Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cannabis use = Sorcery??? Part One

     As a Christian, I have had the "God is against cannabis" discussion my fair share of times. One argument that has stood out to me was, "the Greek word 'pharmakeia' (literally: "drug making" - and where the English word "pharmacy" is derived) is translated 'witchcraft' or 'sorcery' in the Bible; therefore, using cannabis is anti-Christian because it is a form of sorcery".  I understand that the readers of this blog may have differing views on religion from my own but I believe the following can still provide insight for anyone interested in the culture of cannabis.
     First, I would like to write that the first clause of the quote above is accurate.  "Pharmakeia" is translated correctly.
     The problem I have is with the deduction that cannabis is bad.  I find this to be completely absurd.  Did the translators miss something there by not simply  putting the words "drug-making" in the text? No.  "Pharmakeia", as used in the New Testament, always carries the connotation of seeking false gods. When the Apostle Paul included "pharmakeia" in his list of deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:20), he was referring to witchcraft and sorcery - in contrast to the first Commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bud of the Week - White Rhino

     No need to run from this beast... White Rhino will have you glued to the sofa!  A strong indica hybrid, this strain will provide plenty of pain relief.  When looking for a strain to replace those nasty Vicodins or maybe to ease fibromyalgia, turn to White Rhino. The high THC content of this plant doesn't lend itself well to new patients - it will knock 'em on their butts!
     White Rhino is a shorter, stout strain that does well in Sea of Green, Screen of Green, and large pots (where the plant will bush out).  Even with no restrictions on the roots, White Rhino will not grow more than 6 feet.
     The combination of floral and fruity tones hit your palate well. A hashy, coughing aftertaste follows.

Medicinal Uses: Stress, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Muscle Spasms, Nausea, MS, Gastrointestinal Issues, Arthritis 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lumens and the Inverse Square Law

     Plants need light.  Unfortunately for growers, it is not quite that simple. The wattage needs to be perfect.  The timing of the lights has to be perfect.  The color spectrum must be perfect. And then there is something called a *lumen*
     The typical indoor cannabis grow room  requires about 50,000 lumens. In comparison, the sun gives off over 6.8 octillion lumens! that huge number is cut down to size when we consider the distance that the sun's light has to travel - 93 million miles. This leads me to the Inverse Square Law...  It goes something like this: as the distance is increased, the intensity is decreased by the inverse square of the distance. Huh?  Let me break it down. Let's say in our imaginary room, our light source is one foot away. This light is putting out 1,000 lumens. If I multiply the distance by two (now making it two feet away), I have decreased the light intensity by the inverted square of two - one-fourth. If I multiply my distance again by two (now putting me at four feet), my plants will only be receiving one-sixteenth of the original amount of lumens. Not cool. 
     Growers have been combating the effects of this law for years with reflective hoods on their bulbs and/or keeping the lights as close to the plants as possible - without frying them of course. Many growers paint their grow rooms white for added reflectivity.  I present to my blog readers an idea that may give more lumens for less money...  Turn your grow room ceiling into a giant reflective "wing"!
     A standard flat ceiling, even if coated with reflective material, doesn't give the optimal angles for light reflection. Going back to the Inverse Square Law, one should understand that the more times light bounces from one surface to another, the farther the light is traveling, creating a huge drop in the lumens.  With a curved, wing-like design, your grow room ceiling can angle the rays of lights from it to the plants in one reflective bounce instead of numerous bounces (from the ceiling to the adjacent wall, to the opposite wall, and finally hitting the plants).  With the right angles, your grow room could have the perceived brightness of a 1000 watt setup with only 600 watt bulbs... 
     The trick to getting the most out of the reflection is to think geometrically.  Using a standard flashlight (or better yet, a laser pointer) positioned where your grow lights will be, shine your light at your standard ceiling and notice how it reflects.  Construct a panel with plastic or cardboard covered with Mylar film and have someone hold it to the ceiling and adjust the angle of it - while shining your light on it - until the light is reflecting directly at the location of your plants. With some time and ingenuity, you could be capturing the "wasted" light and sending it straight to where it needs to be - on your plants and not on the walls!
     Now, back to the sun issue. If you grow outdoors, the Inverse Square Law doesn't play as huge of a role because the relative distance between heights on our planet and the overall distance form the sun is so great that the lumen differential is too minute to make a difference.  
     Although maybe a little too technical for some, I hope this can be a huge help for growers, newbies and veterans alike.  I certainly look forward to additional tips and tricks for growers in the upcoming weeks and months. I conclude with a reflectivity chart on various materials:
Reflectivity in %
- Reflective plastic sheet (Mylar) 90-95
- Gloss white paint 85-90
- Semi-gloss white paint 75-80
- Gloss yellow paint 70-80
- Aluminium foil 70-75
- Black paint less than 10


Friday, August 26, 2011

Let's have a little fun, shall we?

     Today, in contrast to yesterday's serious outcry against the tyranny of our politicians and public officials, I have chosen to step back and compile a fun list of facts about our beloved plant - cannabis...

From 1850 to 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store or pharmacy. (1)

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made it illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana in the United States. The law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical use. (2)

The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 B.C. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The emperor documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout. (3)

The first law in the American colonies regarding marijuana was a 1619 law that actually required farmers to grow the hemp plant. Once harvested, hemp was useful for clothing, sails, and rope. (1)

According to one report, it would take 800 joints to kill a person—but the cause of death would be carbon monoxide poisoning. (1)

Prior to its ban, hemp was a staple cash crop of the family farm in early America. The first two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp. (4)

The December, 1941 edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine (Vol 76. No. 6) reported that the Ford Motor Company had completed 12 years of research and has assembled a prototype plastic body car made from 70 percent fiber (wheat straw, hemp) and 30 percent resin. The plastic panels could withstand a blow 10 times greater than steel without denting; the car weighed 1000 lbs less.

