* This is an article that i read in an edition of HIGH TIMES. I thought it was a good one so here it is.... READ IT! *
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History of Pot
It was like being a character in a movie and watching the movie at the same time. I could see myself on the big silver
screen driving a car, yet I was behind the wheel driving the car. What a feeling! I liked it. Still do! This was the first
time I smoked pot. It was Mexican dirt weed back in the "long hot summer" of1968, the peak of the 60s.
Mexican was all we could get back then. It smelled, like dank dirt. The high from the Mexican sativa almost always
sent you soaring, once you smoked enough of it. Usually about 3 grams, 2 huge joints. Growers would hack down entire plants,
male and females alike, stuff them wet, or at best half dry, into an old adobe brick press and crank out bricks. Kilos with
pressed lizards inside them were common. The product would be smuggled across the Rio Grande River or over the desert to sell
to the Gringos up north. You could buy a pound near the border for less than $100 US.
Today Mexican weed has come up a few notches and sells for less than $1000 US a pound on the US side near the border.
Just 30 short years ago Americans were smoking predominately Mexican, Colombian, Jamaican, Thai and Vietnamese varieties.
Europeans smoked hash exclusively. A few Australians smoked killer Southeast Asian weed, but most preferred hash. Today Americans
are growing more than half of their own crop and receiving shipments world-wide. Europeans still smoke imported hash but produce
and smoke their own world class bud. Australians do the same. Today there is more domestic marijuana production in the US,
Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand than ever before.
The US continues to lag behind the rest of the world where growing cannabis is tolerated. After my first taste
of Mexican dirt weed, different seeded Mexican marijuanas began to distinguish themselves in the coming years, Michoacan,
Sinaloa, Oaxacan, (all named after regions of Mexico) Popo Blue, Acapulco Gold, (regions with physical characteristics), etc.
Also around that time, clandestine Colombian emerald dealers were displaced when the fair market price was floated on emeralds,
doing away with an easy black market. They turned to selling weed to the Yanks up north. Grown predominately in Santa Marta
and Guajira peninsula, these tropical sativas were some of the best in the world.
Then came the revelation, marijuana without seeds, sinsemilla. I smoked my first joint of sinsemilla in 1975 near
Mexico City, close to the recently erupted volcano Popocatepetl. I Will never forget the first few hits on that joint of "Popo
Blue!" A godsend! The only trouble was the Mexicans figured there was only enough sinsemilla for them and it seldom made
it outside of the country. Many gringos smoked sinsemilla in Mexico. Scores brought seeds with them north to try their hand
at cultivation. They had learned the magic, remove the male from the garden and you got sinsemilla!
Vietnam War veterans introduced strong varieties to the US. In fact, for my taste, Thai, a pure tropical sativa is
the best in the world. The world famous "Haze" discovered by a famous California breeder, is definitely my all time
favorite. This tropical plant flowers for months and months yielding huge branches of wispy flowers-unfortunately a poor producer.
The soaring Haze high continues to climb joint after joint. A wonderful high that few US residents actually experience. Haze
is available from Dutch seed companies.
My first brush with Thai was when a disillusioned Vietnam War "hero" friend, brought back a duffel bag
(about 40 pounds) full of "Thai sticks". These original "Thai sticks" were select sativa buds carefully
plucked from ripe females and painstakingly tied to a 8-10-inch sliver of bamboo. About 20 pounds of the sticks were rolled
in opium that soaked into the buds. Oh the old days!
The 60s and 70s
Growing in America started in force during the mid 70s. From the late 60s through the mid 70s cultivation was very
basic. Most of the seed stock was acclimated to sub-tropical and tropical climates of Mexico south through Columbia, Hawaii
and the Vietnam/Thailand area. Basic breeding was accomplished. Farmers with a sense of adventure harvested large patches,
sometimes acres. Growers had no concept of the US special forces military (DEA) that would soon be used against them.
