The U.S. government told an outrageous lie in 1972 that the health industry internalized it, and we are all struggling with the consequences.
In January 1972, on his late-night TV stage, Dick Cavite interviewed Dr. Tom Ungrad and former Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shaffer, both of whom came from President Richard Nixon’s marijuana and drugs The Abuse Committee, later called the Shafer Committee.
In an interview (with the presence of Tom, the co-author of this column), Cavite pressured Anglade, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles, to conclude that marijuana is not harmful. In acknowledging that the committee had not found specific problems with cannabis use, Ungerleider insisted that the committee's findings have not yet been released. Schaefer then cleared his throat and announced that although the committee found that the use of marijuana would not cause death, the committee still has many concerns that warrant further investigation.
The bowl-shaped auditorium exploded with laughter, and it was obvious that everyone in the audience threw what they had-hats, scarves, books, especially joints-onto the stage. The joints draw a shiny red arc in the dark.
This is 1972, and the audience still recognizes the lies and responds appropriately. Nevertheless, people are more concerned about other lies circulating at the time, especially lies about Vietnam.
In the end, the Schaefer committee composed of Nixon surprised everyone, especially Nixon, who came to the conclusion that "possession of marijuana [sic] for personal use... is no longer an offense, [and] freely distribute small amounts. Cannabis is unpaid or trivial marijuana that does not involve profit, and no longer constitutes a crime."
Nixon ignored this suggestion, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with no recognized medical use and a high probability of abuse.
Nixon's lie about marijuana later became a government lie, but it never had a major political impact, even though it was an episode during the Reagan era and Jeff Sessions's tenure as attorney general. Lies will not win or lose elections, nor will they balance or destroy budgets. However, lies are never harmless. Lies corrupt the entire country, create violent criminal groups with international status, and destroy people's lives by compiling harmless behaviors into criminal history.
Decades later, the lie continued to claim its victims, but it changed from marijuana as a "gateway drug" to no "randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (RDBPC) study" to prove its medical efficacy.
Most people continue to find themselves facing other issues that are more pressing than this new lie, and in the federal and state political arena, the lie remains an episode. Today, the issues surrounding marijuana (contaminated products on the illegal market, banking, 280E, testing, etc.) are important to our industry, but to focus on ongoing international trade wars or possible military wars or other major issues. At the state level, marijuana will never be the largest source of taxation. At the local level, no matter what they do in college, many people who support their families and pay mortgages find that marijuana distracts them from their daily duties and problems.
However, some Americans have good reasons to make marijuana the most critical issue in their lives. For example, traditional medical solutions for pediatric epilepsy patients may be problematic, and their side effects may include drowsiness, mood swings, and irritability. In some cases, they may not be very effective.
Pediatric epilepsy patients are not the only Americans who have a life-threatening illness seeking relief through marijuana. Some patients with chronic and sometimes fatal diseases, such as glioblastoma, a brain cancer with an average life expectancy of 15 months, have turned to cannabis as an alternative to opioids, and their doctors are in the standard of care This drug is prescribed within the scope.
Why does it take so much pain to circumvent this big lie? What about the patients who died without any remission? Please note that none of us argue that marijuana can cure all diseases or make anyone immortal. However, we do believe that cannabis should be considered a product whose uses are either harmless or indeed helpful for some people.
Many people in the medical profession continue to express extreme skepticism about the use of cannabis for any purpose. Their arguments are usually based on the lack of RDBPC research, and these doctors should know that the US government has blocked RDBPC research for at least 50 years. Based on RDBPC research in other countries and non-RDBPC scientific evidence in the United States, one must question the simple fears, trade-offs, fatalism, complacency, and honesty of intellectuals in that part of the medical profession.
Federal restrictions on cannabis-related RDBPC research have blatantly stopped scientific work that may produce some potentially inconvenient results. Unfortunately, Americans are too familiar with federal restrictions on science to produce conclusions that can interfere with various political positions.
However, RDBPC research is not always considered necessary. The entire U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical industry is mainly based on the OTC monograph process of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can flourish without RDBPC research. Beginning in 1972, the FDA accepted data and recommendations from related parties (OTC drug manufacturers), and reached a conclusion on whether thousands of OTC drugs should be classified as “generally considered safe and effective”.
