Table of Contents

Quit Marijuana The Complete Guide

New Treatment for Cannabis Dependence

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Chapter Choosing a Cannabis 1: Variety

Chapt2r Selecting Seeds


^-37 Cuttings

Chapter ^ Hydroponically

Chapter Good News for Late 5: Planters

Chapter 6:

It's a Gas

Chapt7r The Super Grow Room

Chapt8r Why Dope Gets You High

Chapter Techniques for Preparing 97 Soil

Chap[e0r Artificial Lighting

Chapter Four Ways to a Better 11: Grow Room

Chapter Sensi's Little Helpers


^37 Easy Organics

Chap1ei: pruning for Giant Yields Chapter

Harvest Tips


^67 Regeneration

Chapl7r Going Male

Chapter 187

Color Pics

From Trash to Stash


When I asked Ed how to describe himself he thought for a moment. I could palpably feel his brain working. Then he said, "I'm not sure whether I was placed on Earth as an agent of Cannabis or if I am just another advocate for justice. Marijuana, though important, is just one of many issues."

Whatever the reason, Ed has worked tirelessly to change the marijuana laws. He has participated on political campaigns, testified before Congress, helped defendants as an expert witness, and advanced many organizations from behind the scenes. Most Important, he has inspired many to organize and advocate a change in the marijuana laws. All of this has only tangential connection to the material that Is in this book. Readers acquainted with Ed's writing will welcome the breadth of topics. New readers will find here a good introduction to his writing. His down-home, humorous style appeals to a wide audience. For the record, Ed Rosenthal has documented the transformation of pot cultivation more successfully than arty other writer His books articles and columns have had a profound effect on consciousness In America and throughout the world

Marijuana Growing Tips is dedicated to the memory of Tom flowers.

Chapter One

Choosing a Cannabis Variety

Seed catalogs are fascinating. For instance, the tomato section of a typical catalog devotes pages and pages to the different tomato varieties. Some are early bloomers, others mold-or-wilt-resistant; they produce fruits from the size of a cherry to that of a grapefruit; some are good for canning, others for juice. There are even square tomatoes. Each variety was developed by researchers to meet a specific need.

When cannabis becomes legal, commercial seed houses will develop varieties to suit each gardener's requirements: "Let's see, I'd like something thai grows about six feet in six weeks, develops a giant cola, matures in sixty days, smells like cheap perfume, tastes like heady champagne, and takes me to the moon."

There are already illicit seed co-ops functioning on a small scale. Last season, in certain western states, breeders commanded five dollars per seed for acclimated varieties. Even at that price, growers consider these seeds worth buying: they view the seed money as a minor investment in view of the total value of the harvest. Rooted cuttings from proven outstanding plants can sell for $15 per plant or more.

Wiscany marijuana, displayed on a map ot the region near Madison, Wisconsin, where it was grown. This variety is the result of several generations of careful breeding. It is ready to st harvest before October 1 .

When it comes to choosing a variety, commercial growers are concerned with several factors, among them: branching habits, drought resistance, ease of manicuring, color, and uniform ripening. Of primary importance is the ripening time. Most outdoor growers want plants that mature early, before the arrival of frost, thieves, and law enforcement Indoors, commercial growers want compact plants that ripen quickly and uniformly, so that light and space are used most efficiently. Commercial growers are also interested in the plant's yield. Some plants bud heavily and grow thick colas; others do not. A heavy-yielding plant may be worth twice as much as a lighter-yielding one. The type of high does not seem to be an important marketing factor, though the yield, the aroma, the taste, and the bud appearance are important in determining the price.

