Cannabis as pain medication

Cannabis as a painkiller

Every Tuesday we want to put the medical effectiveness of cannabis to the test in this series.
Each week a different disease or group of diseases should take center stage.Today we are going to explain the context of cannabis and (chronic) pain.

Cannabis has been used to treat pain for thousands of years.
The wonder herb was used early on, especially against migraines, gout, nerve pain, toothache and of course menstrual cramps.
The mechanisms of action of the cannabis plant regarding pain therapy have been researched very well. I am emphasizing this, because the facts are still very thin for many other complaints.
In order to delineate exactly how cannabis helps against pain, I would first like to clarify the term pain.

What is pain?

Pain is a complex sensory perception that sends signals to the human brain like a message: My dear friend, there is something wrong with you.
However, if the pain is chronic, the feeling of pain is not due to a temporary disruption of the human organism. Rather in such cases there is damage to the nervous system. In plain terms, the body sends false signals, false alarms. Chronic pain is a disease of its own.
The pain we feel is conducted through our body via the nervous system. In concrete terms this means: If you bump your little toe the nerve cells on the little toe are irritated. This creates a signal that is sent to the next nerve cells as quickly as possible. At some point this signal arrives in the spinal cord or brain and a neural reaction follows through which we perceive the pain.
Fun Fact: The speed of nerve transmission is not infinitely fast. If we assume 10 m / s, the transmission takes 200 ms (a fifth of a second) for a 2-meter man like me.

But pain doesn't just make you feel uncomfortable. In the case of chronic pain in particular socio-psychological damage is also often caused. In other words: This affects the quality of life in public spaces, as the person affected suffers so-called breakthrough pain. This can be imagined in bursts of pain attacks or other body malfunctions, for example skin problems.

In the traditional sense, chronic pain is treated with opioids, like morphine, codeine, fentanyl or methadone. Antidepressants are also used in certain cases, if the cause of the pain can be located therein.

Pain treatment with cannabis

Cannabis can be used for most pain relief. The exact processes in the body are incredibly diverse, because pain can arise in many ways. However, there are a number of substances in the body that reduce the sensation of pain. Some neurotransmitters (you can read a bit about them here) can more or less alleviate the pain that is felt. THC for example is such a neurotransmitter and an externally supplied one, aswell. When THC docks onto the so-called receptors (I'll refer you back here), messenger substances such as dopamine are released.

Dopamine is a essential substance for the feeling of happiness in the body. If the dopamine level is high, pain is felt less intensely. Happiness and pain are therefore directly related - whoever is happy doesn't perceive much pain. Those who are unhappy feel pain more strongly. The body cannot differentiate between physical and psychological pain.

Other neurotransmitters (messenger substances of the nervous system) are also released when THC is ingested. In this way, effects on the so-called serotonin level can be measured. Serotonin is responsible for stabilizing the psyche and is significantly involved in the body's own pain inhibition.

Chart showing dopamine levels
What applies to ADHD patients in terms of dopamine levels and THC intake also applies analogously to pain patients. In contrast to healthy people, the level of happiness hormones such as dopamine or serotonin is chronically low in pain patients. When consuming THC this value is not raised to a level at which one feels "high" or "stoned" as is the case with healthy people, but rather depending on the dose it is first raised to the "normal" level at which the chronic pain is reduced or barely noticeable for the patient.

So, from a biochemical point of view, consuming cannabis containing THC when you are in pain makes perfect sense. But what do the studies say?

Studies support these considerations. In one trial patients suffering from severe spasticity due to a spinal cord injury were given 5 mg THC, 50 mg codeine or a placebo. As expected, the placebo did not change the condition, the codeine, an opiate, alleviated the spasticity somewhat, and the THC led to significant relief.

In another study, a pain patient was given 30 mg of morphine per day. At some point, 10mg of a THC / CBD extract were added. The pain intensity was measured for both cases over a period of six weeks.
Result: During the period in which the patient received the THC / CBD extract, his need for morphine had decreased significantly with the same pain relief.
Further studies show the effectiveness of cannabis compared to placebos. It has even been proven that THC can reduce so-called phantom pain after amputations.

If you suffer from pain yourself and are now rolling a joint euphorically, here is another tip: The pain is best suppressed the longer the THC works. However since the high wears off very quickly when you smoke I recommend baking a cake or realizing a recipe of your choice. You can read about how to decarboxylate cannabis, i.e. make it "digestible", in this article.

Which strains are the best, when used for pain relief?