Mountain varieties that matured early, grew short, with wide leaves and copious quantities of THC from the India,
Pakistan, Hemalayas, Nepal, Hindu-Kush region, etc. were brought back by growers who had trekked East. These seeds found their
way to Northern California where they were bred with tropical varieties from other regions. The result were incredible strains
such as Afghani, A1, Skunk#1 and California Orange.
Hippie growers found cheap land in Northern California and later Southern Oregon. Others found homes along the coast
and inland from San Diego north. They moved there in droves from the early 70s through the mid 80s. They planted lots of pot
in the template Pacific Coast mountain range and the low-lying hills between the Sierras. These plants were some of the best
I have ever seen. Growers there really put their hearts and souls into their gardens. The big secret they had was a huge planting
hole and a potent organic soil mix that was packed with manures, rock phosphate, meals and of course some bio-active ingredients
to make the uptake of nutrients speed into overdrive. Farm listings at the real estate offices in Garberville, CA often listed
the number of "seasoned planting holes".
One of my favorite growers lived in Willits, CA. Every year he would grow 10 to 20 huge plants of a sweet organic
sativa/indica crosses. Average plants weighed in with 5 pounds of dried manicured tops. He sold his first crop for $1200 a
pound in 1978. The same smoke, if you can find it today, sells for $5000 - $6000 per pound! His secrets to grow enormous plants
were plenty of sunshine, huge planting holes, plenty of water and good seeds. It was that simple then and it is that simple
First he dug huge, 4-foot deep 4-foot round planting holes. The clay soil on the mountainside garden located 1,200
feet above sea level is poor and grows mainly grasses, woody scrub brush and pine trees. The 30 inches of annual rainfall
comes during winter and spring months. The summer and fall are dry, perfect for predominately sativa plants. Temperatures
climb to 90 degrees or higher most summer days and water is very important. He dug a shallow hole on the hillside above the
plants and installed a large 1500-gallon plastic water tank. The tank held more than enough water to keep the plants well
irrigated. The water was lifted from a creek with a High Lifter(TM) water pump to the reservoir. Very simple and efficient.
He would fill planting holes with a very rich mix containing 25% topsoil and 75% special soil mix he made from composting
everything he could find for the last year. He would haul truck loads of grass clippings, chipped trees, old leaves, kitchen
scraps, garden trimmings, everything, and compost it in a "hot pile" that cooks at 140 degrees + F. He would also
add cow, sheep, rabbit, horse manure, rock phosphate, seaweed, kelp, granite dust, blood meal and humic acid. He would fertilize
occasionally with a light sprinkling of aged chicken manure.
Plants were started indoors in small pots full of a fine soilless mix. After a month's time indoors, he would harden
off potted plants by setting them outdoors several hours a day. After transplanting the seedlings to the outdoor holes, he
would cover with a "hot cap" heavy wax-coated 18-inch-tall tent to protect them from the cool weather at nights.
He constructed a chicken wire fence to enclose the plants until they were about 3 feet tall. By this time, they were strong,
full of cellulose and bitter to an animal's pallet. He always harvested sweet buds when there were about half of the female
pistils extruding from the seed bracts turned reddish-brown.
The Sinsemilla Tips Years
The laws grew progressively repressive. More tax dollars were doled out to irradicate this wonderful weed. Still,
growers continued to rebel and plant more marijuana. Sinsemilla Tips, the "Trade Journal of the Domestic Marijuana
Industry," (for back issues call 1-800-888-6785) was published for more than a decade, 1980-1990. Tips reported politics
and countless growing strategies and techniques that helped millions of growers. One Thursday in October of 1989, the DEA
raided more than 50 garden centers that advertised in Tips and HIGH TIMES. Some of those arrested were charged with crimes.
Millions of dollars of merchandise was confiscated and impounded, driving stores out of business. Several store owners were
arrested and some are still in jail including the Tucker Family with sentences ranging from 10 to 16 years. (For more information
see the book Shattered Lives, available from High Times Bookstore (800) 851-7039.)
