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The Real Dirt on Growing with Salts [Front Row Pt. 1]

The Real Dirt on Growing with Salts [Front Row Pt. 1]

Growing cannabis with salt fertilizers and powder nutrients

Powder nutrients, liquid nutrients, salts….what’s the difference? Probably not as much as you might think.

There’s no shortage of controversial debates among cannabis growers:

And the list goes on…

But a debate that has become more popular recently is one with a lot of misconceptions, and that debate is growing with salts vs anything else.

What are Salts?

Just like the word “organics” can cover a wide range of nutrients, micronutrients and other inputs, the word “salts” covers a wide range of naturally or synthetically derived minerals that are beneficial to cannabis cultivation. The name comes from the consistency of the product which can look like coarse or rounded salt.

The real difference between salts and liquid nutrients is, well, the liquid. That’s about it really.

Liquid nutrients are more or less salts that have been dissolved or mixed with water and bottled. In other words liquid nutrients are diluted salts.

For most salts and liquid nutrients, that’s where the differences end. So if that’s the case, which should you choose?

Front Row Ag and the benefits of Salts

Front Row Ag is a small-team nutrient company that created a 3-part line of salts that is easy to use, leading a lot of growers to make the switch from liquid nutrients. From application to impact, the difference with Front Row Ag nutrients is clear.

In Part 1 of The Real Dirt ft. Zach, Leland and Matt from Front Row Ag, Chip and the guys start scratching the surface of why Front Row went with a synthetic salt product, how they have become so popular over the last couple of years, the right and wrong ways to mix a reservoir and more.

Transcript

Chip:  Hey welcome once again to another fabulous episode of The Real Dirt. And today, it’s The Real Dirt with Front Row Ag. Hey man, you know, we sell tons of different products at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC. Hey look, there’s somebody wanting to buy some products right now. Front Row Ag is one of our more popular dry soluble products. Man today I’ve got Matt: Zealand. It’s a team of Zach and Leland together, the sales team, the technical support team Zealand. No, Zach and Leland and Matt. These guys, Matt’s the product formulator for the company, Zach and Leland, they’re the product technical support sales staff. And man, we’re really excited about this product. At Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, we have turned so many commercial and home growers onto this. It is such a great and easy product to use. And hey, man, thanks for you guys showing up here today.

 

Front Row:  Appreciate it. Thanks for having us.

 

Chip:  Alright. So yeah, man, what do we got here? Let’s uh, what kind of weeds did you guys bring? This import you got here? What’s, what’s going on? I hadn’t seen any other [inaudible 1:33] doughnuts. Did you, did you have any donuts

 

Zach:  I had some donut.

 

Chip:  Yeah, that’s gonna be my new Oklahoma strain called Donut.

 

Zach:  Donuts?

 

Matt:  Coffee and donuts.

 

Chip:  Coffee and donuts, because most people don’t, people don’t understand Oklahoma’s known for many things. Donut shops, independent donut shops all over Oklahoma. Massage parlors, and now, cannabis dispensaries. They’re everywhere. On every block in every corner, you’ll see those three things. 

 

Matt:  Interesting.

 

Chip:  And I’ll tell you, but I tell you what’s hard to find though, is weed that smells this good. Man, this is really, really, really great looking smelling ganja. Mmm, you know, I usually don’t smoke on my show. But I’m gonna ask you to pass a paper and a grinder over here and we’ll put it together. 

 

Matt:  You got it. It’s an honor.

 

Chip:  So yeah, Front Row, man. These guys have brought a great product to the market. It is market driven, what customers want, what commercial gardeners want. And today, we’re gonna tell you everything about it. And man, I’m just gonna go ahead and preface this, these guys did not pay at all for the advertisement on this. But this will be very much like an infomercial, because we’re gonna tell you exactly how to use this product or all of their products. A and B Bloom SI Bio – is it bioflow?

 

Leland:  Bioflow.

 

Chip:  Bioflow and Unleash. We’re gonna give you the technical details for outdoor, indoor greenhouse, in the ground, pots, drip, sprinklers. So sit back, roll the largest joint you can and join us for this episode of The Real Dirt. Alright, Zach: tell us about Front Row Ag, how you started and where we are today.

 

Zach:  So we started with Front Row Ag approximately two years ago, the product was developed by Matt: Karen, somewhere about seven years ago.

 

Matt:  Still can’t say my last name. 

 

Leland:  Yeah, started yeah, we started the product about five years ago. And I met Zach and the guys two years ago.

 

Zach:  Yep. So around two years ago, my business partner Patrick and I took over distribution of the products pretty much worldwide. And here we are today in Oklahoma, a few years later.

 

Chip:  Oklahoma clap.

 

Zach:  Oklahoma. There we go.

 

Chip:  You know, Matt, you said you’d been working on this project for a number of years. You’re, you’re in Michigan, is that right?

 

Matt:  No, I live in Northern Phoenix.

 

Chip:  You’re in, you’re in Arizona?

 

Matt:  Yep. Started growing in Colorado back in 2008, 2009 in Fort Collins and Loveland area. And then I’ve been cultivating for the better part of 10 or 11 years. And five years ago, you know, really had the idea for making the fertilizer well before that, but love growing. It’s really what I, what my passion was and always wanted to do. And so I stayed out of sales and making products and doing that business. At a certain point we saw a really, really high need for saving people money delivering a quality formulation. And so we just started making the idea a reality.

 

Chip:  Man so, you know, I’m always interested in that business spark and what brought you to it. What were,  what was kind of like the key reason that you wanted to develop this, this type of dry fertilizer product that’s for the cannabis industry?

 

Matt:  Well, from a community perspective, just saving people money and not taking advantage of them. With [inaudible 5:14], the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and deciding to start dedicating less time to cultivation management, consulting for other people’s businesses and making a fertilizer, was making fertilizer buy from scratch for five, five acre outdoor farm, and burning it, burning it down as a result of making the fertilizer wrong. And saying, “Well, if it’s as easy as picking up the wrong bag with the same font and letters and colors, and you can ruin millions of dollars worth of weed, it should be a lot easier than that. But you shouldn’t be forced to go to go and spend exuberant amount of amounts of money to make that happen either.” And so we decided we’re gonna start Front Row.

 

Chip:  So you know, many people they say this term like, all the time. “I’m on salts, I’m on salts, I’m on salts.” But it’s really like not exactly what’s going on, right? Like, what they mean is they’re on a dry soluble powder. Tell us kind of like, the difference between, you know, a cheap commercial like, cucumber fertilizer and Front Row.

 

Matt:  The quality of the inputs on any good agricultural fertilizer, you’re going to have a grade. And that grade is you know how well they filtered it, how many contaminants and other things that are going to be in it that you don’t expect. And then, there’s just the quality of the inputs, certain fertilizers are more soluble and less, less soluble than others. And generally, the more soluble they are,  and most cases they’re a better quality, but also more expensive. So a lot of companies can make choices to cut corners and still get you fertilizer in a bottle, but that they just use cheaper and lower quality inputs.

 

Chip:  One of the things that y’alls customers say and Leland, this probably a great like question for you is  ike, how much easier it’s kind of made their lives from using like a 14-part based formula. Because many of these people come from an indoor environment, an inside environment, and now they’re scaling, right?

 

Leland:  Yeah, definitely. We see a lot of people who are super happy with the transitions. I mean, it’s a pretty simple transition overall, there’s nothing to really be concerned about in terms of making the switch onto the salts. That being said, as far as the ease of use, it’s literally a three part blend is what you’re using most of the time. Now we’re nixing out all the Cal mag, any extra micronutrients that you might be adding, and just kind of rolling with an A and a B blend through veg, adding a bloom amendments, so basically a PK booster when you get in the flower. So it’s really, really simple to use. It’s even simpler when we mess the stock on straight, which we’ll get into later. But um, yeah, I got a lot of guys who open their bags, and they’ll either be pre-weighing it, so they can just add it right into a reservoir right away and not have to be messing with the scale. Or, they’re just dissolving it right away into warm water and adding into the reservoir, which compared to mixing multiple bottles, they’re trying to pay attention to weighing anything out exactly, it makes it a lot more streamlined.

 

Chip:  Man I’m sorry, I’m smoking this joint. It’s taste so good. I didn’t hear anything you just said.

 

Leland:  I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

 

Chip:  What were we, what were we talking about? 

 

Front Row  Nothing. Just water, man.

 

Chip:  No, it’s true. And you know, one of the misnomers that maybe non-cannabis industry people don’t realize is that it’s not all the same, right? That those big chunky salts that happened to be in you know, the cucumber food or in their tomato food, or you know that they get at their local feed and seed for 15 bucks for 20 pounds, it’s nothing like this product. Most because it’s the micronutrient. Hey Matt:, let’s, let’s talk about the micronutrients in your product and how it is different from, from, say, you know, I don’t know Jack’s, or Peters, or something like that.

 

Matt:  Well, I think on the micro side, when you start there with say calcium, magnesium is probably the biggest difference in our product, before we get into the the metals. But a lot of other products out in the market just from inclusion standpoint, you find two things, they either try to put too many products, ingredients are in one products. And then they can’t fit enough of the magnesium, the calcium in that bag. And so you end up buying a different additive or a different product they make. Or the industry throughout time has created such an importance on Piquet’s, calcium, magnesium, that they’ve made a belief almost that they have to come in separate bottles and you have to use them in addition. But really it’s just clever marketing or you know, preying on what people have been told over, and over, and over, versus our product because we separate out all the micronutrients and all the calcium into one product. We have a really high inclusion rate of magnesium and calcium, and you don’t have to go buy another product for that. And it’s, makes our product even easier to use as well.

 

Chip:  So you know, this is, the history of cannabis fertilizer is really fascinating to me, because you know, there’s this long agricultural history that’s associated with, with dry products that you mix in a large stock reservoir. You’re shipping around this dry product, but then at some point, I mean, Joe Hydro did this. And you know, did it for all of us, and it was great to some degree in the hydro industry, is they made these products in a liquid form, right? In the 70s, and, you know, that’s when they came out with this first three part 1976 or something like that. Like, that’s products been going on a long time. And y’alls technologies literally liked, developed 40 years later, or something, 30 years later. So you know, you think there’s a considerable amount of technological advancements that have happened in that time. There has been, but in our industry, it’s almost all until now been liquid-oriented, right? Like, you guys got any, I mean as salespeople, you guys got any theories on why we kept a hold of the liquid fertilizers for such a long time?