 In early 1942, Japan cut off our supplies of vital hemp and fibers. Marijuana, which had been outlawed in the United States as the "Assassin of Youth" just five years earlier, was suddenly "safe enough" for our government to ask the kids in the Kentucky 4-H clubs to grow the nation's 1943 seed supply. It is estimated that the U.S. Government distributed 400,000 pounds of cannabis Sativa seeds to American farmers in 1942 to aid the World War II war effort.

You could pay your taxes in this country with hemp until the early 1800's.

President Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was prescribed cannabis for her nerves following his assassination.

1. Booth, Martin. 2003. Cannabis: A History. London, England: Doubleday.
2. U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Marijuana Facts & Figures.” 2009
3. Abel, Ernest L. 1980. Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
4. Robinson, Rowan. 1996. The Great Book of Hemp: The Complete Guide to the Environmental, Commercial, and Medicinal Uses of the World’s Most Extraordinary Plant. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

I hope you enjoyed these bits of trivia. Have a great day! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I hope Bill Schuette is happy...

     As of Wednesday, August 24, it is now illegal to dispense medical cannabis in compassion centers and dispensaries in the state of Michigan.  The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) of 2008 does not give clearance for the sale of marijuana - even among medical marijuana cardholders.
     It is a travesty that Bill Schuette, our Attorney General, and multiple county prosecutors and law enforcement agencies throughout the state have joined together for what they believe is a fight for our security and protection. They think that the MMMA should have never been enacted and they are doing whatever they can to stop sick people from getting the help they need.  The recent decision by the three-judge panel to ban the sale and dispensing of cannabis probably has Schuette licking his chops.  I hope he doesn't get too excited however - we the people will not go down easily...
      I find it ridiculous that just when we gain some ground in the fight for liberty, the public officials come and snatch our freedoms away.  Whether you are a patient with a debilitating illness or just a concerned, freedom-loving citizen, please consider attending the next MMMA patient rally on September 7 at the Capitol in Lansing and show your support for liberty! If that is not possible, e-mail, snail-mail, or call the AG's office in Lansing and let Bill Schuette know that his employer- the electorate- will no longer stand for this act of tyranny:
Attorney General Bill Schuette
G. Mennen Williams Building, 7th Floor
525 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909
Main Number (517) 373-1110

Facsimile (517) 373-3042
Any comments for me are certainly welcome...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bud of the Week - True Blueberry (DJ Short) x OG Kush

     Ask any given number of people what the main chemical component of cannabis is, and the overwhelming majority will say "THC". For years, delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol has been given the majority of attention due to its psychoactive effects. Many do not realize that there are over 80 discovered "cannabinoids" within the makeup of the cannabis plant - only THC having the mind-altering impact.  As scientists have begun to experiment with the different chemicals within this plant and horticulturists have bred and crossbred cannabis to create different strains, the cannabis community has been able to discover the varied benefits of the plant other than the "high".
     One example of these new developments is a strain called "True Blueberry (DJ Short) x OG Kush". As the name suggests, this strain is a cross between True Blueberry (50/50 strain) and OG Kush (Indica). With the goal of increasing the cannabidiol (CBD) content (over 12%) of the plant while reducing the THC (under 5%), this strain leaves a person's head clear while providing the pain relief sought after by many patients. A true "medical" strain, TB x OG also gives its users a wonderful palate, with a strong blueberry flavor and tones of cinnamon and vanilla.

Medicinal Uses: Chronic Pain, Body relief without mental intoxication, Insomnia, Muscle Spasms, Nausea, MS, Gastrointestinal Issues, Arthritis, Anorexia

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cannabis DOES kill brain cells!

     OOPS! I meant cancerous brain cells... I must get a rise out of intentionally misleading people... The title for today's post is true, but not in the fashion that most would infer.  Click *here* to read the abstract on a medical report from 2005 that explains how Delta 9 - THC and other cannabinoids destroy gliomas. What is a "glioma", you ask? Wikipedia defines a glioma as "a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine."  If you are new to the world of cannabis, maybe I should take a step back and provide links for more understanding of *cannabinoids*  and our own body's *endocannabinoid system*.
     What I don't understand is how in 2003, The U.S.A.'s government as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services was awarded a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.  U.S. Patent 6630507. On the other hand, the U.S. government's own DEA still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug - meaning it has NO MEDICAL BENEFIT...  Do you see the problem with that???
     The human body was designed for cannabinoids! Maybe "Big Pharma" should stay out of politicians' pockets and allow a God-given herb to provide medical benefits to the masses... Oh, wait... That would mean the pharmaceutical industry would lose BILLIONS of dollars from the reduction in sales of many of their so-called "wonder-drugs".

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Inauguration...

As I start my first post, I would like to explain a little about why I created this blog.  Since being introduced to the world of cannabis this past year, I have discovered that many people - growers, caregivers, patients, and even recreational users - have created their own understanding of cannabis through word-of-mouth and anecdotes that has left a dearth of scientific truth and accuracy. Also, among those that do not associate with the use of cannabis, there is a HUGE blanket of misinformation covering the truth surrounding the history and use of cannabis, as well as the significant benefits of the plant, both medicinal and otherwise. My intention is to create a blog where facts are presented and all the "extras" (read "pothead stereotypes") are omitted. In the future, this blog will include scientific and medical research, growing tips and product evaluations, and other great and useful information to challenge and stimulate your inner "cannaculturist"...