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Cannabis Harvesting Tips

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Happy Croptober! Let’s dig into some Cannabis Harvesting Tips:

Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media

A beginner's guide to Harvesting Cannabis

It’s, October and it’s time to start deciding when to take down your cannabis plants. Many of you who purchased clones from us were first time growers, so we wanted to share a few tips with you to boost terpene production, ensure you harvest at the “golden moment”, and how to dry and cure!

HARVESTING CANNABIS

Growth times can vary by strain and by geography, however generally indica strains will flower in 50-60 days and sativa strains will flower in 60-70 days. Because each strain is unique these are generalities and not rules, some sativas can finish more quickly and some indicas can take longer to grow.

Harvesting cannabis at just the right moment helps to maximize the terpene and resin potential of the plant. If you harvest too early you sacrifice some of that production. Similarly if you harvest too late, the THC crystals can degrade into CBN (the cannabinoid that puts the plant to sleep), reducing the potential of psycho-activity in the plant. Due to the fact that we are in Oregon, we are sometimes forced to harvest cannabis in mid-October due to oncoming rains and mold prevention- but we do what we gotta do.

With so many variables that equate to a proper harvest time there are a few tricks to finding what we in the cannabis industry refer to as the “Golden Moment”. Every strain will represent its maturity differently and at different times so treat each strain you grow uniquely. Now let’s get out your magnifying glasses and let’s take a peak at some helpful hints:

Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabinoid and Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media

GOLDEN MOMENT

  • Monitor Your Trichomes

    Also known as Pistols, they will begin clear and slowly change to a milky white and then to a shade of amber. The amber is not always present and is highly strain dependent so do not rely on this aspect solely. If you do not see the amber, continue to check using the following methods before deciding to wait for harvest.

  • Monitor Your Stigma

    These are the hair like features on the flower. While the plant is growing they will be white and as the plant comes closer to maturity, they turn to a darker and darker shade of orange/red (or sometimes purple depending on the strain!)

  • Keep One Eye on the Gland Heads

    These can be found at the top of the Trichome or Pistol. Within this magical ball can be found your terpenes and cannabinoids. As the plant matures, the glands will swell. We tend to keep an eye on them in the final few weeks. Once we see the first one or two pop we know the rest are also at their maximum potential and do our harvest.

  • Keep Your Other Eye on the Skies

    And on the weather forecast. If you are growing outdoors, make sure to harvest your plants before any large rainfall soaks your flowers or get them under cover. These are prime conditions for mold once you get to the drying and curing process and are best avoided.

WET TRIM VS DRY TRIM

Now is the time to decide if you are going to trim your cannabis wet or dry if you haven’t already. Trimming wet not only allows the flowers to cure more quickly, but the added air circulation also minimizes the risk of mold occurring during the drying process. Wet trimming is the go-to method for most people in the industry because having the leaves being alert and horizontal makes the trimming process much quicker.

The reason someone may choose to dry their harvest prior to trimming is to preserve cannabinoid and terpene exactness. A true cannabis connoisseur will choose the slower method of waiting for the flower to dry before harvest and taking the extra time to trim. Some studies have shown that up to 30% of terpenes can evaporate in the first week of drying!

DRYING

Hang your branches in a well ventilated and dry area and monitor closely. Some people have hung rope or twine lines in their homes or garage, others use hangers. Make sure there is enough spacing between branches for air to flow freely.

It does not take too long for cannabis to dry out, maybe 3-14 days depending on humidity, temperature and how you trimmed. Over-drying your cannabis will cause resin glands to shrink up and burst, losing potency or cannabinoids and terpenes as well as making for a harsher smoke on the throat. Making sure to pull your buds down and put it in a air-tight jar with some preservation packs is going to be important. Be sure to check your flower more frequently as time passes to make sure you do not over dry it.

Your plant will be done drying when the branch is no longer rubbery but doesn’t quite break when you bend it.

CURING

This is a rather simple step. Place your trimmed and dried flower into your storage container (reference below). Curing is accomplished by “burping” or opening the jar for short periods of time every few days over the period of about 7-10 days.

STORAGE

GLASS.

GLASS. GLASS. GLASS.

Anything airtight will do the job but there is a risk of plastics absorbing your terpenes and cannabinoids and are okay for temporary storage but for long term storage nothing competes with a classic mason jar.

Also we couldn’t recommend Boveda Moisure Control Packs more highly. The Moisture % we would recommend for cannabis is 62%. They are available online.

TRIMMING TRICKS

 

  • The resin on your fingers and scissors is considered like gold in some places- Ball it up and top your pipe with it!

