Is Seeds In Weed Bad

Describes weed seeds and effects on pigs. Some weed seeds are highly poisonous and can cause severe illness and death. Cannabis won’t go bad the way milk does, but its THC can certainly degrade over time. Here’s what to look for and ways to make sure your weed stays good. Marijuana: The truth about growing your own pot Nick Hice, cultivation facility manager at Denver Relief, harvests several of the plants, getting them ready for the drying process. Kayvan

Toxic weed seeds

Weed seeds are constantly found in coarse grains used in pig feed. Some weed seeds are highly poisonous and toxic, and can cause severe illness and death. Others are non-toxic but can interfere with digestion or severely lower nutrient intake, reducing growth. Many factors affect their toxicity level, including season, where they are grown, whether the seeds are ground and how they are stored.

This page describes some weed seeds that are common in Australian grain. It provides the common and scientific names, notes on toxicity and safe feeding levels where possible. The weed seed species are described according to comparative toxicity. Weights of 100 seeds enable the estimation of contamination rates in grain. Tolerable concentrations in pig feeds derived from experimentation are compared with those currently permitted by Queensland’s Agricultural Standards Regulations (QASR) for stock food.

Harmful at low inclusion levels

Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis)

The large seeds of the castor oil plant contain a potent poison called ricin, a toxic protein (toxalbumin). Symptoms of poisoning in pigs resemble botulism except that faeces often contain mucus and are tinged with blood. Depression and paralysis are common. A lethal dose can be as little as two seeds per pig (100 seeds = 22 g). Seeds are more toxic when ground. Under QASR, this plant is prohibited in stock food.

Mexican poppy (Argemone ochroleuca and A. mexicana)

The small, dark-brown to black seeds are like miniature peppercorns, and contain a group of isoquinoline alkaloids and derivatives: protopine, berberine, chelerythrine and sanguinarine. The seed is extremely toxic to humans and poultry. Seed at 2-6 per cent in the feed of a 20 kg pig causes severe food rejection by the second day. Symptoms of poisoning are lethargy; oedema of the skin, lungs and lower limbs; reddening of the skin; oily yellow diarrhoea; and possible haemorrhage.

Finisher pigs (>50 kg) may tolerate contamination rates up to 1 per cent for short times but for younger pigs, where maximum feed intake is desirable, concentrations should not exceed 0.2 per cent. Exposing crushed seed to sunlight markedly reduces its toxicity. QASR allow a contamination rate of 20 seeds/kg grain (0.004 per cent, as 100 seeds = 0.2 g). However, the regulations have to consider other factors, such as greater toxicity to poultry. This level is very conservative for pigs.

Potato weed (Heliotropium europaeum)

This plant, also called ‘common heliotrope’ is an annual weed that infests the wheat-producing areas of southern Australia. It produces toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids that damage the liver. In 1993, a serious poisoning outbreak occurred in South Australia when 1000-4000 pigs died over three months because wheat contaminated with potato weed seed was incorporated into diets at about 0.2-1 per cent. Lower levels slowly damage the liver and severely affect growth without obvious signs. Poisoning outbreaks tend to occur every few years when wet summers favour weed growth and delay wheat harvest. Although a safe feeding level has not been established, a maximum of 0.01 per cent might be an interim guideline (about 100 seeds/kg, as 100 seeds = 0.13 g). QASR currently has no standard for this seed because it does not grow in northern Australia.

Sesbania pea (Sesbania cannabina)

This small brown to dark-green rod-shaped seed is common in grain sorghum. Its toxic principles are thought to be a combination of a gum in the seed coat and an amino acid (canavanine) in the seed. Sesbania makes pig diets highly unpalatable. A maximum safe feeding level of 0.25 per cent (w/w), equal to 300 seeds/kg, is recommended (100 seeds = 0.8 g). QASR allow only 200 seeds/kg of grain (0.17 per cent).

Thornapple (Datura ferox, D. stramonium)

These flattened, kidney-shaped seeds contain toxic tropane alkaloids (hyoscyamine, scopolamine). The degree of toxicity varies between seed batches. Crushed seed is much more toxic than whole seed. In pigs, symptoms of intense thirst, dilated pupils, flushing of the skin and irritability are typical of poisoning. The maximum recommended feeding level is 0.05 per cent because as little as 0.1 per cent in feed causes rejection. QASR allow only 5 seeds/kg (about 0.005 per cent) in stock feed (100 seeds = 0.64 g D. stramonium or 1.56 g D. ferox).

