How I infuse butter and cooking oil with cannabis.

by Alex Robles  

     We understand how to cook with cannabis better today than we did 25 years ago.  Back then, it was more like wizardry than science if you could make a good batch of edibles that weren’t too strong.  Luckily we now live in the future and the home chef in us all can get pretty sophisticated when we cook with cannabis.  Before we start cooking with our weed, we have to understand decarboxylation and dosing.  I think we should start with a little bit of math to help us understand the dosing part better.  It’ll also let us know how potent the cannabis that we’re going to use should be. 

     A couple of other things I want to say before we get into cooking with cannabis.  I want to encourage you to have a high CBD tincture on hand when you’re eating food that’s infused with THC.  CBD will help dampen the intoxicating effects of THC.  It’s easy to overdo it and forget when we’re eating THC in delicious food.  CBD won’t bring you back to “sober” but it will help make that “high” feeling less.  Also, THC that’s passed through our liver into our bloodstream is going to be more potent and intoxicating (11-hydroxy-THC) than smoked THC.  So always double check your math.    

Dosing Math

      Legal cannabis has made it really easy to calculate how strong homemade edibles are going to be.  That’s because all cannabis bought in a legal dispensary will have the THC percentage on the packaging.  Knowing that percentage is vital in calculating the exact amount of THC that’s going to be in your edibles.  When I use my own homegrown cannabis or some that someone gave me, I always calculate it at 18% THC.  There’s no science behind my choice, that’s just what I assume it’s at.  Sometimes my guess is really off and the edibles are more powerful than my math.  Wait, am I rambling, I think the edibles kicked in.  Let me get it together.  The formula below is the easiest way I know to explain how much THC is in one cup of infused butter/oil.  

1 gram of cannabis = 1000 milligrams

If the cannabis has 25% THC

25% of 1000 milligrams is 250 milligrams (using my phone calculator 1,000 x 25%= 250)

I.e.  3.6g (⅛ oz) of cannabis = 3600 milligrams

25% THC of 3600 =  900 mg THC (3,600 x 25%= 900)

Infused into 1 cup (8 oz) of butter, the butter will now have 900 mg of THC.

     When you use 1/2 cup of that butter (4oz) to make 36 cookies, then 

that batch will have 450 milligrams of THC. Divide 450 mg by the number of cookies.  For 36 cookies there will be about 12.5 milligrams of THC in each cookie.

Decarboxylation: What is it and why do we need to do it?

     Every cannabinoid molecule made by the cannabis plant starts its life with an extra carboxylic acid ring attached to the end.  This means that in the raw plant THC is first THCA and CBD is first CBDA and so on for all the cannabinoids.  THCA is non-intoxicating and won’t give us that euphoric high because it’s the precursor to THC.  So according to science, THCA isn’t considered pharmacologically active (some of its effects aren’t activated) until it loses its carboxyl ring at the end of the molecule.  Losing that carboxyl ring is known as “Decarboxylation”.  Think of it this way, that acid molecule is holding back the intoxication and high feeling of THC.  When we smoke cannabis, decarboxylation happens pretty instantaneously because the evaporation or conversion of that acid molecule starts to happen between 140° – 230° F.  But since we’re cooking with our cannabis today, we need to decarb our bud without setting it on fire.      

     Before I go on, I want to take a moment to connect some dots here.  Hollywood and the media likes to make us think that if we eat raw, fresh, wet cannabis we’ll get stoned out of our minds.  On average, this isn’t true and just another prohibitionist lie wrapped in a sorry attempt at comedy.  You may get a little high and euphoric from eating cannabis that’s been dried and cured.  This is because a small amount of THC will become decarboxylated during the drying and curing process.  That high is going to be very mild compared to eating fully decarbed cannabis. 

How do I decarboxylate my flower?

     Before we turn the oven on, let me go over a couple of things that I think are important.  First of all, some of you smart people are thinking “if I turn up the oven I can decarboxylate for less time”.  Yes that is correct but please understand that the boiling point for THC is about 315° F.  Which means, at that temperature your THC is evaporating into the ether and away from your flower.  Second, terpenes are mostly alcohol based and have a very low boiling point. Some of them will start to evaporate away at about 100° F.  What that means is that while your cannabis is decarboxylating, your house will smell like you smoked a joint, so be prepared.

     Preheat the oven to 250° F.  While the oven is warming up, break up the cannabis flower by hand into smaller pieces.  I don’t grind it up because the clean up seems to take me longer when my weed is ground up.  Once it’s broken up, spread it evenly on a shallow baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil.  When the oven reaches 250° F, slide the cannabis in and set a timer for 25 min.  I don’t set the oven higher than 250° F because most home ovens aren’t calibrated to exactly what the oven dial reads, sometimes they run a little hotter.  After the timer goes off, turn off the oven, take the cannabis out and let it cool completely before you use it.

In Case You Didn’t Know

     The cannabis trichomes (oil glands) are hydrophobic which means that water will not wash them off the plant material or your hands.  This is why it’s so hard to evenly infuse non-alcoholic drinks with cannabis oil, water and oil don’t mix well.  The best thing to use to strip the cannabis oil off the leaves if you’re going to cook with it is fats like butter, cooking oils and alcohol.  For tasty cooking oil infusions, you can use coconut, olive, grapeseed, sunflower, almond, walnut, sesame, avocado, macadamia peanut and hemp seed oil.  Chefs have told me NOT to use margarine, ordinary soybean, canola, extra virgin olive or corn oil.

     When I infuse butter, I make sure to use clarified or Ghee butter.  It’s a little more expensive, but well worth it.  Regular stick butter has water in it, not a lot, but it’s still there.  Since oil and water don’t mix very well, it can cause that butter to blend unevenly with the cannabis oil.  If it blends unevenly, it can throw off your dosing calculations.

