Subcool’s Greatest Hits: Awesome Marijuana Cultivation Weed Nerd Videos
by Steve Davis
In the world of commercial marijuana strain breeding and seed production, there’s a guy named Subcool who creates tens of thousands of true-growing reliable cannabis seeds every year.
Subcool’s cannabis seed company TGA (The Green Avengers) offers nearly 40 strains of the finest cannabis that make marijuana cultivation very very easy.
Many TGA strains, such as Jack the Ripper, Chernobyl, Jilly Bean, Timewreck, and Jesus OG Kush, have scents, tastes, and highs that are exclusive to TGA seeds.
If you’re used to the common skunk, diesel, peppery, berry tastes and scents of most cannabis strains, you’ll be stoked by the different tastes and scents Subcool breeds into his strains.
TGA-specific scents and tastes are accompanied by cannabinoid profiles and percentages that give you a high you can’t get from regular marijuana strains.
As if creating super-stoney, unique marijuana strains isn’t enough of a gift for our marijuana community, Subcool also provides us more than 240 marijuana videos you can watch for free on YouTube.
Find Out More Online
SubcoolImage courtesy of Subcool.
Raising Arizona: Subcool Rises From the Ashes To Bring You New Strains, New Extracts
by Steve Davis
In October 2017, deadly wildfires decimated California. Cannabis seed breeder and cultivator Subcool barely escaped with his life when flames ripped through his Northern California home, destroying everything, including his outdoor garden brimming with flowering cannabis plants, some as big as 10 feet tall.
The fire also destroyed Subcool’s collection of rare male and female plants, plus thousands of seeds. Many growers feared that their favorite Subcool strains were lost forever.
Even before the fires, Subcool was having a terrible year. He has long suffered from a genetic form of emphysema called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is almost always incurable, makes breathing very difficult, and can be fatal.
In the smoky days before the flames burnt his home and grow op to a crisp, Subcool was “drowning in his own lungs.” Breathing became something he had to work at, rather than something his body did automatically.
At the same time, as health problems and the fire devastated him, he experienced further personal and business-related betrayals that broke his heart and cost him a fortune.
“It was the year from hell,” Subcool laments.
Growing Cannabis In The Subpool
And yet, less than a year after the fires, Subcool is now living in Arizona and surrounded by a diverse network of friends and associates who provide him with support, companionship, medical care and business assistance.
Moving from the devastation of Northern California to a house in Arizona, Subcool drained its swimming pool, turning the empty pit into a trellised cannabis garden. He calls this garden the “Subpool,” and donates its buds to needy medical marijuana patients who can’t afford their own cannabis.
The lush Subpool garden is just one of many new cannabis ventures Subcool feels blessed about, especially seeing as he spent the last few years in California wasting tens of thousands of dollars trying to comply with protocols put in place by Proposition 64 and its legislation.
No matter how much money he spent on cannabis compliance attorneys and grow-site upgrades, Subcool says there was always some new hurdle to contend with.
Having made the move to Arizona a permanent one, Subcool rejoices that the state’s medical marijuana laws and regulations are far more workable than those of California. Indeed, Arizona’s medical marijuana laws were narrowly approved by voters in 2010 and had relatively straightforward implementing rules — at least, compared to California’s rules.
Current Arizona medical marijuana laws closely resemble California’s Proposition 215, the landmark law that created a burgeoning, barely regulated black-market industry from the time it was passed as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 until recently, when licensed dispensaries opened and wholesale cannabis prices began to plummet.
In Arizona, qualified medical marijuana patients and designated caregivers are allowed to cultivate up to 12 plants of their own if they don’t have a dispensary within 25 miles of their homes. Dispensaries are required to be “nonprofit” entities, and are allowed large-scale cannabis cultivation, plus retail sale of whole cannabis, edibles and various extracts.
Subcool is now working with a team of scientists, investors, patients, growers and dispensary owners to expand the scope of his cannabis businesses. He’s created Subcool.com, a new website to take over from his TGA Genetics legacy site, which offers grower education training, as well as descriptions of his marijuana strains and new types of weed products.
Making a new website was Subcool’s choice, but other “choices” were not his own. Famous for his The Weed Nerd YouTube channel, with around 325 episodes posted, Subcool is now worried over the video-sharing site’s recent purging of cannabis-related channels.
On his YouTube channel, Subcool has been known to share music, grow-room footage, cultivation and breeding advice, clips of outdoor grow ops, and road trips to cannabis events.
