The Best Soil to Grow Cannabis Plants

Soil. Dirt. Earth. The stuff we grow cannabis plants in. Do you ever think about what makes “dirt” into “soil”? Have you considered how the right type of soil helps to maximize a cannabis plants production? In other words, have you thought about which soil is the best soil to use to grow cannabis plants in for the highest quality yield?

Have you researched the difference between growing outdoors and indoors and how the soil impacts the success of your grow?

There’s quite of dirt to dig through and we’re going to touch on several important topics. We’re really only scratching the surface and there are several topics we'll uncover which you might want to dig deeper on.

(Editor’s Note: we apologize profusely for this paragraph)

Let’s Get Digging (last one, we promise)

Here are some ways which soil can vary from place to place and, among the categories of soil, type to type:

  • Drainage
  • Texture
  • Water Retention
  • Nutrients
  • pH Level

Types of Soil

First, let’s talk about the types of soil (credit Wiki):

  • Sandy Soil is a soil with a high percentage of sand, or large soil It mainly consists of rock particles such as limestone, shale, granite and quartz. Water travels through sandy easily, so nutrients leach out quickly.
  • Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay, whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar.
  • Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3 , MgO) and organic matter.
  • Loam is soil composed mostly of sand, silt  and a smaller amount of clay. By weight, its mineral composition is about 40–40–20% concentration of sand–silt–clay, respectively. These proportions can vary to a degree, however, and result in different types of loam soils: sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, silty clay loam, and loam. In the United States Department of Agriculture textural classification triangle, the only soil that is not predominantly sand, silt, or clay is called "loam".

Here’s a summary table:

Soil TypesCharacteristics
Sandy Soil* Large Granular Size
* Lower pH
* Pro's
-Good drainage
-Prevents conpaction
-Easy to work
-High O2 levels
* Con's
-Dries out quickly
-Nutrients wash away
-Poor water retention
Silt Soil* Medium Granular Size
* Pro's
-Contains nutrients
-Stabilizes plants
-Retains water
* Con's
-Easily compacted
-Poor drainage
Clay Soil* Small Granular Size
* Higher pH
* Pro's
-Stabilizes plants
-Provides minerals
- Retains water
* Con's
-Hard to work
-Heavy
-Poor drainage
Loam Soil*A mixture of all three types of soils
* Different ratio's create different characteristics in the loam

 Signs of Good Cannabis Soil

What are the signs of good soil to grow cannabis plants in? Are there things we can look for which will give us a sense of how healthy the soil is?

As most backyard gardeners know, there’s something about good soil which makes the work of potting plants or planting a flowerbed worth it. If you’re growing a veggie garden, then, you also know what “good earth” smells like … the richness of it, the color of it and how it feels in your hand.

There’s no real difference when it comes to soil to grow cannabis plants – you still want the same characteristics you’ve always looked for.

To be more specific: the soil should be dark and rich, loose (you can grab handfuls but some will slip through your fingers) and it should drain well; it can hold water but it drains so that it doesn’t get lumpy or muddy.

As we discussed above, there are different types of soil (sandy, silt, clay and the combination of all three: loam) and (as discussed below) there are amendments to the soil that allow for more oxygen absorption, better root-ball development and more complete drainage.

Nutrient Amendments

And then there are all the nutrient amendments you can work with. These include:

  • Bat guano
  • Fish meal
  • Crab meal
  • Bone meal
  • Blood meal
  • Azomite
  • Pumice
  • Kelp
  • Dolomite lime
  • Greensand
  • Mycorrhizae
  • Leonardite

Soil Amendments

This table is a list of the most common soil amendments used to grow cannabis plants.

 

AmendmentCharacteristics
Perlite•Perlite is a very common soil amendment.
• It is a very light, airy white "rock" and it adds oxygen while increasing overall drainage ability by creating space within the soil.
Vermiculite• Vermiculite holds water much better than perlite, but is not as effective at adding aeration and drainage.
• Together, perlite and vermiculite should never make up more than 50% of your soil.
Coco Coir• Coco coir is made from coconut husks.
• Coco improves water retention, but doesn't make soil heavy.
• Roots tend to develop faster and plants are less likely to suffer from overwatering in coco coir.
• If you're adding it to a soil mix as an amendment, you might add 10-30% coco coir.
Worm Castings• Cannabis plants love this stuff!
• Improves texture, drainage and moisture retention
• Add a natural source of nutrients that breaks down slowly
• Usually contains high levels of beneficial micro-organisms due to going through a worm's digestive system
• Add up to 30% worm castings in your soil

When You Buy a Mix at the Store:

  • Don’t Buy "Time Release" Soil 

    • The issue is: these types of soils are “preloaded” with nutrients that are “wrapped” in a cocoon which slowly dissolves over time. The problem is, there could be too much nitrogen released during the flowering stage, for example, and this would severely stunt the plant’s production.
  • Is the Soil "Light"

    • What does “light” soil mean? It means it has a light, airy, texture which seems almost fluffy when it’s dry. There are two benefits to this soil: cannabis roots love to push through this type of soil and it will, most likely, drain well, which helps with water management.
  • Look and Touch

    • If you grab some and form it into a ball, does it stick together and then fall apart with a squeeze? It’s a good sign if the answer is Yes!
  • Is the Soil Dark and Rich

    • Pretty self explanatory. If the soil doesn’t look and smell right, it probably isn’t.
  • Does the Soil Have Perlite In It

    • If you see perlite dispersed through the soil like popcorn, then, that is a good sign. It means the soil is intended to have good drainage.

Cannabis is a Weed

Cannabis is often considered a weed (hence the name) because the plant can pop up and thrive in diverse conditions. And we’ve been discussing ways to ensure your working with soil which will grow cannabis plants.

We’ve discussed:

  • Proper drainage
  • Good water retention
  • Beneficial soil amendments

Now, it’s time to talk about soil pH.

Best Soil pH for Cannabis

pH means “potential of hydrogen”. It is used as a chemical scale to specify the acidity or basicity (alkalinity) of a substance (usually a liquid).

Since soil contains water, it also has a pH. Cannabis likes its’ soil slightly acidic, which means, to keep it simple, the ideal pH level is 6; cannabis can also flourish on either side of 6, ranging from 5.8 to 6.3.

What the tradeoff if the soil pH runs outside of this 5.8 to 6.3 range? The plant won’t produce as much, or as high a quality, cannabis as it could.

The magic number is “6”

Ok, so, how do I measure that? The answer is simple, you’ll need a pH tester. You don’t have to spend a lot of money (maybe $10 to $15 online) but you do need at least one. So, spend the money, get the tester and stick it … into your dirt to see where you stand.

Best Soil to Grow Cannabis Plants Outdoors

How are you growing?

If you’re going to grow directly into the ground, you’ll potentially need to augment the natural soil with nutrients, something to give the root-ball room (perlite) and other amendments. A way to determine what the soil is lacking is the “eye-ball” test: does it ‘look’ right? And, to go one sense further, does it smell right?

Again, you’ll know good soil when your hands are in it and the only way to really know what you need in your spot is by trial-and-error.

And, don’t forget the pH meter!

Now, if you’re going to build raised beds and build your soil from scratch, as it were, you’ll want to review your research and make a determination about what type of soil or super soil you’ll want to work with.

There is always a learning curve with any subject and finding the right way to grow cannabis plants in your micro-climate will require some testing to get it right.

Read more about Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Best Soil to Grow Cannabis Plants Indoors

There are several factors to consider with indoor grows soil, primarily: temperature and humidity. We’ve been talking about the learning curves and the trial-and-error of finding the perfect soil to grow cannabis plants in general and now we have to factor in the characteristics of your grow room.

Does your room run hot? How’re you controlling humidity? For example, if you have a hot room which runs ‘dry’ and you put in a very quick to dry soil, your plants might be too thirsty too often.