Today, ten years later, more marijuana is being grown in America than ever before. Large discount stores such as
COSTCO sell the same indoor garden equipment-HID lights, hydroponics, fertilizers, etc.-that so-called "grow" stores
CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) was organized by the Feds. CAMP officers supported military tactics, uniforms,
equipment and arsenals! Every autumn CAMP solders would march in and bust growers and steal their gardens. The helicopters
would swoop down and dump a swarm of specially outfitted officers to haul off the pot and burn it publicly for the press.
Today the same tactics continue in America.
Indoor growing with lights started in the Seattle, Washington area in the early 70s. First the sun-starved Seattelites
used fluorescents. They switched to halides and HP sodiums in the late 70s. The marijuana seed varieties that were being developed,
'Northern Lights', 'Big Bud' and Skunks, etc.-all indica/sativa crosses-grew very well indoors under lights. Lights got a
bad rap at first, with outdoor growers claiming indoor bud would not get you high. Later it was "not as high." Now
conissours demand specific indoor varieties.
Seattle growers saw the light immediately. Forty-watt fluorescents gave way to 1000-watt halides and HP sodiums.
Halides and HP sodiums, invented in the early 70s would seed the way to a new boom in indoor marijuana cultivation. Early
growers would simply hang up a halide, throw some dirt in pots and plant seeds. Some of the pioneer indoor growers harvested
amazing crops. One grower I interviewed back then regularly grew 2.5 pounds of tops under a single 1000-watt halide shining
on a garden of 5-gallon pots full of plants in mushroom compost. He started clones, the biggest innovation since HP sodiums,
grew them a month, transplanted them to large pots, then flowered the crop. An inefficient "china hat" hood covered
the vertical halide and his only instrument was a thermometer!
Holland - Amsterdam - The change of the movement
The Dutch started selling hash from Coffee shops in the late 60s. The Happy Family, Rusland and the Bull Dog, were
among the first. By the mid 70s an entire industry was smoking. During the 80s legions of growers and breeders from America
and Australia had spats with the law. These pot pioneers congregated in the Netherlands, many still live near or in Amsterdam.
The savvy experts brought their seed stock with them. The synergy of this handful of world-class breeders and the permissive
Dutch cultivation laws made Amsterdam the world's cannabis capital. Suddenly all the variables were together in one place-desire,
knowledge, climate, good laws and finally good seeds!
The best breeders from around the world and the Netherlands turned out quality hybrid seeds, lots of them. The Seed
Bank, Lowland Seeds, and SSSC Seed Club, were among the first Dutch companies to be known world wide. Now the Dutch seed companies
must produce their seed illegally due to a recent change in the law. They can still sell seeds, but must produce them outside
the Netherlands. Many of more than a dozen companies that entered the Cannabis Cup are now setting up production/breeding
facilities in Switzerland.
BC Canada - Marc Emery
Marc Emery came West from London, Ontario, Canada in 1994 to be crowned the "Prince of Pot", marijuana's
chief advocate in Vancouver, BC. Emery realized the liberal laws and tolerant attitude in Vancouver and the surrounding Lower
Mainland would withstand endless testing. Vancouver, BC hosts numerous seed companies. (many advertise on the internet such
as seedblaster.com and laughing-moon.com) Marc Emery Seeds Direct sells a large array of marijuana seeds mail order via Cannabis
Culture Magazine. You can walk into the Amsterdam Cafe at 302 W. Cordova, Vancouver, BC (for more info call (604)-683-7200)
and purchase quality seeds from Holland and BC.
Numerous growers are flocking to Canada to escape the Draconian marijuana laws in the US. Canadian growers are super
smart, very advanced and well equipped. Many of them are growing as much as one half gram every 30 days per 1000 watts of
HID light. This translates to about 18 ounces per 1000-watt light per month. BC also shares along with the NW USA, very cheap
hydroelectric rates-less than $0.05 US per KWH (kilowatt hour), half to one third to the rates in California. BC growers invest
about $20 in electricity for every pound of manicured buds they produce. European influences - Switzerland/Spain/UK Three
years ago, Swiss growers began to cultivate marijuana legally on a large scale. There were always growers in Switzerland,
but they were very quiet. Now they are cultivating large fields of pot publicly. They have been growing indoors, outdoors
and in greenhouses. The Swiss are fortunate because they can find seeds and clones over the counter in retail garden shops.