First I have to say, that I'm not a doctor, I therefore advise all readers to always discuss the medication with a doctor. In general, however, you can at least classify which varieties are more suitable for pain relief than others. In many cases, a cannabis patient with pain suffers from chronic pain, which is why continuous medication to alleviate the symptoms is the usual choice. And if you have to start medication early, I recommend a sativa variety for the time until the afternoon or evening. Because with these varieties you can still pursue a lot of activities while the felt pain is significantly inhibited. In many cases sativas are creative, lift the mood and produce a head-heavy high. If the high feeling gets too much for you I recommend taking CBD at the same time, because CBD significantly weakens the psychoactive effects of THC. For some, being high in certain situations can also be exhausting and lead to additional stress in the long run.

For the evening I recommend an indica, because after consuming such flowers you sleep well and enjoy a very physical high. This effect is also often expressed in the well-known “couch-lock”. You feel particularly comfortable in bed or on the sofa and can sleep well all night.

Which varieties specifically? First of all, a multitude of strains and products can help against pain. Because it depends above all on the presence of the active ingredients THC and CBD. In the end I decided on the following sativa-dominant and indica-dominant varieties:
For the day, I recommend a classic: Silver Haze.
With a sativa content of 80% and a high THC content, this strain will get you through the day well.
For the evening I recommend another classic: Skunk.
This strain is listed as 80% indica and pushes you into bed really nicely when you want to sleep.

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Cannabis - What makes this plant special? Botany, utility, society

Cannabis - Introduction of a long forgotten plant. Botanical aspects, society, economy.

Cannabis is one of the oldest and useful plants in a wide variety of cultures. From China to India to Europe and even the American continent, the medicinal plant has spread like weeds over the past millennia. And while the quality of many cannabis products is not remotely reminiscent of weeds, the comparison is very accurate. Because the plant, valued for its fibers and healing flowers, is one of the most robust and adaptable herbs in our world. In it lays the strong power to influence people and nations. It can heal, it's a great building material, and its seeds are the perfect superfood. But what is behind the plant, that everyone is suddenly talking about?
An essay about a botanically intoxicating queen.

Basic botanical knowledge of cannabis

What all cannabis plants have in common, is that they are annual, not like trees, which sprout with new leaves every year. Cannabis arises from new seeds every year in spring to die again in autumn. However, creating supernatural circumstances, experts also create the famous exception, that confirms the rule - cannabis plants, that have existed for several years. Nature has been tricked for long in the propagation of cuttings and in conditions under artificial lightning.

seedlings of cannabis plants
This is what it looks like, when life of a cannabis plant emerges from the seed. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

Another characteristic, that all cannabis plants share, is the famous leaf shape. If you look at the stem, from bottom to top, the lower leaves begin with only one or a few "fingers" per leaf, while leaves with 5-11 fingers predominate in the central part. Towards the end of the stem axis, there are more leaves with fewer fingers. The fingers always have serrated edges, so they look a bit like saw blades.

Cannabis plants are usually dioecious. That means, there are both all-male and all-female plants. The males carry the pollen, the females the fruit pistils (stigma). Stress or other negative environmental influences also cause hermaphrodites from time to time, which is fatal for indoor gardeners in particular.

gorgeous cannabis male
Gorgeous cannabis male plant. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.


female cannabis plant in second week of flowering
Female cannabis plant in second week of flowering. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.


tied up cannabis plant
In this tied down plant you can see very well how from the beginning of the plant to the top first leaves with 3 fingers and after some "nodes" leaves with nine fingers are already growing on the main shoot. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

Since cannabis plants produce resins, which are made up of coveted ingredients such as CBD, THC and Terpenes, they cannot be pollinated by insects because they stick to the resin. Due to this protective mechanism, cannabis plants are dependent on pure wind pollination, whereby their "trichomes" covered with resin heads, together with the sticky resin, are of great help. Since male plants grow taller than female plants, pollen that falls down falls on the female plants, sticks to the pistils and, with the help of a female ova, forms new life in the form of a seed.

trichomes of a cannabis plant
Cannabis plants have the so-called trichomes on their inflorescences. These are small hair extensions of the leaf tissue in which the valuable trichomes and terpenes are stored. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

Cannabis - master of adaptability

Just as there are not only white or black individuals in humans, there are also different growth forms in the cannabis plant. These can be classified into sativa, indica and ruderalis, based on structural properties and individual light reactions. All of these growth forms share the same basic characteristics, but you can see the differences with a little more background information.

ruderalis sativa plant
Plants with Ruderalis-Sativa characteristics can be seen here on the left. Long, loose growth and lemony terpene clouds. Rather less trichomes and resin. To the right of them are a few worthy representatives of the Indica types - dense, arm-sized headbuds and so much resin that you have to shower for half an hour after caring for these plants. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

