The cannabis plant has been around for thousands of years, utilized for many medicinal values, only recently becoming a staple commodity in multiple states economies. I found myself acquiring bag after bag of cannabis as a medical patient, only to find inconsistent quality with questionable cultivation practices. It was difficult to understand why some batches were so vastly different. The effects from the flower varied too much to be reliable in certain situations. I was searching for something more consistent, more potent, and tastier.
Flash forward a few years, now co-owning and operating a living soil commercial grow & processing facility in the state of Oklahoma for 4+ years. We donate penny grams for veterans every drop, supplying 1 veteran 1 gram per week until the supply is gone.
There are plenty of lessons to learn regarding cannabis cultivation, but the easiest is to reduce the number of bottled & synthetic products. Nature functions on a system of organic material being broken down slowly over time, via worms, bacteria, fungi, then enriching the soil and making certain nutrients / compounds available to plants. Synthetics force feeds a plant.
Instead of utilizing massively overpriced synthetic bottled solutions, it’s possible to mix your own soil and add water, allowing for a more complex cannabinoid and terpene profile. For example, if you feed a regime of 3 bottled products to grow your plant, your sources of N-P-K are all the same VS. a living soil with bat guano, blood meal, alfalfa meal, and worm castings. Now you have 4 sources of nitrogen, all broken down differently, that can support a wide variety of microbe life. These microbes will communicate with plant roots, exchanging nutrients needed in return for sugar exudes.
The reason this is important is because this living food web allows phenos to express specific and diverse cannabinoid and terpene profiles, resulting in a more potent, tastier experience.
There are many nuances trying to have the best end quality product possible. From mixing soils, watering practices, environmental controls, drying / curing, storing, extraction, etc. My goal is to help all veterans have access to information regarding cultivating of their own medicine at home, in a way that is better than unsustainable inorganic compounds. The more veterans growing their own cannabis at home, the better. We’ve all seen the celery in food coloring experiment in school and cannabis acts the same way. If you can not speak directly to the farmer, you really have no idea what you are smoking.
So to my fellow Veterans, I implore you to examine your relationship with cannabis in a way that benefits the mind, body, soul, and earth.
Caleb Neal is a U.S. Army Veteran, serving 5 years Active Duty as a Military Police Officer. His late spouse, Courtney Neal, was a female combat veteran MP who lost her life to suicide in 2021. His goal is to empower and educate veterans to cultivate their own in the best way for their body and the earth.