiar medium to many. This is commonly referred to as being a soil grow, but once the nutrients in the medium are used up, it functions very similar to a hydro grow. As the plant’s root system replaces the medium in the available space, adjusting the watering schedule to a more traditionally hydroponic one can mitigate some of the ill effects of plants becoming rootbound, although extra care must be taken to prevent over- or under watering.

Active Hydroponics

Perlite and potting soil in fabric grocery bags

In a passive hydroponic system, media should be kept moist, but not soggy.

Hydroponic gardening Passive? Active? Film? Deep-? Aero-? Once the basic principles are understood, there is a dizzying array of ways to implement them. There are many variations on each method. When considering your own hydroponic system, keep in mind that the system must supply both nutrient solution and air to the plants. Each hydroponic system meets these requirements in slightly different but related ways.

An indoor soil grow uses potting soil in pots.

Sprinklers spray plants from above, and are not well-suited for indoor gardens.

Passive Hydroponics In a passive hydroponic system the plant sits in the medium, and either the medium or a wick is in contact with the nutrient solution. Capillary action draws the solution to the roots as it dries. To main-

A passive hydroponic grow is very similar to a soil grow, and inexpensive to try.

Drip systems slowly deliver nutrient solution over a period of time.


15 Sprinklers: Nutrient solution sprays the top of the medium, soaking the root system. This is one of the most common methods, particularly for lawns. Timed sprinklers spray water or nutrient solution over

other systems. The spray can be difficult to control and these systems are more likely to over- or under water plants. Sprinklers deliver a fair amount of hydration over a brief period. Traditional sprinkler systems are not recommended for a home indoor

SPRINKLER SYSTEMS ARE OFTEN RUN TO WASTE (MEANING RUNOFF IS NOT RECOVERED) OR AS PART OF A RECIRCULATING SYSTEM the plants, which falls onto the medium and soaks down into the root system. Aeration is achieved by using fresh water and allowing the medium to partially dry before watering. Sprinkler systems are often run to waste (meaning runoff is not recovered) or as part of a recirculating system. They are inexpensive, but generally less exact than

grow, although some parts – such as timers – may be well-suited to adapting to other systems. Drip System: Nutrient solution is dripped from low-volume emitters over a longer period of time than sprinklers. In drip systems the nutrient solution is timed to either pump from the reservoir to low-volume drip emitters under pressure; or, water is pumped to an elevated

reservoir and gravity supplies the pressure. This can be either run to waste or as part of a recirculating system. The intent is to supply the nutrient solution in small amounts over a length of time. Aeration is regulated by the media used, the amount the medium is allowed to dry between nutrient applications and amount of air added to the solution. Drip systems are very popular not only for growing marijuana, but for home gardening in general.

The nutrient solution in a deep water culture must be well-aerated.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT): A low volume of nutrient solution is continuously applied to the roots. A nutrient film system functions much like a continual drip. The roots are constantly exposed to a thin film of aerated nutrient, or a mat continuously soaked with nutrient. Aeration needs are met by both using an aerated solution and exposing the roots above the film or mat.

Roots grown in DWC can be very pretty, and a good indicator of plant health.

Ebb and Flow: Roots are flooded in the nutrient solution, which is then removed to allow respiration.

In this model of a drip system, solution is pumped to drippers, which drain back to the reservoir.

In this drip system, solution was pumped to the upper reservoir twice a day; gravity fed drippers constantly watered the plants for several hours, while the solution drained back to the lower reservoir.

In a nutrient film system, a small quantity of solution is continuously circulated to the roots along a path.

Perlite and potting soil in fabric grocery bags

Ebb and flow systems are timed to pump the nutrient solution to the plants under pressure, and then allow the nutrient solution to recede or drain back to the nutrient tank. A timer controls the tempo. These systems supply a flood of solution in a very short length of time, in comparison to others. A well-aerated solution will help buffer minor over-watering. Deep Water Culture (DWC): A high volume of aerated nutrient solution is continuously available to the lower portion of the root system. A DWC system can be as simple as adding an air line to the nutrient solution for aeration. Because the solution is not sitting stagnant – and air is reintroduced – DWC set-ups can hold more nutrient solution than passive systems. These simple systems are sometimes referred to as ‘bubblers’. The plant is suspended above the nutrient solution, and the roots are allowed to dangle down. Since the bottoms of the roots are continuously submerged, care must be taken to allow the upper potions of the roots to have access to air, and the nutrient solution must stay well-aerated. Debate rages over how exactly how well-aerated the solution should be, since at the extreme end of aerated nutrient solutions are the aeroponic systems.

This plant is being grown in a waterfall using NFT principles. Fish waste in the pond fulfills the nutritional needs of the plant.

at all the available options. Soil is common, but tends to have the most insect issues. Hand watering works well for a few plants, but can become arduous if there are a large number of plants to be tended. Prefabricated systems are more expensive, but DIY systems tend to require more creativity and understanding of the principles involved. Aeroponic systems do make beautiful roots, but require continuous electrical usage with little tolerance for a power failure. What works best in one situation may not be the best in another. Find what works best for you, in your situation, and learn to make the most of it.

Aeroponic systems use the same basic principles as DWC, but instead of adding air to the solution, they spray the nutrient solution into the air and onto the roots.

Soil is a very nice medium to start out with, and teaches skills that come in handy if you decide to try hydroponics. If you prefer it, by all means grow in soil; however hydroponics doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. A passive hydroponic system is similar to growing in soil, and can help you learn how to manage hydroponic watering and nutrition needs. Don’t let the cost prevent you from trying out a bag of hydro- medium and some hydro- nutrients in a hand watered pot to see if you like it. Get an air pump and/or a water pump, and you can turn a passive system into an active one. Educate yourself, keep learning and enjoy bountiful harvests.

Choosing a Method

Peace, love and puka shells,

When considering which system is best for a given situation, take a look

Grubbycup

Aeroponics: Small liquid solution particles are continuously applied to freestanding roots.

The nutrient solution in this drip system returns to this lower reservoir. The solution can then be pumped to an upper reservoir, acting as a miniature water tower.

Aero-grown roots should be plump and appear robust.


16

FLASH

Mountainhigh on tour

Cones

The ready-to-use, pre-rolled sleeves; the standard in Dutch coffee shops. Already for 16 years they have been having a big impact with Cones around the world. And now Cones are available in handy Blister Packs for consumers. Do you sell King Size papers? Then you can sell Cones as well!

the taste sensation of pure cannabis. Mountainhigh has always embraced this product and is one of the biggest distributors in Europe.

In this Soft Secrets there is an Mach 6 The quickest joint filling machine in the world! This electrical advert in which Mountainhigh wonder mill fills and compacts hunis looking for distributors. dreds of joints per hour. Developed Blunt Wraps The popular fresh- by two Dutch brothers, the owners But where do we know packed tobacco leaves with the deli- of Mountainhigh, Martin & Arthur van Mountainhigh from again? cious taste. For ultimate enjoyment and den Berg.

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Fairs and trips

Sydney or Vancouver? Medicinal use or recreational? The two brothers serve the global market. Their products are available in all four corners of the earth. And they export just as readily to Nigeria as to America. That’s why you’ll also bump into Mountainhigh at all the top fairs. Do you want to become a distributor? Then make contact and take a look at all the products at: www.mountainhigh.nl

“GROWING MEDICINE FOR FREE” 28



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INTERNATIONAL GROWERS

Landrace Genetics with Zamalito Fashion has it that the majority of Cannabis growers these days prefer to be growing varieties of cultivated Cannabis indoors. Ultimately, these cultivated varieties descend from a small base of genetic stock, mostly Skunk/Haze varieties. The collection of landrace genetics is then restricted to just a handful of dedicated enthusiasts across the planet: sowing and growing, then reaping and mowing Cannabis By Lazystrain seeds from far-off lands is their passion. Zamalito is a Cannabis anthropologist and herbal botanist. Rooted to the earth, his studies are mostly conducted in the field, alongside his plants. Very few people can actually claim to have grown as many pure landrace genetics, collected from all over the world. From the Congo to Kashmir, from Burma to Brazil, the tapestry of Cannabis genetics is a vast subject. Soft Secrets US arranged a Q & A session with Zamalito to get back to basics. Whereabouts in the world are you based? Lately, I’ve been growing in the eastern Blue Ridge Mountains in the southeastern United States. I’ve found this area to be capable of producing some truly fantastic herb that, in my opinion, is far superior to any indoor product. Being different from Europe and the Pacific Northwest there are very few commercial genetics available that are capable of taking advantage of outdoor growing conditions here. That’s the main reason I started getting into breeding landrace genetics. The weather this year has just been phenomenal. It’s been an El Niño year, which has eliminated the hurricane and tropical storm-related rains that normally plague us in September/October. The flowers harvested so far have taken on a look that I’ve only seen from flowers cultivated in Hawaii, where after curing you see just a huge array of color. Many different shades of green, lots of amber and red pigments; it’s just a stunning crop. I’m the most proud I’ve ever been. The pure Zamals have yet to finish but when you pack a large bowl of Zamal x Parvati, this year’s [crop] has a strong sweet carrot overtone that I’ve been trying to get since growing the Zamal. It’s always produced wonderful flavors but until now I never understood why locals on La Réunion describe their herb as having a mango/carrot flavor. It’s a really nice feeling to know that I’ve grown a landrace to produce the qualities it has in its native environment. When did you start growing Cannabis? At the time when I started – and even still now – there wasn’t much quality available except for a locally grown fluffy Road Kill Skunk sativa that they called ‘Donkey Dick’. You’d get one or two seeds in a quarter (QP). Though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing

I grew some of these seeds in the woods near my parents’ house. Deer ate most of them, and I harvested the herb prematurely before drying it in the microwave. Quite a few years later a friend who was down on his luck was selling a hydro-farm, a one-KW MH and copies of both Ed Rosenthal’s Handbook and Mel Frank’s Grower’s Guide. I’d just gotten my tax return and took him up on the offer. He had been growing for a couple years and had obtained some Shiva Skunk seeds before Sensi stopped ship-

coarse and resembled alligator tails. The stem was different also; it was a Thai! I’d grown my first landrace sativa. Which method do you use? For a nu mber of years now I’ve had the outdoor growing bug. Since I mostly grow landrace sativas and do not live in the tropics I have to use a few tricks to cause the plants to mature more quickly. The first is that I start my plants very early, either indoors or in a cold frame. If I start them indoors I run them under 24 hours of light to make them more sensitive to darkness. I’m fortunate enough to have a growing situation that allows me to grow very large plants in full sun and still have them camouflaged into their surroundings. Full sun is crucial to getting the landrace herb to finish as fast as possible (though I really love the concept of building the soil with some of the more extreme sativa strains). This year, I grew them in grow bags. With many varieties, especially those from the very lowest latitudes, the root

[genetics] – which I have – is that they don’t produce anywhere near as high quality herb indoors as they do under sunlight. Naturally I love the Zamal and its hybrids. I like all landraces for the most part. What I like the least are the Dutch indica types. It seems that almost all of the ability to produce accessory cannabinoids has been bred out of the modern indica gene pool. Which is odd since hashish traditionally has very high CBD levels. We must not forget that CBD is medicinal also, and crucial to the buzz of the older hashish varieties. Do you prefer landrace or cultivated genetics? Since I’ve started growing almost solely outside there aren’t many cultivated lines that are appropriate so I’d have to say landrace. I definitely understand the value of cultivated lines but the level of diversity with landrace genetics is so nice. I also believe that when more chemotype work is done we are going to find there isn’t much difference between the heavily cultivated

IN BRAZIL WE CAN MAINTAIN THE AFRICAN, MEXICAN AND SOUTH AMERICAN GENETICS WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT CHANGING THE LINES TO THE DEGREE THAT, SAY, AN INDOOR OR TEMPERATE LATITUDE GROWER WOULD ping to the States. He gave me a nice cutting, but for the most part the mad scientist in me was more interested in growing bag seed. Once a year this sweet piney Skunk from Oklahoma came to town. I hit the dealer up for seeds and this became the first staple strain I worked with. It produced a nice yield and purple pistils. Over the years I had collected a glass cigar tube filled with seeds, partly from fresh, Skunky compressed North Georgia mid-grade. These turned out to grow into wonderful plants. About half were pure Afghans. The other half were hybrids with some Colombian influence, and a grape taste. One plant had long narrow leaves. The serrations were very

binding helps trigger the plants to flower. The plants still root into the ground out of the bottom of the bags, but that doesn’t seem to lessen the advantages of using containers. I then cover the bags in a large ball of straw and lignin grasses. My theory is the lignin grass increases the presence of beneficial fungi in the soil, and also the high concentration of spores in the grass ball inoculates the plant. I fertilize with five-year-old chicken manure; I’m also a huge fan of compost and teas. What is your favorite type of plant to grow? It’s hard to pick a favorite. I’ve always been partial to the Pacific Mexican landraces. The problem with the Mexican

lines, be they sativa or indica. Maybe there’s something wrong with me but I don’t notice a huge difference between a 75% sativa Skunk #1, a Cinderella and Northern Lights. Whereas you can take Kashmiri Resin Factory and Deep Chunk – both 100% indica from central Asia – and they’re worlds apart. Please explain a little about the genetics in your collection. My three staples that I love and could never lose are my Zamals, the Ghanaian Accra Skunk, and the heritage Mexicans. Currently I’m working with getting these Congolese and Senegalese seeds and the Wo(Men)’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) Malawi reproduced. Recent acquisitions include Kona


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Gold, Colombian Punto Rojó, Brazilian Cabeça de Negro (Black Head), Angola Red, Colombian Black, a few Thais, a Sri Lankan, some wonderful Paraguayan landrace and a very old un-worked Vietnamese line. I also have a Burma Jam female that was the only plant that germinated from some 25-year-old seeds. At this moment my main breeding indica is the Parvati. It’s as close to being a perfect pollen receiver for landrace hybrids I’ve seen. It has a huge variance of accessory cannabinoids, so when it is used in a landrace cross, the accessory cannabinoids of the female are usually carried to the F1. Dr. Greenthumb’s Kashmir, Pine Tar Kush and Deep Chunk are also being tested for breeding qualities. As you can imagine this is a lot of work. Thankfully my wife and best friend are into this as much as I am. Right now, I’m looking into a new greenhouse facility and hopefully I can find something that fits. How and why did you gather all these strains together? The obvious answer is preservation and that is a large part of my motivation. However, since reading Terence McKenna’s The Archaic Revival I’ve been

yet spiritual; these paradoxes are certainly present in the herb. After growing and trailing my first landrace varieties I found that they had so many distinctive qualities. I was stunned to see that herb of incomparable quality has been in existence for thousands of years. In many instances it is nature that helps people lucky enough to live in certain sweet spots to breed some of the highest quality herb available. This is what motivates my collecting. Has securing landrace genetics from across the globe become a hobby? Yes, very much. If not a hobby, then a way of life! I’ve filled a kind of niche in my community where about 20% of the people who smoke what I produce are those that had long given up on Cannabis because what’s commercially available has no appeal. We have this product in the States from Canada, which is the blandest product one could imagine. When and why did you start breeding your own seed lines? When I first started breeding I didn’t have a choice because I was growing from unlabeled bag seed. I wanted to make more seeds many times but I couldn’t be certain what the males were.

