CO2 and the Indoor Marijuana Garden

Get Growing with In Harmony Wellness

Environmental conditions inside a growing space play a integral part of its success.  Everything from carbon dioxide content to temperature weigh on the ability of the plants to properly grow.  Without monitoring and controlling each aspect of the grow environment correctly the plants will have a hard time flourishing.  Any added stress, especially on cannabis, will greatly affect the flowering outcome.  There are many ways to tweak each growing space with electronic timers controlling everything from intake fans to watering schedules.

One of the most overlooked aspects of indoor gardening is the quality of air contained in the space.  The air quality needs of plants are not over demanding or hard to provide.   Natural air outside contains anywhere from 300 to 500 parts per million of CO2.  With the wind blowing and day/night changes, the air is constantly refreshed around the earth every second.  Inside it’s a bit more complicated, but not much.  As plants photosynthesize they use up available CO2 and give off oxygen or O2.  The optimum CO2 content in air for cannabis plants is anywhere from 1000 to 1400ppm.  There are many ways to measure this that you can purchase from your local hydroponic store.  Electronic meters are the best since they provide a digital readout of the exact amount.

There are a couple of ways to enrich your air with added CO2.  The easiest and most economical way is to bring fresh air into the growing space via a inline fan, and exit the air out another area of the space with a similar sized fan.  This brings fresh air in the room filled with CO2 naturally found outside, and exits used up air filled with more O2 than desired.  Another way to enrich is by purchasing CO2 canisters and a solenoid to release bottled CO2 into the room.  Also a propane burning unit works to burn propane directly into CO2, but there is added heat from this device.  Other ways can be used to enrich also, but these are the most common.

Careful when adding CO2 to a growing space, measuring it is very important to not damage plants or worse, yourself.  The toxic level of CO2 for plants is around 2000ppm and will damage leaves, even killing plants outright.  Toxic CO2 levels for humans is around 5000ppm, and can cause you to pass out.  When thinking about using CO2 enrichment, asses your growing space, number of plants and access to fresh air.  Adding fresh air is far easier and safer, not to mention cheaper, than any other source.   A simple in/out fan setup can provide more than enough CO2 rich air for plants to grow with.

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Health Benefits of Marijuana That No One is Talking About

Though it’s true that Colorado has a definitive list of 8 qualifying conditions under which an individual may obtain a physician recommendation and register for the state medical marijuana program, it is commonly recognized by many in the medical community that cannabis treats a much wider range of symptoms and conditions beyond those currently approved by this state. Accordingly, patients who have their card for legitimate reasons often use cannabis to also treat symptoms like stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, and more. If you are among the many who have chosen to integrate cannabis into your life in a balanced and positive way, then no doubt you too have discovered the wide range of therapeutic benefits that this mild plant actually does offer, both mentally and physically.

Many in the traditional medical community have frowned upon the euphoric effect often associated with smoking cannabis during which the THC is activated to produce a euphoric ‘high’. According to them, this feel-good ‘high’ tarnishes the potential credibility of cannabis as medicine. It has been heard proposed by one physician that if only they could isolate and extract the THC cannabinoid and its effect from the cannabis plant, then traditional western medicine might be able to consider cannabis in a therapeutic light. Having a basic knowledge of physiology and the unique opportunity to have heard the testimony of hundreds of cannabis patients who have spoken out about the many ways in which cannabis has helped them, I would like to resolutely defend the honor of THC and it’s euphoric effect as being among the most beneficial overall effects that cannabis offers toward human wellness.

A person living in today’s world would be hard pressed to escape stress and its detrimental effects on good health. Managing our own lives, the lives of those around us who we are responsible for, keeping up with multiple modes of communication daily and dealing with financial stress in these hard economic times are, just to name a few, merely the tip of the iceberg of what most of us face every single day, and are consistent sources of stress for many.

