This is the time of year when I just bug out; cannot contain myself – the greens have arrived ... grass up to my knees, chasing my hips; a dozen dozen flowering buds whose names I will probably never learn; natural walls going up, creating an entirely different world from the one we looked on a month ago after winter’s long, frigid denudation; everything active: The birds have returned from their southern climes as hungry as can be, the peepers song whirring through the night, “Another year! Another year!” And as the days stretch to reach the solstice, the vegetation grows.
As for the lovelies in your garden, this is the time (give or take a couple weeks) that they should be switched over to a 12-hour on, 12-hour off light cycle so that they may get about the work of flowering to begin their journey to create those beautiful, useable buds that will become your pride and joy over the next few months. In order to initiate this change, simply place them in total darkness for one full day, then swap out your veg lights for high pressure sodium bulbs or plant them outside in a spot where they will get as much light as possible on a daily basis.
OK, OK – I could spend the rest of June writing about the wonders of growing (but, there’s not much going on right now aside from watering, so I’ll check in monthly with some advice on best practices). There’s pinching leaves, raking soil between my fingers, spinning pots one quarter turn with each watering to assist full and equal development, but let’s keep our eyes on the prize here and do a little time-traveling to the end-of-life cycle of these little cannababies. They are going to at least double their size from the day their vegetative phase ends and their bloom cycle begins. And there is a lot you are going to be able to do with these ladies past the normal “Trim the buds, dry the buds, smoke the buds” that you should start to plan for now.
Here are a few finished products to think about that I will give detailed descriptions for the preparations of over the next few weeks: Butter or oil to cook with, bubble hash, juice, candy, tincture, and hash oil that is very unlikely to risk blowing up your house during the preparation process and will provide you with some of the most potent extract available from cannabis plants. These preparations will offer you the ability to use the cannabis that you have begun to lovingly nurture in ways that will range from “non-psychoactive in the least” to “practically tripping” and will interact with your endocannabinoid system in a plethora of wonderful ways to affect what Wikipedia describes as “a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory, and in mediating the psychoactive effects of cannabis.” I will present ways to keep your costs to a bare minimum and the processes by which you come to these products as simple as possible (trust me – if I can do it, you can do it).
Next week: How to make Rick Simpson Oil, one of the most potent and medicinally-valuable preparations to be made from cannabis. In the meantime, enjoy the stirring return of warmth to our corner of the world, take some time to read up on the cannabis-related things that make you feel fuzzy inside, water your crop, and take a few moments to act like one of these plants and let the sun shine on your face.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.