WHAT I LIKE THE LEAST ARE THE DUTCH INDICA TYPES. IT SEEMS THAT ALMOST ALL OF THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE ACCESSORY CANNABINOIDS HAS BEEN BRED OUT OF THE MODERN INDICA GENE POOL developing my appreciation for what indigenous cultures have to offer. Many of what I consider to be the finer things in life come from indigenous people: the finest Cannabis, music, coffee, food and tobacco. Being from the more ‘civilized’ world we often consider the lives of those in the third world as hard, bleak and filled with suffering. I feel that the Cannabis varieties that have been with a given culture for a substantial length of time tend to invoke the moods, attitudes and philosophies of that culture in the user.

They could have come from somewhere totally different as another seed that was female in the same bag. It’s just the nature of commercial bud. Needless to say my original breeding experiments were slow going.

– and searching through seed catalogs – I’d gathered together an assortment of mostly tropical heirloom varieties, landraces and in-bred lines (IBL). Which strain(s) do you prize most and why? That’s a hard one because there’s a few strains that I couldn’t live without that I could replace easily; then there’s a few that I love slightly less that could never be replaced. Right now the WAMM Malawi is very high on my list, simply due to the fact that it’s a Malawi inbred to finish in a temperate climate. It has it all: painkilling properties, anti-anxiety, mood enhancement and it is simultaneously energizing. The Zamals and Zamal x Parvati, when grown properly, make the highest quality herb possible. The Ghanaian is an all-round fantastic herb that is one of my most potent yet incredibly natural strains. Ghana has a close relationship with some countries in the West that have a strong African influence, like Guyana and Jamaica. It’s a very natural earthy herb with strong Malawi and Congolese influences. Last but not least are my two favorite Mexicans: the Acapulco Gold and the Oaxacan Pelo Rojo. I believe the high of these two cannot be improved upon. What advice would you give to fellow breeders of landrace genetics? If you’re a person who wishes to see a line preserved contact Rahan over at www.strainguide.overweed.net. The site is mostly in French; however, Rahan speaks English also and there should be enough English on the site to find your way around. An important aspect to remember is that genetics aren’t static. They’re extremely dynamic and the environment must be replicated to that of the region of origin (or as close as possible). If this is not done you could be changing the line you’re working with quite substantially. One way to combat this is to use the best seed storage techniques available to you and to breed as few generations as possible. When breeding the seed there are two aspects I try to consider:

Jamaican, Ghanaian and Hawaiian herb are great examples. The people of these cultures are laid-back yet active, happy

Eventually I tried Dutch genetics and they produced excellent bud, very different from what I’d grown before, indoors. However, in my environment the indoor varieties would mold and the outdoor varieties would flower too small and too early. I knew from reading Marijuana Botany (R. Clarke) that breeding is best when done with stable varieties. Eventually through the travels of myself, my friends and family

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The first is the percentage of the gene pool preserved from generation to generation. This is accomplished by using a

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large population of plants. The second aspect is the frequency or occurrence of the genes, particularly the desirable ones. When I say ‘desirable’ I don’t necessarily mean potency, flavor, bag appeal, etc. I’m mostly referring to what makes the line unique. Since the female offspring tend to mostly resemble the ovum donor, I select one very desirable female for representation of each phenotype. Then I pollinate with a larger amount of males, with a good level of hardiness and disease resistance being the main selection criteria. The most important part of preservation is to use any opportunity to return the landrace to the region of origin. At the very least try to distribute tropical varieties to the tropics if at all possible. Returning an indica to an appropriate environment is tricky since North India and Afghanistan are difficult places to get to. Fortunately some parts of North India and Pakistan – at least from what I hear – are quite welcoming and it seems quite possible to return some of these lines to their home. What projects do you have planned for the future? I’m working on bringing the Brazilian Seed Company back. We need more breeders in the sweet spots, where the environment produces amazing Cannabis with little help from man. In Brazil we can maintain the African, Mexican and South American genetics without worrying about changing the lines to the degree that, say, an indoor or temperate latitude grower would. Luiz from the BSC is a great guy. Together we have an unprecedented array of landrace genetics to make available to growers. We have about a dozen African strains spanning the whole continent; a dozen Brazilian strains, halfdozen Colombians, a couple amazing (thought to be extinct) Hawaiian strains and many, many more. Unfortunately Luiz has become ill recently and had to sell his breeding facility to support his family. I’m working on getting him a new one and within a couple years we should have everything together. Anyone who has any questions regarding the status of the BSC can contact me, Zamalito, on the international forums anytime.

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INTERVIEW

SOFT SECRETS INTERVIEWS BUDDY FROM NIRVANA SEEDS

An American in Amsterdam Established in 1995, Nirvana Seeds has become one of the leading cannabis seed breeders in the Netherlands. Originally from the US, Buddy currently manages Nirvana from the wholesale shop in central Amsterdam. Soft Secrets caught up with him there to discuss the company’s new strains, and how the seed business has changed with By Jules Marshall increasing professionalization and globalisation. Soft Secrets: How did you get involved in the seed business? Buddy: I moved to Amsterdam 12 years ago from Germany – my wife and I had been coming here every weekend to party - and it was a coincidence I got into this business. My first apartment was just a few doors down from the old Nirvana shop, so it was pretty much the first place I went to. Being an American it took about 8 months to get a work permit and during that time in the grey area I had to make a living, and that’s when I started growing; I had to eat! I had no plans to grow grass and the coffee shop I was growing for, they knew Mau (owner and founder of Nirvana) and when I got my

Can you explain how a new variety is made? Usually through friends or ourselves, they give us a seed and we grow it out, mix with one of our males. If it’s tasty, we market it as an F1, otherwise we backcross it five times to stabilise it. And how long does the whole process from planting that first seed to selling its genetics on the market take? F1s are easy; a few months. Stabilised stuff can take a year or two. How important is backcrossing? Very, because then we can use it for breed-

the Positronics seeds, and when Wernard went out of business Mau set up Nirvana, in 1995. Is Amsterdam still considered a leading centre for seeds? In my view, we have coffee shops here and that’s the ultimate test of a strain, because it can be evaluated in a relaxed way and there’s pricing on it an open market instead of a black market. Things just go way quicker and are done more properly in an open market. In Spain, people are growing weed in their backyards all over, but there’s no control of the quality. It’s just ‘grow it ‘n’ sell it’. Here, the coffee shops won’t buy it if it’s not good. And there are so many drug tourists here, it all adds up to intense evaluation of the strains in Amsterdam. In Spain, it’s mostly Spanish people smoking their weed, so there’s not much feedback. Amsterdam, just like it has traditionally been with flowers and vegetables, is a central moving point. Yes, plus there’s Schiphol airport; that’ll

AUTOMATIC STRAINS ARE A SORT OF A HEADACHE WEED. THERE’S A PRICE TO PAY FOR AUTO-FLOWERING – THE HIGH’S NOT AS CLEAR AS IN THE OTHER STRAINS SOFI number (entitlement to work – ed), he was looking for a new manager and I got the job. I’d never grown before; I read High Times and always had the intention to grow. So I just read all the books and really got into it. How many staff do you manage? 4-5 full time packing seeds, and maybe 20 independent growers we work with. We keep a mother room and the contractors do all the growing. We do our own development and testing.

ing later. F1s you can’t breed with; they create totally unstable offspring. What are the highlights from Nirvana that have sold well or that readers might have used? We’ve won awards for Crystal, Master Kush and our Royal Flush since I worked here. How was the company originally set up? Mau used to work for Wernard (Bruining) at Positronics, the first grow shop in Amsterdam, probably all of Europe. He did

BUDDY IN FRONT OF HIS SHOP IN AMSTERDAM.

never go away. There’s more weed in other places but here will always be a more discriminate place.

bumpy road. But we’ve really worked on it, hired some actual scientists to work on it for us, and it’s now going well. We have all our strains feminised. Are feminised seeds the future? There’s a market for it, but there will always be a market for the natural seeds, we’re finding, because some people like to breed, others don’t like the way the seeds are treated with chemicals. Thysodium something and silver nitrate, very poisonous. It just about kills the plant but it forces her to ‘hermaphrodite-ize’ and in the flowers there are no male chromosomes. That’s the theory but there has to be lots of testing. You can’t just take any plant and do it. You first need a thoroughly tested female; she can’t be hermaphrodite on her own in order to be a candidate for the chemicals. It came from Dr David Wasson, who did hemp research, living with the Hayes brothers (and now lives in Amsterdam). He did the first research 20 years ago. He’s also done research on male seeds – that is, making a male plant produce female seeds. He’s something of a mentor to me; was at his house a few weeks ago discussing the science of it all. What’s the use of all males? It’s very useful, as it’s hard to know what the male plant is, it doesn’t produce THC, but if you can treat it with chemicals and get buds, you have some kind of idea what qualities it has.

Some of the Californian pharmacies seem to have a very different way of looking at the product; checking for fungus, doing microscopic analysis – as a result of it being seen as a medicinal thing. They’re treating it almost like a pharmaceutical, offering a wide range of cookies and sweets and butters for non-smokers. Do you think the relaxed smoking laws here means there’s not been same pressure to innovate, quality control? That’s true, but America…I don’t agree with that whole ‘medical’ angle. Everyone I know smokes because they like it, not because they’re sick! And I don’t like the idea of having to fake to get a prescription.

You also sell auto-flowering seeds – a more recent innovation? Yes, another new trend which I personally don’t like, because it contains ruderalis genes, which forces it to flower automatically but also contains lots of CBD and CBNs; it’s sort of a headache weed. There’s a price to pay for auto-flowering – the high’s not as clear as in the other strains.

Did you see the recent South Park, where they opened a marihuana dispensary in town (Medicinal Fried Chicken)? Stan’s dad gives himself cancer so he can use the place. I haven’t seen that episode, but the whole approach in the US is contradictive; it’s a medical store but the dispensaries have pool tables. I’ve never been to a chemist that has a pool table, y’know? But I guess it’s a scene we have to reckon with because it’s gone crazy there.

How has the Net changed the seed business? It revolutionised the business, beginning probably 8-9 years ago. Gypsy Nirvana seeds direct in England started the whole thing. Before that, people would drive to Amsterdam or answer the ads in the few weed magazines there were at the time. Since the Net, business has exploded 10-fold, for sure. It’s just too easy – seeds are so small they are considered letter post.

When did Nirvana first develop feminised seed? 6-7 years ago, we had about six strains, but it was the early days of female seeds and a

But do you still have to take precautions sending to other countries? You can pretty much pop it in an envelope. In most countries they cannot be legally

What are the advantages? The strains grow well in extreme Northern (and Southern) latitudes; Denmark, Sweden, Canada – they can plant in the backyard and harvest before the first frost. If you live where it’s temperate, you shouldn’t grow it.


21 will come in with their billions and take it over. So long as it’s in a grey area, these big companies will not touch it. I hope it stays decriminalised and not legalized. One thing that struck me was the relative freedom in seed breeding; breeders have been quite generous in the past about exchanging germ lines. You don’t get this in the over-patented regular agribusiness. Exactly. It will be in the hands of the big guys and the small guy would be squeezed out. The price would go down and it would

sell seeds because they said it was the job of Spanish distributors. So with acceptance comes a new set of problems? Sure; there are people coming out of business school and getting into this business. College graduates running head shops and distribution centres now. It’s getting tighter. Which is good, as it was a bit sloppy in the beginning. And the pioneers are retiring now, having done their job.

WE’RE AGAINST LEGALISATION BECAUSE THE DUTCH SYSTEM HAS KEPT US SMALL. BIG CORPORATIONS, TOBACCO AND PHARMACEUTICALS BUSINESSES WILL COME IN WITH THEIR BILLIONS AND TAKE IT OVER not be as glamorous anymore. It would be like selling tomato seeds.

opened. You need a court order, unlike packages. Information, that’s your privacy. Is there a trend for countries to be relaxing restrictions on growing your own? Yes, all over the world. I’m researching each night on the Net. Pretty much all of South America is decriminalised, everyone’s realising the jails don’t need to be full of cannabis users. It’s just stupid. Even Bolivia, you can have up to 20 grams of marihuana as long as you don’t have any cocaine on you. If you have marihuana plus other drugs it’s illegal. But on its own, not. Strange twist on the law… Any plans to move into other plants or products in the future? We used to have cannabis beer and wine when seed business was small, before the net. They shut us down. We did not have the right facilities, just brewing it in the shop. Bottling the wine ourselves. Said we needed proper facilities. What further innovations can we expect in the next few years? Been fighting the last 18 months to get all our female seeds out, and we’ve finally accomplished that, and now we’re introducing 3 more auto-flowering strains in coming weeks and I feel we’ve caught up now. These are the trends for the next years. You can’t go any further. Some companies have been putting a coating on the seeds but we’re not; we’re going to keep it natural. It’s a colour coding, so the seed varieties are not confused with each other, plus a germination enzyme in it. But I hear they’re not allowed in the UK because it’s not a souvenir any more.