Stress evokes a natural physiological response by our sympathetic nervous system that has long served us as a survival mechanism in the face of life-threatening danger – like for example if we were to encounter a predator in the wild, our physiology changes to allow our body the use of the resources it would need to survive the encounter. The introduction of stress changes the physiology of the body by shutting down the normal regulatory function of the parasympathetic nervous system in our bodies, preparing a person to either stand and fight or flee fast for their lives- also known as the fight or flight response.  This stress response serves a legitimate purpose, however a sustained reaction from stress that many of us have come to accept as the daily norm is neither healthy nor good for our bodies. When this sympathetic response and the physiological changes it elicits (increased heart rate and respiratory rate, increased secretion of cortisol and epinephrine, decrease in insulin production and constriction of blood flow to vital organs in order to provide for increased blood flow to the muscles – all consistent with ‘readying’ the body for action)  are experienced over and over again in the course of the day, our systems’ natural functions are interrupted and our naturally intended physiological chemical balance is altered.

It is recognized that prolonged stress responses actually suppress our immune system, and can increase the likelihood of developing diseases such as hypertension. Frequent and prolonged response to stress can also manifest in our bodies in the form of such common symptoms as headaches, neck or back pain, digestive problems, changes in sleep or appetite, and can also result in common emotional symptoms such as anger, irritability, or hopelessness and depression.

I propose that the effect of cannabis on both the symptoms of stress and on the overall prolonged stress response are valid and can help to bring our bodies back to a state of natural well being, or homeostasis, restoring the innate balance that prolonged stress destroys. Indeed, the mental euphoric effect from the THC in cannabis that has been so often challenged as undesirable and not therapeutic, actually helps to calm the state of the mind and diminish the threat of perceived stress that so many of us live with, which can elicit a positive overall physiological change, ultimately resulting in the restoration of the normal functions of the body with the diminishing of this perceived stress. In other words, perhaps the most controversial and feared effect of cannabis actually carries with it the potential to positively effect and change one of the most unrecognized and perhaps most detrimental health challenges that we as humans are faced with in our world today.

And now I ask, why does the mental lift associated with cannabis evoke such a strong negative reaction from some of those who oppose it with the loudest voices? In what way is a reduction of stress and an increased feeling of well-being threatening to our society at large? Are we afraid people will become too happy? Are the naysayers arguing that it is happiness which somehow isn’t authentic?  If so then I must ask- when did we define ‘real happiness’, and how does a valid perceptive shift and elevated mood from a nontoxic substance with low to no potential for harm somehow fall short of the mark?  If only the loudest voices weren’t suppressing those in the medical cannabis community considered by the masses to be among the ‘upstanding’ members of our society to the point where they are afraid to speak out for the truth they have come to know, we could ask them if cannabis is a false escape or if it is actually a complimentary part of overall wellness in its mood-altering effect, in addition to it’s other therapeutic properties. If only we as a society placed as high of a value on feeling happy as we do on so many other lesser things in life, this world surely would be a better place…

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Get Growing with Great Genetics!

To Grow a Great Garden Begin with Great Genetics!

So you’ve thought about growing your own medicine – the best place to start is at the beginning and that means deciding what you will grow. From MS symptoms to severe pain, the choice of strains is just as large as the pool of problems it can address. To be sure, you will want to grow a strain or strains that provide the type of relief that you are looking for from your medicine, and further than that you will want to make sure that you start with good ‘genetics’.

Knowing where the plant came from, that it is true to what its supposed to be and most importantly that its from good strong genetic stock will ensure that you get the results that you are looking for when it’s time to harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Additionally, starting with strong genetics can save you time and the headaches of battling pests and other diseases that can plague a weak genetic strain.  A genetic line can range from 100% Indica to 100% Sativa and everywhere in between and not only do they all possess their own unique composition and therapeutic effects, but they each thrive under different growing conditions and individually flower for varying periods of time as well, so choosing complimentary strains to grow is another important consideration to your garden orchestration. To illustrate this point, if you choose to grow an Indica alongside a Sativa and have only one light under which you flower, you could be in for unanticipated challenges for several reasons; first, you will never be able to get the height of the light ideally positioned for optimum growth of both strains (indicas grow short and bushy and sativas stretch long and thin) and also secondly flowering time of the Sativa can be up to twice that of the Indica so you could be hung up on starting a new flowering cycle.