Home growers, however, have different priorities. The yield or growth time may not be as important as the type of high. Home gardens often contain several varieties of marijuana, some taking as long as six months to mature. Seeds-people have concentrated their efforts on developing indica hybrids, which are desirable because of their early maturing

(September to early October), and because of the heavy yields available from these compact plants. Some indica varieties are cold or drought resistant. Although the indicas exhibit a range of highs, I find most to be heavy and stupefying. Commercial growers have tended to overlook potency and quality of high in their search for plants that mature early. Their reasoning is that they would rather have a poorer-quality sinsemilla harvest than no harvest at all. Very much like the square tomatoes I mentioned earlier, commercial varieties of cannabis ship well but are tasteless. Turning to the sativa varieties, most mature too late (three to four months later than the indicas) for outdoor cultivation, and hence are avoided by most commercial growers. Sativas also tend to grow tall with loose branching, so that their yield per square foot is less than that of indicas. However, the quality of high from sativa grown in the equatorial regions (Colombia, Congo, Nigeria, Kenya and Laos) is unsurpassed. It is unfortunate that only the home grower (and his/her friends) can experience these highs; they're just not available commercially. Sativa varieties grow all over the world. At the 15th parallel, in Jamaica and Mexico, there are some excellent sativa varieties that mature earlier than their equatorial cousins. Thailand is also at the 15th parallel, but its plants have a long growing season. Most of the commercial varieties available at the 30th parallel are indicas such as Kush, Afghani, and Lebanese. But in the Southern Hemisphere at the 30th parallel, Southern African varieties will mature early and are often quite potent.

Typical afghani flowering top.

Durban poison, Capetown gold, Lesotho brown, and Zuluweed are vigorous, short-to medium-height plants with internodes of up to eight inches. They are also the earliest-flowering and fastest-maturing plants ever introduced in the United States. Like most cannabis varieties found at the 30th parallel, South African plants tend to vary within a specific population. This is an evolutionary technique of survival for species situated in an environment with a varying climate.

African varieties are not usually imported into the United States, but find their market in

Europe; there is usually a large number of Africans available in Amsterdam, for example.

Sativa varieties grown above the 30th parallel have been used for hemp, and are commonly regarded as having no psychoactive qualities. But reports from the Midwest, where this "hemp" has escaped from cultivation and grows in wild stands, indicate that potency varies from terrible headache-weed to pot that delivers a fair buzz. Cultivators in areas where such varieties of sativa are growing may wish to use these in their breeding programs because such plants are well acclimated to the area, having survived with no human help. With a little patience, high potency and aroma can be bred into this hardy stock, which matures every year.

Flowering Sativa. It is light and fluffy with long, elegant hairs.

Flowering Sativa. It is light and fluffy with long, elegant hairs.

By controlling all pollination and keeping detailed records, it's easy to develop a simple breeding program, and within five or six generations you can develop and stabilize several characteristics. Commercial breeders grow large numbers of plants from which a few outstanding specimens are chosen. Their descendants are again selected, and are often crossed with varieties that have other desirable traits. For instance, a hemp plant that matures very early might be crossed with a potent, later-maturing plant. The first generation will be fairly uniform. The second generation will sort out into early and late plants of varying potency. If only early/potent plants are selected for further breeding, this pair of characteristics will stabilize after several generations. Usually, commercial seeds-people try to stabilize many characteristics at once so that the plants will be uniform.

A sophisticated breeding program can be developed indoors under controlled conditions.

Many environmental factors can be easily controlled and the plants bred throughout the year. By setting the light cycle at 15 hours per day (the number of hours of daylight available in late July), the researcher can select early-maturing plants. Later-maturing plants may need longer periods of uninterrupted darkness, approximating late autumn or winter, before they flower profusely. Indoors, full-sized plants can be grown in one to two gallon containers. About two square feet of space per plant are required. Plants can be selected after a few weeks of growth, so that less space is required and the breeding program can be speeded up to between three and five generations per year. Taking cuttings is the only way of preserving the exact genetic makeup of any plant. You may wish to keep an outstanding plant for garden clones or for breeding. Over the years, American cultivators have developed tens of thousands of varieties. American sinsemilla is now the most potent in the world. Traditionally, marijuana cultivation extended only to the 30th parallel. However, American growers have expanded the growing area to Maine and Alaska. Novice cultivators would do well to borrow seed from a successful local grower whose pot they especially like. That way, they know that the plants will mature in time and will be pleasant to smoke.

Moroccan plants are grown close together so that they have one main flowering stem. It ripens early, but is not very intoxicating.