Above all, the stature of the plants differs greatly, if you compare two cannabis plants growing in different climates: If you take a cannabis plant from tropical Thailand and compare it with a plant from high Nepal, it's noticeable, that the Thai representative grows significantly higher - so it's a sativa. Sativas grow very tall, up to five meters, while indicas sometimes grow no taller than eight inches. On the other hand, indicas grow much more densely or bushier in cold areas with little sunshine than their counterparts in warmer regions. While the distances between the side shoots in Sativa growth types on the stem axis can be very large, with Indicas all branches and foliage grow very close to one another.

Distinct sativa phenotype in advanced flowering
Extreme example of a Sativa plant with high resin / active ingredient levels. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.


Gorilla Breath Humboldt Seeds Picture
Blütenstand einer Gorilla Breath von Humboldt Seed Organization als hervorragendes Beispiel für einen Indica-Wachstums-Typen. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

The differences of Cannabis phenotypes are always an evolutionary adaptation to the respective environment.

Sativas for sunny, wet environments

In hot, sunny areas, there are usually plants with long, thin leaf fingers that have a relatively small leaf surface. Why? Because the photosynthetically active leaves do not have to fight for every sparkle of light in sunny areas, but rather have to offer protection against evaporation of valuable water resources, which takes place via the leaves. Because of their not that dense flower structures, Sativas also grow better in humid climates without molding.

Indicas for colder climates

Indicas, on the other hand, have different challenges to master, as they occur in climates and areas with less sunshine. Therefore, compared to sativa plants, they form thick, short leaves with a larger leaf surface in order to be able to absorb the less abundant sunlight more efficiently. On the other hand, because of the lower outside temperature and higher air humidity, such areas do not require much protection against evaporation, which is why the compact, thick leaf shape is perfect in this case.

Mango Sapphire Indica strain
On this Mango Sapphire, the thick leaves of an Indica are easily recognizable. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

There would be numerous other differences in the construction of the various types of cannabis at this point, but in the end they all follow the same principle: if life gives you lemons, get salt and tequila. The cannabis plant is tough and does not shy away from any evolutionary challenge. The cannabis plant has conquered almost every country between Finland and Chile for the past thousands of years.

Survival artist: Cannabis Ruderalis

Accordingly, the cannabis plant also found a way to grow in northern countries, where the hours of sunshine go to zero in winter and about 24hrs in summer. The so-called ruderalis differs from its relatives, in that it can grow independently from light cycle.

While cannabis plants usually begin flowering, when the length of day decreases and levels off at 14-12 hours, ruderalis plants begin to flower approximately a month after germination, regardless of the daylight hours. This has the advantage that the flowering does not have to be finished in wet, cold autumn and thus the risk of mold is significantly lower. In addition, with ruderalis plants, several harvests in succession can be achieved in good years.

Incidentally, many outdoor growers in Germany swear by ruderalis hybrids. Under the better known generic term automatics or autoflowering, they are sold by most seed banks and also show their advantages in Northern Europe. (Just beware, cultivation is strictly prohibited for most people in this area)

Girl Scout Cookies autoflowering plant from Mallorca-Seeds in final flowering
Girl Scout Cookies autoflowering plant from Mallorca Seeds in final flowering. Grown and photographed by Lorenz Minks.

Speaking about seed banks: there are now well over a thousand cannabis varieties, and the sheer number of crossbreeding options means, that new genetics are added every day. Crossing takes place all over the world - across the borders of illegality.

Multiple uses of cannabis: houses, planes, natural cosmetics, etc...

The hemp plant has always made a name for itself, not only as a medicinal plant, but also as a building material, for dietary supplementation or textile fiber manufacturing. In Europe and the whole world, the potential of the cannabis plant has been more or less systematically suppressed under the pretext of prohibition for the past hundred years, but in recent years more and more start-ups have popped up that are specifically exploiting the potential of this powerful plant: hemp clothing, hemp insulation, hemp houses ,hemp cosmetics or even hemp planes are there to discover! All THC-free and totally legal.

But also in terms of healthy nutrition, hemp takes up a top position. Hemp seeds contain loads of antioxidants, vitamins E and B. Since hemp seeds contain all the amino acids required by the human body, they have a very positive effect on metabolism and the detoxification of the body. Athletes also appreciate the potential that hemp seeds have.
Hemp is also available as a ground powder for the protein shake - because hemp seeds are very rich in vegetable proteins!