The clips focus mostly on insider wisdom for growing, breeding and consuming cannabis, but The Weed Nerd can also be poignant and personal when Subcool opens up about COPD and the endless risks growers are subject to.
Currently, he’s working on alternative avenues to get The Weed Nerd clips to his audience.
“I’ll keep making Weed Nerd no matter what internet censors do,” Subcool insists. “I’ll host the videos on my own website or find other ways to share the plants and the news like we always do. The kind words, inspiration and ideas I get from weed nerds keep me alive as much as cannabis does.”
Subcool is also working on old-school media in the form of a follow-up to his Dank book series, which features vivid cannabis photos, along with his fascinating descriptions of how he breeds and grows specific strains.
Subcool’s The Dank products consist of 100 percent pure, organic cannabis extracts. (Image courtesy of Subcool)
Terp Sauce, THCA Crystals & Seed Testers
Aside from making the new website, recruiting a solid crew of new friends and business partners, and relocating to arid Arizona so his COPD lungs find relief in the dry air, Subcool created a brand of cannabis products he markets in licensed dispensaries as Subcool’s The Dank.
This new product line consists of 100 percent pure, organic cannabis extracts, including THCA crystals and terp sauce, the latter of which consists of fractionated terpenoids carefully separated and recombined. Terpenoids offer medical and psychoactive benefits that cannabinoids just don’t offer, Subcool explains.
“On The Weed Nerd shows, we featured terp sauce, rosin, live resin [and] bubble hash,” Subcool says. “The taste and high you get from these extracts is a new way of experiencing marijuana. Our audience wants these concentrates, which are made with special laboratory equipment, so we decided to make the best extracts and market them.”
Subcool will soon offer vape pens and pressed bubble hash as part of his repertoire, which will all be made from clean buds and safe processes, and certified by the most thorough third-party testing available.
Growers who rely on Subcool seeds will be glad to know he rejuvenated his seed program to recover some of his most popular legacy strains, while also creating potent, delicious new strains.
One facet of his seed breeding and selection process is the use of civilian testers, with Subcool evaluating the quality of candidate strains by sending tester seed packs to hundreds of skilled growers worldwide.
Growers who want to test candidate strains must first fill out an online form, proving to Subcool they’re professional cultivators who’ll give detailed feedback on how a test strain performs.
These details include phenotype characteristics such as growth rate, bloom-phase stretch, nutrients management, harvest weight, scent and taste, and of course, potency and high.
After Subcool receives the strain reports from these testers, he compares the metrics to that of his own cultivation experiences and the experiences of his partner breeders.
Only if the strain offers something truly phenomenal and different to the current range on his menu will he officially release the new and tested strain.
“The worst thing a seed breeder can do to growers is sell inferior seeds,” Subcool says. “It’s more than a breach of contract. Medical growers rely on their seeds to grow into strains that provide relief for their specific illness. When seeds don’t grow out to be what the breeder promises, it leads to extra pain and illness for medical [consumers].”
Since the losses brought about by the California wildfires, Subcool expanded his network of seed breeders and developers of rare clones to create several new strains, including Queen Anne’s Revenge, Cherry Cordial, Sangeria and Scarlet Queen.
He’s testing 60 new strains, and expects at least 5–10 of them will be cannabis champions worthy of release under the Subcool brand.
“There are thousands of people making and selling marijuana seeds, but growers tell me most of those seeds aren’t giving them what they want, or have quality problems such as failure to germinate, or feminized seeds that turn out to be dual sex, or male,” Subcool explains. “I go to great lengths to find the rarest cuts and breed them with rare male plants. There’s no use making mediocre hybrids. I want to keep hearing from growers that they love my strains.”
Among Subcool’s new strains is the tasty-looking Queen Anne’s Revenge. (Image courtesy of Subcool)
Surfing The Wave Of Change In The Cannabis Industry
Subcool is greatly concerned by what legalization has done to small-scale, home-based growers and dispensaries.
“The home grower created the marijuana industry. Now they’re seeing corporate interests take over, and legalization blocks or limits their growing,” he says.
Based on his frustrating attempt to comply with California’s regulatory Prop. 64, Subcool predicts cataclysmic shifts in the cannabis growing and selling industries that will ultimately limit our cannabis freedom.
“Things are changing fast, not always for the good,” he says. “The volatility in the marijuana and hydroponics industries is worrisome. There could come a time when most people buy weed at the local drug store or even Walmart. Many growers will decide it’s easier to buy retail weed than grow it themselves. It’s already happening in states with legal dispensaries.”