The industrious Swiss are incredible growers! They do everything to maximize indoor and outdoor marijuana production. Several
big farms legally grow acres of prime bud outdoors, in greenhouses and indoors under lights. This high quality marijuana is
packed into a "Smelling Bag" or "Headache Pillow" and sold as a health aid. The Swiss held their first
Cannabis Cup in 1999.
Swiss cover fields of marijuana with dark plastic to simulate a 12 hour night. Every day a crew drags large tarps
over low-slung greenhouse hoops to "black out" the pot. The harsh inland and mountain climates make covering plants
to achieve an early harvest a must.
Spain has one of the fastest growing cultivation movements in Europe. Spanish plants bask openly in the sunshine
of the Iberian Peninsula. In many zones plants grow year round. The gene pool developed differently than in Holland, containing
many South American and African varieties. Indoor cultivation is just starting but promises to come on strong over the next
Austrians, Germans and Swiss are served by more than 200 stores that cater to indoor marijuana growers. Germans lost
the right to sell seeds in April 1999, but its just a short trip across the borders to Switzerland or the Netherlands. Seeds
are legal in the UK and indoor growing took off about 5 years ago. The British are world-class gardeners. Weed World and Redeye
Express are the two marijuana mags from the British Isles. The grow scene continues to expand rapidly. The French remain fascists
and marijuana is still very illegal, although inroads are being made.
Australia - NZ
There are about 500 indoor hydroponic stores in Australia! That's more than double the number of stores than in America
and Canada combined! Just think about it-less than 20 million people populate Australia, and more than 300 mi llion inhabit
the US and Canada. They are cranking out the good stuff! Australians have all the genetic capabilities available in the Netherlands
and Canada. They have been growing some of the best dope in the world for years. Several regions boast a perfect outdoor cultivation
climate, but little is grown outdoors by the 85% urban population. At least one coffee shop in Sidney sells marijuana publicly
Ingenious growers have come a long way since the early indoor days. Smart growers use the 600-watt HP sodium lamp
shines 7 percent brighter watt-for-watt than 1000-watt bulbs. The newest bulbs are measured in PAR watts. The PAR system
measures the light plants actually use. An entire new family of PAR lamps is available. Look for a complete rundown o PAR
watts in the upcoming HT. New reflectors gain growers 40 percent or more more light. The "Grow-Wing", the PL Octagonal
"M" and Ablights "Adjust-A-Wing" top the list as the most efficient for most grow rooms. See HT Feb. 1998
for more information. Ozone generators are a grower's security blanket. Skunky smells attract cops and robbers. Ozone generators
virtually do away with all odors when properly used. The extracted grow room air must linger in a "treatment chamber"
for up to a minute.
Computer aided growing helps increase yields that last 10 percent. Green Air's computer/grow room controller the
Model GHC-3 is made for small greenhouses. This is one of the first computer controlled devices that will run with Microsoft
Windows. This computer/grow room controller is the first of a new wave of grow room technology. Cloning gels stick to cutting
stems and make rooting clones with a 100 percent "stick" rate easy.
Europeans see the "War on Drugs" as a war against the American citizens. Many compare it to the internal
wars on Third world populations. They see little difference. Citizens go to jail for personal/political freedom issues and
a fascist government stays in power.
Thirty years ago when the "War on Drugs" started, growers were harvesting single 1 to 5 pound outdoor plants
and selling manicured tops for $1,000 US per pound. Today growers are harvesting 10 to 40 plants per light, 2 to 6-ounce plants,
five times a year that sell for $5000 per pound. Who is winning the "War on Drugs"?
Story by Jorge Cervantes and Copyright 2003. Previously appeared in slightly different format in High Times magazine.
