Hi I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday look for a fresh new episode where I’ll take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www(dot)cannainsider(dotcom. That’s www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. We’ve talked about CBD or cannabidiol on the show many times. Just to review though CBD is a nonpsychoactive compound from the cannabis or hemp plant that has many benefits. Now our friends at Treatibles have put together a wellness CBD chew that can help your dog or cat become more calm and balanced. Valerie wrote in to tell us about her experience.
Valerie writes my ten year old Husky/Shepherd/Lab mix Chuck is my faithful companion. Chuck got significantly quantifiably better from using Treatibles. It took about three days of feeding Chuck two to three doses a day to see the full effect but he did get noticeably more comfortable on the first day of feeding them to him. Before CBD Chuck limped and couldn’t enjoy longer walks though he clearly had the desire for them. Once he started taking the CBD chews he could leap around again. Thanks for writing in Valerie. Treatibles are legal and available in all 50 states right now. If you want to learn more about what Treatibles can do for your pet visit www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com/pet again that’s www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com/pet. Now here’s your program.
Matthew: We are fortunate to have Harry Resin on the show today. Harry has a column in High Times Magazine that focuses on cannabis cultivation. Harry welcome to CannaInsider.
Harry: Hey Matt give thanks. I really appreciate you having me on here.
Matthew: Glad your here. To give listeners a sense of geography tell us where you are today?
Harry: I am in Nor Cal at the moment.
Matthew: Okay and I am in the beautiful Green Lake, Wisconsin so we’re a few miles apart but this sounds like we’re in the same room.
Harry: Yeah I know it’s amazing. The quality is fantastic.
Matthew: Can you tell us a little bit about your background? How you got into cannabis and how you came to write a column for High Times?
Harry: Sure. So I was fortunate enough to move to Amsterdam about 1999 and had the good pleasure of meeting some Americans that were if you will refugees from the drug war here in America that had I don’t want to say fled but that had left for greener pastures in Amsterdam. One of those was a very famous breeder named Soma and he kind of took me under his wing and through Soma I met someone named Ed Borg who was a photographer at the time for High Times and he was in the process of setting up a seed company which was called Delta 9 Labs and he was looking to live most of the year in Asia looking genetics and doing a bunch of breeding projects out there. So I happened to be in Amsterdam and we started to work together and one thing led to another and we had a seed company for about six or seven years together called Delta 9 Labs.
Matthew: Oh very interesting. What was that like living in Amsterdam during that time good memories?
Harry: Yeah it was the best. It was amazing. For me that vibe and all of us coming together and sharing knowledge. The beginning of things like overgrow and how the internet changed the spread of knowledge is in my belief really what led to the explosion and if you will the hundredth monkey phenomenon that’s happening right now where legalization or some form of medical allowance is spreading rapidly all over the world. The fact that Canada is now going to legalize it in 2017 is amazing.
Matthew: Yeah. It really is but we still have little bits like some government organizations that still just want to hold on to the way things were and you can see them throwing tantrums even though the wave is unstoppable at this point.
Harry: Yeah I think the same thing would have happened in prohibition times with liquor. You still would have had those holdouts that are like well no and it’s like well actually yes you lose.
Matthew: Yeah, yeah. Well what are you doing now apart from your column with High Times?
Harry: Well oh so to come back to how I started to write for High Times is in the process of us having the seed company we realized that there was a lot of information out there that was lacking and I got very lucky living in Europe to have met a lot of the publishers and a lot of the editors for all the different publications and just started to write for the different magazines and then High Times hired somebody named Nico Escondido who now needs no introduction. Because he’s pretty famous out there and when he first started he reached out to us and came to Amsterdam and we became friends and through that connection I started to write for High Times.
Matthew: Got it. Okay.
Harry: Yeah and so what am I doing today? I moved out to the Bay area to work on very intense marker assisted breeding project with in fact Nico Escondido and that’s something that we’ve been working on for the last two years under the auspices of CGI the Cannabis Genetics Institute.
Matthew: And tell us about that in a little more detail.
Harry: So fundamentally in the last ten years there’s been a lot of advances made on the marker assisted breeding side which basically means that through DNA sampling and various types of experiments a lot of the biologists today in commercial ag have found ways to use this new genetic profiling and this genetic information in an advanced sense of breeding. So what does that translate too? By looking for various markers in the plant so the plant works the same way a human does. It has chromosomes. Those combine and then on a DNA level there are various markers and those markers can be examined. So you could find markers for the sex of a plant and you could find markers for the color. Purple was one that was found and now they’re starting to look at the way in which cannabinoids are SEN phased meaning how does THC form? How does CBD form and what we’re able to look at is via certain ratios of cannabinoids we can get a sense as to the zygosity of a plant.