Most drugs on consumer shelves in American pharmacies are approved through this process. These are the drugs that appear at the front of the pharmacy and do not include the drugs behind the prescription counter. We have noticed that most American doctors do not seem to worry about the lack of RDBPC research on OTC products. ("Take two aspirin in the morning, call me in the morning", no RDBPC research!)
For many Americans, the response of governments and medical institutions to the development of cannabis products has been unsatisfactory. These people have influenced the state legislature. 33 states have legalized cannabis for various medical conditions (not including CBD-only states), and 11 of them have also legalized general adult use. The government's stance on marijuana and the medical nonsense about the need for RDBPC research have not stopped Americans from asking their state legislatures to oppose this big lie.
We are very pleased with the progress most countries have made on this issue. We are glad that most state lawmakers have understood the political reality of most Americans rejecting this big lie. We would be even happier if as many state lawmakers as possible truly understood this big lie, the issues surrounding it, and the possible benefits of adopting a smart approach to cannabis products.
Some hemp products should be developed through research. Others should be consumer products that meet traditional standards of purity and consistency. We all know that there are better ways for us to coexist with cannabis.
We found a group of strange liars on the road.
Thomas Schultz is the president of Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions (CPS) and CTPharma.com.
Rino Ferrarese is the Chief Operating Officer of Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions.
Sowahh is bred by Karma Genetics.
Plant Physiology: It is narrow and tall, similar to OG Kush, with great stretchability. Early careful removal of the lower branches and pinching of the top buds/buds will result in uniform growth and reduce bolting of the top buds. When the fertilization regimen is within good parameters, the leaves show fairly wide leaflets that are black, thick, and tough.
Average production: ranging from 37 to 65 grams per square foot (ft²). The key is to manage the plants so that you can take full advantage of the abundant stretching space without losing weight due to slow growth. The best way is to end up with 36 one-inch branches with a density of two branches/square foot. The planting density should be slightly lower than the shorter varieties (3 to 5 square feet per plant indoors, depending on the crop cycle used).
Flowering time: 70 to 84 days after the start of the flowering photoperiod.
Ideal light intensity setting: The grower will be rewarded for rapid growth under high-intensity light or full and direct sunlight-she is not a shrinking violet.
Ideal cultivation environment temperature: Optimal bud and terpene development occurs at temperatures between 77 degrees and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. When growing plants at these temperatures, controlled irrigation strategies are important.
Ideal relative humidity (RH): During the entire crop cycle, the relative humidity should slowly decrease from 60% to 70% during the vegetative growth period, until it drops to 45% to 60% during the flowering period. During the transition to flowering, it grows fastest at slightly higher relative humidity.
Water requirements: These plants do not like to wet their feet for long periods of time. Careful drying and daily drainage percentage with 20% to 30% dripping works best.
Nutritional requirements: within the range of normal parameters-although it will store excess ammonia, if over-fed during the vegetative growth period, it will lead to slow growth and fragile roots. 45 days after flowering, the strategy of low nitrogen and high potassium has the best effect.
Cannabinoid profile: high THC varieties, only trace amounts of secondary cannabinoids.
Terpene profile: usually contains a lot of myrcene and limonene, and some ß-caryophyllene. The smell is mainly astringent and sour, with the taste of hops and lime. The smell exudes like a strong, greasy sour gas, leaving a coating on the mouth, similar to some old-school Afghans.
Susceptibility to any disease/condition: Resistant to most molds, molds and pests, because the leathery leaf structure and terpene ratio are unfavorable for most insects. Don't like excessive watering, so it's important to carefully monitor the health of the root system.
Sjoerd Broeks is one of the most important cannabis cultivation authorities in the world, with more than 25 years of cannabis cultivation and breeding experience. After Pharm completed the start-up phase as Planting Director, Broeks is now the Director of Genetic Development and R&D at The Pharm LLC, a cannabis plantation company in Wilcox, Arizona that operates a 320,000 square foot glass greenhouse. Broeks is also a founding member of a Dutch consulting company.