More on Genetics:

Genetic lines of cannabis all begin with seeds. The Cannabis seeds, like any crop, provide the lifeblood of genetic codes.  Each strain is a little bit different and can have characteristics of any or all of the ‘parent’ strains and will vary in the end result potency, flavor and yield. There are many different ‘phenotypes’ of each strain too. The limitless choice of so many unique and varied strains can help a patient address a myriad of symptoms just by utilizing the right strain for the desired effect.

Seed vs Clone:

Most gardeners will tell you that growing from reliably bred seeds is the only way to ensure a strong genetic line. While growing from seeds and keeping strains alive through the breeding process is very important, many if not most growers use the cloning process from genetically proven ‘Mother’ plants of the best chosen phenotypes of the best strains to reliably propagate female cannabis of strains they desire to grow.

If a grower is growing directly from seed, the potency and yield can be 20-30 percent more than if clones were taken from a mother of the same strain, though you may not be able to choose your ideal phenotype without first growing out all of the strains, making mothers of each and growing their cuttings through flowering to see how they perform.  The main drawback to growing directly from seed is the chance to get males in the garden, which are not desired.  It can take extra time and much effort to identify males from females in a garden, plus the added waste of space and money spent on nutrients and mediums to grow them all out, not to mention the threat to staying in line with your legally alotted plant count!!.  Seeds are a fantastic way to store a certain strain for later use, since the life of seeds can last in the hundreds if not thousands of years.  If a grower has the space and time to dedicate to growing from seeds, the crop will always benefit, but the fact of the matter is most do not.

Cloning is the process of taking cuttings of nodes from already known female cannabis plants and rooting them.  This can be done with cubes, cloning machines and even cups of plain water.  After getting these cuttings rooted, the grower can then plant and continue the normal life cycle of a vegetative state, onto flowering and eventually harvesting.  An important note when cloning is that keeping a mother is paramount to a strains virility and potency.  If you keep a mother plant that is from seed, you provide the closest copy to that seeded strain you can get.  If clones of clones are taken, eventually the genetic code is altered enough to lose potency and can give unwanted characteristics of the strain.

Having a strong set of genetics to grow from, whether it be from seed or clone, is more important than any environmental or nutrient issue.  If you do not start with a strong and proven strain of cannabis, then the end result could be mediocre medicine, with lack of potency and yield especially.  **Having a reliable place to buy clones or seeds is a great asset to any grower.  The peace of mind that comes along with having a proven bug and disease free strain is worth its weight in gold, or cannabis! Remember to always check clones for bugs and disease before purchasing and when buying seeds, and do research before you buy to make sure the strain has a good lineage with a proven track record in the growing community. Isolating new clones from your main garden area until you can ensure they are free from pests or mold is a practice always recommended.

**In Harmony Wellness will be hosting a Genetics Connection event for legal Colorado MMJ patients who would like to grow their own medicine on November 12, 2011 between 10am-2pm. Reservations required!! Please call 970-222-5555 with further inquiries or to schedule your reservation. Expert advice and special deals from a local grow store combined with the best genetics will help your garden get off to the right start!!

Posted in Grow Marijuana, Marijuana As Medicine | 2 Comments

In Harmony Wellness Speaks Out at Poudre County School Board Meeting

On Tuesday October 25th the Poudre County School Board decided to hear and then voted in support of Proposition 300.  In Harmony Wellness’ Tina Valenti was in attendance and read the following…

I am a member of the Fort Collins community and I have been for more than 10 years. I am a mother of two children in the Poudre school district, both IB students, one of whom is a junior in the IB program right here at Poudre high. We chose this school district because of the excellent educational opportunities available and  chose the IB program because IB teaches students to be thinkers, first and foremost, with further emphasis on the characteristics of an evolved person.

The following vision statement is found on Poudres website:

Poudre School District exists to support and inspire every child to think, to learn, to care and to graduate prepared to be successful in a changing world.

Their Mission:

Educate…Every Child, Every Day

As I understand it, the job of the board is to support and guide the district toward the effective fulfillment of the stated mission and vision.

The reason I came to here to comment tonight is because I strongly object to any consideration by this board in regards to taking a position on the ballot measure 300. Measure 300 is not an issue that pertains to education, in any regard, and is therefore outside of the scope of the boards mission. When has it become appropriate for the school board to take a position on a political issue? What will the next step be if the school board starts down this road, weighing in on non education related, controversial political issues.