Chapter Two

Selecting Seeds

Choosing the right seed is probably the most important decision a grower makes. The seed (actually the fruit of the cannabis plant), properly known as an achene, contains the germ plasm or genetic material. This genetic material determines the plant's potential size, shape, time to maturity, and cannabinoid content. Given adequate amounts of warmth, light, water, nutrients, oxygen and carbon dioxide, the plant can achieve the full potential that is present within the seed. By choosing seeds from plants suited to the growing conditions in your garden, you can assure yourself of a large, potent yield.

L . ^H


Seeds vary in size and coloring according to variety. A large seed does not necessarily mean a more potent plant.

There are several factors to consider when deciding what varieties to plant: the desired high, the maturation time, and the shape of the plant.

The high is the most important factor. Choose seeds from grass that you like. Potency should not be the sole determinant — the quality of the high is just as important. The ratios and absolute amounts of the known cannabinoids that are found in any particular sample is partly genetic, much the same as with grapes. (Each variety of grape has a distinctive taste, but there are variations from year to year because of differing climatic conditions.)

Maturation time is another important characteristic, especially for outdoor growers.

Most imported marijuana now comes from Colombia or other equatorial countries with a growing season of eight to ten months. Plants from these areas have a long time in which to flower and produce seeds. When equatorial plants are grown in an area with a shorter growing season, they do not have enough time to produce mature colas, or seeds, before the end of the growing season (or before the start of the hunting season).

Ditchweed, or Midwestern cannabis, is descended from plants escaped from hemp fields. It was cultivated for fiber and seed from colonial times until the 1940s. Hemp matures in three to five months, depending on the variety.

Unfortunately, most varieties contain large amounts of CBD, which doesn't get you high, and small amounts of THC, which does.

There are several methods you can use to get plants that will mature within the American growing season. The easiest way is to choose seeds from plants acclimated to regions situated at some distance from the equator. Marijuana from northern Mexican states, such as Sonora,

Sinaloa, and Jalisco, may mature up to six weeks earlier than Colombian. Other countries that grow marijuana and have shorter growing seasons are Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and northern India. The problem with plants from these countries is that, as the distance from the equator increases, the ratio of CBD to THC increases. Marijuana from Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Nepal — countries that lie on the 30th parallel -may have equal amounts of CBD

and THC. But this is not always the case. Remember that a particular population of plants (a patch or field) evolves in response to the conditions it experiences — the microclimate — rather than to the average conditions found in the region.

Another method for producing faster-maturing strains is to develop your own strain by selecting for particular qualities. For instance, you could plant a garden using an equatorial marijuana variety. By selecting for early-flowering potent plants, you can develop your strain into a fast-maturing one after several generations.

Marijuana and hemp can be crossed to produce hybrids. These plants will mature earlier than the equatorial parent and will be quite hardy, but the marijuana will not be as potent or have the same quality high as the exotic parent. Another drawback is that the progeny of the Fp or first generation — the F2

generation — will not breed true because of differences in genetic makeup.

This means that for a uniformly flowering garden, only F1 hybrids can be used. But growers can produce more than enough seed from just a pair of plants To assure seed maturation, growing should be done in a greenhouse or indoors. Indoor growers can choose seeds and develop breeding programs based on the following considerations:

1. Fast development under limited-light/long-day conditions. This is similar to the light cycle experienced by northern latitude hemp plants.

2. Insect and disease resistance: some plants may not get infected when the others do.

The resistance could be genetic. 3. Full bud development. 4. Ability to regenerate for multiple flowering. Indoor plants can often be regenerated after flowering by changing the light cycle.

Sativa leaf is Sativa plant is tall and slender with long hardy with fluffy buds. fingers.

Sativa leaf is Sativa plant is tall and slender with long hardy with fluffy buds. fingers.

Indica leaf is wide, Indica plants are squat with short fingers. and dense with heavy, compact buds.

Indica leaf is wide, Indica plants are squat with short fingers. and dense with heavy, compact buds.

A final consideration is the size and shape of the plant. For each garden, there is a plant of ideal size and shape. In forest areas, growers may require a tall-growing plant such as a South Korean, a northern Mexican, or a marijuana-hemp F1 hybrid. In areas where a bushy plant might be obvious, the more diminutive Indica varieties will fit right in. Colombian plants grow into a conical shape, but can be pruned to a low bush, or trained by bending the main branch.