The maternal body used in breeding is a genotypic selection isolated from Karma's personal collection. It is also the mother of Headbanger OG. Karma Sour Diesel BX2 is also known as The Sowahh.
Not all measurements are equal.
In commercial cannabis cultivation, investors and professional operators have many questions, whether they are entering the industry or just want to see how their operations compare to others. One of the more important issues that is always raised is yield. How do you compare to your peers? It is difficult to know that there are so many different ways to measure this indicator, and not all measures are equal.
Let us first talk about some of the most common methods of measuring yield, starting with the most common traditional measurement of yield per lamp. This indicator has existed since the development of illegal market growers in the basement, and it is still mentioned today—although it has become less and less as the industry matures and migrates to more explicit indicators.
This measurement tells us the yield under a single light. An older benchmark that I still often hear is to produce at least 2 pounds. Every light. The output and footprint are not defined in this measurement (more on this later), so you cannot accurately judge whether this is a good production data.
Let's look at a few scenes. Planter A has a 2,000 watt lamp consisting of two 1,000 watt bulbs and weighs approximately 2 pounds. Under that light in every cycle. Grower B uses a single 1,000W fixture and grows the same amount per cycle as Grower A. On the surface, the yields of grower A and grower B seem to be the same; but once you explore this basic figure, you will clearly see that grower B is more efficient in production, and grower B gains from investment and operation It’s more attractive from a perspective.
If grower A uses a 2,000 watt device to plant on an area of 25 square feet, and grower B has a planting area of 16 square feet and obtains the same yield, you can now see that grower A is about 50-100% less efficient. One part.
Currently, the most common metric report seems to be grams per square foot (g/sq. ft.). This measurement is one step higher than the output of each lamp, but it also has its own series of shortcomings. Use the following equation to make this measurement.
(Total yield in grams)/(Total planting footprint) = (grams per square foot)
So, if you use 1,600 square feet of canopy for planting, and your total yield is 90,600 grams, then your equation will look like this:
Using this type of reporting indicator, we can more easily compare the output of different facilities based on productivity. For example, if grower A reports a yield of 56.625 g/sq. foot. At the time of her last harvest, grower B reported 60 g/m2. ft. (based on a total yield of 96,000 grams), we can clearly see that grower B has a higher planting space.
But in order for this measurement to be meaningful, we need to standardize the reporting metrics into this number:
Planting area: This figure should only be calculated using the canopy of the planting area. The canopy is defined as the area where plants exist. If you have a 2,000 square foot cultivation room with 48 4 foot x 8 foot tables, you will report that your canopy space is 1,536 square feet (48 tables x 32 square feet of table space).
Product weight: The weight of the product should be reported as dry and destemmed. The flowers should be unpruned, so that you can account for the full weight of the available flower products; but if you can only trim after weighing, then just add the collected pruning weight. It is important to report only the dry weight, because according to your local laws and regulations, the product should be in a state where it can be sold as a final product. Of course, the product should be completely stalked, because the stem is not a flower product. (Keep in mind that these calculations are designed to calculate the total amount of flower products available, and it may be different if you extract the whole plant like some growers do.)
As you can see in the previous example, as long as the reporting requirements are the same, it is easy to see which grower is more productive; but what it does not show you is the profit potential. However, measuring grams per watt (g/W) is the most accurate way to truly understand output and potential profitability. This indicator takes into account the energy (watts) used to produce one gram of product. The higher the output per watt, the higher the productivity of the grower. To calculate this number, use the following equation.
Step 1. First calculate your total light output (in watts):
(Number of lights) x (power consumption per lamp, in watts) = (total power consumption in watts)
Step 2. Then, once we have calculated the total consumption in watts, we can use the following equation to get the number of grams per watt:
(Total output in grams)/(total consumption in watts) = (grams per watt)
To illustrate this point, let us apply the formulas in each step above. Assume that grower A uses 100, 660W LED lights to produce 90,600 grams, and grower B uses 100, 1,000W HPS lights to produce 96,000 grams. Each fixture of the two growers used 16 square feet of floor space. For comparison purposes, each grower has 100 lights for a total coverage of 1,600 square feet.