In regard to the relevance of Ballot Measure 300 to this boards mission, I understand that some ‘statistics’ about an increase in drug related school expulsions are being interpreted to reflect that marijuana is somehow at the root of this within the Poudre school district. Upon learning more about where this number came from, it is clear that the conclusion has no actual basis that can be particularly related to marijuana, but rather is reflecting a somewhat convoluted number that is linked to the tracking of any presence of any controlled substances in those incidents, any one indistinguishable from another for purposes of interpreting this data.

Regardless of convoluted data, I Inherently disagree with the very loose and ‘unsupported’ conclusion that somehow medical cannabis dispensaries have any relationship at all to this percentage of expelled students! For those who may not know, Medical Cannabis centers are highly regulated businesses there to provide access to patients who are legal participants in the Colorado medical marijuana program as per a physician’s recommendation, NOT underage students. It is NOT accessible to kids in this regulated model, indeed the intense regulations are more protection to keep it OUT of the hands of children. I urge this board to stay within your scope and keep your attention where it belongs, refraining from any political posturing and reserving that energy for matters that DO directly concern the students in our district as pertaining to education.

If I were to suggest ANY course of action appropriate to the board regarding this matter, I would urge you all to take action by considering this issue in a more progressive and forward thinking way by first updating and educating yourselves, then seeking to educate students as to the real facts surrounding cannabis, including medical cannabis and the reemerging role it’s clearly playing in our world and as well to the very true and legitimate historical role it has played both as medicine and in industry. This plant is literally the fiber upon which this country was built, and today more than ever we are witnessing its medicinal value, which is undeniable. Instead of letting emotional arguments and politically driven reactions further perpetuate the blind acceptance of misinformation regarding this plant and this issue, the leaders of our community need to take a stand for true information and proactive planning. Education is the key, but true information is the raw material it needs to be forged with.

Thank You,

Tina Valenti

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Welcome Daniel Mathews to the In Harmony Wellness Team

As many of you know In Harmony Welllness has been through many changes this year, and I am one of them.  My name is Daniel Mathews and Tina and I joined forces to help In Harmony transition into the next chapter of empowering medical cannabis patients through education, information and creating a strong community.  I began working with medical cannabis in 2003, after watching the miraculous effect it had on my grandmother’s rheumatoid arthritis.  I co-founded the Mother’s Against Misuse and Abuse Medical Cannabis clinics in Portland, Oregon.  After a few years of gaining momentum we opened three more facilities and had 6 physicians on staff.  My experience with MAMA as the clinic director allowed me to talk with over 400 patients a month.  I relayed their stories as a patient lobbyist during the legislative sessions trying to stave off attacks to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, much like we’re facing here in Colorado.

I grew up in Utah, and when the opportunity arose to relocate back to the Rocky Mountains (I figure this is as close to home as I can get, unless something dramatic happens in Utah) my partner and I loaded up the Uhaul and made the trek.  My partner Alison and I set up an MMC in Boulder county that she runs so I can be back where I belong, helping to empower patients through education, information and community.  Currently we live in Weld County with our two dogs, Buster and Emmy Lou.

The future of the Colorado Medical Marijuana Program is being created now, with numerous attacks on patient access and dubious debates clouding the facts.  As medical marijuana patients the time to protect our program is NOW!  As the landscape shifts we must stay strong and unified.  The best way to protect our program is to participate in it.  If you are one of the proud 130,000+ patients currently enrolled in the Colorado Medical Marijuana Program, stay protected.  Do not rely on affirmations or hearsay, this program and most likely, You can’t afford it.  If you know someone who is treating a qualifying condition with medical cannabis but are not protected under Amendment 20 help them get registered.  Proud patients showing up in large numbers might possibly be our only hope in preventing this program from being usurped by small minded politicians and lackey law enforcement agents.  If you use medical cannabis stay protected.  Don’t let your “red card” expire you might not be able to afford the consequences.  I know the Colorado Medical Marijuana Program can’t afford to lose you.

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Medical Marijuana Patients Stay Legal!

