Subcool's Published Work's

I thought it would be cool if I documented all the articles I have written here on this site.
While many of these have been published in magazines there is not really one place that has all of my work so thanks to this great forum here we go…

This First article was written about 10 years ago and there are deff much better resin shots but I am proud of the article none the less.

The Weed Nerd


‘Amber Alert’
by Subcool

So you have worked hard for 8 weeks! You have invested money into equipment and possibly genetics; you have invested time and dedication to get to this point. How can you tell when it’s time to harvest your gooey girls? Well ‘fire one up’ and let’s take a look at the best way to be sure you’re harvesting at peak potency, or at least you will better understand what happens in the final weeks, so you can harvest for the specific type of high you prefer.
The harvest window is one aspect of the craft which unfortunately, gets over looked or the grower simply doesn’t have the patience to wait-out the last few days, to insure max THC content. Some strains are better harvested before their peak THC production and some are better harvested after their peak THC production. This is what Robert Clark wrote in his book “Marijuana Botany” about trichomes and what they tell us; “The elevated resin heads appear clear, since fresh resin is still being secreted, often being produced in the cellular head of the trichome. At this time THC acid production is at a peak and CBD acid levels remain stable as the molecules are rapidly converted to THC acids, THC acid synthesis has not been active long enough for a high level of CBN acid to build up from the degradation of THC acid by light and heat. Terpene production is also nearing a peak and the floral clusters are beautifully aromatic. Many cultivators prefer to pick some of their strains during this stage in order to produce marijuana with a clear, cerebral, psychoactive effect It is believed that, in peak floral clusters, the low levels of CBD and CBN allow the high level of THC to act without their sedative effects.”
What the hell does this mean?
When growing Indica hybrids, unless you want to end up on the couch, it’s best to harvest when the trichome heads are fully formed but before they start to cloud over and turn amber. According to the maturation time of the specific strain this could take as little as five days or as long as two weeks. If you allow an Indica to go too long you can dramatically affect the taste and high. Fortunately going too long is not a real problem for most people. I like to study close-up photos taken with a high resolution digital camera; however an inexpensive hand-held microscope works wonders. It almost looks like you are in an alien world when looking at resinated buds using fifty-times-power.
With the Sativa dominant hybrids you want to make sure that all the trichome heads are fully formed and also about thirty percent amber. Letting a plant mature beyond this will risk flavor as well as, the finished smoke may be harsh with very little “high”. There are exceptions as I mentioned; Haze has three different harvest windows all being very late into flower. It is every grower’s job to learn what he or his patients prefer in the terms of “High”.
We have not yet addressed yields because if you are at the third stage of floral maturity with fully form trichomes, then we will have to assume most strains have packed on all their final weight. Even then, there are variables but we can use the guide-lines spelled out below to help gauge the best harvest window for your plants based on the trichomes.

  1. Fully formed but still clear will provide a cleaner ‘up’ high with less sedative effect; this is the best window for heavy Indicas.
  2. Fully formed and turning slightly cloudy or milky; this is probably the best time to pick most hybrids available today.
  3. Fully formed completely cloudy or milky with at least thirty percent of the heads turning amber; this is usually best window for the late maturing Sativa’s such as Haze. This is also a good window when using the plant primarily for Hash production.

Take for instance the Jacks Cleaner harvested at fifty-six days; all trichomes are still visibly clear with very few turning cloudy. At this point it has a very ‘up’ high and an ‘in-the-head’ buzz. I get some good visuals and the lemon flavor is sour and a tad tart. The same plant, left just one more week at sixty-three days flower; the trichomes have turned milky white and a good portion, about thirty to fifty percent, are deep amber almost the color of cola. Taken at this time the smoke is heavy and thick, the lemon zing has been replaced with a musty sweet lemon smell that reminds me of ‘Lemon Heads’ candy. The high is now all body high and very much a sedative. We would smoke this only as our night time medication. It is almost an example of a plant taken too late, however we do this because of the medicinal properties she takes-on at this late stage.
Another example is Killer Queen. At forty-nine days flower, she has a candy-like smell and taste with that same ‘up’ high. If you were to harvest her at sixty days flower, she becomes ‘Super’ Killer Queen, with a more skunk-like smell and a thicker trance-like high.
The mistake to try and avoid is harvesting before the trichomes are fully formed, so as mentioned in the guideline; most growers whom use this method, harvest at the point in which the majority of the heads are cloudy. Harvesting before this window will produce bud that is less potent, containing less essential oils and trepans, causing your finished stash to take on a grassy or green taste, even if it is dried and cured correctly.
Another good method would be harvesting some of the more mature buds, usually being the upper or main colas. This will allow more light to shine down on the lower portion of the plant, not only will the buds mature further but they will also pack on some extra size.
If you have a nice digital camera with a macro feature, try taking some close-up photos and use a photo editing program such as Adobe. This will allow you to zoom in close so you can see what the necked eye cannot see. If this is not an option, Radio Shack sells battery-powered hand-held microscopes for about fifteen dollars.
Take advantage of this information, it will help maximize the results of your favorite strain, or help you determine the harvest window of something new.



