Medpot Minstrel: Hydroponics Medical Marijuana

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Resin, Wipe Out, and Back to School

Cannabinoids are the potent part of the marijuana plant. THC is the best known, but there are also CBN and CBD. The resin glands, which are the crystalline coating on the buds, contain these cannabinoids on female marijuana plants. Male plants are basically used for pollination and seed production.

If you obtain your seeds from a reputable dealer, you don’t have to bother pollinating your female plants. In fact, the medicinal smoke is purer and more potent if the females are not pollinated.

How does one know when the ladies are ready to be harvested? Use a magnifying device to examine the resin glands on your flowers. If the resin stalks are beginning to fall over instead of standing up straight, harvesting should be done soon. Their bulbous heads might be turning an amber color and you can observe them breaking off.

My ladies went through their flowering stage in eight weeks, the same length as the growth stage. Some growers speed up this process, but I prefer to take it slow. But with Labor Day just around the corner, Harvest time is definitely here! Claire and I are so excited, we cut off a tiny bit of bud a week ago to sample last night. It was superb!

We usually harvest at the end of a 12-hour light cycle, and I disinfect my scissors with Grandpa’s Isopropyl Alcohol and I am very careful to wear gloves. The bodily oils on the tips of one’s fingers can adversely affect the potency of the resin. I cleaned a large walk in closet with Wipe Out and installed a large fan for air circulation. The drying of the buds must be done in a darkened room.

With precise digital scales, I usually weigh some sample buds at harvest. If you keep weighing these buds at periodic intervals as they dry, you are able to ascertain when the drying process is complete. When the buds weigh only 25% of what they weighed at harvest, you can put them into sterile glass containers for further processing. Our buds take six to ten days to dry, depending on size and the humidity of the drying room (which should be kept at 50%, with the temperature at 70º F.)

If you remember, during the last two weeks of flowering I didn’t add any fertilizers, and I applied Final Phase on a one day on, one day off basis, for one week. Then I gave my ladies nothing but clean water for the final week before harvest. This process eliminates any unwanted fertilizer taste, as well as purifies the buds in anticipation of harvest and drying.

Some growers cut the entire plant and hang it upside down to dry. I prefer a slightly faster method, which is to cut the buds at the base of the lowest developed flower on the stalk. I use wooden clothes pegs to hang the buds upside down by the stalk to a tautly stretched clothes line near the ceiling of the walk in closet.

After you put the buds into glass containers, you must open up the containers for two-hour periods in a sterile, non-humid environment every two days. Whatever moisture or residue is left will evaporate at this stage. Since the cannabinoids are unstable and constantly undergoing chemical changes, it is best to store your cannabis in a freezer or at least the lower part of your fridge. The buds must be handled very gently—any crushing or bruising will adversely effect the potency of your medicine.

Claire and I honor our cannabis after harvest—we silently thank the plants for supplying us with pain relief. We both look forward to being able to enjoy the fruits of our harvest. Then we have to use Wipe Out to clean the grow room from top to bottom, in anticipation of the next batch of medicinal marijuana which is about to enter our lives.

This is a time for taking stock, for making sure that we have just the right quality and quantity of seeds on hand to start growing again; as well as adequate supplies of Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom, Mother Earth Blended Organic Super Tea, Grow and Bloom, as well as Piranha, Tarantula, and Scorpion Juice, in order to make sure that our root systems will be the best possible for optimum disease resistance and nutrient absorption.

Squirrel is sad that summer is over, even though the temperatures are still high and the sun never stops shining. But she’s going back to school on Tuesday, and is not completely happy with the idea of her time not being entirely her own. She would like another two months off to rest up from the exertion of the summer months (even though she really didn’t exert that much energy).

Claire bought her some new clothes and a new knapsack, water bottle, and lunch container. She exchanged the Pokemon one for a more lady-like flowered box. “Our daughter is growing up,” said Claire, somewhat wistfully. I get wistful around harvest time, too, but for different reasons. I put so much love and care into raising my ladies, that I end up missing them!

posted by Wes @ 12:39 AM

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