 

Zach:  I mean, I can speculate. I’ve been selling fertilizers, going into my 13th year, I started with Advanced Nutrients. So that’ll tell you back in the day, you know, selling the liquids and I would say at some level, you know, prior to that, Advanced Nutrients, actually one of their first products was all powder. You can go back and still look at GH, and you can see like even Maxi and all these other products that are still high-selling products in the market. I think that at one point what happened was, it was turned, it turned out to be like an ease of use thing. You know, it’s a hell of a lot easier. Most of the time to measure our mLs compared to grams, people mess that shit up all the time. But you think as –

 

Chip:  They took out liquid mLs.

 

Zach:  Yeah, liquid mLs compare, you know, you’d figure people by then would already figure out how to use some scales.

 

Matt:  Especially the small scale too. One of those, you know, one light, two lights, or four lights?

 

Chip:  Yeah, I mean, it’s two lighters. The two light guys definitely got a scale.

 

Matt:  I think at that level too, the cost don’t matter as much. It’s, you know, you’re a hobbyist and, and the amount that you’re probably going to get per gram or per pound, it’s going to be exuberant. And you’re not as concerned about the liquid fertilizer?

 

Zach:  Yeah, there’s an,  I think at some level too, it was one thing and I always like to put throw this out there too, especially when I’m talking to a larger scale of people that can see like, what’s going on in say, one of the hydro stores and they look at all the bottles. Me personally, I felt blessed to work for Advanced early on with all those bottles because you know, if you look back over 10 years ago, when Big Mike’s split up all those bottles, he taught a lot of growers how to grow. Like most guys, they had all these products in two or three, four bottles. Let’s say five bottles total. 

 

Chip:  Oh yeah.

 

Zach:  Well, he split them up. And yeah, it was a brilliant marketing idea. And it’s the reason why people can even sell liquid fertilizer at the price they do, is because of Big Mike but he split everything up. So people actually had to learn, “Oh, I’m, I’m deficient here or something else is going on here.” So in return, here’s another bottle yes, but here’s why you’re using this, and let me tell you all about it. So it was, it was genius in multiple ways but.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, there’s lots of bad feelings or emotions over Advanced Nutrients. But man, I’m gonna tell you what Big Mike really did for us, is he was the first company who’s like, “We’re growing weed bitches.” Right? Like, “This is for weed. This is the two pound plus formula.” Remember that?

 

Zach:  Dude, when I used to walk into a hydro store, I’m -no bullshit. If I start talking Advanced Nutrients, they’re like, “Hey, man, we got to keep us on the down”  I looked at him. I’d be like, “You don’t get my products.” I’m lying. I’m like, “I’m here to teach you how to do this.”

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. Lots of people hated on those guys. And you know, man, honestly, I think they were hated on because they were so successful. And they were pioneers in the industry in so many ways. I mean, they pioneered the ultra expensive supplement, right? I mean, oh my god, they were the first people to have the most expensive supplements.

 

Leland:  They made it fun too.

 

Chip:  They made it fun, yeah.

 

Leland:  And I think that was the real draw to liquid nutrients, was that there was like, you know, if I add this, I might get better results than I did last time. If you keep doing that and getting different results, like –

 

Chip:  Everybody’s got something different to do. I get to be involved with my plant.

 

Leland:  The difference between adding humic acids or adding a, you know, like guanos or just running a product with nothing added to it like, and seeing the nuances that can develop, whether it’s from those products or not, you know, it might just be all placebo, but it works. I mean, it’s definitely a consumer experience to be adding those new things and seeing what’s around the corner.

 

Zach:  That’s a progression thing.

 

Leland:  I apologize.

 

Zach:  No go ahead, that’s kind of a progression thing, too, is like you know, somebody starts off with all these bottles, which is not a bad idea. And then they progress into hopefully they’ll land when they become pros at Front Row. So it’s like they can either become a be like, be a pro. But what’s really cool about our product too, is it’s extremely simplified to where somebody that is using those 15 bottles can understand, “Holy shit, I can use three.”

 

Matt:  Well a lot of growers do as they as they scale up. Even like myself from a couple [inaudible 14:58] to barns, to warehouses, to commercial grows. You have those bottles and you realize well, “I’m probably gonna end up using them all in about the same way throughout the edge, and the same way throughout flower every single time.” And it really doesn’t need to be this complicated or at least have this many steps to the process every single time. I mean originally back in 2010 and ’11, that’s when we’re either using Advanced Nutrients or like, even Neutraplus with a bunch of bags of salt or botanic airs like,  why are we, why we went measuring out every single one of these over, and over, and over again when we just use it the same way?

 

Chip:  Okay, okay. Well if you, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while and you know that I like potting soil, make potting soil, coco potting soil, specifically. And you know, I just wanted to talk to you about how much I love coco fiber and why you should use it, and why your plants should be in coco fiber and they’re gonna love it too. One man, my new product Coco’s Growers HP is just an incredibly clean product and made for indoor cultivation. I mean, you can use it anywhere. But man, it is clean as you can get it. We try extremely hard to avoid all cross contamination, all bugs, weeds in seeds, we keep it all inside this manufacturer. All inside, we treat it like a bakery. We start out clean, we in clean, we clean up while we’re going through the day. We really try to take a great effort to put this quality product together. So the number one reason you should use Growers HP is man, it is clean. Number two reason you should use Growers HP is man, this product we have developed it man, almost specifically because we want to see like, just incredible root development and root growth. And that’s what this product does. You know, I used to be a diehard coco only guy, compost coco, and I just saw the benefits of peat. And so we started putting small amounts of peat in it. Man, the roots take off. Coco and peat just blend together so well. So there’s the second reason that you should buy Growers HP is man, just the increased root development. Now the third reason you should buy Coco HP is because man, it’s a really a light potting soil. And when I mean light, I mean that like you can, most people can pick up four bags at once kind of no problem. It’s light like this, because of the way we make it, the way we can control how much water we put in it, we make it a really dry elevation or really dry high elevation area in Colorado. So it dries out really nicely and when it gets into the bag man, it’s as light, it’s lighter than any potting soil of two cubic foot that you can get. So there’s the third reason, man , is it’s really a light a product, that the moisture is controlled in it specifically. Now, the fourth reason man, it’s a real easy one, man. It’s just ’cause your friend Chip asked you to go support him, support The Real Dirt and buy some Growers HP. So there you have it, man. Top four reasons why you should use Growers HP in your garden. Hey guys, just a quick break to tell you about Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado. You know, I got into the hydroponic supply business in 2009. I had wanted to open up a retail hydroponic store for years and I was already making potting soil at that point, maybe some fertilizers and some other stuff I was into. You know, I hadn’t opened up a retail shop and I got this opportunity to open one up in California. Right as I was fixing open up down in Riverside, Colorado came along. Ended up being better, bigger opportunity, opened up our Colorado stores and you know, man is just, we’ve been off to the races ever since. Now we’re in Colorado and in Oklahoma. We ship all over the country and even the world, man. It’s amazing the people that call us, contact us that needs, that need some, some, some equipment to grow their fine cannabis with. So if you need any help, any equipment, if you want to come to a great grow store where people don’t judge you, we’re not clique-oriented. We’re just there to help you grow. Man, come see us at Cultivate. Cultivate Colorado, we’re on exit 206 I-25. We’re also on the Stapleton Monaco exit there on I-70. And down in Oklahoma City, our newest store and man probably like, nicest showroom right now is we’re right on the corner of 10th in Meridian. So come check us out, 1101 North Meridian. Yeah, man,  got any questions about growing no matter if you’re big or small, just come on in. We’ll be glad to chat with you.

 

Chip:  Leland, you brought up a really good point. And Matt, also to talk about yours about this hobbyist level is like, you know, now we look on four lights or six lights as a hobbyist level. But for years like, those guys were like, the dope growers.

 

Matt:  Oh, crushing it.

 

Chip:  Right? And that was how big you got. And so you wouldn’t, the power company or your neighbor wouldn’t come on and knock on your door, right? It didn’t smell so much that like, it caused a problem in the neighborhood. And the power company, if they were looking at your power’s, like “Oh, he likes to be cold, oh, he likes to be warm.” It wasn’t that much power difference, right? But those hobbyists, they were making a lot of money, right? And you know, they were able to like, have great lifestyles and go on, snowboard and surf trips and start families and businesses, and all the crazy things we’ve all seen growers do. But it also gave them all this economy to invest in these expensive products. But they got to do something every day, because it doesn’t take much to grow four lights, right? But you want to be involved, right? And you guys, hey, man, there’s somebody out there who’s lying to all your friends, telling them how hard you’re working, and you only got four lights, but you’re doing pretty well for yourself. It’s cool, we know your secret. 

 

Zach:  Making it sound like a full time job.

 

Chip:  And you’re making it sound like, “No, I gotta go work in the garden.” And it’s just [inaudible 21:23]. What pearl snaps are in this season? 

 

Matt:  [inaudible 21:30].

 

Chip:  But now, my point is it really gave people something to do. And what’s happened now is that the industry changed, and there’s plenty of ganja growing to keep yourself busy, right? And you can’t be screwing around like, every week with like, a complex different formula. And like, and be having employees involved with that type of stuff. You know, even if they’re great employees, people make mistakes. man.

 

Matt:  Also a lot of variables.

 

Chip:  Lots of variables. So previously, when all the growers were entertaining themselves with their fertilizer program, because they didn’t have anything else to do. Now, they get to grow way more weed and they don’t need to think about the fertilizer program.

 

Matt:  We all used to enjoy spending an hour and a half mixing up our reservoirs.

 

Chip:  Oh man the techniques I’ve seen people. I have great little side topic, let’s talk about some reservoir mixing techniques.

 

Matt:  Alright, I’ve got 200 gallon, open reservoirs on the ground where we just have mondi pumps mixed on them.

 

Chip:  Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s, that is a common way, man.

 

Matt:  Standard. 

 

Chip:  Yep, standard, standard mix. The, the no mix is my favorite.

 

Matt:  Oh, man.

 

Chip:  Right?

 

Matt:  Let it go stagnant.

