MoC 042 Farm Chat

June 21, 2021

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Welcome to the Cannaba Verum podcast, the cannabis truth podcast. I speak the language of cannabis freely and uncensored, while educating my audience on the safe use of this live Plant Therapy. You should know what’s in your cannabis, what’s good and what’s not. It does not come with an FDA stamp of approval yet, using cannabis mindfully, as medication is a different concept in the healthcare philosophy of the past 100 years. There’s a lot to learn and consider cannabis is not dangerous, but it is not harmless, either. This is honey Smith walls, a 21st century cannabis shaman here to explain the language of cannabis in historical, political, and scientific terms, so you can make educated decisions about the medicine you ingest.

Hello my friends,

Most of you already know I’m a farm girl at heart… that’s why you hear the cows comin into the barn at the end of my shows. So when the journalists start talking about the new creative ways that farmers are hijacking technology to create the best product for patients, I’m all ears. 

This has become the point of origin for my whole soapbox… why I’m here. What I’m trying to teach and warn you about cannabis. How you can find and discern safe products that are grown with medicinal standards.

Are you aware of other harvests from the earth that should be grown with medicinal standards? Your food? Your hops? Your vino grapes? We already believe our milk and cheese products are produced with the greatest of care. Have you actually been to a barn and seen that process up close? It might make a city kid think twice about using dairy.

As this new industry begins to form around the cannabis we use, the processes will change drastically. And I’m not even considering the manufacturing side of cannabis. Back in the 1935, the DeCordicator was invented.

Today, that 2.5 million dollar machine strips the bark or wood off a plant and can process ten tons of hemp in an hour.

China is the largest hemp producer, followed by Romania, Colombia, Ecuador, Lithuania, and Germany. But China only uses hemp for cosmetics… it is not approved for food or medicine. But they don’t mind shipping it to us for whatever purpose.

You remember of course, that our country was built on the back of hemp. The Vikings nor Europeans never would have made it here without rope and canvas to sail their ships, oils for food and fire, fibrous creations turned into bricks or silky clothing material.

The Europeans intended to dominate and stay, so they needed the oily seed for surviving the voyage, as well as for planting crops in the New Land to build the first American Navy. You can’t sail a ship without ropes and canvas. First order of the day was to plant and harvest cannabis hemp for that purpose. America and her Navy was built on the back of hemp.

From the decisions the cannabis farmers make to the tidy buttoned-up corporate product you purchase at the shop, there are astounding new ways to create cannabis medicine. But where to learn about them? Where are the schools? Whose teaching all this?

There are a few small educational companies who have partnered with cannabis scientists and farmers and produced curriculums which have been very helpful.

Through these mediums, interested people have found each other to discuss what’s happening in real time.

The fall of Schedule 1 rating for Cannabis will be the impetus for more to begin.

Mostly self-taught individuals from around the world are converging to discuss the science of cannabis. There’s a variety of interested medical professionals. Doctors, surgeons, pharmacists and even lay people like me. 

Every conference,  after the special topic is revealed and clinical reviews have been discussed, people with desperate stories chime in to see if there is any new data or understanding.

As I do in my new ebook, The Language of Cannabis – Learning to Medicate, they all begin by stating that they cannot give medical advice to a person who is not their patient… and then tell them how to go about finding the answers for themselves.

That’s what I do as well. I teach you how to find the answers yourself. Because there is no exact science to this product yet. We are allll, our own guinea pigs.

So with that in mind, let’s look a little closer at the changing process and see if we can appreciate the complexity of this plant a little better.

Aside from the typical way we think a seed is thrown in the ground and rained upon to grow, there are new farming abilities that can side-step Mother Nature and short-cut Father Time.

There is an article in the May issue of leafly.com written by Master Grower, Ed Rosenthal. (1) (There are citations available on my blog for those who wanna check out this info…)  It’s absolutely fascinating and may give you growing ideas of your own…

Apparently, cannabis farmers have discovered a short cut in the harvesting process that not only saves time but a ton of money and worry. Instead of harvesting the plant and letting it dry for weeks with uncertain disadvantages of molds and mildews and pests, they’re freezing their fresh grows at the ripest moment… whole plant and all.