Hemp fibers are mainly used for the production of paper or textiles. Textiles, that are made from hemp fibers have a temperature equalizing effect - they warm in the cold and cool in the heat. Sails, ropes and the American Declaration of Independence were also made from hemp.

Hempearth-Hemp plane
Hempearth-Hemp plane

 Cannabis as a medicinal plant

The most prominent potential of cannabis, however, lies in its medicinal properties. Cannabis is a medicinal plant, that can be used effectively against a wide variety of diseases. It treats Chronic pain, as well as stress symptoms or skin diseases. In most cases it's a stimulation of the body's own reward system, the cannabinoid system,
which is closely linked to the causes of the (chronic) diseases to be treated.

It's important to know the various cannabinoids and terpenes, considering, that the correct application-related composition of THC, CBD and other secondary ingredients is crucial for a successful therapy. To get deeper into this categorization thing, we wrote this article about batch categorization of cannabis.

The categorization aspect shouldn't be underestimated, because even the smallest deviations from clinical pictures require a different indication. Would you like an example? As known from various statements, with some types of breast cancer, CBD helps significantly better, while with other types of breast cancer, THC defeats the tumor. At this point, a doctor, who is open and trained in the segment related to cannabis. He can give the best advice and should always be consulted before and during medication with cannabis.

Cannabis is on the rise - is it finally back to normal?

For thousands of years, living beings such as humans, but also dolphins and chimpanzees, have been dealing with mind-expanding substances. Whether was it opium, alcohol, magic mushrooms or even cannabis - up to a hundred years ago, nothing was a problem with consuming these things for recreational or medicinal purposes. Cannabis was a thing almost all over the world.

It was only with the opium crisis between Great Britain and China and a racially motivated, and globally implemented prohibition policy against cannabis, which was led by the USA, since when cannabis was promoted into being illegal and socially sidelined.

For a few years now, however, the problem has been easing. Several states in the USA have joined the legalization movement since 2012, which begun with Washington State and Colorado back then. In the meantime, two entire nations have opened a regulated, legally accessible market for cannabis for free consumption. One of them is a country of the G7 nations and part of the most important economic powers in the “western" world: Canada. In the Netherlands, the coffee shop scene has been tolerated for 50 years, while there is a largely calm cannabis social club scene in Spain. This is because people who live in countries like Spain have certain freedoms, especially in the private sphere.

Map of countries with federal legal access regimes in 2014
Development of the liberalization of cannabis worldwide

In many third world countries, a small bribe, by Western standards, is enough to be able to devote oneself to consumption without blame, and in Germany we have also been making progress since 2017 with the passing of the Cannabis Medicinal Law. In 2019, Thailand was the first country in Southeast Asia to venture a foray by legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis “as a gift to the people”. South Africa achieved legalization in 2018 and the German Hemp Association raised almost 100,000 euros for its 2019 justice campaign. Oh right, Georgia legalized Cannabis in 2018 as well. You see, legalization is happening all over the world right now. Even in Germany there is some great chance of legalization because of the poll values of the Green Party right now.

The cannabis plant has a bright future ahead. I wish her the best in her comeback into humanity - that she can make the world a better place.

100 000 000 $ for californias cannabis industry - smoke, mirrors and big numbers

California has just approved 100 Million $ to help the struggeling local cannabis industry

Looking back, every decade is characterized by its trends and this is not different in a culture as versatile as cannabis. While hash from areas of the Middle East that had advanced to legendary status, such as the afghan hindu kush and Lebanon, as well as hand-rubbed charras from India and nepalese temple balls, were still in high demand among european hash connoisseurs in the 1970s This changed in the following decades more into an increased demand for moroccan dry sift hash.

Then the focus of the press and the increasing number of consumers shifted from processed, imported cannabis products to the import of dutch genetics for home growing and ultimately to radically cheap outdoor flowers from Albania and rural to urban indoor plantations. Unfortunately, the size was mostly disproportionate to the lack of knowledge and efforts regarding cultivation, storage and processing. The classification as professional plantations was only made by law enforcement and certainly did not coincide with the high expectations of an experienced grower towards professionality.

"Zurprize in a mylar" - way too many glossy packs

In the past ten years, so-called cali strains have been increasingly offered, traded and celebrated with an unprecedented collecting craze. While at the beginning there were isolated small, personally imported quantities of the coveted, colorful bags, you could quickly get your mylar bag, hopefully originally sealed, without even having to ask for it in the smallest towns for the appropriate money. The flowers and extracts offered set new standards for many in terms of the resin content, the terpene profile offered and the blossom-white appearance of the ash, which the usual commercial cannabis can no longer stand up to.
But the first association many central europeans have with the term "cali weed" is the much higher price, the reason is often not entirely understandable and offers a new opportunity for even bolder scams. The influence of these counterfeit goods on the european and asian cannabis markets, should not be part of this consideration and is therefore ignored for a better understanding.