If it has a germination enzyme it is meant to be grown. Actually for the UK we have to make special packaging that does not have any description on it, only a name. A description is too much for the UK at the moment. I guess you can always go back to selling them as canary feed. Yeah, or fish food,.. They always seem to be threatening to fiddle with the laws in the Netherlands. Are any aimed at your business, or are they mostly dealing with coffee shops? I’m not worried, because to change anything to do with seeds they’d have to change some major world treaties, which is never going to happen. The (Dutch) Opium Act has not been adjusted since the 1930s even. They would have to adjust that. I just think world leaders have better things to be dealing with. Plus you can’t arrest people for seeds because there’s no drug in them and you can’t arrest someone for a potential crime. There’s an increasing lack of drive to bust for weed. Politicians can now admit to smoking and even enjoying it. The whole culture has changed. It’s changed so much now if you find your teenager smoking weed you compliment them on their choices, there are so many worse things out there - methamphetamines, and so on. Weed’s a pretty humble way to entertain yourself. How would legalisation of marihuana change your business? We’re against it because the Dutch system has kept us small. Big corporations, tobacco and pharmaceuticals businesses

A recent Rolling Stone article on the weed business in California concluded that even with legalization there will be room for the small niche grower catering to the gourmet end of the market. There will always be room for the guys with the skills and patience needed to grow top weed. It’s similar to the wine scene. Big wineries stocking supermarkets but always little chateaus, every hill having different flavour. There will always been a connoisseur market, and do their own breeding. It’s so easy. I really hope they do not legalize the industry, but it is a good time for it. The tobacco companies are under threat and if they can replace that pressure they’re all for it and back in the money. They have facilities ready for it. For breeding or growing? For all of it. They’ve been doing it with tobacco and it’s simple enough to do again with weed. The three new strains I mentioned earlier, they’re not even named yet - and I have to be careful. I named a strain White Castle and I got a letter from their lawyers claiming trademark infringement. I didn’t even realise there’s a White Castle burger chain in the USA. I wrote back saying I didn’t see the competition between a marihuana strain and a cheeseburger. So I’m doing a bit of research before I name any new strains now, as we’ve had to change a few names now because of trademark infringement. The other seed banks are copyrighting names. So the free and easy situation I described earlier is already out of date. Yes, we’ve already changed 3-4 names – like our Bubblegum, and Blueberry due to letters from lawyers. Someone’s copyrighted these names. That’s why we have Bubblicious and Blue Mystic. Over the years seed breeding has become a proper scene with lawyers and trademarks, distributors fighting over turf,. We were even banned from Spain’s Spannabis expo. They didn’t want us to

And the next generation, the Internet Generation, they want …well, if my distributors don’t get their orders within 48 hours they’re pissed off at me. They want it quick and fast and accurate. Plus there’s so much competition nowadays, we have to. 10 years ago there was maybe 20 seed banks; now there must be 200 all over the world. Not exclusively in Holland any more. The monopoly is over and now we really have to work for our money! It used to be easy in the old days; 5-6 companies, we were really lazy, people had to wait until we wanted to send out stuff. Now Spain has 5-6 big companies in competition with the Dutch companies; England has 1-2, there’s a couple in Switzerland, Austria has one. Anything in Eastern Europe? The Czech Republic just changed its laws and people can have four plants. Business is doing well in Bulgaria; Ukraine and Russia are really big. They missed the counterculture of the ‘60s because of the Iron Curtain, and they’re going through that experimental phase with drugs for the last 5-6 years. Plus the Rave scene, in fact 30 years of western alternative culture all crammed in to one mega scene. Exactly. Plus they’re starting to realise the damage alcohol has been doing to their countries, and cannabis is seen these days as a less damaging alternative. Young people see their parents wrecked by vodka and don’t want to be like that. What’s interesting is 20 years ago you had to get your hands on a book, fly to Amsterdam for seeds. Now it’s so easy; you can download the information you need off the Internet, order seeds with your credit card, lamps and be up and running in days of deciding to grow! Nirvana St Antoniebreestraat 14 1011 HB Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0) 20 627 5113 ›› www.nirvanaglobal.com ›› www.nirvana.nl


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GROW WITH STEVE & DAWN

EASY BUD FROM ROYAL QUEEN SEEDS

Auto-flowering for the people! Once upon a time there was a wise old man who, through trial and error, discovered that in order to grow good fat, sticky, smelly, potent buds you needed several things, and of all these things, probably the most important was patience. This wise old fellow would tell you that on average, to get a reasonable crop of reasonable strength, and reasonably tasty bud, you would have to wait a reasonable amount of time. If you wanted a greater crop, with a greater strength and taste, you would have to wait a greater amount of time. As time has passed cropping times have gotten shorter and shorter. This is because of many factors: modern fertilizers, advances in lamp technology and, importantly, the growing wealth of information out there on growing your own. No one has to grow in ignorance, and unlike the wizened old man, you don’t have to learn through trial and error, over decades. But even so often to get a fast crop you have to put such small plants into flower that unless you’ve got dozens and dozens on the go, you’re not going to get a crop that will make you grin insanely! Even a fast, 45-day bloomer (from seed or clone) needs 15-20 days veg to make it worthwhile, so you’re still looking at 60-65 days to harvest. Unless you’ve taken the time to select your clones/seeds carefully, you could end up with much less from your ‘speedy harvest’ than you had hoped for. (It’s a bit like fast sex: it satisfies the moment but gives no long term pleasure.) Of all the things the old man learned through his lifetime of growing good weed, one fact remains a constant: genetics. If you want devastating buds,

First, they are susceptible to spider mites. Of all the different plants in the veg room, the mites seemed to congregate on the Easy Bud. Because the Easy Bud spends the best part of its life flowering – rapidly – it’s not easy to spray the plants for mites, so they got a lukewarm shower upsidedown once every three days for nine days. That got rid of the little bastards! Second, providing they are well-watered and fed, they don’t seem to mind small pots. I had two in seven-inch pots and one in a short six-inch pot, and apart from having to keep a close eye on the watering they did very nearly as well as the ones in deep eight-inch pots. I had one in a 14-inch pot but on inspecting the soil after cropping I felt it had been a bit of a waste. In its short life, it hadn’t had time to fill out the pot well, and was subsequently a bitch to water. As vigorous as they are, Easy Bud don’t seem to lay that super-dense mat of roots associated with some vigorous plants. (White Widow, for example, can be very vigorous in its root development, and if you don’t re-pot it, it will repay you by breaking the bottom of your plastic flower pots trying to punch its way out!) So an eight-inch (or ten-inch) pot seems fine for the short time they are alive. Third, they certainly didn’t seem fazed by the ‘furnace’ that was the veg room occasionally this summer. Fourth, they need as much light as is humanely possible. I set the plants in the eight-inch pots at different distances from the lamp; however, it didn’t appear to affect the overall yield. What it did affect was how fast things happened. Move the

THE HIGH IS, AS YOU’D EXPECT FROM THE SMELL, A FULL BODY STONE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO WATCH ANY OLD SHIT ON TV FOR HOURS you need devastating genetics; if you want heavy yields, you need heavy genetics, and if you want super strong, super sticky, super fast crops you need Royal Queen Seeds! Easy Bud (feminized) from Royal Queen Seeds is quite simply amazing! Having now tested three different RQS autoflowering strains – Easy Bud, Quick One and Royal Automatic – I can report that they all do the job well, but Easy Bud is in a class of its own. Earlier this year I planted eight Easy Bud seeds and kept two to do this report. The eight plants endured some hellish summertime temperatures and an attack by my old friends, spider mites. On top of this, three were not fed anything, three were fed excessively and two were fed normally. From this I learned a few things.

plant six to ten inches outside its optimal light requirement and it’ll take six to ten days longer to finish. The two that sat in the best possible position for the light finished nine days ahead of the next furthest away, and 16 days later for the ones on the edge of the room. The ones I’ve just done for this report finished at 56 and 61 days, the former being closest to lamps. But the prime-positioned ones from the summer grow went from tearing the seed packet open to crop in just 53 days! Damn! They gave near 20g. (.71 oz.) dry product each. And here’s the weird thing: whether you starve them, force feed them, stick them in stupid little pots, subject them to temperatures hotter than hell, even let spider mites party on them (until you shower them off), none of it seems to make much difference: you’ll yield around 20g. dry each, it’s just that some may take

a little longer to get there! Because these plants don’t bush out much, and because you can get away with smaller pots, the potential – providing you’ve got plenty of light – is around 17.7 oz. (1.1 lbs.) every 53 days! Sweet! That yield covers 25 plants in deep eight-inch pots per 1.2 square yards (1.2 yd.2 = 10.8 ft.2 ). As for the two plants grown in this report, two Easy Bud seeds were put into Root Riot blocks that had been pre-soaked with a hormone ‘enhancer’ and placed in a bottom-heated propagator. This in turn sat about 24 inches away from a 400-watt MH (18/6 hour cycle) in a fully reflected vegetative area. By day three both had wiggled their way up from the blocks. Because you only get a limited amount of vegetative time, you should make the most of it. Get the plants close to the light(s) as soon as possible, and providing your base mix isn’t heavily loaded with nutrients, feed them – little and often – as soon as possible. On day four I potted the seedlings into three-and-a-half-inch pots, with a mix of B’cuzz (Kilomix) and an extra mix of perlite (ratio ca. 15/85 perlite/B’cuzz). On day seven I gave them a half dose feed of Canna Terra Vega, and then a full dose every other watering. Apart from a re-pot up to five-inch pots, all was going well. I had been keeping the plants as close as I dared to the lamp, but even so they were a little stretchy (maybe too much Nitrogen early on). On day 16 I swapped their veg feed for a bloom feed (Canna Terra Flores), and

from then on they were fed a full – recommended – dose every watering. On day 20, the first flowers started showing on one of the plants, and around this time I carefully ‘potted up’ again to eight-inch pots. Many people would say it’s wrong to keep potting up as it shocks the plant, and considering the short life of these plants, every moment counts. But if you are careful and considerate you can do it with little or no shock, and when your veg room is as busy as mine can be, space is valuable! On day 23, as the veg room was home to flowering Easy Bud, I put in an extra 250-watt HPS to complement the 400watt MH (luckily winter temperatures allow more watts without creating heat problems). Now running at 650 watts per yd.2, the Easy Bud went crazy, gaining size rapidly with one growing much faster than the other. The bigger plant was also flowering much faster than her sister. By day 30, the biggest plant was still flowering at a crazy rate, and by day 35 I decided to give them a PK 13/14 mix in addition to their normal feed, for four waterings, until day 39. By day 46 both plants were in full swing. The smaller, slower plant had been flowering so fast it had almost caught up with its big sister. It does appear that the plants show two distinctly different flowering patterns (phenotypes). One is very resinous, with tight, nugget-like buds and a distinct Afghan or Holland’s Hope sort of smell. The other (slower) type appeared far less resinous and has much more elongated, ‘airy’ buds. It too has an Afghan smell, but


23 with a much sweeter accompanying odor, a bit like freshly cut honeydew melon. By day 48 the bigger of the two had filled out, was covered in resin, and looked like

frosting of crystals and was a pleasure to roll up with. When lit, the whole room filled with thick pungent blue smoke that hung for ages. There’s no hiding this one; once lit, everybody knows!

SO EASY BUD REALLY IS AN ‘EASY’ BUD! IT IS AN EXCELLENT STRAIN FOR ANYONE WITH LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE OF GROWING it was starting to finish (shock!), so from then on she only got pure water for dinner. Her sister on the other hand was still in full flow and putting weight on nicely. By day 56 the biggest one had finished, three-quarters of her flowers were brown, and a quick glimpse with a 10x magnifier showed the resin glands were milky and drooping. So down she came. Five days later – at 61 days – the second Easy Bud finished. At the same time I planted the Easy Bud I had also planted some Quick One (another feminized auto from RQS; I included a few pics of them), which I hope to cover in my next report. So after each of the Easy Bud had been allowed seven to ten days drying, it was time for a sample. As I had already grown and smoked Easy Bud earlier in the year, I was really looking forward to toking on it again, as the two different phenos had distinctly different highs. The tight, resin-soaked nuggetlike buds from the fastest flowering plant smelled sickly sweet when crumbled, with a slight hint of rotting meat. It had a thick

The high is, as you’d expect from the smell, a full body stone that allows you to watch any old shit on TV for hours. It’s a very long lasting effect, and after smoking it for a few days you do start to wake up in the morning and find A) you’re still stoned, and B) it is, in fact, the afternoon. The other one has less dense buds, but they are still weighty; there is plenty of resin, but it’s more in the bud than on it, if you know what I mean. Rather than a dry frosty bud, it’s quite sticky inside – even after curing – and is well capable of wrecking any joint you try and stonedly roll up. Almost everything will stick to your fingers: rolling papers, tobacco... and everything else that isn’t stuck to your fingers is on the floor! Once lit, (in a pipe) it smells like Afghan Black, a real resin-y aroma, but with something else. It’s difficult to explain; some of you may get what I mean, but it smells like the 1980’s! The effect is excellent; very stoney, but also uplifting. It makes you totally content, equally as happy to be sociable as to just chuck another log on the fire and stay in.

As for yield, as I mentioned earlier, around .71 oz. per plant seems to be what they give regardless of what you do. The worst I got was .6 oz., and the best was just shy of .92 oz., but out of all ten plants, six gave very close to .71 oz. Overall, 10 plants yielded around 7.06 oz. in 55-60 days. When automatic flowering plants first became popular, all I could think about was the headaches we used to get years ago when smoking too much of anything crossed with a ruderalis, and having grown – again years ago – ruderalis/ indica indoors and out-, I couldn’t help but remember the disappointment at the end result – although back then it was probably as much my fault. But in the last year I have been converted. Not only is there no effort involved in the grow with autos, which gives you more time with your special ladies, but the grow results are good. The yield is – for such small plants – brilliant, and the smoke results are outstanding. Having now grown eight different feminized varieties from RQS, I can honestly say they have been one of the most consistently brilliant seed companies I’ve had the pleasure to grow from. Thanks guys! So Easy Bud really is an ‘easy’ bud! It is an excellent strain for anyone with little or no experience of growing. Some people I’ve known over the years have eventually shied away from the growing experience, because, amongst other things,

they are just not very good at it. Easy Bud changes all that because it’ll put up with mistakes like over-/under fertilization, excessive heat, bugs and to some extent, over-/under watering. Also this strain yields just as well when left to grow naturally as it does when you ‘pinch out’ early on, so again it’s ideal for those with little experience, or a phobia of ‘pinching out’ and the like. I have a friend who illustrates the point. An inveterate booze hound and stoner, he’d killed more crops and risked breaking his neck on wobbly step ladders so many times, he’d given up growing. A while back I gave him an RQS catalog, and now not only is he back growing – successfully – he’s become a total auto evangelist. My point is that if an ancient, insane, totally out there, permanently drunk stoner (love him to death, really!) who grows in a place about as safe and accessible as Chernobyl and who, through total and utter uselessness, kills pretty much everything he touches can now successfully grow auto-flowering strains, then in theory so can anybody. Whether you’ve never grown before, and have very little or no knowledge at all; or you have grown but failed to achieve that all-important ‘grin factor’ at harvest, you will almost certainly succeed with feminized Easy Bud, if not all the auto-flowering strains from RQS! Until the next time, be cool y’all. Steve & Sexy Dawn


24

PROFILE

My Name is Wernard Bruining I was asked by my chief editor to introduce myself, so here we go! I was born in 1950 in Sorong, New Guinea when it was still a Dutch colony. My father worked for the Shell Corporation. Every three years we had a long holiday in the Netherlands for a couple of months. Here, my parents rented a house and I went to a neighboring Dutch school. By the time I was ten years old my mother and father stayed in the Netherlands permanently; however, I was a completely displaced person who had lived in eight different houses. I was used to never having friends for longer than a couple of months, since I attended so many different schools. This gave me the constant feeling that I came from a different planet. In 1960, when I was ten years old, I was sitting on the floor in my parents’ living room, reading and listening to some

Dutch marijuana and taking the idea of a Cannabis-friendly society home with them, thus improving the world. One of the Americans was a 65-year-old grower called Old Ed, who stayed in my house for five years. Old Ed taught us how to grow and speak with the plants. I passed on his message to the Dutch and sold his seeds under the name of ‘Lowlands Seed Company’, the first seed company in the Netherlands. In 1985 I started a business of my own, called Positronics. It was the first grow shop in Europe. I designed a new reflector and a remote ballast built in a box. Soon I had 60 people working for me; I had a shop, a small factory, a restaurant with a fooseball table – of course – where I was selling hash and grass – as usual – and a Dutch-language newspaper called Soft Secrets. Positronics produced complete light systems, soil, fertilizers, seeds

IN 1973 I STARTED A TEA HOUSE CALLED MELLOW YELLOW. IT WAS THE VERY FIRST COFFEESHOP IN AMSTERDAM music, when I realized I was not alone. A person dressed in a long white robe was standing next to me: my guardian angel. So, today I feel like an alien in this world, but I am not alone. In 1970, when I was 20, I lived with nine hippie friends in a small, one-room apartment in Amsterdam. The first thing we did every day was roll a joint, still laying in bed, and share it. We had lots of friends visit us – they were all smokers. We used to buy small amounts of hash and sell it to our visitors, so we had free smoke for ourselves. In 1973 I started a tea house called Mellow Yellow. It was the very first coffeeshop in Amsterdam. One of us would sit in front of the bar, pretending to be ‘just a visitor’, selling hash and grass in deals of DFL 10,- ($4.50) and DFL 25,- ($9). This was the Golden Coffeeshop Formula; in the years after it would be copied by so many other coffeeshop owners. We were overwhelmed with thousands of customers who lined up in front of our dealer, and we made lots of money. But I was mainly interested in having free smoke and playing lots of table football, a game I became pretty good at. After a couple of years, in 1978, the Mellow Yellow burned down. That ended my career as a coffeeshop owner. I went to the US in 1979, teamed up with a couple of Americans, and we called ourselves ‘The Green Team’. Our dream was to teach the Dutch how to grow sinsemilla American-style and turn the Netherlands into ‘the Jamaica of Europe’. We were dreaming of millions of tourists coming to Amsterdam, enjoying

and clones, and was visited by thousands and thousands of people from all over the world. I hosted journalists on a weekly basis who helped me to spread the message: marijuana is free, if you grow your own! In 1994 I woke up with a few words in my head: ‘mediwiet en anders niet!’ ‘Medi-weed and nothing else!’ I realized that I had to introduce the new word, medi-weed, so people would get a more positive idea about marijuana. I designed a logo, picked up the phone and within a couple of weeks I had 50 Dutch coffeeshops who were willing to sell marijuana at a 50% discount, making no profit at all, to people who smoked Cannabis for medicinal reasons. I thought I did my part of the job and that I could continue with my grow shop affairs, smoke marijuana and play table football. That was a big mistake! Within two years I went bankrupt for one-and-a-half million Dutch guilders; I lost Positronics, and the newspaper and had to fire my 60 employees. In the ten years after my bankruptcy I tried all sorts of other businesses but was never successful again. All that time I had the constant, agonizing feeling I had betrayed people who could have used my help with their medical problems. In 2009, I finally decided I had to listen to the soft voice of my guardian angel and devoted all of my time to medi-weed. I created the ‘Medi-Weed Foundation’ and began to interview people who benefited from the medicinal use of marijuana. At the end of 2009 I saw a movie on the internet called Run from the Cure about a Canadian named Rick Simpson, who

THE MELLOW YELLOW TEAM

cured people with marijuana oil. I copied his production process and improved it. I developed a production process so simple that anybody can make this ideal ‘people’s medicine’ at home, in their kitchen sink. I diluted the viscous, pure marijuana oil five times – with olive oil – so that it could be measured out, per drop, with a drip emitter. This gave people much more control over the amount taken, ena-

depression, schizophrenia, trauma, etc. I interviewed about 40 people with different medical cases, which I want to publish in a book. I am convinced that within the next ten years most of the medicinal use of Cannabis will be by means of oil. People often praise me for starting up a coffeeshop and a grow shop. My answer to them is that maybe both ideas were important to 250 million Cannabis con-

OUR DREAM WAS TO TEACH THE DUTCH HOW TO GROW SINSEMILLA AMERICAN-STYLE AND TURN THE NETHERLANDS INTO ‘THE JAMAICA OF EUROPE’ bling them to avoid the effect of getting high. When the oil is dripped under your tongue it works within ten to fifteen minutes and stays effective for between four and five hours. Oil gives reassurance, balance and control, even if you take too much. By the end of 2010, I had helped a couple of hundred people who suffered from sleep disorders, including fibromyalgia, chronic pain, arthritis, rheumatism, osteoarthritis, IBS, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome,

sumers, but marijuana oil is important to the rest of the world – to six point seven billion people. It is the ideal people’s medicine of the future. Using my dowsing pendulum I know that I am probably going to die at the age of 73; I am 60 years old now, so I’ve got about ten good years left in me. I have to hurry and finish my job on this planet called Earth! ›› wernard@xs4all.nl ›› www.medi-weed.nl



Pink Plant

Photo: Eva Seeds


27

SHOP REVIEW

Catching up with DNA Genetics Since Soft Secrets is brand-new in the United States, we thought we would introduce you to an American seed company that has become an eminent force in the Dutch Cannabis scene. If you know them or their strains, it’s likely that you’ve already visited their cozy seed shop By The Sativa Diva in the center of Amsterdam. In case you aren’t familiar, Don and Aaron, founders of DNA Genetics, have been growing ganja since the late 80’s in Hollywood, California. You can read that story and check out full menus for DNA and Reserva Privada strains on their website, www.dnagenetics.com. What we’d like to show you is the latest look inside their lovely shop, centrally-located and simple to find when you next visit Amsterdam. Tucked into a side street – but easy to walk past if you’ve just sampled some of the local coffeeshop delicacies – the DNA shop is a welcoming, efficient establishment destined to be a popular stop on many tourists’ travel itineraries. Upon entering this chilled-out location your eyes are subconsciously drawn to whatever it is that you have been craving: expertly made glass bongs (beautiful works by Sheldon Black), trendy DNA label gear (keep an eye out for a new clothing line styled by their friend Remix), assorted smoker accoutrements and of course seeds, as it is a seed shop. The DNA seed shop. The two guys relocated from ‘Hollyweed’ to Amsterdam in 2003 and opened their business on the Sint Nicolaasstraat in 2005. Aaron points out that what sets them apart from the competition is the information. “There aren’t so many places where you can just come and buy seeds right after testing the product in one of the coffeeshops. I’d rather we give you the information and then send you to one of these places where you can actually try the product... and then buy the seeds if you like it. I’d rather give you information than just sell you something.” This is an approach to business that really works. As fans of their famous varieties range in age from 18 to 80 and come from all walks of life, the shop remains popular with an international following of growers, likely to stream in and trade stories

ARON (AT LEFT) AND DON SHOW OFF A PRECIOUS HIGHLIFE CUP

during your visit. Due to the fact that DNA respect international drug laws, many of their customers originate from countries where it would be illegal for seeds to be shipped, such as the US. Americans and Canadians do make up a large percentage of foreign tourism in the Netherlands, especially regarding the Cannabis scene in Amsterdam, and it’s comforting for some to know that not only is English spoken in this shop, but North American-English at that. Something else that might annoy the Europeans but pleases those from ‘across the pond’ is the strict pure-only policy in the shop. That’s correct: Pure joints and bongs only! In our post-tobacco-ban world most of us relish the ability to smoke a joint mixed with nicotine, but the guys are sticking to their roots on this one. The DNA strains reflect the proprietors’ origin as well: West Coast, fruity, resinous genetics imported from sunnier climes. These varieties were all quite new and exciting when thrust upon the Dutch scene over the past few years, as Aaron reminds us of the legendary LA Confidential, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, #18 and Lemon Skunk. Personally the Cannalope family and Chocolope (a.k.a. D-Line) have always satisfied my sativaloving palate, but the old-school indicas ReCon and RockLock have a special place in my heart as well. It’s only fair to ask one of the owners what he likes, and Aaron’s pick was the Sleestack. I have to admit, I’d forgotten about that crystal-covered treasure, with glittering buds and a super sweet smell. He defends her honor: “Personally I would have to say the Sleestack is one of my... holy grail strain[s] because the resin it produces is just so, it’s just covered with resin. I wouldn’t give it to just anybody to grow out for crops, but it’s good for hash producers. The way the hash comes off the plant but it doesn’t clump together. It acts dry. And the taste and flavor and the room smell... it’s a winner if you’re a hash smoker.” With such success at producing memorable, stable genetics, what tricks do DNA still have up their sleeves? Their most noticeable innovation, keeping them at the top of the industry, would be the introduction of the DNA Genetics Feminized line. While the growing community is divided on the issue, no one can argue that the successful seed companies are the ones who can adapt to the needs of their customers, withholding judgment and reserving their opinions for their own gardens. Aaron is no

exception. “I think it’s good for the growers but if you ask me, if I had to run anywhere, I’d be grabbing my regular seeds. Then I’d be able to make more, since I wouldn’t necessarily have the equipment to make feminized seeds wherever I go.” This sort of honesty currently runs at a high premium in an industry that is not completely legal in the Netherlands. In order for DNA to continue offering Californian genetics and flavors to our low lying, sun-deprived country they must continue surfing the fine line between holding a legitimate business permit and specializing in a product whose origins lie in dark, illegal locations. Well, not dark exactly but certainly not spoken-of in most settings. Aaron mentions this as one of the largest hurdles encountered by business owners in the Cannabis industry: “People come to Amsterdam from abroad and they think it’s just ok for us to make our seeds and grow weed, and for coffeeshops to sell. Well it’s not. It’s ok for us to sell seeds and trade in seeds; it’s ok for coffeeshops to sell weed, but it’s not ok to grow our own seeds and it’s not ok for coffeeshops to grow their own weed or [obtain] the weed. And now there are police helicopters with forward-looking infrared cameras, there are remote-con-

trolled [mini-] helicopters with noses on them, they send out letters to everybody’s house asking you to snitch on your neighbors, even if they just smell Cannabis.... But I can do my business here, which is a great thing. If I ever got caught for doing something I’m not a ‘criminal’; I’d have to pay a fine or something like that. But the more pressure [the government] puts [on the industry], the worse it gets.” In comparison, it seems that the US – especially California – is becoming as progressive as the Netherlands is conservative. Aaron keeps things in perspective. “...There are pros and cons to both places. The biggest thing is, it’s not easy to grow over here. You really have to be a Dutchie to not get caught. Someone who’s grown up in that town, who can grow their 100 lamps and not get caught because they grew up with all the cops. The cops will tell them, hey we’re going to come and get you, and [the growers] close everything down.... Then they fire it up again the next week. That’s the way it works out here.” Let’s hope Mother Nature keeps delivering those precious seeds. ›› www.dnagenetics.com DNA Genetics Sint Nicolaasstraat 41 1012 NJ Amsterdam


28

MEDICINAL MARIJUANA

Growing Medicine for Free The plants shown in this article were all grown for free. The freedom that this involves will form the basis of this Medicinal Marijuana report. The only thing that was not free during this process was time. Otherwise all of the physical and material aspects of cultivation were free. In order for us to understand just how easy it is to cultivate medicinal marijuana for free, let us take a closer look at the free method, starting from the top and working our way down. with lazystrain

Free Light The light source used to cultivate the plants shown in this report was free. The light source used was of course provided by the biggest light-bulb

in the sky – the Sun. All plants have evolved to adapt towards and utilize the Sun’s energy during the process of photosynthesis. The Sun therefore naturally produces the most benefi-

cial light spectrum available to plants. Indoor lamps in fact aim to replicate nature and the power of the Sun. Currently however no combination of indoor lamps can produce exactly the same available light spectrum. Seasonal variation in the Suns energy (and a gardens exposer to it) is predictable in light terms. The longest and shortest days of the year always fall on exactly the same days of the calender. This means that medicinal marijuana growers can anticipate natural changes in the available light spectrum and manage their garden to the plants highest potential. In the Northern Hemisphere, during the Summer months when the Sun is at its highest in the sky, the majority of light omitted is blue; which triggers a vegetative period of growth in Cannabis. During the Autumn the Sun sits lower in the sky and must travel a greater dis-

perhaps most evident when replacing existing indoor lamps. After all the Sun provides us with a clean and nonrenewable energy source - which is just burning away in the sky. The Sun thus allows growers to cultivate Medicinal Marijuana safely and at zero cost.

Free Plants The genetic material in the photographs was free. The plants were each bred together from a free female clone and male plants sourced from free packets of seeds. Once crossed together the seeds produced were free. The seeds were then planted. Once established the female plants in return gave as many free clones as were needed. These genetics were naturally shared with other Medicinal Marijuana growers for free, so that they could also enjoy growing these new hybridized variety of cannabis. Today free genetic material is availa-

URINE IS ALSO USED AS AN’ACCELERATE’ IN TEAS BY ORGANIC GROWERS DURING THE LATER VEGETATIVE STAGES OF PLANT GROWTH; ESPECIALLY WHEN PLANTS ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF NITROGEN DEFICIENCY tance through the Earth’s atmosphere in order to reach the garden. Optically this produces a light which is richer in the red end of the available light spectrum; which triggers a floral period of growth in Cannabis. Besides the visible wave-lengths that the Sun produces, the Sun also naturally omits several invisible wave-lengths including Ultra Violet and Infra-Red. When working in combination with all the other bands of light produced, the Sun literally out-shines all of its artificial competitors. For this reason the Sun’s energy-saving potential is

ble everywhere. Competition between seed breeders is so healthy that it often means that most professional seed companies are happy to donate thousands of seeds every year as “testers”, “promotions”, and “freebies”. Likewise Amateur breeders by nature (of which there are literally thousands) donate all the seeds they produce for free. The existence of free genetic material is not only healthy for the progression of cannabis culture, yet it also helps Medicinal Marijuana Growers gain access to valued medication. These seeds are usually available at cannabis cups, trade fairs, and exhibitions overseas. In Europe where cannabis seeds are still legal, then free seeds are also available via competitions held by dedicated cannabis publications such as Soft Secrets.

Free Growing Medium The soil and coco fibre mediums that the plants in the photos were grown in were free. Recycling soil and coco fibre mediums works well in practise so long as the mediums are pest and disease free to begin with. Collecting second-hand growing mediums from fellow gardeners that do not recycle, is both cost efficient and environmentally friendly. Medicinally however care should always be taken to only source free growing mediums from organic growers, since residual chemicals and unwanted salts may otherwise persist in the garden, plants, and your body.


29 Many organic growers will enhance their free growing medium further by introducing natural soil additives. These soil additives may include home made compost, worm-castings, animal manure, human urine, mole-hill soil or mineral rich earth collected from the entrance of animal burrows. These ingredients are then added to second hand growing mediums as a way of

ties, which when fed directly to the growing medium ultimately helps to promote healthier plants in the garden.

Free Containers The container/plant pot used to grow the plants in the images was, you’ve guest it, free. Sourced from the local refuge point, the containers were collected from a stack of plant pots in

RAIN WATER DOES NOT CONTAIN ANYWHERE NEAR THE SAME LEVEL OF CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION THAT TAP WATER CONTAINS enhancing the overall nutrient content and soil structure.

Free Nutrients The nutrients fed to the plants in the photos were home made for free. By placing the crushed leaves of several native weed species into a bucket of water, with an added cup of sugar from a neighbour, then a home made “organic tea” can be made. There are many species of wild plant that can be used as fertilizer, the best of which include Nettles and Burdock. Once fermented for one week the leaves of the nettles and burdock break down to form a Nitrogen, Calcium, and Iron rich soup. The additional sugar helps to load the soup with carbohydrates - which natural aerobic bacteria can then feed on. During this process natural compounds are released as the plant material is broken down to its most basic natural elements. Urine is also used as an’accelerate’ in teas by organic growers during the later vegetative stages of plant growth; especially when plants are showing signs of nitrogen deficiency. This is because urine contains ammonia nitrates which is readily converted into a sterile source of Nitrogen when fed to plants.

perfect condition destined for recycling. Any depth or diameter of plant pot is usually available at any recycling depot, from small 1x1 inch cell trays all the way up to larger scale 20 gallon planters (the big ones with handles). This is just one aspect that FreeGrowers take full advantage of when setting up their Free Garden.

Free Water All plants require water to survive. Whilst the owners of the photos assure Soft Secrets that they used tap water that had been stood for 24hours to remove chlorine, the water used to water the plants could have been free. Not only is rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere plentiful, it also lands to earth at close to pH neutral, which is the ideal water pH for cannabis. Rain water does not contain anywhere near the same level of chemical contamination that tap water contains. The growers of the plants did however confess to using any rainwater they collected on their food crops; which (when in limited supply) makes perfect sense. Free water can of course be collected easily, using gutters and water butts, or even as simply as laying a large plastic sheet on the ground just before in rains.

Free Growing Overall a well balanced organic tea should hold many beneficial proper-

Once established as seedlings the plants were transplanted into a grow-

ing medium in a container. The plant was then placed outdoors under the sun in a glasshouse. Once the plants had established themselves further they were re-potted into larger containers of soil and coco medium to continue their vegetative stages of growth. At the end of summer as the days naturally grew shorter, a plant mechanism deep within the genetic structure of cannabis was triggered. The plants then started to enter into the floral stages of growth. The grower then gave

the plants a liberally fed of nutrients (at an EC of 1.2 to 1.6) once a week for the first 4 weeks of flowering. A few weeks later the plants were harvested in the wisdom and enjoyment that everything that went into the plants being was sourced as naturally as possible for free. Once established the Free Garden really does offer the Free Grower the freedom and opportunity, the confidence and continuity, the reassurance and reliability, to cultivate their own Medicinal Marijuana plants forever.



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INTERVIEW

Medical Marijuana Doctor In California, the legal situation for medical use is confusing, arbitrary, and out of sync with the citizenry’s daily lives. Medical marijuana users attempting to be good law abiding citizens can be afforded some protection from state authorities, if not federal persecution, by following the state laws concerning obtaining a recommendation. To comply with state medical marijuana law, it is a requirement to get a physician’s recommendation for use as treatment. Medical Cannabis of Northern California’s Dr. Nate Pettinger M.D. graciously agreed to by Grubbycup meet Soft Secrets to share some of his thoughts. His office was just down the street from a good sized shopping mall, in a normal office complex. It did not appear out of place with the more “mainstream” nearby businesses and offices. The sign on the window reads simply “M.C.N.C” with his name and phone number. Inside, the waiting area is similar to many other doctor’s waiting areas, save for a sign proclaiming that marijuana is not used on the premises. One of the first things that struck me about Dr. Pettinger was his easy smile and warm handshake. In a country where industrial, cold, clinical, and impatient doctors seem to be gaining in numbers, it was a nice change. SSUSA: What is your educational degree? M.D. (Medical Doctor) How long have you been recommending marijuana for medical use? About two years. I have a friend who has been doing it for five years. He was so busy he was getting overwhelmed, and I started out by helping him with his backlog. The hours are flexible, and it seemed a logical thing to do, and then it took off. What was the reaction of your peers? Cannabis is still not well accepted throughout the (mainstream) medical community. That’s a big educational process, and the large pharmaceutical companies have a financial interest in keeping things the way they are. In general, how does someone go about getting a recommendation? Make an appointment, and bring an interpretation of a medical report dealing with surgery, accident, diagnosis, or treatment plan. How can people make sure that a recommendation is legitimate? Call the office, they should be willing to give you the medical license number and you can check it with the California Medical Board. Is there a delivery method that you believe is best? Realistically, the differences between the ingestion methods alter the onset and impact of the effect. Smoking or vaporizing is the most efficient, but it may also be taken orally, in liniments, tinctures,

or a skin rub. There are multiple methods, it just depends on the needs of the individual. Why you think it’s important that Medical Marijuana remains a Medical option? It isn’t a cure all, but it is a wonderful adjunct to a number of different ailments. Many of the current treatments involve continuously increasing the dose as the

mothers carry pills in their purses that if dropped and picked up by a small child could be lethal if eaten. Cannabis presents a bigger threat as a choking hazard than anything else if it is unintentionally ingested by a child.

can cause them to overproduce peroxidasions, and burst themselves. It can have an effect on length of remissions in advanced cancers. Contributory assistance to other medications, and may help with extended cancer remissions.

What difficulties do you see in using Medical Marijuana as a Medical option?

Don’t be surprised if you see cannabis become a much more significant medi-

CANNABIS IS STILL NOT WELL ACCEPTED THROUGHOUT THE (MAINSTREAM) MEDICAL COMMUNITY. THAT’S A BIG EDUCATIONAL PROCESS, AND THE LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES HAVE A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN KEEPING THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE patient becomes more resistant. But it can often be used as a baseline for a patient, who can then use other medications on an as needed basis, minimizing the (acquired) resistance.

One problem is that the FDA tests are all on the same strain, and therefore don’t take into account the availabilities of high CBD strains. We need a broader range of strains examined in research.

As a medicine, it is safer than many medicines available today. There are no accidental overdoses with cannabis. In a vodka tincture, you would overdose on the vodka before you suffered any ill effects from the cannabis. Many grand-

What tidbit of wisdom do you carry with you that you can share with Soft Secrets readers? Cannabis has shown direct anti cancer angiogenesis in tumors, to increase formation of peroxidase in cancer cells which

cine in this country, especially with the cutbacks in Medicare and such. What cultivars do you recommend? What I’ve found is that the effectiveness of a strain is very person independent. The effects of a particular strain grouping vary between individuals. If one strain doesn’t have the desired effect, try a similar strain from the same grouping. I suggest that people try different strains, and find the one that’s best for them.


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BACKGROUND

Detoxification: Clean Up Your Act RIDING A TOXIC WAVE? WEED MAKING YOU SLOW AND SLUGGISH? WELL, MAYBE IT’S TIME TO GET YOU BACK ON LINE WITH A FEW LIFESTYLE CHANGES. O’RIODON Every day our bodies suffer an everincreasing onslaught of mild toxic substances, ranging from the air we breathe to the plastic wrappers that contain our food. Although the amounts are small and quickly dealt with by a healthy immune system, not all the toxins leave the body. It’s this accumulating cocktail of chemicals and heavy metals that can cause the immune system to slow and eventually expose the body to a variety of ailments. Warning signs are frequent colds and infections. If you are a regular Cannabis user there is an added pressure. The last ten years has seen a marked increase in the strength of the marijuana supply. Nowadays, it is quite common to find weed with THC levels of 10% or more and some ice hash containing up to 50%. Fun as it is, Cannabis use affects the immune system and prolonged exposure to these levels – without detoxification – can layer on even more pressure. As the immune system main-

camps out in the fat cells like an unwanted party guest. Even if you stopped consuming Cannabis tomorrow, it would take up to a year for the body to rid itself completely of all the toxins. Luckily there are ways to speed up the process. The first step is to begin by flushing the system with water, the solvent of life. Start each day with a large glass of lukewarm water containing a few drops of fresh lemon or cranberry juice. This will cleanse the intestinal tract and kill bacteria. Drinking a glass of water every hour through out the day should become a regular habit. Along with the water take vitamin C (1000mg of the non-acid ‘Ester C’) daily; combining it with 100mg of alpha-lipoic acid should do the trick. This will not only eliminate stubborn toxins and clean up free radicals, but also protect the body from the damage they cause. These should be taken on an empty stomach

INDULGING IN THE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE THAT IS CANNABIS IS NOT A BAD THING; HOWEVER, AS FAR AS THE BODY IS CONCERNED, THC IS JUST ANOTHER TOXIN tains the whole body and keeps everything in balance, a break down here can lead to serious health trouble. The secret is to create a continuous process of bodily elimination. Using herbal teas, a healthy diet and supplements, combined with light exercise, will improve the quality of your life and the quality of the high from your favorite herb. Indulging in the wonderful experience that is Cannabis is not a bad thing; however, as far as the body is concerned, THC is just another toxin. When finished working its magic, it doesn’t leave, but rather

along with that morning glass of water. Another useful substance is noni juice, a Tahitian fruit that has deep cleansing abilities and also helps with the elimination of free radicals. Try to find the pure variety. Toxins in the fat cells need something more to shake them free. Lecithin, which comes in numerous forms, combined with dandelion and milk thistle form a powerful combination that flushes out the liver and gall bladder. These are especially good after alcohol use. Freshly made juice is also another wonderful aid to cleansing the system, wheat-

grass juice being the best. Although most fresh juices are beneficial, carrot, apple and parsley are especially cleansing; celery juice is particularly useful in the removal of heavy chemicals. Use organic fruit and vegetables whenever possible and treat yourself to a good juicer. Another useful aid to elimination is green tea. Drink as much as you like: the more the better. It is a powerful antioxidant and a fast fix when you’re feeling down. Dandelion tea will clean the blood, parsley tea will remove heavy metals and chemicals and la pacho tea will tone up the whole show.

you the hint of smoke that you crave; if you simply can’t give up smoking altogether, suck in plenty of cooling air with each hit. Ingesting (eating or drinking) Cannabis has still got to be the cleanest and most economical way. The body absorbs everything, giving a longer lasting and more intense high – but be sure you to get the dosage right! Half a gram of hash or a gram of weed per serving should do the trick. There are plenty of Cannabis cookbooks out there educating medical- and recreational users.

ALTHOUGH MOST FRESH JUICES ARE BENEFICIAL, CARROT, APPLE AND PARSLEY ARE ESPECIALLY CLEANSING; CELERY JUICE IS PARTICULARLY USEFUL IN THE REMOVAL OF HEAVY CHEMICALS Other aids are light exercise and fresh air – ride a bike or take a walk, for example. If this is too much for you then I suggest regular visits to a sauna instead. A good sweat expels the toxins out through the pores of the skin rather than loading it all onto the liver. It is also important to cut down on the intake of toxins. Watch what you eat and drink and make sure your weed is the best quality available, free from pesticides and chemicals. Then there’s smoke. Sucking 400 degree of heat into the lungs is not something you can do indefinitely and remain 100% healthy. So perhaps it’s time to think about alternatives. A vaporizer will deliver a satisfying taste with a cleaner more energetic high, without the accompanying carcinogens. If you still need a bit of smoke, a glass vaporizing pipe heated by a flame will give

Alcohol: we all know how much damage it does. If you drink and smoke weed, always be sure to smoke first in order to avoid the ‘technicolor yawn’. Hangovers can be avoided by drinking a glass of water before you go to sleep. Taking homeopathic aconite or a 400mg milk thistle capsule before you go to bed will also the keep the men with jackhammers at bay. If you have never experienced a thoroughly cleaned body, then you have no idea how good it can make you feel. If you have done it, then perhaps it’s time to do it again. Remember, use drugs wisely and responsibly; don’t let the drug use you. It’s all about mind set. The body is the vehicle that transports us through this reality. If you can become more aware of its needs, it will serve you well. Maintain the vehicle; stay clean!


STRAIN REPORT

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Jorge’s Diamonds #1 from Dutch Passion DIAMONDS ARE A GROWER’S BEST FRIEND If a worldwide well-known, highly successful Cannabis cultivation author stakes his good name on a new Cannabis strain, the quality of the outcome is particularly interesting – after all, the name shall stand for a high-quality product. Would Jorge’s Diamonds #1 really prove to be a diamond treasure? Words & Pics: Green Born Identity – G.B.I.


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DUTCH PASSION ALSO PROVIDES SPECIFIC INFORMATION TO MEDICAL USERS: BY THIN LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHY, THE THC PERCENTAGE OF JORGE’S DIAMONDS #1 WAS MEASURED AT 16-18%, WHILE THE STRAIN IS HIGH IN THCV, CBD AND CBN.


35 Jorge’s Diamonds #1 is the result of a conjoined strain project by Dutch Passion and Jorge Cervantes, author of many popular Cannabis cultivation books and numerous respectable articles in worldwide Cannabis magazines. I asked Jorge how the collaboration with Dutch Passion came about: “I have known Henk personally for more than ten years and we have grown to know one another well. I see him at many Cannabis fairs. Dutch Passion is the biggest seed seller in Europe and is very reputable. [Their] strains are some of the strongest and they take much care in seed production. “We got to talking one day and started discussing a strain with [my] name on it. We... thought it would be a good idea for both of us. Dutch Passion sends out thousands and thousands of catalogs every year. I wanted to sell more books in Europe and decided it would be a good idea to have my name on one of his seeds. It’s free advertising for my books!” Asked about the role Jorge played in the development of Jorge’s Diamonds #1, he said: “I was the... strain taster and selector. I was presented with several selections from Dutch Passion; I chose the one I liked best. I went with my instinct and chose the sweet taste and aroma, smooth smoke and potent long-lasting soaring high. I also looked at the fact that this plant is easy to grow and very resilient, so that anybody can grow it successfully.”

feminized seeds – it came highly recommended, attracting a lot of curiosity among growers worldwide. One of them was The Doc, an experienced German grower who earned his nickname from the fact that he always precisely knows what his plants need, quickly solving any kind of cultivation problem with his green fingers and propelling the plants to the best performance possible.

The genetics of the strain were selected from the 25-year-old ‘Research Gene Pool’ of Dutch Passion. The seed company describes it as a “unique resin-packed indica-dominant strain that is potent, sweet, flavorful and incredibly smooth smoking.” As for the pedigree of Jorge’s Diamonds #1, Dutch Passion claims, “rare indica-dominant genes mixed with just the right amount of sativa to give the smoke a very strong, soaring

They spent another two weeks in the vegetative stage at 18 hours of light per day. The powerful illumination and perfect climate in the growing chamber (that technically was perfectly equipped with, among other things, an automatic SPC temperature controller) led to rapid growth that still was very uniform and compact; the Jorge’s Diamonds #1 plants had very short internodes, ten to twelve per plant, at a height of only 16-20

The Doc put a whole bag of feminized Jorge’s Diamonds #1 seeds into the ground. A couple of days later he happily realized that all the seeds had successfully sprouted. The ten seedlings grew in one-liter (1.6 qt.) pots – filled with seedling soil – for two weeks, on an area of 2.7 ft2. under two 125w CFLs (6,400 K). They thrived very well, exhibiting lush green, very compact growth, perfectly indica-style. It was amazing how homogeneous the ten seedlings were, almost looking like clones. Then, The Doc transplanted the young plants to seven-quart (1.75 gal.) pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix, plus five percent hydro correls to further improve the aeration of the soil. Now it was time to give the Jorge’s Diamonds #1 plants plenty of light. The Doc replaced the two CFLs with two 600w and one 400w Osram Planta Star (HPS) bulbs and moved the plants to a cultivation area of just under three square yards.

Cultivation Data: Strain Vegetative Stage Flowering Stage Medium (Substrate) pH EC Lights

Temperature Air Humidity Watering Fertilizers Nutrients Height shorter Yield

Jorge’s Diamonds #1 (mostly indica) In this grow: four weeks Inthisgrow:eighttotenweeks;eighttonineweeksingeneral Plagron Standard Mix, 6.9 qt. (1.7 gal.) pots 6-6.5 Vegetative stage: 1.2-1.6 mS Flowering stage: 1.6-2.0 mS First half of veg stage: two 125w CFL (6,400 K) Second half of veg stage and flowering stage: two 600w and one x 400w Osram Planta Star Vegetative stage: 22°-24°C Flowering stage: 24°-28°C Vegetative stage: 40-60% Flowering stage: 50% By hand HeSi Bloom Complex, HeSi Phosphorus Plus Nitrozyme, HeSi Boost Complex 63-71 in. (5’3”-5’11”); two plants were considerably 3.2 oz. per plant on the average

the branches and lots of resin glands were about to develop: flowering was in full effect now. The Doc nurtured the plants very well, foliage still was completely healthy green, no yellowing at all. After four weeks of flowering most of the plants had arrived at shoulder height. The buds got bigger and bigger, becoming impressively dense and thick. Meanwhile, a lot of resin glands had emerged on the fan leaves. Jorge’s Diamonds #1 proved to be an extremely resinous strain.

harvested in two steps: the main cola and tops of all branches were harvested after about eight weeks of flowering; the remaining buds took another one to two weeks longer to fully ripen. After all the buds had been dried, The Doc put them on the scales and was stunned by the result – the yield was just over three ounces per plant on the average and the heaviest plant had yielded an amazing 3.9 oz. In addition, he got plenty of resinous leaf material for his Ice-O-Lator.

The huge plants consumed a lot of water, two to just over four pints a day. On most of the plants, the flowering structure was sativa-dominant, buds were long and lanceolate with a high calyx-to-leaf ratio,

Most of the buds really provided a honeysweet smell and taste, and some of them also had a fruity side to the aroma. The high was as strong as expected and also complex, producing an overwhelming, long-lasting cerebral sativa effect in combination with a slight degree of stoned-ness. It came as no surprise, then, that the haze phenotype plant caused an accordingly crystal-clear, vibrant haze high with no indica influence at all, while the two indica phenotype plants provided a lot more indica stoned-ness.

I WAS PRESENTED WITH SEVERAL SELECTIONS FROM DUTCH PASSION; I CHOSE THE ONE I LIKED BEST. I WENT WITH MY INSTINCT AND CHOSE THE SWEET TASTE AND AROMA, SMOOTH SMOKE AND POTENT LONG-LASTING SOARING HIGH long-lasting high.” Also, with regard to the aroma, Dutch Passion promises a lot: “The exceptional taste and aroma are fruity and sweet. The insatiable taste is sweet and similar to wild honey smothered in raspberries.”

inches! They also heavily branched out so there were lots of strong side branches.

Apart from that, according to Dutch Passion, Jorge’s Diamonds #1 is expected to be almost maintenance-free, with spider mites and other pests known to leave it alone. Dutch Passion also provides specific information to medical users: By thin layer chromatography, the THC percentage of Jorge’s Diamonds #1 was measured at 16-18%, while the strain is high in THCV, CBD and CBN. Plants take eight to nine flowering weeks to ripen indoors, yielding between seven and almost eighteen ounces per 1.2 yd2. But thanks to quite an early ripening time of mid-October under natural light, Jorge’s Diamonds #1 can also be grown outdoors successfully, so it’s a very versatile strain.

After four weeks, The Doc induced flowering by switching the photo period from 18/6 to 12/12. A week later all the plants had revealed their gender and proved to be female. The Doc removed some lower fan leaves, as they had become so huge that they completely shaded the side branches below. In the course of flowering, considerable differences in the grow pattern became apparent. Most of the plants suddenly started to stretch heavily. Six of them still grew homogeneously, rapidly gaining height. After two weeks of flowering they already had arrived at breast height. Another plant was becoming even taller, strongly reminding me of a classic sativa plant. The other two plants remained small and stout, clearly exhibiting dominant indica genes, growing into very compact flowering bushes.

When the strain was released to the seed market in 2008 – exclusively in the form of

After the third week of 12/12 light, numerous flowerettes had emerged at the top of

but much denser and thicker than classic sativa buds thanks to the indica influence. Without a doubt, these were true heavyweight bud champions. Between the seventh and eighth week of flowering, many buds became so heavy that they needed support and were staked by The Doc. The Jorge’s Diamonds #1 plants had grown into really big dimensions, bearing large snowwhite buds in abundance that were composed of countless small, tightly-packed calyxes. An extraordinary harvest was to be expected. The Doc was heavily infected with ‘green diamond fever’ now! Amongst the eight tall Jorge’s Diamonds #1 plants, there was one exemplar that The Doc called the ‘haze phenotype’. It was, by far, the tallest plant and produced huge long, almost leafless silver buds with particularly small calyxes, and also smelled like a haze plant. This made The Doc believe that haze is one of the genetic components of Jorge’s Diamonds #1. He realized that his Jorge’s Diamonds #1 plants had to be

One of the ten plants had produced a tiny amount of male flowers, after six weeks of flowering, at the base of two buds, but The Doc managed to quickly discover and remove them. From then on this plant produced only female flowers. Two other plants exhibited some single ‘bananas’ in the main cola at the end of flowering, but these were infertile (unable to shed pollen). Altogether The Doc was very impressed by Jorge’s Diamonds #1: His treasure chamber was filled with two pounds of the finest green diamonds; potency and aroma were a true ‘cannasseur’s’ delight. He feels that this strain is undoubtedly worthy of honoring Jorge Cervantes and arrived at the conclusion that these kinds of diamonds really are a grower’s best friend. Feminized Jorge’s Diamonds #1 seeds are available in units with five or ten seeds. ›› www.dutchpassion.nl



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GENETIC BACKGROUND

Ruderalis 101

Ruderalis Indica, as the name implies, is a cross between ruderalis and an indica hybrid that originated from Hungary and the former Soviet Union. The producers advertise this strain as being a fast and early bloomer that is still a potent hybrid.

It is still a moot point whether the genus Cannabis consists of three differing Cannabis types, or one type with a variety ranging from it. Such differences in opinion are also held with regard to plants such as Datura (Thornapple), Lophophora (Peyote) and some fungi in the Psilocybe family. Cannabis expert Mathias Bröckers declares, “it is only recently that science makes premises of single types from which variations develop. This can be seen with regard to differences in climatic conditions for the wild growth of Cannabis ruderalis compared to the resin rich Cannabis indica.”

With the other early bloomer, Ruderalis Skunk, great care was taken to maintain the original characteristics of the ruderalis strain. This hybrid is also exceptional from its primeval origin in that it is able to flower automatically, regardless of daylight hours. It will just start when it reaches a certain age. For this reason both strains are very popular as a beginner’s plant. One of the more exquisite sorts from Sensi Seeds is the Fourway – made up of 25% each of indica, ruderalis, Northern Lights and Skunk #1 – perfect for either indoor or outdoor cultivation.

Text: Markus Berger / Photos: Sensi Seeds

And further, “the question whether the genus Cannabis exists in many types or are all derived from one strain is highly controversial. The three strains Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis can be partly differentiated by subdividing two groups under Cannabis sativa, with indica as the second or by subdividing two groups under Cannabis indica with sativa as the second.” Consider this from the book Plants of the Gods by Schultes and Hofmann: “by just raising the question of how many varieties of Cannabis sorts exist, it soon becomes debatable whether the genus is a single strain that encompasses a large variety or whether there are definitive differences that separate the sorts. Currently the evidence seems to point towards three distinctive strains. Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis and Cannabis sativa can all be classified with differences in their elementary fib[er]s.”

