It’s rare when we come across a customer who pushes the boundaries with respect to marijuana cultivation and curing, so we chomped at the bit to interview Michelle aka “Missradreefer” on her recent 3-Month Cure using a Cannador.
How long have you been growing and how did you first learn?
I’ve had a green thumb nearly my whole life. I grew up in the Philippines, so it was essential to grow your own food given the remoteness of many of the islands. I spent my early twenties collecting private and exotic species of plants from all over the world. For example, I hybridized water lilies (Nymphaea) and water lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), owned AquaticLilies.Com and I was really active in the ponding communities. As for Cannabis, I honestly didn’t even begin to start smoking until I was in my mid-twenties.
That must have been an interesting transition from water lilies to cannabis.
To be honest, I only started smoking it moderately. At the time, I fell into a relationship with a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq, and consequently, he suffered from PTSD, so I thought “why, if I’m legally capable of growing meds for him, am I not growing to begin with?” I dove in head first, like I do with all things, pouring over books, online sources and forums, and pestering my friends who were cannabis growers with questions. It ended up being a big moment in my life when I saw how cannabis helped rehabilitate him back into society, so I’ve been hooked ever since and I feel like I’m making a positive impact for those who do need meds.
What are some of the strains you’re growing now?
The list of strains in my gardens is always changing. Some will forever remain in my strain vault, untouched. Being a genetics strain tester for some big names in the industry, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy extremely rare strains that aren’t naturally grown on this continent. That’s what I like working with, the pheno-specific profiles that only the wildest pheno-hunter would travel to the end of the earth for. This year, I would like to carry strains that have righteous color palates. I want Purple Army, Fall Color Fade with a flush, Eye Candy, etc.
Who have you tested for?
Some of the breeders that I’m honored to have tested for include Cult Classic Seeds, Gage Green Group, Select Genetics, Red Eyed Genetics, Trinacria Gardens, TKO Reserve, THC Developments, Sub Rosa Gardens, Planet Green Toe Genetics, former breeder and key player behind Ken Estates and GrandDaddy Genetics, and La Plata Labs. They bring the heat!
You recently posted on Instagram a shot of some bud that underwent a 3 month cure. Not only are we intrigued that you lasted 3 months without indulging, but you used a Cannador to do it. How did that go?
Firstly, I have to admit that some of these amazing samples were gifts, but hands down, I couldn’t have done it without the Cannador! Normally, with large harvests, I keep my flowers preserved, after proper drying, in airtight mason jars, away from light and at a comfortable temperature. That said, I primarily use the Cannador for preserving the best of my harvests or the amazing flowers I receive from fellow members of my community. What I particularly like about the Cannador is the quarter-sized jars because this fits my needs perfectly. I’m in love with the breathing lid on each of the canisters inside the Cannador so it will allow me to regulate the buds getting moisture in their container. What I like most is the look in everyone’s eyes when I pull out this gorgeous, hand-crafted cannabis humidor.
To answer your question about how I kept myself from indulging, until you’ve smoked pristine quality cannabis that has been cured for longer than 3 weeks, you’ll never turn back. Guaranteed. A 3-month cure is, without a doubt, the best smoke you can ever treat yourself to. A sad fact, many large scale, big volume commercial operations wont cure their buds for more than 3 days, so dispensaries are carrying some great flowers, but they could be so much better. I encourage you to try to conserve and store your buds properly. There are points of no return mind you, for example, if your buds were left to dry too fast or they molded from too much moisture, there’s now way to return them to a better state. I like to focus on understanding what’s going on during the cure because this is one of the most critical stages. Learn to feel your buds. As with everything in life, there are always signs, you just need to learn to know where to look.
How did moisture play a role in your 3-month cure and what did you do to control it?
The Humidity Bead System was great because it absorbed and released the moisture as needed. The key focus is preservation, so that means knowing the specie and how it reacts to moisture. It’s important to note that just because you have bud, you can’t just throw it in a Cannador, add some moisture, and fully expect it to be the best. If the bud wasn’t cured properly to begin with, no amount of moisture will enhance it. The Cannador does work for dry bud revival, but again, curing needs to be done right prior to storing. I used the moisture controlling lids for burping and vented it on timed intervals. I used a hygrometer to make sure the humidity wasn’t too high, which is probably best for those just starting out.
Have you noticed any difference in the taste, texture or high from this vintage cured bud? This brings up an interesting question, could there ever be a vintage reserve market for cannabis, similar to the vintage wine market?
Yes! Like I said, if you haven’t had the opportunity to sample legitimately long-cured buds, you’re missing out. The taste is more full-bodied and the aroma is exquisite. Like wine, you need to give the plant time and the right environment to allow chemical changes to occur within the resin glands. Terpene profiles become more pronounced with time. I feel there might be a market out there for long-cured buds, once people realize the world of difference between dank buds that were dried and minimally cured and dank buds that have been long-cured. There are so many random factors that play into whether your buds can have a vintage shelf life, but it all starts with laying the proper ground work.
Lastly, what advice would you give aspiring growers who are either in it for themselves or commercially?
My biggest piece of advice is to never stop learning. There is always something new to learn in botany and agriculture and we’re constantly getting more information from “now approved” studies. Challenge yourself daily and never be satisfied with the status quo. You have to be passionate about learning new methods and understanding their consequences. We’re all in this together to make better meds!
Photo courtesy of @missradreefer
Want to talk vintage reserves or curing techniques? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to talk about all things marijuana storage. We obsess over it daily.