One of the good things about growing indoors is you can test different kinds of soils in different pots (or sections) of your room and, after just a couple of grow cycles, you should have the (R)oom + (S)oil = (P)erfect Cannabis equation figured out!

Read more about Growing Cannabis Indoors

To learn more about growing cannabis either Indoors or Outdoors Book your adventure with Happy Travelers Tours today!


Cannabis Cultivation Indoors – A Primer

Cannabis cultivation indoors can be daunting process. After all, growing weed indoors requires you to replicate Mother Nature’s great outdoors inside a space – you’re bringing outside inside. Cannabis cultivation indoors is no small task and, when done right, it’s amazingly rewarding.

In this post we will cover the keys to cannabis cultivation indoors: selecting/creating a space, lighting and ventilation, control systems and growing medium/process, nutrients, water and pest management.

Select/Create Your Cannabis Grow Space

Start Small

With cannabis cultivation indoors, it is easier to learn, and fail, with a small amount of plants (2 or 3) than it is when you’re starting out with 15 or more! Unless you’ve already grown some other plants indoors (orchids, veggies) or you have an especially green thumb, you will have failures your first time or two.

One way to mitigate failure is to work with a mentor; if you don’t know someone who is already good at growing weed you’re working from a disadvantage. Having someone to talk with about your grow is an important part of learning to be successful on your own.

Think Big

Even though you’re starting out with a handful of plants, you still have to build out your space for a maximum load. As you scale up, you’ll want to have your infrastructure in place so all you have to do is get more clones, not re-configure the entire room each time you set up a grow (you’ll already have to clean it thoroughly between cycles ESPECIALLY if you had a pest issue).

Cannabis cultivation indoors is not easy. There's a lot of detail work and each time you cycle the room you've got to clean it as part of getting ready for the next cycle.

Keep it clean

The two biggest systemic problems you’ll have are: mildew and pests. One way to mitigate them is by keeping your grow room clean during the grow cycle, and by performing a complete cleaning of the room between grow cycles.

You’ll want to keep the room as clean as you can regardless; you don’t want to smoke weed which has been grown indoors in a room which ISN’T clean … lots of things can happen to the plants which aren’t good!

Keep it secure

We mean “secure” two ways: secure from unwanted visitors and secure from unwanted pests.

Convenience

By convenience we mean: Access. You’ll want to have an easy way for you to gain access and you’ll need to make sure “prying eyes” can’t. After all, even if cannabis cultivation indoors is legal where you live, you probably don’t want your neighbor’s to see it or smell it.

Temperature and Humidity concerns

The most important elements to control in an indoor grow are temperature and humidity. Balancing these two is critical to having a successful grow which doesn’t develop any pest or mildew problems.

Stealth

Here’s the thing about building an indoor grow: you have to be ‘stealthy’ if you want to keep it secure. Something’s are obvious (like a load of lumber being delivered so you can reconfigure your garage) and some things are just weird, like adding external ventilation ports to your roof.

The less obvious (and weird) the better – in some states the Utility Company will become suspicious if you start to use too much electricity all of sudden, which brings us to Lights.

Lights

Since you’re recreating the outside environment in your indoor grow, the most important thing is Light (and temperature and humidity as noted above, however, these can all be managed by using the right lighting system).

Tradeoff's

Choose carefully, there are tradeoff’s including efficiency and heat. At this point in time, Spring 2020, LED Grow Lights have become very reliable alternative to heat generating HPS lights (see table below). And, with LED systems, you can mimic the UV Spectrum of the sun as it changes over the course of the outdoor grow cycle (think about how the sun changes from Spring to Fall, LED lights can provide the same types of UV light which occurs outdoors).

TYPE OF LIGHTKNOWN ASTRADEOFFS
Metal HalideMH* Ballasts create significant heat
* Expensive to run
High Pressure SodiumHPS* Ballasts create significant heat
* Benefits the Flowing Phase the most
* Expensive to run
Fluorescent High OutputHO* Ballasts create heat
* Expensive to run
LED Grow LightsLED* Expensive to setup - needs technology infrastructure
* About 25% less expensive to run than ballast driven lights
* Programmable and can replicate natural UV settings thru the entire grow cycle

AIRFLOW

With cannabis cultivation indoors we care about airflow for these reasons:

  • The breeze the fans will create make the plants stronger. Think about how the wind helps plants outside get “big and strong”
  • Correct airflow (including creating negative pressure in the room) helps to manage Temperature and Humidity.

Temperature and Humidity

Once again we point out how important Temperature and Humidity are to a successful grow room. When you have the right combination of lights, growing medium and airflow then controlling temperature and humidity is much easier.

The goals for Temperature and Humidity are show in the table below:

MEASUREMENTGROW PHASELEVEL
HumidityClones and Starts70%
HumidityVegetative = 40- 60%

40% - 60%
HumidityFlowering40% - 60%
HumidityFinal 3 Weeks40% - 45%
TemperatureLIGHTS ON70 - 80 degrees F
21 - 27 degrees C
TemperatureLIGHT OFF5 to 10 degrees cooler

Pests

There are several types of pests to manage:

  • Soil borne
  • Airborne
  • “Hitchhikers”

Soil Borne

Soil borne are the critters (like mites) which came in with your soil (if you’re growing in dirt). One way to fight mites is to release ladybugs into the room. Ladybugs are like Rumba vacuums, they’re always crawling around on the plants eating pests and cleaning the plants as they go.

Airborne

Airborne flew in when the door was open. Creating negative pressure in the room can help to mitigate this, as will have fine screens on your intake and output vents.

Hitchhikers

“Hitchhikers” came in on your clothes and shoes. You can step into some bleach before entry to take care of your shoes and you might consider getting a ‘clean room’ jumpsuit to put on over your clothes.

Controls and Monitoring

Cannabis cultivation indoors depends on the types of controls and monitoring you're doing during the grow cycle. Here are some things to think about:

Lighting Timers

When plants are seedlings (and during the vegetation phase) the lights should be on 18 – 20 hours per day. Once you’re ready to trigger the Flowering Phase you’ll “flip” the lights to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

Simple systems use a timer on the power box, more complex systems use a computer to control the lights and their relative UV output (e.g., LED Lighting Systems)

Temperature and Humidity Controls

As we discussed in the previous section, controlling temperature and humidity is critical. One way to help manage this is to incorporate a de-humidifier into your room.

Again, you’ll need to monitor the room for temperature and humidity to maintain the optimal settings during each phase of your grow cycle.

H2O Ph

The Ph of the water you’ll be using needs to be established at the start of the grow. Once you know what the Ph levels are you can manage by filtering the water and adding nutrients to the water when it’s time to feed the plants.

Most “nutrient systems” (e.g., General Hydroponics) have balanced their products to work with Ph neutral water.

Cannabis Grow Medium

Soil or hydroponic? Amended soil or DYI? These are just some of the questions to consider with cannabis cultivation indoors. Remember: you're trying to replicate Mother Nature so the medium you choose is critical.

Potting Soil

We mean regular, generic, potting soil. Not necessarily the best option, but, if you don’t have a choice it will work. Be wary of soil borne pests.

Super Soil or Amended Soil

Super Soil, like Fox Farms brand, is configured with nutrients added for cannabis production. Things like bat guano and worm castings which provide nitrogen.

DYI

If you’re REALLY into dirt you can Do It Yourself using your compost pile. A “home brew” customized to your specific needs!

Typically, DYI dirt is made after you’ve got some experience with your indoor grow and you understand your Grow Room’s specific challenges.

Hydroponics

Growing hydroponically is complex and will require a stand-alone Blog post. The key difference is: you don't use soil and you need a more complicated system for keeping the plant's roots wet.

Plant Containers

Remember at the beginning of this post we talked about the Goal of your Grow Room? This gets to the heart of the Plant Containers conversation.

Everything gets down to how “big” (height and diameter) you want to grow your plants.

Cannabis Plant Roots

Cannabis plants have a “root ball” (insert picture) which resembles cotton candy. How big the plants will grow depends on how much room there is in the container. Once a cannabis plant gets ‘root bound’ it won’t grow either taller or in diameter.