  • Sticky Residue Removal: A little coconut oil will take that right off!

  • Remove as few crystals and hairs as possible, that is where all the good stuff is.

  • Wash your scissors frequently. We keep a small tub of isopropyl 99% nearby and have two sets of scissors and alternate between them, keeping one constantly at the ready. Remember to save that hash first!

  • Wear old clothes that you don’t care if get dirty.

In summary

Harvesting Cannabis at its “Golden Moment” will increase cannabinoid and terpene yields.

Wet trimming can be faster and easier while Dry trimming preserves more cannabinoids and terpenes.

When curing, make sure your plants have sufficient room for airflow.

Store you cannabis in glass whenever possible.

Sourcing

Leafly’s “When to Harvest Marijuana Plants”,
Cannabis Business Times’ “10 Cannabis Harvesting & Post-Harvest Tips”,
High Times “Pro Guide to Cannabis Harvesting”
High Times’ “Key Points to Harvest Time”,
High Times’ “The Connoisseurs Guide to Harvesting Weed Plants”,
Weedmaps’ “When to Harvest Cannabis: Tips”
Weedmaps’ “How to Harvest, Trim, Dry, & Cure your Weed.”

CBD (cannabidol) & The Entourage Effect

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What is CBD and what is this ‘Entourage Effect’

A beginner's guide to Cannabidiol & the Entourage Effect

CBD has become incredibly prevalent in our country but remains an unregulated substance, so it is important to source your Cannabidiol with care. Below we’ll discuss what Cannabidiol is, its medical applications, and how to ensure that it has been correctly sourced.

ORIGINS

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the many cannabinoids produced by cannabis and hemp plants, and is the second most abundant after THC. The discovery in 2009 started a world-wide phenomenon as consumers sought its non-psychoactive benefits. It has since been learned that not only does C B D not produce a high, but it can actually reduce the psycho-activity caused by THC as well!

CANNABIS VS. HEMP

Did you know that the only difference between hemp and cannabis is the levels of THC and CBD the plant expresses? Hemp plants that are high in CBD will still naturally express themselves with trace levels of THC. These plants can still be considered hemp and will not produce a high in most people. That being said, trace amounts of THC may be high enough to trigger a drug test. Products that contain all of the plant’s cannabinoids, fats, and lipids are called Full Extract Cannabis Oils (or FECO) and offer a fuller wellness experience, as discussed below.

The Entourage Effect

Isolates vs. Full Spectrum

Scientists immediately began isolating the CBD molecule away from the THC and creating products called CBD Isolates. These were specifically designed for people who are looking to take advantage of the benefits of CBD, but whose medication would not interact well with THC or who required drug tests for work.

All of the research done comparing full-spectrum CBD to CBD isolates shows that the isolated version is much less effective. Scientists dubbed this the ‘Entourage Effect’, as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Research shows us that the sub-cannabinoids, terpenes, lipids, and fats all play necessary roles in connecting the CBD we ingest to the receptors within the body where it does its best work.

Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabinoid and Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary Photo by Space Face Media

SCIENCE

When CBD enters the body it bonds with our endocannabinoid system and encourages the natural production of endocannabinoids that are already present in our system! Cannabidiol also has the unique ability to also interact with our dopamine, opioid, and serotonin receptors!

On a cellular level CBD allows our body’s cells to better communicate with each other. This is why we see such a large list of possible benefits when it comes to this cannabinoid. Consumers have reported assistance with anxiety, pain, sleep, epileptic seizures, addiction, depression, and cancer, just to list a few. If you are interested in learning more about how CBD can benefit these issues we have provided some links below to research studies.

SNAKE OIL

Why Sourcing your CBD is important

In 2019 the I-team at NBC purchased and tested CBD products from all over New York City and found alarming results. Some of the products were high in heavy metals like lead, and some failed California’s Quality Control Standard laboratory testing for being too high in pesticides and toxins.

A more recent report from Forbes discusses a 2021 study showing that 25% of CBD products are not tested for purity. Since its discovery in 2009, CBD has remained an unregulated substance in the United States. This means that anyone can slap the word (CBD) on a bottle and sell it to you as Cannabidiol – even if it’s not.

How to Source

In 2019, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission enacted a law that required all . C B D products sold in Oregon dispensaries to be fully tested and sourced through their division. This helps to assure that a product’s label accurately represents the amount of C B D and THC found within the container.

When trying to source a C B D product, look at the box or the bottle. There should be a clear label there providing you with the test results. Laboratory information should also be available there for you to be able to confirm that the test results you see are accurate. If you do not see this information on your label that is a huge red flag.

