Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Treating your condition with specific strains and sub-species

The weather has turned rancid here in Colorado, it's snowing in the middle of May, which is very unusual in Denver. Powdery Mildew is running rampant, I'd be willing to bet the grow stores are selling out of sulfur burners right about now.

Incidentally, for those of you having similar problems, try Safergro Mildew Cure, it smells awful but is OMRI certified, and safe to use in my opinion up until two weeks before harvest or so, without effecting quality or taste. Two applications one week apart will solve your problem for good with most powdery mildew (follow the instructions on the label, and you may want to add a surficant to increase effect).

You also need extra healthy airflow during this moist time, (cut out the infected leaves and trim the bottoms up of your plants, discarding these outside the grow space, and then spray the mildew cure all on the walls, all over the floor, and drench your ladies as well, spraying the top layer of the soil also to kill spores.

I recommend that you do this right when your lights come on, manually turning the lights off of course so as not to burn the plants, and working using an overhead light or portable lamp so that you can see to work and the plants are still exposed to light so as not to confuse them. Let them dry completely before turning lights back on. I like to turn my intake off during this treatment time.

But enough about that--I wanted to take time today to talk a little bit about the different sub-species of marijuana, and what their effects are that can be utilized for specific conditions.

There is some debate as to whether Cannabis exists in two or in three sub-species. Personally I think that there are really three, though one that is not so useful for medical applications, beyond creating faster-flowering varieties.

The three sub-species are Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Ruderalis. I don't want to get into too much detail about the Ruderalis, which is a sub species that flowers independent of the light cycle, and is much lower in concentration of cannabinoids as compared to the other two sub-sets. Breeders have tried to harness this autoflowering characteristic with some success in recent years, resulting in strains that can be grown to completion in colder climates with extremely short growing seasons outdoors.

but let's focus on the two sub-species we're all most familiar with as medicine for our purposes today.

Cannabis Indica originates from cooler climated regions of the world, most specifically it is often attributed to climates bordering the Hindu Kush Region around Afghanistan, India, and other countries in that region. It is characterized by a fairly short flowering period, ranging from 6-9 weeks outdoors from the time the light cycle falls below 14 hours of daylight each day.

Pictured here is a pure Indica plant of a strain simply titled Maui-- beyond this the genetic lineage of the strain is unkonwn to me, but it is obviously a textbook indica in growth pattern. the pictured plant is about three weeks into it's 56 day bloom cycle.

Indica strains are short, stocky plants with stubby, fat leaves, are often highly resinous (thus the popularity of hash in the above mentioned regions of the world). They tend to produce fairly dense flowers and their thc tends to have a very narcotic, couch-lock effect when ingested.

Indica Marijuana has excellent pain relief properties, and is excellent for insomnia as well. It tends to stimulate appetite, and has a cumulative anti-inflamatory effect over time that cuts pain off at the root in some cases.

Cannabis Sativa originates from the more tropical areas of the world, such as Thailand, Cambodia, Regions of Africa, India, and, yes, California and Central America. Cannabis Sativa plants tend to be long lanky plants (they can reach 15 feet tall outdoors), with long, thin, stretched leaves, lots of space between node sites, and a much longer flowering period (from the time light cycle falls below 14 hours a day they can take up to 14 weeks to produce mature flowers).

Pictured above is a Sour Diesel plant. Sour Diesel is a mostly sativa cross taking 75 days to flower. This plant is about 3 weeks into bloom in the picture.

When ingested, Cannabis Sativa often creates a more racy, heady effect, often making the user feel highly engergetic and have racing thoughts or ideas. It can also have much stronger psychoacivity associated with it's use, effecting vision and hearing in extreme cases (though some milder sativas are really just more energizing without the physical impairments).

Cannabis Sativa is excellent for treating nausea, as well as managing pain during daytime scenarios where you cannot afford to be too sedated.

Most strains on the market today fall somewhere in the middle of Indica and Sativa, as most are crossbreeds of various combinations of the two. These hybrid strains can often have a blend of the effects of their parents, so it may take some experimenting to find the hybrid that is right for your condition.

Some people call me crazy, but I tend to prefer Indicas or Mostly Indica hybrids. I'm an extremely energetic person, so racy sativas sometimes cause me to be anxious if I have a lot on my plate. I have found that a good 50/50 hybrid that is bred for flavor over potency is the most effective option for me personally when medicating. At night I really prefer a good, pure Indica to anything else, to be honest. Strains like Afghani #1, Super Skunk, and Lamb's Breath are always flavorful and powerful for pain.

I'd love to hear from you guys out there--what do you prefer for your condition, what helps, what does not, what method do you prefer to ingest your medicine with? HC3 welcomes any and all comments and suggestions to the content displayed on this blog, so speak up people!

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