The factors in the table below all contribute to the decision about how large (and what type) of plant containers to use.

  1. ITEMCONSIDERATION
    Plant Yield GoalThis may take some time to actualize. It is good to have a goal and work your room to maximize it.
    Size of RoomIf your room is a converted garage, you might choose to use 5 gallon ridge pots. If your room is 1/2 a closet, you might consider 1 gallon soft pots.
    MediumIf you're in soil, the same example above applies.

Nutrients

All plants need nutrients to supplement what’s in the soil and cannabis is no exception to the rule. In fact, cannabis growers spend a lot of time working on their nutrient mixes.

Cannabis requires different nutrients during different phases of the grow cycle. Basically, when they’re young and vegging the plants crave nitrogen. During the flowering and finishing phases, they drink up phosphorus and potassium.

This chart shows the Marco (and Micro) nutrients needed during the grow cycle:

CATEGORYNUTRIENT
MacroNitrogen (N)


Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
MircoCalcium


Magnesium
Iron
Copper

Flushing the Grow

A word about “flushing”. During the last three weeks (or so) of growth, you will stop adding any nutrients to your water mix and just give the plants water. The last three or four watering cycles are just water so that the plants can flush out any accumulated nutrients in their systems. By just giving them water, they can remove any residue left behind.

So, how do you know if the cannabis you’re smoking was “flushed” correctly? The proof is in the pudding, or, specifically, the ash left behind (really easy to see when you use a pipe of bong).

Properly flushed cannabis ash will look like the remains of a burnt butterfly wing – very light and slight, more white/grey than black. If the ash looks like this: Good Job!

Black Ash: Not Good

If the ash is black and/or chunky, someone did NOT flush correctly and that weed is still full of residue and whatever else was used during its’ grow.

Water

We discussed the importance of knowing your water’s Ph level and we mentioned one of the ways to manage water impurities is with filters.

We haven’t discussed the frequency of watering, which can be the #1 cause of problems in an indoor (or outdoor) grow. So, let’s discuss.

Frequency/Overwatering

How much and how often should you water your plants? One thing to remember is cannabis originated in an arid, desert, environment and the reason it’s been called “weed” was the notion it grew like weeds.

This is why the cannabis root-ball is such a delicate network: it absorbs minute amounts of water very efficiently.

Use Your Finger!

So, what’s a good strategy? Use your Finger! When the soil in a plant’s container is dry all the way down when you stick your finger in the dirt, then, it’s PROBABLY time to water them. The other sign you’re looking for is: are the leaves drooping or are they still pointing up?

Typically, in a room which is running with the right temperature and humidity settings, this will be every 3 to 4 days.

One more note about “reading the leaves”: cannabis leaves are very responsive to water. When they’re thirsty and the leaves are drooping downward, you can actually watch and see how, after you’ve water them, they stand back up and “reach” upward towards the light.

How Much Water Do I Apply?

The last piece of the puzzle is: how much water should I apply when I’m watering. The answer is: you have to figure that out as you go. Remember, the goal is to water the plants every 3 to 4 days, so, if you SOAK the dirt it will take longer to dry out.

Remember: it’s a Weed!

Pest Control

This section will review some common pests in an indoor cannabis grow and ways to mitigate them.

Common Pests

We mentioned spider mites and gnats earlier in the post. ADD MORE PESTS

Ways to mitigate

We talked about setting up a bleaching station for your shoes and even investing in a ‘clean-room’ jumpsuit to wear inside the grow room. One very important other mitigation technique is: don’t let anyone in the room, especially if they’ve been at another grow before visiting you.

Don't Let Them In

If you have to show them your indoor cannabis grow, then, make sure they bleach their shoes before entering (at a minimum) and if you have another jumpsuit, ask them to put it on.

You don’t want any hitchhikers from the other grow site to contaminate your room and all your hard work!

Join Us On Tour

For more information about growing cannabis indoors Book a Happy Travelers Tours Cannabis Dispensary Tour and go on our exclusive ‘back-room’ tour at our indoor grow partner!


The Best Ways to Break Up Weed without a Grinder

The post is all about the best ways to break up weed without a grinder. We're going to talk about tools found at home, as well as ways to break up weed on the road using things you carry with you all the time. Of course, we recommend you clean any of these tools before and after use. So, if you ever find yourself with a bunch of pot and now way to process it for smoking, look no further!

Now, let's take a look at some solutions -

  • Your Hands

Always with you, use your hands when you don’t have access to any other tools! Wash them first! I guess this needs to be said for all these alternative methods, the tools and surfaces you use should be clean to start with.

Now, if you don’t want to deal with sticky fingers AND you’re at home (or have access to a store) you can always use: parchment paper. Or gloves.

  • Pressing with Parchment Paper

One of the qualities of parchment paper is it doesn’t stick, that’s why bakers use it with sticky dough and things like that. So, you get a sheet of parchment paper, fold it and the you put the bud inside and pick it apart though the paper. Or just get your Hulk on and smash it!

  • Keys

Everyone always has a key with them and so this tool should be readily available for use. Remember: you want to clean the key before and after use as you don’t want to gum up the key’s lock! Use the key like a saw and ‘cut’ the weed using a ‘sawing’ motion … you know what to do, just try it!

  • Credit Cards

Back in the ‘bad old days’ we used to use credit cards to chop up line … er, never mind. That was a long time ago. BUT the idea is still useful. Just lay out your bud (you might want to use your fingers to break it up a bit first) and then, using a ‘chopping’ motion, use your credit card to chop it up as fine as you want it for your smoking apparatus … joint, pipe, bong or vaporizer!

  • Brute Force

Ok, so, you’re on the road (or at home) and you’ve got a bag of weed and No Tools at all so you just beat the crap out of the bag. Now, we would NEVER recommend this method as pulverizing your pot isn’t the best way to go, but, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  • Penny and a Pill Bottle

Now, this is a trick we hadn’t heard about until doing the research for this article, but, it’s brilliant! Just follow these steps:

  1. Get a pill bottle and make sure it’s clean
  2. Put some marijuana in the pill bottle, typically, just a bud
  3. Find a penny and clean it
  4. Put the penny in the pill bottle and put the cap on
  5. Shake it. Think Martini Shaker
  6. Open to top and pour out the contents!
  • Shot Glass and Scissors

Another technique we learned about writing this story: the shot glass both holds the cannabis AND restricts the range of movement of the scissors such that you can efficiently process a small amount of weed at a time.

It might take a couple of ‘rounds’ but, soon enough, you’ll have enough trimmed pot to smoke!

  • Cutting Board and Knife or Pizza Cutter

This part of our list includes the “Classics”. Starting with a cutting board and knife or pizza cutter. Simple, yup. Effective, depends on the cannabis you’re working with. Fun? Maybe … depends on what you consider fun!

  • Cheese Grater or Microplane

You’ve got one of these in your kitchen and again, depending on what kind of marijuana you’re working with, using a grater or microplane to “grate” the bud is definitely a way to do it … again, you’re gonna have to clean everything before and after when you do this.

  • Mortar and Pestle

Another ‘brute force’ method is the mortar and pestle. This will work well with really dry weed. If it’s almost ‘crumbly’ in your fingers, then, using a mortar and pestle is a good option to not having a grinder handy!

  • Coffee Grinder

Now, in our opinion, this is a tool which everyone should have anyway. Either dedicate an old grinder to this job or get yourself a new one, but, either way, using an electric coffee grinder makes short work of process cannabis for consumption … just fill up the chamber with some weed, put the top on and GRIND that stuff up!

Here’s a table of these techniques along with categories of use, either: “at home” or “on the road”.

