A chat with Jorge Cervantes, Shantibaba from Mr. Nice & Jaime of Resin Seeds
We went on two locations to ask a few of those involved in the release of the CBD-crew, first part was with Jorge Cervantes and the second part was with Shanti and Jaime…
How did the CBD-crew idea evolve?
Jorge: Shanti, Jaime and I were in the car heading back to Jaime’s house. We were tossing around a few ideas from the past few days and CBD-rich strains and “bam!” we felt the effects of the Cannatonic, we felt no pain! At that point WE KNEW WE ARE the CBD-Crew! – Two breeders, a scientist and me.
What were the CBD-crew basic premises?
Jorge: Develop CBD-rich strains, study CBD as a medicine and promote CBD-rich strains for medicinal cannabis patients.
How did the project begin and with who?
Jorge: A good friend of mine, Shanti and Jaime put us alltogether regularly to discuss the issues and lab testing and slowly the affiliations with several other breeders, lab wor-kers, and professionals gained a momentum and excite-ment we have not seen since before.
When did you feel it was achievable and did it work how you thought it was going to work…like a bree-ding program of a normal seed?
Jorge: Actually the activity behind CBD-rich cannabis andthe CBD-Crew is unlike any other I have seen. We have two professional, well-known breeders collaborating for the good of medical marijuana patients. Normally mari-juana seed breeders look after themselves. Now, we are legal and have laboratories with like-minded scientists hel-ping us. We are all working in concert to advance CBD-rich strains like Cannatonic very quickly.
Does it feel the same to work alone or with a crew of like minded companies? Do you see the CBD-crew as a growing concern for like minded companies and individuals?
Jorge: It is much more
stimulating to work with smart,accomplished
peers. We are on the same page and fun-ction much better as a group.
Collaboration among businesses that complement one another is always smart. A strong working relationship with like-minded individuals gives a natural advantage to research and dissemination of information and products.
Will we expect to see more strains CBDed so to speak in the future?
Jorge: In this industry based on piracy, we will see more CBD strains than ever before. But, just like Jaime and Shanti point out, good seeds require time, scientific know how and hard work. A handful of seed companies will do what it takes. Now CBD-rich strains are becoming known in California and other medical states in the USA. It will take time before they become popular in Europe and the world. I will certainly cover most of those development on my new website www.jorgecervantes.tv
Together with the growing number of US states that have medical marijuana laws and new coun-tries having programs that allow patients to access cannabis as a medicine (i.e. Canada and Israel) I feel that the interest of the pharmaceutical industry for cannabinoids has been on a positive trend during the past year. What is your opinion?
Jorge: You hit it on the nose! Cannabinoids are very inte-resting molecules, few medicines offer such a wide range of positive effects and very low toxicity. The pharmacolo-gical industry is moved by profits and a naturally occur-ring plant molecule cannot be patented. Consider the costs to register a new medication, in the USA it is about $800’000’000 (yes, 800 million dollars!). It is easy to understand why until a few years ago nobody was inte-rested in investing in this market. The leading pharma-ceutical company dealing with cannabinoids is GW phar-maceuticals, based in the UK. Their sub-lingual spray, Sativex, has a 1:1 ratio between THC:CBD. Of course their product is fully standardized, one of the important requirements in the pharmaceutical world. But standardi-zation is very difficult if not impossible to achieve in a her-bal product. We know that there are many variables that
can influence the production of cannabinoids, like light intensity, temperatures, fertilization, etc. The only way to play the game is to grow your plants and then extract the cannabinoids. Once extracted in a laboratory, you can produce a truly standardized product. On the other hand patients seem to prefer the natural solution to the stan-dardized products, most often because they are able to self-titrate (find the right dosage) when they inhale from a vaporizer or smoke directly. By inhaling, patience also experience a faster onset of the positive effects of canna-binoids.
Last but not least is the money! The July 2010 issue of the IACM (International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines) periodical listed the current price for 1mg of THC in Sativex is €0,62 (the 10ml vial sells at approx. €150,00 in EU pharmacies), Marinol (syn- thetic THC) in the USA fetches €1,80 per 1 mg. Weed sold in a coffee-shop in Amsterdam, for example high quality Super Silver Haze with a 19% THC content, costs approx. €9,00/gram. At this price, the cost of 1mg of THC drops to €0,05 (12 times less than Sativex, 36 times less than Marinol!).
Hello Jaime and Shanti, so glad to have you on Weed World for this chat on CBD-crew. We spoke already with Jorge Cervantes and since you both announced this new project of yours during the last Spannabis fair in Barcelona, could you tell us more about it?