Meaning will the plant be heterozygos? Will it be homozygos dominant? Will it be homozygos recessive and from a breeding standpoint that will give us a more in depth view of the plant and a quicker path to get to an end result because we could test our leaves, we could look at different ratios now that will give us a bit of a head start on understanding how the plants will work when you combine them with other plants.
Matthew: Wow. That’s fascinating.
Matthew: Well let’s start with some cultivation questions. There’s a lot of people out there that would love to pick your brain on cultivation. So if you were helping someone, a friend or a client set up their first commercial indoor grow what advice would you give them and I don’t mean so much as the tacticals like blocking and tackling.
Matthew: And play by play but more of the lens.
Matthew: This is how I as Harry look and approach a commercial grow.
Harry: So for me the first thing would be ask a lot of questions because here in California there is a very specific of regulations and guidelines and that’s the first thing. Does the location of the grow fit into the framework that is in place whatever that regulatory framework is depending on what state you’re in because the last thing you want to do is put a couple million into a project and then find out that the zoning isn’t right. So I would say that that’s absolutely the first thing. Learn the landscape of the land and know what you’re getting involved with and then from there really think about in terms of layout and construction really think about what works best based on the situation that you’re in. You get a lot of people that sort of want to build and go in and change but work with what you have. That’s what I tell people.
So if you have the ability to create metonym well create a metonym because you’re double your space in that location. If you can’t work in that location with a mezzanine but you have a huge parking lot well maybe you want to throw some hoops up or throw a little greenhouse in the parking lot out and have a little bench space that’s a sort of mixed like greenhouse space. So it’s really work with what you have and then once you actually get into the space I would then; I always recommend people using smaller chambers. So chambers with 25, 50 lights rather than blowup these huge 100 light spaces because it’s much easier to manage a smaller chamber than it is a huge 100 x 100 meter room filled with 150 lights. That’s always been my experience that better to create smaller spaces in a large cultivation site that you can manage. It just makes things much easier with regards to takedown plant counts.
Matthew: Harry are there any rookie mistakes you see in grows that could be easily avoided.
Harry: Yes absolutely. One of the biggest that I see especially in California is under air conditioning. So here it’s very common for people to build closed rooms which is basically a self contained grow room with CO2 added, air conditioned, and really sort of perfectly in tune environment but one of the biggest mistakes that I see is that people will often want to cut a corner and for whatever reason they’ll spend less money on their air conditioning when fundamentally that’s one of the most important aspects of room design. So I would definitely stress work with somebody that understands airflow, that understand BTU’s and cooling, and I’m not saying that you need to necessarily over cool your rooms because you don’t want to get a situation where your AC is short cycling meaning that it comes on and off very quickly because it’s too powerful but you definitely want to ensure that your rooms are cool enough because in California in some places it gets to be 110 degrees in the summer and a too hot room will always kill your plants.
Matthew: So let’s talk a little bit about airflow. How do you think about that? What’s important? I mean how do you approach it?
Harry: It really depends. In Holland we approached it from a completely different standpoint and I think that for the perfect room there needs to be a balance of both a closed sort of system as well as a system that makes use of air pressure. So to sort of further expand upon that in Holland we never really used air conditioners because the temperature was cool enough that if we vented the rooms enough using the right measurement of airflow so how much exhaust we needed to put out there versus how much heat was in the room for the lights and the CO2; all these different factors we would vent the rooms. Now that worked very well in a cooler climate. Now here in California that does not work so well. However the best rooms that I’ve seen made use of scientific clean rooms. So in scientific environments you have these clean rooms whereby you walk into one room that has over pressure which sort of blows on you, you put on a suit, and then you go into your other room which has under pressure.
So when you try to open the door in the grow room in Holland it’s hard to open the door because the pressure sucks that the door is suction closed and what you have is you have airflow going through the entire canopy of the plants. Here often people confuse airflow with wind. So you’ll come into rooms here that have all these fans and yeah that’s great and they’re circulating the cool air through the room but fundamentally the idea of pressure is not the same so if you went into a room in Holland and stood there and smoked a joint that smoke from the joint would throw itself through the room and you’d actually see the flow of smoke whereas here it’ll just get knocked around by the wind which is basically the fans. So I tell people look at the difference between wind and air pressure and that’s something that is often overlooked here in the states.