Technique At HomeOn The Road
Your HandsXX
Pressing with Parchment PaperX
KeysXX
Credit CardXX
Brute ForceXX
Penny and a Pill BottleXX
Shot Glass and ScissorsX
Cutting Board and Knife or Pizza CutterX
Cheese Grater or MicroplaneX
Mortar and PestleX
Coffee GrinderX

If you want to learn more about how to consume cannabis without a grinder, sign up for a one of Happy Travelers Tours Mountain Top Grow tours. We’ll teach you how to trim and process cannabis as part of the Tour!

Book Your Seat Today!


How to Build a Cannabis Greenhouse

Many cannabis consumers reach a point in their relationship with cannabis where they decide they want to grow their own and so, they set out to build a cannabis greenhouse. Often times these fledgling farmers fail – growing quality cannabis is hard. However, when you do finally want to put “shovel to earth”, before you build your cannabis greenhouse, the first thing to do is think about the end game: what are you REALLY wanting to do?

Is your goal to grow for personal use? Or, do you see yourself as a ‘player’ in the cannabis game? Both of these paths require a different launching point.

Geography

Terroir and microclimate are two terms most typically associated with vineyards, however, they’re equally as important when thinking about your cannabis grow – especially if you’re thinking about growing outdoors.

So, what does geography have to do with a Greenhouse grow? The answer is: quite a bit. If you’re going to be growing year round, for example, does it snow where you live? Is your area a high wind zone? What about rainfall and mildew?

The challenge when growing in a greenhouse (or indoors) is you’ve got to augment (either with lights or fans or both) your environment in order for it to be a productive grow.

In addition, you have to think about the cultivars and strains you’re planning on growing – there are lots of things which can go wrong which might be mitigated by very thorough planning.

Bureaucracy

Permits, you gotta find out if you need permits. Not for the cannabis (unless you’re growing more than personal use, then, yes, permits for cannabis too), but for the structure and your property.

Some communities have very tight zoning regulations which can impact:

  • What kind of greenhouse you can build
  • How big a foot print you can have
  • Where you can place the structure on your property

You should consider speaking with someone in your community or network who has successfully built a greenhouse in your area to find out what challenges they had to overcome and to see if they have any thoughts on ways to get through the process easier.

Drying and Curing

Since you can’t dry and cure your cannabis in the greenhouse, you have to plan for how you’re going to do this very important part of the grow cycle. Specifically, you’ll need an enclosed space which is dark and which doesn’t get too hot or humid.

The Science of Cannabis Curing

There’s a science to curing which says: 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 percent humidity. The goal is to cure the cannabis for about 12 to 14 days. You’ll know it’s ready when a bud (or flower) ‘snaps’ cleanly off the dried branch, which should take about two weeks.

Once you get your room running at these outputs, you’ll be able to cure your cannabis appropriately.

How much space will you need?

Two things to consider: cannabis plants can easily reach six-feet in height or more AND you don’t want the plants to touch the greenhouse plastic as that can create condensation inside the greenhouse.

So, you’ve got to plan to have enough room inside the greenhouse or you’ll just create problems for yourself during production.

Building a Hoop-Style Greenhouse

The easiest and least expensive design to undertake is the hoop-style greenhouse design. It follows a simple concept:

  • A set of PVC pipes are bent into arches and erected to create half-circles, all at a set distance apart from each other
  • These are attached to a frame of base boards for stability.
  • Plastic is then placed over these arched pipes to protect the interior, letting in sunlight and diffusing it for maximum coverage.

Basic Materials

Here are the materials you’ll need to build a simple hoop-style greenhouse based on a dimension of 12’ H x 12’ W x 12’ L. This dimension can comfortably fit 6 cannabis plants which is the legally allowed personal use limit in California.

Materials List:

6 - cedar 2 x 4’s for base boards

6 - 2 foot long by 1/2 inch diameter rebar stakes

1 – sledgehammer, mallet or post setter

3  - 20 foot long, 1.5 inch diameter PVC plastic pipes

3 - 12 foot long, 1.5 inch diameter PVC plastic pipes

1 - sheet of plastic sheeting: 6 mil polyethylene, 24’ x 20’

1 - heavy duty stapler and staples

1 - roll of duct tape

(Optional) Landscaping fabric as shade cloth, 24’ x 20’

 

Construction

  • First you need a spot of ground which is at least 12 feet wide and 12 feet long. It should have a southern exposure to get maximum sunlight.
  • Put together your frame using the wood planks.
  • Use a pole setter or a sledgehammer to pound the rebar 1 foot into the ground as measured and marked in your preparation.
  • Now you can slip one end of a 20’ long PVC pipe over a rebar stake, bend it, and put the other end of the PVC pipe over the rebar stake on the opposite side. Continue this until you’ve placed all your PVC
  • You’ll need to add the spine— this connects each arch to each other – secure the 12’ PVC with duct tape.
  • Now you need to add in the other 12’ PVC as the crossbar and attach it to the structure about 5’ off the ground (or halfway between the ground and the spine).
  • Repeat the process and attach the second crossbar to the other side.
  • Now you’re ready to put on the plastic cover. This is a Team Thing and is best when you’ve got three people. And, if you can, do this on a warm day as the plastic will stretch.
  • One thing to note about this step is that you should “separate” the plastic cover from the PVC. You can just use an old piece of plastic or you can use some white duct tape. The reason to do this is because of the off gassing from the PVC, which causes the plastic cover to deteriorate.
  • Secure the plastic sheet with staples on the base boards. It should be taut enough that there are no sags or billowing when the wind blows.
  • Be sure to leave some plastic on the ends. This will act as a curtain for entry/exit and can be clamped “open” for ventilation.

A note on “light deprivation: if you’re going to use a shade cloth, make sure you have a piece big enough to cover the entire structure.

The Hard Part: Controlling the Environment

When you put up a greenhouse (or indoor grow) you have to deal with “the hard part” which is to say: creating and maintaining a nurturing ecosystem within your structure.

In other words, you have to figure out some “HVAC” stuff and make sure your greenhouse has ways to control: airflow, humidity and temperature.

Airflow

In order to prevent mildew, and strengthen the plants stalk, you need to keep air moving inside the greenhouse. You can do this with strategically placed electric fans or, depending on where you are, you can roll up the lower part of the plastic and let the breeze blow in.

Humidity

When cannabis plants are young, they like a 60 to 70 percent humidity level. As the mature, the prefer about 40%. You’ll need to measure the humidity level in the greenhouse (use a hygrometer) to keep things at optimal levels.

Temperature

Cannabis loves moderate climates with 68 to 77 degree Fahrenheit being an optimal temperature. Use a thermometer to check on a regular basis.

Now You’re Ready!

As with most things, the first part is just the first part. It takes a lot of work to successfully grow quality cannabis – here’s hoping this article gets you on the way!

To learn about Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation read this Blog

Join us on our MountainTop Tour or our Dispensary Tour and get up close and personal with cannabis plants!


Cannabis Dispensaries in California

What SHOUD have been a boom! is more of a blah … that's the reality of cannabis dispensaries in California as of January 2020. You would think, given the state has 39 million residents and receives 42 million visitors each, that California’s vision of billions of dollars of tax revenue would have been realized, but the truth is, not even close.

Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in January 2018 and the ‘Green Rush’ was on. However, the state empowered each county and municipality to set local rules, ordinances and tax assessments, which has created a situation where it’s easy to get cannabis in some areas and much more difficult in others.

In California, legal sellers face long and expensive licensing processes, quality control standards and high taxes. But 80 percent of California municipalities don’t allow dispensaries which means the majority of the state is a ‘pot desert’ without any legal, licensed, way for consumers to get cannabis, except via delivery services (if those are available in their area).

This means that illegal weed sales proliferate. A recent audit by a cannabis trade organization found approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries, versus 873 licensed sellers in the state.

In addition, another reason the black and grey markets are thriving in California is the consumers: for many California Cannabis Consumers, getting their weed “the old way” is still their preferred way and there’s not much incentive for them to change their ways.