 

Chip:  Fill your reservoir, mix it up once and then –

 

Matt:  Use it all.

 

Chip:  And don’t use it, and it begins to like, create bio funk, you know.

 

Matt:  Oh yeah, it gets funky. One of the barriers we’ve seen though is having a pump that pulls off the bottom, and then pushes the water with an airbrake back in the top. And those recirculating pretty constantly or at least several hours a day.

 

Chip:  There’s several lines out there who say don’t pump the water, because it’s biological life, and it’s going to make it grow, right? That’s not actually the case. Well, we’ll go back, we’re serious now is with your product you don’t have to worry about that. It’s a synthetic soluble salt product, right? If you have clean water going in, then you can just pump to mix the nutrients and not pumping water in for biological life to grow, right? 

 

Matt:  Oh, yeah. I mean, when one unintended consequence when people used to switch over to our fertilizer would shock their systems or clean their lines, they’d call us and be like, “Well, suddenly, there’s a bunch of this residue at the bottom of my tank that wasn’t there before.” And we’re like, “Well, it’s definitely not from the fertilizer, it’s soluble. And you know, you probably made it right.” And then we’d realize though, that it was because there was nothing to feed what used to be in their lines anymore, it was just sloshing out in the bottom of their tanks. And we’re like, “Alright, well shock your system and clean it and it’ll go away and it won’t happen again.”

 

Chip:  Right. Absolutely. You know, we’ve also got Jacob walk into the room, he is head of our commercial sales in Denver and throughout the nation. How’s it going, Jacob?

 

Jacob:  Doing good, doing good. How you guys doing?

 

Chip:  You’re on, you’re sharing mics right here with –

 

Jacob:  I’ll just lean into Leland’s chest here.

 

Chip:  Yeah. He talks so softly. Yeah, no, here, let me get, let me go [inaudible 24:58].

 

Matt:  That’s multiple decibels higher than Leland even from a distance.

 

Chip:  Absolutely. Just turn the mic towards you. There we go. Speak into the mic. Hey, Jacob. You know, we’ve had so many people switch over to Front Row. I mean, I don’t know if this is true, but I guarantee you, we’re one of the world’s largest vendors, right? Of product. Tell me why people switch over, Jacob.

 

Jacob:  Honestly, I would say probably the number one reason people switch over is because of you guys. You guys do a really good job of going out and giving customers the support that a lot of other companies don’t honestly, you know? There’s only a few select companies, I would say, especially nutrient companies that are actively on the ground. You can call them, you can ask a question , you know? A lot of people just kind of buy what’s being sold, you guys buy what works and people, you know, hear about that, they know about it, they hear about it from other growers. It’s more of like a word of mouth, you know what clearly does work, because other people are buying it because of the results they see. Yeah, and the other main reason for people switching over it, I mean, one would be the ease of use. I mean, simple three products, it’s really hard to mess up. You don’t have a bunch of people mixing and matching bottles, it’s also colored. And so you know, why would you ever put in blue twice, just wouldn’t happen. The cost, everyone’s trying to cut costs, but they don’t want to cut quality. You see, the quality still lives up to a lot of the other more expensive nutrient brands. And then just for employment, all of your employees that are at a basic entry level, they don’t really need to know all the intricacies of the product. Like I heard mentioned earlier, you can pre-weigh it out for every reservoir so you can have that control, when you just say, “Hey, put it in bag, A, B, C. Let it mix, move along with your day,” you know? Which I think is very valuable, especially as people scale up.

 

Chip:  Yeah, everybody like, like Ziploc and vacuum seal out some packs for their reservoir so their employees can handle it that way or..?

 

Matt:  Yeah. And one thing Jacob: brought up that’s super important is our customer service. Like I don’t think it could be understated as our team, they have real cultivation experience. Whether it’s years and years in their own, in their own gardens, or actual commercial facilities. And then the owners of the, of the company as well are commercial, commercial growers. And so any day of the week, you can call us and reach out and we’ll talk to you about your gardens, what’s going on in it, whether it’s fertilizer or not, IPM-related, you’re building systems, anything and everything. And we really just try to be there to support you increase the knowledge base and share what we’ve learned throughout the years.

 

Leland:  Like Matt said, we’re all growers ourselves. So I’ve been doing this every day for 10 to 12 years now, I grew up in greenhouses. My parents were [inaudible 27:11] growers. And yeah, the passion goes for the plant and what we’re doing and yeah. It’s just nice to wake up every day and be able to help everybody. You know, that’s what we live for, for sure. We’re all very, very happy with what we do. And we got your back 100%. It’s pretty much why we wanted to do this in the first place.

 

Chip: Yeah, you know, interesting, the customer service bleeds right over in to the ease of use, though, because you guys got some great like, b-charts.

 

Zach:  For me going, and going, going into that. But for us, Patrick and I that’s one thing that we really wanted to focus on, early on in our companies, was that the amount of customer service, it’s got to be unmatched out there in the industry. Like, not only on the store level, but the end user level, that’s where our main focus is. I mean, in reality, our main focus is making sure that the end user is getting the experience with the products that they deserve and they need, whether they buy it through the store or however they get it, it’s our responsibility to make sure that the end user has the best experience with the products.

 

Matt:  And part of the experience sometimes is the environment and a lot of other things that aren’t necessarily the product they’re buying. And so we’re trying to help them through that experience and make sure they get exactly what they expect.

 

Zach:  100%.

 

Jacob:  I’ve been to multiple grows with Leland on consultations, or just like, to give an overview of Front Row Ag, and he’s solved plenty of other problems right off the bat right  when he walked in. Not even trying to sell nutrients just like, you know, trying to actually help growers which is extremely valuable, especially.

 

Matt:  I’m sure Leland has that conversation regularly is, “Hey, you can use any fertilizer, really. But it’s, these are the things that you need to do right now that we’re seeing that we could be most impactful with and help you. And you know, Front Row is gonna help you get there as well. But here’s, here’s the thing. If we’re doing our jobs right, then the fertilizer’s a secondary conversation. Now that’s, that’s the goal is like, to not have to think about fertilizer anymore, and let’s see where else we can level up. And one of the advantages of being where we’re at is that we get to chat, it’s part of our job to chat with everybody else in the industry has got cool shit. So you know, we get to see the best LEDs, we get to see who makes the best soil shout out to Chip, and –

 

Chip:  Growers Soil, growerscoco.com. 

 

Matt:  And, yeah, we like to make sure that all of our friends who share the same kind of passion and vision that we do are, are all on the same team. And we’re all speaking the same language.

 

Zach:  You know, the technical support for us is, is the main key. We feel like we have one of the best products on the market. In order for that product to work properly, like Matt: said earlier, is that we have to have their proper environment. So one of the things that we’ve always focused on with the growers is being in these grows and in allowing the space, and being comfortable enough with our partners that we can point out the different forms of variables that they have that are causing adverse effects down the road, which is really important. That’s what we love to do, is we’re not ever trying to go into a grow and point out, you know, miscomings, or bad habits or whatever, but it’s the idea that if we can move past some of these small variables that are keeping them behind, the product’s gonna shine itself. So.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. There is a lot of emotion that goes into growing cannabis. And it’s always this like, dance. You have to play a little bit with people’s cultivation facilities, and maybe even their egos, because we all put a lot into what we do, and we’re proud of it. But the easy ones are when you go into a room, and you’re like, “Oh, well, you just got my soil, for instance, but I can see you have everything to adjust your environment, right. You’re just not doing it right. But hey, look up a VPD chart here, check this out, right? Follow this, right?” And like, you know, they change that, they use my soil, and they immediately do better, right? Now, it’s this whole combination of things that go on, but it’s like, what you guys bring to the table. Well, we all bring to the table, Jacob: brings to the table is like, it’s product support, right? We’re here to help you do whatever you’re doing better, right? You’re on, you got your own style. Everyone does, right? I’m sure you guys have people that use your nutrients not off the feed chart? Correct me, of course, right?

 

Zach:  That’s a, that’s a guideline anyways. It’s a, it’s a basic starting point anyways, right?

 

Matt:  A lot of time when people figured out something that works for them in terms of schedule, or strength, and we make that recommendation, I’ll just say, “Anything that has fertilizer in it, stop using it and use Front Row.” But coming to a similar EC or ppm, you know, start from there. And that might not be exactly what the feed chart always says either.

 

Chip:  Yeah, there’s a varying water quality throughout Oklahoma and the country for sure. So, you know, people have figured out, you know, ways to use fertilizers within their water quality limitations, right? And that’s one of the major things we see here in Oklahoma is a base, you know, a ppm of 400 all throughout the state. In some places, it’s 1200.

 

Matt:  Yeah, if people aren’t using RO, we do offer actually a hard water formulation.

 

Chip:  Yeah. Oh, absolutely. So, so many people in Oklahoma are using RO. I know, we’re all on it, we suggest people to get on. It helps up so much less, man, let’s talk about the RO formulation.

 

Matt:  Yeah, what about it?

 

Chip:  Yeah. Why should I mean, if I’m using RO, why should I use it?

 

Matt:  So yeah, there’s a, I guess there’s probably a misconception. And maybe a better way to explain why do we have a hard water formula, is out there in the world, one thing we help customers from a customer service standpoint is we take their water out of their well, the spicket, or even their RO system just to really verify it’s working and test it. And a lot of time in water, there’s ions or attributes of it that are really, really good, but forever and ever just like, walking into kind of a hydro store and buying one product for one solution, people have always been told that they have to use RO systems.

 

Chip:  And it makes zero.

 

Matt:  It makes zero. But there might be fertilizer or bicarbonates in the water that are unbelievably helpful. And then water out of a well or the ground also has good dissolved oxygen and good energy. Our RO filter is a sodium filter. So the moment you run that water through it, you strip all the energy out of it along with all the ions you just took out of it. So from there, you should condition the water, the RO water. Either circulate it to give it energy, use something to put energy back into it, and then also add dissolved oxygen back into that water. And then it’s good quality irrigation water. But RO water that’s not conditioned properly, time and time over, it can be worse than someone’s just general water.

 

Chip:  If you have these high ppms that we, people do in throughout Oklahoma and you’re not using RO, what’s a really good way to use your product? How, which one of these products of yours should I use, I use the hard water product?