Jute (Corchorus ollitorius)

These small, grey seeds cause severe food rejection, vomiting and scouring in pigs. Reduced feed intake and growth rate are related to jute seed level in the feed and total food rejection occurs at 0.5 per cent in feed. The maximum safe feeding level is 0.01 per cent (100 seeds = 0.6 g). QASR allow 10 seeds/kg (0.006 per cent).

Harmful at low to moderate inclusion levels

Bellvine (Ipomoea plebeia)

Three seeds are usually contained in a round capsule that is grey to black in colour and shaped like a mandarin segment. Frequently a contaminant of sorghum and maize, bellvine seed is difficult to grade out. The seeds contain indole alkaloids and lysergic acid amide. Preliminary studies show that 10 per cent inclusion in the diet causes severe enteritis and food refusal. A safe feeding level of 1 per cent or less is presently recommended (100 seeds = 2.1 g). QASR allow 500 seeds/kg (1 per cent).

Buckwheat (Polygonum convolvulus)

Also known as climbing or black bindweed, buckwheat seed is small, three-sided, four-pointed and hard. Field evidence suggests that the sharp points cause gut irritation but no toxic factors have been found. Protein content is high quality while digestibility is low, probably due to the high fibre and/or tannin content. It is safe to feed to pigs; however, for each 1 per cent inclusion, the growth rate is depressed by 0.4 per cent (100 seeds = 0.57 g). QASR allow 1500 seeds/kg.

Noogoora and Bathurst burrs (Xanthium pungens and X. spinosum)

Noogoora and Bathurst burr seeds contain a potent glycoside, which can cause severe gastroenteritis, depression and convulsions in pigs. About 20 per cent (w/w) of ground burr in the feed will cause death. The spines on whole burrs are likely to cause physical injury. QASR allow 2 burrs/kg.

Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum)

Also known as Salvation Jane, the seeds of this plant contain various pyrrolizidine alkaloids (echimidine, echiumine) in quantities that depend on location and season. The toxins cause liver damage leading to photosensitisation and finally kidney failure. There are no confirmed field cases of poisoning in pigs in Australia. Safe feeding levels have not yet been accurately determined but liver damage is evident with 2 per cent seed in the diet. More than 6 per cent of Paterson’s curse seed in the diet results in a decline in growth rate and feed conversion (100 seeds = 0.37 g). QASR allow 100 seeds/kg (0.04 per cent).

Rattlepods (Croatalaria species)

Rattlepod seeds contain various pyrrolizidine alkaloids that cause liver and kidney damage at a level greater than 0.5 per cent in the diet. Safe feeding levels have not been determined. These seeds are prohibited materials with respect to stock foods under QASR.

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Harmless weed seed contaminants

Many other weed seed species that occur in grain appear to be safe to feed even at high levels such as 25 per cent. However, they probably cause a decline in performance due to nutrient dilution (high-fibre content) or poor digestibility. The following weeds appear to be in this category:

  • African turnip (Sisymbrium thellungii) (QASR allow 20,000 seeds/kg; 0.8%)
  • barnyard grass (Echinochloa spp.)
  • barley grass (Hordeum leporium)
  • black oats (Avena fatua )
  • caltrop (Tribulus terrestris)
  • phalaris grass (Phalaris spp.)
  • wild cotton (Hibiscus trionum)
  • wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)
  • mint weed (Salvia reflexa).

Summary of growth depression

This table also shows the maximum inclusion rate used in experiments (limited either by toxicity or practicality, in the case of non-toxic seed) and the weight of 100 seeds.

