Saturday, October 17, 2020

New Higher Ground video for Re-Marking a Vessel with milliliters


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Saturday, August 1, 2020

When to Harvest Cannabis for Greatest Potency and Aroma

Cannabis terpenes are synthesized (manufactured) in the cytoplasm of the cells of the trichome head (TH) via the Mevalonic Acid pathway (MEV), and in plastids via the Methyl-Erythritol Phosphate pathway (MEP) . Monoterpenes, such as the pinenes (1), limonene, terpinolene and myrcene are a result of the MEV, while large terpenes like caryophyllene, farnesene and humulene are derived from the MEP. As the plant synthesizes more and more of the enzymes of terpene synthesis during flower, it makes perfect sense that their aroma becomes more prevalent and more precisely developed as the TH ripen.

Cannabinoids reach maximum concentration in the ninth week of flower (Aizpurua-Olaizola, et al, 2016). This is not a precise measurement, but rather a guide. Most growers believe harvest should take place whenever the TH become opaque and white, which is usually during the ninth week as molecules inside the TH pass their saturation point. Careful inspection and a watchful eye will notice the whiteness of TH without any need for magnification.


Simply keeping up with the number of flowering days elapsed will accurately hit this peak of cannabinoid concentration every time. There’s no need to break out the hand-held microscope and inspect flowers. Keep in mind that individual grow lights may be stronger or weaker than one’s flowers can tolerate, so results will vary. Nine weeks is sixty-three days.  Cannabis plants should generally be harvested on day 63 of the flowering phase, when cannabinoid concentration is at or near its maximum to begin preserving the flower in this optimum composition.

Some plants require a longer flowering period, sometimes up to thirteen weeks, to mature (e.g. Laughing Buddha). Once a plant’s maturation period is established for your conditions, that number of days can be relied upon. It is written in the plant’s genetics and there is no escape. 🌂

Reference
Aizpurua-Olaizola, O., Soydaner, U., Öztürk, E., Schibano, D., Simsir, Y., Navarro, P., ... & Usobiaga, A. (2016). Evolution of the cannabinoid and terpene content during the growth of Cannabis sativa plants from different chemotypes. Journal of natural products, 79(2), 324-331.

Notes:
1.    For the sake of brevity and to avoid confusion, terpenes are here named without prefixes such as "alpha" and "beta", as well as without chirality indications such the "d" prefix of d-Limonene.

8 FLOWERING STAGE TIPS FOR CANNABIS


Guest article by Leeanne Brooks

Growing cannabis is becoming a lucrative industry now that so many states and countries have lifted their ban on the plant. New farmers, however, will find it difficult to know when the flowering stage begins and when to harvest the plant. Below are a few tips on what to do during the flowering stage of cannabis.

Maintaining during flowering

Before the plants even get to their flowering stage, you should make sure that all plants are green, lush, and healthy. There shouldn't be any discolorations on the leaves because of a lack of nitrogen, nor should there be any signs of stress on the plants itself. If you notice any abnormalities, try to nurse the plant back to health before moving forward with the flowering stage.

If you've been giving the plant nutrients, make sure that you include a flowering formula during the first month of flowering. Try not to change the nutrient solution until you notice the plants develop plenty of pistils.

Using the right nutrients

During the flowering stage, the kind of nutrient that you give your plants will have to change. During this stage, it's important that the plants receive a lot of phosphorus and potassium to support the many changes they are undergoing. But keep in mind that before you change the fertilizers, ensure that plants are about to start flowering.

Use the flowering formula only in the first month of flowering. This stage will also require you to pay close attention to the plants to watch out for diseases and pest infestation which the plants are very prone to during this stage in their development.

Don't overfeed

It is during the last two weeks of the flowering stage where you should stop feeding plants nutrients. At this stage, the plants will start shedding some of their leaves. This happens because of the shift in the plant's allocation of energy from making food into developing buds. Signs that you're overfeeding are discoloration or leaves are being shed at a faster rate.

Train the plant

Training the plant means you help them maximize the use of the space in which they're growing to increase the yields. This applies especially if you are growing your cannabis indoors. Training is usually done during the first month of the flowering stage.

The cannabis plant has a flexible stem that is easy to manipulate once the plant enters its flowering stage. As they mature, the stems become more woody and difficult to train.