* All articles are in order given... scroll down & READ! *
What is THC, CBD and CBN?
How to germinate Seeds
Breeding for Beginners
What to consider when setting up a grow room?
How to set up a grow room step-by-step?
Recent Innovations in Growroom Technology
How to make clones step-by-step?
What is THC, CBD and CBN?
Cannabis is the only plant that produces chemicals called cannabinoids, however, with gene splicing and genetic engineering,
it is only a matter of time until cannabinoids are added to other plants. Cannabinoids are ingredients unique to cannabis;
the psychoactive cannabinoids are
responsible for the mind-bending effects of marijuana. Some cannabinoids get you high.
Around 40 cannabinoids have been confirmed to exist, but
most are not psychoactive. Here is a short rundown on the six most prominent cannabinoids. THC, the main ingredient that
gets you high, is called: D9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol. All cannabis, whether industrial hemp or drug marijuana, contains
some D9 THC. Industrial hemp cannabis contains infinitesimal amounts while dried flower tops (buds) of potent marijuana
can contain up to 25 percent D9 THC. In potent varieties of marijuana, perhaps all of the mind-bending effects are derived
from D9 THC.
D8 THC is found in very low concentrations in cannabis. It also gets you high, but there is so little D8 THC in most cannabis
that researchers, breeders and growers concentrate on the more abundant and potent D9 THC.
To simplify matters we will refer to both D9 THC and D8 THC as THC. Cannabidiol, known as CBD, also appears in virtually
all varieties of cannabis. The amount of CBD varies enormously, from a trace to more than 95 percent of all cannabinoids present
in a plant. CBD generally has a
sedative effect regarding the high you experience. CBD, when combined with THC, tends to postpone the beginning of the
high, but, the good part is that CBD can make it last twice as long. Whether CBD increases or decreases the force of the high
is subjective and must be discerned by each smoker.
Cannabinol, or CBN, is produced as THC oxidizes or degrades. Only a trace of CBN exists in fresh bud. Stored and cured
tops or hashish have higher levels of CBN, that has converted from THC. Marijuana with high levels of CBN generally make the
toker feel disoriented and often sleepy
or groggy, often referred to as a stupefying high. At best CBN contains only 10 percent of the psychoactive potency of
the original THC.
Tetrahydrocnnabivarin, called THCV, is the shorter three-carbon propyl that replaces the five-carbon pentyl chain. This
compound is associated with the fragrance of the plant. In other words, very pungent smelling marijuana normally contains
THCV. Warmer temperatures bring out more
THCV is found in very potent marijuana that originated in
Southeast and Central Asia as well as regions in Africa. Concentrations of THCV usually make the high come on quicker
and disappear sooner. There is still much research to do on this cannabinoid. Cannabichromene, or CBC, may make up to 20 percent
of the cannabinoid profile in a plant. Little study has been done on this cannabinoid. So far, researchers believe that it
may interact with THC to make the high more intense.
Marijuana Chemistry, Excerpted from Section One, Indoor Marijuana Horticulture, The Indoor Bible
How to germinate seeds
Cannabis seeds need only water, heat and air to germinate. They sprout without light in a wide range of temperatures.
Properly nurtured seeds germinate in 2 – 7 days, in temperatures from 70 – 90 degrees F. Temperatures
above 90 degrees F impair germination. At germination, the outside protective shell of the seed splits and a tiny, white sprout
pops out. This sprout is the taproot. Cotyledon or seed leaves emerge from within the shell as they push upward in search
Popular germination techniques:
Soak seeds overnight in a cup of water. Make sure seeds get good and wet so that growth is activated. Do not let seeds
soak more than 24 hours or they might get too wet and suffer oxygen depravation and rot. Once soaked, seeds are ready to be
placed between moist paper towels to sprout, planted in a root cube or fine, light soilless mix.
In a warm location (70 – 90 degrees F) place seeds in a moist paper towel or cheesecloth, making sure they are
in darkness. Set the moist cloth or paper towel in a vertical position (so tap root grows down) on a grate (for drainage)
on a dinner plate.