Medical cannabis patients- protect yourselves!! When you choose to use cannabis yet bypass the process of keeping your red card current, you put yourself at a much higher risk of finding yourself in trouble! Though the climate of the medical cannabis community may seem rough right now, it’s still a safe haven for those who choose to medicate with cannabis. Stay part of the community for your best protection, and whether you choose to say it loud or are silent and proud help maintain the strides we have together made in the community by showing your support for the program through your continued participation!

All agree that much has happened over the past several years in the area of cannabis, and more particularly, in the area of medical cannabis. Though the Colorado medical cannabis program has been in effect since the year 2000, it is only since 2009 that the average person came to find out that it was an option to become a legal patient with a qualifying condition, and further, that becoming a legal patient came with a certain amount of ‘protection’ in terms of carrying medicine on ones person, as well as growing ones own medicine at home. At the pinnacle of this shift toward awareness, people all around the state with qualifying conditions were celebrating that they could now legitimately possess and utilize medical cannabis when registered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education’s confidential MMJ registry as a legal patient.

Since this ‘explosion’ of the mmj community starting in late 2009, medical cannabis and participants have gone through many ups and downs due to town bans, unfavorable media coverage and intolerant social attitudes and it is now being noted that many patients are questioning whether or not they should officially continue to be part of the formal mmj program at all. It is the opinion of some that if they can’t readily visit a local medical cannabis dispensary to purchase medicine, that they would rather not bother going through the time and expense of renewing their legal patient status, as is required of participants in the program yearly.

When faced with an annual renewal fee of $90 for the registration process, and the additional expense of seeing an outside physician for the necessary yearly recommendation at an average cost of $100 (since often primary physicians won’t sign for their own patients even when they are supportive), many currently in the program have seemed to erroneously conclude that it is no longer worth the time OR the expense that it takes to retain their status as a legal patient in the Colorado MMJ program. In fact, some have been heard to say that they will simply fall back on the ‘affirmative defense’ position if they ever have need to legally prove that they are a legitimate patient. Let’s dissect that one.

If you are ever in a position to prove ‘affirmative defense’, it means that you are already involved in a legal action against you – and in this case you are guilty until proven innocent. Perhaps it is a routine traffic stop where an officer smells cannabis and proceeds to search the vehicle, discovering cannabis. Or, perhaps you simply have cannabis in your home or on your person and somehow this comes to light with law enforcement in one of the many ways that it could – wouldn’t you be glad that you paid the annual $200 to have that beautifully official red card to present to law enforcement at that moment, likely absolving you of any further trouble, at least as far as possessing a legal amount of medical cannabis goes? Absolutely! Because again, if you do NOT have legal proof that you have a right to possess or use cannabis, you are going to have to go through a whole lot of time, trouble, and expense to prove after the fact that you do have a condition which warrants it’s use. One straightforward traffic ticket costs upward of $150 these days with all fees involved- how much might an attorney, a physician appointment to retroactively certify that you indeed have a qualifying condition, time lost from work, and the mandatory court costs even if you were ultimately exonerated cost? $500? $1,000? More?

It wasn’t so long ago that patients were excitedly and proudly flocking to become part of the mmj community because of all that it offered to them, protection included, and it seems as though some may have forgotten what a monumental step forward that was for our community, and still is. Yes, all of us in the mmj community support dispensaries continuing to thrive and be in business to provide safe access to patients, but whether we are left with many or few, it is still a state right according to the Colorado constitution to grow, possess, and use medical cannabis with a qualifying condition and it continues to serve those who do use medical cannabis. It is extremely beneficial and important for patients to retain their legal mmj patient status so that they may enjoy the freedom of choice it affords in all ways, and the minimization of risk.

Don’t get caught with your pants down, as it were. Proving an affirmative Defen$e is sure to cost you big. Keep your status as a legal marijuana patient alive! Book an appointment for your renewal today!


Posted in Marijuana As Medicine, Marijuana Political Action, Medical Marijuana Doctors | 1 Comment

The Ballots Have Been Sent!!!

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Keep Safe Access to MMJ in Fort Collins!

Ballots have been sent!  If you are a Fort Collins resident, you should have received your mail-in ballot for this fall’s election.

Remember to vote NO on 300!

Tell every Ft. Collins resident you know to do the same.