Note:  There are a lot of videos on the internet that will show you how to clarify stick butter on your stove top.  Just in case you can’t find clarified butter 

     Something else I add to my butter and cooking oil infusion is Lecithin.  You don’t have to add this but I highly recommend it.  Lecithin is an emulsifier used in the cooking industries for binding ingredients in fats (lipids). It helps to increase the bioavailability of plant compounds in high fat infusion.  This helps intensify the potency of our infusion.  I usually find it at local health food or vitamin stores in granules, powders or liquid form.  I’m sure you can find lecithin in all forms online.  It’s not recommended to use capsules because they have too many binders and fillers. If you use liquid, use only one tsp per cup of oil. 

Note:  If possible, make a tea bag with the decarbed flower and some cheese cloth.  This will make the straining of butter and the clean up a lot easier.   

Please remember that things are going to be hot so be careful. 

Infusing Butter & Cooking Oil

Skill Level: Easy

Cook time: 2hrs 

Ingredients & Tools:

  • 2 cups butter
  • 7g of decarboxylated cannabis flower
  • 2 tablespoon of lecithin (1Tbls per cup of butter)
  • Saucepan, double boiler, or crockpot.
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Wooden spoon or chopsticks
  • Butter Molds
  • Cheesecloth to make a tea bag and strain the butter.
  • Tongs 
  • Small strainer
  • Mixing bowl

     On very low heat, melt the butter and turn off the flame when it’s fully melted.  Then add the cannabis, the lecithin and mix it all up using the chopsticks.  Once it’s all mixed together put the candy thermometer in and turn the stove back on.  Slowly bring the mixture to 160° F.  The infusion will take 2hr, so set a timer but remember to revisit it every 15-20min or so to check the temp and give it a quick stir with the chopsticks. 

If you don’t have a candy thermometer……don’t panic!!

     Butter will typically boil at around 212°F and will burn (Smoke Point) at around 375°F – 414°F.  If there isn’t a candy thermometer on hand, just try to keep the butter from boiling.  Keep it on a low simmer.

    When the timer goes off, turn off the butter.  Get your butter molds, tongs and mixing bowl  ready.  Put a few layers of cheesecloth over your strainer to help catch any plant material that will be floating around in your butter.  CAREFULLY take your pot of hot butter and slowly pour it through the strainer into the mixing bowl.  When you’re done pouring, use your tongs or chopsticks to push the plant material down to squeeze all the butter out that you can.  If you’re working with a crock pot I suggest spooning the butter into the strainer since they can be heavy and awkward.  After it’s strained, pour the butter into your molds and let them cool.  When they’re cool and solid, you’re all set. 

Note: If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a CLEAN cotton cloth like an old t-shirt with no graphics on it.  The paint from the graphic won’t let the butter sift through.  

Infusing Cooking Oil       

        When I infuse any cooking oil, I use the same process as the butter.  The only difference is that cooking oil has a shorter infusion time of 1hr.

Recipes

     Now we have some infused butter and cooking oil. Let’s get to cooking with cannabis.  I want to share with you two recipes that I’ve used canna-butter and canna-coconut oil with.  I did not come up with these recipes, I found them and changed them to suit my needs.  The oatmeal cookie recipe I got off of the oatmeal box and the Bar-B-Q / Buffalo wing sauce I got off the internet.

Oatmeal craisins / raisin cookies

  Ingredients:

  • 11oz of canna-butter (1cup 6Tbls)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla   
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup craisins  ½ cup raisins
  • 3 cups oatmeal

  Directions:

  • Heat oven 350° F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla; beat well
  • Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well
  • Add oats and raisins; mix well
  • Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute
  • Makes about 4 dozens
  • DON’T FORGET YOUR DOSING MATH

Bar-B-Q sauce / Wing sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup canna-coconut oil
  • ¾ cup Sriracha hot sauce or gochujang (Korean-style red chili paste)
  • ¼ cup raw local honey, plus a little more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mango puree

Directions:

  • Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan and stir until fully blended.
  • Put the saucepan on the stove and bring it upto 160°F or to a very low simmer.
  • For Bar-B-Q a sauce ,let it simmer for 35min. 
  • Spoon or brush the sauce onto your meat ( I couldn’t get around it.  There was no other way to say it). 
  • For a buffalo wing sauce, let it simmer for 45 min

When the time is up your sauce is ready.  Please remember to bring a bib, because you will get it on your shirt. 

     Like Jim said “this is the end, beautiful friend, the end”. There is one last thing I want to mention. You can use this method to infuse butter and cooking oil with different herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, or Basil, it doesn’t have to be only cannabis. Have fun and remember to always remember to grow, learn and teach. 

Green Coast Radio is here.

Greetings everyone this is Alex and I wanted to let you know that Green Coast Radio is up and running. You can go to https://www.greencoastradio.com/ to listen to some great cannabis conversations and music. It’s a fun roller coaster putting the station together and it’s the only reason why I haven’t been around lately. But don’t be shy about checking in with me on social media, on IG you can find me @inmygrowshow and @greencoastradio. Don’t forget that you can always just send me an email at inmygrow@gmail.com or greencoastradio@gmail.com. As a matter of fact, email me your favorite song about weed or getting high and I’ll see about putting on the air. The station is broadcasting cannabis content and music 24/7 for everyone. And by the way, I want thank all of our beta testers that helped out last week with all their feedback. If you can’t hear it online, let us know what country you’re in and we’ll check the filters and get you tuned in. When you want to hear it on a mobile device, just download the Live365 app and search for “Green Coast Radio” and click on the logo. Then hit the “Heart” icon to set it as your favorite and you’re ready to stream on your device.