Let’s discuss the Grey and Black Markets

Grey Market – Outdoor Farmers

These are the folks who’ve been growing outdoor, artisanal, cannabis for years, usually on the ‘down low’. Typically adhering to the six personal plants rule in California, these farmers have become expert at growing the strain(s) they produce in their terroir and micro-climate.

If you know one of these farmers, and you can get your cannabis “grower direct”, you can save money; it’s often the most economical way to go!

Grey Market – Indoor Growers

The next level on the grey market scale are the indoor growers. You know: the guy who has converted his garage or an extra room on the property. These folks are a step up from the six outdoor plant farmers and are, typically, focused on ‘cycling’ their grow room as many as 4 times per year.

Still, someone good to know!

Black Market

If you know people who engage in growing for the black market, well, here’s a tip of our hat to you. If you don’t know black market growers, keep it that way!

What does the Law Require

To buy recreational marijuana at a dispensary in California, customers must show a valid ID to prove they are 21 or older. A driver’s license or passport is sufficient.

This is the only information dispensaries are required to check for walk-in recreational customers under Proposition 64.

All Our Stops are Legal

At Happy Travelers Tours all our stops are legal and licensed. Whether we’re heading up the mountain to see our Outdoor Grow, or in Santa Rosa to experience our Cannabis Dispensary Tour, all our Partners are licensed, safe and secure.

List of Cannabis Dispensaries in California

Here’s a table of California Cannabis Dispensaries. We up date this periodically to keep it current!

Adelanto2
Antioch1
Aptos1
Arcata3
Arieta1
Arnold1
Atwater2
Bellflower3
Ben Lomond2
Berkeley5
Bishop2
Boulder Creek1
Calexico1
California City1
Cameron Park1
Canoga Park4
Carmel2
Castroville1
Cathedral City13
Ceres1
Chatsworth3
Clearlake3
Cloverdale1
Coachella1
Coalinga1
Colfax1
Cotati1
Cresent City1
Crows Landing1
Davis5
Del Rey Oaks1
Denair1
Desert Hot Spings8
Diamond Springs1
Dixon1
El Cajon1
El Sobrante1
Emeryville1
Encino2
Escondido1
Eureka6
Fairfax0
Farmersville2
Felton1
Fort Bragg3
Garberville1
Gardena2
Goleta3
Grover Beach3
Gualala1
Guerneville1
Harbor City1
Hayward2
Hollister1
Hopland2
Imperial1
Isleton1
June Lake1
La Mesa3
Lake Elsinore1
Laytonville1
Lee Vining1
Lomita2
Lompoc7
Long Beach 19
Los Angeles76
Los Gatos1
Malibu2
Mammoth Lakes2
Marin del Rey3
Marysville2
Maywood4
McKinleyville2
Mendocino2
Merced1
Mission Hills2
Modesto11
Mount Shasta3
Napa1
Needles4
Nevada City1
North Hills1
North Hollywood9
North Palm Springs1
Northridge3
Oakdale2
Oakland10
Ojai3
Pacifica2
Pacoima1
Palm Desert5
Palm Springs10
Patterson2
Perris9
Petaluma1
Playa Del Rey1
Point Arena1
Port Hueneme7
Ramona3
Redding4
Redway1
Reseda3
Richmond3
Rio Vista1
Riverbank2
Riverside1
Royal Oaks1
Sacramento28
Salinas3
San Andreas2
San Bernardino2
San Diego17
San Francisco35
San Jose16
San Leandro3
Santa Ana19
Santa Barbara4
Santa Cruz8
Santa Rosa10
Seaside5
Sebastopol2
Shasta Lake3
Sherman Oaks3
Shingle Springs3
Sonora1
Soquel2
South Lake Tahoe1
Stockton3
Studio City 7
Sun Valley5
Sunland1
Sylmar4
Torrance3
Tujunga2
Tulare2
Ukiah5
Union City1
Vallejo11
Van Huys6
Venice6
Visalia1
Vista2
Weed1
West Hollywood5
Willits1
Wilmington1
Woodlake1
Woodland Hills11

Book a Cannabis Tour Today

To learn more about Happy Travelers Tours visit our Tour Menu. Or, Book a Tour today!

Citations from:

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/23/style/weed-church-california.html
  • https://www.politifact.com/article/2018/feb/13/how-much-privacy-do-you-have-when-you-buy-marijuan/

Weed Scale

When we first thought about ‘weed scale’ we thought: oh, like this weed is a 10 and this weed is a six .. but, no, that’s not what the topic turns out to be about. Instead, we are talking about measuring devices, specifically, electronic, digital, scales for weighing cannabis.

Why Use a Weed Scale?

There are a variety of reasons why someone might choose to use a weed scale; here are the most common:

  • Weigh weed that you’re buying to ensure that you’re getting what you paid for.
  • People who pool their money with friends or relatives to buy their cannabis in bulk and want to divide the stash evenly without having to “eyeball it.”
  • Cannabis cultivators who want to keep track of their total yield.
  • Medical patients who need to keep track of their daily/weekly/monthly doses
  • Retailers and growers who need to weigh out packages to prepare for sale and distribution.
  • “Cannabis chefs” who need to get the right amount of cannabis in the new recipe they’re trying out.
  • Those who want to weigh their stash before leaving the house to make sure they are not breaking any local laws.

Here, for reference, is a table with Dry Weight Measurements:

GRAMSOUNCESPOUNDS
28.3495 Grams1 Ounce1/16 Pound
56.699 Grams2 Ounces1/8 Pound
85.049 Grams3 Ounces1/5.3 Pound
113.398 Grams4 Ounces1/4 Pound
226.796 Grams8 Ounces1/2 Pound
340.194 Grams12 Ounces3/4 Pound
453.592 Grams16 Ounces1 Pound
907.185 Grams32 Ounces2 Pounds
1000 Grams1 Kilogram2.2 Pounds

Things to Note When Choosing a Weed Scale

Anyone who came into this guide not knowing the difference between stealth scales and dispensary scales may be feeling a little overwhelmed right now, and that’s ok. In simple terms, there are only a few factors to pay attention to when choosing the right weed scale for you. Let’s go over the most important ones.

Size and Portability

The size and portability of the cannabis scale in question is a significant factor for anyone who plans to carry their device with them, wants to keep things discreet, or just has limited storage space at home.

Small-Medium

Small-medium weed scales are the most popular group by far, and also the one we recommend to the rest majority of our readers. The reason they’re so great is that they’re the perfect blend of small size and big features – these scales have all the essential features and quality parts, but they’re small enough not to take up too much space. Most of these scales could even fit into a pocket in a pinch.

Pocket Size

If that’s still a little too large, a pocket scale should be perfect. These small scales fit in purses or pockets with no problem, and most of them still contain all the critical features on this list. Most people won’t need to go any smaller than a pocket scale, which is good because the devices that are smaller than that tend to be lacking a bit in quality and functionality. The tiniest weighing devices are challenging to use, can only handle minimal qualities, and may be missing some key features.

Big Capacity

On the other end of the spectrum, high capacity and heavy-duty scales may be a worthwhile purchase for small business owners and or home-growers. These scales will never fit in a pocket, but they tuck away easily in cabinets or on countertops. Their larger size, and particularly their larger weighing area, makes it a lot easier to weigh a bunch of weed at once. And if you need to transport one of these scales from one place to another, they could easily tuck into a bag and be carried along.

There are a couple of things you absolutely need to consider before choosing the best digital scale for weed (these are in no particular order for importance):

1) Usage: You'll want to be cognizant of the different types of items and measurement metrics you'll want to understand before purchasing. For example, most digital scales have the following measurements:

a: gram (g)

b: ounce (oz)

c: troy ounces (ozt)

d: diamond weight total (dwt)

For anything cannabis related, you'll probably be using the gram metric for measurement.

2) Price: Although we're only talking about a difference of about $1-$15 for the different digital scales, this could make a difference if you end up purchasing more than 1 or if you have to re-purchase because the quality of your scale isn't great.

