For the Love of the Plant
By Frenchy Cannoli
I always had a vivid interest in faraway lands, foreign cultures, ancient history, life in the wild, adventures, exploration, and uncharacteristic but extraordinary role models.
The semi-fictional stories of the Hippie Trail I read in my late teens were comparable in my young and very imaginative mind to the tales of the ancient Silk Road and the amazing journey of Marco Polo, a big hero of my childhood. The stories of these modern adventurers reinforced my fascination for Hashish country culture, which had always been powerful. I was without a real awareness of the Cannabis plant and its resin but I was nonetheless quite obviously primed for the experience so that the overwhelming flow of joy, energy and the exuberant love I experienced the first time I smoked Hashish was most certainly the catalyst of my wandering years and the beginning of a long relationship with the Cannabis plant.
Cannabis resin had many mesmerizing aspects besides its psychoactive properties for a youngster dreaming of travel and reaching adulthood; it was the taste and smell of the foreign countries I had read so much about, it was sharing the essence of these faraway lands for the first time, and feeling the pull getting stronger.
Finally, I reached the age of legal independence, and I became a total nomad, moving restlessly from country-to-country for close to twenty years, visiting ruins and museums, learning traditions and sharing the local life, never stopping for long, always seeking new adventures, feeding on the newness each culture presented. The world is an amazing school and my travels have shaped the person I am today, living among foreign cultures and being gifted with hospitality and friendship by total strangers is a life-changing experience that brings acceptance and respect for diversity. I was appreciative but oblivious nonetheless, of the deeper meaning of what was so generously given to me at the time, too young and so clueless that I wonder sometimes how I managed it all.
I did not truly visit the producing regions of the world to learn the trade but to simply have access to the highest quality hashish. To do that you have no choice but to live alongside local Hashishins and make it yourself, the best is never for sale with connoisseurs.
I thought I knew quality, as most Westerners do, but we are a long way from the producing regions of the world and the personal stash of a Hashishin in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, the Hindu Kush or the Himalayas is a long way from what is available to the rest of the world.
I have been immersed in various traditional sieving and pressing techniques most of my adult life and the deep respect I have for this ancient art is born from personal experiences. Breaking open a ten-year-old Royal Nepalese Temple Ball is an event that profoundly altered all my perceptions of resin quality, resin preservation and aging; smoking a narghile loaded with the personal stash of an Afghani Hashishin is a reevaluation of the potency of Cannabis resin, and collecting resin on your hands from wild Cannabis plants in the Himalayas is the final epiphany for a resin devotee.
The respect and love I had for the resin of the Cannabis plant took a whole new dimension in India, it was the first time in my life that smoking was a dedication to a God; before lighting a chillum the many names of Shiva are chanted as a form of communion with a higher plane of consciousness and being.
The greatest revelations concerning Cannabis that I was to experience came actually a quarter of a century later, and they drastically transformed my life.
The first was to discover the medicinal properties of the Cannabis resin I thought I knew so well when I came into contact for the first time with people who used Cannabis solely for medical reasons. My relation with Hashish had been at first a teenage love story, then it became the passion of a traveler but in California, it has been transformed into a total dedication to learning the science behind this plant’s amazing properties.
The second was my exposure to smoking flowers and more importantly sharing the life of breeders and growers in the Emerald Triangle. I am ashamed to admit that I had never truly appreciated the Cannabis plant all those years; my perspective was that the magic was in the resin, and I gave little thought to the rest of the plant outside making sure that no particles of it would blemish the purity of the resin.
I had been in many Cannabis fields, cultivated and wild, around the world and felt the energy surrounding me while harvesting plants or resin but I had never felt the power of what can only be called Cannabis trees. The energy given by a twenty-foot sun grown Cannabis plant in the Emerald Triangle is in proportion to the love and dedication given by the growers and the sheer size of their plants. It is very powerful and soothing, very different from what I had experienced in producing countries where the power of the land rules.
From my association with Aficionado Estates, the principle of a working relationship mimicking the bond existing between a winemaker and a vineyard was born as well as the concept of Cannabis terroir, something I had experienced during my travels but never recognized as such. The notion of Cannabis terroir brought me into studying the origin and history of wine so that I could define clearly all aspects of the French terroir and Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée to be able to adapt the concept to local California Cannabis production, and the protection of our small farmers confronting the hurdles of legalization. Our future depends on adopting a commercial game plan that focuses on quality over quantity. The French wine industry has left us with a blueprint in the history books on how to create a multi-billion-dollar industry on what is our small farmer’s strength - the quality of their genetics, their dedication to the plant, and the unique terroir of the land. The importance of protecting the efforts of our small farmers to produce quality, sun-grown, organic Cannabis cannot be stressed enough; the coming flood of mass-produced Cannabis will potential tarnish the reputation for quality California is known the world over for, and impoverish our most valuable asset, the many terroirs of California.
May we all stand united for the love of the plant!
Content by Frenchy Cannoli is intended to promote the legal use and processing of medical cannabis for the certified patient in States/Countries where the local laws protect medical/adult cannabis use. Frenchy Cannoli does not promote the illegal sale or use of cannabis in any form. This content is purely educational, intended for adult use only. This content is not intended for Participants less than 18 years of age. If you fall into this category please EXIT this site immediately.