Thanks for sharing this and looking forward to reading all of your articles!


Alcohol free Cannabis Tincture
By Subcool

Recently I was introduced to a way to create a convenient cannabis based medicine. It does not require smoking or even the ingestion of baked goods but just a few drops under the tongue. It contains no harmful additives and if made correctly using good bud actually taste quite pleasant.

I’d like to show you how to make this amazing cannabis preparation. It’s a vegetable Glycerin based Tincture that you can make easily with just a few inexpensive kitchen items. You simply soak high quality cannabis shake and kief in the Glycerin for 60 days.
Glycerin is easy to find and the company “Now” makes a very high quality version you should be able to find it at your local health food store. I like to take high quality shake and bud and grind them up well and place in a 2 quart glass jar. I also like to add 5-7 grams of Kief to the jar to increase the medicines potency. Remember this will be ingested so keep everything sterile and use good tasting shake not waste leaf. Once you fill the jar 90% with the ground weed and Kief slowly add the Glycerin until the weed is covered and the jar is full. Make sure to rotate the jar for about 3-5 minutes per day mixing up the jar well. I like to flip my jar upside down each day and let the weed float to the top of the Glycerin. After 60 full days used the 190 Micron Bubblebag to strain out the weed. It was extremely difficult and I think a French Press or some type of fine kitchen screen to strain the shake out of the tincture would work better.
Now here is where some knowledge of Cannabis can be very helpful. For a medication that will provide relief for nausea and stomach pain as well as tremors and shakes it seems that Sativa hybrids work best. These varieties tend to provide a more up buzz that’s best for morning and daytime medication. You can even vary the harvest time and use a Sativa that’s harvested early for a Tincture that is even more energizing and up beat. Indica strains seem to provide better pain relief and make great medication for night time especially sleeping. By making two different types of preparations, using different types of cannabis harvested to suit the individuals needs we can provide long term effective relief from many ailments. I also am very happy to use this as ammo when the anti cannabis people want to bring up smoked medicine.
Glycerin Tincture is very easy to titrate and a patient can take just a few drops under the tongue getting just the relief needed and no more. Tincture doesn’t seem to get you high or stoned and many without serious ailments don’t even feel it’s effects unless thay take a large amount like 30 ml, Everyone is different in this aspect. We have also seen incredible results with migraines. When your suffering from a serious headache all the blood is rushing to your head and not your stomach so taking a pill orally is a slow fix. With this preparation you can brush your teeth vigorously and then apply a few drops into the mouth. The medicine passes across the mucous membrane and seems to have immediate effects on our friends with this problem.
Do not confuse Vegetable Glycerin with the product used to make soap, this comes from animal fats and is not the same thing. Vegetable Glycerin is used in cough syrups and many other products and is safe for human consumption. I do recommend drinking extra water, as it tends to dehydrate you if taken in larger amounts.
MzJill found the following online

Glycerin or glycerine, it is a sugar alcohol, and is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity. Glycerol has three hydrophilic alcoholic hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. Its surface tension is 64.00 mN/m at 20 °C, and it has a temperature coefficient of -0.0598 mN/(m K). It is a central component of lipids.

In foods and beverages, glycerol serves as a humectant, solvent and sweetener, and may help preserve foods. It is also used as filler in commercially prepared low-fat foods (i.e., cookies), and as a thickening agent in liqueurs. Glycerol also serves as a way, along with water, to preserve certain types of leaves. Glycerol is also used as a sugar substitute. In this regard, it has approximately 27 calories per teaspoon and is 60% as sweet as sucrose. Although it has about the same food energy as table sugar, it does not raise blood sugar levels, nor does it feed the bacteria that form plaques and cause dental cavities. As a food additive, glycerol is also known as E number E422.

In organic synthesis, glycerol is used as a readily available prochiral building block.
Glycerol is used in medical and pharmaceutical and personal care preparations, mainly as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication and as a humectant. It is found in cough syrups, elixirs and expectorants, toothpaste, mouthwashes, skin care products, shaving cream, hair care products, and soaps.

As a 10% solution, glycerol prevents tannins from precipitating in ethanol extracts of plants (tinctures). It is also used as a substitute for ethanol as a solvent in preparing herbal extractions. It is less extractive and is approximately 30% less able to be absorbed by the body. Fluidextract manufacturers often extract herbs in hot water before adding glycerin to make glycerites.

Used as a laxative when introduced into the rectum in suppository or liquid (enema) form; irritates the bowel and induces a hyperosmotic effect.
Glycerol is a component of glycerol soap, which is made from denatured alcohol, glycerol, sodium castorate (from castor), sodium cocoate, sodium tallowate, sucrose, water, and perfume (fragrance). Sometimes one adds sodium laureth sulfate. This kind of soap is used by people with sensitive, easily-irritated skin because it prevents skin dryness with its moisturizing properties. It is possible to make glycerol soap at home.