Additionally join us this Sunday from 11-4 to help with the effort to Get Out The Vote!!!. The meetup point this Sunday, Oct 16, will be located at the City Park Picnic Pavilions Just SE of corner of S. Bryan and Oak.

RSVP Ken [at] citizensforsaferneighborhoods [dot] org.

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Marijuana as Medicine – The Broader Use and Acceptance of Medical Marijuana

Many outside of the Medical Marijuana Community seem to have a certain level of tolerant empathy for the visibly chronic or terminally ill, but beyond that can’t seem to accept the validity of cannabis’ therapeutic use. It seems that some are willing to validate medical cannabis use only in the most dire and obvious of cases, yet refuse to consider it’s broader range of very effective use to many. The prevailing thought of the loudest voices opposed to medical cannabis these days seems to be that unless one is terminally or otherwise severely afflicted, “they don’t need it”, and “they are abusing the system to obtain it, most likely for pleasure”.

There are two aspects to this current state of general intolerance, mentioned above, that I would like to see considered and answered honestly by those who seem to so vehemently oppose it’s wider therapeutic use in our society.

First, however, it must be recognized that in order to fairly consider the issue of cannabis through the proper lens of truth, an intelligent, open mind, exposed to scientifically valid information, must be able leave behind any preconceived notions in order to accurately grasp a true picture and understanding of what cannabis is and what it does.  That is to say – Cannabis is in fact an extremely mild herb/flower/plant that induces amazingly few if any undesirable physiological side effects and yet very effectively treats a myriad of varying conditions, wide-ranging symptoms, and ailments.

Assuming that an intelligent person who examines the science based facts can grasp the truth of what cannabis is over what misconceptions they have previously been told, I would propose to ask the following:

Why purposely divert people from using a very mild, very physiologically harmless natural substance to effectively treat what ails them, to using a much more toxic, synthetic option that is often hard on the body, producing side effects and potentially causing toxicity in higher doses?  Why under any circumstance would we recommend that? Where is the logic?

Into the framework of the question just asked, insert any condition and commonly accepted/prescribed remedy and see how much sense it seems to make. For example – why prohibit the use of cannabis to treat an occasional headache or frequent headaches (that so many of us in today’s society suffer from due to stressstay tuned for more on stress in follow-up blog) and recommend instead ibuprofen, sold over the counter to millions daily yet self-proclaimed as possible to induce the following COMMON side effects: Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; heartburn; nausea; stomach pain.

Nontoxic cannabis can treat a common headache mildly and effectively, with none of the above side effects. In fact, cannabis is recognized to treat many of the common side effects of ibuprofen listed above, as well!

Second, again assuming that people are able to lift the veil of misinformation and see cannabis for the truth of what it is as opposed to the unfounded fears still falsely trumpeted:

Why isn’t it recognized that a responsible adult can manage their use of this effective, mild, therapeutic, non-toxic substance?

At age 16 we allow people to begin operating a motor vehicle on streets where children play and walk to school, assuming with the proper instruction 16 year olds are of an age that they can handle this level of responsibility. At age18 we allow people to vote and go to war where they will handle deadly weapons and make life or death decisions. At age 21, we entrust to young adults the ability to purchase and make responsible decisions in regards to consuming one of the greatest poisons/recreational pastimes of our time, alcohol.  Alcohol is recognized to lower inhibitions and impair judgment.  It can make an otherwise sane person fly into a rage and start a fight or get behind the wheel of a car and endanger lives. So why wouldn’t we be able to trust that a responsible functioning adult could manage their own responsible therapeutic use of cannabis?

With a clear set of governing rules we would like to pose two questions:

  1. What is the actual concern about cannabis that holds us back from trusting that an otherwise responsible member of our society can’t or won’t make sound and responsible decisions regarding this mild, non-toxic flower?
  2. What are the potential, worst case scenarios if someone fails to medicate responsibly?  Death? No, it’s non-toxic. Harm to others? A plague on society?  We think not. There seems to be a lot of concern in the name of the children. As far as we know, there has been consistent access available in schools and on the streets through black market avenues for the last 40 years or more; medical cannabis has not changed this nor is it likely to.