Table 1. The percentage decline in growth rate of pigs fed 1% of a range of weed seeds

Common name of weed Scientific name Growth decline (%)* Maximum fed in experiment (%) Weight
100 seeds (g)
African turnip Sisymbrium thellungii 9 0.04
Caltrop Tribulus terrestris 10.5 4.0
Wild cotton Hibiscus trionum 9 0.27
Bellvine Ipomoea plebeia 0.1 8 2.1
Saltbush Atriplex muelleri 0.3 12 0.33
Buckwheat Polygonum convolvulus 0.4 25 0.57
Turnip weed Rapistrum rugosum 1.3 21 0.5
Paterson’s curse Echium plantagineum 1.4 16 0.37
Wild turnip Brassica tournefortii 3 9 0.14
Mexican poppy Argemone ochroleuca 25 2 0.20
Sesbania Sesbania cannabina 10 1.5 0.80
Thornapple Datura stramonium/ferox 20 0.8 0.64/1.56

* for each 1 per cent inclusion of weed seed

Further information

Last updated: 03 Dec 2015

African swine fever information

Outbreaks of African swine fever overseas are a reminder that animal diseases can spread quickly and do not respect international borders.

Early detection and reporting is critical. If you suspect the presence of African swine fever, contact Biosecurity Queensland immediately on 13 25 23 or contact the Emergency Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

How Long Does Weed Stay Good? (3 Ways To Keep Cannabis From Going Bad While On The Go)

Cannabis won’t go bad the way milk does, but its THC can certainly degrade over time. Here’s what to look for and ways to make sure your weed stays good.

Weed can stay good for longer than you would expect, but it certainly can’t stay good forever.

Because weed, unlike milk or other food products, can degrade over time through a variety of factors. Maybe it can get some humidity in your storage container, causing it to get moly. Conversely, maybe it is left out in excessive heat and dry climates that burn off all of the THC and all the other desirable elements in the flower.

There are a TON of factors that determine how long does weed stay good and it’s important to pay the shelf life of it a fair amount of mind after you’ve made your weekly pickup from the dispensary.

And while there is no serious health risks that may come about from smoking bunk cannabis flower, its drop in potency could mean you’re not getting as much bang for your buck.

Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?

This can be a tough question, mostly because there are so many variables that go into preventing your stash from losing that fresh weed flavor.

While it’s true that weed does lose some of its potency over time, the amount it loses depends on how you store it. If you keep it in a cool, dark place, it will last longer. If you keep it in a warm, humid place, it will spoil faster. If you store your weed properly, it can last for years without losing much potency at all.

However, if you don’t store your weed properly, it can lose its potency in just a few months. In fact, studies show that weed loses about 16% of its THC in only one year after being harvested. After that, it can lose up to 26% of its THC after 2 years, 34% of its THC after three years, and almost half of its THC after four years.

To ensure that your weed stays as potent as possible, you should store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. You should also avoid exposing your weed to light or heat, as both of these can cause it to degrade more quickly.

What Makes Weed Potency Last?

Weed potency is determined by the concentration of THC in the plant. So the higher the concentration of THC, the more potent the weed will be. Higher concentrations of THC will always increase the shelf life and keep it fresh and potent for six months to a year.

However, there are other factors that can affect the degradation of its potency over time, such as how the weed is grown and how it is consumed. Weed that has been processed and distilled down to oils and tinctures, for example, will stay fresh for far longer than flower ever will.

How Long Do Cannabis Products Last?

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Cannabis products have a wide range of shelf lives.

For example, cannabis seeds can last for years if stored properly, while dried flowers only last for a few months. So a general rule of thumb is to always keep your cannabis, flower, seeds and more in ideal storage conditions (a few ways you will want to store your weed will be discussed momentarily).

Here is a general rule of thumb for how long different types of cannabis products last:

  • Cannabis Seeds: 2-3 years
  • Dried Flowers: 3-6 months
  • Concentrates (e.g. hash, wax, shatter): 6-12 months
  • Edibles: 6-12 months
  • Topicals: 6-12 months

3 Ways To Keep Weed Fresh While On The Go

There are a few ways to keep your weed fresh while on the go. One way is to store it in an airtight container. This will keep the air out and prevent the weed from drying out. Another way is to store it in a cool, dark place. This will help to keep the weed from getting too hot and drying out. Finally, you can try storing it in the fridge. This will help to keep the weed from getting too warm and drying out.