Supporting the plants

During the second month of flowering, the plant will start getting ready for harvest. They start to become thicker and develop more buds. The transparent resin on the leaves will start to darken and release a pungent odor. At this stage, the plants will require more support due to their weight. Set up a trellis system of strings and wires to give the plants more support.

Growing room conditions

If you're growing your cannabis indoors, it is during the flowering stage that you need to make sure that the conditions in the growing room are optimal. Since the plants are now growing closer together, you have to adjust the humidity and temperature to stop the plants from developing diseases and fungi.

Make sure that the temperature sits between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit at the leaves and 68 degrees Fahrenheit at the roots. Once the plants are in their second month of flowering, you can drop the temperature several degrees so the buds produce more resin.

Monitor the pH levels

pH levels range from very acidic (0, 1, 2) to very basic (14)

If the pH levels of the soils are not right, your plants could suffer some damages leading to tainted products no reputable dispensaries will accept. Some common signs that the pH level is wrong is when you start seeing curly or wrinkly leaves on your plants. The perfect pH level of soil fit for growing cannabis is between 6.0 and 7.0. If however, you are using a hydroponic system, the pH level should be between 5.5 and 6.5.

Knowing when to harvest

The flowering stage of cannabis plants will vary depending on the strain you are growing but will typically last around two months. The moment the calyces and pistils start to swell and turn red, the plant is ready for harvest.

The plant will continue to accumulate resin and flowering tops will become stickier and heavier. Because of this, the flowers may need support and may appear to move closer together. At this stage, you must have your carbon filters up since the smell emanating from the buds may attract unwanted attention from the neighbors. 🌂

Leanne Brooks is a passionate blogger who loves to write about innovative ideas on promoting mental and physical health for companies like GreenSociety, a licensed Medical Marijuana dispensary delivering premium quality cannabis to Canadian MMJ patients with online ordering.

Thank you, Canadian MMJ patients. Your purchase from GreenSociety supports Seattle Bliss via this affiliate link: Click to visit the GreenSociety website

Questions and Comments regarding this Seattle Bliss article are welcome below, or by emailing editor@hg420mag.com

Reference Links

https://hightimes.com/grow/common-weed-mutations/
https://wayofleaf.com/cannabis/growing/best-fertilizers-for-growing-cannabis
https://www.leafly.com/news/growing/flush-cannabis-plants
https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/the-perfect-grow-environment/

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Cannabis Potency Not Strictly a Function of Trichome Density


Trichomes are tiny globular or hairlike structures that grow on the surface of Cannabis plants. The "heads" may be either stalked or sessile (without a stalk), and they produce and store cannabinoids in these globular heads (Dayanandan & Kaufman, 1976; De Pasquale, 1974; Fairbairn, 1972).

Cannabinoids are the major molecules produced and stored in the trichome head (TH), such as CBG, THC and CBD (Flores-Sanchez, et al, 2008). Generally, THC is psychotropic, but the others are not. Terpenes are also produced and stored in these globular structures. Development of stalked, globular trichomes, where the majority of cannabinoids are found, is shown in the image below.


While enormous flowers can be fun, normal sized flowers may be the most potent. Considering two identical clones, one flowered under lights, and the other in full sun, both genetically grow flowers with a similar number of trichomes. However, because the outdoor plant’s energy source is so rich, bract size is much larger than that of the indoor plant. Dayanandan and Kaufman (1976) demonstrated this with a rich collection of images (References, below).


Any cannabis flower may appear ordinary to the naked eye, but take a closer look and you’ll see a crystalline forest of clear to white and amber trichomes. Trichomes should cover the entire surface of every part of the flower remaining from trimming. The closer to full coverage, the gentler the handling must have been. Less than full coverage means less than 100% of the plant’s trichomes (and cannabinoids) remain.

According to Turner, et al (1981), it is actually the number of trichomes that cover the cannabis bract and not trichome density that affects cannabinoid potency. This is to illustrate how identical plants grown side-by-side will have identical number of trichomes at all stages, but will exhibit differing trichome densities at different time points as bracts become engorged and ripen. Their study demonstrated that cannabinoid composition changed during the final weeks of flowering, but total trichomes and total cannabinoids remained the same.

The changes happening as flowers ripen include CBG enzymatically becoming THC or CBD, then either of those is oxidized by age, heat and light to form CBN. The progression is evident as total cannabinoids reach saturation in the TH and cause them to appear opaque white. This saturation is a signal for the grower to harvest. TH may become amber in color as some of the THC oxidizes to become CBN.

