Updated: Mar 3
That luminous well-being in your body and mind when you enjoy cannabis is the result of many factors, not least among them the natural light of the sun on the plant. Know this: only 0.36% of cultivators in Humboldt are indoor. Which means that because of its intimate relationship with the soil where it roots, those who tend to her and others who transform her, sungrown cannabis from Humboldt County and the Emerald Triangle is the most radical expression of this vitality. Sungrown is not yet available everywhere, but if you have the chance, choose Humboldt sungrown cannabis for these five reasons.
1. FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Cannabis grown indoors under artificial lights has a much larger carbon footprint from the electricity used for heaters, fans, dehumidifiers, water purifiers, high-density lights, and the list goes on. And on the output side, hydroponic crops often use fertilizers with heavy metals and high salt concentrations, all of which must be filtrated so that they don’t contaminate local sewer systems. Then there’s the medium--most indoor growers discard soil and use new soil for each crop. That soil, with all its chemicals, needs to be disposed of. By contrast, a sungrown farmer relies on the energy of the sun, and sees the soil and water feeding the plant as living components that need to be sustained.
2. FOR THE VALUE. “My personal belief is that sungrown cannabis is priced too low,” says Steve Albarran, CEO of Confident Cannabis, a company providing lab testing for cannabinoids, terpenes, and more. Indoor costs so much because the production costs are passed on to the consumer -- the electricity, the security system, etc. Sungrown artisanal craft cannabis in Humboldt is mostly cultivated by small family farms with lower overhead. Much better value.
3. FOR THE BODY. Khara Pechtes runs Food Flower Future which hosts many cannabis-infused dinners for select groups of epicureans in Southern California. She chooses exclusively sungrown cannabis from small farmers, such as Aloha Humboldt’s Forbidden Fruit which was recently paired with a summer succotash dish prepared by chef Pat. “With Sungrown, we care for our bodies better. We eat healthy food that nourishes our bodies, why would cannabis be any different?” she asks.
4. FOR THE PLANT. Mono-culture --the growing of just one strain in sterile, controlled conditions--leads to increased pest problems, which the indoor grower will manage with a pesticide-heavy regimen. A sungrown farmer often has a vegetable garden next to her cannabis, and practices companion planting. Chrystal Ortiz, owner of High Water Farm and the new cannabis marketplace dispensary Herb & Market, loves “the nuances of colors and the interaction with bugs as the plant mature into its flowering stage. Everything is set in nature.” Choose sungrown and enjoy the product of diversity.
5. For the taste and the high. Smell the cannabis, smoke just a little and allow the flavors to expand. Feel the high, memorable, complex, nuanced. What do you notice? The subtleties are endless, and you begin to develop your own taste. That is, if you have sungrown cannabis with rich terpenes that expresses delicious, complicated aromas rather than the shiny crystals and harsher burn of high-THC indoor. Bling is fun to look at, but it’s got no lasting power and it’s short on flavor. Choose sungrown, savor female complexity.
Nicole Riggs is the founder of Manifesto Synergies, an agency providing marketing services to the cannabis industry in Humboldt.