Matthew: Were people using greenhouses in Holland to grow cannabis when you were there?
Harry: They were as well but that was a little bit trickier because as most people don’t realize it’s still even to this day highly illegal. So in Holland you really had to be very careful to avoid detection. So fundamentally that was one of the things that prevented people from growing in greenhouses because it just was; there would be literally helicopters flying overhead. They were really looking for growers in Holland.
Matthew: Wow. Well now there’s less of a pressure in most states to avoid detection because it’s legal at least at the state level but there’s ordinances being created to curb the scent of cannabis because some neighbors don’t want their whole neighborhood to smell like it.
Matthew: Is there any suggestions you have there to keep the smell down?
Harry: Yeah. I mean I would work with can filters. Those in my experience have always been the best. And always over filter so you’re going to put filters in your grow room but then think if you’re sitting near your house and you’re a big heavy guy and you smoke a lot of weed your house is going to smell like weed. So put a filter in your house. A lot of people forget that the hallway in their grow sometimes might smell. Put a filter in it. Don’t be afraid to put filters to get rid of smell that’s why they’re there.
Matthew: Right. How do you look at nutrients and approach that when you’re trying to optimize your plants?
Harry: Truthfully with nutrients I’ve been very lucky because I’ve been working with advanced nutrients for probably about the last 15 or 16 years. When they first made a push into Europe my partner Ed and I at the time we were quite fortunate to be one of the first early adapters of the nutrient line in Europe because we knew the person that was importing it and then when I moved here again writing for High Times and working with Nico I got to meet big Mike and I really got to sort of get into the advanced line and yeah I’ve got to say I really like it. I know it’s expensive. I know people that potentially have their complaints about buying products that have a lot of water but if you look at the connoisseur A and B as far as a complete A and B nutrient it has one of the most well balanced formulas I’ve ever seen. There’s five or six things in there that normally you would have to buy separately from fulvic acid to humic acid and plus they have this PH perfect system which basically you add the A and the B and it completely PH’s the nutrient mix so you don’t really have to add a PH down. I just like it. It’s easy. It works for me.
Matthew: Okay and what are some of?
Harry: And personally the results are amazing that’s the other thing. You got to go with what you get and we’re getting almost two and a half pounds a 1,000 watt light. So we’re getting the yield and we’re getting the quality.
Matthew: Okay and let’s proactively kind of look at some of the complaints there or the possible concerns. You say that hey there’s too much water in it but it’s not really so much about the water as is it effective is what you’re saying.
Harry: What are the complaints that people will have with a lot of these nutrients is you’re getting a 23 liter container of nutrients where a large chunk of that is water. A mycorrhizal might only be 2% in which case actually 90% of that bottle is water. So people could argue well a powdered food or a food that contains the raw elements and that might just require RO water would be more cost efficient to ship. Just things like that from an environmental point of view.
Matthew: Okay and you mentioned PH earlier let’s talk a little bit about that. I mean most people remember their high school or elementary school discussions about PH and acid and base but they really don’t know how it fits in at a high level with cannabis. How do you think about PH?
Harry: PH is very, very important especially depending on what medium you’re using because with certain mediums the PH matters less with soil so like the real dirt ([17:54] unclear) and peat moss and a mixture with lime. A really good solid heavy mix you almost never need to PH your nutrients because it’s always being buffered by the soil. However when you’re just working with rockwool you absolutely need to PH and be very on top of it because your rockwool is not buffering it. So it really depends on the medium you’re using but PH is very important and often under looked and basically what is PH? So it talks about the; well PH is a scale measuring alkalinity and acidity in something. So in this case it would be in your medium or in your nutrients. So as we know with humans anything that’s too acidic is not good for us, we actually want to be little bit higher in the alkaline range.
Now with cannabis you want to fluctuate your PH between around 5.7 and 6.2 and the reason for that is what PH is doing in cannabis is it largely dictates the type of electroconductivity in the medium so depending on how acidic it is versus how alkaline it is different nutrients will be uptaken at different pionts. So certain things will be taken in in the lower range between the 5.5 and the 5.6. Some of the micronutrients where as nitrogen is usually more taken in around the 5.9, 6 range so it really depends where you are on the spectrum of PH as to how your nutrients will be best absorbed into your plant.
Matthew: I follow you on Instagram and I saw in your feed that you’re using SmartBee controllers. Can you tell me what those are and why you use them and why they’re important?