1. Store In A Mason Jar That Has A Lid

Glass jars are a solid, affordable option for weed storage. They create an airtight environment that prevents any microbial growth from external factors. The same cannot be said about storing weed in plastic jars, as the plastic baggies hold static that can actually remove the trichomes from the flower and affect the flowers potency in a matter of weeks. On top of this, plastic bags are terrible for the environment and the last thing you want to do is leave a massive carbon footprint when you hit your next music festival.

In other words, no air can get in or out of the jar. Jars that come with rubber seals are even better because they close tightly.

Empty medicine bottles are yet another smart way to keep your pot fresh. Medicine bottles are designed to keep their contents dry and safe from contamination.

Keep a few things in mind before storing marijuana. Make sure the bottle/container is properly sanitized and dried. However, these bottles are not much help when it comes to odor control. So if that’s your concern, the choice is yours.

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2. Keep The Light At Bay

Always prefer a dark, tinted container over a transparent one. More exposure to light, less are the chances of buds staying fresh. One of the main reasons being, cannabis is essentially an organic substance. Hence it is prone to decay by environmental factors. High level of exposure to light dries out the terpenes present in cannabis and over time, your bud loses aroma.

While out at music festivals or camping on the go, try keeping your glass jar container under wraps and out of sunlight. Leave it in your tent, car, backpack, or other dark place to ensure the weed won’t become stale. I personally wrap reflective duck tape around my mason-jar container while out at festivals which helps reduce the heat by reflecting the sun and also prevents light from degrading the flower; keeping my weed fresh for longer while out in the wild.

3. Avoid Heat

Terpenes largely affect the aroma, flavor and even the color of the cannabis plant. At higher temperature, the cannabinoids and terpenes start boiling which can degrade their potency fairly quickly.

The leaves curl up and develop brown/yellow spots at places. These are the first signs of heat stress. Similarly, extreme cold conditions affect the Trichomes and make them brittle.

Marijuana: The truth about growing your own pot

Nick Hice, cultivation facility manager at Denver Relief, harvests several of the plants, getting them ready for the drying process. Kayvan Khalatbari, owner of the pot-growing business and dispensary, talks about growing your own marijuana.

DENVER, CO. – FEBRUARY 04: Dan Ericson trims the sugar leaf off the bud readying it for the drying process. Kayvan Khalatbari owns Denver Relief, a marijuana growing, dispensary, and consulting business. Khalatbari and his employees are meticulous in their marijuana cultivation from start to finish and says the process takes constant care and vigilance by anyone considering growing the plant. (Photo By Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post)

Dozens of medicinal-marijuana plants grow under special lighting at Denver Relief. Photos by Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post

Kayvan Khalatbari is operations head of Denver Relief, a marijuana-growing dispensary and consulting business, where every plant is tracked througout its growing life.

Dan Ericson trims the “sugar leaves” — the single leaves close to the bud — off a pot plant, readying it for the drying process. Then he’ll hang the plant upside down for a week to dry.

So you want to grow pot. Or you’re worried the neighbors will.

Marijuana is the botanical conversation piece that just won’t go away. Reactions to it run a wild gamut: It’s the evil weed or a source of future state tax revenue and entrepreneurial ingenuity. Or it’s the only path left to freedom from pain for some people, and journalists should write about it with the same seriousness that they accord blood-pressure medicine.

If you’re 21 or older, Amendment 64 allows you to cultivate up to six marijuana plants in an “enclosed, locked space” in Colorado. (This is still illegal under federal law.)

Sounds simple. But growing marijuana isn’t easy, those who do it professionally say.

Until 2014, it’s illegal to sell plants to those without a medical-marijuana card.

Growing cannabis from seed is possible but impractical.

Such activities are subject to federal prosecution.

One thing is certain: Legalization is changing the landscape of our state. Maybe not our yards, but surely our headspace, our parties, our neighborhoods and our lives. If we understand the plant, it will help us talk about that change using facts rather than fear or naive enthusiasm.

We went to experts with the questions we felt any gardener and homeowner would have. Our interviewees for this story and video were Kayvan Khalatbari and Nick Hice, co-owners of Denver Relief, a medicinal-marijuana dispensary whose growing facility is home to about 1,900 marijuana plants.

An overview of the basics

Question: Where can Coloradans grow marijuana plants? Can people just stick them in a sunny window next to basil and aloe?

