1. In a few sentences, can you tell us where and when you got your start?
I started growing in a spare closet, with some seeds given to me by a friend. I’ve been smoking for a bit over ten years, and my first grow wasn’t as long ago as you’d think, only six busy years ago. I instantly fell in love with it and started growing a LOT. Having amazing older mentors and cultivating organically, I was able to get through the learning curve quickly. I began making seeds from my very first grow, it was natural to me, I just needed more seeds so I could grow again, and I was hooked! Growing your own seeds and seeing how they take traits from each parent is the most exciting thing ever, and before long I got really, really deep into the world of breeding and growing my own seeds!
2. What was the first strain you ever grew?
My first grow was a few plants from those sees given to me by a friend, some thai plants which turned purple at the end, and some afghani/paki plants which were streaked with green and purple. Combining the two lines is what lead to my Star Pupil. I had a few other plants that first grow, which I still have the seeds off of, but I didn’t like them as much as the one I chose to grow seeds off of. My basic thinking which ultimately lead to me becoming a real breeder was this: grow the seeds off your best/favorite plant!
3. What strains are you most known for?
I am most known for Star Pupil and PuTang, as well as Grape Pupil, and basically any plant that comes off a Star Pupil cross. These are extremely special plants, and the Star Pupil is really some of the best weed, for me. It has some amazing euphoric effects, totally unique growth and flavor, with just such a great vibe. In breeding, it has this synergy where the offspring can become unbelievably potent, often “better” than both parents alone, while taking the best traits of each strain! Star Pupil donates her positive uplifting head high, purple colors, hints of pupil funk, and strong branching, while the plant crossed to her will generally contribute yield, direction of effect, primary flavor and bud structure, while the Pupil does add density. Star Pupil alone is my absolute favorite pure head stash smoke. In crosses she can be pushed in different directions while still being noticeably pupily. I smoke so much pupil stuff, if it doesn’t have pupil in it, it often feels like “something is missing” and it has a very strong body effect some have compared to opium. My PuTang may be the most famous strain to come from my gardens, as it got some serious recognition recently! It won a cup, first place flower at the Commonwealth Cannabis Cup, and was named first in the print issue of HighTimes Magazine Top Ten Strains of the Year! Once all that happened, the seeds sold out instantly, and I worked hard on a giant batch so everyone can get some more PuTang in their life. It’s my most positively uplifting strain, people compare it to having a therapy session with yourself. It is extremely mind opening and gives you a bright glow. It makes everything better, but not in the typical numbing way, its quite the opposite. This plant makes you feel and think, deeply and introspectively, and has helped people in unimaginable ways. I have heard multiple stories of people who claim their life was saved by this strain, because it helped them recognize and take the steps needed to end years long chronic depression! I always just thought it was “really happy weed” but knew she was something special. The feedback often brings me to tears of joy because I never imagined that me having a good time with making seeds could lead to such profound impact!
4. When it comes to strain names, do you think it’s best to use a name with the parent plants in mind or generate a new one in terms of taste and high?
A lot of my stuff is named based on parents, because that’s just what it is at its core, a cross of two distinct things. For example my Prayer Pupil is Prayer Tower Sativa x Star Pupil. People who like Pupil can easily find a Pupil cross when it’s named such… but nobody knows Prayer Tower, it’s a hidden gem of a strain, and I bet if it was named after a food it would be world famous. I generally name my plants after the lineage or the flavor or the vibe. My Grape Pupil was originally “PuTang bx” in testing, till I found that they retained a fantastic Grape flavor and aroma to the very end, so the Grape Pupil was the most logical name for me. It plays on the flavor and the linage, which is PuTang x Star Pupil, so it’s 75% Star Pupil genetics, with a bigger yield and more Grape flavor, as well as some hidden gems of PuTang leaning phones with that special sacred high! Both are great daytime medicines.
