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Cannabis Regeneration: A Multiple Harvest Method For Greater Yields
Published by Leabhar Inc., Toronto, Canada
Copyright © 2015 J.B. Haze
Photographs © 2015 J.B. Haze
This book contains information about illegal substances, specifically the plant Cannabis and its derivative products. Leabhar Inc. would like to emphasize that Cannabis is a controlled substance in North America and throughout much of the world. As such, the use and cultivation of cannabis can carry heavy penalties that may threaten an individual’s liberty and livelihood. The aim of the Publisher is to educate and entertain. Whatever the Publisher’s view on the validity of current legislation, we do not in any way condone the use of prohibited substances.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the Publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages or reproduce illustrations in a review where appropriate credit is given. Nor may any part of this book be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Publisher.
For the island girl in the Beetle with the doobie
There are three paths: seed, clone, regeneration. Ignoring any one is akin to handing a third of the pie back to god.
—former two-timin’ man
Preface: Just Like Magic
Chapter 1 Conceptually Speaking
Chapter 2 The MRS
Chapter 3 Increased Yield
Chapter 4 Saving Light, Power, Space and Consumables
LEARNING TO REGENERATE
Chapter 5 Preparation
Chapter 6 Rescuing and Regenerating Your Harvested Plant
Chapter 7 Initial Regrowth
Chapter 8 Staking, Teasing and Training Prior to Flowering
Chapter 9 The Second Flowering
Chapter 10 The Second Harvest
Chapter 11 Adapting The MRS for Successive Regenerations
Chapter 12 Using Regeneration to Complement Cloning and Seeding
Chapter 13 Expanding The MRS to Multiple Plants
About the Author
I’d like to thank Andrew and the wonderful team (Heather, Ian and Jack) at Green Candy Press for their undying efforts to make this the very best book possible. From contract to culmination, it’s been a joy.
JUST LIKE MAGIC
Over eight long and dutiful weeks you’ve flowered a sweet, succulent and fragrant plant. She’s a keeper: 30 delicious colas, all glistening with goodness. However, just as you’re holding pruning shears to her trunk, you’re beating yourself up over having not taken clones or kept seeds.
“Damn…” you whisper under your breath, stumbling and stubbing your toe. “If I harvest her now she’ll be gone forever—kaput! There’s got to be a way to save these genetics without wasting all these yummy buds!”
Wiping the grimace from your face, and the blood from your foot, you carefully consider which of three possible actions to take:
1. Follow the instructions (in many a grow book) for attempting to “re-green” or “rejuvenate” the cannabis: Cut down your plant, leaving about 15 to 30% of the lower branches, foliage and buds behind. Flick the lights back to 24/0 (24 hours of light and none of darkness), cross your fingers and hope for the best.
2. Take mature age clones: Cut off the ripe buds, replanting them, following cloning protocol. Flick the lights back to 24/0, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
3. Utilize the Marijuana Regeneration System, as taught in this book: Harvest your entire plant, hanging her upside down to dry. Then initiate the regeneration of the remaining stump, growing out 60 or so new tips (each ready to begin flowering) over the next 38 days. All up, not bad for a plant that, prior to the chop, had just 30 colas.
Now, let’s weigh the options:
Solutions 1 or 2? Forget ‘em! I don’t know about you, but I don’t like putting in all that love and care, all those nutrients and lumens, only to sacrifice up to 30% of yield. Nor do I cherish lopping ripe buds for a possibly ill-fated cloning attempt when they could be put to better use; too much wasted goodness. There is no doubt that the first two methods may produce new growth—a good 50% chance, by my estimate. Yet the question is this: At what cost? In both instances, harvest is severely compromised (with corresponding reductions in yield) and you are left with a mutilated mess to dry.
That’s more like it. A full harvest to enjoy plus the potential to regenerate 60 new colas in the same pot. It’s a no brainer. In fact, it’s just like magic!
It may sound far-fetched, but the reality is anything but. This book is about refining existing wisdom and then applying it creatively. It offers a planned, tried and consistent technique; a reliable system allowing you to grow a single plant over and over again. Yummy. Decision made: Solution 3. Safe now to address the bloodied toe.