3) Functionality: Some customers of digital weed scales will use the scales exclusively for weighing marijuana. Others will actually use it for measuring other things such as diamonds and or food. This would mean that you'll want to make sure that your scale accommodates the types of food you'll want to measure (fruit, veggie, etc).

Weed Scales Prices

 

TYPE

LOW PRICE

HIGH PRICE

Non-Commercial Scales $12 $20
High Capacity Scales $30 $200
Professional Scales $200 $2,000

Weighing Precision

When weighing weed, it’s important to use a scale that is more accurate than, say, measuring flour to bake with. A gram of flour may only cost a couple of pennies, but a gram of weed is significantly more expensive.

0.1g

We recommend using a scale that measures with a precision of at least 0.1 gram. This way, the maximum loss in measurement from the scale’s margin of error is only 1/20 of a gram; instead of the half a gram it could be on a device with a precision of 1 gram.

Tare Function

The tare function is the single most important function of any weed scale, especially for those scales that are so tiny they can’t fit more than a few buds on without them spilling off.

What the tare function does is allows the user to place a container on the weighing surface, then zero out the scale so that it automatically subtracts the weight of the container from the weight of the weed. This negates a lot of mental math and frustration, as well as minimizing the margin of error of the scale. It also allows users to use a tray, plate, or bowl to hold more weed in to measure all at once, so it’s pretty much an essential feature.

Maximum Capacity

It’s important to choose a weed scale that will allow enough capacity to weigh the amount of weed you typically handle. When making this calculation, be sure to include the weight of any container used to hold marijuana during weighing, since this will also be deducted from the total maximum capacity.

Capacities of 100 to 200 grams should be more than enough for personal use. Capacities of 300, 400, or even 500 grams are too much for most of the readers – but many small-medium sized scales have them anyway, especially the 0.1g versions.

Overload Protection

Overload protection is what prevents the scale from displaying inaccurate results if you exceed its maximum capacity. Instead of just displaying random numbers that the user could mistake for an accurate reading, scales with overload protection will display an error message to let them know what went wrong.

It’s a pretty important feature for people who are testing the limits of their weed scales. But most models have them, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

Are Batteries Included?

It may not be a deal-breaker if a certain scale comes without batteries, but it’s always better to know ahead of time instead of being disappointed when the scale finally arrives. Most small-medium and even large devices come with batteries or other power supplies, but a few do not – especially the heavy-duty ones.

What About a Warranty?

The availability and length of a warranty say a lot about how much a company stands behind their products.

All American Weigh scales come with a 10-year warranty, and several other brands offer 1, 3, or 5-year warranties.

Are Weed Scales Different from Kitchen Scales?

They’re not that different. Someone who already owns a kitchen scale with the right capacity, units, and degree of precision might be able to get away without a dedicated scale just for cannabis. However, weed scales have a few useful features that kitchen scales are often missing.

For one thing, weed scales are typically more accurate than kitchen scales, since 1 gram of cannabis is significantly more costly than 1 gram of flour or sugar. Weed scales are also designed to be used with containers, or they may even include a container, and they are generally more portable for use outside of the kitchen.

Calibration Weights

High precision scales (0.1g and up) are sensitive devices. It’s not very uncommon for a scale to lose its calibration over the years. Even if your weighing device is brand new, it’s best to check it for accuracy as soon as you get it, and periodically after that.

To do so, you’ll need one or more calibration weights, which are pretty cheap to come by and will probably last forever.

The Latest Trend: Weighing Apps

These applications allow you to weigh your weed simply by putting it on top of your smartphone or tablet. There are Android, iOS, and Windows Phone versions. The obvious advantage of the scale simulator is that you can see right then and there how much cannabis is being given to you, so that you don’t get shorted.

Remember, your smartphone doesn’t have a scale in it. It is capable only to estimate how hard a finger is pressing against it, not whether or not your dealer is shorting you. Therefore, the accuracy is quite low and only works for very small quantities.

Conclusion

Weed scales are a mandatory tool in any cannabis lover’s arsenal, whether they’re a casual user, a small business owner, or a large dispensary. For casual users, weed scale prices are not too bad.

Finding the best weed scale is mostly dependent on how exactly you intend to use it. The key characteristics you will have to keep in mind are size, precision, tare function, maximum capacity, units, materials, and design. Warranty is great to have, but not mandatory, as most of the weed scales are quite cheap.

More Information

To learn more, Book a Happy Travelers Tours Cannabis Dispensary Tour!


Sonoma County Spa

In Sonoma County, luxury isn't about flaunting it, it's about private moments enjoying the finer things in life. Visit a Sonoma County Spa (we have more than 40 spas and wellness centers to restore your mind, body and spirit).

Sure, film stars and the international elite come to Sonoma County to stay in private villas, relax at amazing spas, and eat at Michelin-starred restaurants. But they also come to stroll farmers markets, enjoy amazing farm-to-table cuisine, and try some of the best wines and cannabis in the world.

Indulge in treatments with local products like goat's milk, honey, grape seeds and, of course, wine and cannabis. Rejuvenate at a luxury spa resort with gorgeous vineyard views and extensive pools or at a relaxing day spa.

Types of Spas

There are several types of Spas operating in Sonoma County, from luxury spas to destinations to day spa’s, we’ve got them all.

Luxury Spa’s:

are just what they sound like: beautiful facilities located in scenic areas, Luxury Spa’s cater to folks with some extra cash who are ready to be spoiled and pampered.

Destination Spas:

Destination Spas are associated with a facility, like a resort, and can also be very luxurious. Some destination spa’s are part of a hotel while others are more akin to a very fancy Day Spa.

Day Spa's:

Day Spa’s. Sometimes built in a shopping complex, other times along side high-end boutiques on a town square, Day Spa’s are the most accessible (and, typically, affordable) options for walk-in’s and small groups.

What To Do?

There are a couple of ways to get your perfect spa day arranged: one is to use the services of a Day Planner to coordinate all the details of your Spa Experience for you.

Using the Concierge at your Hotel is another excellent way to get your spa time booked, especially if they have a Spa at the resort!

Check with Google and see what Spa’s are located near to where you’re staying and cross-reference Guest experiences with TripAdvisor or Yelp.

Here's some help.

We've compiled a list of Spas and resources for your use!

NAMEADDRESSPHONE NUMBERTYPE of SPA
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary209 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, CA707-823-8231Luxury
Willow Stream Spa100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, CA707-938-9000 Destination
Farmhouse Inn7871 River Road, Forestville, CA707-887-3300 Destination
Kenwood Inn and Spa10400 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood, CA707-833-1293Destination
Blush, A Day Spa561 Broadway, Sonoma, CA707-935-0116Day Spa
Applewood Inn & Spa13555 Highway 116, Guerneville, CA707-869-9093Destination
Bodega Bay Lodge103 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA707-875-3525Destination
Gaige House + Ryokan13540 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA707-935-0237Luxury/Destination
Me Spa728 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa, CA707-566-9314Day Spa
The Spa GourmetSebastopol, CA707-494-7374Referral Service

Best Day Ever

What ever method you choose to use, once you’ve got yourself surrounded by Spa goodness you’ll know your best day ever in Sonoma County just got better!

To experience other uniquely Sonoma County offerings, book a Happy Travelers Tours Cannabis Tour and get up-close-and-personal with Cannabis (which is a great way to end your Best Day Every Spa Day!).


City of Sonoma - A History

This post focuses on the City of Sonoma and provides an historical timeline of the City’s development, from 1812 up through 2012! The City of Sonoma was named the number one wine destination in the Nation and our goal at Happy Travelers Tours is to make it the Nation’s number one destination for cannabis as well.

And we’re off to a great start! Sonoma County is buzzing with Cannabis businesses, production facilities and tourism and you’ve found your way to the Sonoma Valley’s original Cannabis Tour: Happy Travelers Tours.

Now, let’s get on with the history!

Early 1800's

1812 The Russian presence expanded in Sonoma County with a settlement which would later become Fort Ross. The settlement was established for the harvest of otter pelts, to grow food and harvest timber.

