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The Grow Room

At FireBeards, I focus on cultivating cannabis not for its flower but for its resin— the source of all its medicinal, aromatic and therapeutic properties. The resin is contained within trichomes, tiny but mighty glands that are complex biolgical factories producing cannabinoids and terpenes.

Trichomes: The Resin Factories

Trichomes might be small, but they are far from the simplistic crystal structures they're often mistaken for at a glance. Under the microscope, they reveal a sophisticated structure optimized for the production of viscous and aromatic oils. These oils are packed with cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds responsible for the flavor, potency, and therapeutic effects of cannabis. The oil is contained within a thin waxey cuticle in the shape of a sphere which we call the head of the glandular trichome. The heads must be preserved during the extraction process until the hash is pressed into rosin and the oil is squeezed out of these heads and seperated from the wax and lipids. Checkout this excellent paper for much more detail on the structure and biology of glandular trichomes

In the grow room, I focus on farming these trichomes. By choosing genetics that not only produce rich levels of cannabinoids but also possess trichome structures conducive to ice water hash methods, I ensure that our solventless extracts are of unparalleled purity and quality.

Genetic Selection: Crafting the Perfect Plant

Selecting the right cultivar (sometimes called strain) and phenotype is crucial. It's not enough to have a plant that simply produces trichomes; the trichome's architecture must support solventless extraction techniques, particularly ice water separation which we'll explore in "The Lab." I hunt for plants that offer not only tasty terpenes with a robust cannabinoid profile but also trichomes that are plentiful, thin necked and resilient enough to be collected and processed using water hash methods. To maximize my chances, I turn to breeders who breed specifically for hash. I then research their options potential terpene profiles based on the experiences of others or by making an hopeful guess based on its lineage. After selecting a cultivar I will then start several seeds, each one of these plants are like siblings, they share the same potential genetic pool, but will come out with their own look, attitude and personality. This plant and all its subsequent cuts will be considered a phenotype. The goal is to find a phenotype from this group of seeds, that has the terpene profile I am seeking as well as excellent efficency in the processing to hash and rosin. A successful pheno hunt will result in a "keeper" which you can take cuttings and perpetually grow clones of this plant. Another option is to source known cuts that have these traits from other hash makers and growers.

Beyond THC and CBD: A World of Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are what many consider the heart of cannabis' effects. While THC and CBD are the most recognized, the cannabis plant produces dozens of other cannabinoids each contributing unique effects and benefits. For example, THCV is a non psychoactive that decreases appetite, increases energy, motivation and well-being . CBG is being evaluated for its usage in treatment of chronic pain, ADHD and anxiety. CBN is an excellent sleep aid. These compounds interact with the body's endocannabinoid system in complex ways that we are just beginning to understand fully.

Terpenes: More Than Just Aroma

Terpenes do more than provide the signature scents of cannabis—they also influence its effects and therapeutic properties. Some notable terpenes include:

Fresh Frozen: Preserving the Essence of the Live Plant

By using fresh frozen cannabis, which involves freezing the plant immediately after harvest, I preserve the most volatile terpenes that are often lost during the drying process. This method captures a snapshot of the plant at its peak, ensuring that its full live flavor profile is retained in the final extract. It's important to note that resin from dried plants can also be amazing, but at FireBeards we focus on the live process and preserving the same smells I experienced growing the plant.

The Impact of Growing Methods

The method by which cannabis is grown can significantly affect its terpene profile. I choose to grow organically in living soil, meaning soil with a full spectrum of life - including benifical bacteria, bugs, fungi and red wiggler worms. The diverse microbial environment helps the plants express their natural genetic potential in the form of complex terpene profiles. This method might be more labor-intensive, with slightly less yields, but it results in a product that is not only organic and free of pesticides but also richer in flavor and effects.


Understand the science and process behind solventless extraction. See how we preserve purity and potency.

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