LIFE IS FULL OF SURPRISES
In the early 1980s I befriended my first real counter-culture hippie. He was a child of the 60s, growing up within a roach’s throw of Haight Street. His attitude, artistic freedom and explorative mind impressed me no end. I was young, a little sheltered, still living at home and Ricky J wanted to introduce me to the wonders of the herb. Then, as now, it is a pleasure (some would say a duty) to mentor a friend in the canna-way.
“Mind-blowing, illuminating and life-changing,” he teased before quietly cautioning, “The first time can be a little elusive; you may not notice anything.” He gifted me two books in preparation for the journey. One for before (the hilarious parody of dope culture: A Child’s Garden of Grass by Jack S. Margolis) and one for after (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams).
I had, unknown to my good friend, also made a score of my own, and I’m not talking primo green here. Her name was Billie-Jean; a super-sweet, beaming island girl who just happened to be hosting at the Spanish cantina I was frequenting. As we sat in her beat-up V.W. Beetle around the corner from Tokyo Jo’s, she reached into her oversized hippie bag, pulling out a joint.
“Evva gotten high?” she asked—adding, almost immediately, “A little luvin’ goes a long way!” Taken aback at the bizarre and coincidental turn of events, my rambling and confused attempt at explaining the man-that’s-weird look on my face was cut short with the unintentional double entendre, “… are we going to do it, or what?” Unable to resist the glow of her skin, the glitter of her blue, blue eyes and her moist shiny lips, I succumbed. But only after she quietly whispered, “Don’t expect too much, it can be pretty subtle. You may not even notice.”
Following her instructions to the letter, the joint was properly lit. I was careful not to slobber, and received the relevant training on holding the toke and other breathing tricks. The car was bursting with smoke. But nothing. I felt nothing—apart from the titillation any young man should feel sharing a lipstick stained doobie with an incredible woman. Dinner was amazing. We settled in, bare feet entwined beneath the sunken table, enjoying the beautifully prepared teriyaki and shabu shabu. Dessert consisted of frozen ice cream—something that, I have to admit, never made sense to me. However, this evening the batter/crumb-work was marvelous; the way it partly crumbled, yet retained a shell-like formation that would, at times, slip gracefully along the gently curved arch of the spoon and then just hang. The little bubbles in the melting ice cream slid about with an amazing smoothness…
“You’re high,” she said.
The spoon made a little click on my teeth each time I passed it by my lips. I’d not noticed this before.
“You’re high,” she said again.
The music was simply wonderful and I don’t think I’d before heard some of the instrumentation in what were familiar tunes.
“You’re high,” she said once more.
“Nah, no I am not,” I purred back—quickly correcting myself as I looked up. The glimmer in this girl’s eyes, the way the lighting in the room sparkled, and the surgically rendered mess of ice cream and crumbs convincing me. I had found the space. Or it had found me. Either way, it was wonderful. 1
Many have reported the elusiveness of the initial “high” of marijuana, including famed astronomer and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan, who (writing as Mr. X 2 ) in Marihuana Reconsidered (1971), said: “My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo…” Legendary cannabis activist and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer, tells a similar tale about his first experience. 3 If you ask around, those who remember the period between the 60s and 80s will relate similar stories.
Consider the same scenario—that is, introducing a newbie to the joys of the herb—shifted to the current day. Could you, in all fairness (while rolling a joint of Chronic) declare to a friend, “… look mate, this is really subtle. You may not notice much at all.” I think not. Today’s cannabis seems—for the most part—a different experience to what it was decades ago.
Donning our retrospectacles, and peering at history, I think we can finger prohibition as the catalyst for this shift.
The 60s, 70s and early 80s were, undoubtedly, sativa-based times. Think “hippies, daisy-chains and Itchycoo Park” and you’ll be recalling sativa days. The word “mellow” describes the period. Some of today’s popular strains of cannabis sativa are Carnival, Yummy and Cotton Candy. The advertised names mirror the plant’s qualities—gentle and fun. It has been said, “a good sativa is like slipping into a lovely warm bath.”
On the other hand, today’s most widely used variety, cannabis indica, produces an effect more readily felt in the body. The terms “body-hit,” “one-toke-wonder” and “couch-lock” are often attributed to particularly potent strains of indica. Advertised names are also an indication of how hard these strains impact the end user. Would anyone expect anything gentle or subtle from plants labeled Kong, The Beast or Zombie Virus? None of these tally neatly with the let’s go sit in the sunshine, sing and make daisy chains images of yesteryear’s subtle highs.
So, why the shift?