Harry: Sure. No I’m glad that you bring those up. So the SmartBee controllers are a system that is in the next several years going to be even more valuable than it is right now because there’s all of these plugins that are coming. So fundamentally the SmartBee is a room monitoring system and controller. So it works a hub. That hub goes online. It allows you to access your room information from any type of cellular device or computer. It works via a web app and then you can also control things at the moment via what they call Stingers which are basically plugs that are controlled via these control units. So you could plug your humidifiers in and they now have a device that’s going to start working with the Gavita’s so you can plug your Gavita’s and control your lights.
You can work with a drip system. They have a very advanced moisture detection system that you can put in your medium and the moisture detection system can work with your drip system to ensure that if your plants ever dip below a certain moisture level the drip system will always kick on. It’s a phenomenal system. So basically in your room you have a monitor which is a light, temperature, humidity, and CO2 monitoring device so it gives you over the course of seven days a complete overview of how your room is looking from temperature to humidity, how your AC’s are working. So from my perspective it gives me an unbelievable look into my grow room over the course of a week, over the course of 2, 3 days I can narrow it down to 24 hours if I want and then on top of that it allows me to better control my humidifiers as an example, to control eventually my air conditioners, and the reasons that these systems are better is because if you look at lot of commercial dehumidifiers even though they might be very expensive the actual sensors inside are not that great. So there’s usually a very large differential with temperature or humidity whereas these units are very expensive and very precise. So as a result of that you get much better control through your devices.
Matthew: So pretty interesting there. It’s kind of like home automation for the grow room to make it kind of a parallel there.
Harry: Yeah a parallel to like a nest kind of thing.
Matthew: Okay and what do you see as kind of your biggest benefits when you’re using these SmartBee controllers? I haven’t heard of them so I’m interested in top of mind.
Harry: So many benefits.
Harry: So the first benefit is if your lights go out you get an immediate email from the system. So like short of you having just visual cameras and then you having to look every 10 or 15 minutes this actually tells you. So you don’t need to do that. How can we look at our cameras in our room and constantly know if the lights are working properly but this system will email you if it’s not. I look at it like an early warning system and in addition to that it makes understanding your rooms much easier. So if you look at your plant and you go into the room and say okay why is my plant a little bit yellow here? What’s happening here? You can really dial in your rooms not just from a nutrient point of view but from an environmental point of view of actually looking at potential flaws and why the environment might be fluctuating, why this one room might generate more powdery mildew? Maybe your humidity levels are fluctuating too much and your dehumidifier needs to be changed or the filters or broken on it any number of reasons so this system gives you a real in depth look at your room from a technical point of view.
Matthew: That’s great. So you’re monitoring all your variables.
Harry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matthew: In one clean dashboard.
Harry: Yeah exactly.
Matthew: Okay. Well let’s talk about clones. First why do growers use them and second how do you make healthy clones? I’ve heard little tips from growers in the past where they say make sure to dip your scissors in alcohol before cutting a clone and there’s little things like that. I know there’s all kinds of knowledge that are wrapped up in people’s minds and we just never get to hear about clones so much. So tell us why you use clones if you do and how you use them in best practices and so forth?
Harry: So generally clones are easier to use because for the most part you know what you’re getting. There are some cases where you experience something called genetic drift which is basically where you have a mother plant and you keep taking clones from it and then over time those clones will be slightly lesser than the previous version.
Harry: That can happen but generally clones are very consistent. So I mean I’ve seen mother plants that have been kept for twenty years. Clones have taken off and the plants are just as robust. A lot of the OG’s back in the day were very old. You had some SFV’s that now are fifteen year old plants. Then in some cases people have kept moms for four or five years maybe even longer ten years. So clones are very important from that aspect to be able to have a closed system where your plants are growing, you have your moms, you can make your clones, you know your harvest cycles, you can put your clones into your rooms, you can veg them. It gives the grower a better control over all aspects of his system. You know what genetics you’re putting in, you know you’re yields are going to be there, you know how to work with the plants, you know what nutrients work best, so that’s fundamentally why people use clones because they like to keep things in a closed system especially also you don’t want to introduce pests and other diseases that might come in from bringing clones in.
So clones is a very easy way for a grower to start with and plus when you start with seed it takes a little bit longer because it will be about three weeks from the little seedling till you can take the clone of that and then you have to sex them out if they’re not feminized so it’s just much easier with a clone. You know what it is, you know that it’s female all the time, and you know what you’re going to get. Now as to making clones the one thing that’s very, very important that I can’t stress enough is a clean, sterile environment so that’s why as you mentioned people will clean your scissors. I recommend using razorblades for the final cut. So fundamentally what you’re doing is you’re taking a little shoot off of your mother plant and you’re looking to keep at least three internodes. Those are the tiny little points where the leaves connect to the main stem and you want the clone to be about 4 or 5 inches.