These industry changes have altered his breeding and marketing strategies.
In the past, Subcool explains, his breeding programs focused on developing strains with novel tastes, scents and cannabinoid-terpenoid profiles, along with ease of growing, genetic reliability and heavy yields.
Now, he’s focusing on research into specific cannabinoids and terpenoids, most notably cannabidiol (CBD), to create strains and extracts that treat specific medical conditions such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, arthritis, depression, anxiety and epilepsy.
This focus is none more evident than with his Deadlights and Pennywise high-CBD strains, which have long been his most popular crops.
Cannabis Is A Good Reason To Live
Subcool says his virulent opposition to cannabis prohibition fuels his will to keep living, despite the devastating wildfire, personal betrayals and health setbacks he’s endured.
“I got busted for marijuana in the 1970s and saw the corruption and brutality in the police forces, courts and prison systems,” he explains. “I vowed to fight back. My goal is to help the world grow so much weed that prohibition collapses. That’s why I breed and sell marijuana seeds.”
There remains in Subcool’s heart a special place for military veterans, and true to form he’s donated significant amounts of money plus cannabis to help veterans who are suffering or injured.
“They suffer without marijuana medicine or get busted for attempting to grow their own medicine. When you sacrifice for your country and come back home to find yourself attacked by police and the VA for growing your own medicine, it’s unacceptable,” he says.
When talking to Subcool for the purpose of this story, I noticed he was having difficulty breathing. Several times during our discussion, we had to take breaks because he felt he was going to pass out from lack of oxygen.
I asked if he’d made peace with the realities of COPD and its infringement on his life.
“Everything but my life was taken from me last year,” he explains. “Now, I’m in Arizona with really good people around me, creating incredible new strains and concentrates, finding joy in life. The best thing that ever happened was when the California home burnt to the ground, because it forced me to start over and create a way better life.”
Over 30 years of growing Cannabis I have noticed a few patterns emerging
I have noticed that plants like this that are literally done growing at harvest always taste better but more importantly are simply more dank! Healthy plants at the end are easier to trim and deff beefy but why is it a plant such as this that almost looks dead has such perfect reefer on it?
I saw a thread online the other day titled Hydro VS Organics. I did not reply as this argument is as old as Methuselah. We could debate this for eons It pretty obvious that the water boys out yield the mud boggers in the world but my days of Grams per watt are long gone. I run the same strains over and over and my goal each run is to make slight changes in my soil make up to determine when fading starts. To soon and the plant is green at finish and lacks flavor although I notice yields are better. To little and the fade starts so early that all the leaves fall off and yields suffer. The perfect blend will allow fading early in week 6-7 and continue to week 8 and beyond.
I have a theory you can laugh at. Its called infinite dankage, lets just say a plant has a determined amount of what we call dank. I dont think I need to define this. It seems to me that a faded plant will produce less total mass there fore creating more dank per gram on the plant? Does this make any since. Have you ever grew w plant that was just sickly as hell all yellow and faded, but have the bud from this plant taste better than normal? I am curious if others experience this.
The pictures are of the famous strain Apollo-13 taken at 60 days, the far end of her harvest window. This entire plant is head stash so I decided to make it as good as I know how.
I am smoking some scissor hash from trimming these upper nugs this am and I can tell you its as extreme as youd want. The first small hunk took my breath and pumped out 3 huge hits of almost perfume tasting hash. Its a bit like smoking channel #5 but there is also a fruity essence as well. A-13 make phenomenal Bubble is all I can say. It cannot be compared to anything I have ever smoked. As good as Vortex is, I prefer the bud smoke more than the mother, Momma still is the tops as far as resin is concerned it has a flavor and consistency like no other. Its shards up on scissors like clay or plumbers putty and has a deep red color.
Her downside is trimming. Imagine trimming this girl. I spend a good 4 hours on just the upper portion last night. The buds are covered in swirling curled sticky leaves that take loads of concentration and small scissors to clean up. I focus hard to remove all the sugar leaf as my main goal here is Bubble! I have noticed that actual sugar leaf makes the best hash. When I use pure bud I never get the same yields as with trim leaf. I think its almost a waste. So my buds get cleaned well to make more A-Bubble.
I wish I could take pictures like you do Sub is a statement I see more than any other. I have no formal training and everything I have learned I taught myself. If I can you can! Since my very first opportunity to look through a macro lens I have been hooked. Cannabis is such an amazing subject and through a powerful macro lens it can take on an almost Alien appearance. While I would not begin to try and teach anyone about Photography technique ( I am still learning myself) I think I can offer some pointers to greatly improve the pictures most of you take of your favorite plants.