Water the cloth daily, keeping it moist, letting excess water drain away freely. The cloth will retain enough moisture
to germinate the seed in a few days. The seed contains an adequate food supply for germination, but watering with a mild fertilizer
mix will hasten growth. If living in a humid climate, water with a mild 2 percent bleach or fungicide solution to prevent
fungus. Once seeds have sprouted and the white sprout is visible, carefully pick up the fragile sprouts and plant them. Take
care not to expose the tender rootlet to prolonged intense light or air. Cover the germinated seed in one quarter to one half-inch
of fine planting medium with the white sprout tip (the root) pointing down.
Sow (direct seed) or move the sprout into a shallow planter, one to five-gallon pot, peat pellet or rooting cube. Keep
the planting medium evenly moist. Use a spoon to contain the root ball when transplanting. Peat pellets or root cubes may
be transplanted in 2 – 3 weeks or when the roots show through the sides. Fertilize with a dilute fertilizer solution.
To construct a moisture tent over the seedling container, place a baggie or piece of cellophane over the seeded soil.
The cover will keep the humidity high and temperature elevated. Seeds usually need only one initial watering when under a
humidity tent. Remove the cover as soon as the first sprout appears. Leaving the tent on will lead to damping-off and other
A humidity tent keeps the climate just right for rooting.
Place planted seeds under the HID lamp while germinating to add dry heat. The heat dries soil, which requires more frequent
watering. Place a heat pad or soil heating cables below growing medium to expedite germination. Marijuana seeds germinate
and sprout quickest when the soil temperature is between 75 – 80 degrees F. and the air temperature is at 70 degrees.
Cannabis Clue: Maintain the growing medium temperature between 75 & #8211; 80 degrees F. day and night to root cuttings
Super Size Secret: Keep the temperature of the rooting medium at 78 – 80 degrees and ambient air temperature
6 – 8 degrees cooler than the rooting medium, day and night. Root growth increases dramatically.
Warning! Internodes will stretch if temperatures exceed 85 degrees F for long. The temperature must stay below 95 degrees
F through flowering.
Seedlings emerging from peat pots first develop seed (cotyledon) leaves before growing first set of "true leaves".
Over-watering is the biggest obstacle some growers face when germinating seeds and growing seedlings. Keep the soil uniformly
moist, not waterlogged. Setting root cubes or planting flats up on a grate allows good drainage. A shallow flat or planter
with a heat pad underneath may require daily watering, while a deep, one gallon pot will need watering every 3 days or more.
A well-watered flat of rockwool cubes needs water every 3 – 5 days when sprouting seeds. When the surface is dry
(1/8-inch deep) it is time to water. Remember there are few roots to absorb the water early in life and they are very delicate.
Breeding for Beginners
Do you want to be the creator of bud with your own personal stamp of approval, mind-numbing nugs that bear your name? Growers
with the dedication, time, energy, patience and a safe haven can name their own tops. Join the groundswell of “
breeders ” lending Mother Nature a helping hand and develop your own “ kind” of cannabis.
Seed companies that advertise on the internet and in magazines have made good marijuana seeds easier to acquire than ever
before. Check out what I mean by typing “ marijuana seeds ” into your internet search engine. A simple
search will render references to tens of thousands of companies. However, most US residents are too paranoid to order the
seeds via the internet or from magazine advertisements. Some growers take the chance of visiting companies in Canada, Netherlands
or the United Kingdom personally to buy marijuana seeds and mail them back to their homeland. Often seed companies refuse
to send seeds to US addresses because it is prohibited by law. High quality seeds are difficult to attain through friends
or dealers because these circles are small and secretive. Seeds found in buds are often immature or produce inferior quality
marijuana. Therefore growers choose to breed their own seed to keep harvests massive and potent.
Starting with varieties that were developed and disseminated by these companies, growers can use simple crossing techniques
to learn about breeding and work with traits that are fairly easy to change - such as, plant size, fragrance and potency.
Even though simple experimentation, it is possible to produce the desirable plants.