It is also used in de-/anti-icing fluids, as in vitrification of blood cells for storage in liquid nitrogen

The first time I made Tincture I used two ounces of very Up weed with high THC and low CBD. The medicine was incredibly potent but it actually made you feel tweaked and was only good for daytime use. If I used it late at night for pain relief it actually woke me up and gave me cannabis energy. We wanted to create a more relaxing and calming Tincture so I used the following strains, JTR, Space Queen, Urkle, Jacks Cleaner. All these plants were fully seeded and the harvest times were past the 70 day mark. This insured we would have a more sedative form of medicine. Much of the weed used was either Purple or maroon colored. I have seen the Bubble water turn the color of grape juice when using these Purple strains and I wanted to see if the color and the taste came though into the tincture. We also added a large pile of golden kief to the top of the jar before adding the Glycerin.
Thanks to MzJill for her great action shots of me straining the mixture.
I think a crank press would work much better as far as ease of production. My way using the 190 UI Bubblebag is extremely tiring and even hurt my hand after squeezing for 20 minutes about what it took to process this run. My arms were worn out from squeezing so look into a press unless your looking for a work out. I think its very important to fully decarboxylate the THC Acids. We heat the oven to 170 ( My lowest Setting) and let warm up and sit for about 45 minutes. At day fifty I washed the jar well and also placed in a bucket of hot water till it cooled. These two steps insure the Tincture is activated to it’s full potential. The plum colored Tincture is really impressive and as we hoped a much more calming effect is produced than the first batch made with early harvested sativas.
I find it this batch helps me with my RLS and if I take 15 ml with unsweetened grape juice its actually quite pleasant. We give small dropper bottles to anyone we know with a medical card and we have had some amazing feed back.

“I take the Tincture on a fairly empty stomach, and brush my teeth very well before taking it. I have one tablespoon of Tincture; I take it in small sips, holding each sip, and swishing it in my mouth for as long as I can. This allows for the most absorption of the Tincture; and provides the fastest relief of my Migrane Headache, Nausea, and pain. It warms me from the inside, and relaxes me so I can eat. If I take a tablespoon, I can do my housework and chores without ill effects. With one and a half tablespoons, I sleep all night without waking from pain; then wake up, feeling refreshed. For me, Tinctures are the best method for Migrane pain control”. Joymum

“This morning, I didn’t take Tincture I tried to keep the bong hits low, to see how my body would respond. Yucky, I’ll say. First my heads seems to be just a little slower, (its always hard for me to think), my housework seems harder to finish; I start o.k., but then my energy just goes away. I’m beginning to feel shakey and nauseas. My non-cancerous Fibroid (fatty) tumors are reminding that they are there. All of this is just after about 22 hours without full med treatment. 2 - 3 days, and I would be in my own world again, because of the pain that would return. But tonight I will be taking Tincture, and wake up feeling just fine. MzJill & Subcool told us when we received this treasure, that not everybody feels the Medicinal Effects, of Tincture. Perhaps its not the right method of delivery for them. I do not feel ‘High’, or ‘Druggy’, from Tincture. I only feel a relief from Migrane Headache pain, and a decrease in shaking. I do feel a warm, calm feeling, of over-all well being.”

We have another friend who has a grandmother in the final stages of cancer. Shes weak and in pain and can’t eat and she is basically wasting away. My friend passed some of the Tincture to her son and they put a few drops on her tongue. They reported she asked for something to eat and then went to sleep. Her son called my friend back and asked where he could buy some of the “ Miracle medicine” He informed him it was not available from mainstream doctors but he would get her some more.

I am not trying to make exaggerated claims here I am new to this and I am just as surprised as you may be by these claims but I can tell you these people’s quality of life has improved and main stream medical professionals better open there eyes to what God gave us. I am no scientist but I’m also not stupid. It’s hard to ignore these results and since were not smoking the Cannabis there number one argument against medical cannabis is silenced with this preparation. This is a great way to heal ourselves without dangerous toxic chemicals


Thanks for sharing these articles Subcool! The trichome article was very helpful for me as a new grower. I’m going to try the tincture recipe for my mom and a friend of hers. It’s exactly what they were looking for; “A way to use Cannabis without smoking or getting high.” They are looking for something to treat essential tremors during the day and insomnia at night. I’m going to make them a Sativa and Indica version.


Wow! Just had a flash of deja vu! I remember reading this article years ago when it was first published. I even relied on a lot of the content when I was making my first tinctures (you can tell by all the glycerin-stained pages in that particular mag). Thanks for posting this article again! It’s jam packed with valuable info to create a worthy oral medicine for those patients wary of the inhalation route. Keep on posting, Subcool!


Were you able to make the tinctures for your mom? Just curious to know how it went! (:slight_smile:


Great Article! Thank you for sharing.

This article mentions “Glycerol also serves as a way, along with water, to preserve certain types of leaves.” There are many flower shops, as well as artists, that will use glycerin and water to help preserve the flower’s appearance, colors, etc. Also using this solution to prevent decay.

Our Humidity Regulators helped to do the same for cannabis. The ingredients in our packs are Plant-Based Glycerol and Water. Solutions of glycerol and water provide a convenient and in- expensive way control the relative humidity (RH), with a natural and safe solution. :slight_smile: