THE BUDS AND THE BEES: Can Cannabis Save Dying Bee Populations?

Bees are some of the most beneficial insects on the planet. They pollinate over 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of our crop species. Due to colony collapse disorder, the number of hives is the United States is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. As the cannabis industry continues to expand, cannabis growers and consumers can take action to support vulnerable bee populations.

Are Bees Attracted to Cannabis?

There are few studies on bees and cannabis, and no known relationship between the two. Bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers, plants that produce pollen and nectar. Cannabis is pollinated by the wind, and its nondescript flower color does little to attract bees. Male cannabis plants produce some pollen, but cannabis growers prefer female sinsemilla plants, which are not pollinated and do not contain seeds. If bees were to pollenate cannabis, it would likely be as a last resort. Bees also have no cannabinoid receptors, so it is unlikely that they get a buzz from cannabis, as humans do.

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Everything You Want to Know about Mother Plants and Clones

Having plants that all predictably grow at the same rate and mature at the same time is a big advantage. That’s why so many cannabis growers start their crops with clones taken from mother plants.

Phenotype vs. Genotype: What’s the Difference?

In rooted cuttings (i.e., clones), phenotype refers to the physical appearance of the plant. Plants with the same genetic makeup can wind up looking different—displaying different phenotypes—if they’re not grown under the same conditions. Sometimes the term can also refer to the different appearances that occur in seeds from the parental cross.

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The 2017 Ultimate Grow Guide: Soil vs. Hydro

When it comes to the age-old debate over whether it’s better to grow cannabis in soil, or to grow the plant hydroponically, what we’re really talking about in 2017 is outdoor versus indoor growing. Why, you might ask? Simply put, it’s because no one actually grows indoors using real topsoil anymore, as our indoor “soils” are really soilless mixes that are coco-, peat- or sphagnum-based. And, technically speaking, these soilless mixes are, by definition, hydroponic mediums; today, the only real earth soil used is in outdoor gardens. So let’s examine the pros and cons associated with both growing outdoors in soil and growing indoors in hydroponic mediums.

Indoor hydro growers like this NorCal operation use “soilless” mediums. (Photo by Nico Escondido)

Yield vs. Quality

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OREGON GIRL GARDENS: Planting for Future Generations

“We started this epic journey back in the beginning of 2016, which is crazy because a year ago none of this was here.” Audra Cordell gestures at her farm, a plot of land 30 minutes south of Portland that comprises Oregon Girl Gardens. It was her sister-in-law, Robin Cordell, who approached Audra about launching a family-owned cannabis grow. Audra remembers: “She came to me and said, ‘I want to do this business. I want to grow local craft cannabis, incorporating biodynamic, regenerative agriculture. We’ll stand out as a small, women-owned farm.’”

Pink ChampagneRobin’s background made cannabis cultivation a natural choice. She earned a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University, managed medical marijuana gardens for years, and learned the art of permaculture design. Audra, who trained and worked as a geologist and then a teacher, had always been interested in growing vegetables and cut flowers. Looking for a way to be closer to relatives and spend more time with her child, she embraced the opportunity to launch Oregon Girl Gardens. She and her family now live on the farm, and Robin lives ten minutes away.

“We want to show people it’s okay to use cannabis. We’re changing the paradigm so there’s not the stigma. We hope to be an example of what’s possible…”

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CULTURE OF CURING: Yofumo’s Revolutionary, Post-Harvest Terpene Enhancement

One of the most overlooked aspects of cannabis cultivation is the curing process, which is a bit odd, as curing is one of the most crucial components in producing a quality harvest. Denver-based company Yofumo, however, is about to put curing on the map. Their patent-pending technology takes the “guessing game” out of curing, and even enhances flavor and aroma while optimizing the flower’s natural terpene profile. Growers thereby have total access and control over the environment of their drying units, with the added assurance that their yields will be free from antimicrobial harm.

