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Old 07-30-2006, 10:00 PM #1
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Thai ganja strains - one explanation for the hermaphrodites

"Until recent times, Cannabis farming has been a cottage industry of the northern mountain areas and each family grew a small garden. The pride of a farmer in his crop was reflected in the high quality and seedless nature of each carefully wrapped Thai stick"

"Most Thai strains are very late-maturing and subject to hermaphrodism. It is not understood whether strains from Thailand turn hermaphrodite as a reaction to the extremes of northern temperate weather or if they have a genetically controlled tendency towards hermaphrodism."

[my italics]
from "Marijuana Botnay", by Robert Connell Clarke

In my experience of living in Northern Thailand, I would only infrequently encounter seeds in ganja, perhaps one or two fully mature seeds every ounce or so, if at all

With this in mind, I would like to briefly contextualise my question about why it is Western breeders seem to encounter the hermie problem with Thai strains:

It seems that the generally accepted narrative among Western afficionados is that small scale production of high quality ganja in Thailand has, over the past few decades, given way to large scale production of inferior weed by criminal gangs, small village growers being pushed out and replaced by a combination of corrupt law enforcement and economic pressure...

I would personally question whether the situation is in fact nearly as bad as this overall picture suggests, for instance:

to my knowledge, since the relatively recent "crackdowns" under the notorious Thaksin there has been a transfer of power in the Northern hilltribe villages, with the old guard being killed and overthrown, only to be replaced by figures friendly to Thaksin and his circle:

meanwhile lower down the pyramid of power it is business-as-usual, and the commercial production of ganja continues

IMHO and IME small scale production by individuals remains largely unaffected by such events, since small scale production of dope in rural Thailand is seldom - if ever - done for serious commerical gain


the perception among many rural Thais is that growing and smoking ganja is the preserve of nutty oldsters, and a minor vice of lazy bums
furthrmore, gnerally in rural Thailand the reach of law enforcement (always corrupt) is very limited, a scant presence in the vast majority of small towns, let alone villages and hamlets and yet remoter areas.


(Closer to the Burmese border this is of course not the case, there being a large military presence, and likewise in the Northen hills there is a greater awareness of the large amounts of money to be had out of ganja)
however for the majority of rural Thais, quite large quantities of high grade ganja will exchange hands for very small sums of money indeed

So my point is this: the drug-smuggling cannabis economy, and the village ganja economy are generally two totally seperate entities, the former having a limited impact on the other

In other words, if the mafia plant up some stretches of the highlands with shitty dope, this will have a limited impact on the oldster with his patch of garden herb which he may sell to the occasional friend at maybe something akin to a dollar on the oz at the very most
[edit: nb this is not say that village ganja always = the best ganja, but can also be scraggy seeded shite, presumably feral]

Now for the question of Thai hermaphrodites: given the limited presence of seeds in most Thai stick, one wonders how this tallies with the Western afficionados insistance that most Thai strains suffer from the hermie trait...

I would like to make the following controversial suggestion as a means of explaining the dubious assertion that Thai strains are plagued by hermie genes

IMHO the presence of the occasional seed in Thai sensimilla could indeed be generally explained by hermies, however - and here is the rub -
in all likelihood the reason Westerner breeders complain of Thai hermies is that their lines of Thai plants originate from seeds picked out of packs of Thai sensi and not from seeds obtained from village growers, as they ought to


edit: I put this in bold just because the post is long, not because I wish to shout my suspicions from the rooftops
just to be clear: this my suspicion, not an assertion - all debate, disagreement and correction is welcome

Namkha

Last edited by namkha; 07-30-2006 at 10:34 PM..
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:10 PM #2
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Very interesting thing....
The breeder of the Destroyer told me a long time ago that the Meao Thai is/was very difficult to tame (domesticate?) because the hermie tendencies and such.The Destroyer was developed in 7 years if I don´t remember bad,it´s mostly Meao and it´s excellent btw.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:26 PM #3
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hi Raco, thanks, I have gone through and edited a few things again

I should be frank in saying that I do not pretend to a high level of expertise in these matters

what I can say, is that I have more than a decade of experience travelling and living in Asia and SE Asia (I have also visited parts of South America, and made several trips to the Carribean)

though I have some field experience, I have limited experience of the seed breeders and their ways - but I must say that, the more I read their blurbs and their associated "Bibles" the more my nose begins to twitch

speaking metaphorically, I will be keeping a bag of salt to hand, and applying pinches liberally

Namkha

edit: in my experience, when investigating any subject in depth, you become aware of how erroneous facts can be duplicated from book to book, as authors and "experts" repeat one anothers assertions and errors - I believe a similar process could be at play in the world of the seed banks and cannabotanists, with dubious facts and dubious genes being swapped and recycled