Home gardeners usually like to grow several varieties, so that they can see what does best in the garden. Each variety has its own look, fragrance, taste, and bouquet of cannabinoids.

Indica (forefront) and sativa (background) were started at the same time. Notice how much taller and wider the sativa is.

Chapter Three


The traditional way to start a new marijuana crop is to plant seeds. About half the resulting plants will be male. The remaining females, even if their background is certain, will be of varying quality. Most flower and vegetable seed sold in the United States is standardized. Seed of a particular variety will have uniform growth habits, harvest time, and yield. But marijuana has been bred for uniformity by only a few dedicated growers. Of course, their seed is not commercially available. Without an intensive breeding program, clones (cuttings or slips) are the only way to get a uniform crop. For an allfemale crop, of known quality, growers can use either clones or plant regeneration. Regeneration, or recropping, is a method of obtaining a second harvest from the same plant. A plant can be returned to its vegetative growth stage by letting a number of healthy shoots and leaves remain on it at the time when most of the buds are harvested. (Bring the lights back up to 18 or more hours per day and fertilize with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.) Plants growing outdoors in containers can be brought inside for another harvest using this method. In a greenhouse, the fall and winter natural light should be supplemented and extended. Within a few months the garden should be ready to be turned back into the flowering phase, which is achieved by increasing the number of hours of uninterrupted darkness (turning the light cycle down to 12 or 13 hours of light per day). Such regeneration has several advantages. Your garden can be designed and used most efficiently because you know the plant's growth habits. Each plant's qualities are already known, so you can devise a rational breeding program.

A clone is a genetic duplicate of its parent. Clones should be made whenever you have a unique plant whose particular genetic code is worth preserving. Examples might be extremely potent, fast-growing, or early-flowering plants.

A garden of these plants, given the same environmental conditions as their parents, will behave identically. They will be the same height, will have the same growth habits, will flower and ripen at the same time, and will have the same potency.

Equipment used for cutting includes: a) boiled water to float cutting b) bleach to sterilize the blade and the cutting, and used in a 5% solution (2 oz per quart) with the water to prevent infection c) rooting compound and fungicide (Rootone®) d) high phosphorous fertilizer used diluted at one-quarter recommended concentration, and e) cutting immersed in sterile water, awaiting preparation.

Equipment used for cutting includes: a) boiled water to float cutting b) bleach to sterilize the blade and the cutting, and used in a 5% solution (2 oz per quart) with the water to prevent infection c) rooting compound and fungicide (Rootone®) d) high phosphorous fertilizer used diluted at one-quarter recommended concentration, and e) cutting immersed in sterile water, awaiting preparation.

Growers often make clones from all their plants while the plants are still in the vegetative growth stage. Later, after harvest and testing, they decide which clones to keep. These plants are grown under lights for their cuttings so that the grower can have a uniform crop the next spring or fall. It is essential for anyone who is performing controlled environmental experiments to use plants of a uniform genotype. Otherwise the experimenter has no way to know what's being measured. Homogeneous or "clone" gardens have several disadvantages. Plants with identical genetic structures have similar resistance and susceptibilities to insect attack and microbial infections, and any type of degeneration is likely to spread more quickly than if the plants were of different varieties, or had simply been grown from different seeds. As I mentioned earlier, clones from the same parent will all taste about the same and create the same high. This is fine for a Commercial operation, where standardization may increase profits, but most smokers enjoy using several varieties of pot. For this reason, you may wish to culture clones of several varieties that will flower in succession.

There are several cloning techniques, including air and soil layering, and tissue culture, that are used commercially to mass-produce some nursery stock. But the easiest and most familiar method of cloning is taking slips or cuttings. Cuttings can be taken at any time in a plant's life cycle, but those taken before the plant is flowering will root more easily. Larger branches sometimes exhibit white protuberances near the base of the stem. These are called adventitious roots. They appear under humid conditions, and grow readily into roots when placed in water or in various mediums.