Jaime: As you remember the first time we tested the 1:1ratio of THC: CBD in Cannatonic (a strain I created for Resin Seeds) was also during a Spannabis fair, the 2009 edition, when we gave a sample to be analyzed by CANNA laboratories. From that moment on I have been working with Shantibaba on CBD since we were both genuinely interested in bringing this powerful molecule to patients.
Shanti: That’s right mate, during the past
decade sciencehas demonstrated that
CBD is a potent antioxidant with
strong anti-inflammatory qualities. Jaime and I both belie-ve that patients should be given a chance to cultivate and employ CBD-rich cannabis to self-medicate. We wish to offer a well tested natural alternative in a seed form.
Most cannabis is bred for the “high” THC content. What else about CBD-rich strains makes them such desirable strains for patients?
Jaime: Cannabidiol —CBD— is a compound in Cannabisthat offers various beneficial properties. Taken alone, CBD is not psychoactive; when mixed with THC it tends to smooth and modulate the euphoric effects of THC, often this is something patients tend to dislike in high THC strains. After decades only high-THC Cannabis, CBD-rich strains are now being grown by and for medical patients. CBD has demonstrated neuro-protective effects in some pathological conditions, and its anti-cancer potential is currently being explored at several academic research cen-ters worldwide (try to search “CBD cancer Guzman” on google for more insights).
Shanti: The reduced psychoactivity of CBD-rich cannabismakes it an appealing treatment option for patients see-king anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and/or anti-spasm effects without some of the typical effects of THC, like euphoria. Many scientific and clinical studies indicate that CBD could be effective in easing symptoms of a wide range of difficult-to-control conditions, including: rheuma-toid arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, PTSD, epilepsy, antibio-tic-resistant infections and neurological disorders. I suggest you visit the website of projectcbd.org, a California based non-profit educational service, for further information.
And the CBD-crew, how did it come about? It is not every day you see two seed companies collabora-ting so closely?
Shanti: You mean instead of stealing and feminizing yourcompetitor’s genetics?
Jokes a part, if you want to develop new genetics based on their chemotype (which cannabinoids will be produced in the resin of the flowers) there is plenty of hard work based on trial and error to go through. First of all you need to be able to test the cannabinoid content of the genetics you are producing, in order to select the right ones to move ahead with your project. We collaborate
with a certified laboratory for a series of analytical tests during the course of the plants lives. Before I started bree-ding CBD-rich strains, I was selecting plants based on their aromatic profile, flowering period, yield etc. In this case you need to wait for the lab to send you the result of your samples before you can start to evaluate how to move ahead! We are taking away the guesswork of a breeder and replacing it with precise science.
Jaime: I fully agree
with Shanti, plenty of time-consumingwork
here! Furthermore with Cannatonic we discovered that only 50% of the plants
grown were CBD rich. This means that out of a packet of 10 seeds you would only
find 5 plants that were really CBD-rich. Our goal was to
overcome this problem and offer seeds that are 100% CBD-rich, which for patients would mean that they do not need to test samples to select a mother for producing their own medicine.
When will the CBD-crew debut
its new product line?
Jaime: By end of August 2011 we will select medical cannabis growers around the world to test the new experimental crosses we made using legendary genetics of Mr. Nice Seed Bank and Resin Seeds as starting points. We are fortunate to work with growers that can have access to a lab to test their plants during the growing season.
Shanti: Each test grower will receive 10 seeds of a newCBD-rich cross – our goal is for many growers in different climates to grow out 10 seeds and analyze a sample of each plant so ultimately we can verify that we reached our goal of offering 100% CBD-rich seeds to patients. If we succeed, then we’ll start selling those new varieties, which could happen somewhere during November 2011. Check out www.cbdcrew.org for more info and updates.
I have not seen the cannabis market/community sho-wing much awareness of CBD itself or the fact that not all plants growing from a seed packet of CBD-rich seeds actually contain CBD. Do you really think there is a future for those hit and miss CBD seed strains?
Jaime: Good point. I also saw new seed companies
mention CBD-potent strains in their catalogue but offer no test results to back up their claims. At the end peo-ple should really grow at least 10 seeds of a CBD-rich strain and test all of those seeds for their cannabinoids content – there is no other way to prove it! I saw many patients in North America that tried Cannatonic. These patients really felt an improvement in the quality of their lives. These are the patients we want to help without any cheap marketing tricks!
Shanti: Correct Jaime! I also noticed that during thelast Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco there was new prize for CBD-rich strains. I feel the revolution is coming and slowly patients will start to try the effects of CBD for themselves: there is nothing more convin-cing than a patient that can testify the effects of this molecule and suggest it to other patients! Let’s not for-get that CBD was always present in hashish, like charas and Moroccan, where the resin from many different plants is mixed together.
We are just aiming to have that THC:CBD ratio combination in one bud!