One of the big reasons why we started Green Coast Radio it because it’s very clear that the law doesn’t want cannabis conversations or education on terrestrial radio airwaves.  That goes for all the big social media platforms also, they don’t want us there.  So instead of trying to force cannabis into systems that are unwelcoming and hostile to us.  We decided that it’s time to build new systems to showcase cannabis conversations, education and lifestyle.  This is a very new platform for me but instead of waiting for perfection, I decided to launch the station and chase perfection as it grows.  In the coming weeks we plan on adding more cannabis content to sharpen the listening experience. The website is a work in progress and right now all you can do on it is listen live but that experience will also get better in the near future.

Right now we have a two podcasts on during the weeks and a bud review. We have a podcast that’s in Spanish called “Cannabis Hispano” hosted by Rafael Garcia, out of Canada. If you know someone who communicates better in Spanish, invite them to listen, it’s a really great show. You can hear him on Monday’s at 1am PST and 5pm PST. Then on Tuesday you can hear my podcast “In My Grow Show” at 1am PST and 5pm PST. We plan on adding more shows real soon. We also have a daily cannabis bud review called “Smoke of the Day” and you can hear it at 7:20am PST and 4:20 PST. The reason we cycle the early in the morning is to give our European audience a chance to the content. That’s it buddy, those are all the updates I have for you. Check out the station and share the website. Let me know what you think it. I’ll talk with you soon.

Alex Life is Fluid

IMGS Ep. 164: Tropic Heat

Click here to listen to the episode: https://inmygrowshow.libsyn.com/ep-164-tropic-heat

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.  

Check out our new shirts:

 Grow Learn Teach https://www.zazzle.com/grow_learn_teach_t_shirt-235038566746718939

Cannabis Co-Conspirator: https://www.zazzle.com/cannabis_co_conspirator_t_shirt-235433996480788305 

Buy seeds safely online at: https://ilgm.com?aff=2156https://ilgm.com?aff=2156 

Show Notes:  Welcome to Ep.164.  Thank you for hanging out, haven’t been around for the past couple of weeks because we were getting the Green Coast Radio ready for the beta test.  We tested the station this last week and I want to thank all the testers who took time to listen and send in feedback.  I also want to thank Rafael Garcia for having his show Cannabis Hispano on the station.  Our plan is to launch the station for everyone on Friday Oct 8th.  Green Coast Radio is an online radio station that is a mix of cannabis conversations and music. Our plan is to find great cannabis conversations and bring them to you as featured content.  As of right now we will have the In My Grow Show and Cannabis Hispano on, I don’t have a day scheduled yet for either one, we have an hour set but not a day.  The music will be a mix of genres, most times you’ll hear a reggae, blues, classic rock, motown and rock en espanol song all in the same hour of music.    

Strain of the Week:  Tropic Heat 20% THC . The internet says it is a cross of the classic OG Kush Breath X Purple Punch.  It has this sweet ripe mango and berries, like cherries aroma.   The taste is the same except for a little extra earthy, sour flavor at the end of the exhale.  This was a great daytime smoke for me, it didn’t zap the energy level and the focus didn’t fade.  I was more introspective, it made me feel more aware of myself.  The Tropic Heat is an Indica dominant variety but it felt like a Sativa to me.   

Report from the cannabis front line: 

California expunged more cannabis offenses https://businessofcannabis.com/2021/09/28/criminal-policy-reform-accelerates-in-2021/?mc_cid=b2129071f7&mc_eid=aaaef53264

South Africa https://www.cannabiz-africa.com/rastas-capture-north-west-province-thanks-them-and-calls-for-full-legalization/?mc_cid=b2129071f7&mc_eid=aaaef53264

Oregon mix up https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2021/09/cannabis-manufacturer-select-mixed-up-thc-and-cbd-products-oregon-says-and-thats-why-unsuspecting-consumers-got-high.html

Lawsuit for mixup https://katu.com/news/local/man-sues-company-behind-cbd-tincture-recalled-in-oregon-for-containing-thc

Delta-9 pop rocks https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/delta-9-delta-8-thc-marijuana-hemp-1231832/  This makes me wonder how legal cannabis companies feel about hemp delta-9?

Listen to Green Coast Radio at greencoastradio.com

Big thanks to:   All the artist for letting me use their music.

“In My Grow Show – Grow Learn Teach” T-shirts are here for you.  to check it out.  CLICK HERE check it out. 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the youtube channel youtube.com/inmygrowshow

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.

Music:

Go to inmygrow.com to SUBSCRIBE to the show or find us on the Stitcher app.

Email us at inmygrow@gmail.com

Find us on Instagram @inmygrow 

Click here to go to 101cbd.org

Go to DeltaLeafLabs.com to order your “Plant DNA Sex Testing Kits”

Click Here for the Amazon link to help support the show.

IMGS Ep. 163: Cannabis Photographer Spacement Grown.

Click here to listen to this episode

https://inmygrowshow.libsyn.com/ep-163-cannabis-photographer-spacement-grown

Click on this link to watch this episode.

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.  Check out our new shirts:
 Grow Learn Teach https://www.zazzle.com/grow_learn_teach_t_shirt-235038566746718939
Cannabis Co-Conspirator: https://www.zazzle.com/cannabis_co_conspirator_t_shirt-235433996480788305 
Buy seeds safely online at: https://ilgm.com?aff=2156https://ilgm.com?aff=2156 

Show Notes:   Welcome to Ep. 162.  A little later I’ll talk with cannabis photographer Spacement Grown.  I hope your cannabis gardens are looking great.  I yanked the male volunteer, he started dropping pollen Mon or Tue and I let it go until Sat.  I only want some of female to make seeds, I didn’t want the whole plant pollinated.  Nature is amazing, both plants were ready to do their part at about the same time.  The female pushed out stigmas to capture pollen just as the male started to release pollen.  It looks like some pollination happened because some of the stigmas (hairs) had turned orange, which is a sign of pollination.  We’ll find out in about 8 weeks.  So Chief Salinas got back to me about smoking cannabis where tobacco smoking is allowed, the way NYS does.  Chief Salinas links: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=11362.3.&lawCode=HSC 

Strain of the Week:  Flo White: It is a cross of DJ Short’s classic strain “Flo” with “The White #7”.  As far as smell and taste go, it has a lot going on,it’s got quit the bouquet. There is a hint of sage mixed in with wet dirt and lemon or Orange/citrus.  At the end of the exhale you get a spice or peppery taste.  This did come in 24% and was a daytime smoke for me.  This was a great value, the ⅛ was $20 from House brands.