1822 Mexico receives it’s independence from Spain and Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo becomes personal secretary to Alta California Governor Arguello at the age of 15.

1824 Father Jose Altimira dedicates Mission San Francisco Solano whose purpose was to convert the natives to Christianity and provide a deterrent to Russian expansion in California.

1834 Mexican Congress pass the law secularizing the Missions. This law required all church property be inventoried and divided among the neophytes, who were now new Christian converts.

1835 Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo is sent to Sonoma and becomes the Military Commandant and Director of Colonization for the Northern Frontier. He receives a Petaluma land grant of 66,000 acres.

1835 The Sonoma Plaza covers eight acres and was laid out as a Parade ground. Vallejo is ordered by Governor Figueroa to be the administrator for the secularization of the Mission in Sonoma.

1836 Mexican garrison troops arrive in Sonoma to protect Alta California from the French, British, Russians and Americans, all of who had interests in acquiring California.

1836 Lieutenant Vallejo, at the age of 29, is named the Colonel of the Calvary, Commandant General and Military Governor of all Mexican forces in the newly declared Mexican State of Alta California. This was a civilian title, not military title, however, this is the origin of the title “General” Vallejo. The Barracks are built in Sonoma to house General Vallejo’s Mexican Troops.

1837 General Vallejo builds his first home in Sonoma, Casa Grande, near the current site of the Barracks.

1844 General Vallejo dismisses his troops in Sonoma. The Mexican government had quit paying the troops and as a result the General paid them out of his own pocket for several months before dismissing them.

1846 In May, the United States declares war on Mexico. The Bear Flag revolt takes place in Sonoma on June 14th and the California Bear Flag is first flown in Sonoma becoming the official California State falg in 1911. A new country is formed: the California Republic. General Vallejo is arrested and taken to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and then release in August. William Ide is elect the first leader of the California Republic.

1846 General Vallejo sends aid to rescue the Donner Party survivors. Eliza and George, children in the Donner Party, came to live in Sonoma with Christian and Marie Bruner.

1848 The war with Mexico ends. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed.

1848 General Vallejo is a delegate to the California Constitution Convention whose purpose was to establish the State Constitution. Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill on January 24th.

Mid 1800's

1850 California becomes the 31st state in the Union, General Vallejo is elected to the State Senate and Sonoma is incorporated as a City on April 4, 1850.

1851 General Vallejo builds his second home in Sonoma, Lachryma Montis (Tear of the Mountain). The beautiful Gothic-style American-Victorian house began as a prefabricated wooden structure manufactured in the northeast and shipped around the Horn.

1852 General Vallejo is mayor of Sonoma for the first two terms post-incorporation. The Sonoma Bulletin becomes the first newspaper to publish north of San Francisco.

1853 General Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker (the nickname came after a journalist’s clerical error in reporting from the Battle of Williamsburg) resigns his commission to farm in Sonoma.

1854 The county seat in Sonoma is transferred to Santa Rosa; the vote is very close. In the early morning hours, a group of Santa Rosan’s slip into the Sonoma Courthouse and take the records to Santa Rosa in a wagon pulled by mules.

1856 Count Agoston Harasthzy arrives to inspect the Mission’s vineyards.

1857 Count Harathzy purchases land for a vineyard. He produces a new varietal wine, Zinfandel. He calls his vineyard Buena Vista and he later becomes known as the “Father of California Viticulture”.

1858 Sonoma Cumberland College is found and located in the El Dorado Hotel. The college is later moved to Broadway and becomes the first Sonoma High School.

1870 General Vallejo forms the Water company.

1879 Sonoma Valley Railroad Company extends its line into Sonoma.

1888 Sonoma Volunteer Fire Company is established.

1890 General Vallejo dies at age 82 at Lachrymal Montis, the Vallejo Home. He is buried in Sonoma’s Mountain Cemetery and his wife dies a year later; she is buried next to him.

1898 Sonoma Electric Light Company is formed and brings the first electric lights to Sonoma.

Turn of the 20th

1904 Jack London moves to Sonoma with his wife Charmian.

1906 The Sonoma Mission is damaged in the San Francisco Earthquake but no casualties are reports.

1908 Sonoma City Hall is completed and dedicated. All four sides are identical so the Plaza Merchants have the same view.

1911 The Bear Flag is adopted by the California State Legislature as the office state flag of California.

1913 The Sonoma Public Library is built with funding from the Andrew Carnegie library grants program. A total of 2,507 Carnegie Libraries were built between 1868 and 1916.

1914 The Monument honoring the Bear Flag Revolt is dedicated in the Sonoma Plaza. The plaque contains the name of Paul Revere’s grandson, Navy Lieutenant Joseph Warren Revere.

1920 Prohibition takes affect, outlawing the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the United States. Sebastiani Winery is able to continue producing during this period by making sacramental and medicinal wine.

1923 Sonoma Valley High School opens at it’s current location on Broadway.

1930 The Sonoma Chamber of Commerce is formed.

1933 The State of California buys the Vallejo home Lachryma Montis from Luisa Emperan, the last living child of General Vallejo. California also becomes the 16th state to ratify the repeal of Prohibition.

1941 Sea Wolf cast comes to Sonoma for the premier of the movie at the Sebastinani Theatre. The cast includes Edward G. Robinson, John Garfield and Ronald Reagan.

1943 Luisa Emperan dies at age 87. She was the 15th of 16 children (and the living child) of General Vallejo.

Mid-20th Century

1950 General Hap Arnold, one of only nine people to achieve the rank of five star general in the U.S. Military, dies on his ranch in Sonoma.

1956 Charles Williams open his first store on Broadway, one block from the Sonoma Plaza. In 1958 Williams relocates his store to San Francisco. In 1972 William-Sonoma, Inc. is formed.

1959 Jack London State Park is created.

1961 Sonoma Plaza is declared a National Historic Landmark.

1968 Sears Point International Raceway holds its’ first racing event. It’s currently called Sonoma Raceway.

2009 Sonoma Valley is designated the first Cittaslow in the USA

2011 The National Trust for Historic Preservation names the City of Sonoma one of 2011’s America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

2012 Trip Advisor names Sonoma the Number One Wine Destination in the United States.

To learn more about Sonoma County, Book a Happy Travelers Tour. All our Tour Guides are Certified Tourism Ambassadors!


40th Birthday Party Ideas

When looking for 40th Birthday Party Ideas for Women (and Men) it’s best to think less about the number and more about how to create lasting memories. A 40th Birthday party is no small thing and we thought we’d share some ideas, some cannabis-centric, which we found online.

Nostalgia Party and Other Party Activities

Nostalgia Time! It’s easy: what year did you graduate from High School? There’s your Theme! Do you still have those leather pants in the closet from back in your rager days?

  • Take the Ladies Bowling! Yup: seems … silly, right? But, then again, it’s a blast and you can make it YOURS! Why not try Glam Night Bowling? Yeah, you have to trade in your Steve Madden’s for a pair of bowling shoes, but, it’s only for a while and then, when you’re done, you can slip those FMP’s back on and head to the bar!
  • Casino Night! Grab some cash: enjoy the gambling games and also good music and food. Having a birthday party at a casino would be a terrific 40th birthday celebration idea for her and surely it is going to be a memorable time for the gang.
  • Rock Out! Take earplugs if you need to and head on out to a local club to kick up your heels and get your rock on! Every community has live music somewhere nearby and there’s nothing like enjoying a favorite tune with your besties!
  • Cannabis Dinner is served! In some states, you can have a catered cannabis infused meal prepared and served in the comfort of your own home. By infusing CBD into food, you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable without the affects of THC.