Answer: A big thing to remember with marijuana plants is that they need to flower to produce THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that gets people high) and other medicinal cannabinoids. In order to do that, they need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of total darkness a day.

So the best place to grow marijuana is in a room in the basement with a locked door so light doesn’t inadvertently get in when the plants are “sleeping.” If you don’t have a basement, a small closet with light-leak protection around the door will work.

A: All sorts of prepackaged items are available, like grow boxes or grow tents, that are probably best for a small space like a closet, or fo r someone who doesn’t want to get into growing marijuana too intensely.

But if you’re trying to get six plants to be as robust as possible, you probably need to install something that’s more permanent, like a 400- to 600-watt lamp with a hood assembly that comes with a ballast, which you place at least a forearm’s length above the plants.

Keep in mind that the ballast is going to get very hot, so you need to have adequate cooling in the room as well, like a portable air conditioner with a thermostat. You don’t want the room to get above 80 degrees because the hotter it is, the slower the plants grow. The ideal temperature is 75 to 80 degrees when the lights are on and 68 to 74 degrees when the lights are off.

You also have to watch humidity, because every time you water plants in a small space, you’re going to get high humidity. It should be below 50 percent to prevent bud mold or rot.

You can measure humidity with a hygrometer from a hardware or grow store, and reduce it with a dehumidifier or air conditioner.

Q:How would a home grower comply with the rule that limits them to three plants in flower?

A: That means you can grow only three plants if you don’t have two separate growing areas. The reason having only three plants is bad is that you want to keep a rotation going. Or else every time you get done harvesting, you have to go back to a store. If you want a continual supply, you want the perpetualness of having a vegetative stage and a flowering stage going all the time.

Logistics and costs

Q: How much does all this stuff cost?

A: Most grow boxes are $200 to $400, but if you want one with HVAC temperature-control capabilities, it’s pretty pricey — close to $1,000. You can find grow boxes at most local hydroponic stores or grow shops.

A light system and building materials will run $350 to $1,000, and electricity costs per harvest are $100 to $200.

Q:Where would a home grower get seeds?

A: I actually never recommend starting a marijuana plant from seed, because you have to determine whether the seeds are male or female, which is difficult. Only female plants produce the flowers that are most desirable in terms of cannabinoid content. Male plants are pretty much unusable (for smoking purposes).

The best thing to do is to buy a clone — a cutting from a proven plant. People who have red cards (medical-marijuana cards) can buy clones from medical-marijuana centers and grow their own plants. If you know somebody who grows, it is legal today (under state law) for a 21-year-old (or someone older) with a marijuana plant in Colorado to give another 21-year-old (or older) a clone from that plant. But if you don’t know someone who grows, I don’t see an option to legally purchase seeds or clones in this state before 2014, when retail marijuana facilities open.

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Cannabis botany 101

Q:Tell us about the different strains of marijuana. How would people choose one?

A: There are three types of cannabis — indica, sativa and ruderalis.

Ruderalis is a ditch weed found in Europe with low THC content. The marijuana we’re familiar with is indica and sativa. Indica has higher CBN (a type of cannabinoid) content, which relieves pain and makes you lethargic. Sativa has the highest psychoactive content, is energizing and provides lucid thought. Most everything available today is a hybrid (and) carries the characteristics of both indica and sativa.

Indica-dominant hybrids are good for growing indoors, because they only get 2 to 3 feet tall from the top of the pot, with a diameter of 12 to 18 inches.

Q:Isn’t hemp a type of marijuana? Can that be grown in a house?

A: Hemp is basically a cultivated variety of sativa. For several thousand years, it has been bred for tall growth, fibrous stems and low THC levels. It still has the medicinal cannabinoids, but you need so many hemp plants to get valuable cannabinoid content — more than 100 — that it wouldn’t be worth growing at home.

Care, air and food

Q:What’s next after obtaining clone plants?

A: Place the clone in a pot filled with a planting medium. Although potting soil would technically work, we use a soilless growing media made from coco fiber, worm casings, perlite and vermiculite because it’s developed specially for marijuana, even though (manufacturers) don’t admit that. You can get premixed versions at grow stores — Royal Gold Tupur is a good brand.