 

Matt:  Well reach out to us first and the first thing we do is bottle your water up and then we we’ll tell you. We’ll say it’s either gonna be a combination of these products, or it’s all the hard water formulation or all the regular formulation.

 

Chip:  And people just call you guys up and ask this all the time?

 

Matt:  All day every day.

 

Chip:  Alright, alright everybody, put your joint down. And pull your phone out and I want you to like, log on to all of this information. Alright, let’s start with like, the best way to like, get in touch with you guys.

 

Leland:  Well, multiple ways. We have, you can go online and request it. You can call directly. You can find us on our Instagram pages. 

 

Chip:  What’s the,  let’s start with the Instagram. What’s the Instagram?

 

Zach:  It would be front row, so it’d be front underscore row underscore AG, on Instagram.

 

Chip:  And they can message you guys that way?

 

Zach:  You can get us there and then, in each territory, all of the team members have individual tags. So that they can also go there depending on which area you’re in. But initially, if you wanted to reach out direct, you can go right to the website, www.frontrow.com,  put your information in there and somebody can reach out pretty quick to you.

 

Matt:  But the Instagram and then this since [inaudible 35:14] are our distributor and partner and all that, they have, each of their handles are like, Soulstice or Farmer John, Soulstice Leland: or whatever. Leland:, what’s your handle?

 

Chip:  Soulstice.colorado.

 

Matt:  There you go.

 

Chip:  There you go. So, when people call up, when people message, they’re going to be talking to you guys, though?

 

Matt:  They talk to us.

 

Chip:  They talk to you, one of you three, may be somebody else, right?

 

Zach:  They’re talking directly to us, we don’t pass it on. Whether they’re asking questions about lights, or fertigation, or mediums or –

 

Matt: 18444206883.

 

Leland:  My bad. Sorry, that’s the call-in number. If you want to go on the website and go down to the customer service section and fill out an account, that’s always the easiest way. That’ll send an email straight to me, or one of my guys, or one of the rest of the team rather, sorry. And yeah, we’ll, we’ll definitely be reaching out ASAP.

 

Zach:  We are your guys. Team. 

 

Matt:  If you’re using RO water, it’s pretty straightforward. We recommend the regular formulation. And then we’ll talk to you about the, how to treat the RO and make sure you’re getting the most out of the money you’re spending on the, on the system. And process, if you’re going to try to use your well water, city water very quickly in the process, we have you bottle it up and we test it for you.

 

Chip:  That makes it great, man. And you know, this, this old school like, approach, you know, the vendors and the grow shops, we were all the original, quote unquote, “consultants.” And we were really product support people. But, but we were the people who were the front lines that helped people grow for years before there were consultants. And now so many – and I do have a consultant company, Greener Group Consulting. 

 

Matt:  You can check them out on Instagram.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have so many consultants now. But you can really cut to the chase. Most farmers, they can call people like you guys, right? They can call Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC and literally get all the product support that many consultants charge them for. And all they have to do is buy the products, they just buy the fertilizer, they just buy some lights or something. Or you don’t even have to do that at the grow store, you can just come in and ask some questions and we’d love to chat with you, right? And, and that’s the customer support, the technical support that we all started with, and that we’re offering to you all.

 

Zach:  And what’s good about that as well is the majority of us have been doing as long as we have, we have connections with all of the other companies, whether they’re the reps or the owners of these lighting companies or fertigation companies, we’re able to get the answers that are needed no matter what. But usually, I mean, you guys at the end, especially at your store’s level, you guys got the answers.

 

Chip:  Yeah, well, we see so many people come in. I mean, how many people we got, come in at the Denver stores there every week? Hundreds of people, commercial growers. 

 

Zach:  A thousand.

 

Chip:  Yeah, a week, hundreds for sure. And that’s not counting all the deliveries or all the conversations with the growers that we have all over the country. And our ability to hear what everybody’s doing and how everybody’s progressing, I mean, it’s this great like, experiment on our part. Because Jacob gets to sell all these people you know, your product. And then we end up talking to them they’re like, “Oh, dude, this is going great man. Oh, I love Michigan. Oh man, I Maryland. Oh, it’s great. Oh man, in New York’s great. I love it. Man, we’re down in Florida.” But you know and it’s awesome that we get to see people from all over the country like, use the product and hear all this feedback on how they do it. And the learning curve on that is incredible. And chances are we’ve seen a grow that’s been super successful just like yours, just like the one you’re in right now that maybe you’re having problems with, or that maybe you think you’re crushing at, or maybe you’re legitimately crushing at it. Like, we have seen people just like, destroy the yields and quality in the very same type of room that you’re growing in. So if you want to give us a call it at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, cultivateokc.com, stop in the store. Man, we’d love to chat with you about your grow room and help you achieve the best you absolutely can.

Indoor Grow Construction and Set Up (Freaux Pt. 2)

Indoor Grow Construction and Set Up (Freaux Pt. 2)

Indoor cannabis cultivation construction techniques

Building out an indoor grow is about numbers and design.

The amount of square footage in the space, the number of lights needed for full coverage, how many plants will fit and how it all needs to be placed to fit your needs; these are just a few factors that need to be figured out when building an indoor grow facility.

Designing and building an indoor grow room is no easy task. From room temperature to air flow, every little variable impacts how plants will grow in the space. Planning is key, but executing the vision isn’t always as simple as just following the blueprint.

Building Out an Indoor Grow

In Freaux’s case, when he was building his indoor grows for Jive Cannabis Co in Oklahoma he had limited space and wanted to take advantage. This meant packing more light into smaller rooms, which had to be adjusted over time.

Some extra duct work and ventilation helped solved the issue of too much heat caused by the lights, and there’s still new add-ons that Freaux is considering. Rolling tables and trellising are two that he mentions.

Chip on the other hand brought in an electrician to help set up his mom room. However the electrician was not experienced with indoor grow facilities for cannabis, and so the design was flawed.

After going back and fixing the problems himself, there are still some issues that Chip wants to address to make the room better.

In the Grow with Freaux

This week’s episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker takes place in Chip’s Mom House on the Oklahoma farm. For the confused, it’s not Chip’s actual mom‘s house, but the room where he keeps the mothers plants for cutting clones.

The two talk about their different construction techniques, the planning, implementation and adjustments that have to be made. From sourcing materials to setting up lighting, HVAC and more, Chip and Freaux dive into it all in this episode of The Real Dirt!

Transcript

Chip:  That’s right. You hear that sound, and you are in another growroom episode with Chip: Baker. This is The Real Dirt with Chip: Baker. And on today’s dirt, I once again have Freaux: from Jive Cannabis. And we’re just kind of like, hanging out in my new mother room, talking about cannabis construction techniques. We’re talking about HVAC and fans, and lighting, and how he built his room, and how I built my room and how maybe we might do it a little differently in the future. So, hey, if you’re interested in growing construction, I want you to just to sit back, roll up the largest joints you can and join us for another episode of The Real Dirt. 

 

Chip:  Alright, man. Here we are.

 

Freaux:  What’s going on, Chip? Thanks for having me on once again, man.

 

Chip:  Oh, I know man. It seems like forever since we had you here at the studios. I know the last time we were here, we just laughed and laughed.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, it’s always a good time with you, man. Can’t help but to laugh sometimes, yeah.

 

Chip:  Oh absolutely, man. We, I remember we sampled like, so much different weed. It was great. But here, we’re over here in my newly constructed multipurpose grow room. Right now, this is a big mother room. What do you think?

 

Freaux:  I think it looks awesome. How many lights you set in here?

 

Chip:  Man, I got 66 lights in here. You know, 66 is my lucky number. And we’ve overclocked this room a little bit, it’s about 110, 15% more light than we should be running in here. But we’re just dimming it down with the Trollmaster, you know the Trollmaster?

 

Freaux:  Yeah, Trollmaster’s a great product, we use that over at Jive.

 

Chip:  Yeah, I got mine at Cultivate OKC and you can get yours at cultivateokc.com, as a matter of fact. That’s what, I got mine there. Did you get yours there?

 

Freaux:  We sure did.

 

Chip:  You might have got yours from Cultivate Colorado, even.

 

Freaux:  Ah, no I think once, mine originally you might have got the ones…

 

Chip:  Cultivate OKC, that’s right. Alright, cool. Well, I love my Trollmaster and we’ve got these dimmed down to 50%. And that’s one of the cool things about it. These are their 1000 Watt phantom double-endeds, and we have them all linked up daisy chain with a data cable that all goes to the control unit, the Trollmaster control unit. And we have it dimmed down to 50%.

 

Freaux:  It looks great. What you got, that’s what, the unit structure looks like you’re looking to kind of, put it out there, is that what that is?

 

Chip:  Yeah, this is the, this is the way we like to build grow rooms. You know, with my Cultivate OKC and Cultivate Colorado, we do supply for all this equipment. But our other company, Greener Group, we build grow rooms or advise people on building grow rooms and this is the way I like to tell people to do it, right? It’s efficient, it’s effective. You do the math of the lights and you just mount the lights at one point on the ceiling. We basically build a unistrut frame, and on that unistrut frame we run some conduit, some electrical, but we also hang our lights from it too, right? And it makes it a real sturdy system, it adds a little bit of weight to the ruse, but and it is a little costly, but you can see how easy it is that just mounts right up to the unit’s drive.

 

Freaux:  No, it looks great. I mean, super pretty room here, Chip. I like the way you guys set up a lot. And you said what, these are going to be moms that are going to take clones off to go outside this year?

 

Chip:  Yeah it is. It’s early May, we’re taking clones of all of these right now. We have a bunch of clones already. And we also have a clone nursery in OKC, or my wife has a clone nursery there. So, these are all for the Oklahoma medical cannabis commercial market and for here at our farm.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, nice big healthy moms in here. The little you know, setup and schematics you got in through, the plant seem to really like it with the lights, fans, well-ducted AC. You got it nice and insulated. Electric work is really uniform and clean.

 

Chip:  I had the AC just kicked on.

 

Freaux:  It’s all quiet in there now, huh?

 

Chip:  Oh it is, man. Yeah, we turned all the fans off so we could have this episode here. But it, you can feel the light intensity, but the room’s holding temperature pretty good.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, I told him temperature great.