Sexy Things

  • Gentlemen, if you’re reading this, remember this: your wife (sweetie, partner, ‘old lady’) would LOVE to rekindle the romance and celebrating her uniqueness by sweeping her off her feet for her 40th is a sure winner. So, open the wallet, pull a suit out of the closet and make the reservation at HER favorite restaurant. And, remember: keep your eyes on her, not your server.
  • Shopping Spree. This will also require the opening of a wallet, however, take your Sweetie shopping! Now, regarding the “sexy things” title of this section, gentlemen, please remember this: what SHE thinks is sexy isn’t the same as what YOU think is sexy and you should just smile and say “yes” when she asks if you like it! After all, it’s HER birthday!

Cannabis Tours

  • When you’re done the wine tour thing and you have seen every winery in the area you might consider the newest big thing: a cannabis tour! Yup, if you’re in Colorado, Oregon, Washington or California you too can enjoy the most unique and unusual experience you’ll ever have, a Cannabis Tour! In general, there are several types of Tours available:
  • Party Busses

The idea is pretty simple: bring some stash and your favorite smoking device and get on board the bus as you head out to visit a winery or brewery ripping one bong load after another.

Note: California Law has recently changed and now prohibits the consumption of cannabis in limo’s and busses while in motion.

  • Designated Drivers

These types of tours also focus on consumption and provide for a safe way to travel from one dispensary to another. Depending on where your tour is, you might be able to consume while on Tour.

  • Educational Tours

With an educational tour, you’ll find an emphasis on learning about cannabis, cannabis culture and why people consume cannabis. Many educational tours provide for some consumption, again, based on which state your Tour is in.

Happy Travelers Tours offers educational tours which put our Guests up-close-and-personal with Cannabis Plants. We also offer catered meals, Romantic Excursions and Bachelorette Parties!

For more information about Happy Travelers Tours, please check out our Tour Menu as well as our Booking page! If you have questions, please call 707-386-9859 or send an email to: [email protected]


What is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is not the same as cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The production of CBD oil uses the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, which contain a higher concentration of CBD, another potentially beneficial compound in the plant.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself, but they still have a rich profile of nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds.

Full-spectrum hemp oil that also contains plant matter may add other effective compounds, which may help with certain health issues, such as inflammation.

Hemp seed oil is rich in omega fatty acids, but contains low levels of CBD or none at all. Hemp seed oil is used in cooking, beauty products, and as a bio-fuel source.

Some brands, like Charlotte's Web CBD oil products, include whole-plant hemp extracts from strain specific plants. The extracts contain a unique blend of cannabinoids plus terpenes and flavonoids.

Also, hemp oil refers to a full-spectrum oil from the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp seed oil, is the oil which comes from just the seeds of the hemp plant.

There is very little risk of intoxication from hemp oil as all forms of hemp oil come from food-grain strains of hemp. Food-grain strains of hemp contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that causes the so-called "high" of marijuana.

Here are some benefits of hemp seed oil:

Body AreaBenefit
Skin HealthThe oil from the hemp seed is highly nutritious and may be especially helpful for the skin. Specifically for:
• eczema
• dermatitis
• psoriasis
• varicose eczema
• acne rosacea
BraIn HealthThe fatty acid content of hemp seed oil may also be good for the brain, which requires plenty of healthful fats to operate properly.
Heart HealthThe comprehensive nutrient profile of hemp seed oil means that it may also be good for the heart. More research is needed.
Natural Pain ReliefMany people use hemp or CBD oil as a form of natural pain relief, especially if the pain is a result of inflammation.
Acne The fatty acids in hemp seed oil may help balance the skin and prevent inflammation that can result in acne.
Muscle TensionFull-spectrum hemp oil that contains CBD may also help with general stress and tension in the muscles.

Topical hemp oils

Hemp oils can be used topically for a variety of hair and skin care uses. It may help treat symptoms related to some skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne rosacea.

Below is a list of some of the best topical hemp oils available. Check with the manufacturer before ingesting any of these oils.

BRANDDESCRIPTION@PRICE
Life-Flo Pure Hemp Seed Oil This virgin, organic, and cold-pressed hempseed oil is an affordable option that’s high in omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. It’s lightweight and easy to absorb, so it won’t leave your skin feeling oily.$18 for 6oz
Aura Cacia Organic Hemp Seed Oil This lightweight and organic hempseed oil has a grassy, nutty aroma. It contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which may help reduce signs of aging and damage from UV irritation.$8.99 for 4 oz
Edens Garden Hemp Seed Carrier OilThis hempseed carrier oil is designed to be used with essential oils, and can double as a skin moisturizer. It can be used to target dry areas on your body, such as your cuticles, heels, and elbows.$8.95 for 4 oz
Bella Terra Unrefined Organic Hemp Seed OilThis organic, cold-pressed hempseed oil has a light, nutty scent, and contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals. It can be used for skin, hair, and massage.$13 for 4 oz.
Nature’s Brands Organic Hemp Seed OilThis cold-pressed and organic hempseed oil has a light grassy and woody scent. It’s free of artificial preservatives, chemicals, and petroleum-based ingredients. It’s also packaged in biophotonic glass to ensure quality.$15 for 3.4 oz.
Canada Hemp Foods Organic Hemp OilThis organic, cold-pressed hempseed oil is an affordable option that’s made in small, handcrafted batches to ensure quality.$10 for 17 oz.
Nutiva Organic Hemp Seed OilThis cold-pressed, organic hempseed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. It’s also sold in bisphenol A (BPA)-free packaging, which supports the company’s vision for a healthier world.$7 for 8 oz.
Carrington Farms Organic Hemp OilThis cold-pressed, organic hemp oil is of food-grade quality, and is full of essential fatty acids that may help to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and improve your mood.$12.99 for 12 oz.
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed OilThis organic, cold-pressed hempseed oil is free of additives and GMOs. The Canadian farmer-owned company ensures a fresh and high-quality product by following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) at their wind-powered facility.$11 for 8.4 oz.
Sky Organics Organic Hemp Seed OilThis cold-pressed hempseed oil is made in small batches on small family-run farms in Canada and then bottled in the United States. Its high fatty acid content makes it a nutritious addition to salads, dressings, and dips.$11 for 8 oz
Foods Alive Organic Hemp OilThis cold-pressed, organic hemp oil has a rich nutty flavor and is full of nutrients, including essential fatty acids. It’s produced in small batches in Canada.$5.99 for 4 oz.

How to choose a hemp oil

When choosing a hemp oil, always buy from a reputable manufacturer that’s clear about their practices and standards. They should be willing to answer any questions and provide appropriate documentation to support their claims. Many companies offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Most quality hemp oils have been cold-pressed using a modern steel press. This process helps the oils maintain their full nutritional value, flavor, and aroma.

How to use hemp oil

Hemp oil can be taken orally in a few ways. To use hemp oil as a supplement, take one tablespoon per day.

It can also be added to salad dressings, soups, and sauces, or used in oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods. Make sure you like the taste before adding it to a large serving of food.

Hemp oil can also be used topically as a moisturizer on its own or diluted with other oils, lotions, or hair products.

When used topically, you don’t need to wash off the hemp oil. It can safely absorb into your skin.

You can also use it as an oil cleanser. In this case, you do need to rinse it off after use.

Is hemp oil right for you?

When taking hemp oil orally, always start with a small dose and gradually increase the amount you take over a period of time, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

If you have any medical conditions or take any medications, talk to your doctor before starting to take hemp oil.

Hemp oil is legal and doesn’t contain THC or CBD. It won’t cause you to feel “high” or test positive on any drug test. Hemp oil is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause digestive side effects, such as cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, in some people.

Using hemp oil on your skin may produce mild irritation. Always do a skin patch test before using hemp oil on your skin. To test for allergic reactions, place a small amount on the inside of your arm and wait 24 hours to see if any reaction occurs.

Be aware of how the oil affects you when used topically or taken orally. Adjust your use accordingly, and discontinue it if any adverse effects occur.

When used properly, hemp oil can be a healthy addition to your wellness and skin care routine. Choose a product carefully, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions.

To Learn More about oils, edibles and other forms of cannabis Book our Dispensary Tour today!