Report from the cannabis front line: 
South Dekota https://norml.org/blog/2021/09/08/south-dakota-lawmakers-seek-to-repeal-vote-permitting-home-cultivation-of-medical-cannabis/?mc_cid=4b901e79b6&mc_eid=cdb017092f 
Hmong water rights https://cannabis.wiki/politics/judge-county-can-t-ban-water-delivery-to-hmong-pot-farmers 

Conversations with:  Cannabis photographer Spacement Grown joins me on today’s show.

Big thanks to: All the artist for letting me use their music.
 
“In My Grow Show – Grow Learn Teach” T-shirts are here for you.  to check it out.  CLICK HERE check it out. 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the youtube channel youtube.com/inmygrowshow

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.

Go to inmygrow.com to SUBSCRIBE to the show or find us on the Stitcher app.
Email us at inmygrow@gmail.com
Find us on Instagram @inmygrow 
Click here to go to 101cbd.org
Go to DeltaLeafLabs.com to order your “Plant DNA Sex Testing Kits”
Click Here for the Amazon link to help support the show.

IMGS #162: Is California over producing legal cannabis?

Click on this link to listen to this episode:

https://inmygrowshow.libsyn.com/ep-162-is-california-over-producing-legal-cannabis

Click on this link to watch this episode:

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.  

Check out our new shirts:

 Grow Learn Teach https://www.zazzle.com/grow_learn_teach_t_shirt-235038566746718939

Cannabis Co-Conspirator: youhttps://www.zazzle.com/cannabis_co_conspirator_t_shirt-235433996480788305 

Buy seeds safely online at: https://ilgm.com?aff=2156https://ilgm.com?aff=2156 

Show Notes: Welcome to Ep. 162.  I went to the Oxnard Beach Festival last weekend and saw Ozomatli.  They’re one of my favorite bands and great to see live.  So speaking of music and cannabis, we are launching an online radio station dedicated to cannabis.  If your a local unsigned bad send in your song to be played.  Spotify Playlist:  Just staring at my plants, watering day. 

Report from the cannabis front line: 

Soldier cannabis https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58176125?mc_cid=518c64aa53&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

Cannabis glove recall https://thecannabisindustry.org/member-blog-food-safe-gloves-cause-cannabis-recall/?mc_cid=518c64aa53&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

Maricopa expungement  

California has mixed cannabis signals     –https://www.marijuanamoment.net/california-shattered-marijuana-tax-revenue-record-in-latest-fiscal-year-state-reports/?mc_cid=f151f865f3&mc_eid=aaaef53264

https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/08/23/cannabis-farmers-barely-breaking-even-as-price-per-pound-plummets-2/?mc_cid=518c64aa53&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

https://mjbizdaily.com/falling-prices-in-california-marijuana-wholesale-market-alarms-some-growers/ 

https://eastbayexpress.com/taxing-thc-federal-legalization-of-cannabis-could-make-costs-in-california-much-much-higher/?mc_cid=ce6a3a697a&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

Big thanks to: All the artist for letting me use their music.

“In My Grow Show – Grow Learn Teach” T-shirts are here for you.  to check it out.  CLICK HERE check it out. 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the youtube channel youtube.com/inmygrowshow

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.

Music:

Go to inmygrow.com to SUBSCRIBE to the show or find us on the Stitcher app.

Email us at inmygrow@gmail.com

Find us on Instagram @inmygrow 

Click here to go to 101cbd.org

Go to DeltaLeafLabs.com to order your “Plant DNA Sex Testing Kits”

Click Here for the Amazon link to help support the show.

“What do you mean I have to dry and cure the cannabis I just harvested?”

by Alex Robles

     In case no one told you, that beautiful looking, smellie cannabis bud that you just harvested won’t be ready to smoke for at least 3 more weeks.  A proper drying and curing of your flower will help lock in those aromas and flavors that we love about this beautiful plant.   It’s almost impossible to light and enjoy freshly harvested cannabis buds because they still have too much moisture.  If you do manage to get that wet weed lit and not turn it into a figure from Pompaii, the high amount of chlorophyll that’s still in it is going to give that bud a grass or hay taste.  The chlorophyll is also going to give you a harsh burning acidic feeling at the back of your throat when you inhale, it’s not enjoyable or tastey.  Drying and curing have a similar effect on cannabis but are not the same and shouldn’t be rushed. 

Drying

    The drying time will help pull a majority of the moisture that’s in the bud to the top layers of the flower so it can evaporate away.  The rest of moisture that’s deep in the bud will be slowly drawn out in the curing process.  As always with all things cannabis, timing is everything.  The dry shouldn’t be too fast or you run the risk of locking in a lot of chlorophyll.  If the drying time is too long you run the risk of the bud developing mold.  The drying process usually takes about 7 to 10 days depending on air flow, humidity and temperature.  The best combination of temperature and humidity that works for me is 70 F at 54%-55% humidity. 