Quite a few smokers completely renounced their old sources simply out of build up discontent of the poor quality and compensated the increased costs per gram with an adapted, lower consumption. Others, however, only now began to consume more regularly due to the more pleasant taste and reliable effect.

Therefore, the headline might shock many people, who were already convinced that with their collection of cookie seal stickers, they had renovated entire streets and schools or at least supported the local producers and dispensaries from Venice Beach to San Francisco financially. How can the cannabis bred and grown there, be so popular and at the same time cannabis economy is even in the big cities and world-wide known epicentres of the culture more and more in economic danger.

Wird die nächste Generation in einer besseren Zukunft aufwachsen?
Will the next generation grow up into a better tomorrow?

The long way after legalization into a legal state

The main reason that licensing is running so slowly is that most cities and counies do not employ enough staff in the relevant authorities to adequately examine the existing local companies. Companies that have the necessary capital, can afford to hire private experts and proactively submit the required forms when handing in the application, while most companies submit the application with the motive of saving a high position on the waiting list of the completely overloaded state test authorities of the respective administrative district.

This round, melodious sum could already make many skeptical, as it does not look like the result of a negotiation of the usual agricultural subsidies, which are often determined relative to sales and expected tax revenues as a share of a larger budget.

Unfortunately, it was chosen for one purpose in the first place. To sound good, to be easy to remember and to express sheer size. It is supposed to be a signal that California is now sending out into the world. We got it: Cannabis from California has become a global brand, we welcome this development, want to develop the current economic policy further on and see great potential for the future.

In the heated debate about which upcoming steps can strengthen companies most sustainably and to what extent the money is subsequently reinvested, it is only from a distance and from the point of view of the rest of the world, which is still plagued by prohibition, that the current developments even by conservative media houses have not been discussed as a question of health, crime fighting or drug policy, but rather be treated as a purely economic debate.

The admirable thing about this news is that California recognizes its brand and demands the economy accordingly, while in Germany, even the most exemplary cannabis companies, such as hanfnah in Lahr, the winner of the Entrepreneur Award Baden-Württemberg, are harassed and hindered in their growth.

The round sum may sound a little larger than its effect will actually be

And this is not only due to the decreasing value of the US-Dollar. According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, the money is primarily to be used enabling companies with non-permanent business licenses to take on the extremely costly process of obtaining permission to operate a permanently licensed dispensary or production facility.

The invested tax money flows back into the municipalities, but is redistributed in the process.
The fact that the licensing behind forest fires, corruption and the incessant prosecution at the federal level is only one of the problems that the companies that are to be helped are confronted with this must not be lost in mutual pats on the back and amazement at the beautiful, round sum.

Police units in many communities have a tradition of enriching themselves with goods confiscated from raids in order to counter budget cuts, for example in the context of the current demand for "defund the police" and the first pertinent resolutions, with targeted actions.
If instead of an armed cartel, a cannabis company with an expired or questionable license is in the crosshairs, the profits from the confiscation of new cars, state-of-the-art technology and pre-packaged, tradable goods are associated with a significantly lower risk and effort of police use . It is to be hoped that the subsidies will make such measures obsolete in the future and will finally result in a rethinking of the police and the judiciary, as well as an end to this morally highly reprehensible approach.

Focus on the tip of the iceberg - The really big market remains uncertain and invisible

California has long since established itself as the largest cannabis market in the world and has retained its pole position to this day. The entire economic performance of the federal state alone makes it one of the most profitable economic areas in the world and, according to a survey by the World Econonic Forum, is currently in sixth place ahead of India and France and behind Great Britain and Germany.

But when even the world market leader is doing so badly, the only conclusion is that the critical flaws must lie in the system itself. The fact that cannabis products are still incredibly successful as an economic asset certainly does not need to be explained again at this point. Skeptics from outside the industry will be aware of this fact at the latest on the basis of the reports on records on the stock market, which were set by cannabis companies, such as, at times in the business section of many newspapers.

Which aspects will shape the future of cannabis production?