Last edited by namkha; 07-30-2006 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:38 PM #4
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"though I have some field experience, I have limited experience of the seed breeders and their ways - but I must say that, the more I read their blurbs and their associated "Bibles" the more my nose begins to twitch

speaking metaphorically, I will be keeping a bag of salt to hand, and applying pinches liberally"

that´s funny,namkha...
Anyways,I believe what kaiki@CBG tells me.He´s a stand-up guy and exceptional breeder.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:40 PM #5
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Hi Raco, sure, though I would prefer to keep names and specifics out of this [if] that's alright

I wouldn't want this to descend into something ugly - the CBG strains certainly look superb

Last edited by namkha; 07-30-2006 at 10:50 PM..
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:46 PM #6
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OK
but I think it´s difficult to keep those names and specifics out of threads...
I have nothing to do with CBG at all....just good friends

"edit: in my experience, when investigating any subject in depth, you become aware of how erroneous facts can be duplicated from book to book, as authors and "experts" repeat one anothers assertions and errors - I believe a similar process could be at play in the world of the seed banks and cannabotanists, with dubious facts and dubious genes being swapped and recycled"

interesting again...you´re right (most probably)
So...if the thai growers kill all the males when they grow sinsemilla...where the thai beans come from?
Pollen from neighbouring fields?
Pollen from pistillate hermies?
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:27 PM #7
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hiya Raco,

may I make a point regarding the use of strain names and other terms?

IMHO terms such as "strain", "IBL" etc should themselves be regarded as describing a realtiy that is much more "open", "slippery", and variable than the terms themselves may lead us to believe

(in other words: the same old cliche that reality on the ground is much more complicated than our way of thinking about it and describing it may imply - no doubt you are more than familiar with this same old idea)

"Meao Thai" would I think describe a plant originating with seeds obtained from Hmong tribes, one way or another. I am 99% sure that "Meao" is another name given to the Hmong tribes, If memory serves, the Hmong do not call themselves Meao, rather it is name sometimes used by outsiders to describe them. Feel free to check, I am rather too lazy to bother right now.

What I mean for this point to imply is simply that I imagine the Hmong grow quite a wide array of different types of ganja, most frequently, or at least most visibly, I would guess they grow hemp for clothes etc.

I would also bet reasonable money that, for instance, if you were to travel to some of the areas of Southern China where Hmong can also be found, such as Yunnan, you could find them growing plants that a botanist would describe as indica

All largely conjecture on my part, but fun too lol

Namkha

edit: p.s. sorry, just to be clear this is not meant to reflect badly on CBG - using the name Meao Thai is perfectly valid - it is a convenience, and totally legitimate

Last edited by namkha; 07-30-2006 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:31 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Raco
interesting again...you´re right (most probably)
So...if the thai growers kill all the males when they grow sinsemilla...where the thai beans come from?
Pollen from neighbouring fields?
Pollen from pistillate hermies?

right, this is my point - a seed in sensimilla is most likely IMHO to originate in a hermie

esp. bearing in mind that the further away from the edge (ie.e closer to the centre) of a field/patch of ganja a plant is growing the less and less likely it is to be pollinated by any nearby or distant males

the odds are stacked in favour of a seed in a bag of sensi orignating from hermie pollination

(see research on the distance pollen travels - not far, very seldom more than a few hundred metres in relevant quantity, making it highly unlikely for the pollen to originate from anywhere over say 500m away)

lets see if any interesting responses/rejoinders appear

Namkha

Last edited by namkha; 07-30-2006 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:42 PM #9
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"see research on the distance pollen travels - not far, very seldom more than a few hundred metres in relevant quantity"

Where can I find that info?
In the early 80´s,I saw seeded plants in south Spain...the growers told me that their plants were hitted by pollen from the Rif area in Morocco.
For the last years,the account of cannabis pollen from Morocco floating in the air in summer,is really very high....and the distance is "more" than a few hundred meters
Thx for the info on Hmong tribes!
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:00 AM #10
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yes, ironically I just mentioned that point about S. Spain in another post - it is true that pollen can and does travel great distances, depending on enviromental factors, though this is the exception rather than the rule

(I expect you are aware that the coast of S. Spain and N. Morocco are "a stone's throw" apart at points)

I don't wish to end up sounding like I know more than I do - somewhere on ***** there is a thread where the question of "contamination" of drug strains by hemp strains was discussed

there is a link on there to a paper where various researchers findings on pollen grains per m2 around fileds was described
typically there is a vast drop off in frequanecy of pollen grains the further from a field one gets - so that by a couple of hundred metres 99.9% of the pollen had gone to ground

history attests to the fact that pollen does not "get everywhere" by the fact that cannabis is a highly diverse genus/species... if pollen was as rampant as some people seem to think cannabis would be close to gentically uniform all around the globe, as it would have homogenised due to cross pollination

I would suggest that you double check my info on the Hmong, it's not like I am an anthropologist - there are guys at Chiang Mai University who could point you in the right direction if you want some really authoritative info

Namkha

Last edited by namkha; 07-31-2006 at 12:30 AM..
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