You generally clean it up. Take off the fan leaves and what’s very important is to make a clean cut at the bottom of it at a sort of 45 degree angle the way you would cut fresh flowers before you put them in a vase and then you want to dip it immediately into some type of rooting solution hormone gel because that will encapsulate the open plants tissue. Otherwise what could happen is an air bubble could get in there and it could develop yeah kind of like a human aneurysm where the air bubble gets into the plant and the plant will literally just die.
Matthew: So that 45 degree cut is that to provide more surface are for moisture and so forth or why a 45 degree angle?
Harry: It’s to increase surface area and to better have the roots form and to better have a closed sort of dip you know what I’m saying? That when you dip it into that hormone solution it really encapsulates that and at a 45 degree angle it just covers that surface area much better.
Matthew: Okay and if someone tries to not use a hormone solution and just like hey I’m going to throw this in this soil what can they expect?
Harry: Very little success rate but often you’ll still have some clones that will root but I would not recommend that.
Matthew: Okay. Anymore tips on grow room management?
Harry: Well just bear in mind that grow room management is basically another word for logistics and the best grow rooms I’ve seen are run by people that really understand logistics and understand management. Understand that you need to have a really good team around you and don’t be afraid to hire people. I mean obviously you have to trust the people but work with people. You can’t do everything yourself and that’s something that I often see where people don’t necessarily want to hire enough employees but fundamentally in any other industry you know that if you needed an employee you would hire an employee. So this is the same thing and the plant really needs care and attention so things can very quickly get overlooked.
Matthew: Let’s pivot to pests and diseases. What’s the best way to create an environment that really minimizes the opportunity for pests and diseases to take a foothold would you say?
Harry: Well so what I said earlier the best way is fundamentally to work with a clean room.
Harry: So every room is a clean room, every room you have your own Tyvek suit, your own suit to go into that room, you have shoe covers or your own specific shoes for that room. You want to track as minimal amount of spores or eggs or things from room to room. Often you’ll see growers that have three or four locations and they’ll literally come from one location and they won’t change their clothes, they won’t put on a jumpsuit, they’ll go right into another room. So yeah I see stuff getting spread all the time.
Matthew: What are the most common diseases and pests you see and if a cultivator is unfortunate enough to get some of those what’s the best mitigation plan?
Harry: So here the most common things that generally I’ve seen are spider mites and powdery mildew. Spider mites are the worst because often people are using environments that still have wood; wooden tables, wooden walls, wooden drywall well or not drywall but wooden walls or sheets or whatever people are using to build their rooms and I would definitely recommend avoiding as much wood as you can. Use things like FRP which is a plastic coating that kind of works like a wallpaper. You just glue it up to your walls and you can wash it down. Avoid, avoid wood because it literally is a nesting ground for mold spores and bugs and all kinds of nasty things.
Now if you do indeed get these I am really a proponent of organic or bioinsecticide type products which is bacteria’s; beneficial bacteria’s. Some examples of products would be Actinovate or Serenade which are products for powdery mildew that have beneficial bacteria in them and they work very well.
Matthew: I haven’t heard many people talk about the bacteria as a solution. I mean it’s usually some harsh chemical or sequestering the plants. Is this starting to take; has this been around for a while or is this starting to become more of the norm would you say?
Harry: It’s been around for a while and it is indeed starting to become more of a norm as people are testing stuff more and more and finding what’s it called myclobutanil which is one of the things in Eagle 20. You see a lot of these product recalls because of pesticides and different things that are being used. As we shift to a more and more conscious consumer who realizes that these pesticides are terrible for you and they don’t want them in their products we’re now starting to see that people are shifting more towards these bio type insecticides and one thing to bear in mind which came up at this quality control seminar that I was just at down in LA is what people also don’t realize is when it comes to making concentrates if you are using flowers or trim or anything that has been treated with any type of insecticide that is one of these really bad insecticides when you put it through a closed loop or if people are open blasting you’re basically concentrating that chemical into your concentrate.
So it’s really, really dangerous and really bad and people really need to be aware that if they’re going to spray any type of pesticide or any type of chemical that they should absolutely test their stuff before putting it in any type of concentrate.