Ruderalis is short and stocky with a maximum flowering height of between twoand five feet. In comparison with Indian hemp (indica) ruderalis has very small, short leaves, hardly any branches and produces one small, firm flower right on its main growth stem. The seed casing shows a difference in the outer covering tissue, which appears wrinkly and almost spotty. These seeds are usually smaller than their sativa counterparts but are still larger than those of indica. Traditional nicknames for ruderalis are Anascha, Konopli, Mimea, Momea, Mumeea, Penka, Penscha, Ruderalhanf,

for rituals, and that still happens today in parts of Russia and Mongolia.

Cannabis ruderalis as Folk Medicine In both Mongolia and Russia, Cannabis ruderalis is widely used as an antidepressant. A Mongolian bagashun or a Russian mumio are tonics against any and all diseases and ills. They are probably created out of a mix of ruderalis, juniper berries and bat guano. The Mongolians identify two strains of Cannabis: Cannabis sativa, which is usually used for its oil; ruderalis is usually used for its psychotropic side

FOR OUTDOOR GROWING, CANNABIS RUDERALIS CAN BEST BE CROSSED WITH PLANTS DERIVED FROM CANNABIS INDICA. BOTH TYPES ARE SMALL AND ROBUST AND HAVE A HEARTY IMMUNE SYSTEM – THE INFLUENCE OF RUDERALIS – AND PRODUCE A POTENT HIGH, THE INFLUENCE OF INDICA Russian Hemp, Primeval hemp, Wild Hemp, Rough Hemp, Hemp and Weedy Hemp. Botanical synonyms are Cannabis intersita (SOJAK); C. sativa LINNÉ ssp. spontanea (SEREBR) ex. (SEREBR et SIZOV); C. sativa LINNÉ var. ruderalis (JANISCHEWSKY); C. sativa LINNÉ var. spontanea (MANSFIELD) and Cannabis spontanea (MANSFIELD).

The History of Primeval Hemp The Greek historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus (ca. 484-425 BC) described the use of ruderalis hemp for burial rituals practiced by the Scythians. A tent would be constructed from sticks and folds of felt cloth above a fire pit, then everyone would gather under the tent and throw ruderalis seeds onto the glowing rocks and embers, whilst deeply inhaling the rising fumes. Archaeological finds have confirmed this theory of Herodotus by uncovering incense holders and leather pouches full of hemp seeds that date back 2,400 years, found in Scythian burial mounds around Mongolia.

effects. Jettmar (1981) believes that it is very likely that Mongolian shamans used ruderalis with juniper berries to induce trance-like states.

Chemical Composition Ruderalis contains about the same amount of cannabinoids as its counterparts. That includes the three main components of THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol). The quantity of THC in ruderalis is set at about 40%. In comparison, analysis shows that Cannabis sativa contains up to 70% THC. Ed Rosenthal has this to say about the psychoactive effects of ruderalis, “the high from ruderalis is more of a zoom that quickly descends into a headache. Hybrids and cross breeding, on the other hand, often produce a very respectable high.” With cross breeds, Rosenthal is referring to modern Cannabis hybrids that have evolved due to selective breeding between the ruderalis hemp plant and a sativa or indica (or already established hybrid). To conclude, let’s have a quick look at some of these interesting developments in modern hybrids founded with ruderalis.

Cannabis ruderalis was first formally described in 1924 by the Russian botanist, Janischewski. It originated in Southeast Russia but currently grows wild, from the Caucases right up into China. The name ruderalis is derived from the tough, stony places on the plains where this sturdy little plant prefers to take hold. These places are known as ruderal, so ruderalis indicates a plant that can even survive on building rubble.

The following text was excerpted from the notes unearthed at his own burial site. “Both vats contained a large amount of hemp seeds and these were placed next to the aforementioned large stones.” The seeds found were Cannabis sativa L., of the strain Cannabis ruderalis, described by Janischewsky. Hemp seeds were also discovered inside a heavy leather bottle that was attached to the base of a large vat in the form of a Scythian cauldron. The stones in the smoking vats were burned and some of the remaining seeds were carbonized. Apart from its use in burial rituals, the Scythians used this strain of hemp as their favorite tranquillizer. In Central Asia, Cannabis ruderalis has been used since prehistoric times by shamans

“HOW TO MAKE WATER HASH”

“SOIL AND HYDROPONIC GARDENING: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?”

Characteristics and Nicknames

12

The original Northern Lights is an indica hybrid with a very high potency and is the hallmark of the Sensi Seed Bank. All these different strains are evidence of how interesting games between genetic properties and conditions can be. As different as all these individual varieties of hemp are in appearance and form, so they are also different in their effect, smell, taste and vegetative habits and preferences. Cannabis ruderalis is important to cultivators, not only for its hardiness but also for its exceptional flowering ability.

For outdoor growing, Cannabis ruderalis can best be crossed with plants derived from Cannabis indica. Both types are small and robust and have a hearty immune system – the influence of ruderalis – and produce a potent high, the influence of indica. These factors are very important to the successful cross cultivator. Cross breeding with sativa produces hybrids with an average ‘high’ content. Ruderalis Indica and Ruderalis Skunk are outdoor strains produced by Sensi Seeds.

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“GROWING MEDICINE FOR FREE” 28


38

GROW REPORT

Breeders Solitaire USING A DECK OF PLAYING CARDS, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME PRINCIPLES OF BASIC MENDELIAN GENETICS BY GRUBBYCUP

Marijuana has 10 chromosomes in it’s reproductive cells, which shuffle from plant to plant like playing cards. Each chromosome has many genes which move together as a unit, and some complex traits require multiple genes to express. It would be daunting to take on all the variables at once, so this example illustrates a single regular trait, controlled by a single gene, located on a single chromosome. These types of traits are called “Mendelian traits”, and appear in two forms, a dominant form (illustrated by black cards), and a recessive form (illustrated by red cards). A trait is a particular characteristic of the plant, one example is phyllotaxis. Phyllotaxis refers to the leaf pattern, which in cannabis the dominant form starts as an opposite leaf pattern (two leaves on either side of the stem, each node rotated 90 degrees from the last), which later develops into an alternate leaf pattern in later life. The whorled form, which has three or four leaves, spaced evenly around the stem starting from the same node, is the recessive form. The black cards show plants with normal phyllotaxis, and the red cards show whorled phyllotaxis. Height, structure, flavor, aroma, THC, CBD, flowering habits, are all influenced by these rules. To represent a set of 25 starting plants, set up the board: Take a deck of cards, remove the jokers, shuffle, and deal out 25 cards face down in an 5 x 5 grid. Then deal a card face up on each of the

down cards. Suits and values on the cards are ignored. Only whether the card is red or black is counted. For each pair that has a red card face up, flip the pair to exchange the up card and the down card. This simulates dominance. At this point, you should have approximately one fourth face up cards red, and the rest black. For each trait, the seed receives two cards (alleles). One from each parent. The phenotype is the plant that is expressed by growing out the seed. No matter what the face down is, the face up card determines the phenotype.The genotype referrs to both the up card, and the down card together. If the face up card is black, then our hypothetical plant will grow with the dominate trait of opposite leaves. This will happen 3/4 of the time, since the four possibilities in the two cards are: Black, Black: True breeding for opposite leaves. Black, Red: This will show as opposite leaves, since black is dominant. Red, Black: Again, this will show as opposite leaves due to dominance. Red, Red: True breeding for whorled leaves. Keep in mind, that with real plants, there is no way to peek at the hole card. The only way to determine the value is by testing and deduction. What can be observed directly, is that about 3/4ths of the face up cards are black.

HYBRIDS ARE IDEALLY THE PRODUCT OF TWO TRUE BREEDING PLANTS OF OPPOSITE COLOR. TWO RED CARDS TO TWO BLACK CARDS

BLACK CARDS STAND FOR A DOMINANT TRAIT, SUCH AS OPPOSITE PHYLLOTAXY.

RED CARDS STAND FOR A RECESSIVE TRAIT, SUCH AS WHORLED PHYLLOTAXY, QUAD LEAF VERSION SHOWN.

This is why recessive traits are easier to breed than dominant traits, if a recessive trait expresses itself, you know it will breed true if crossed with another plant that also expresses the trait. If you take a plant with two red cards, and cross it with another plant with both cards red, all offspring will have only red cards. Feel free to check for yourself, but all the face up red cards should have a red hole card as well. As long as you only breed the recessive form to the recessive form, there will be no black cards to express dominance, and the trait will breed true. However, most of the time the face up card will be black, and the plant will show the dominant form. The reason that dominate traits are harder to work with, is that you can never be completely positive of what color the face down card is, because it doesn’t matter if the down card is red or black, the plant will express the dominant trait. What you can do with dominant traits, is keep breeding plants that appear to be true breeding for the trait until it is statistically improbable that they aren’t true breeding. If your plant is true breeding for the trait, because both cards are red, or both cards are black, it is considered to be homozygous for the trait. To stabilize a strain, as many important traits as possible are bred to be homozygous. If your plant has one red card, and one black card,

it is considered to be heterozygous for the trait. Hybrid vigor tends to express itself in heterozygous plants. F1s are the first generation after a cross. If you cross two plants, each with two black cards, then all the offspring will have two black cards, and have opposite leaves. If you cross two plants with two red cards each, then all offspring will have two red cards, and the recessive form will express. If one of the parents with a black up card has a red down card, you will still get offspring with opposite leaves, but as the generations continue, at some point two red cards will come together in the same plant, it will be a “throwback”, and show the recessive form. If you cross two plants that show the recessive form, the offspring will also show the recessive form, since there aren’t any black cards in the gene pool. Traits become stable or “fixed” when the other color card is eliminated or at least greatly reduced in the gene pool. Hybrids are ideally the product of two true breeding plants of opposite color. Two red cards to two black cards. This is why many of the better hybrids are an indica crossed with a sativa. If all the cards were the same color, which happens more often if very similar plants are crossed, then the trait would just be stable, and uneffected by hybridization, although other traits in the same plant may be hybridized.


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25 CARDS FACE DOWN IN A 5X5 GRID. THE FACE THE FACE UP CARDS SHOW WHAT THE PLANT

DOWN CARDS ARE THE “HIDDEN” GENES, THE ONES

EXPRESSES, HOW THE PLANT WILL APPEAR IF GROWN.

NOT EXPRESSED IN THE PLANT.

THE PAIRS WITH RED CARDS ON TOP ARE FLIPPED ONCE TO SIMULATE DOMINANCE.

IN A HYBRID BETWEEN TWO TRUE BREEDING IF A VARIETY HAS ALL DOMINANT OR ALL

PLANTS OF OPPOSITE FORMS, THE CHILDREN WILL

F2 PLANTS SHOW VARIATION, SINCE THE

RECESSIVE GENES FOR A TRAIT, THERE IS NO

BE SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER, AND THE DOMINANT

PAIRS CAN RECOMBINE TO EXPRESS BOTH

FORM WILL EXPRESS ITSELF.

THE DOMINANT AND RECESSIVE FORMS.

VARIATION IN THAT TRAIT.

Seperate the cards by suits into four stacks. Put the two black stacks face up together to symbolize the mother, and the red stacks face up for the father. The mother plant will show the dominate form since she has a black card, and the father plant will not, since both his cards are red. Randomly take one card from one of the two mother stacks. Since all her cards are black, it doesn’t matter which stack you take from, the card will be black. Then take one card from one of the father stacks, again, no matter which stack you take from, the card will be red. Since all children get one card from their mother, and one from their father, all the children will have one black card, and one red card. Therefore, the children will all express the dominant trait, because they will all have a black card. This is the situation in a hybrid. The F2 generation, is the generation after that, or the grandchild generation. Since in our example, we know all the offspring will have one red card, and one black card, arrange the stacks so that the mother has one red stack and one black stack, and the father has one red stack, and one black stack. Again, to simulate crossing the two parents, take one card from the mother (randomly choose between her two stacks), and do the

same with the father. What you should find, is that the results change dramatically from the F1 hybrid. The possible results are the same as in the first example, 3/4 opposite leaves (black), and 1/4 whorled (red). This is why growning seeds from hybrids result in plants that look different than the original F1 seeds, and how some traits can “hide” or “skip” generations. By understanding these basic principles, you can imrove your own seedmaking efforts dramatically.

Peace, love, and puka shells, Grubbycup



41

MUSIC REVIEWS

By Kaz Peet

Sedge Warbler ‘Welcome To The Universe’

SPANKY PANKY RECORDS Welcome to the year two, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, nine. We are about to take you to the next level!” Take an emcee that has stepped out from under the vanity induced, preschool talent fog that clouds modern day rap and lyricism. Take one producer, who despite pressure from peers, money or commercialism has stuck to his guns and produced music that he loves and music that will last. Pour these two ingredients into the mixing bowl and beat until the mixture nears perfection.. Children, get your light sabers, the space-shits hit the fan! Introducing Sedge Warbler; a duo sent back in time to f**k up your mind using the deepest, dankest bass rumbles experienced by any carbon-based life form. S.W. is Dank & Disko, two extraterrestrials from the year 20000009. Originating from the furthest reaches of the cosmos, South Africa. Sedge Warbler, have come to take control of your mind, and your bitches. Sedge Warbler brings us an earth shattering debut album consisting of ten mind and body altering tracks collectively named ‘Welcome To The Universe’. Spanning and advancing numerous genres, Sedge Warbler gift us with an ocean of Glitch Hop, Dubstep and all things Wonky & wonderful. However, one question remains, can our primitive technology handle Sedge Warbler? Only you can find out... FROM THE OPENING TITLE TRACK ‘WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSE’, SEDGE WARBLER MAKES THEIR INTENTIONS CLEAR, SETTING THE STAGE FOR A SPACEWARD VOYAGE. Next up slamming into the awkward jilting bass blams of ‘Paranormal Ox Man’ and tales of creatures that go bump in the night. ‘Face Rap’ is a cranked out tipper-esque bass juggernaut & the pace continues on with hard-hitting thumps and angular lyrics dripping with funk. ‘Pretty Hop’ brings the tempo down a notch and comes with an infectious laser bass wonk. Rolling on ‘Super Thug’ smacks the tits off it once more with gangster strings and more ass clapping glitch hop rhythms. ‘Octopus Lover’ & ‘Sand Kids’ bring the temperature back up to boiling point with more def. jug style bass bin ruckus. ‘Welcome To The Universe’ wraps up with ‘Epilogue’, the tale that perfectly closes the final chapter in this epic.