    If I’m drying a small batch of cannabis, 3 plants or less, 2-3ft tall.  A hall closet is the perfect size and it’s temperature controlled.  Remember to take out any clothes that are in there or they will smell like your bud.  If you store paint or cleaning supplies in that closet, remove them also.  The fumes will tanit the flavor of your cannabis.  I’ll also put a small fan in there to circulate the air and I’ll open the door a few times a day to refresh and exchange the air.

     I typically hang the whole plant upside down on some hangers to dry, this seems to give me a more even drying.  Before I hang her up I trim off as many leaves as I can to cut down on the amount of chlorophyll that the bud has to get rid of.  Circular mesh drying racks work pretty well too.  You just have to remember to rotate the buds at least once a day so they don’t get a flat spot on them.               

     After 3 days I’ll start bending the branches to test to see how the drying is going.  If the branches snap off, the buds are ready for their final trim.  If the branches don’t snap, I leave them up drying a little longer, while checking them daily.  Don’t be surprised if drying takes upto 10 days.  Once the drying is over, your cannabis bud is ready for the curing process.

Curing

     The curing process should take at least 2 weeks in order to get a good flavor and high out of your flower.  Some growers do a 4 or 6 week cure, sometimes longer, to get that really stellar taste and high.  The cure is going to let you do two things.  First it’s going to pull the rest of moisture that’s still deep in the middle of the bud to the surface so it can evaporate away.  You don’t want to store cannabis for a long time if it’s still moist because it will mold.  The second thing the cure is going to do is give aerobic bacteria time to digest and break down any leftover chlorophyll metabolites that could give your smoke a harsh throat burning taste.  Think of it this way, curing our cannabis helps us to control the loss of moisture so we can preserve the true flavors and aromas of that cannabis variety.   

     Before I start the cure I give the dry buds a final trimming.  I make sure to trim off the leaves I might have missed during the first trim.  When I start the curing process I’ll cut the dried buds off the large stems and branches into glass mason jars.  I make sure not to pack or force the buds into the jars because this could break off trichome heads.  I suggest using glass, ceramic, wood or metal airtight, light proof containers to cure and store your cannabis.  Store any clear glass jars of cannabis in a dark space, light degrades trichomes faster.  I don’t recommend using plastic containers because they could have micro pores and allow unwanted air or moisture in.  Also some of the oils and alcohol based terpenes in the trichomes could react with the chemicals in the plastic. 

     During the curing process, you’re going to want to open your jars at least twice a day for 15 min at a time.  This is called “burping” and it helps ensure that the moisture that is escaping from the bud won’t build up in the container, condense and cause mold.  The moisture escaping is also the reason why a day or two after you first start the curing process, the buds feel more moist and supple than they did when you first jared them up. 

  The perfect humidity range for curing cannabis is between 55-65%.  I use a product known as humidity packs to keep the humidity where I want it in the jar.  These little packages respond to any humidity inside a container by adding or absorbing moisture as needed to maintain the relative humidity (RH) level that’s marked on the package.  I get the 62% RH 2 way humidity control packs and they’ll last 2-4 months depending on conditions.

    Most cannabis varieties will give you an ok flavor and high after 2 week of burping and curing.   But usually I like to do a 4 week cure on most of my flower.  Some growers like to take 6 to 8 weeks, while others will take months.  Your cure time should be the one that gives YOU a quality experience.  Once your flower is adequately cured, you should be able to store it in an airtight, light proof container for a long time with very little degradation.  

     Congratulations, you just cultivated and processed your first cannabis harvest.  It always feels good when you roll the joint from your flower.

    In the next section I’ll talk a bit about how I make canna-butter and share a few of my favorite recipes. Enjoy your smoke.    

Finally, your cannabis plant is starting to flower.

by Alex Robles

    Do you feel that?  The seasons are changing, the nights are getting longer and cooler.   The days are getting shorter and our cannabis plant senses that fall is here and  the end is near. This change in the photo period/light cycle is what’s going to trigger our cannabis plants’ flowering cycle outdoors.  The plant is going to start to go through some amazing changes and we’re going to need to adjust some things to support her.  In this next section of the home grow series, I’m going to talk about the cannabis flowering stage and harvest time.  

     In order to make a long story short, I’m going to use the example of a cannabis plant that is grown outdoors and ready to harvest 10 weeks after it starts the flowering stage.   ALL REPUTABLE seed banks will give this flowering timeline in the description of the seed you want to buy.  Also, please understand that everyone’s growing conditions are different.  That 10 week flowering time is an average of what the breeder has seen, it may take a little longer for you, don’t freak out.    

Sexing our plant 

     A well trained eye can spot signs of pre-flower on a cannabis plant by the middle of the vegetative stage.  If you want your cannabis plant to naturally show you its sex, you’re going to wait until it’s flowering stage starts.  So before we get too far into when flowering starts, let’s talk about sexing our plants. 

   “Sexing” our cannabis plant simply means we’re going to figure out if our plant is female or a male before the flowering stage begins.  The earlier we know the sex, the more time and money it’s going to save us.  We spend our time caring for the plant and our money on soil, nutrients and water during its lifecycle.  It always hurts when a plant that you’ve cared for all season turns out to be a male and you have to chop him down.  Remember, what we’re looking for is that high value unpollinated (sinsemilla) female plant.  She’s the one that’s going to make all those trichomes or oil glands (Capitate-stalked glands) in a much higher concentration than the male plant.  Remember, when the female gets pollinated, she’s going to use most of her energy to make a seed instead of making trichomes.  This is going to make your harvest less potent but you’ll have seeds for your next grow (silver lining).  With that said, I want to quickly talk about two different ways that I’ve sexed my plants. 

     The fastest way I’ve sexed a cannabis plant is to send a small genetic sample to a testing lab that specializes in this type of plant test.  These labs can test a sample from a seedling and tell me if it’s a boy or a girl.  Just be aware that there is a small cost that comes with this type of lab work.