Sustainability threatens to be ignored again

The 100 million that have now been reinvested in the country's top-selling agricultural product, which is known to have been recognized as the "new billion dollar crop" by Popular Mechanics Magazine  "new billion dollar crop" as early as 1938, can be assessed much better when compared to the billion in tax revenue the the billion in tax revenue that was reached after about two years after legalization in January 2018. In the wake of the pandemic and the devastating forest fires, the total income could still grow at an unchanged rate to $ 1.4 billion. According to Proposition 64, which was successfully resolved in 2016, these were invested in the elimination of environmental damage caused by illegal plantations in addition to educational projects and social housing.

In this context, the actual damage caused by the plants of a guerrilla grow is less often referred to, but above all the improper disposal of waste by the workers, the clearing of protected wild areas and, last but not least, the destruction as part of the police measures when the plantation is discovered. Manufacturing companies continue to tend to dispose of their commercial waste away from the locations of the unlicensed production facilities in order not to attract unnecessary attention, which could be drawn, for example, from repeated, appropriate recycling of the corresponding packaging materials.

Although these measures are intended to benefit nature conservation, environmental groups such as Defenders of Wildlife are right to criticize that they take effect too late. Only retrospectively and corrective rather than preventive. From their point of view, the renewed postponement of the deadline, as well as the announced investments, are nothing but a short-sighted tactic that postpones a complete re-regulation of licensing, while companies that continue to operate illegally, waste resources and dispose of them wildly are not opposed with the long-required determination. These aspects came up primarily when the Californian Senator Anna Caballero submitted the proposal to issue provisional licenses with a term of six years in the future, in order to avoid bureaucracy and, above all, the processing of a long overdue debate and instead choose the path of least resistance.

After the license is before the license

According to widespread fear, even this help comes too late, since many companies that decide to apply for the subsidies are very likely to be too slow to train and hire new test staff, either until 01.01.2022 or until the fourth deadline, on July 1st, 2022. It is unlikely, that a full tax audit, will have been granted, let alone the desireable license for the year that will probably have ended by then.

Companies that continue to apply for an extension of the temporary license, as was the case with 82% of the reported companies according to a federal survey in April, will continue to grow and produce during this time, with new products to determine the direction of the market and thereby themselves generate an advantage over future state-funded companies. The companies that operate without a license also benefit from this compulsory break, chosen by necessity, for a large number of up-and-coming regional competitors. Many of these companies, which currently either want to directly establish products on the market themselves or are merely suppliers to manufacturing companies that are also still struggling for their place in this changeable industry, could therefore find themselves in the predicament of either running out of resources to have to resort to the black market or to turn to the established producers and thus subordinate oneself to the competition for the time being in terms of pricing policy, working methods and product design, which could consolidate the already lacking dynamism of the market.

Does the money get to where it is needed most?

As usual, this cash hits the strongest muscle of the industrial organism: On the one hand, there are companies that have escaped illegality into a more or less regulated market in recent years and already have established product lines were able to position themselves firmly in the market in order to be able to concentrate on saving with state help in the licensing of their subcontractors for specific parts of the market. On the other hand, these companies come exclusively from the well-known boom regions on the same Cali cannabis map and another opportunity was missed to offer smaller communities an additional incentive to start licensing for the first time. Especially since the process itself has not been simplified and democratized as hoped.

While $ 22 million has already been budgeted for the expansion of the necessary administrative apparatus in Los Angeles, it will mainly support places whose names are already inextricably linked to the production of world-class cannabis. First and foremost Long Beach, San Francisco and Oakland.

Furthermore, a distorted image of California persists from a distance. The fully legalized, most populous state, in which in your mind's eye, between the old hippies in the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco, via the young trimmer on Murder Mountain in Humboldt County in the north, a continuous cloud of smoke and a blanket of hemp leaves of Yosemite National Park, to the metropolises of Los Angeles and San Diego on the border with Mexico.

In the sober factual situation, only a third of the counties and municipalities have made it possible for commercial cannabis companies to open dispensaries, farms and production facilities there.

black market still has, even in a rough estimate, four times the volume of the legal market for commercial cannabis products. Many companies have fallen victim to fraud in the burocracy of their licensing process and are now faced with the choice of discontinuing their business or of being legally prosecuted at the risk of continuing to manage what they have already built up, their customer base and their mother plants to maintain constant care, to maintain cooperation and to participate as comprehensively as possible in innovations on the market.

After a painfully long wait, relocation of company spots and the sad habit of raids and harassment by the DEA, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, they are finally in the best place at the best time to contribute their part to the status of the world market leader and to get back a share of the resulting growth of the industry for it in the foreseeable future.