Matthew: I know it’s hard to generalize but as you talk and work with people in different parts of the country how do you see that different regions are different? For example maybe even Amsterdam, Canada, the Eastern United States, Midwest, and then California. Is there any general perceptions you have on how each region differs and who’s kind of the thought leader there?
Harry: Yeah. I think largely what I noticed; the main thing is flavors. The flavors really fluctuate what people like based on region. So there was just a study that was done by one of the labs and they found that the limonene and the certain terps that are more common in different OG’s are more favored down in So Cal versus the alpha-pinenes and some other terps that are more in the different types of cookie strains that are more favored up north in Nor Cal.
Matthew: Hmm that’s interesting.
Harry: Bud that comes from Colorado is often a lot dryer because of the altitude. Yeah it really depends. I would say though the largest thing is flavor and the Colorado thing is rare because I mean all of Colorado for the most part is altitude. And then yeah flavor would be the main thing because if you look at Amsterdam some of the hazes that are more common there are less common here because people like the flavor more.
Matthew:. You recently wrote an article about natural dabbing. Can you tell us about that?
Harry: Sure. So of course as concentrates have become more and more established and more prolific so to speak well there’s been a divide in the concentrate community amongst solvent lists and solvent base. So now some of the solvent list ones they’re categorizing as well as CO2 extracted stuff and you have these Rotovaps making this clear distillate. I mean concentrates have really gone to the next level. So in that crowd you have the three sort of older, simplest techniques which to come back to when we started when I first moved to Amsterdam I started making bubble hash for the coffee shops because that was one of the newest more popular forms of hash. So natural dabbing solvent list types of concentrates would be things like Ice Wax which is a type of bubble hash just super, super refined and really dialed in.
Another type of solvent list hash would be dry-sift. People know it as Kief. But if you get down to 99.999% pure heads there’s a guy now who just moved recently to Oregon but he was based up in Seattle or up in Washington State rather. His name is Cuban grower. His dry-sift is amazing and he’s literally won maybe the last 10 solvent list concentrate cups because his stuff is just so amazing and it’s literally dry-sift but the best dry-sift I’ve ever seen.
Matthew: What’s closed loop extraction mean?
Harry: So a closed loop versus an open blasting type of system is when it comes to using solvents typically butane. So a closed loop system is a much safer way to extract the oil from the plant where basically the entire system is closed so at no given moment you have a room filled with a very volatile solvent such as butane and this is a system that’s been used yeah primarily in essential oil extraction for years. However when concentrates first hit the market and first started most people were open blasting which is a term used to describe just basically emptying a can of butane into a tube filled with plant material or bud and then fundamentally that tube would off gas. Now some people were smart enough to do it outside in the backyard. Other people unfortunately were not smart enough to do it outside and were doing it indoors.
Now when you fill a room without any type of ventilation with butane and someone lights a cigarette or someone turns on a light switch that has a spark or you turn up the dial on your heater or any of these things that has a spark I’ve seen it before the entire room will go up in flames and have a giant explosion.
Matthew: Wow. That would suck.
Matthew: I was hearing a lot more about that like two or three years ago I feel like but it seems like you don’t hear about it as much.
Harry: No now there’s a lot more, like the price of the closed loop systems has come down and people realize if I’m doing it I might as well do it right and invest in proper equipment.
Matthew: Okay. Where do you see concentrates going in the next few years? How do you see that evolving?
Harry: Truthfully it’s pretty evolved at the moment. There’s a company here in the Bay area called Guild Extracts and they were one of the first to produce THCa Crystalline which fundamentally looks like a white crystal so like a white quartz but you can dab it if you want but I would recommend not dabbing it because it’s THCa so it’s undecarboxylated meaning that it’s not psychoactive. So I’ve been giving it to a lot of patients that I work with for pain management and it works amazing. You can literally eat a pin drop and it will be as effective as maybe two 400 mg Advil’s; a pin drop.
Harry: And it doesn’t get you high.
Matthew: Wow. I can’t wait for that to come to market more readily.
Harry: Right. That’s the future. As things become more regulated, more legalized, more accepted it will allow us that have been doing this for so long to actually put our information out there in a more public way. There’s other cannabinoids that are not getting talked about such as CBGa which actually has neuroregenerative capacities. So I know people that have been beta testing various combinations of cannabinoids with as an example stroke victims and their recovery has been unbelievable so much so that a lot of the western doctors are sort of being a little suspicious like hey what are you giving this person and in fact you can tell them because it’s not that illegal. It’s CBGa. It’s like people; it’s not Delta9 THC. It’s not the same thing. It’s a cannabinoid but it actually helps repair and regenerate brain tissue.