Step 2: 90,600 grams/66,000 watts = 1.37 grams/watt
Step 2: 96,000 grams/100,000 watts = 0.96 grams/watt
With this information, we can see that even if grower B has a higher yield per square foot, grower A is 43% more efficient than grower B.
Since everyone is talking about yield, why is efficiency more important? As a commercial operator, it is important for us to maximize productivity per square foot like any other manufacturer in other industries, but we must do so without sacrificing efficiency.
Cannabis cultivation permits are usually accompanied by strict zoning laws, restricting potential locations to a small portion of available land. This, coupled with the increased costs and operational risks of building larger and larger facilities, demonstrates the importance of focusing on efficiency rather than raw output.
Efficiency not only helps reveal the potential profitability of a company, but also shows how environmentally friendly a company is. The indoor cannabis industry alone uses 1% of the country's electricity (according to Dr. Evan Mills' 2012 report "The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Hemp Production"); this may not sound like much, but it is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 1.7 million American homes . Greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be equivalent to 3 million cars per year. As cannabis production expands in the United States, unless we begin to focus on efficiency when designing and building new facilities, these numbers will only increase.
Production efficiency also provides us with a tool to measure the company's potential profitability. In other words, if you spend more money to create the same amount, your profits will decrease. As you can see from the previous example, the overall production does not fully describe the financial situation of a given company. By considering even simple indicators such as the power used to generate the reported rate of return, we can understand the company’s profit potential, which is much more important than the original rate of return when the company evaluates potential investment opportunities.
Andrew Lange is the Chief Technology Officer of Agrios Global Holdings, a Canadian agricultural technology and services company.
There are several options to neutralize excess alkalinity to prevent pH creep.
We are usually cautious about the ingredients in drinking water, but how often do we consider the water our plants consume? The pH and alkalinity of irrigation water will have a significant impact on the pH of the substrate, which will have a significant impact on plant yield. This is why it is important to test irrigation water.
The pH value is a measurement of the relative hydrogen (H) ion concentration in water. On its own, it has little effect on the pH of the substrate. On the other hand, the alkalinity level can quickly affect the substrate environment and nutrient utilization. Alkalinity is a measure of the carbonate concentration in irrigation water. Types of carbonates-the relative concentration of carbonate (CO32-), bicarbonate (HCO3-) and carbonic acid (H2CO3) is the main buffer system for controlling the pH value of irrigation water and the pH value of the substrate solution. If the irrigation water contains high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate, the pH of the substrate solution will rise to a level that is not conducive to cannabis production.
Bicarbonates are not considered directly toxic, but they interfere with the absorption of essential element roots and increase the pH of the substrate solution. Iron deficiency, manifested as yellowing of newly expanded and developing leaves or chlorosis between veins, is a major problem for plants growing in high pH substrates (Figure 1). For crops that grow in a small amount of root substrate or crops that grow for a long time, iron deficiency is more serious, which makes the pH value of the substrate gradually increase.
The high alkalinity in the irrigation water can limit plant growth and cause economic losses to producers of container-grown hemp crops. High alkalinity may occur in coastal areas or above the limestone bedrock. Most well waters in the Midwestern United States and Great Plains, southern Ontario, and Canadian prairie provinces contain excessively high alkalinity. Testing your water is the first step in determining a management plan.
The alkalinity of irrigation water will vary with the location of the well, the depth of the well and the time of year. Standard water analysis usually includes pH, conductivity, and alkalinity. Cannabis growers may also want to test for macronutrients, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S), as well as the micronutrient boron (B) in water The chloride (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn). It is recommended to conduct a water test for each well, and it should be done once a year. Since the stopper contains a small amount of substrate, hemp clone producers should consider conducting monthly water quality tests and start monitoring changes in water quality throughout the year.
Obtaining water samples for alkalinity testing is quick and easy. That's it:
Many commercial laboratories analyze water alkalinity and micronutrients. Make sure to send the sample to a commercial laboratory that can provide acid injection recommendations. For analysis, please consult your local promoter. Some states have free testing options, and some laboratories or states will only run some of the tests you might need.
Each hemp operation is different in terms of water quality, root substrate type, fertilizer type (acidic or alkaline), watering method, container size, and length of crop growth time. Therefore, since alkalinity is the main component that affects the production system, it should be neutralized before determining and implementing a fertilization strategy.