Such toxic perceptions of their own culture quickly consolidates, including the myth of the survival of the best and the image of the relentless grower and selfless entrepreneur who is expected to work as a socio-political activist alongside his job. As if everyone with a clear mind, a vision and decades down this career path, doesn't see the slightest reason to stop now. All of this is done in the once silent and now louder and more desperate hope that the licensing process will be made more accessible in order to get fair opportunities to participate in building the world's top-selling cannabis industry.

Finally we can summarize:

California will support corporate projects that want to switch from temporary, to permanent licenses in order to promote stronger brands from their own state. This is no coincidence, as the local cannabis market appears to be superior to any international competition in many aspects. Small companies were supposed to be supported with the money, but now they have to expect the greatest complications and have to face disproportionately higher risks on their way to legality, six years after winning the battle for Proposition 64, due to the failure on the state and federal level.

The 100 million, which at first seemed to look like an oversized stream of money, now seem to have shrunk to almost to the image of a coffe cup against a forest fire. Outside the big cities, they are probably not enough ressources left to set up a sufficient number of authorities at the next critical point in summer 2022.

We hope that the state of California, in addition to its fixation on economic aspects, will now also focus its political efforts and on sustainability. In addition to the deficits in the environmental protection regulations, economic and cultural sustainability is also to be considered, which enables a fair distribution of the market shares among actually equal competitors, in which neither party can create particular advantages by circumventing individual rules.

(1) Article by conservative news outlet FOX reporting about cannabis without judgement

Is outdoor grown cannabis really inferior to indoor grown?

Gelato Sorbet Breeder: DNA Genetics Photo: der Budler

While in 2016, a survey by the Cannabis Business Times showed, that around 80% of all producers also cultivated their plants indoors, this trend had already changed by 2020. Only around 60% of all companies surveyed were producing cannabis indoors and have also focused on cultivation in greenhouses or outdoors until 2020.
On one hand, this is understandable due to the lower costs and on the other hand, it also has a positive effect on CO2-emissions. In addition, various new products and target groups ensure that greater attention is paid to diversity when choosing a location for the grow. [1]

Erdbeerli Sweet Pink Grapefruit Breeder: Alpine Seeds Photo: der Budler

Growing with sunlight is easy on the planet and your wallet

The cost savings in outdoor growing, compared to indoors, are enormous, as you need much less electricity for lamps, air conditioning, ventilation and workers, but growing in greenhouses also is a more environment friendly and cost-effective alternative compared to indoor growing.
According to a survey by Marijuana Business Magazine, the cost of a pound of outdoor cannabis is about $200 to $300, while growing it in a well-equipped greenhouse costs $300 to $600 a pound. In comparison, a pound of indoor cannabis costs between $400 to $800, which shows how different the required resources are. (2)

The situation is similar in the area of ​​CO2 consumption. If you consider that between 143 and 324 pounds of CO2 are emitted for just under 30 grams of cannabis in the USA, a rethink or diversification of the various cultivation options, depending on the product, is very welcome. (3)

This is why it makes sense, to outsource parts of the production outdoors or into greenhouses.
In addition, the proportion of consumers who consciously choose outdoor and greenhouse cannabis is steadily growing.

When producing the raw material, it is important to consider how the flowers are to be processed later.
Production outdoors or in the greenhouse has proven to be the ideal method under many circumstances for concentrates of all kinds, which are offered as hash, rosin, drops or BHO. This is practically emphasized by the fact, that companies like Alienlabs produce their cannabis in greenhouses, to extract their rosin from it. Further companies, like The Great Gardener, also rely heavily on outdoor cultivation to produce their hash.

The trend towards increased cultivation under the sun can also be observed in Canada.
According to MJBizDaily, there were only 42 licenses for outdoor cultivation in 2019, while there were already around 120 licenses in 2020, which shows that there is growing interest in outsourcing at least some parts of the production, even if the majority of production still takes place indoors, which is also due to the fact that cannabis in flower form is consumed and sold more than concentrates or edibles.

However, there is always one problem with growing outdoors: You are completely exposed to the current moods of the weather, which makes the choice of genetics more complicated, but also all the more important. A fact, that is increasingly noticeable watching the established companies, which is why a large part of the funds for research and development flows into this area. (4)

The problems caused by weather, can be solved in various ways using modern greenhouse technology, in contrast to the limited possibilities of outdoor cultivation.
However, there are several genetics that yield good results only with the power of the sun. There are even US-breeders, who choose to develop their projects in greenhouses, which makes the genetics ideal for cultivation in the same environment or outdoors later. In addition to the genetics, the success, of course, always depends heavily on the year itself and above all on the respective autumn, which just shouldn't get too humid.
But there are also strains for more humid climates, that offer high resistance to mold and other unpleasant surprises, such as pests and extreme weather conditions.