Matthew: You mentioned you work with patients sometimes. What are the most common applications that you see cannabis treat well?
Harry: The two most common that I would see is any type of I don’t want to say per say Epilepsy but seizure based illnesses, any people having seizures. Generally I’ve seen the effectiveness be like from 200 seizures a day down to sometimes none. So I think that that’s amazing and pain management is another thing where I’ve seen it incredibly effective.
Matthew: Gosh and...
Harry: But there’s so many. I mean it manages insulin production and helps with diabetes. It helps with glaucoma. It’s a bronchial dilator. It’s like the sky is the limit. This is one of the most amazing and it’s probably the most amazing and wonderful and health providing plant on planet Earth.
Matthew: I haven’t heard about the diabetes approach. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Harry: I’ve only read a few articles on it. I’m not that informed but I do know that a lot of the cannabinoids THCVa, THCa help modulate insulin production in the endocannabinoid system.
Matthew: That’s interesting especially with so many people suffering from Type II diabetes.
Harry: Yeah absolutely.
Matthew: Let’s switch over to lighting really quick.
Matthew: What are your thoughts on lighting these days? Are you looking more at LEDs used, LEDs now? What are your general thoughts?
Harry: Well Nico and I did a very; well primarily he did a very large; I helped him out. A very large lighting test that we had done in our CGI facility here in the Bay area and we used a Quantum Light Meter which was like a five thousand dollar light meter. This thing measures PAR which is the most important aspects of lights and PAR is photosynthetic active radiation. That’s actually what the plants take in and what allows the plants to grow. The whole talk of lumens and all of this we see in lumens. That’s how we measure foot candles all of that. Plants don’t see light. They absorb light by radiation. It’s a completely different way of thinking. So what we found is that the dual ended specifically the Gavita lights were the best. They were by far amazing.
I’ve switched out a few rooms and have been using these dual ended Gavita’s myself and yields the structure of the plants are amazing. It’s been an unbelievable development. As far as LEDs go we had tested a bunch of LEDs. The best ones that we had tested were from a company called Truth LED and they were a unit called an M6 and they tested really, really, really, really well. However the LEDs that often test really well are also very high in their output of wattage so the whole idea of saving your wattage by using LEDs is not often comparable because often the units that you do need to use that are the better ones do in fact use a tremendous amount of power because you might need four of those lights to 1,000 and if you’re using four lights that are all 600s then that’s 2400 versus maybe one light that’s a 1,000.
So that’s where I found still that LEDs are not quite there. Maybe as a veg room application or for people that just don’t have a choice. Look the quality is there 100%. I’ve seen some amazing quality buds come out of LED but from a commercial standpoint you just don’t get the yield. So I can’t operate a warehouse where I’m not at 95% or 100% productivity because I’m just losing money.
Matthew: What about soils? We talked about soil a little bit but what’s your favorite or ideal soil for cannabis and has that changed over the years?
Harry: Yes it has, it has absolutely. In the very beginning I was using mostly and again I would use sort of medium as the general term and then even soil is very confusing as a term.
Matthew: Yes it is.
Harry: Because I came here and I’m like yeah I need soil and then Nico was like there’s no soil here and I’m like well what do you mean like dirt. Dirt with humus and all this stuff. I need this dirt. He’s like well no we have sphagnum and peat and it’s all these different terms. So even that became well what actually is soil, planting soil you know what I mean. So in Europe we always used a type of planting soil which was actually a mix sphagnum, peat, dolomite lime, humus all of these things, worm castings, Guano. We would often just make a mix and then just give the plants water.
Harry: Which was very easy.
Harry: However the problem with that is you then have to potentially reuse it or throw it away. It becomes very bulky to get rid of all this dirt or you’ve got to find a spot where you can cook it out in the sun and then mix it up. So it can be a little bit time consuming and bulky. I found that cocoa works very well. It also gives the bud a very good flavor. Truthfully though there is nothing like soil. The soil just gives the bud this rich flavor and this powerful high comparatively to what I would call the more hydro mediums like rockwool or hydrocorals or any type of sort of non holding. Dirt holds in that flavor. Compacts it in and builds it up over time with the plant. The other mediums are so porous that things just fly right through.
Matthew: When you look out three to five years what are you most excited about in terms of cannabis growing technology and cultivation in general?