 

Chip:  We struggled with some of the AC, man. We got an AC guy, he came in here. I would never recommend him. He put all of this equipment in for us. It looked pretty, all the angles were almost right and straight, and then it just didn’t work.

 

Freaux:  Why was that?

 

Chip:  You know, they didn’t do the math properly on the ducting size. They had one of the units wired on heat when it should be on cool. So one unit was coming on heat, when everything was coming on cool, right?

 

Freaux:  This is redone now?

 

Chip:  Yeah. And then I got some other guys that actually worked with us over at Greener Group. They kind of redesigned the system they had here. They pulled in this main plenum right here, they pulled off these vents like, directly off the side, right? They calculated all of the airflow that was supposed to go through here, and the previous guy didn’t do any of that. Fortunately, I got the right HVACs and all of that was specked out. But my guy came in, he’s an engineer, he engineers HVAC stuff and you know, he just kind of did it for a favor, and retuned all this stuff in, retuned all my HVACs. And, man, it’s been, it’s been working flawlessly ever since then.

 

Freaux:  No, it looks beautiful. When you’re saying earlier, I was kind of like, “Well, it looks great here.” But you said the other guy came in and did this. But yeah, he did a, he did a great job.

 

Chip:  Yeah, we added in all of this soft ducting on here, right? Where we had to, and some back here and back here, where the other guy didn’t quite calculate for the steel ducting. But yeah man, testament in like getting a poor quality contractor, even though they can like talk a big game, they look good, and their truck looks clean, and they got a pin in their shirt does not mean that they really know what they’re doing.

 

Freaux:  Oh, I know. You know, unfortunately, that’s definitely not the case. But you do get a good one, though. You know, you got to, you got to hold on to him., because in a lot of those cases, you know, especially people who aren’t familiar, like you’d have experienced actually doing, you know, setting up a room, it’s just like a regular HVAC guy kind of winging it or whatnot. There is a specific, you know, equation as far as like, you know, your square footage, how many lights you know, all that that goes into it. So somebody who’s like, familiar with that, and can, you know, have the correct format and build out a grow room to where it needs to be and keep the environmental controls, you know, sound, that’s, you know, somebody you definitely want to hold on to. And there’s a lot of people out there that think they know, but, you know, their work proves otherwise.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. And many, many people that just knows, no experience and can cannabis and you know, they, they, they don’t really look at this for what it is, right? They either think they know better, or they want to observe the situation. Because, you know, oftentimes I find these people that come with this arrogance or entitlement of not being involved with cannabis.

 

Freaux:  Yeah. It seems like a lot of those type of guys too, always got a better way, you know, they can do this to prove that, but uh…

 

Chip:  Let’s jack this thing up, man. I’m gonna pull the catalytic converter off so we get a little bit more flow, you know what I’m saying?

 

Freaux:  Straight up.

 

Chip:  ,No man, my cousin here pass your smog no problem. 

 

Freaux:  That’s hilarious, man.

 

Chip:  True story. True story.

 

Freaux:  And that’s why I would say being, you know, the, sometimes experience and stuff like that, and just, you know, knowing it, you know, you know how it weighs, what somebody would think, I mean, it’s, you’re actually, you know, doing it yourself and have R&D to know what works and not. And it’s, you know, there’s always different ways to improve, but you know, you know, it’s all through trial and error, and, you know, yeah, to actually do it. So there’s a lot of good ideas out there people have, but, you know, to try it, you never know, and a lot of times people try new stuff, and it doesn’t work, you know?

 

Chip:  Yeah, right. And you know, we’re paying for it. So, I don’t want to have an experiment if I can, and, you know. Oh hey, speak about something that’s held the testament of time. Georgia Pine right here, aka Gilz Nilz, or Gilz Nilz, aka Georgia Pine. Man, this is from The Swamp Boys. I love this weed. It is just incredible growing, I love to smoke it. It’s got zero name. It doesn’t look like much of anything.

 

Freaux:  Makes great water hash, feels good too.

 

Chip:  I mean it’s just, it’s just greasy as I move my hands over it like oh, man, this stuff is great. I really love it.

 

Freaux:  It’s a happy girl right here, too.

 

Chip:  Yeah, we were talking about the fans earlier, man. And so I don’t have any horizontal fans here. I don’t have any wall mount fans, right? You pointed this out. And you asked me how what I thought about the way I had my fans going, and what’s going on here is we have all of our fans are blowing horizontally, right under the lights on the ceiling. You can check this video out or our Instagram out, on YouTube or on Instagram, you can see what we’re talking about. And it circulates the ai,  right? And that’s the principle we’re going. We’re trying to circulate all the cool air coming down from the HVAC. We’re trying to blow the hot air from the lights around the room and cause the air in a circular motion to start to move in. And there’s no direct fans on any of these buds, right?

 

Freaux:  No, I know. That’s the first thing I noticed when I was asking you about you know, a lot of people are kind of starting to move the fans up to the ceiling and move in there like that. I was wondering what you thought, but I can really see the difference from when it turned on to not. I mean it’s [inaudible 10:12] with it I actually haven’t like isolated fan on the wall, they’re kind of hitting the plants and stuff. You know, –

 

Chip:  Those oscillators take up so much room, man.

 

Freaux: Yeah, they do. And then they blow directly on your plants, which, you know, cause some you know, burns or you know, stuff like that on your plants. But uh, I really liked the way you got it set up like that. And I mean, I could definitely feel the airflow, all the plants were moving. It seemed like pretty much all the room was like, circulating everywhere it was to emulate just like that without having to like you sai,  take up space or you know, have a you know, fan blowing directly on your plants, especially those plants close to the wall and –

 

Chip:  It’s still loud.

 

Freaux:  Yeah. It’s definitely loud. You liking the way that’s working so far?

 

Chip:  Yeah, man. Oh, man, it works great. When you do the math though, itt only says it should have like, 12 fans in here, maybe even nine. But like, the reality is we have like, 18 or maybe 20.

 

Freaux:  Leave some of that, at least 15.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, let’s count them. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I think there’s 26.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, that’s a lot. But it’s a –

 

Chip:  1, 2, 1, 2, 3 I can’t count man. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 30, 40, 50, 60. Okay, well, that time I got 19.

 

Freaux:  How much you got?

 

Chip:  I got 19, man. 

 

Freaux:  That looks about right. I’ll take your word on that right there.

 

Chip:  Yeah, well, we threw a couple random ones in here, so the math doesn’t quite work out. We got six over here., we got three in the middle, and then we’ve got eight over here. There, there it is. 19.

 

Freaux:  I like that set up a lot. I was kind of looking into you know, it seems like I was saying earlier a lot of people switch into the low end air with the fans up you know, up top. I’m gonna probably give it a whirl myself, see how I work it out and you know, trying in our room see how it does, but it seems top be working great for you, Chip.

 

Chip:  Yeah, man. We’ve been doing it for years, we build rooms this way for Greener Group all the time and for other people. And you know, if you’re, if you’re building out a new room, it really does help in your square footage. I really don’t like the oscillating fans, just one more thing that’s gonna move that’s gonna break, or you just got to pay a million bucks for the oscillating playing fans there’s just no easy way around it. But you know, in the hydroponic industry you know, I mean, I’m guilty of this. Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC like and you know, our distributors have been selling us these fans we you know, have been promoting them. They’re inexpensive fans but they’re just not that great. And people come in and demand an inexpensive fan and that’s what they’re going to get is a wall fan that might not have the best performance, right? You pay a little bit more for these you know, steel 18-inch you know, hanging fans and you know – I won’t replace these.

 

Freaux:  Yeah. It seems like it pushes more air you know, especially up top like that. Definitely more powerful. Yeah,

 

Chip:  Absolutely. So when you were building your recent room here, like, what were some of the things that surprised you? That like, ideas you had about the way you were going to build it and in the way that it ended out.

 

Freaux:  Some stuff that was like, surprising? Um, you know, honestly when we first set up the new rooms that we built out in the back building, the one that you came over and toured that one time, you know, we had it set up to try to like work towards the room. Because we had like, limited space so we wanted to try to make as many rooms as we could or whatnot. So in a sense, we kind of had an overlit room, but the way it was like set out. But then we tried to put some you know science behind it check in you know, the lumens or whatnot, and we kind of had to go back and you know, set up the rows a little bit better. Have, it doesn’t look as like, crisp but it’s like, better for the room as far as like, square footage and having a good light spread over the canopy. I would say also to which I had to position some you know ductwork and some of our, our original rooms that we started with or whatnot. You know, added a quite a bit of ductwork to try to help with some like, hotspots were occurring and some like microclimates. You know, when we, you know, added that type of airflow to it, it was able to kind of mitigate a lot of those issues, but I think it’s one of the things really any grower, you know, different techniques come out, they see a buddy that’s doing something different. I think it’s always good to try to improve on whatever you can or whatnot. I know some stuff that we’re kind of looking into at Jive, we’re looking into, you know, going into maybe doing some like table and trellises instead of doing some stake-end and maybe even looking into –

 

Chip:  Oh yeah man, I’m, wait, I’ve got all the, all the tables just came in for this room. This room is  may – is gonna well, we got some construction and I got some stuff to clean up after our bill and we’ll go into that in a minute, but we’re gonna put tables throughout this whole thing.

 

Freaux:  That’s gonna look super crisp when you get those tables.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, one of the things I talked to people about putting the grow room together and you, we just talked about the things that didn’t quite work out, is you need to plan for that in your construction, right? You can get competent people, people can think about things but like, you know, unless like, every room is a package and they never are. People want to use different controllers, electricians use different equipment, I only use Square D, right? Like, you know, like stuff like that. And I actually I do, I only Square D.  People use different controllers like, it all ends up being different. So this room specifically, you can see all of my thermostats, the electrician thought it was it was good to put them all in one spot, right? Right. So all my, all my thermostats for the room, the dehumidifier, the Dehumidistat, all of them they’re, all five thermostats –

 

Freaux:  It’s all of your sensor here?

 

Chip:  Yeah, that’s for all sensor.

 

Freaux:  Oh, my god.

 

Chip:  Right. Right. So, uh, you know, I’m gonna have to pull all those out. And I’m gonna place them on each one of the corners, basically. And then just one in the middle.

 

Freaux:  Yeah.

 

Chip:  I’ll put them in on two stages, at least then. Right? So that way, two of them will come on, and three of them will come on, right?