A European seed bank where you will definitely find, what you are looking for, if what you are looking for are beautiful outdoor strains, is ACE Seeds. The company was founded around 15 years ago and specializes in the selection of land races, which are then appropriately crossed with one another or are offered in their pure form.
Landraces are generally comparatively stable, because they have reproduced themselves wildly over many generations, until they were safely brought to many different homes by growers from around the globe as seeds from the relevant regions, such as Nepal, the Hind Kush or the Rif. The portfolio includes a wide variety of treasures from all over the world and even a cross of swiss strains, that caused a stir in the 90s and 2000s.

ACE Seeds also offers a Lebanese landrace with the simple and unmistakable name "Lebanese", which, depending on the selection process, has a very low THC and relatively high CBD content, and was therefore used in Switzerland for the production of CBD-flowers and even served as the basis for new varieties.

I was able to examine two special varieties with a normal THC-content from ACE Seeds with my own eyes in recent years and was very impressed by the appearance of the two women. On one side there was the Nepal Jam and on the other side was the Violetta, both very pleasant varieties, that have a lot to offer in terms of yield and resistance, but also tastewise.

It starts with the Nepal Jam, here a landrace from Nepal was crossed with the Jamaican variety Jamaica85 and stabilized over several generations. This resulted in a sativa-dominant hybrid, which impresses with its short flowering time and resistance to mold and other inconveniences and is therefore also ideally suited for cooler climates.
Outdoors, this fine one will be ready at the end of September or beginning of October in central european latitudes.

The aroma of the Nepal Jam is classically spicy with terpenes, such as myrcene and pinene and offers musk aromas with a hint of spice that is reminiscent of exotic herbs.
The manufacturers also mention, that the strain is very suitable zo be processed into hash. With the Nepal Jam you can celebrate a journey back time in the flavors of bygone days and you will definitely not be disappointed.

Nepal Jam Breeder: ACE Seeds Photo: der Budler
Nepal Jam Breeder: ACE Seeds Photo: der Budler

Now it´s time to look at the good Violetta. For her a Malawi Purple mother was crossed with a Purple Chitral Kush and the Violetta was born. This is also a sativa-dominant hybrid, but it also has more than a good trace of indica in it.
The Violetta is also ideal for outdoor cultivation, which, according to the manufacturer, can cope with the flowering period in good time up to the 47th degree latitude.

Similar to the Nepal Jam, the optimal harvest time is to be expected between the end of September and the beginning of October.
Furthermore, the Violetta has a high resistance to powdery mildew, spider mites and mold, which is why it is ideal for outdoor and greenhouse projects. Between the Violettas, I saw two phenotypes, a green phenotype, which exuded spicy to earthy aromas and a purple pheno, which had Haze aromas paired with a sweet component.
In summary: A really versatile strain, that has different flavors and should satisfy pretty much every consumer.

Violetta Breeder: ACE Seeds Foto: der Budler

Of course, there are many other varieties, that achieve the best results outdoors or in the greenhouse, regardless of whether the companies come from Europe or the USA. Especially in the USA, new, very fine, well-balanced strains have been created, equipped with the best potential to win prizes worldwide, that also achieve top yields and stable results in our latitudes.
One of the companies from the USA that focuses on special strains with breathtaking terpene profiles that can also be processed well into hash or other concentrates is Aficionado.

Into the future with sunlight

Even, if the coming years will still bring a lot of indoor cannabis from the farms into the shelves, growing it in greenhouses or outdoors, has become a real alternative, which is also used by large companies, to reduce costs and protect the environment.

In particular, growing in greenhouses is becoming more and more popular and thanks to the latest technology, it can now proudly stand its ground to indoor growing, because growing in greenhouses has just become as easy to structure, as indoor production and quality has also become seriously comparable.

This makes greenhouses extremely interesting, especially in terms of process standardization, which is essential for the medical sector. Even companies, like Tilray, produce in greenhouses, their flowers are sold to the user as a finished product and have the GMP standard, which is essential for the production of phyto-medicinal products and requires a certain level of control of the various parameters, such as light , Temperature and humidity.

(1) Cannabis Business Times Indoors, Greenhouse or Outdoors: Where Are Cannabis Cultivators Growing?
(2) The great cultivation debate
(3) TED-Talk: Whats the carbon footprint of cannabis, surprisingly high
(4) Growth in Canadian outdoor cannabis grow licenses continues despite high profile exits