Most growers strive for THC potency above 20% because that’s what consumers demand. The greater the THC potency, the greater the wholesale price. Retailers buy and price their products according to the laboratory’s test report AND their own observations. Today’s cannabis retails from $3/gram bargain ounces to $15/gram and up for the truly rare or exceptional crops.
In each set of images below Trichome Density varies from one flower to the next, but the main difference among clean growers is handling.

Peaches and Diesel (Indoor; Hydro)



Amherst Sour Diesel (Indoor; Hydro)




The Look (Indoor; Soil)




Tangie (Outdoor; Soil)




Now observe (click to enlarge the images above) how Trichome Density is greater with each specimen because of handling. Notice that some images have a high number of trichome heads missing, perhaps because they were knocked off by rough handling of drying flowers. Other images feature a product that is not over-dried or over-ripe, and handled with gentle care.

And now see the difference in the condition of these trichomes. The grower clearly invests greater care into their product as you can see their trichome heads are intact, large, full, and less than one-third amber in color.

Strawberry Diesel (Outdoor; Soil)




Girl Scout Cookies (Indoor; Soil)






In summary, a cannabis flower swollen to ten percent greater mass by one additional week of cultivation, but with the same total number of healthy, capitate trichomes (those with heads intact), should exhibit less potency (mg THC per gram of cannabis flower). Outdoor flowers may grow larger than identical indoor clones, but are slightly less potent due to genetic limits placing a set number of trichomes on the surface of a bract.

Why do some prefer Outdoor cannabis? Some say flavor; others say a mellow experience is just what the doctor ordered. Exploration is up to you.

Explore your preferences by keeping a personal cannabis journal at HigherGround420.com. Tools and analyses of what YOU LIKE help you discover other sources and other strains you may like. Subscribe FREE by using GROUP_ID "Seattle Bliss".


References

Dayanandan, P., & Kaufman, P. B. (1976). Trichomes of Cannabis sativa L.(Cannabaceae). American Journal of Botany, 63(5), 578-591. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/142132/ajb211846.pdf

De Pasquale, A., Tumino, G., & De Pasquale, R. C. (1974). Micromorphology of the epidermic surfaces of female plants of Cannabis sativa L. Bull. Narc, 26(4), 27-40. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1974-01-01_4_page005.html

Fairbairn, J. W. (1972). The trichomes and glands of Cannabis sativa L. Bull. Narc, 23, 29-33. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1972-01-01_4_page005.html

Turner, J. C., Hemphill, J. K., & Mahlberg, P. G. (1981). Interrelationships of glandular trichomes and cannabinoid content. I. Developing pistillate bracts of Cannabis sativa L.(Cannabaceae). Bull Narc, 33(2), 59-69. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1981-01-01_2_page008.html

Flores-Sanchez, I. J., & Verpoorte, R. (2008). Secondary metabolism in cannabis. Phytochemistry reviews, 7(3), 615-639. https://www.academia.edu/download/50204643/s11101-008-9094-420161109-6396-2tzphv.pdf

Friday, December 20, 2019

Washington Cannabis Labels Just Got a Bit Simpler

The Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB) released updates to the rules governing Cannabis labeling in December. The new rules are effective January 1st, 2020.

a_2019_washington_state_cannabis_label
A 2019 Washington State Cannabis Label; Several changes directed by LCB will take effect January 1, 2020.
Of note to Washington consumers are changes which include that Producers and Processors (Pro’s) may simply list Total THC and Total CBD. No longer will Pro’s be required to list all of the confusing quantities previously required, such as the individual quantities of THCA, THC, CBDA, CBD, and Total Cannabinoids. Pro’s will still have the right to list Total Cannabinoids, but it is not required.

Amended sections of the LBC’s release are shown in the appendix at the bottom of this article.
Click this link to view the new WSLCB rules WSR-20-01-72
https://lcb.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/rules/2019%20Proposed%20Rules/WSR_20-01-172.pdf

Consumers may note that Harvest Date is not included in the new requirements. Instead, lot numbers for tracking within the state’s traceability system must be shown. As this conceals the age of cannabis which may not be smelled before purchase, LCB may find itself examining the rules again very soon.

Until a solution in found, Seattle Bliss will at the very least provide harvest dates for every sample reviewed. It should also be noted that Producers and Processors should include Harvest Date on the label. Not including harvest date appears to be concealing information the consumer wants.

