Searching for the CBD part 2
When the Growers Guide embarked on this project everything seemed crystal clear and straightforward .. but as with all things….. life has a habit of chucking those occasional curve balls ..
- To provide a 20:1 (CBD:THC) mother plant so that a family in Europe with twins with Dravet’s Syndrome could grow medicine which is proving spectacularly successful in treating this life threatening and progressively disabling illness over in the USA.
- To start a breeding project through line breeding and F5 Cross Breeding in order to stabilize a high CBD very low THC strain into seed form in order that other families outside MMJ areas can do the same.
There are a number of breeders working on this as there are problems stabilizing the high CBD content in seed form. Theoretically there is no sound reason why it shouldn’t become stable and I think the only way forward is for us all to continue until the breakthrough is made. Every journey a person makes must start with the first step and if you worry about the trials you might face on the journey then you may as well just sit by the fire and dream what might have been achieved.
To go ahead with Stage 1, there are 4 steps .. simple and easy we thought!
(i) Buy seeds likely to throw the 20:1 genotype variant
(ii) Grow the seeds until large enough for testing at the Fundacion-Canna Institute in Barcelona
(iii) Select the high CBD variant and grow into mother plant then take clones for growing on & flowering.
(iv) Make cannabis oil from the buds and start treatment.
Buying the Cannabis Seeds
Now although the driving force behind cannabis seed breeding has for many years been to produce higher and higher levels of THC (because CBD has a dampening effect on the THC psychoactive effect, many modern strains have less than 1% CBD) the new science of the CBD has meant some great work done by a few medical seed breeders (Humboldt, CBD Crew, Resin) in developing strains with CBD content. Of these the Searching for the CBD Project needed unstable strains, ones which in addition to a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio (normally around 6%:6%) would throw out the necessary very high CBD but virtually no THC levels that these children need.
The obvious first choice was Cannatonic by Resin Seeds:
Trying to find the seed stock for the breeding project was very difficult we searched high and low to find the right start but everything that we believed may work was out of stock. Finally after a couple of weeks of searching we discovered that a company in Canada that claimed to have regular Cannatonic in stock ..
So one of the interested parties stumped up the 300 plus euros needed to purchase them, however after payment we quickly started getting warning signals through correspondence. No tracking information was given, they refused to answer any questions about the validity of the stock and only replied to serious questions with “we wish good karma on all growers and that our seeds reach the light.. blah blah blah”
So we contacted Resin Seeds to enquire if they or any of their distributors had ever sold seeds to the canadian hemp co and the answer was sadly not….
Our fears were realized two weeks later when a package turned up with a corrugated plastic sheet with over 300 seeds inside:
Canadian Hemp Company: scam alert!
Google Searches for Canadian Hemp Company: scam turned up lots of bad reports, and it was when Canadian Hemp Co claimed to have in stock the Israeli developed Avidikel which is definitely NOT available for sale that we realized that this spurious company does not just rip people off: it actively targets vulnerable people looking for hard to get medical strain; people who can’t afford to waste grow time developing bogus seeds and producing worthless medicine. Cannabis oils grown from these counterfeit strains won’t contain the chemical compounds necessary for cancer and other treatments, if they flower at all (the clue may well be in the name: they may simply be Hemp Seeds)
At this point Resin Seeds stepped in and donated 20 x Z6 (a Cannatonic cross) and 20 x CBD Crew’s Sweet and Sour Widow seeds. We also managed to get hold of 10 x Cannatonic cannabis seeds,
5 x Special Meds, a private medical growers/breeder in Canada’s own strain (untested by labs, but sworn by) and just the other day Bud Buddies donated 10 X Otto 1
So on the tenth of June we germinated the following:
10 XCannatonic Resin seeds
20 X Sweet and sour widow Cbd Crew
20 x Z6 CBD crew
On the 20th I germinated 5 x Special med
And I intend germinating the 12 x Otto seeds as soon as I clear some space!
So some excellent potential genetics to work with. After germinating on damp tissue, they were all placed in labeled 10cm pots. Now I have to say that outdoor environmentals aren’t the best at this time of year here in southern Spain; external temps are 30ºC and humidity levels average at 20%. However with the grow tent sealed and a small grow spectrum LED (to keep heat down) combined with short periods of extraction the grow environment had much more suitable humidity and temperature levels.
It’s funny: as the kind of grower who always likes trying different strains, I’ve got the art of seed germination and seedling care down to a fine art. In fact as a hobby breeder I often germinate hundreds of seeds at a time often killing off the majority of them a month later as part of the selection process. I’ve become a ruthless and determined cannabis plant murderer! But I’ve never felt such a responsibility towards a seedling as I have these, and every day has been angst ridden! To be frank, the strains as a whole (with the exception of the Sweet & Sour Widow) have been problematic. The Z6 was vulnerable to wetting down disease and I lost a few to this in the first week. All have been slow growing with very delicate fine leaves. I’ve got some of my Cheesy Auto strain seedlings on the go at the same time, and the difference at this stage is a bit like that between a greyhound pup and a mastiff. For now the Cheesy Autos seem to have more vigour and vitality but that’s not to say that once grown the Medical Strains won’t win the (CBD) race …
On the 12th of July we transplanted the seedlings into 3 L pots with a very light coco / perlite mix 50/50 and another careful watering with a 25% strength vegetative feed. Each pot is labeled (with tippex) with the strain and number so we can easily match up the results.
As we approach the end of July, step 2 is approaching.
Now the original plan was to start with 40 regular Cannatonic seeds on the basis that as this strain shows a 5% development of the 20:1 .. and as we needed 1 male and 1 female (at least) to start the breeding project off …
We had to make some compromises with the strains we use, although personally I think the cross varieties may prove more potential in the long run. Now it looks as though we may have to take each stage of testing a little more slowly as well.
The Fundacion-Canna in Barcelona is able to take chemical compound testing from vegetative stage plants from the top central leaflet at a plant with at least four nodes. But even with a hugely discounted multi-testing rate of 47.19€ the sums soon add up. Through donations, affiliate sales of seeds from Orginal Sensible Seeds (15% of any cannabis seed sales via links on this site go to the Project), sales of my own auto seeds (100% goes to the Project) we have now raised nearly 1300€ .. so thanks to everyone of you who’ve bought something through the Growers Guide to Cannabis! Its for a really good cause so well done and thank you. However we are still 500€ short of testing for the full 40 seedlings. And also I have a good feeling about the Otto Seeds which are yet to be germinated.
So after some lengthy discussion with myself, and bearing in mind the time imperative to find the mother plant for the twins medicine (their current run of barbiturate medicines will shortly come to an end) the first aim will be to test for the 20:1 female whilst we continue to fund raise for the testing of the potential male plants. This also means I will have more focus on each sex side at a time …
The next update on this grow report will feature the testing of the strains, so its an exciting time ahead. I’ll then be germinating the Ottos, sexing and getting prepared for finding a high CBD Daddy plant whilst I grow the Mother Plants on ready for taking cuttings.
Again a massive big thanks for everyone who has been helping out especially Jamie, Line and Elizabeth from Resin Seeds and Jeff Ditchfield from Bud Buddies