“Ever since I started growing, I’ve always been on the lookout for strains with a milder effect,” says Carlos, a 66-year-old grower growing a wide variety of Dinafem seeds. When Dinafem received Carlos’ first email, the seed bank was excited by his enthusiasm and the results he had achieved. That was several years ago and Dinafem has been in regular contact with Carlos ever since. As told to Dinafem, here is Carlos’ story of healing through cannabis.

When and why did you start growing?

I started growing in 2000, the same year I turned 50. I had been taking very strong medication from the pharmacy for a long time but I hadn’t noticed any improvement, so after having a good hard think, I decided to stop taking those drugs and try cannabis.

Which condition or illness do you suffer from?

I´ve been treated for depression and several other problems that are associated with that or otherwise, including chronic pain, high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia.

Has cannabis helped to soothe or reduce these pains?

I was looking for something mainly to improve my mood, relieve pain and make me feel more relaxed so I could get to sleep. I think cannabis has helped me. Thanks to cannabis, I was able to stop taking most of the medication I was using and my quality of life improved dramatically. This change was not a quick process, but it took place little by little over the course of almost three months. It wasn´t easy to stop taking my medication either, but I was able to do it and cannabis helped me.

Did you know anything about marijuana before you started growing it?

Before I decided to start growing, I hardly knew anything about the plant and I´d never used it before. I spent two years reading a lot of books and magazines about cannabis and gathered all the information I could find on the Internet. Without any particular planning, I found the perfect spot on my patio—it was sunny, sheltered and discreet for growing these plants. I started growing when I felt ready to do so.

How do you grow your plants?

Well, I grow around three or four plants per year during the outdoor season, which is from May to October. I use white plant pots that have a capacity of around 25 liters and double them up by placing one inside the other. I prepare the soil by mixing garden center earth with perlite and vermiculite and I add a couple of handfuls of peat and manure. I water the plants with water from the normal supply, leaving it to rest in a container for 48 hours to remove chlorine, and I adjust the pH level to 6. During the holidays, I use a basic watering system that has a programmable function. I only use two eco-friendly products for getting rid of pests—neem and Bacillus thuringiensis. To feed the plants, I use organic bloom and growth fertilizers for everyday use, plus vitamin and mineral complexes from time to time.

Out of all the types of Dinafem seeds you´ve grown, which varieties are your favorite?

I think Critical +, California Hash Plant, Shark Attack, Cloud # 9 and White Siberian are particularly good. Species based on hybrids of Skunk and Northern Lights, such as Critical + or California Hash Plant, work particularly well for me. I use them during the day because not only do they have a nice and relaxing physical effect, but their psychoactivity levels make me feel calm and creative. For deep relaxation and getting to sleep, I prefer pure or hybrid indica strains like Shark Attack and White Siberian. Their genetics have proven to have great medicinal value. They give me relief from pain and help me get some much-needed sleep.

What´s your opinion of the new CBD strains?

Ever since I became a grower and user of cannabis, I´ve always been on the lookout for strains with a milder effect that don´t affect me too much in my daily life, so the emergence of new CBD varieties has been great news for me. I´ve grown Critical + CBD and Shark Shock CBD and I´ve noticed how these varieties not only give me all the feelings of well-being that come with cannabis, but they also don´t pose any problems when it comes to psychoactive effects that are too potent. They don´t give me anxiety and, best of all, I´ve never had a “white-out” with these types of strains. I´ve also found that these high-CBD versions are particularly effective against muscle pain and are generally very relaxing.

How does this compare to before?

Before the wave of CBD varieties came on the scene, you would have to use strains of cannabis that were high in THC but cure the buds for much longer before using them in order to get effects similar to those I´ve just told you about. Sometimes you have to leave them for a year or even longer, but that´s not always possible if you don´t have a ready supply of them. New CBD strains share the exact characteristics of their cannabis families with regards to their scent, flavor, productivity, etc. The only difference I´ve noticed is the proportion of cannabinoids, which is something that comes across in the effects.

How do you use marijuana?

I mainly use a vaporizer. I think it´s one of the best ways of using cannabis because you get the immediate hit of a joint but without any of the disadvantages. You notice the effect from the first inhalation and then you can adjust it to suit yourself. I used to be a smoker and it took me quite a while to get used to using it, but once I got over that, there were nothing but advantages. I have two portable vaporizers and a table-top one. I use them every day. Sometimes I make a sponge cake to last a few days, but the thing about eating cannabis is that there´s always a possibility of the effects turning out to be too strong or not as expected.

Why do you choose Dinafem seeds?

I started growing with the only seeds that were available back in the early 2000s—regular, expensive seeds from a bank in the Netherlands. When I discovered Dinafem, I was able to buy quality, feminized seeds in a wide variety. The seeds are always fresh, very well-packed and they germinate easily. The genetic quality is excellent and the varieties are very accurate and stable. With their latest range of CBD strains and high-CBD autoflowering varieties, Dinachem has shown how committed they are to cannabis for medicinal purposes by making it easier for both therapeutic users and those who prefer their cannabis mild to use it more sustainably.