How do you feel about it? Would you prefer to know how old your cannabis is?
*****

Appendix of Requirements

The following section quotes only the new LCB labeling requirements. These are the things which must be included on the label. The complete release also includes language in regard to restrictions, which are outside the scope of this article.

Marijuana Concentrates

(e) Marijuana concentrate labels must clearly and visibly provide all of the following information:
(i) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the marijuana producer and processor;
(ii) The lot number of the product (the unique identifier number generated by the board's traceability system). This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;
(iii) The net weight in ounces and grams or volume as applicable;
(iv) Total THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) meaning the concentration of THC and THCA, total CBD (cannabidiol) meaning the concentration of CBDA and CBD, using the formulas referenced in WAC 314-55-102;
(v) Medically and scientifically accurate and reliable information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use;
(vi) If solvents were used to create concentrate or extract, a statement that discloses the type of extraction method, including in solvents or gases used to create the concentrate; and
(vii) A complete list of any other chemicals, compounds, additives, thickening agents, terpenes, or other substances used to produce or added to the concentrate or extract at any point during production. A copy of the complete list of chemicals, compounds, additives, thickening agents, terpenes, or other substances must be kept and maintained at the facility in which the marijuana concentrates are processed.

Edibles, Solid Form

(f) Labels for marijuana edibles in solid form must clearly and visibly provide all of the following information:
(i) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the licensees that produced and processed the marijuana or marijuana products;
(ii) The lot number of the product (the unique identifier number generated by the board's traceability system). This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;
(iii) The serving size and the number of servings contained within the unit. If more than one serving is in a package, the label must
prominently display the serving size, the number of servings in the package and the amount of product per serving;
(iv) Net weight in ounces and grams or volume as applicable;
(v) Total THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) meaning the concentration of THC and THCA, total CBD (cannabidiol) meaning the concentration of CBDA and CBD, using the formulas referenced in WAC 314-55-102;
(vi) Medically and scientifically accurate and reliable information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use;
(vii) A list of ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight or volume as applicable and a list of major food allergens as defined in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004;
(viii) If solvents were used, a statement that discloses the type of extraction method, including any solvents, gases, or other chemicals or compounds used to produce or that were added to the extract.

Edibles, Liquid Form

(e) Labels for marijuana edibles in liquid form must clearly and visibly provide all of the following information:
(i) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the licensees that produced and processed the marijuana or marijuana products;
(ii) The lot number of the product (the unique identifier number generated by the board's traceability system). This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;
(iii) The serving size and the number of servings contained within the unit. If more than one serving is in a package, the label must prominently display the serving size, the number of servings in the package and the amount of product per serving;
(iv) Net weight in ounces and grams or volume as applicable;
(v) Total THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) meaning the concentration of THC and THCA, total CBD (cannabidiol) meaning the concentration of CBDA and CBD, using the formulas referenced in WAC 314-55-102;
(vi) Medically and scientifically accurate and reliable information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use;
(vii) A list of all ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight or volume as applicable and a list of major food allergens as defined in the Food Allergen Labeling and Protections Act of 2004;
(viii) If solvents were used, a statement that discloses the type of extraction method, including any solvents, gases, or other chemicals or compounds used to produce or added to the extract.

Useable Marijuana

(d) Labels for useable marijuana must clearly and visibly provide all of the following information:
(i) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the licensees that produced and processed the marijuana or marijuana products;
(ii) The lot number of the product (the unique identifier number generated by the board's traceability system). This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;
(iii) Net weight in ounces and grams or volume as applicable;
(iv) Total THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) meaning the concentration of THC and THCA, total CBD (cannabidiol) meaning the concentration of CBDA and CBD, using the formulas referenced in WAC 314-55-102;
(v) Medically and scientifically accurate and reliable information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use.

Marijuana Mix

(d) Labels for marijuana mix must clearly and visibly provide all of the following information:
(i) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the licensees that produced and processed the marijuana or marijuana products;
(ii) The lot number of the product (the unique identifier number generated by the board's traceability system). This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;
(iii) Net weight in ounces and grams or volume as applicable;
(iv) Total THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) meaning the concentration of THC and THCA, total CBD (cannabidiol) meaning the concentration of CBDA and CBD, using the formulas referenced in WAC 314-55-102;
(v) Medically and scientifically accurate and reliable information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use;
(vi) If solvents were used, a statement that discloses the type of extraction method, including any solvents, gases, or other chemicals or compounds used to produce or added to the extract;
(vii) Any other chemicals or compounds used to produce or were added to the concentrate or extract.