Growers can use several methods to overcome high alkalinity in irrigation water: adding acid, improving fertilizer, or using pond water for irrigation. The method or combination of methods used varies from operation to operation. They include:
Inject acid into irrigation water to neutralize alkalinity. The amount of acid required depends on the starting pH and alkalinity level of the irrigation water and the desired target end alkalinity level. In general, it is recommended that the target end point alkalinity for most greenhouse-grown crops (including cannabis) is about 2 milliequivalents (meq) [122 ppm bicarbonate (HCO3-)]. (This also applies to cannabis grown in indoor containers.) This should result in a pH of 6.0 to 6.2 in the end water. This target endpoint allows for seasonal changes in alkalinity that occur naturally in the well and allows for errors in measuring acidity. Operations that produce clone plugs and are willing to monitor their alkalinity levels weekly may need to be neutralized to 1 meq of alkalinity (this will cause the pH of the water to approach 5.7) to better control the pH of its substrate.
Commonly used acids for alkalinity control are: phosphoric acid (H3PO4) (75% and 85%), sulfuric acid (H2SO4) (35% and 93%) or nitric acid (HNO3) (61.4% and 67%). Each acid provides beneficial nutrients to plants. For example, adding 1 ounce of each acid per 1,000 gallons of water will provide: 2.92 ppm P (containing 75% phosphoric acid), 1.14 ppm S (containing 35% sulfuric acid), or 1.47 ppm N (containing 61.4% nitric acid). Due to their properties, all acids are dangerous, but some acids are more effective than others. For example, phosphoric acid is relatively safer than sulfuric acid, and sulfuric acid is safer than nitric acid. Therefore, growers should wear protective clothing when handling acid. Citric acid can also be used, but it is the least economical.
Remember to add acid to the water! Do not add water to concentrated acid (this may cause it to splash and cause severe burns). This means that if you must mix the tank, fill the tank with water first, and then add concentrated acid. This will also ensure that you have a homogeneous mixture.
Most operations use sulfuric acid. It is the cheapest, moderately safe, and provides sufficient levels of sulfur. The simplest type to use is battery acid, which is 35% sulfuric acid. Phosphoric acid is suitable for operations that need to neutralize alkalinity up to 1 meq. When higher amounts of alkalinity must be neutralized, the amount of phosphorus (P) provided far exceeds the needs of plants. High levels of P can cause plants to overstretch, especially for cloning plugs.
(Some commercial flower growers use phosphoric acid to provide adequate levels of phosphorus to the plants, and use sulfuric acid or nitric acid to neutralize the remaining alkalinity.) Growers sometimes choose nitric acid because it provides N and allows them to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer.
After adding the acid, retest the water one day later, and check the pH and alkalinity level of the water again after two to three weeks. Since hemp is a bioaccumulator, it is best to test the acid you use to make sure it does not contain heavy metals.
All fertilizers are marked with acidity or alkalinity, expressed in pounds per ton of calcium carbonate equivalent (an agricultural term that measures the alkaline or acidic effect of fertilizers on soil pH). Acidic fertilizers provide another option for neutralizing alkalinity and lowering the pH of the root substrate. The acidification potential of acid fertilizers is mainly due to the ammonia and urea forms of nitrogen. High levels of ammonia nitrogen can cause ammonia poisoning in certain crops (it is determined to be yellowing and the upper leaves may curl, which may develop into edge necrosis).
In winter (cool substrates and temperatures, and cloudy conditions), ammonia poisoning is more likely to occur. In addition, nitrogen in the form of ammonia and urea promotes leaf expansion. Excessive levels of these forms of nitrogen can lead to overgrowth of plants. Greenhouse growers prefer fertilizers that contain more than 80% nitrogen in the form of nitrates to avoid excessive growth.
The general recommendation of North Carolina State University for continuous fertilization of flower varieties grown in greenhouses is that ammonia nitrogen (plus urea) should provide less than 33% of total nitrogen (the rest is nitrate nitrogen). This also applies to cannabis grown indoors. When acid fertilizer is used to offset alkalinity, the ammonia nitrogen content can be as high as 50%. Acidic fertilizers with an ammonia nitrogen content of more than 50% are only recommended as short-term corrective measures.