When we get past all the faulty logic and false premises so popular among those who oppose the general therapeutic and assumed responsible use of cannabis by otherwise responsible adults in our society, the only thing that becomes clear is that the loudest voices are not making sense. The unfortunate part of this moment in time seems to be that because their voices are the loudest, they are being heard the clearest and followed by the masses who don’t dig deeper into the issue, and who assume they are still being told the truth.

So what can we, who do know the truth, do to be heard?

Start speaking the truth that you know to be true, when the opportunity is there to do so. Write a letter to the editor.  Tell your physician about the mild yet effective relief you have found.  Confide in your pastor.  Take strength and courage from the fact that you are one of millions in this world who have been blessed with the opportunity to know the truth, and that you have science and positive experience on your side as opposed to false logic and fear. If we speak the truth calmly, yet firmly and consistently, all of our voices together will eventually drowned out the din of misinformation and intolerance!

Posted in Marijuana As Medicine, Medical Marijuana Doctors | Leave a comment

Welcome to Get Growing at In Harmony Wellness


Welcome to Get Growing – The monthly column written with the beginning and intermediate gardener in mind. Get Growing will help you to take your meds from ‘Good’, to ‘Great’!

A Welcome Letter from Anthony:

Hello Colorado medical cannabis patients, and welcome to Get Growing, the column where I will do my best to help you sort through the hype and take the mystery out of growing great meds.

On Growing Great Meds:

There are almost as many ways to grow medical grade cannabis as there are different strains of it. The most important factors in achieving outstanding results are perhaps what some new gardeners might tend to overlook: the growing environment.  Providing the correct environment for your plants to grow in is just as important as the nutrients you will feed your plants.  By controlling the environment, I am referring to the factors surrounding the plant in it’s growing space or room – temperature and temperature fluctuations, humidity, fresh air intake, exhaust and more all play a bigger role in the final product than most people expect. With all the technology in the world these days to help you grow, making all the variables work in unison in your growspace is perhaps the trickiest yet most important part. As it is, finding the right balance of all the factors involved is paramount to the success of a cannabis garden, whether inside or out.

How to Grow:

For the very beginning gardener who is just starting out, you will be facing a lot of choices. Whether you decide your approach will be soil, hydroponics, aeroponics, or aquaponics, and whether you gravitate toward coco or hydroton rocks for your medium, be sure that you are choosing wisely for your growing ‘profile’**.  Each different growing system and indeed medium comes along with its own set of pros and cons, and each method should be carefully considered against your growing style, physical ability, financial commitment and available time.  Some methods are as easy as watering by hand every couple of days, whereas others require more intense oversight with nutrient meters, ph control and more on a daily basis

Where to Grow: Indoor vs Outdoor:

Growing cannabis indoors is a popular choice among patients for growing medical grade cannabis.  Houses and commercial properties can be outfitted with everything from air conditioners and dehumidifiers to CO2 supplementation and even video cameras to watch your grow when no one is around.  The indoor environment brings with it the ability to control the environment exactly and therefore gives growers the potential to increase yields, quality and growth rates of plants to the next level. Giving the plants exactly what they want at all times of the day with no interference from adversities such as weather and pests is what growing indoors is all about.  Though,  there are pros and cons in any situation and growing indoors does not escape this reality- it merely brings with it it’s own set of challenges. However, the better sealed and controlled your environment is, the more consistent your results in all seasons.

If you choose to grow marijuana outdoors in Colorado, it pretty much means that you will get one shot at doing it right since it is one long natural cycle starting in the spring and ending in the late fall, at harvest time. These seasonal transitions for the plant bring their own set of challenges.  In early spring the weather can be very harsh and new fledgling plants may have trouble battling those harsh and often still-changing elements. Some negatives are possible hail storms and cold snaps that can stunt or even kill plants. Animals can also wreak havoc in an outdoor garden of any kind, especially in a cannabis garden due to its very attractive coloring.  This too can be controlled for and corrected, as long as you are prepared and plan ahead. If you are lucky enough to have a covered greenhouse to grow in, this will limit the negative effects of the sometimes intense Colorado weather as well as any wildlife concerns. Though it too brings is own set of challenges, the positives of growing outdoors are quite attractive. First, consider direct sunlight at no cost which brings with it the ability to grow larger plants in the ground. The fresh dry air is also one of the great plusses to growing outdoors in Colorado.