The basics people often forget are to use a well-lit white room, no incandescent lighting its produces yellow hues. No toilets, buckets, brooms moms or dog turds in the background take the time to clean up a bit or you might end up with a shop vacuum in a Cannabis magazine with your favorite plant.
The next thing is the one that is going to upset you hydro growers. You cannot take proper pictures under a HID light. While white balancing and editing with photo software can make a picture taken under HID better you will never achieve the results I do until you use a properly lit area to photograph in. Without spending a fortune on fancy lights and reflectors you can still take amazing shots with a very in expensive Light Tent.
I set mine up by using some white sheets and several CFL bulbs mounted in painters reflectors you can buy at any hardware store in the painting section.
Cut the sheets or cheap white fabric into 4 foot wide sections and select a bright corner of a room to hang 3 sections to form a box open on one end. Once the cloth is in place position your CFL lamps on the outside of the tent facing the cloth so that the light is deflected in an even pattern. I like to use a combination of natural sunlight type bulbs and bulbs that lean to the blue side of the spectrum. Try placing the bulbs in different locations to see what effect they lend. Experiment till you get the best even lighting but do not take this lightly if you do not have enough external lighting your pictures will not be as sharp as you would like.
Next on the list is a good back drop to contrast your subject. You dont have to spend a fortune here either cheap cloth is 1-3$ per yard and even fine crushed velvet is only 5-7$ per yard. Two square yards is plenty to shoot against and over the past few years we have collected some 2 dozen different ones to compliment either the color of the bud or the festive time of year like Christmas or the Skull cloth I use for Halloween shots. Invest in a few but make sure Black and Purple Velvet are among the ones you collect first. We hang the back drop and position the plant in front but at least 12-16 distance between back drop and subject. You want focus on Bud not backdrop.
Its finally time to talk about cameras! You might think you need some ultra expensive DSLR to get great close ups and it does help but my Cover shot of Sputnik on the cover of Big Book of Buds 3 was taken with a Nikon Coolpix Digicam. How was I able to achieve this with a simple point and shoot camera with a fixed lens? I used a Tripod! This is the one thing so many amateur photographers take for granted. When taking close up shots everything has to be perfectly still and even the steadiest of hands will waver as the shutter opens and closes. So what ever type of camera your using mount it on a tripod. When researching a point and shoot digital camera for use on close ups the only important factor is the minimum focal distance. This will be in the specifications of the camera. The Nikon Coolpix 5400 has the ability to focus as close as 1cm from the lens although 2cm is more common with most point and shoot cameras today.
If your camera wont get closer than that with a fixed lens your close ups wont be as sharp or as close as you want. The final aspect of close up photography I employ is a lens mount ring flash. This is critical to get really close and still have proper lighting on the subject. While I now shoot with a professional rig and a Sigma Ring flash when I started I simply built my own using this great online tutorial.
Without a lens mount lamp or flash your camera body or even the barrel of the lens itself may block the external light and cause shadows. Using a ring light is the easiest way to prevent this and also provide enough illumination to capture a close up shot in a crisp clean form. Led lights really make trichomes stand out and it’s pretty easy to fashion a home made light using a few of these inexpensive bulbs.
Once I learned a few things and I was able to sell a shot to Big Book 3, I decided to buy a SLR camera and a nice macro lens. I took it out of the box and my first 100 pictures were terrible. It is amazing how many settings a point and shoot camera figures out for you, automatically and when its left up to you some education is required. What I am saying is it is much easier to get good close ups with a point and shoot macro camera than it is with a SLR until you learn a few basic settings. As I said I wont try and teach photography but I wanted you to understand unless your willing to put in the time a Digital camera may be a better choice than a full blown SLR.
Photography is an amazing and addictive hobby and there is always a better lens to buy or a better tripod or something exotic like Macro Rails, but that doesnt mean it cost a lot to get started, I bought my first Nikon on Ebay for under 400$ with a Nikon SL-1 ring lamp included.
Several months later a photograph taken by me with that camera was featured on the Cover of Big Book 3. It went on to take many pictures for many magazines and books!
While I now shoot with a Nikon D-50, D-80, a Sigma 105 MM Macro Lens and a Sigma EF-140 Ring Flash it all started with that simple Digicam. Dare to dream and there are no limits to what you can achieve.