     Another way I’ve sex a cannabis plant that’s a little more technical and involves making a clone.  For more details about cloning, please visit Inmygrow.com.  In the search window type in the word “Easy way to sex a cannabis plant” for more details about this process.  

The beginning of flowering

      The first two week of flowering are known as a transitional period.  Since the plant thinks that winter is on it’s way, it will start to hormonally change.  A lot of cannabis varieties will go through what’s known as a “pre-flower stretch” and could double in height.  The plants will also look fuller or fluffier, so don’t forget to give your plants enough room to stretch out.  The plant is basically bulking up in order to support the flowers it’s about to start making.  This “stretch” is natural, as long as the plant has enough light and  looks healthy, without any signs of stress or deficiency.   She’s doing exactly what she should be doing at this stage, great job, keep doing what you’ve been doing.  You’re not going to need to change anything until you see actual signs of flowering.  

    NOTE:  There are some really great cannabis grow books and authors that have mislabeled some of the cannabis flower structures.  Please visit “ The Cannabis Female Flower “ by Mel Frank (https://beyondthc.com/the-cannabis-female-flower/).  He does a masterful job describing these structures and there’s an amazing photo that goes along with it.     

Weeks 3-4

Female cannabis flower stigmas

     After that transition period you’ll start to see the first signs of sex organs begin to grow (week 3-4).  The female cannabis will start to push out thin, whispy white hairs called “Stigmas” (mislabeled as pistils).  These hairs are there to capture male cannabis pollen so they can start to make a seed.  The Stigmas grow in the spot where the leafstalk meets the stock, stem or branch and this is where the buds (flower) will begin to build up.  Each of the buds are made up of a cluster of small flowers called “Raceme”.    

             Male Cannabis Pollen Sacks   

     A male cannabis plant will develop pollen sacks that start their lives looking like tiny hops seed cones.  Soon they’ll multiply and start to look like a cluster of grapes.  The males will usually be taller and flower about 2 weeks before the female.  They do this so they can be above the female and ready to drop pollen when the female starts to develop those Stigmas.  Since we don’t want pollinated females, we remove the male as soon as we see any signs of pollen sacks.

Nutrients & Water

     As the seasons change and cooler temperatures move in you may need to water less.  Check your soil before you water just to make sure they need it.  If your cannabis plant look wilted and is drooping, It may need water.  If the plant just looks droopy, you might be over watering.  

     If I’m using bottled nutrients, I’ll check the manufacturer’s recommendation for flowering and then cut it in half for the first week.   I do this to make sure it’s not too strong and possibly burn the plant.  If I’m top dressing soil amendments I’ll look for one that has a 2-8-8 NPK.  Whichever way you feed your plant, keep a close eye on her for deficiencies, some varieties of cannabis get hungrier when flowering starts and are known as” heavy feeders”.  On the flip side of that, keep an eye out for “nutrient burn” (too much nutrients) because other varieties won’t need as much nutrient to keep them looking great.  Here are some quick notes about the macronutrients.  Remember to cut out all nutrient feedings the two weeks before harvest and give them water.   

  •  Nitrogen (N) –  The cannabis plant in flower uses less nitrogen since there isn’t a lot of vigorous growth happening.  The plant is growing flowers but it’s not building too many new branches, leaves and roots.  At this point the nitrogen is mostly being used for things like making chlorophyll for photosynthesis.  So don’t forget to dial back the Nitrogen when flowering starts.  
  • Phosphorus (P) is primary nutrient that is used in large amounts during the cannabis plants life cycle and is known as a mobile element.  It’s needed in photosynthesis because it helps the plant change the energy it gets from the sun into sugars.  These sugars will make the different chemical compounds used in root, leaf and stem growth, but it’s a vital part of dense bud development during flowering.    Phosphorus will also help the plant cope with the stress of drought, frost, pests, and disease easier.
  • Potassium (K) is another vital primary nutrient that a healthy cannabis plant will use throughout its lifecycle and is also essential for photosynthesis (the building of sugars).  It lets the plant metabolize (chemical digestion) those carbohydrates (sugars) to make different proteins and amino acids that are used in different plant processes.  Potassium helps carry water throughout the plant and this allows it to be less stressed during dry periods and improves the plants resistance against frost by working in the plants sap.  It will promote consistent, even and strong growth and when combined with Phosphorus it will also help strengthen the root system.   Potassium is needed during flowering to increase the density, weight and number of buds.

The Trichomes

     The trichomes are the oil filled glands that grow on the surface of the buds/flower and lower smaller leaves (sugar leaves).  These trichomes are where the cannabinoids like THC and CBD are made and housed.  This is also where the terpenes are made, which give cannabis it’s aroma and flavor.  The burning of the trichomes is what is giving us the euphoric effects of cannabis, NOT the bud/flower.  The bud only exists to give the trichomes a place to grow, that’s why we want to encourage big healthy bud growth. The bigger the bud, the more surface area for trichomes to grow which leads to a more potent harvest.  If you want more information about the anatomy of the “Trichomes” please visit the article I mentioned that was written by Mel Frank (https://beyondthc.com/the-cannabis-female-flower/).      

Warning Signs

     It’s normal to see a few yellowing or dead leaves at the bottom of our plants.  Since those leaves aren’t producing a lot of energy because they get too much shade.  The plant senses them as dead weight and will let them die.  Once again, this is NORMAL,  it is NOT normal to see yellowing or drooping leaves this early.  That leaf death is usually seen at the end of week 7 or beginning of week 8.  Most likely it’s a sign of a deficiency or disease, whatever it is you need to move fast because it could affect your harvest.