 

Freaux:  That sounds like a good setup right there. 

 

Chip:  Right, right. But that’s not the way it’s set up right now. But if I had come in here, go, go, go, go, go put the tables in. Go, go, go, go, go go. You know, I would have. But because the HVAC didn’t work right?

 

Freaux:  Yeah. 

 

Chip:  Right off the bat.

 

Freaux:  Yeah.

 

Chip:  Right? And then, and then, and now I’ve been growing in here for a little bit because this is just a mom room. And now I’m like, “Okay, I need to change,” and this didn’t work out that well for me and I’m able to like dial it in.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing about always kind of improving your techniques and dialling it in and you know, any way you can, any, any way you can improve in that you want to you know, try to improve from harvest to harvest, you know. You definitely put a you know, a lot of time and effort in you know, to grow in it and you want to be able to have the right tools to make you succeed. If there’s no better stuff you can do, you always want to improve it, you know, the best you can you know?

 

Chip:  Hey guys, just a quick break to tell you about Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado. You know, I got into the hydroponic supply business in 2009. I had wanted to open up a retail hydroponic store for years and I was already making potting soil at that point, maybe some fertilizers and some other stuff I was into. You know, I hadn’t opened up a retail shop and I got this opportunity to open one up in California. Right as I was fixing open up down in Riverside, Colorado came along. Ended up being better, bigger opportunity, opened up our Colorado stores and you know, man it’s just, we’ve been off to the races ever since. Now we’re in Colorado and in Oklahoma, we ship all over the country and even the world, man. It’s amazing. The people that call us contact us that needs, that need some, some, some equipment to grow their fine cannabis with. So if you need any help, any equipment, if you want to come to a great grow store where people don’t judge you, we’re not clique-oriented, we’re just there to help you grow. Man, come see us at Cultivate. Cultivate Colorado, we’re on exit 206 I-25. We’re also on the Stapleton Monaco exit there on I-70. And down in Oklahoma City, our newest store and man, probably our nicest showroom right now, is we’re right on the corner of 10th in Meridian. So come check us out 1101 North Meridian. Yeah, man. Got any questions about growing, no matter if you’re big or small. Just come on in. We’ll be glad to chat with you. Hey, guys, I know everyone who’s listening, we all love The Real Dirt. I mean, I love The Real Dirt. But you know what I love even more than The Real Dirt is actually growing in dirt. That’s right, Growers High Porosity Coco Formula, that’s my potting soil. Man. I’ve gone through so much trouble and research to build the cleanest, most effective potting soil for growing cannabis. Man, we built all this stuff inside. I break all the pallets, all the raw materials down on, on the morning. I push it through our machine, we use a series of conveyor belts, there’s no cross contamination, everything’s machine-mixed. It’s all made and mixed by volume. It goes directly into the bag. By the end of the day, everything that we started at the start of the day, all the raw materials, they’ve turned into bagged product that’s all stored inside. Now that the importance of this is many, many other, every other potting soil company, they don’t do it like that. Here’s how they do it. They take their raw materials, whether it’s coco, peat, perlite, forest, pumice, compost, sand, whatever they got, and they make a huge pile of it outside with big industrial equipment. They use tons of diesel to do this, tons of diesel fuel on the grinders, on the screeners, on the loaders. And they lead these huge piles out that’s just like a petri dish for cross contamination from weeds, seeds, bugs, whatever, whatever is capable of living in it. And it does and it will, and then they take these piles and they bring them into another facility that’s probably also not indoors, very few of them are, they’re usually covered tin sheds or something like that. And they bag up the potting soil, they wrap it up, pile it up, clean it off nice and pretty. And then when it gets shipped to you, you think it’s this great product, but in reality, it’s just like some dirt on the ground that people have shoveled up and put it in a nice plastic bag. And the potential for it to be full with everything from root aphids, to fungus gnats, to contaminants. It’s just, it’s mind boggling actually, at how bad it could be, and it’s really not that bad, comparatively. But our product is so clean, we go through so much trouble from the RO water to the clean cement, to the way that we move all this product around with conveyor belts instead of using big loaders. I mean, I’ve been making potting soil most of my adult life and I’m now using 1/10 of the petroleum products to make this potting soil. 1/10. And that’s almost all in diesel fuel, all in propane with forklifts, because of the way that we’ve situated our plan and you know, made this really great, environmentally friendly weed-bug-seed-free product. So, check it out man. growerscoco.com. Hop on your computer right now. Go to growerscoco.com. Check out our website. If we’re not in your community, ask your local grow store, he can get it in. If you’re in Colorado or in Oklahoma man, come to some Cultivates and we definitely got it. Thanks guys. And let’s get back to the episode.

 

Chip:  You know, I was really going for function over fashion in this room. It’s a little, there’s a little, there’s a little ugly spots here or there to it, but it’s going to be a see of bud in here soon enough when we turn this to like, an indoor room in the future. Where you know, the math I believe is we’ll put tables in here and you know, then like, a thousand plants or something. And should get two and a half ounces of plant is kind of I think the goal with still like, not packed in or still be able to walk around.

 

Freaux:  That sounds good. I mean, you could set up right there. What uh, what kind of tables you going with?

 

Chip:  You know, I believe I ended up with the the hawthornes slash botanic care tray tables. Yep. The rolling benches. 

 

Freaux:  Nice. Have you used those before?

 

Chip:  Yeah, we’ve got those. And we have the hydro farms. I actually liked the hydro farms better. But there was a supply issue, because right now we’re in an international supply issue for all products, right? And cannabis products are not you know, any different.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, you’re really starting to feel that now. A lot of people are out of stuff, price is up. Yeah, man, it’s been kind of hard to get like, raw supplies, especially if you are either building out or if you need, you know, just normal stuff, you know? They’re, you know, fertilizer, all that stuff seems to be, you know, kinda on, I guess, high demand and also too, the supply chain’s kind of been, you know, down a little bit or whatnot.

 

Chip:  Man, it’s a, no, there’s an international shortage, man. All of India has a bunch of containers and they’ve been shut down over COVID. China, Hong Kong, they’ve been shut down a bunch, man. They’ve got less containers on the market for all the rest of the product, right? All of our manufacturers were in a slight downturn slightly before COVID. And everybody started smoking tons a week, because they were unemployed and staying home, and they could smoke more weed. Right,? Right? So our industry all went and now like, more people want bags of soil. More people want, right? More people, more people. So yeah, that’s good though. It’s all moving. forward so fast, but like, you know, we all want to expand, but we can’t because we can’t get unistrut or we can’t get – this literally just happened to me –  I couldn’t get to 2 by 6 steel framing or you know, ACs are 16 weeks out if you want to do construction right now. 

 

Freaux:  That’s crazy.

 

Chip:  So it’s hard all over if you’re building the grow room currently, you know, you should really plan everything way ahead of time, it’s not going to work any way like it, it normally should.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, you got to plan in proper because, you know, stuff is so you know, behind now and going up in price and just not, you know, not readily available. But you are right, definitely if you are planning something you know, in the near future, you know, definitely at least get your material list. And, you know, make sure it can get sourced or whatnot, because it is definitely hard to find, you know, raw materials right now.

 

Chip:  Yeah, man. The, my biggest complaint about building this room, though, was that I couldn’t build a bigger one.

 

Freaux:  Man, that’s always, that’s always the number one problem, huh?

 

Chip:  So man, what would you, what do you want to do on your next room? What are you gonna do next time?

 

Freaux:  You know, honestly, if you know, on the next room or next setup, I would say I would probably, you know, start fresh with tables, you know, move over to trellis. I would probably like to do some sort of fan setup, like you got. Like, kind of, you know, go away from the oscillating you know, the oscillating fans kind of do the fans set up like you got going on right now. And then, I know I’d probably say you know, do some duct work kind of similar this. You know, something that’s going to have it where, you know, the, where it can, you know, not have a bunch of like, microclimates and hotspots. And then I don’t know, I you know, look at like different products that are out there now. Like, could be you know, like DPS panels, does that have advantages, you know? Any kind of, you know, like, you know, foam in an installation that could help out with keeping the climates you know, dialed in. And then any kind of like, you know, stuff like Trollmasters, like maybe going to a pro or getting set up on, you know, water automation, doing stuff like that, you know, probably different stuff like that. If you’re gonna do something else like that.

 

Chip:  Yeah, the Trollmaster Pro’s definitely something I’d like, but no, man, the internet’s not great out here.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, that is something you got to, if your internet’s not working, that’s not working, you know?

 

Chip:  What about LED vertical?

 

Freaux:  Yeah, that’s something you know, LED’s something I would like to, you know, try out a room or something like that, at some point. I’ve been hearing even of recently, a lot of people are starting to switch over. People who are, you know, been [inaudible 27:48] or whatnot. And, you know, always regretted the switch. I feel like a lot of people are making it and having like, good results would be good to try to, you know, give that a run ,see how that goes. And then you’re talking about one vertical like, stacking up or whatnot?

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, vertical stacks.

 

Freaux:  I know. That’s something that we’re kind of, you know, doing that at Jive right now. One of our veg rooms, we have a vertical stacked LEDs at the bottom and CMH is up top. You know, it definitely makes more room. You can have more, you know, put more plants on there. Even if it’s just for your one gallons or whatnot, free up some space. I know there’s a lot of facilities out, there’s a facility I’ve heard about out here where they have I want to say like, 100 lights at the top and the bottom. I would just like to see it myself, how like, a workflow a day of that would go because you know, setting that up in like, you know –

 

Chip:  It’s high labor. It’s absolutely high labor. You know, there’s advantages to it. There’s disadvantages to it, that’s for sure. You’re going to grow twice as much or three times as much weed but it’s going to take that much more effort to do that as well, right? It’s not just like growing three times more weed horizontally. It’s like that much more difficult because now it’s on ladders.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, that’s understandable.

 

Chip:  Right, right. But it can be done and the LEDs grow great weed, and it’s just the expense. And I look forward, my next, my next bill.

 

Freaux:  There’s always a next one, huh?

 

Chip:  My next bill.

 

Freaux:  Straight up, huh. That’s funny.

 

Chip:  Yeah, man. So let’s check out this MAC, man. Check out this Mac 1, this Mac 1. Grows funky, huh? Do you know this plant?