To breed a grower must understand the principles of plant reproduction, heredity and environmental stress. By mastering
these principles and simple techniques a grower can make crosses to produce new varieties or strains.
Cannabis plants inherit their genetic characteristics from their sets of parents. Natural heredity laws define why offspring
inherit different traits from the same parents. These laws assist breeders to forecast the number of offspring that stand
to inherit a specific trait. Anybody who is serious about breeding has a good background in the laws of heredity. It's essential.
All plant cells contains chromosomes, microscopic forms inside cells. Genes occur in pairs within these chromosomes. Chromosomes
are building blocks of genes and genes determine the characteristics of cannabis. Every cannabis cell contains two genes (one
chromosome) for each characteristic. To illustrate, lets look at sex. Each plant has one male gene and one female gene. Cannabis
has 10 pairs of chromosomes which makes a total of 20 chromosomes.
Diploid plants have the normal set of chromosomes that occur in pairs within the cells. Polyploid plants have multiple
sets of chromosomes within one cell. Instead of having chromosomes in pairs, polyploid plants have chromosomes in groups of
three or four. Tetraploid plants have groups of four chromosomes per cell. Many breeders have experimented with polyploid
and tetraploid plants believing they would produce more potent plants. Polyploids can be induced with applications of colchicine.
However colchicine is poisonous and polyploid plants are not more THC-potent, nor do they have any other redeeming qualities.
When the male and female germ cells join at fertilization, each adds one gene for each characteristic so that the new
seed then has two genes for each attribute. The diverse combinations of each parents ’ genes determine the traits
of the offspring and of future generations.
Inbreeding establishes a pure breed. A pure breed has consistent chromosomes. That is, the genetic makeup of offspring
is relatively uniform. This true or pure breed is necessary so common growth characteristics may be established. If the plants
are not a pure breed, it will be impossible to predict the outcome of the hybrid plant. After the 4th to 6th generation of
inbreeding, negative characteristics, like low potency, legginess and lack of vigor tend to dominate. Inbreeding is necessary
to establish a true breed, but has been shied away from after the strain has been established.
Inbreeding establishes a stable reference point or plant to start from. The chosen females are bred back (back crossed)
with males of the same strain. This will establish a true breed, plants with the same growth characteristics. These plants,
of known ancestry and growth characteristics will be used to breed hybrid plants.
Outbreeding or producing hybrid seed is the practice of crossing two plants from different genetic backgrounds. An F1
(make the 1 in F1 superscript) hybrid is a first generation cross of two true breeding plants. F1 varieties are the most sought
after plants available because they grow approximately 25 percent faster and larger than other crosses. This phenomena is
known as hybrid vigor.
The offspring of F1 (make the 1 in F1 superscript) plants are called F2 (make the 1 in F1 superscript) and the offspring
of F2 (make the 2 in F2 superscript) plants are called F3 (make the 3 in F3 superscript), etc. The subsequent generations
after F1 do not experience hybrid vigor. F1 (make the 1 in F1 superscript) hybrids from seed companies must be brought back
to true bred plants before they serve as consistent breeding stock.
NOTE: Most often grower’s do not breed, they cross plants without stabilizing any particular plant, or developing
true breeding strains. Once they find a plant they like, they take clones of it and grow it out under lights. Often this is
process is confused with breeding. It is much more difficult to select plants, stabilize them into true breeding plants and
produce F1 (make the 1 in F1 superscript) hybrids. Often when 10 seeds purchased from a disreputable seed company are planted,
the result is 10 plants that all look different, so beware!
Choosing from a large and varied plant stock, is the key to successful breeding. There is no guarantee for a breeder,
planting only a few seeds, that they will grow into vigorous plants, even if the seeds are from excellent stock. The best
solution is to grow many strains to have many plants to choose from.
You can't tell by looking at a plant the exact genes it contains. For instance, a female could have one gene for short
stature and one for medium stature, but only medium stature is evident; by looking at the plant you have no way of knowing
about the short stature gene. Yet, the gene for short stature is in the cells of the plant and some of the offspring will
inherit it, and pass the gene on to their offspring. If enough plants and offspring are inbred, some offspring will be short.