Bringing it Home:

Though everyone knows that starting with good genetics is key in achieving a quality end product, genetics will only get you so far. Choosing your growing method wisely and knowing (and more importantly controlling) the factors in your growing environment will assure that your good genetics turn out great. Indoor or outdoor, never fail to consider your environment.

?There is No Such Thing as a Stupid Question!:

During the coming months this column will discuss a myriad of ideas surrounding the growing of medical grade cannabis.  We will touch on everything from the basic propagation or ‘cutting’ of clones and  starting from seed to basic nutrients and advanced nutrient profiles, and we will try to cover the many questions that beginning and intermediate growers have.  Please, feel free to write and ask your specific questions or suggest topics that you want discussed. Any question regarding the growing of medical cannabis by legal patients in the state of Colorado will be considered. Laws and legal advice will not be covered. I look forward to bringing information to the people across the state of Colorado and hope it helps many people grow better and take their ‘Good’ meds, to ‘Great’ meds!

If you have a growing question, send it to:  getgrowing [at] inharmonywellness [dot] org

Grow in Health

Tony, Cannabis Enthusiast

Anthony is a legal patient and Cannabis enthusiast residing in the state of Colorado. Anthony brings with him years of growing expertise, from small scale single patient grows to production facility level experience. Versed in both hydro and soil, Anthony is available for private consulting in your home garden. Inquire about Anthony’s growing consultation services via In Harmony by calling 970-222-5555 or by visiting our website at


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Save patient access; vote no on 300 – Op Ed


The following article is an Op Ed piece written by Tina and posted on the Coloradoan’s Opinion page here.  Please use the sharing buttons above to forward this article to everyone you know who has an interest in keeping safe access to medical cannabis in Fort Collins.


When people hear the term “medical marijuana” these days, it likely sparks a strong reaction one way or the other. Though many “sensational” stories have made their way into the public eye via the media, much of the reality of the medical cannabis community as it stands today remains largely misunderstood by the average person.

It is true that the medical marijuana program remained relatively small from it’s inception in the year 2000 until the latter part of 2009 when the total number of patients in Colorado barely topped 4,000. Today, more than 137,000 patients are registered cardholders in the medical cannabis program. So what in fact changed to account for the increase in participants to the program? Many people who are not part of the community have been left with the impression that the program is fraught with abuses and lack of regulation; I propose this is far from an accurate picture of the truth.

Having educated the chronically ill population in our community since early in 2008, I have witnessed the growth of the medical cannabis community firsthand. Some facts: A person must first be suffering with one of eight qualifying conditions to be able to receive a physician recommendation and apply for the program. The registration is valid only for a period of one year, after which a person’s condition must be reevaluated by a physician, and the application process starts again.

During this “explosion” of the medical cannabis community that many are concerned about, countless chronically ill people already suffering with a chronic condition came to learn about this mild herb that could help them to feel better with little to no side effects; they wanted to know more. It was affordable, and it was in many cases life-changing to those who came to discover its magnificent therapeutic properties. People were drawn to this option which could effectively and sustainably treat their conditions.

Though many in our Fort Collins community might not realize it, the medical cannabis community has undergone major regulatory changes during that time frame, as well. Though at one point there were not detailed rules, now, extensive regulations have been put into place regarding physicians, patients, caregivers and regulated centers. All are part of a system overseen by the state, and further, by the local municipalities.

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of participants in the program are legitimate patients benefiting from the positive effects of medical cannabis. Because of the safe, available access, these patients are able to continue the effective therapy they have found. If regulated cannabis is banned, it will serve only to extinguish access for those who need it and push it back into our neighborhoods in an attempt to supply those who have a right to use it as medicine. Untaxed and unregulated, this is the biggest potential impact on our community.

Let the state and local regulatory agencies do their jobs with clearly defined regulations to follow. Let patients continue to have safe access to something that effectively treats chronic conditions. Let your vote be guided by the facts, and not emotional, fear-based arguments.

Vote “no” on 300 and save patient access.

Tina Valenti lives in Fort Collins.

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