Prohibition. As raids, busts and chemical defoliation became more of a risk in the last decades of the century, growers were forced indoors: The tall-growing sativa, with its long flowering time of between 12 and 20 weeks, simply became untenable. Ceilings were too low to accommodate such tall and leggy plants and the time between harvests was too long. Cannabis indica, on the other hand, is a small and squat plant that flowers in a very brief eight or so weeks and is easier to manage indoors.
Make no mistake, this shift indoors marked a turning point in our relationship with the species. It is this profound change that concerns us the most here. While I believe the segue from sativa to indica is alone sufficient to account for the oft-declared “cannabis is getting stronger” claim, it is the enforcement of controlled conditions, I feel, that has really made an impact on growing.
Moving indoors meant, for the first time, the farmer could control the exact parameters of the grow. Water, lighting and nutrients could be fine tuned to perfectly fit the plant’s requirements. No longer was the crop at the mercy of the weather. Moving indoors forced the study of the photoperiod (how the length of the day affects growth patterns) in detail. It has led to better lights, refined nutrients, superior water delivery systems, consideration of the effects of humidity, temperature, root health and so much more. These intricacies were not well understood until the move indoors forced dedicated cultivators to do the research.
By understanding the details, we can better look after our plants. This allows them to reach further up towards the ceiling of potential. Due to the knowledge generated by being forced indoors, we are now growing better gardens.
Kicked off by prohibition, we have seen a revolution, not only in lighting efficiencies/technologies and the understanding of the plant’s biology/behavior, but also in the tools and equipment required to grow successfully. Consider the vast array of grow tents, watering systems, clone propagation units, automated timers, CO2 delivery systems and the like that are now available. Entire industries have grown from the new knowledge base. And grow books? Well, prior to prohibition, you could count them on the fingers of one hand. Nowadays there are dozens upon dozens of books dealing with the botany and wonder of the cannabis plant. How times have changed. The MRS itself has grown out of this new—ever-evolving—pool of information (and today’s ease of access to the appropriate tools/supplies).
If you already know how to grow a great garden—potent and healthy—then transitioning to The MRS will be pain free and fun. For novices, I’d suggest you absorb as much information about growing cannabis as you can. I’ve included a basic reading list at the end of this book to start you on your way. You see, the better the grower you are, the better the results from The MRS will be. It is not a panacea to a successful grow; it is a pathway—allowing your existing skills to be expressed in an efficient, productive and potent manner.
You may never have believed that cannabis could regenerate once, let alone the two or more times that I intend to show you in this book. Well, as I said at the start of this introduction, life is full of surprises. And, as a girl called Billie-Jean once said, “… a little luvin’ goes a long way!”
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The Pros and Cons of Cannabis Regeneration
Have you ever mourned the loss of a particularly good plant after harvest? We all have our favourites, but what if there was a way you could enjoy the same plant over and over again? That’s right, we’re talking about regeneration, or re-vegging. Here’s everything you need to know about the process, including the advantages and disadvantages.
Understanding cannabis regeneration.
Like conventional gardeners, most cannabis growers get rid of their plants after harvesting the buds. Upon receiving such a luscious, fresh, potent crop, we know it’s time to move on to the next. However, some growers do it a little differently. These individuals use regeneration; a method in which one plant delivers multiple harvests.
But how, exactly?
In this article, we look at what weed regeneration is, how to do it, and its pros and cons.
What Is Cannabis Regeneration?
In botany, plant regeneration refers to repairing and renewing plant tissues.
As an annual flowering plant, the cannabis life cycle is limited to a single season. This is how it’s always been and always will be—no matter how much we fumble with genetics. Essentially, cannabis grows when the days are long, and flowers when they’re short. Once it reaches the end of its life cycle, it dies.
Regeneration is kind of like hacking that biological process. While the original plant will eventually die, growers can first revert it back to its vegetative state. As a result, you can grow the same plant again for a second—albeit, slightly less fruitful—harvest.
Why Re-Veg Your Cannabis Plants?
Whether it’s your first plant or your fiftieth, there are plenty of reasons to re-veg your weed. One of the most convincing is how much time you’ll save in comparison to growing another plant from scratch. On the contrary, regeneration also has its disadvantages.
In this section, we’ll look at the pros and cons of re-vegging.
Benefits of Re-Vegging
Although the science seems complex, re-vegging is actually pretty simple—and there are plenty of upsides to doing so!