California’s largest cultivation licensee, Raw Garden, freezes 100% of their harvest.

Jason Guillory, from Nug extracts of Oakland, a Raw Garden contractor noted;

“A couple years ago, if you told someone you were going to freeze 100% of your crop, they’d tell you you were crazy. Now, we’re seeing 100% frozen harvests, and really large farms: 8,000-pound harvests. It’s totally taken over.”

But Why frozen?

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 Where were we… this episode is about high tech cannabis farming. And we were just about to find out why freezing cannabis from the field at peak harvest is a game changer.

The article goes on to explain the benefits of freezing…

It’s the demand for extracts

Driving this trend is consumers. They want pure, high-THC cannabis extracts in sleek vape pens that are easy to use and inconspicuous…they don’t smell.

Farmers have responded by buying up industrial freezers—plus using dry ice in the fields—and are sending the frozen crops straight to extract labs, skipping the traditional harvesting process.

This is a huge Harvest cost savings

“Freezing harvested cannabis can save lots of time, labor, risk and money”, says Ed Rosenthal, a scientist-master-grower who every cannabis farmer looks up to and co-author of the crop science book Marijuana Harvest.  The author of the Leafly story, David Downs, is Ed’s co-author.

“Vigorous competition puts enormous pressure on farmers, squeezing their profit margins and making farming vastly more efficient. 

Fresh-freezing saves tons of cash on harvesting, man-hours, and drying rooms. “It eliminates whole steps,” said Rosenthal. “The more sophisticated the farmer, the more likely they are to do that.”How farmers freeze

To get to pure extracts at low cost, farmers have flipped the millenia-old process of harvesting on its head.

Traditional methods

In the spring, farmers in the Northern Hemisphere sew the fast-growing crop. In fall, farmers harvest buds at peak ripeness, when aromas and cannabinoids—like THC—near peak levels.

You get smokeable flower by chopping down the ripe plant and air drying its buds in a cool, dry, dark room for about ten days. Weeks or months of curing can follow to perfect the smell and taste of boutique bud.

Traditional air drying is a battle against temperature and humidity spikes to avoid mold and fungus and preserve precious terpenes and THC.

Ditching tradition

But farmers are increasingly saying ‘Screw all that’ with fresh-frozen. They chop plants, remove the leaves, branches, and stems, and vacuum seal buds in thick plastic pillows weighing two to four pounds. Those pillows go into in an industrial freezer at -38°F, and the low temperatures lock in everything for processing at a later date: flavors and terpenes, cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.), as well as all the water.

“You’re not worried about degradation as much [in the plastic pillows],” said Grambergu. “The shelf life on that versus a regular pound in a turkey bag are very different.”

Getting from frozen buds to live resin

Next comes industrial solvent extraction.

Technicians finely grind the frozen buds into a powder, pack pounds of it in thick, stainless steel tubes, and blast a solvent like butane through it, which pulls out all the fresh-frozen terpenes and cannabinoids. Water crystallizes and separates from the plant material.

The result is a freezing cold, golden liquid. Technicians then purge the solvent, leaving behind concentrate, which is usually four or five times stronger than flower.

This extract goes into what’s taken over the concentrate scene—live resin, which is used in dab rigs and pens, as well as pre-filled live resin vaporizer cartridges. “Live resin is what’s driving this,” said Grambergu.

Live resin makes up some of the most aromatic cannabis products. And the smell is far less stinky than lighting up some flower.

“It comes down to ease of use,” Lidie said. “As new consumers enter the market, they don’t necessarily want to reek of pot… I can dab in my office and it doesn’t permeate through my whole home. If I smoke a joint, the whole house is going to stink.”

What are live resin concentrates?

The new frontier—live rosin

For some extract aficionados, mere live resin won’t cut it—they’ve moved onto live rosin, which comes from fresh-frozen cannabis extracts untouched by butane or any other solvent.

Company Paradiso has partnered with boutique brand Fields to release limited, artisanal runs of extracts using this process. Paradiso wet trims and freezes the best one percent of its harvest—using a surge of 20 trimmers working fast, instead of the usual dry trim team of nine.  “It’s much more labor intensive,” DiPaci said.