Pond water is an excellent source for irrigating plants. Pond water does not contain excessive alkalinity or other nutrients. The calcium and magnesium content in pond water is usually low, and calcium and magnesium supplementation may be required. Protecting ponds from pollution is a must for growers. Herbicide runoff is a problem, and water from the surrounding farmland must not be discharged into the pond. Filtering and algae control must be performed before using pond water.
Regardless of the method chosen, for operations with well water alkalinity levels greater than 2 meq [122 ppm bicarbonate (HCO3-)], alkalinity neutralization is required. Growers need to choose the neutralization method that best suits their operation. It is best to perform routine analysis of the root matrix to monitor pH and nutrient levels, and to ensure that your fertility and alkalinity neutralization plan meets your goals.
Brian Whipker, Paul Cockson, James Turner Smith and Hunter Landis from the Department of Horticulture Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Why is it time to abandon these classifications.
For a long time, I have always had the idea of writing a column. The content is that we really need to make some dialects of the cannabis industry gradually disappear to further help eliminate the stigma of the industry. At the top of the list of words I should probably give up are "sativa" and "indica".
Of course, it's a good thing that I didn't write that article when I wanted to, because considering several landmark studies published recently, I would look like an idiot. Who knows, when the smoke clears and the dust settles, maybe I still look like an idiot, but at least this column is better now than I wrote a few months ago.
So, that's the way it is, and despite the recent publication of these studies, I believe that just because we can continue to use the industry terms of alfalfa and indica does not mean that we should use these terms. In fact, if anything, these articles reinforce my view because they emphasize what an empty and meaningless classification system has become. Allow me to explain...
One of the above studies was published in Plant Physiology 1 by Jordan J. Zager and colleagues. Unlike most previous studies that observed and isolated cannabis varieties based on DNA, researchers actually isolated and examined RNA from glandular trichomes, as well as the characteristics of cannabinoids and terpenes. DNA sequencing can provide the genetic characteristics of an organism, while RNA sequencing only reflects sequences that are actively expressed in cells. This is a way to check for variables in genetic or phenotypic expression that are otherwise the same. The researchers provided some convincing evidence that there is some genetic basis for distinguishing the subgroups of Cannabis sativa L. (presumably alfalfa and indica). In other words, even though the scientific community may still recognize only one species of Cannabis sativa L., there is at least some evidence that there are actually two or more subspecies. Stick to alfalfa/indica to get one point, right?
To be fair, although I call this a landmark study (because of their methodology), this is not the first evidence that there are different subspecies of cannabis. Welling et al. published a paper on Euphytica² in 2016, in which the author believes that the correct classification of cannabis varieties requires "cannabinoid analysis and co-dominant DNA marker analysis". That is to say, there may be differences in the cannabinoid profiles between the so-called alfalfa and indica. Therefore, cannabinoid profiles and genetic markers must be considered in order to accurately classify something as alfalfa or indica. More evidence for alfalfa and indica, right? It looks like I am 0 to 2.
In addition, researchers Anna Schwabe and Mit McGlaughlin of the University of Northern Colorado just published a paper in the Journal of Marijuana Research 3 in which they found "strong statistical support [support] dividing the sample into two genomes... ...." But this is where the whole alfalfa/indica matter started to go off track, as the sentence continues "[but] these groups do not match the commonly reported alfalfa/hybrid/indica types."
And the situation will only get worse from there, because this is definitely not the first time researchers have pointed out that what the industry says about alfalfa or indica is inconsistent with what science actually says. For example, Hillig published a paper in Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution4 in 2005, analyzing the genetic information of more than 150 varieties. He concluded that "the indica gene bank includes fiber/seed landraces from East Asia, narrow-leaf drug strains from South Asia, Africa and Latin America, broad-leaf drug strains from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and wild populations from India and Nepal." In other words, it turns out that the whole thing about the thin leaves of alfalfa and the wide leaves of indica is actually incorrect.