5. What motivates you as breeder and grower?
Everything motivates me! When I walk in the garden and see my plants, and smell them, and get to experience their vibe, the entire world fades away for me. It’s one of the best feelings, just being with the plants. Nothing is more exciting than growing out new seeds I’ve made, and seeing what beauty they behold! The unique smells in some of these lesser known gene pools, rare strains, I love smelling a smell I have never smelled before in my life, or one I wouldn’t expect to come from cannabis, like when it smells like an elevator, or the airport, or brings you back to some other weird memory! Super cool. I get really motivated when I get feedback from people who grow and smoke my strains and those who have benefitted from it as real medicine! I get motivated when I smoke my weed. I breed for effect number one above all else. and I love stuff that invigorates and excites, as well as overly trippy psychedelic feeling stuff that makes you look at things differently and get inspired and high as fuck! I like weed that won’t leave me burnt out, I like weed that helps me be my best self, or even better, like that superpower feeling shit! Smoking a joint gets me inspired. The haters get me inspired, and the hardcore fans do too! Every challenges translates into motivation, and we just had the last 6 drops sell out within one day, some within minutes, so one challenge is making even bigger batches! Really this plant motivates me.
6. When you approach a new breeding project, what are the Top 3 things you are looking for?
It’s hard to narrow it down to three! I grow a lot of flower from all kinds of genetics from around the world. I’m looking first of all for plants that have a unique vibe and effect. I will only keep a plant is the high is so memorable, that you’ll remember it later on, because it stood out. When someone says “wow, I didn’t know cannabis could do that” I know I’ve done my job as a breeder. A huge thing for me is stability, so I stress test the hell out of my plants, probably more than I even need to, but it allows me to breed the most dependable, stable strains, with some of the lowest herm rates in the community. I also go for unique flavors and aromas like I mentioned before. Effect comes first, and stability is key. Flavor’s gotta be there, and gotta be special. Often times, its easy to find that unique effects and flavors go and in hand, because there’s an entourage effect of the way that different cannabinoids and terpenes interact together to influence the direction of the high.
7. Do you have any special projects in the works you would be willing to share with us?
I’ve got loads of projects in the works! The goal is to have one new strain drop per month for the entire year of 2020, so I’ve been working my ass off nonstop! I throw away anything that doesn’t make the cut, so any creation hat does come out, you can expect multiple other versions had been made and tossed. I’m super picky, maybe even too picky, but that makes it that my strains stand out, so I’m happy with it. I have a lot of new strains in the works where both parents are strains that I’ve bred, so they’re mashups of some of my favorite of all my work over the years so far, and they combine in such beautiful ways! I also have some collaborations in the works with some of the top breeders in the world. We are putting our best, most unique heavy hitting strains together, to show the world what can be accomplished when passionate breeders work together! Some of these strains are just mind blowing, and I am beyond honored to have these friends and opportunities. We are super excited for you guys to smoke em!!
8. Favorite growing medium?
My favorite grow medium is organic soil, and it’s all I use: Michigan Mix M3. I’m not sponsored by them, any similar supersoil will do, but that one is by far the best of any I have tried. All my plants are grown in that with just water. No ph and no additives. I cannot smoke nute grown, it causes health issues in sensitive individuals, so I am a big proponent of organic cultivation. I also accept and appreciate all cultivation methods, my strains have been shown to do great in synthetics, but I personally think organic is the way for the best medicine to be cultivated.
9. Favorite Light?
Favorite light is a hard one. I’m a huge light nerd, and I’ve even developed my own signature light recipe, the Mass Medical Strains COB kit at RapidLED. I believe that this light is the best LED around, with some fantastic genetic expressions, yields over 2 grams per watt, and absolutely highest quality flower. I also run every type of light there is, basically, and I love them all because each has its own signature character it imparts on the flower. The hortilux blue is closest in spectrum to sunlight. It’s a metal halide, oldschool. I use it for flowering, and the flowers get a very special flavor and vibe you won’t get under anything else, period. It’s the closest thing to sunlight indoors. It’s not as efficient as other lamps, but for pure head stash quality, I am always running one or two of them. It’s cool that every lamp has a time and place, advantages and disadvantages, and you can check out my podcast at massmedicalstrains.com which has an episode on lighting as well as many other things.
10. One thing that you would tell anyone that bought a pack of your seeds?
Anyone who buys any of my packs, thank you, and happy growing! Please keep and share clones if you like, and feel free to make your own crosses too. When my plants are special enough for people to use them in their own projects, I am absolutely honored! They are for you, and for everyone. Most of my strains are limited edition creations. I make them, test them, and release the ones I am thrilled with. I don’t often go back and remake the same batch (only on occasion!) so most of my strains, once they sell out, they are gone forever. I’m just one person and I’m always working on loads of new projects. I would never outsource my breeding like others do, because this is just my project, it’s what I love to do, and I do it in my own unique way. Thank you all for following along and so happy you’ve all enjoyed!