Harvesting cannabis at different times from the same plant can shake things up immensely. For example, many growers take clones from a preferred mother plant before the flowering stage. If they don’t, that special phenotype will be lost forever once the plant starts to bloom—unless they decide to re-veg. This way, growers can preserve an exact replica of that specific phenotype.
Increases Viability of Plants
Not unlike a grandparent pruning their roses, taking cuttings is a great way to expand your crop. This is true for both holistic and recreational growers who might live somewhere with restrictions on how many plants they can grow. Basically, it’s for those who only need a couple of quality plants to get by. Having two plants with the same traits will always be better than one from an unknown.
No Need to Keep a Mother Plant
Ditching a mother plant can be emotional, especially if it’s provided some of the best buzz you’ve ever had. As a result, some growers keep the mother plant around for as long as possible, pulling and flipping clones directly from her. While this is one way to preserve characteristics, you can also do that with regeneration.
Perhaps she’s taking up too much space in your grow room. Or, maybe tending to her is taking up valuable time and resources you could use on something else. Whatever the reason, re-vegging your plant means you can get rid of her, and still produce a genetically identical crop.
Reduced Vegetative Period
If time is of the essence for you, some growers have found re-vegging to vastly speed up the waiting period. Although controversial, re-vegging shows the potential to reduce time spent in veg. Plants that have lasted a full season have complex, mature root systems. In comparison, clones and younger plants take a while to establish their roots. When re-vegging after harvest, those roots are technically already there.
More Bud From the Same Plant
You might’ve already heard of the term monster-cropping before. Even so, you might not know that monster cropping is simply a re-vegging technique. Done right, monster-cropped plants can thoroughly increase cannabis yields by producing bushier plants, stronger stems, and more nodes for potential buds.
No Need for Seeds
How long does it take you to choose the right seeds? If you’re anything like us, it’s a process that, while fun, can waste valuable growing time. Re-vegging your favourite cannabis plant already cuts the time in half by eliminating this process. Furthermore, if you’re re-vegging to preserve genetics, you already know what you want—and that you’ll get it.
Downsides of Re-Vegging
Of course, nothing in life is all upsides. Here are some of the common pitfalls you should be aware of when it comes to cannabis regeneration.
While simple in theory, the actual cannabis regeneration process isn’t a walk in the park. Whether you’re a first timer or have been growing for decades, things can—and will—go wrong. Before you set about trying, arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible: read forums, watch video guides, but also know it’s okay to mess up. Luckily, you can take several cuttings, so you won’t have just one shot.
Although it obviously doesn’t take as long as a new plant, re-vegged plants can take a few weeks to show signs of regrowth. How long it takes to re-veg is specific to the individual plant and its environment. For example, if you take too long to start the re-vegging process, it’s going to take longer for your plant to reach the flowering stage. Patience is key. After all, sometimes plants just grow slowly.
Even for some seasoned growers, cannabis training can be overlooked, which is a shame. Training your plants is one of the best ways to increase yields by more than 40% without messing with your setup. However, when it comes to re-vegging, the training process is harder. After all, you only have the skeleton of the plant to work with, rather than a curious young plant.
There are some people out there—such as monster-croppers—who re-veg plants for more than two cycles. While some report the potency to be unchanged in the first few rounds, each time yields less bud. With each successive harvest, you get less bud than the one previous. Eventually, the potency and quality are also reduced and the bud is no longer viable.
Like every living thing, stress is a huge risk factor for plants. The mere process of re-vegging can stress the plant out enough to exhibit mutations or trigger hermaphroditism. For example, once leaves appear, they might not have the perforated edges we know and love. That said, these issues should calm down after a couple of weeks. Keep in mind that a stressed plant can take longer to recover, so treat them well.
Types of Re-Vegging
Cannabis regeneration isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. In fact, there are a few ways you can kickstart a plant’s vegetative period—even accidentally.
Monster cropping is kind of like taking Bruce Banner and turning him into The Hulk. A mix of plant training and re-vegging techniques, it’s also a hugely popular way for growers to increase yield. The process involves cloning a plant during its flowering stage by taking cuttings from the lower branches, thus increasing volume, growth density, and viability of the new plants.
Post Harvest Re-Vegging
Although not recommended for first-time growers, re-vegging post-harvest is a straightforward technique that doesn’t take long to master. Furthermore, once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to do it again and again, bettering it each time.