Companies like Blue River have perfected trade-secret techniques to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from frozen cannabis while leaving everything else behind.

They’re using aspects of sublimation—where water gets removed through freezing instead of drying—and they’re using mechanical separation techniques.

It’s very time-intensive and requires such high-quality materials that the resulting extract is worth four times more per gram than gold.

“It creates the best extract in the market. It’s much more labor intensive and there’s less return. That’s why it’s so expensive,” said Grambergu. “One of the coolest parts about cannabis is experimentation. Every farmer has always been curious about ‘What happens if you do this or that?’ Clearly freezing is one of the methods that has broken through and proven to be worth their time. I think we will continue to see farms move more and more toward this.”

Freezing cannabis harvests is a disruptive technology that’s here to stay. Effects from fresh-frozen extracts may be different too. Cannabinoids stay at peak levels with almost no degradation. Freezing preserves terpenes that would otherwise be lost to weeks of drying and curing.

CO2 trimming and freeze drying: Crop to Cure in 24 hours.

Rosenthal notes that such manufactured products were the bulk of the market before prohibition began in the ‘30s. “The whole reason we got to smoking flower was because it didn’t require as much processing, which you could not do when it was illegal.”

“Instead of, ‘You grow weed to make pounds of flower,’ it’s, ‘You grow weed to make products—you grow weed to make cannabinoids, and to make terpenes.’ It’s not ‘indicas and sativas’ anymore,” DiPaci said. “It’s a way different landscape.”

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There’s a couple of other considerations in farming… contamination control and end result corporate philosophy.  The medical field says first: Do No Harm.

But medicinal philosophy is not always a common priority with every cannabis company. It’s expensive to text for every little variety of contamination. They may wish they could test for it all but the reality is that if there’s testing at all, it’s only on the batches, not every single plant that you ingest.  So you have to be your own body guard.

And the next consideration is how the industry is training the populace to over-medicate with concentrates because they’re conveniently discreet and society is still ambivalent about cannabis. Those concentrates are wildly inappropriate for most patient needs on a regular basis and they’re too easy to develop a hand to mouth habit without the real physical need for the product. All that does is increase your tolerance faster while you’re overusing the product for your body’s need. If you want to vape something, vape the raw leaf. Then you’re better able to control your tolerance and you’ll have full advantage of most of the compounds.

Those vape cartridges are mostly isolates so people are not getting the full spectrum benefit of the whole plant.

Every knowledgeable cannabis doctor or scientist I’ve heard will tell you to reserve the concentrates for specific needs as a rescue for immediate relief… not for general use. Because it’s concentrated and you’ll blow your tolerance faster using them when you don’t need to.

So now that you understand what the trend in growing cannabis looks like… and why they’re producing it this way… it makes me ponder if this is actually good for us. Overmedicating is no joke.

The hippies of the 60s and their puff puff pass attitude has got to be put into perspective. Cannabis is medicine they used like a toy.

I hope those people advocating for Adult Use will also advocate for the need for clean weed. This is where Big Government could be helpful, legislating rigorous contamination testing standards across the nation that protects patients from harmful products like the FDA already does.

Please remember to voice your political opinions to your legislators and keep buzzing in their ears! They do hear their constituents. If you’re not already involved in some effort to help our nation move forward, I hope this inspires you to look around and see which group is calling your name. There’s a lot of work to do.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I love bringing cannabis news to you and helping you understand what this plant is capable of.

OhMyCOW!!! I wanna mention that my 100th episode is coming up soon. I have a very special guest planned for your entertainment and some big changes on the horizon, including but not limited to pre-ordering my new ebook, The Language of Cannabis – Learning to Medicate. Stay tuned for more Cannaba Verum, wherever you listen.

Pax Vobiscum yall

Host: Honey 26:57

You’ve been listening to another Cannaba Verum podcast with 21st century cannabis shaman Honey Smith Walls, about the importance of using safe hemp and marijuana products. Unless otherwise proven by a reputable third party lab test, please be advised that all street weed is contaminated. It may do grave harm to a patient with a delicate immune system. I challenge you to check the veracity of my statements in each episode by checking the medical citations posted on my blog at Cannaba Verum.com.

That’s C A N N A B A   V E R U M.com

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