The likely causes:     

  • PH – If your water PH is lower than 5.5 or higher than 7 it could be causing nutrients to be locked out or not absorbed.
  • Nutrient Deficiency –  Check your feed dosages if you’re feeding your plant bottled nutrients, you could be under or over feeding them.  If you’re using a “Super Soil” or enriched soil mix in a container, it could be depleted.  I use a liquid fish emulsion with kelp and molasses at half to a quarter strength.  The idea is to keep my plants well fed for the next couple of weeks without having nutrient build up just before the flush.  Different nutrients will show different symptoms of deficiency, so it’s a good idea to learn what they look like.   
  • Pest – Check your plant daily if you can, for any signs of pest pressure.  For example, chewed leaves or brown spots are some signs of caterpillars.  A small cluster of fine webbing could be signs of spider mites moving in to infest your cannabis flower.  .       

Pest control during the flowering stage

    Our plants are under constant attack by pests but as they move into flowering we’re going to have to pivot a little bit when we’re planning our IPM (integrated pest management).  During this stage I rely less on foliar sprays and more on biological predators to spearhead my IPM.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • Foliar Sprays – I don’t recommend using any kind of foliar spray during flowering.  It doesn’t matter if it’s for pest/pathogen control or supplemental nutrient feeding.  DON”T do it, you run the risk of introducing moisture into the bud and causing fungus to grow in that bud.  Which makes it smokable because you should NEVER SMOKE cannabis with fungus on it.  The trichomes and bud will also take on the taste of whatever you sprayed which could make your bud taste bad.   
  • Biological Predators – The two predators that I use for pest control when my cannabis plants are in flower are the Green Lacewings Larvae and Trichogramma Wasp.  The Green Lacewing Larvae is a great general predator that will actively hunt a large variety of softbody pests like the two spotted spider mite and boring mites.  The Trichogramma is a tiny parasitic wasp that helps control moth eggs that develop into damaging caterpillars.  These predators help break up the moth’s life cycle by laying its eggs inside the moth egg and preventing the moth egg from hatching into a caterpillar.  I also use nematodes to help control any soil dwelling pest also.    

Week 5-6

     By the time your cannabis plant is in week 5 of flower, it will start to look fuller, with a lot of  white hairs popping up everywhere indicating new bud growth.  When the plant gets thick or full looking, air circulation through the plant is important.  It helps the plant to breath and it helps moisture evaporate.  A lot of times as the plant grows, the big fan leaves will overlap each other in a thatching pattern.  This overlapping can cause moisture to hang out on the leaf surface longer and allow pathogens like powdery mildew to take hold.  If I notice 2 leaves overlapping more than a quarter of the leaf size, I’ll remove one of them.  You have to be careful not to take off too many leaves, the plants not making too many new ones and she still needs them for photosynthesis.  

     When your plant gets into week 6, there’s no denying it, she is in full flower mode.  The buds will look bigger and she’s going to start giving off a beautiful aroma.  You’ll notice a few of the older stigmas that used to be white, have turned an orange or brown color and may have shrunken back a little.  All of that is a normal part of the flowering/maturing process.  Sometimes at this point also buds could get too heavy for it’s branch and needs to be supported with a bamboo stake.  It sucks when a bud breaks the branch it’s on and isn’t able to fully mature.  It’s normal for the buds to put on noticeable hefft daily and look plump.           

Week 7

      If everything is going as planned by week 7 and 8 are the home stretch.  The cannabis plant looks green and healthy.  It’s been using almost all of its energy to build flowers and synthesize cannabinoids and terpenes.  She more than likely has taken on that classic “Christmas Tree” shape with buds looking like beautiful ornaments.  Plus the aroma of all those buds is bliss to a grower.   

Week 8 and the “Flush”

     The two weeks before a harvest is always an active time for the cannabis plant.  This is when I’m going to stop feeding her any nutrients and start the “Flush” by just giving her a lot of water. This “Flush” helps break up the nutrients and salts that may have built up in the soil or on the roots.  This will help your bud have a more honest, pure cannabis taste.  Otherwise, that flower could have a bit of a harsh, chemical taste when you smoke it.

    When I flush a plant, I want to water the plant until you see a lot of runoff coming from the bottom of the container.  I like to see the amount of runoff equal to the size of the container.   If I’m flushing a 3gal pot, I want to see about 3 gal of runoff.  For the next two weeks I’ll water her as needed and about 1gal of runoff is what I’m looking for.   

     The other thing I’m going to start to do two weeks before harvest is look at the trichomes everyday for signs of ripeness.         

Trichome Ripeness…It’s all about timing

     Some growers will judge the ripeness of a cannabis plant by the amount of stigmas that have turned from white to orange or brown color, I don’t.  I use a jeweler’s loupe or a magnifying glass to take a closer look at them.  As the trichomes ripen and mature they change color from clear/transparent (unripe), to milky/cloudy (ripe) to amber (over-ripe).  The tricky part is knowing the right time to harvest a plant.  I also have to remember that the trichomes will keep ripening after I cut her down and start the drying and curing process which should take at least three weeks.  If you want a more energetic high, harvest a little early, when the buds have more milky trichomes.  If you’re a fan of that classic couchlock feeling, you want to harvest a little later, when you have more amber trichomes.   

     A good rule that works for me when it’s harvest time is this: When I see about 30% amber trichomes, it’s time to cut her down and put her up to dry. 

NOTE:  Don’t forget, everyone’s growing conditions are different.  That 10 week flowering time is an average of what the breeder has seen, it may be sooner or take a little longer.