In an interview published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research5 in 2016, Dr. Ethan Russo, Director of Research and Development of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Institute, criticized the alfalfa/indica classification system used in the industry. He said, “There are biochemically different cannabis strains, but the alfalfa/indica distinction commonly used in non-professional literature is completely nonsense and futile. At present, people cannot in any way determine according to height, branch or leaf morphology. Guess the biochemical content of a given cannabis plant.” Therefore, without genetic testing and a complete cannabinoid and terpene profile, we cannot reasonably determine that a given variety is true alfalfa or indica.
When this meaningless distinction is used, the entire cannabis supply chain from grower to grower causes damage to customers, especially medical patients and/or novice cannabis users. As Schwabe and McGlaughlin said, “For entertainment users, the differences in characteristics within named strains may be surprising, but for medical patients who rely on specific strains to relieve specific symptoms, the differences may be more serious... .. There is no consistent genetic difference between a wide range of opinions on alfalfa and indica cannabis types. In addition, genetic analysis does not support the reported ratio of alfalfa to indica in each strain, which is expected given the lack of genetic differences between indica and indica of."
So, this is what we know:
1. Although Cannabis sativa L. is a single species, there is some genetic evidence to support the idea that this plant has at least two different subspecies.
2. However, no matter what the basis for distinguishing these subspecies, visual features such as leaf width, plant height or almost any other visible plant morphological features are definitely not among them.
3. Therefore, those true subgroup names often do not match the alfalfa/indica label for a given variety.
4. The ability of the grower to change the name of a variety, whether it is for profit (that is, to take advantage of the popularity of certain varieties) or to perceive uniqueness (that is, to try to distinguish oneself in the market by owning something), this is not Clarity further complicates unique or special), or any other reason under the sun. You can also see profound genetic variation through breeding.
5. This melee with variety names and accompanying alfalfa/indica labels has created inconsistent and unpredictable conditions for consumers. In the best case, this is annoying. In the worst case, it can have serious negative consequences. (For more information on the issue of cultivar substitution, see Dr. Dedi Meiri’s TED Talk6, titled "Behind the Smoke Screen of Medical Marijuana", in which he tells the story of failed attempts to substitute cultivars for children with autism).
I certainly hope that one day our industry will be more standardized, and we will eventually have enough understanding of the various varieties to be able to wisely talk about the differences between cannabis subspecies. However, that day is not today. When that day finally comes, I suspect that we will also have a sufficient understanding of the relationship between plant secondary metabolites (such as phytocannabinoids, terpenes, etc.), individual body chemistry, and various disease conditions. In any case, the classification will be meaningless-a bit like today.
As Russo said in 2016, “I strongly encourage the scientific community, the media, and the public to abandon the alfalfa/indica nomenclature and instead insist on accurate biochemical analysis of cannabinoids and terpenoids that can be used in the medical and entertainment markets of cannabis. Scientifically accurate Sex and public health needs are no less than this."
Dr. Curtis Livesay, CCA, is the Director of Agricultural Services at Agrios Global Holdings.
1 Zager, JJ, Lange, I., Srividya, N., Smith, A., & Lange, BM (2019). The gene network for the accumulation of cannabinoids and terpenoids in cannabis. Plant Physiology, 180, 1877-1897.
2 Welling, MT, Liu, L., Shapter, T., Raymond, CA, & King, GJ (2016). Characterization of cannabinoid components in different Cannabis sativa L. germplasm collections. Euphytica, 208, 463-475.
3 Schwabe, AL, & McGlaughlin, ME (2019). Genetic tools eliminate misunderstandings about the reliability of cannabis strains: the impact on emerging industries. Journal of Cannabis Research, 1, 1-16.
4 Hillig, KW (2005). Genetic evidence of cannabis (cannabis family) speciation. Genetic resources and crop evolution, 52, 161-180.
5 Piomelli, D., & Russo, EB (2016). Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica debate: an interview with Ethan Russo, MD. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1, 44-46.
6 Merri, D. (2018). Behind the smoke screen of medical marijuana. TedXT Tel Aviv. Retrieved from bit.ly/Meiri-MMJ-smokescreen on September 5, 2019
The interactive legislation map of Cannabis Business Times is another tool that helps growers quickly browse state cannabis laws and find news related to their market. see more