 

Freaux:  I don’t. I’ve never actually grown it. I know it’s been really popular. The weed I see its from, it’s been amazing.

 

Chip:  It can be pretty good. It didn’t fill out so much, but it’s really stony and it smells incredible.

 

Freaux:  No, definitely. It’s got a nice look to it, too. I’ve never actually seen it like, in garden, in person, but a definitely beautiful looking plant. Looks super happy right there too.

 

Chip:  Yeah, it’s got a weird growth pattern, man. It’s real slow, it’s real slow until, until it’s not. 

 

Freaux:  Does it, does it seem to catch up with everything else or is it kind of –

 

Chip:  Okay, hey, check it out. Those are, those are Cookies and Cream, right? Those plants over there. And these are the Mac 1s, these were started you know the same time as those.

 

Freaux:  Were those smaller when they –

 

Chip:  No, it was all the same size, all the same cutting, all the same cutting day, right? All of this came out on the same cut. Well okay actually, that’s not true. This stuff in the middle, this all came out on a week later cutting day. But everything else, all these taller plants all on this side, that was all the same day, right? So but the Mac, it grew so slow initially.

 

Freaux:  It really exploded then, because this –

 

Chip:  Now it’s bigger.

 

Freaux:  It’s like probably one of the taller plants in the room, honestly. Besides this one in the corner over here on the left.

 

Chip:  Yeah. You just got to baby it, you got to, you got to watch the water, you got to, you got to really work on that initial transplant, and root bound it out. And then transplant it again, and root bound it out. And like, and now it’s happy.

 

Freaux:  Definitely look good. How’d she, how’d she do outdoor?

 

Chip:  It did great, man. I’m really, we’re gonna make a bunch of crosses of it this year. You know, we’ve got 28 different flavors so far we’ve planted. And then we’ve got about seven returning, seven returning ones. Seven or five. We’ve got, we’ve got Granddaddy Dawg, we’ve got Purple Punch, don’t hate on me. We got Train Wreck. I’ve got Georgia Pine, we’ve got Mac 1. And then we’ve got Cookies and Cream.

 

Freaux:  Nice little lineup right there.

 

Chip:  Yeah, I got a couple other Melonades in here someplace and –

 

Freaux:  You’re gonna rerun like, Sherb Dosis or any of that?

 

Chip:  Yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely. We’re going to run a bunch of Sherbadosidos. We’re going to run a bunch of Lemon G 13 Dosidos. I’m going to do some, oh man, the list is epic. I got a ton of Hawaiian strains. I figured like, “Hey, where is it humid but they grow dank weed? Oh, Hawaii!” So I call up my Hawaiian homies. And they were like, “Oh, hey, I live in Oklahoma now.”

 

Freaux:  Straight up. Seemed like everybody’s out here now, huh?

 

Chip:  Yeah, totally. 

 

Freaux:  Hawaii had some good strains. I’ve always had some pretty good Hawaiian weed, man.

 

Chip:  Oh man. I got, I got, I traded like, all of the originals, man. The Molokai Frost, the Puna, the Tar, the [inaudible 32:19]. I got a bunch of originals and then those crossed, right? And then I’ve got also like some other modern like, Dutch strains crossed with local strains as well. 

 

Freaux:  That is badass.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, we got about 12 or 13 of those. We went heavy on R&D on that.

 

Freaux:  So that’s awesome. I’m interested to see what those look like when they’re done.

 

Chip:  And then I think we have every something out,  some amount out of the whole Archive flat, Archive catalog, probably like 80 or 100 of almost everything that he’s produced the past. I’ve been collecting them for the past couple of years and we’re putting all that out.

 

Freaux:  That’s awesome.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah.

 

Freaux:  Can’t wait to see those.

 

Chip:  And then man, my buddy Shaw up at 707 Seeds, we got, we’ve got his whole collection of seeds going to probably you know, I said 28, that number’s nowhere right. Because I’m calculating like,  42 or something inside my head now. We’ve got like all of the NorCal clones, all of the flavors all crossed with this really hardy Kush cleaner that’s a proven outdoor strain, a great indoor strain. Wash is great, we’ve got it crossed with with pretty much everything.

 

Freaux:  Sounds like y’all have been busy, huh?

 

Chip:  We’re gonna be. We just popped all these, you have to come back later on. But mass pheno hunt, we’re like, I got a cell culture lab we’re building over here in the other building this year. And so by the fall time, that’s all going to be ready and we’re gonna have our online lab here where we’ll be able to like, test like, nuggets as we go, plants as we go. And we’re like, “Okay, that’s the one, that’s the one.”

 

Freaux:  Hey, that’s badass. Can’t wait to see that in action.

 

Chip:  Yeah. No doubt, man. I’ll tell you, you know my biggest problem with it all here, man, I really need some good solid people to work.

 

Freaux:  I hear you on that.

 

Chip:  We should start an employment agency. Oh hey, if you want a job in the cannabis industry but you got to like, be able to like one, be work well with others. Two, work hard all day. Three, have like, zero ego and only admiration for the plant. Man, I think you could probably get a job with either one of us right now, right?

 

Freaux:  Easily.

 

Chip:  Easily. Or other people here in Oklahoma. Call us first.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, definitely call us first. But if you have all those attributes, definitely.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely man. Like, you know, you got to be able to pick up 50 pounds and do it all day in the sun, right? You got to be able to like stand under like 60,000 watts., 100,000 watts of light.

 

Freaux:  And also too you know, no to, you can’t really have like, just kind of a normal workday. You got to be on the garden time, you know? Like, it’s not not your traditional work day and it kind of got to work around the plants, you know?

 

Chip:  Yes, sometimes it’s like, oh, middle of the day, we had to shut down for this reason. If you want the hours, you can come back later.

 

Freaux:  Yeah, definitely, huh?

 

Chip:  Right, right. Or for me, outdoor like, we do a lot of work here. But you know, greenhouses, we grow up until December and process up until March this year. But there were some weeks we’re like, “Oh, what are we going to do?” And, you know, we had to find some stuff. But now this time of year, I told the guys, “Work as late as you want.”

 

Freaux:  Nice, yeah, straight up. But it seems like you said, there’s those times where there’s the down period. You can always find stuff to do. I mean, any one of us could find some for somebody to do, there’s always work to do. But uh, yeah, I mean, it’s definitely the busy season. I’m the same way. I mean, we got you know, we’ll have our, you know, slow week or so here and there. And then it just seems like you don’t have enough people some weeks, you know? Just depending on where you’re at in the cycle, you know?

 

Chip:  Well, you know, I saw just last week on one of the major news networks that 300,000 people are now employed in the cannabis industry throughout the US. Can you believe that, man?

 

Freaux:  That’s incredible. I  love hearing those type of numbers, you know? 

 

Chip:  300,000 people.

 

Freaux:  I hope it just continues to rise on top of that, you know?

 

Chip:  Oh man, that’s like 1% of the population or something, right? With the math. Can I, hey, can I get a statistics check on that? Here. We’re gonna, we’ll be back with you here in a minute. But no, seriously, if you want a job, look us up. Look me up first. It’s my show, bro. I’m just you know, I’m sorry.

 

Freaux:  I can’t argue with you on that.

 

Chip:  Yeah you know, we’re looking for experienced cannabis people that either live in Oklahoma or who are interested in moving here. We pay an honest wage for an honest day’s work. You know, both of us are good people and we’re looking for all types of, all types of people. You can, you can drop by  yourresume for Freaux: or for Chip: at thereal dirt.com. You can look on the website, and it’ll be a little thing someplace. It’ll say like, :resume.” Like, point that and like, you can drop your resume in.

 

Freaux:  Hey, that sounds like a plan right there.

 

Chip:  It could say like, “help” on it. It could say like, “employment opportunities.”

 

Freaux:  You know, word to the wise too, it’d probably  be the funnest job you ever had, huh?

 

Chip:  Dude.

 

Freaux:  Especially if you like weed. There’s nothing better than working around weed plants all day.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, you don’t get to smoke weed all day, but you definitely get to play with weed all day, right?

 

Freaux:  Yeah, straight up.

 

Chip:  Right right. Yeah, man it’s been another fabulous episode here on The Real Dirt. It’s almost like The Real Dirt with Freaux. That’s how I should start saying it. Like, this guy ’cause like, you know, we know I’m The Real Dirt. But it’s like, it’s The Real Dirt with… Here’s The Real Dirt. In today’s real dirt, we’re with Freaux. I love it. I love it. Alright, here I’m gonna start over. Right, it’s The Real Dirt. This is another episode of The Real Dirt. My name is Chip: and this real dirt, we’re with Freaux. It’s The Real Dirt with Freaux. I’m gonna have to work on that.

 

Freaux:  I like the way that sounded so far. I liked the start.

 

Chip:  I know I had last episode, I had a song, right?

 

Freaux:  That song was awesome, man.

 

Chip:  You had some great weed there, man. I hope you brought some good weed this time, man.

 

Freaux:  Always. I definitely got a backpack full for you, Chip.

 

Chip:  Well, we’ll have to, we’ll have to go up into the private residence after this and check it out. So thanks for joining us on The Real Dirt. You can download this episode and others at therealdirt.com. Please subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. And make sure Real Dirt is one of those. And hey. also check me out on YouTube. I just started a Real Dirt YouTube channel over there. We’ve got about 500 or 1000 followers, and you too could be one. If you’re not now please, please, please please, please join my YouTube channel, please. Real Dirt.

Research finds cannabis terpenes as a promising for pain therapies

Research finds cannabis terpenes as a promising for pain therapies

managing pain with cannabis terpenes

When it comes to the medicinal and therapeutic properties of Cannabis sativa, an unsolved mystery is whether there exists an “entourage effect,” whereby the pain-relieving effects of the plant as a whole are greater than any of its individual parts. 

New research from the University of Arizona Health Sciences has found evidence that favors the entourage effect theory and positions Cannabis terpenes, the part of the plant that provides flavor and aroma, as a promising new target for pain therapies that would require lower doses and produce fewer side effects.

A lot of people are taking cannabis and cannabinoids for pain. We’re interested in the concept of the entourage effect, with the idea being that maybe we can boost the modest pain-relieving efficacy of THC and not boost the psychoactive side effects, so you could have a better therapeutic.”

