Hemp vs marijuana?
Just a short note to say you got your pollen yields all screwed up. (CC#13, Will hemp ruin marijuana?) First of all, is the yield 120 metric tons or 55,000 pounds for a 10 hectare field? It makes a big difference because 120 metric tons is 120,000 kilos, or about 250,000 pounds.
Not that it matters anyway because the yields are much lower than either of your numbers. As an example I point out that the highest industrial seed yields are less than 2 tons per hectare.
Also, don’t worry about pollen that is further than 10-20 miles it has very, very, little impact. The wind will usually transport the pollen in one direction, and if wet the pollen will germinate and die before fertilization.
Chairman, International Hemp Association
Thanks for your note David, I’m glad someone’s paying attention. Although I received a great deal of feedback on the article, you were the only one to notice my mathematical error. I divided where I should have multiplied in converting my kilograms to pounds. The kilograms is the correct figure.
I based my calculations on numbers in “The Cultivation of Hemp” by Bocsa and Karus. They write: “Of all cultivated plants, hemp produces the highest amount of pollen. A single male plant planted in wide row distance can produce 30-40 grams (1-1.5 ounces) of pollen.”
I took “wide row distance” to be 60 plants per square meter, a figure also derived from their book. However, David also claimed that cannabis planted for seed production is sometimes at a density as low as 1 plant to the square meter.
1 hectare = 10,000 square meters, so 60 plants per square meter is 600,000 plants per hectare. If half are male then there’s 300,000 male plants per hectare. 300,000 plants with 40 grams of pollen each is 12,000,000 grams of pollen, which is 12 metric tons. This is how I got my 120 tons for a 10 hectare field. If I had used David’s figure of 1 plant per square meter we would come to a total of 2 tons of pollen per 10 hectare field, a smaller figure, but still a hefty quantity of pollen!
I also consulted with breeding expert and IHA secretary Robert Clarke, and this is what he had to say:
Pollen from hemp crops will certainly pollinate marijuana crops. However, isolation distances will vary according to the size of the hemp field and local geography. If a marijuana grower has a field downwind from a large hemp field, then the isolation distance may need to be 10 kilometers or more. To avoid any seeds at all in the marijuana would be almost impossible.
Conversely, if a marijuana grower were upwind from a small hemp field, then a couple of kilometers may be enough isolation. As far as hiding marijuana in a hemp field, it will all be thoroughly seeded.
To the editor,
4 reasons why hemp probably won’t ruin marijuana:
1. Low THC hemp tends to revert to its natural THC-containing state in about 3 generations anyway. This is the reason why industrial hemp seeds must be certified. Consequently any outdoor marijuana fertilized by industrial hemp would get only a temporary genetic set back.
2. Being an older freak I can assure you that the only problem with fertilized pot is the lower yield of smokable bud weight since so much of that weight will be devoted to seeds. That’s a bummer but you will still get high!
3. Setting up a filtered air grow room is a pretty straightforward task (just ask any serious shroom cultivator). The price and availability of HEPA filters is getting better every day.
4. Look at all the obstacles that we growers have overcome to arrive at the current state of quality and availability. We are a resourceful group. I think we can adjust, particularly when we all need a return to hemp cultivation for the sake of the planet!
I just had to write in and tell you how very impressed I was by my recent copy of issue #14, Women & Weed. As a woman I found the articles enlightening. Also, my husband and I are expecting in January, so we both really appreciated the articles on pregnancy, motherhood and pot.
I just had to thank you for printing such honest and informative literature. I hope in the future you will continue to use Dr Kate, she seems to really know her stuff.
To the editor,
Thank you very much for your articles on pot and women’s health. My decision to smoke cannabis during the full term of my pregnancy and during my homebirth was something many family and friends doubted, but thankfully our midwife was behind us all the way.
I had researched the topic for 18 months before my pregnancy, but had found only studies outlining the harm that users of tobacco, cocaine and marijuana were inflicting on the unborn, never any hard evidence showing no detrimental effects.
I called “Dr Kate” up and interviewed her for our cannabis news, info and entertainment radio show, High Culture. She could only tell me that there were no documented negative side-effects to using cannabis during pregnancy.
My son Liam was 7.5 pounds, born after a 24 hour labour, with only herbs used for pain and stamina. I receive frequent comments about how smiley he is, and generally I find him to be an easygoing little fellow. But don’t get me wrong, he’s not passive. If he wants or needs something, he cries and yells just like any other baby!
Every time I told somebody that I was choosing to smoke cannabis during my pregnancy, I had to gear myself up for their reaction. I’m a cannabis advocate for a living, what did they expect?
When the glue sniffing mother was interdicted in Winnipeg, I worried that I too might be put into a substance abuse program, or have an accusation of fetal harm levelled at me.
Sometimes it seemed that cigarettes and alcohol were more acceptable drugs (in some people’s eyes) for the expectant mother than the benign marijuana plant. But it was my choice, and I made it with a supportive husband and a very few supportive friends.
In conversations, many mothers said their doctors had told them not to worry about quitting marijuana during pregnancy, but to quit tobacco if possible.
Thank you to people like Dr Kate and Dr Lester Grinspoon for reassuring us that this plant is a healing one, not a harming one, and thank you to CC for running those articles. I’m going to give a copy to everyone who questioned my decision to continue enjoying the gifts of the tree of life during pregnancy, so that they know the truth.
True North Hemp Co
To the editor,
I just picked up issue #14 yesterday and I fell in love. This is a great magazine. Articles, information, illustrations? all of it. I’ve got nothing but good feelings about this magazine.
The article Women and Marijuana: A personal Essay was a real eye opener. I’m a young male (19 yrs.old) and I’m having a real struggle with the masculinity around me. Most of the other guys I hang and smoke with are real masculine “tough guys”. But I’m kinda the opposite? I just want to smile and be kind to everyone around me. This contrast of characters is really a struggle for me.
Anyways? I read that article and it just made me think. I wish I could be less vague with how I feel about this issue. Thanx for publishing stuff like that.
Peace, Love, Empathy,