Cuttings from the lower branches, which contain less nitrogen and have a higher ratio of sugars, root somewhat faster than slips from the top of the plant, so it's wisest to take your cuttings from the bottom branches. To take a cutting, make a clean cut with a razor, knife, or clippers. Place the cut end in water. Remove the large fan leaves so that the cuttings' water uptake capabilities won't be overtaxed. The cutting can be propagated in water, pasteurized prepackaged soil, or vermiculite—perlite mixtures. Before being placed in the medium, cuttings should be treated with a fungicidal-B1 mix that promotes root growth, such as Rootone F. Place your cuttings in four-to six-inch individual pots with the stems between two and four inches deep — quart and half-gallon milk containers will work fine — and be sure to keep them in an area that gets only a moderate amount of light or they will wilt. After five days they should be fertilized with the high phosphorous fertilizer, diluted to one-quarter normal strength, once a week. Covering the cuttings with clear plastic will increase the humidity and the success rate. Plant rooting is inhibited by lack of oxygen. To prevent this from occurring, aerate the water before use by shaking it vigorously. Cuttings that are propagated in water will do best if the water is either changed regularly, or aerated using an aquarium pump and air stone. Make sure the bubbles rise away from the stems and do not create too much turbulence, which may inhibit root growth. Cuttings root in three to five weeks, after which time you should transplant them to larger pots. If they are growing under artificial light, introduce them to sunlight gradually so that the leaves do not burn when placed in full sunlight.

Cutting is made with a sterile blade. At least two leaf nodes (joints) are required.

As many as six clones may be made from this cutting.

Klone Kit© shown here is no longer available, but can be easily approximated — using 100 ml container, Styrofoam packing disks, and 15

ml of vermiculite. The clone is inserted in a hole punched in the Styrofoam, and floated in mixture of vermiculite and sterile water. The excellent hormone solution used in the Klone

Kit is available from W R Research (Novato, California).

These flourishing clones are ready for transplanting.

Cuttings are usually taken before flowering. However, this cutting was taken during flowering and has regenerated.

Chapter Four

Do It Hydroponically

If you've ever grown a backyard tomato, or kept a coleus alive through the winter, you have all the expertise you need to grow plants hydroponically. Quite simply, hydroponics is the method of cultivating plants without using soil. The plants are grown in a non-nutritive medium such as gravel or sand, or in lightweight, man-made materials such as perlite, vermiculite (a mineral-mica nutrient base), or Styrofoam. Nutrients are then supplied to the plants in one of two ways: either by soluble fertilizers that are dissolved in water, or by time-release fertilizers that are mixed into the medium. The advantages of a hydroponics system over conventional horticultural methods are numerous and varied. Dry spots and root drowning do not occur. Nutrient and pH problems are largely eliminated, since the grower maintains a tight control over their concentration. There is little chance of "lockup," which occurs when nutrients are fixed in the soil and unavailable to the plant. Plants can be grown more conveniently in smaller containers. And, because there is no messing about with soil, the whole operation is easier, cleaner, and much less bothersome than it would be with conventional growing techniques.

The wick system: A plastic container with nylon wicks. The container is sitting on two bricks in a plastic oil pan.

The flood system: A simple flood system in drained position.

The drip emitter system: The drainage tube can lead back to a central reservoir or the water can be recirculated using a small aquarium pump.

The reservoir system: A plastic container sitting in an oil pan which is kept filled with water. The bottom half of this container is filled with lava and the top half with vermiculite.

The flood system, con't: Container being flooded manually. This unit could easily be used as a component in a larger, automatic system by attaching the tube to a pipe leading to a central reservoir and pump.

The aerated waler system: A plastic column allows air to flow freely upward. The water circulates and picks up oxygen from the air at the surface and from the


Most hydroponic systems fall into one of two broad categories: passive and active. Passive systems, such as reservoir or wick setups, depend on the molecular action inherent in the wick or in the medium to make water available to the plant. Active systems, which include the flood, recirculating drip, and aerated water systems, use a pump to send nourishment to the plant.

Most commercially made "hobby" hydroponic systems designed for general use are built shallow and wide, so that an intensive garden with a variety of plants can be grown. However, most marijuana growers prefer to grow each plant in an individual container. Indoors, a three-gallon container is adequate. Outdoors, a five-gallon (or larger) container should be used if the water cannot be replenished frequently. Automatic systems irrigated on a regular schedule can use smaller containers, but all containers should be deep, rather than shallow, so that the roots can firmly anchor the plant.

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