When in doubt you should always feel free to reach out to their manufacturer. If they can’t answer the questions you have, don’t settle for the product. There are plenty of wonderful and legitimate companies out there making healthful products. We will put links below to some of our favorite brands that we’ve vetted and are available nationally.

PRACTICAL USE

Each cannabinoid occurs in different levels within different plants and can interact with each person uniquely depending on the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant in combination with how your body produces and reacts to them. Learning about the uses of each cannabinoid can greatly increase your success with using cannabis as a medication. Your budtender can be an excellent tool in helping direct you to the strains and intake methods that are right for you. We only offer Full-Spectrum C B D Products in our store- you can check out our menu here to see what we have available by using the search feature.

In summary

C B D is non-psychoactive on it’s own, and has the ability to mitigate the high experienced with THC.

Cannabidiol and THC come from the same plant, expressing itself in different ways.

Full-Spectrum Cannabidiol products (containing trace levels of THC) have been shown to be more effective than products made from C B D Isolates.

It is incredibly important to source your C B D to ensure its quality.

Sourcing

Leafly’s: “What is C B D and What does this Cannabinoid do?” https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-cbd

Weedmaps’: “Cannabidiol” https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/cbd

Weedmaps’: “C B D” https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd

Weedmaps’: “What is C B D used for?” https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/what-is-cbd-used-for

High Times’: A Beginners Guide to C B D” https://hightimes.com/guides/a-beginners-guide-to-cbd/

Leafly’s: “How does C B D effect our body” https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/what-does-cbd-do

Leafly’s “C B D holds promise for Childhood Epilepsy study finds” https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cbd-holds-promise-as-child-epilepsy-treatment-studies-find

Leafly’s “Can C B D Show up in a Drug Test” https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/does-cbd-show-up-drug-test

Leafly’s: “What kinds of Pain can Cannabidiol Treat” https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cbd-types-of-pain

Frontiers in Philosophy’s: “Axiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenages with Social Anxiety Disorders” https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02466/full

National Library of Medicine, Pub Med’s: 

Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: a Large Case Study” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/

Nabiximols for opioid-treated cancer patients with poorly-controlled chronic pain: a randomized, placebo-controlled, graded-dose trial”  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22483680/

CBN (cannabinol): The Couch Lock Cannabinoid

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What is CBN and what does it do?

CBN Cannabinoid- Cannabinoids and Terpenes Education at Home Grown Apothecary

A beginner's guide to Cannabinol

Often referred to as “The Couchlock Cannabinoid”, CBN (cannabinol) is present in all strains of cannabis and does not provide a high on its own. Although there hasn’t been much research on Canabinol’s sedating effects, one human study did look at this question and found that it may be the combination of CBN and THC that cause the sedative effect.

ORIGINS

CBN is the final terpene produced by the cannabis plant and is created as THC degrades over time. For that reason you see the highest levels of CBN in older strains. For many years the best way to find and take advantage of Cannabinol was to seek out old flower, or to buy some new flower and wait. As research has advanced on the benefits of other cannabinoids, products have begun to emerge on the market, made from rarer strains that have been found to be high in this cannabinoid.

SCIENCE

Research available is limited (as we are just beginning to study this cannabinoid in depth) but did begin in the 1970s! Very few studies show results for the human body (mostly mice) so it’s mostly theoretical right now. The only human study done was in the 1970s and pertained to its assistance with sleep. Most of what we have learned personally comes from customer feedback. What research does exists suggests possible aid for things like glaucoma, as an antibacterial, neuro-protective, and appetite stimulant. We have provided links to these research studies below so you can learn more.

THE COUCH-LOCK CANNABINOID

That first study in the 1970s led the way for this cannabinoid to become known as the “Couch-lock Cannabinoid”. While the sample group was small, none of the respondents reported that cannabinol made them tired.

So why does everyone say that it’s sedating?

“Pure Cannabinol is not particularly sedating,” Dr. Ethan Russo, Cannabis Researcher and Neurologist, “But it is typically found in aged cannabis in which the monoterpenoids have evaporated leaving the more sedating oxygenated sesquiterpenoids. This accounts for the discrepancy.”

In other words, that older weed that is boasting high levels of Cannabinol is also high in sedating terpenes. Researchers believe it is the effect of the terpenes rather than the CBN that creates the relaxing effect we find in aged cannabis. They have also suggested that accompanying it with THC is necessary to receive that sedative effect.

One misconception to be aware of is that not all high CBN products will be non-intoxicating, some are mixed with even balanced ratios of THC. While Cannabinol alone will not produce a high, it can actually increase euphoric effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. If you are looking to take advantage of CBN’s benefits without a high, make sure you are using products that don’t contain too much THC!

Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabis & Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary. Photo by Space Face Media
Cannabinoid and Terpene Education at Home Grown Apothecary Photo by Space Face Media

PRACTICAL USE

Each cannabinoid occurs in different levels within different plants and can interact with each person uniquely depending on the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant in combination with how your body produces and reacts to them. Learning about the uses of each cannabinoid can greatly increase your success with using cannabis as a medication. Your budtender can be an excellent tool in helping direct you to the strains and intake methods that are right for you. We do offer CBN Products in our store- you can check out our menu here to see what we have available by using the search feature.

In summary

CBN is created at THC degrades over time (most commonly found in older weed)

Cannabinol does not produce a high on it’s own (much like CBD) but can increase euphoric tendencies of THC.

Studies have shown positive results with Cannabinol as an anticonvulsant, anti-biotic, neuroprotectant, appetite stimulator, and an anti-inflammatory.

Sourcing

Leafly’s, “What is CBN (cannabinol) and what are the benefits of this cannabinoid” https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbn-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid

Weedmaps, “The Difference between CBN vs CBD”  https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/cbn-vs-cbd

High Times, “The Ultimate Guide to Cannabinoids in Cannabis”  https://hightimes.com/guides/cannabinoids/

Weedmaps, “CBN, Definition” https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/cannabinol-cbn

Science Directs, “CBN” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/cannabinol

National Library of Medicine, PubMed:

Antibacterial Cannabinoids of Cannabis  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18681481/

CBN delays onset of ALS https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16183560/

CBN and CBD excerpt opposite effects on rat feeding patterns https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22543671/

Cannabinoids in Health & Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202504/

Cannabinoids, Inflammation & Fibrosis https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.201600646r

Effects of delta9-tetrahydracannabinol and cannabinol in man https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.201600646r

Cannabinoid Corner

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What is a Cannabinoid?

A beginner's guide to Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with receptors in the brain and body to create various effects. Dozens of cannabinoids exist in the cannabis plant, but THC is the one most people know due to its abundance and psycho-active attributes. Some of the other Cannabinoids we have begun to become familiar with include CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, THC-A, THC-V, and THC-O.

ORIGINS

Why does cannabis produce cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are known as secondary metabolites, which means they are chemicals the plant produces that have no primary role in the plant’s development. However, the leading hypothesis is that secondary metabolites act as an immune system for the plant, fending off predators, parasites, and pests.

SCIENCE & THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

Because humans (and many other mammals) have receptor systems that cannabinoids bind to, we are able to reap their benefits for both health and recreation This system, called the endocannabinoid system (or ECS), is a group of specialized signaling chemicals (think “keys”), their receptors (think “locks”), and the metabolic enzymes that produce and break them down. The endocannabinoid chemical signals that our bodies naturally put out act on some of the same brain and immune cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) that plant cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) act on.

Put more simply, the plant’s cannabinoids mimic natural compounds in our bodies.

HISTORY

The isolation of THC came from an Israeli chemist by the name of Raphael Mechoulam. In 1964, Mechoulam isolated and synthesized THC from Lebanese hashish, marking the beginning of cannabis research and leading to the discovery of many other cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, and “endocannabinoids” – the THC-like compounds our body naturally produces to maintain stability and health.

PRACTICAL USE

Each cannabinoid occurs in different levels within different plants and can interact with each person uniquely depending on the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant in combination with how your body produces and reacts to them. Learning about the uses of each cannabinoid can greatly increase your success with using cannabis as a medication. Your budtender can be an excellent tool in helping direct you to the strains and intake methods that are right for you.

CBN- Cannabinol - Terpene & Cannabinoid Education at Home Grown Apothecary
CBD - Terpene & Cannabinoid Education at Home Grown Apothecary
CBG - Terpene & Cannabinoid Education at Home Grown Apothecary
THC-V - Terpene & Cannabinoid Education at Home Grown Apothecary
THC-A - Terpene & Cannabinoid Education at Home Grown Apothecary
THC - Terpene & Cannabinoid Education at Home Grown Apothecary

Coming Soon: Learn about each cannabinoid individually by clicking on the image above. Stay tuned while we role out this new education section of our website!

 

←Meanwhile- check out this cannabinoid wheel from Leafly! Super informative!

In summary

100s of Cannabinoids exist in each plant.

The first Cannabinoid was discovered in 1964.

Cannabinoids mimic compounds in our bodies and bond to receptors in our natural endocannabinoid system. Think of the cannabinoids as “keys” and our receptors as “locks”.

Using the correct cannabinoid for you will improve efficacy. 

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