Week 9-10

     By week 9 that female is fattening up the buds, the trichomes are ripening and she’s smelling up the yard.  She knows the end is near and you’ll start to notice more yellowing, dying leaves, don’t panic, this is natural.  You’re doing great, she looks awesome, just keep her hydrated and pest free.  You may need to help support the branches that start to sag or buckle under the weight, I like to use bamboo stakes for this.  Week 9 is also when you should start to think about where you’re going to hang up this cannabis flower to dry after you cut her down.  For a first time home grower, the best spot to dry a small batch of cannabis is a closet in their home.  It’s temperature controlled and manageable size, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

     IT’S WEEK 10, HARVEST DAY.  You did it, that 10 week variety has just the right amount of amber trichomes for your liking.  Take some pictures and cut her down.  But ahhh, you still need to dry and cure that bud.  Could be another 4 weeks before you can truly enjoy your smoke.  I’ll share my best practices about drying and curing in a different article, keep an eye out for.   

    You know I love you very much and remember to Grow Learn and Teach.  

IMGS #161: Chief of Police from Port Hueneme Andrew Salinas.

Click on this link to listen to the episode:

https://inmygrowshow.libsyn.com/ep-161-cheif-of-police-from-port-hueneme-andrew-salinas

Click here to watch the video of this episode.

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.  

Check out our new shirts:

 Grow Learn Teach https://www.zazzle.com/grow_learn_teach_t_shirt-235038566746718939

Cannabis Co-Conspirator: https://www.zazzle.com/cannabis_co_conspirator_t_shirt-235433996480788305 

Buy seeds safely online at: https://ilgm.com?aff=2156https://ilgm.com?aff=2156 

Show Notes: Welcome to Ep. 161.  This episode is sponsored by Sespe Creek Collective cannabis dispensary located at 408 Bryant Cir. suit C.  We always offer 5% off for seniors and 15% off for veterans. Our slogan is “Our Grass Is Greener”.  Later I’ll talk with Port Hueneme Chief of Police Andrew Salinas.  I hope your cannabis gardens are looking great.      

Strain of the Week:  Sweet Diesel is a cross of Sour Diesel and OG Kush.  This had a floral almost fruity aroma and taste with a light gas flavor at the end.  This Sweet Diesel was a good daytime smoke.  This felt a bit heavy and the package says 29%, it didn’t feel like it to me.  It felt good but it didn’t feel like 29%.  But a decent smoke for the price $25 for ⅛.   

Report from the cannabis front line:

Water for cannabis and hemp https://mjbizdaily.com/cannabis-growers-seek-solutions-to-water-issues/ 

New York state fair https://www.syracuse.com/statefair/2021/08/marijuana-at-the-ny-state-fair-you-can-smoke-it-but-there-are-limits.html?mc_cid=9b53452c13&mc_eid=cdb017092f  

Cali prisons and cannabis https://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/california-supreme-court-denies-cannabis-for-prison-inmates/article_74277b8d-8467-521e-ab7e-97aaafdd6818.html?mc_cid=9b53452c13&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

Conversations with:  With Chief of Police from Port Hueneme Andrew Salina.  He helps explain why Port Hueneme in California embraced cannabis so completely.   

Big thanks to: All the artist for letting me use their music.

“In My Grow Show – Grow Learn Teach” T-shirts are here for you.  to check it out.  CLICK HERE check it out. 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the youtube channel youtube.com/inmygrowshow

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.

Music:

Six O’clock Rush by Track Tribe

Earthbound by Slynk

Cash Machine by Anno Domini Beats

Go to inmygrow.com to SUBSCRIBE to the show or find us on the Stitcher app.

Email us at inmygrow@gmail.com

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Click here to go to 101cbd.org

Go to DeltaLeafLabs.com to order your “Plant DNA Sex Testing Kits”

Click Here for the Amazon link to help support the show.

IMGS Ep. 160: Chelsea from Sespe Creek Collective is back on the show.

Click here to listen to this episode:

https://inmygrowshow.libsyn.com/ep-160-chelsea-sutula-from-sespe-creek-collective-is-back-on-the-show

Click here to watch the video show:

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.  

Check out our new shirts:

 Grow Learn Teach https://www.zazzle.com/grow_learn_teach_t_shirt-235038566746718939

Cannabis Co-Conspirator: https://www.zazzle.com/cannabis_co_conspirator_t_shirt-235433996480788305 

Buy seeds safely online at: https://ilgm.com?aff=2156https://ilgm.com?aff=2156 

Strain of the Week: Welcome and thank you for hanging out.  Later I’m going to talk to Chelsea Sutula about the historic cannabis vote in Ojai.  I hope everyone’s cannabis gardens are looking great.  If you’re growing outdoors you have a few more weeks of veg before flowering starts.  Keep an eye out for moth flight, they will lay eggs that turn into hungry caterpillars.  A lot of new cannabis businesses have been licenced around here lately.     

Report from the cannabis front line: 

Texas hurt my brain with hemp rules.https://www.marijuanamoment.net/texas-ruling-means-smokable-hemp-can-be-sold-in-state-but-must-be-grown-elsewhere/ 

Cherokee Nation pass medical cannabis laws https://hightimes.com/news/cherokee-group-officially-legalizes/ 

Employee cannabis protectins for PR https://norml.org/blog/2021/08/03/puerto-rico-law-signed-protecting-medical-cannabis-patients-from-employment-discrimination/ 

Phytol

https://cannabis.wiki/health/early-research-shows-phytol-might-not-be-safe-to-vape

Big thanks to: All the artist for letting me use their music.

“In My Grow Show – Grow Learn Teach” T-shirts are here for you.  to check it out.  CLICK HERE check it out. 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the youtube channel youtube.com/inmygrowshow

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.

Music:

Earthbound by Slynk

Road Trip by Slynk

Six O’Clock Rush by Track Tribe

Go to inmygrow.com to SUBSCRIBE to the show or find us on the Stitcher app.

Email us at inmygrow@gmail.com

Find us on Instagram @inmygrow 

Click here to go to 101cbd.org

Go to DeltaLeafLabs.com to order your “Plant DNA Sex Testing Kits”

Click Here for the Amazon link to help support the show.