The science? You have to trick your plant by creating an artificial autumn and winter.
How to Re-Veg Your Cannabis Plant
- Prune, prune, prune: Be selective and only remove some of the buds. Keep any stems and flowers on the bottom third of the plant. New growth will then come from the growth tips left after harvest.
- Cover the wounds: While optional, to reduce stress, you can use a strip of tape to cover any cuts. This should also prevent infection and any unwanted environmental exposure, such as light or oxygen.
- Flush the roots: Use clean, lukewarm water to flush the plant’s roots without drowning it. If necessary, you can also prune any defective roots.
- Nurture the roots: Change the plant’s nutrients to treat it more like a young seedling by using nitrogen-heavy nutrients.
- Repot the plant:Transplanting into a new pot can make or break the re-veg process. Give it a new pot, fresh soil, and any further additives to stimulate the process.
- Restart the vegetative phase: Put your girl under 20–24 hours of light, resetting her back to her vegetative phase. Because cannabis naturally vegetates in the spring and summer, more light is required to trick her into thinking spring is here again.
- Alter the photoperiod: Flowering and vegetation photoperiods are different. Once she’s recovered, you can switch to a standard 18 hours of light per day.
- Keep watching: It’ll take a while before the plant shows signs of life. As a result, be careful not to overwater her. More water won’t quicken this process up, but instead will be detrimental in the long-run. It should take about two weeks before you see signs of regeneration.
- Change the light to induce flowering: After a few weeks, your plant will be ready for flower mode. Prune the leaves and switch to a 12-hour light cycle.
Once she flowers, she’ll be ready to harvest again.
Accidental re-vegging is incredibly common. In fact, it might’ve even happened to you.
Cannabis can unexpectedly revert back to its vegetative phase for a number of reasons, some of which are as seemingly insignificant as a light disturbance or weather changes. Because of that, accidental re-vegging is largely dependent on where you’re growing your plants, and any related factors.
- Light leaks: Cannabis is photoperiod-sensitive. Part of our job as growers is to stimulate this cycle if we’re growing indoors. As a result, any brief change in lighting can spark unintended early flowering. This could be from you entering the room too much, or from a gaping zipper. To prevent this, check for unwanted sources of light. If you see them—even if they’re as small as a pinhole—patch them up with black tape.
- Faulty timers: Electronics break. If you have a faulty timer, your plant could be subjected to longer light periods than it needs. Because cannabis is extra sensitive to light, it can trigger a faster or unexpected auto regen. Be sure to double-check your timers in advance.
- Planting too early: As a general rule, planting seedlings outdoors too early lengthens the vegetative period. Instead of planting in March or April, wait until mid-to-late May (in the Northern Hemisphere).
- Moving plants: Moving plants around too much is never a good idea. Although sometimes it’s necessary, moving a plant to a position with more exposure to light or warmth can trigger it to revert to the vegetative stage.
What Else You Can Do
Accidental re-vegging isn’t the end of the world. If it happens, there are a few things you can do to fix it.
On the one hand, you can let it revegetate completely. Perhaps you want to start learning about cannabis regeneration and it’s giving you a head start. Or, maybe you’re just making the most out of things. Either way, leaving an accidental re-veg won’t harm your plants at all.
Alternatively, if you’d rather nip the re-veg process in the bud, as it were, correcting any light leaks should do the trick. Once you’ve eliminated any unnecessary light, give your plant 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness a day and it’ll return to the flowering stage.
One possible downside to plants switching states quickly, and more than once, is the possibility of hermaphroditism. That said, you can also rectify that. Examine your plants near the buds to check for any yellowish sacs. Do so carefully as they can be sneaky and hide behind the bud. If you find a few, carefully remove them before they open to save the plant from pollinating itself and developing seeds instead of resin.
Achieve Multiple Harvests From One Plant With Regeneration
Experienced growers tend to have more luck when it comes to re-vegging. But even simple things can go wrong along the way, particularly if you aren’t as familiar with the growing process itself.
However, if you’re interested in re-vegging or your plants have re-vegged accidentally, there are a lot of benefits. One of the most impressive? A successfully re-vegged plant will be ready to flower in just 3–6 weeks. Just think of the benefits of that!
What if you could get more out of your weed plant than just one harvest? Well, you can—with cannabis regeneration. Here's how to do it, and the pros and cons.