Topicals

(d) Labels for marijuana topicals must clearly and visibly provide all of the following information:
(i) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the licensees that produced and processed the marijuana or marijuana products;
(ii) The lot number of the product (the unique identifier number generated by the board's traceability system). This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;
(iii) The label must prominently display the net weight in ounces and grams or volume as applicable, and may not exceed serving and transaction limits as described in WAC 314-55-095;
(iv) Total THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) meaning the concentration of THC and THCA, total CBD (cannabidiol) meaning the concentration of CBDA and CBD, using the formulas referenced in WAC 314-55-102;
(v) Medically and scientifically accurate and reliable information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use;
(vi) A list of all ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight or volume as applicable.

Additional Labeling

(8) Optional label information. Optional label information includes the following: Harvest date, "best by" date, and manufactured dates.
(9) Accompanying materials. Accompanying materials must be provided with a marijuana product or made available to the consumer purchasing marijuana products.
A producer or processor must provide the following product-specific information, for as long as the product is for sale, through an internet link, web address, or QR code on the product label as follows:
(a) A statement disclosing all pesticides applied to the marijuana plants and growing medium during production of the ((usable)) useable marijuana or the base marijuana used to create the concentrate or the extract added to infused products;
(b) A list disclosing all of the chemicals, compounds, additives, thickening agents, terpenes, or other substances added to any marijuana concentrate during or after production.
(10) Upon request materials. A consumer may request the name of the certified lab and quality assurance test results for any marijuana or marijuana product. A retailer must provide the information upon request.

*****
Click this link to view the new WSLCB rules WSR-20-01-72
https://lcb.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/rules/2019%20Proposed%20Rules/WSR_20-01-172.pdf

Introduction to Cannabis Flower Evaluation - Higher Ground Magazine

I'm pleased to present the first of several videos I'm producing for Higher Ground Magazine in order to help reviewers make better evaluations of better use to other consumers. This video introduces reviewers to some minimal tools and methods for evaluating cannabis flower.



Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Olfactory Triggers Stimulate Intense Memories

Have you ever caught a scent in the air that flooded you with vivid memories? We all experience them; specific, usually strong, chemical signals that conjure intense memories. Here’s one of mine.

I opened a package of cannabis a little while ago and I started singing a Waylon Jennings tune to myself, "ladies touch babies like a banker touches gold,..." and smiled as I thought of the rolling hills surrounding my Uncle Tim's house in the Sierras. I remembered one summer in the early eighties when my brother and I went on little drives with him around the mountains of Northern California in his old Chevy pickup.



The transporting smell was Blueberry. But it wasn't Blueberry in its best form. My cannabis was a full year old. I’d been saving it in my humidor for an occasion when I needed a CBN- rich strain to help me sleep. This flower being over a year old would be quite rich in CBN and is indeed great for sleep.

As I opened the package and took a big whiff, the aroma must have matched what I remembered from back then because it took me to the coffee table. Instantly, I was a skinny twelve-year-old boy with bushy brown hair sitting beside my Uncle Tim on the couch, watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom as he loaded his bong.

I would describe the smell of my 7 gram zip as definitely headed toward hay. Most of the monoterpenes were gone and the remaining terpenes that I could detect for sure were beta-caryophyllene and humulene. Both are sedative sesquiterpenes.

[IMAGE: Beta-Caryophyllene molecular drawing.]

He was a firefighter and well known in the area. Everywhere we went, everybody seemed to know my uncle Tim. We stopped by the firehouse and he came back with a brown paper bag.

"I got the stuff for my fountain," he said with a devilish grin and stuffed the bag under the seat.

He had told us earlier that the big green glass thing with a 12- inch neck and a bowl he held a flame to was a fountain. Later he would try to tell us that it was a musical instrument and we were supposed to hear a melody in all of the bubbling going through it. I know now that to a true lover of cannabis, there is music in that percolating sound. 