Dub Gabriel ‘Restless Youth EP’ DESTROY ALL CONCEPTS Dub Gabriel is on fiyah!!! Restless Youth is the follow up to his groundbreaking single, “Luv n’ Liv” which featured the legendary U-Roy on the mic. With Restless Youth, Dub Gabriel continues to push the musical envelope, delivering a deep and heavy dancehall-meets-dubstep scorcher. For the lead track, “No Lies”, Dub Gabriel has paired up with none other than MC Zulu, one of the most sought-after raga vocalists in electronic music today. Zulu has been killing dance floors worldwide over the past few years having collaborated with Ghislain Poirier (Ninja Tune), Soulico (J-Dub) and a host of other top producers – his newest track with Dub Gabriel is set to be one of this year’s hottest dance-floor bangers! On the studio front, Dub Gabriel once again enlisted the services of electronic music icon, Mark Pistel (Meat Beat Manifesto, Hercules & The Love Affair, Grace Jones) – the two of them immersed themselves in Room 5 Recording where they went all-out, pushing an arsenal of analog synths, drum machines, vintage tape echoes and outboard studio gear to the max. Restless Youth features 4 tracks including the incendiary “No Lies”, the post-apocalyptic sounds of “Babylon Shall Fall”, the riddim treatment of “Set the Lazers to Destroy the Sun” and, the dance floor crushing frequencies of “Tactile Evasion” - a remix of “No Lies” from one of our favorite producers, Liquid Stranger. ONCE AGAIN MASTERED BY TAYLOR DUPREE OF 12K, RESTLESS YOUTH IS DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!

Kabanjak ‘Tree of Mystery’ ESL MUSIC Released on ESL music, home of The Thievery Corporation, comes ‘Tree of Mystery’ – the debut album from Germany’s own Kabanjak. Here, one half of the block-rockin’ German hip-hop production and DJ duo Ancient Astronauts, presents his own musical vision with his debut solo album Tree of Mystery! Kabanjak not only tackles much of Tree of Mystery’s live instrumentation, including guitars, bass, keys, kalimba, flute, and melodica but also teams up with various other vocal and instrumental talents: Ulf Stricker provides snapping live drum rhythms, Canadian DMC champion and Juno Award winner DJ Brace provides cuts and scratches, poet Azeem drops conscious rhymes, and Sitali and Rykarda Parasol provide soulful incantations. WITH ITS BROAD SPECTRUM OF HAUNTING MELODIES, ROUGH RIDDIMS, AND SOLID ARRANGEMENTS, SPANNING FROM DOWNBEAT TO HIPHOP TO DUB REGGAE, KABANJAK LETS TREE OF MYSTERY DIG ITS ROOTS DEEP INTO THE MUSICAL UNDERGROUND AND GROW ITS BRANCHES RIGHT UP INTO THE SKY!

The Orb featuring David Gilmour ‘Metallic Spheres’ COLUMBIA RECORDS The Orb, the visionary UK ambient/house collective, came to collaborate with David Gilmour after working together on a version of Graham Nash’s Chicago for a charity project. Youth (aka Martin Glover), a frequent Orb accomplice, was invited to create a remix, and he and Alex Paterson, as The Orb, were so energized by the task that they continued working until it was an album-length entity. Having asked Gilmour to bring his guitars to Youth’s studio in South London to prolong and enrich their new creation, the trio worked up a sonic mixture in a range of styles. Thus, the Metallic Spheres project was born. Metallic Spheres is designed to be heard in two parts – Metallic Side and Spheres Side. EACH TRACK, OR SIDE, CONSISTS OF FIVE MOVEMENTS. THE ALBUM UNIQUELY UTILIZES DAVID GILMOUR’S DISCERNABLE ELECTRIC GUITAR AND LAP STEEL GUITAR, ALEX PATERSON’S SOUND MANIPULATION, KEYBOARDS AND TURNTABLES, AND YOUTH’S BASS GUITAR AND KEYBOARDS.

Cheikh Lo ‘Jamm’ WORLD CIRCUIT RECORDS ‘Jamm’ is the first new album in five years from one of Africa’s great musical mavericks, Senegalese sufi troubadour Cheikh Lô. This is his most distinctive and personal album since his groundbreaking, Youssou N’Dour-produced debut ‘Ne la Thiass’ in 1996. THE DREADLOCKED SINGER’S SIGNATURE BLEND OF SEMI-ACOUSTIC FLAVOURS - WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICAN, FUNK, CUBAN, FLAMENCO - HAS BEEN DISTILLED INTO HIS MOST MATURE, FOCUSED, YET DIVERSE STATEMENT TO DATE. AND HIS HUSKY, SENSUAL VOICE IS SOUNDING BETTER THAN EVER.

Rockin Acoustic Circus ‘Lonestar Lullabye’ FLYING WEASEL RECORDS The Bluegrass genre is one that has some of the best musicians at their instrument of choice and also has one of the most devoted followings from their fans. With the release of their new album, Lonestar Lullaby, Tulsa based Rockin’ Acoustic Circus is ready to continue forging down the bluegrass path before them. The astonishing thing is that the groups’ members range in age from 15-17, but with their expertise in their craft you would never know it by just listening to them. There mostly folk influenced bluegrass based sound is a little left of the dial in comparison to those traditional bluegrassers out there as they seem to be stretching genre borders and testing its boundaries more often than not. The instruments throughout the album include the standard fiddle, banjo, mandolin, etc.… but this is a band that more often than not allows their vocals to take center stage leaving the music to simply accompany them as is evident on songs like “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” However, with songs like “Bethany” you see the prominent use of the fiddle take center stage while on songs like “Money In The Bank” it is the banjo that gets you tapping along. ROCKIN’ ACOUSTIC CIRCUS BRINGS TOGETHER INFLUENCES FROM THE ACOUSTIC COUNTRY SCENE AND COMBINES THEM WITH BLUEGRASS FLARE AND FOLK TO MAKE FOR WHAT CAN BEST BE DESCRIBED AS AN AMERICANA FEEL TO A BLUEGRASS SOUND WITH THEIR NEW ALBUM LONESTAR LULLABYE.


42 Readers Re aderss Stu Stuff uff

Attention Readers!

Dear Soft Secrets The plants pictured with my gorgeous 23yo (I’m 40 you know!!!) girlfriend didn’t produce the yield I was expecting but I have been experimenting with different pot sizes, and have concluded that 19cm pots are better than 10cm, dur!! I chose Cheese Wreck predominantely because of the amazing aroma which have a weird aniseed/creosote smell when wet, but the most mellow yet strong roasted coffee aroma when dried out. The buds are hard and teardrop shaped and this strain seems to have a lot of haze in it as the leaves turn purple and the buzz is a heavy body hit, so I’m assuming it’s mostly sativa. The Big Bud and plant pictured was some Northern Lights I grew last year and was amazed at the results considering I used a mixture of baby bio and miracle grow. Check out the roots on this Cheese Wreck! This was achieved by standing the plants on a one inch bed of perlite which has to be kept moist at all times. YOURS SINCERELY, A&K Your grow room looks well lit and healthy and so does your 17-year younger girlfriend junior. The roots growing out of the their pots can be a problem when transplanting since the tender root follicles can get damaged easily. In future pot the plants on as they reach the base of the pots and they will develop quicker and become even more robust. But congrats on your Lolita-girl, it keeps us old farts staying young at heart!

Become part of the world wide growers community and star in Soft Secrets legendary ‘Dear Soft Secrets’ column. A marihuana plant, a copy of Soft Secrets and preferably your wife or girlfriend in a sexy bikini must be in the frame. Simply e-mail your entries to kristie@softsecrets.nl. NOTE: All entries are handled with the utmost discretion. Remember, we don’t publish out of focus or low resolution pics, and we don’t like photos of young plants in the veg stage. It’s fat buds and sweet babes we want to see!

E-mail: kristie@softsecrets.nl

Soft Secrets, This is one of 2 Big Bang I have had on for 9 1/2 weeks now, it was grown with 2 Blue Cheese that were chopped 3 weeks previous. Grown in 11litre pots with Soil/Perlite mix, nutes were a range of Bio Bizz, vegged under a 125ww Fluro and flowered under a 250w Sodium. After taking out the BCheese it has really come on, no probs with mold and covered in resin, I’ve heard mixed reviews about this but I’m looking forward. Next up, SOG including some OG18#, Pineapple express, LA Conf and Chiesel! In a bitch! GERRADO This Big Bang plant could have grown much wider had it been given the room to expand early on. In future try concentrating on a few larger plants rather than many smaller plants if the aim is to increase yield. Otherwise this is a great example of homegrowing.

LE POISON ROUGE, FRANCE


43 This is a picture of the love of my life......and my girlfriend! She’s a Super Skunk from the Greenhouse grown under 600W sodium, they were veg’d for seven weeks and flowered for eight. The medium used was La Canna Gold Mix soil using La Canna fertiliser and La Canna boost with a final push of PK13. Produced around 8oz per plant. Thanks for all the information provided by the Soft Secrets crew over the years, its been a pleasure. PEACE Well, you’re not quitting, are you? Or is it that you are going to be married (understandable), and become a “good citizen”? Your girlfriend is an extraordinary beauty, if you prefer your garden, you better send her over to Soft Secrets HQ in Amsterdam. She’ll have plenty of mates to play with. Dear Soft Secrets, I am sending you my first attempt of Big Buddha Cheese. BOB Big Buddha Bob strikes again. Next time remove the lower branches that yielded nothing, and use a bigger plant pot. You’ll get a better harvest. And stop toking for a while, we can’t put our finger on it but somehow you look a bit pale…

This is a picture of my first grow in darkroom 60x60x140. x9 One Buds in 12/12 only, under 250w Osram Plantastar, with Plagron Alga Bloom. Harvest after 12 weeks, 3 weeks with water and 10 days of black. ANONYMOUS The 10 days of black at the end slightly confuses us. When was the last time the sun went away for 10 days? Or did you mean you smoked them and then went ‘black’ for 10 days straight? In that case we want a puff too! But remember: an input of high intensity light during the last few days of flowering is essential to help the natural oils of the plant develop to their fullest.

Grew these 6 Cheese plants in soil from B-Q using General Hydro Flora nutrients, PK13-14 at 5 weeks and got an average of .5 ounce per plant. Then the 6 foot 6 inch grew two of these using hydro system with air pumped into baths using mini-mouse pump flooding root mass using vita link a and b and house and garden products all under 4 x 600w hps both monsters. Yield 16 ounces, the plant I’m standing next to was 6 foot 6 inch, unreal. All for less than £250! Well worth it and thank N.A.S.A for your help and always remember ELVIS is alive and well and living in the U.K YOURS WANKINGLY, ELVIS Good old B-Q soil and PK 13-14 , a grower can’t grow wrong with that formula – it’s that simple. What type of Cheese is that man?


44 FROM OUR LADY IN SPAIN Take note readers, of that great red tub!

Hi Soft Secrets Here I have some pics of my Super Skunk grow on harvest day. I have been using House and Garden A+B formula with the added bonus of using their shooting powder additive which the plants just adored. They were grown in clay pebbles and under 2x 600w HPS lights with Cool Tubes and extra suplimentary lighting. Please keep a close eye out for more pics from me as I am after editor’s choice! HAPPY TOKIN’ FROM SMOKEDOUTALLDAY Well we were about to crown you photo of the month but then we saw all those rotting, decaying dead leave tips.. They’re an open invitation to diseases and mould. But do try again mate.


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46

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Translations: Jules Marshall Comics: Jim Stewart Editorial adress: E-mail: kristie@softsecrets.nl Advertisements: Telephone: +1-661-333 3151 E-mail: jessica@softsecrets.nl A word from the publisher: To the chagrin of the US Federal Government, almost half of the states have embarked on a process of relative liberalization towards the use of Cannabis, and Cannabis activists are engaged in broadening this progression. Some townships, mayors and police chiefs – on a local level – now actively support a ‘compassion club’ distribution system as a way of separating recreational stoners from the people who legitimately need therapeutic help, simultaneously decreasing the number of unnecessary arrests. Whether they are finding their way to the local medical distribution point or growing for personal stash, Cannabis users are a menace to no one and are causing no discernible social problem. Some politicians, and even more non-users than ever, are calling for the outright legalization of marijuana. Taxpayers are frustrated with funding the incarceration of first-time, non-violent drug offenders (read: pot smokers) as well as the social toll that high numbers of imprisonment brings to some towns and neighborhoods. Now we must be patient and see how the debate develops during a period of relative peace between both sides. In the meantime, the publisher hopes Soft Secrets will expose the positive aspects of the normalization of Cannabis use to the public, and is excited to offer a forum to both proand anti-legalization advocates. Soft Secrets forums operate under the assumption that the publisher does not necessarily agree with the views and opinions expressed in articles and advertisements therein. The publisher therefore distances himself explicitly from statements or images that might give the impression that an endorsement is being made for the illicit use or production of Cannabis. Soft Secrets does not advocate breaking any laws, whether local-, state-, Federal or international. Nothing from this publication may be copied or reproduced in any format without prior permission from the publisher and other copyright holders. The publisher is not responsible for the content and/or point of view of advertisements. The editors take no responsibility for unsolicited submissions.

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