– John Streicher, PhD, lead researcher, member of the UArizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center and associate professor of pharmacology at the College of Medicine – Tucson

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants and are the basic component in essential oils. The terpene linalool, for example, gives lavender its distinctive floral scent. In addition to terpenes, Cannabis sativa contains naturally occurring compounds known as cannabinoids, the most well-known of which are cannabidiol, or CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.

Researchers found that Cannabis terpenes, when used by themselves, mimic the effects of cannabinoids, including a reduction in pain sensation. When combined with cannabinoids, the pain-relieving effects were amplified without an increase in negative side effects. The paper, “Cannabis sativa terpenes are cannabimimetic and selectively enhance cannabinoid activity,” was published in Scientific Reports.

Is Delta-8 THC Safe?

Is Delta-8 THC Safe?

is delta 8 thc safe to consume?

If you’re a cannabis or Hemp/CBD consumer, you have more than likely heard of Delta-8 THC. But is Delta 8 THC safe?

Fourteen states — Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Utah — have already banned Delta-8. For a consumer looking to possibly try Delta 8 for the first time, this could be a cause for concern.

If Delta 8 was totally safe, then why would states be banning it en masse? That’s what we’re going to break down.

The answer to the question, “is delta 8 THC safe?” isn’t so black and white. Just like a couple years ago when many were unsure about the safety of CBD products, D8 THC is in a similar phase.

Is Delta 8 THC safe to consume?

The short answer is we don’t know. That is partially the reason that so many states have already moved to make it illegal. With zero — and we mean zero — regulation, it is much easier to just ban Delta 8 than go through the same process as CBD.

To clarify, CBD has had a rocky road over the last few years. After the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, all hemp and its derivatives (aside from Delta 9 THC) became fully legal. CBD, CBG, CBN and others all became legal at this time, which sparked the CBD movement.

As soon as the CBD industry began exploding, the FDA was forced into action. Regulating the safety of consumable CBD products like gummies, ointments or other topicals was essential. While some states decided to ban CBD altogether like some are doing now with Delta 8, most saw the growing market and recognized that regulation was necessary.

However CBD does not create a psychoactive effect like Delta 8 does, nor is it synthetically derived. And that’s where the issues with Delta 8 arise.

How Delta 8 THC is made

CBD has been bred into hemp in higher concentrations over the last few years, which is then extracted to make various products. Delta 8 exists in such small traces in hemp and cannabis that it can’t be extracted on its own and produces negligible results.

Due to this, Delta 8 is actually made through the synthetic conversion of CBD.

The process of creating Delta 8 from CBD is nothing new, and is actually a patented isomerization process. It involves dissolving CBD in a solvent like heptane. An acid is then added into the solution and stirred constantly up to 18 hours on a heat plate. Once the chemical reaction is complete it will separate, where it can then be washed and dried and tested.

Compared to how your average Delta-9 extract is made, Delta-8 is a more lengthy, “synthetic” process. That can be a turn off for a lot of people.

The new “spice”?

We see you clenching your fists about to throw your phone from reading that title. No, we don’t believe that Delta 8 THC is as dangerous as spice. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to be just as dangerous.

You may remember in 2019 when hundreds of people wound up in the hospital (and several actually dying) due to dangerous chemicals being cut into illicit, black market vaporizer cartridges. Vape cartridges are currently the most popular way to consume Delta 8, and they are completely unregulated just like illegal cartridges sold on the street.

It is not inconceivable that a producer looking to cut costs and make more money could cut their products with something potentially dangerous to consumers. And that is the risk that many take when they place an order from an online Delta 8 THC retailer.

So is Delta 8 THC safe? Let’s be real here. It is just as likely that a consumer might get an unsafe distillate cartridge on the street as you are to get a dangerous Delta 8 product from a “reputable” online Delta 8 retailer. That’s the reality.

Some states might start treating Delta 8 like CBD in the future, regulate it and make it safe. There’s also the chance that federal government, such as the DEA or FDA gets involved. Similarly to states with cannabis legalization, Delta 8 could also be made legal on a state by state basis. Some argue it is already legal.

In other words the safety, legality and trustworthiness of Delta 8 THC products is anybody’s guess. And guessing is exactly what you do when order some Delta 8 online or grab it from the head shop.

Why Delta-8 is Being Made Illegal

Why Delta-8 is Being Made Illegal

Delta-8 THC is illegal

As quickly as Delta-8 THC blew up, it’s being made illegal by states across the country.

It was only a matter of time.

Consumers and entrepreneurs have been an enjoying a regulation free, sub-legal way to get high and profit from Delta-8 THC. Now the DEA and USDA have taken notice, and in addition to the numerous states already taking action to make Delta-8 illegal on their own terms, the official law regarding Delta-8 is becoming more clear.

In fact, the current laws regarding hemp may already have it covered.

What is Delta-8 THC?

A very, very close relative to Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, Delta-8 THC is separated by just one subtle difference in its molecular structure. The similarity in molecular structure also leads to similar psychoactive effects although slightly suppressed.

Studies done on Delta-8 THC have revealed it to be roughly 75% the potency of traditional Delta-9 THC. With modern extraction technology and isolation techniques, manufacturers of D8 THC are able to produce products that get users high.

The reason that D8 THC is able to operate currently with near impunity is because of the wording of the 2018 Farm Bill. In the bill, “Hemp” is defined as:

The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Because the definition specifically includes Delta-9 THC and nothing else, this has been used by manufacturers as a de facto legalization of other tetrahydrocannabinols. However, looking a little more deeply into current rules and regulations on the books by the DEA and USDA, and depending on your definition of “synthetic”, the future of Delta-8 may have already been decided.

Synthetic Tetrahydrocannabinols

In August of 2020, the DEA released a set of interim rules regarding hemp. In this ruling they say, “For tetrahydrocannabinols that are naturally occurring constituents of the plant material, Cannabis sativa L., any material that contains 0.3% or less of D9 -THC by dry weight is not controlled, unless specifically controlled elsewhere under the CSA,” CSA being the Controlled Substances Act.

However in the same paragraph further down, we get to the part that matters to Delta-8 THC advocates; “For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of D9 -THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.

By establishing a difference between naturally occurring cannabinoids that are produced in hemp and those that are derived and enhanced synthetically, the DEA virtually made a ruling against Delta 8. This is because, to the likely surprise of many (including myself), Delta 8 THC while naturally occurring in hemp, is in fact synthetically made from CBD when produced for retail sale.

How Delta 8 THC is Made

All cannabinoids, from CBD to THC and beyond begin as CBGA. Because of the shared molecular structure of cannabinoids, manipulating them is simpler than it may seem. While Delta-8 is relatively new, producers have been using these methods to manipulate cannabinoids for a long time to find exotic new cannabinoids.

While Delta-8 THC exists in a wide range of cannabis strains, it is in minuscule, trace amounts. To extract and purify Delta-8 from raw plant material with less than one percent of the targeted cannabinoid is unprofitable. This is why producers have begun converting other, more prevalent cannabinoids like CBD and Delta-9 THC into Delta-8.

The process of creating Delta 8 from CBD is nothing new, and is actually a patented isomerization process. It involves dissolving CBD in a solvent like heptane. An acid is then added into the solution and stirred constantly up to 18 hours on a heat plate. Once the chemical reaction is complete it will separate, where it can then be washed and dried and tested.

Compared to how your average Delta-9 extract is made, Delta-8 is a more lengthy, “synthetic” process. The Delta-8 is not there in the beginning, it is created in the end. And that’s why it’s a problem.

What does this mean for Delta 8 THC?

Unfortunately for producers and consumers alike, the great days of Delta-8 THC are likely coming to an end sooner rather than later. Over a dozen states have already banned Delta-8 THC, and more are considering passing their own laws against the cannabinoid. With the ruling by the DEA being brought into the open, it will be difficult for manufacturers to argue that Delta-8 is not in fact a synthetic cannabinoid.

In other words, those who continue to manufacture and sell Delta-8, even right now, are technically manufacturing and distributing a Schedule 1 substance. States in which Delta-8 THC has not been explicitly banned likely don’t need to worry about prosecution for the time being, as no official ruling on Delta-8 specifically has been passed down.

But as concern grows and more states ban Delta-8, it is going to become more difficult and less profitable for manufacturers to continue making it. Soon enough, Delta-8 will likely be another banned substance nationwide.

CULTA Launches Maryland’s First Cannabis Tissue Culture Program

CULTA Launches Maryland’s First Cannabis Tissue Culture Program

CULTA medical marijuana dispensary Baltimore, Maryland

Maryland medical cannabis cultivator CULTA has launched the state program’s first tissue culture lab in an effort to further hone its approach to craft cannabis and extracts. Chief Cannabis Officer and co-founder Mackie Barch said that it’s a natural next step in the company’s growth plans and cultivation goals.

The team took their first tissue culture clones on April 8. (The news comes just a few months after CULTA moved its headquarters to a new office in Bethesda to accommodate a long-term growth strategy, which includes plans to add 100 more employees across its farm in Cambridge, retail dispensary in Baltimore and new HQ.)

CULTA’s current collection of 26 cultured strains includes: Dosido 22-22, Poochie Love and Scooby Snacks #2. New mothers are expected in the coming months. The plan is to bank all of CULTA’s genetics in the lab by the end of the year.

The prime motivation was “to ensure redundancy of our genetics, the ability to create clean new moms and to be able to store genetics for long periods of time,” Barch said. “The long-term implications are to ensure we don’t lose prized genetics to disease and age. Additionally, we can store more genetics in a safer manner and bring them back as needed.”

Cannabis strains can be moved in and out of production without a lot of additional cost. This flexibility translates to a greater engagement with sales trends in Maryland.

Looking ahead, the lab will also allow CULTA to develop an in-house breeding program.

“Plant tissue culture is not a hard process to do, but it takes a lot of knowledge and skill to master,” CULTA Tissue Culture Lab Supervisor Isaac Fisher said. “Lab experience is extremely beneficial, especially if it involves microbiology, mycology, botany or biochemistry. No new employees we’re brought on specifically for the Tissue Culture lab. I have past experience working in a molecular genetics lab, but started out at CULTA doing outdoor cultivation and then working in the extraction lab before helping start the tissue culture lab.”

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