[VIDEO is just the 12-second intro with the Bong Rip audio]

One evening while staying with my Uncle Tim I was introduced to snipe hunting. The whole place was built on the slope of the mountain with flat areas landscaped into the hillside for the house, barn and yard. My brother and I were taken to a place a couple hundred meters ‘up the hill’ at twilight. Down the hill, my aunt and uncle were circling around us to set up Fourth of July fireworks in the large driveway.

We peered into the void, ready with a gunny sack and stick, ‘hunting’ in the dark for what seemed hours, though it must have only been thirty minutes.  In a little while my brother and I stood trembling - both from fear and excitement - back-to-back, ready to defend ourselves from whatever might jump out of the dark at us. Every little sound – a moth, a bird, something scratching at the dry forest floor – was our potential prey. We had no idea what we were going to do with it, but we stood ready to capture the elusive snipe.

When my brother whisper-shouted that he thought he saw one, I got pretty excited. But as we all know it was just his imagination and mine.  Both of us crouched – sacks open, ready to spring, scanning the darkness for the slightest movement – but it was nothing.  We both gasped as we hadn’t realized we had been holding our breath.

“I think it got away,” Dan whispered.

“Just be quiet!” I replied.  Something was definitely coming our way.

Something had been very noisy in its approach, but as it got closer, the faint steps became almost silent. I couldn’t tell if I had heard four feet or two.  My heart felt like it would burst right out of my chest as I struggled to remain still.  Another rustling came closer to me. I struggled to see the creature and caught a barely visible grayness that definitely moved, then stopped right in front of me. I summoned every ounce of courage I could muster to pounce and capture something I couldn’t even see.

I dove onto the creature with my sack to cover and capture it.  I’m certain I’ve never had a greater surge of adrenaline in my life as I discovered the creature was much larger than my sack.  I crashed into its legs with my head and shoulders and was crumpling to the ground thinking I was about to be trampled to death by something huge, when I heard the strangest thing.

“You guys ready?” Uncle Tim’s voice made no sense as it came through the darkness. But in a few seconds I put it all together. “Your Aunt Debbie’s about to light our way.”

Just then, before I could answer, just when my brother and I were giving up all hope that we’d ever catch a snipe, I rolled over and looked up at him as a starburst of red lit up the sky behind him and the fireworks began.  We forgot all about the snipe hunt.

My brother and I only stayed with my Uncle Tim and Aunt Debbie for a week or so, but it was a great week. They showed us around and told us about the nearby plateau they called Tabletop Mountain. Their favorite of the local Legends, Black Bart, was the subject of numerous stories and songs.  Tim would recite and sing, trying to emulate the bourbon-mellowed voice of the legendary Waylon Jennings.  He was pretty good, too! I recall he and Aunt Debbie would put on an 8-track tape and sing along with the music anywhere. “Ladies love outlaws,” they sang on the way to show us the dilapidating ruins of a genuine ‘old west’ hotel where Black Bart was said to have spent his most notorious years.  The two of them, my aunt and uncle both, contributed immeasurably to my love of history and the natural world that summer.

My aunt and uncle gave me one of my first ‘observer’ experiences with cannabis. On the fourth of July they would have been smoking the previous year’s outdoor harvest, poorly stored in plastic bags and heavily laden with seeds. Scent is the most powerful stimulator of memories.  The distinctive aromas of hops and black pepper within the burning herb, both now and then, transported me like a time machine and I was there.

I love this plant.

Thanks for going on the journey with me.

*****


References:
Herz, R. S., Eliassen, J., Beland, S., & Souza, T. (2004). Neuroimaging evidence for the emotional potency of odor-evoked memory. Neuropsychologia, 42(3), 371-378. Toffolo, M. B., Smeets, M. A., & Van Den Hout, M. A. (2012). Proust revisited: odours as triggers of aversive memories. Cognition & emotion, 26(1), 83-92. Herz, R. S. (2004). A naturalistic analysis of autobiographical memories triggered by olfactory visual and auditory stimuli. Chemical Senses, 29(3), 217-224. Ward, P., Davies, B. J., & Kooijman, D. (2007). Olfaction and the retail environment: examining the influence of ambient scent. Service Business, 1(4), 295-316. Haberly, L. B., & Bower, J. M. (1989). Olfactory cortex: model circuit for study of associative memory?. Trends in neurosciences, 12(7), 258-264. Daniels, J. K., & Vermetten, E. (2016). Odor-induced recall of emotional memories in PTSD–review and new paradigm for research. Experimental neurology, 284, 168-180.