A lot of people use hydroponics, where plant roots are free flowing in what is essentially a circulating water bath. But that can be a problem for inexperienced growers, because if you accidentally add too many nutrients to the water, you can burn or kill the plants because the roots suck the extra nutrients right up. Soilless media act as a buffer to protect the roots.

Q:What type of container is used?

A: Many people use 5-gallon plastic buckets, but those create problems because the roots just wrap around themselves and form a large root ball. If you use a 3- to 5-gallon fiber pot, the root sticks through the pot and (the plant) air-prunes itself, while feeder roots grow in the pot. That gives the plant a larger nutrient intake.

Q:How are the plants fed and watered?

A: Most nutrient products in hydroponic stores come with very easy-to-understand directions and a “recipe” and schedule on the side of the package that you can follow. You should also water the plants every two to three days with tap water that has sat in a container for 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate.

In addition, because you aren’t growing the plants outside where carbon dioxide is abundant, you must supplement the indoor air with it. Many small-time growers use CO2 tanks (similar to those on a soda fountain machine) with a regulator valve. You can get these tanks from grow stores or beverage suppliers. You can also buy automatic controllers for the tanks that release CO2 at the ideal ratio of 1,250 to 1,550 parts per million.

Getting to harvest

Q:What gets done with the plants after they’ve been potted?

A: Start with clones that are 4 to 5 inches tall, and give them 24-hour light until they reach 9 to 15 inches. If you keep temperatures below 80 degrees, this takes four to five weeks — less if you’re growing hydroponically.

Then you want to throw the plants into the flower cycle (12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of dark). During the second to third week of flowering, prune the bottom third of the plant so it puts its growth energy into the top once buds form.

Q:Then what?

A: Most plants are ready to harvest after 65 to 70 days of flowering. A good way to tell if the plant is harvestable is to get a 45x magnifying glass from a grow store and check out the trichomes on the flowers. Trichomes are the translucent resin glands that contain the cannabinoids. When they turn amber or a milky purple, you know they’re ready. This sounds difficult, but it’s actually pretty easy for the layman to do.

Another option is, if about 80 percent of the flower’s pistils turn orange or darker brown rather than white, then they’re ready to harvest.

Processing the harvest

Q:OK, say a home grower successfully gets three pot plants to the final flowering stage. They’re healthy and producing buds. How are they processed?

A: When a plant is fully mature, some people cut it off at the base, then cut off the fan leaves and hang it upside down. After it’s dried, they’ll trim off all the outer “sugar” leaves (the single leaves close to the bud).

What we think is best is to take down the plant and cut off all the leaves at once. If you leave the sugar leaves on, they may make the marijuana harsher. We trim so the (flower) bud has a clean egg shape, and use (the sugar leaves) to make concentrates to smoke, vaporize or cook with.

Then you hang the plant upside down for about a week, until the stem snaps rather than bends. Conditions should be about 68 degrees with 50 percent humidity. If the plant dries too fast, it locks in the chlorophyll, making it taste like plant material instead of marijuana. If it gets too humid, it can mold.

More questions, more answers

Q:Where can people find legitimate, affordable pot-growing help?

A: There’s a 1,200-page book that is beyond most other books and pretty much says everything you need to know about marijuana growing: “Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible,” by Jorge Cervantes (Van Patten Publishing, 2006). Our guys still keep it on hand, and they’ve been growing for 15 years.

Q: Can THC be topically absorbed? Could people who grow fail a drug test if they touch their plants?

A: You shouldn’t have any issue with handling the plant, but the scent is very pronounced, so you may smell like marijuana.

Q:What are the dangers for those who grow?

A: Be discreet. You wouldn’t tell everybody you have $2,000 just sitting on your nightstand, so don’t tell everyone you have $500 to $1,000 worth of marijuana in your basement. Putting a lock on your growing-room door and installing a home security system is not a bad idea.

Q: This is not something somebody who’s not fully committed should do, is it?

A: It is a daily, daily beast to take care of these plants. If you don’t acknowledge something it’s asking for for a day or two, you can lose two weeks of growth. Even if you do not mess up, that doesn’t mean you’re going to grow good marijuana.

Edited from an interview with Kayvan Khalatbari, principal of Denver Relief Consulting.