Harry: Yeah I think the future for cannabis is very interesting because as I go to more and more of these summits and more of these conferences what I start to see is applications from other industries and in this case there is so many advances that have been made in commercial ag over the last 25 years that are only now coming to fruition in cannabis just because it has been largely an underground science for so many years that I think that that is where I’m looking to see how we can take the best of both worlds and to see people that are interested in moving into cannabis from other plant sciences so other ag and I think that as we get more biologists, more chemists, more of the people that want to play with the plant from what I’m doing as far as the breeding projects and working with Steephill who we work with very closely. They’re really helping us with a lot of this stuff. I mean the sky is the limit. It’s amazing what’s coming.
Matthew: Harry let’s switch over to some personal development questions. As you look over the arc of your life is there a book that really stands out as having a big impact on your life that you’d like to share with listeners?
Harry: Yeah it’s funny I saw that question and I thought wow that’s a deep question. What would that book be and it’s funny I read comic books so I was thinking hmm what’s actually my favorite comic book storyline and well I had some deep spiritual experiences and I had this book that was this amazing book that really blew my mind and changed my whole life is it that book? So I thought wow this is a very difficult question but so fundamentally the book that actually completely changed my life is “The Diary of a Yogi” by somebody named Yogananda and if people are into any type of spirituality or want to know about the magical possibilities of life and can suspend a little bit of disbelief I would read that book “The Diary of a Yogi.”
Matthew: I haven’t heard that one. That’s a great suggestion.
Harry: From Yogananda.
Matthew: Is there a tool web based or otherwise you consider indispensible to your day to day productivity that you can share?
Harry: Unfortunately not yet. I use the SmartBee so for me as far as; you’re talking about cannabis productivity?
Matthew: Anything. It could be anything in your life that you consider very helpful. It doesn’t have to be cannabis focused.
Harry: The thing that I find to be the most helpful is that SmartBee actually.
Harry: Because I’ve never had it where I could literally go on my phone right now and look at the last week of my room. I like that. I like to geek out on what’s going on in my rooms. So that I use all the time.
Matthew: Very cool.
Matthew: Harry as we close can you tell listeners how to find you online and in print?
Harry: Sure. You can go to www.hightimes.com and Google Harry Resin and you’ll find Harry’s World which is my weekly column when I have time or bi-monthly column when I have less time and there’s a ton of articles on there already. You can also find me I believe it’s harry_resin on Instagram and you could also check out; I launched four months ago a delivery service here in the Bay area and that is called HERB and we’re www.herb-delivery.com and we are the number one delivery service in San Francisco at the moment.
Matthew: Wow. How is that working out for you? Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Harry: Yeah. It’s been going amazing. So the menu is curated by myself. A lot of the flowers are in fact from my own warehouses so it’s grown by my team and my master growers and the flowers have been just amazing and yeah it’s a curated menu that I put together and we’re slowly expanding the menu and expanding into new territories and it’s been going amazing.
Matthew: Okay and is that just on the peninsula of San Francisco or is it the whole Bay area?
Harry: For now just the peninsula. We’re going to expand in the next couple months into Oakland.
Matthew: Okay very cool.
Matthew: Well Harry thanks so much for coming on CannaInsider today and educating us. We really appreciate it.
Harry: Thanks for having me it was a real pleasure.
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Harry Resin has a column in High Times Magazine with a focus on cannabis cultivation topics. Listen in as he shares his ideas how to improve your grow and thoughts on where the industry is heading.
[2:08] – Harry talks about his background
[4:25] – Harry discusses what he does when he is not writing for High Times
[5:31] – Harry talks about the assisted breeder project he’s working on
[7:53] – Harry’s advice on starting a commercial grow
[9:58] – Rookie mistakes when starting a grow
[11:12] – Harry discusses the importance of airflow
[14:14] – How to contain cannabis odor
[14:53] – Harry discusses nutrients
[17:35] – Harry talks about PH levels
[19:49] – What are Smart Bee Controllers
[24:24] – Clones and grow room management
[29:26] – How to minimize pests and disease
[33:36] – Harry talks about how each region differs
[34:47] – What is dabbing
[38:11] – Evolution of concentrates
[40:10] – Harry talks about conditions cannabis treats well
[41:38] – Harry talks about lighting
[44:16] – Harry talks about his favorite soil for growing
[46:19] – Harry discusses upcoming technologies
[47:42] – Harry’s book and web application recommendation
[49:26] – Harry’s contact details
Learn more at:
What are the five trends that will disrupt the cannabis market in the next five years? Find out with your free guide at: https://www.cannainsider.com/trends