When Colorado legalized cannabis, Yofumo CEO and Co-Founder Alfonso Campalans noted the difficulties in ensuring the plant’s integrity in the post-harvest stage. Campalans thought of a small box from his childhood in Venezuela, one that sanitized water with ozone—one of the safest agents used to rid water of harmful bacteria, still used to this day. Then it hit him: what if he could harness the power of ozone, and apply these properties to the cannabis cultivation process? Imagine as a grower, having the ability to always guarantee the cleanliness of your herb? I’ve seen mold destroy entire harvests overnight, and the potential effects of accidentally smoking flower exposed to molds and other fungi can be quite dangerous.

With Yofumo, clean cannabis is just the beginning. The real game changer is the curing unit’s ability to enhance terpene profiles. Terpenes, the flavor and aromas naturally found in the cannabis plant, can also be found anywhere in nature, from pine needles to fruit. Imagine having the ability to not only enhance your favorite strain’s terpene level, but also having the option to experiment and add any type of natural terpene to compliment your flower.

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ITALY JUST OPENED ITS FIRST CANNABIS CLONE SHOP: But Will Italian Law Stifle This Budding Development?

Milan saw the opening of Italy’s first cannabis clone shop, the Hemp Embassy, on June 15. This concept, never before seen in Italy, offers the public a chance to buy live cannabis plants to take home—but according to Italian law, they may not allow the plants to produce flowers!

We went to check out the opening of the new store, and talked to owner Alberto Valsecchi about the concept. He explains that his company is working in partnership with the original Hemp Embassy in Vienna, Austria, a store that has been open since 1998. They offer three hundred high-quality, much sought-after cannabis strains.

“I had been thinking of a concept along these lines since the early ‘90s, and over the last few years I visited Barcelona so many times to figure out the finer points of the law, and whether I could open a social club in Italy. Then, in 2013/2014, I met a German girl and had a daughter – they both live in Austria. So destiny brought me to the right country where a similar dream had already been brought to life,” says Alberto.

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Solstice Strains for Summer

Enjoy all the activities of the summer months with these uplifting strains.

It’s officially summer! Whether you’re taking time off from a busy college schedule or carving out extra time around your busy work schedule, this is when socializing is at an all-time high. That means it’s time to get out in the sunshine with some sativas that will keep you in a good mood without making you feel tired, sluggish or sleepy. For people preparing for festivals, nights out dancing, activity-packed vacations or just a lazy weekend at the house, this list of uplifting strains can help keep you in good spirits while you take on a day of back-to-back plans.

Sour Diesel

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Grow Q&A: Can I Grow My Pot Plants in Clear Plastic Cups?

Dear Dan,

I transplanted some clones into clear plastic cups using Happy Frog potting soil and Plant Success Granular to maximize root growth. It’s been a couple days, and I have watered them as needed. I noticed today though around the root ball, there appears to be a green moss or a fungus. Do you have any idea what this is and what I might be able to do to get rid of it, if need be. Thank you very much. — Hans

Dear Hans,

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Watch: Episode 5 of ‘Growing Exposed’—Medical Marijuana Miracle

In this 5th episode of Growing Exposed, we start out with a tour of a top-notch, federally licensed, 100 percent organic medical growing facility, followed by one man’s battle and how one remarkable plant literally saved his life.

Creator of the show, Jeremy Deichen, reminds us that many of the tours are so exclusive that you would never get an inside look except through the lens of Growing Exposed.

This is one of those facilities.

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Lifesaver: A Look into the Concentrates at Craft710

Craft 710 is based out of Denver and Pueblo Colorado, and the name “craft” suits them—as this brand has mastered the craft of concentrates, providing bright and tasty BHO, PHO, full-melt water hash, distillate, hash rosin and more to the recreational and medical markets since 2015.

They are offered in over 350 dispensaries throughout Colorado, accessible just about everywhere in the state. Craft 710 provides an option at both medical dispensaries with its “Panacea” line, as well as the “Sesh” Line, which is available to the recreational market.

The Panacea products released by Craft 710 are their in-house grown and extracted concentrates.

Read more at High Times