By observing enough offspring, a breeder can discern what genes parents have and how they interact.
Environment and Stress
Always give plants the absolute most stable environment possible. Stable environment allows plants to follow their genetic
traits without interference. Stress plants by altering the environment and genetic characteristics are affected. Some likely
characteristics of environmental stress include abnormal flowers and flowering traits. Often rookie breeders turn the lights
out for a day or two or leave the lights on too long after a consistent 12 hour light/dark period is maintained and plants
produce abnormal flowers - female flowers with male parts, a stigma protruding from a male flower or female flowers bearing
Sex reversal is often result from stressed plants. Sporadic male flowers on a predominately female plant frequently occur
on stressed plants. These sexually confused plants are not natural hermaphrodites. They are stressed plants with intersex
tendencies manifested as hermaphrodite or monocious plants. Do not confuse these deviations to be a new variety or a hermaphrodite
plant. Such plants are the result of stress and not suitable for breeding stock. Had these plants been grown properly, they
would be suitable for selective breeding. Stressed plants with hermaphroditic tendencies are generally less potent and low
yielding. A person must learn to be a good grower before they can become a good breeder.
Environmental conditions that provoke sexual deviation include photoperiod fluctuation, marginal light intensity, ultraviolet
light, nutrient imbalances, cold temperatures, abscisic acid, giberillic acid, old age and mutilation. The world’s
top cannabis breeders are good growers and prefer to use naturally occurring genetic traits of plants rather than inducing
environmental stimulus to achieve desired results. Altering a plants sex with environmental characteristics could cause the
genetic deviation to be picked up by subsequent generations.
Favorable characteristics most breeders look for include general vigor, potency, resin content, flower to leaf ratio,
large floral clusters, quality of high - long lasting, soaring, sedative - therapeutic effects, taste and aroma, short stature,
early maturation, and mold and mite resistance.
Usually varieties that perform well under artificial lights will also perform well outside or in a glass house under natural
sunlight. The converse does not hold true nearly as often. Varieties that perform well outside often prove to be a disappointment
when grown under artificial light.
What to consider when setting up a growroom
The best location for a grow room is in an obscure corner of a basement, where the temperature is easy to keep constant year
round. Basements are well insulated by concrete walls and soil. A basement room can be enclosed and camouflaged with junk,
a double wall, work bench or shelving.
Added security is afforded by installing a false door in a closet. The grow room is located behind the secret door. Another
good secret location, except for the possible heat build-up, is the attic. Few people venture to an attic that is difficult
to access. Some growers locate their gardens below a trap door covered with a rug.
Law enforcement cannot use the electricity bill as sole grounds for a search warrant. But they can use it along with other
"evidence" such as remnants of indoor growing visible outdoors, thermal image heat signatures, snitch testimony,
etc. to secure a search warrant. As long as the marijuana grown is not sold or shown to a snitch, there should be no reason
for any suspicion. Thermal image technology is easy to outwit. Just keep the lights on during daylight hours to confuse the
technology. Or cool exhaust air and expel it under the well-insulated grow house so it does not leave a heat trail.
Out buildings garages and barns not attached to homes are some of the worst places to grow. Often thieves and law enforcement
do not look at entering a barn or garage as a crime, when they would not consider entering a home. Security is much better
when the garden is within the home.
Although less common, there are even grow rooms on wheels! Some innovative growers have remodeled trailer houses and busses
into grow rooms. One of my favorite grow rooms was in a tricked-out trailer. Another was in a 60-foot sailing yacht!
The size of grow room determines the size and the number of lamps. HID lamps that work well to grow marijuana are available
in 150, 175, 250, 400, 600, 1000 and 1100 wattages. Smaller wattages from 150 – 400, work well in closets or spaces
with 9 – 21 square feet of floor space. Use 600-watt and larger bulbs for larger areas.