Cannabis.net speaks with Russ Hudson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of MarijuanaGames.org. Hudson is a professional cannabis strain tester, runs a marijuana consulting firm, and has developed his own method of testing. He has many stories from his humble beginnings in the streets of America to making it big – moving to Spain to build his cannabis business. One of his newest projects is a website called CannaBastard.com, where he calls out on the crap happening within the industry (much of what we’re familiar with, Hudson sheds light and gives a voice to the community through his work).
Vice Video met with Hudson in Spain, check out this video to see more of what he does.
You’ve come a long way from living in the streets to where you are now, in Barcelona, no less! It’s inspiring how open you are about your past, as well as how marijuana helps you to this day. What advice can you offer young kids who want to make their way into the professional arena?
My advice to anyone who wants to enter the cannabis industry is to first find what that person has to offer the industry; writing skills, video skills, analysis skills, or any other skill, and then figure out a way to put those skills to work for cannabis. Anything is possible; if you need to leave your home country to make it happen, then do so. If you’ll go hungry for a few days to make it happen, then go hungry. If you’ll alienate friends and family with your work, then that’s THEIR problem, not yours. The most important thing is to ACT.
How many varieties of marijuana have you tried in total?
At least many hundreds, perhaps a thousand or more. Dozens of these can be from the same source strain, such as the many varieties of Kush, or the unlimited quantities of Haze hybrids.
In the VICE video, you test a strain and refer to it as unique. There are hundreds of strains out there but what makes a strain completely unique for you?
In this case, the strain was unique because it was a proprietary strain developed by the club. The club’s president traveled to Nepal to source the genetics, then painstakingly developed the strain over a number of years. The uniqueness in this case comes through in the form of flavor and aroma combinations that aren’t found in other strains, or aren’t found in sufficient quantity or strength in other strains. It’s a developed taste and capacity for analysis; most regular smokers would probably not notice the differences, at least not so strikingly as I do.
The video also mentions that you use marijuana for PTSD and anxiety. What are your go-to strains when you’re feeling extra anxious?
For treatment of anxiety and PTSD, I prefer strong indicas like Zombie Kush or SFVOG Kush. Research and blind trials in Canada have shown that heavy indicas are preferred by most military veterans who suffer from these conditions, and this is the demographic that typically suffers from these ailments most severely.
Can you tell us more about the unique method you’ve developed for determining the potency of a strain?
I test a strain over a period of 5-7 days. I use the strain before bed, while working, before and after running 16km, before, during or after sex, before, during or after eating and/or drinking, while out and about in town, etc. I take notes during the week that I test a strain, seeking to know whether any of the above activities reduce or otherwise alter the high of a particular strain. An important part of this is determining how long the high lasts, so I take detailed notes with times of use for the review.
As a parent, what advice can you offer other parents about having the “talk” with their kids? In your opinion, what’s a good age to bring marijuana use up, and how would you talk to your child about it?
This is a sensitive issue, and a lot of people probably won’t like my response, but I believe that you should be open and honest about cannabis use, regardless of the child’s age. If your child is asking about it, then it’s your obligation as a parent to tell them the truth. Kids know when you lie; if you lie to them about your cannabis use now, maybe they’ll do the same to you when they reach for a joint in their teen years. But more importantly, in order to destroy the negative stigma associated with cannabis use, we must tell our children the truth and be relaxed and truthful about it from the beginning. Lying, hiding or obscuring cannabis use only plants the idea in the child’s mind that cannabis is bad and should be hidden away.
How do you pace yourself or “cleanse your palate” so to speak, when you judge dozens of different strains for a competition?
Personally, and professionally, I never try that many strains and have written an article about my disgust with cannabis competition judging here: http://cannabastard.com/why-i-judge-cannabis-competition-judging/ Ideally, a person should only test one strain per day at the most. A “cleansed palate” isn’t as important as testing the strain in a variety of settings and emotional states.
Marijuana has helped you prepare for many physical endeavors, primarily martial arts and running. It’s helped you with motivation and recovery. What can you advise others about smart dosage to help them with sports and athletics?
Cannabis is a “highly” valuable tool for sports, exercise, and general physical activity. For athletes and others looking to try cannabis to enhance their performance, it really depends on the activity involved and the person’s experience with cannabis. It’s always best to start out slow; perhaps just a puff or two before physical activity, and then take mental or actual notes about the effects. Comparing times, repetitions, feelings, pain, inflammation, meditative state, and other aspects of the high and its effects on physical performance is important to determine if cannabis use during these activities is right for you.
What are your thoughts on marijuana microdosing?
Until you asked this question, I had never heard of microdosing with cannabis. LSD and other hallucinogens, yes, but not cannabis. To me, it’s all the same; whether you take one puff from a joint or ten, that’s up to you and what you want to experience. The idea of taking 5mg to 10mg of cannabis is fine I suppose, but for most experienced users, this dose will do nothing. For instance, a single joint that I smoke contains around 200mg-300mg of THC. For me, smoking one puff or 5mg to 10mg is not going to have any effect on me whatsoever. Now, one puff might settle your upset stomach but not get you high; that’s a good use of small amounts of cannabis. One puff to settle anxiety before a test or meeting is fine too. But whether you want to get “really high,” or just a little “relaxed,” it’s all the same. Call it micro dosing for small amounts and macro dosing for large amounts, it really means the same thing in the end; how much cannabis do you need to get to the physical or mental state that you are seeking? It’s just a nonsense term to me; if you have a slight headache and you take 25mg of aspirin, is that microdosing, when the normal dose is 200mg-300mg? A dose is a dose – how much do you need? If I have a huge headache and take 800mg, is that called macrodosing?
What prompted you to launch your recent venture – CannaBastard, with the intention of calling out on the bull happening in the industry?
I launched this site after years of work in the industry taught me that, like all other industries, there are a lot of shitty things going on in the cannabis world. However, due to the illegal nature of the plant in most countries, supporters are largely unwilling to say anything negative about cannabis, and that’s not a good policy. We need to be honest as we approach worldwide legalization, and this stubborn insistence that cannabis is a cure-all drug with no negative aspects is preposterous. So, I wanted to bring an honest voice to the industry, and at the insistence of other professionals in the field, I’m writing about problems in the cannabis industry with no-holds-barred.
What best practices in the legal cannabis industry in Spain have you observed, that the US can benefit from adopting?
The US is completely missing the culture side of cannabis. We need to adopt the social club model in the United States, and Spain’s CSC model is the best in the world. Providing people with a safe, enjoyable place to get together and consume cannabis is a critical piece of the puzzle for creating cannabis culture, and right now in the US we have very little of that, while here in Spain, cannabis culture is rich and rewarding.
What are your thoughts on how the current US administration may affect the legal cannabis industry?
Jess Sessions and Chris Christie are dangers to the cannabis movement. Sessions has made it clear that he intends to enforce Federal law, but at the same time, he has been shocked at the support for cannabis legalization across the country. I think the Trump administration is preoccupied with other things, but I suspect Sessions has his eye on the marijuana industry. At the very least, forward movement will be stalled. At the worst, Sessions and his goons could come down on Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, Maine, California, and other places that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. The Feds know they need to tread carefully on medical marijuana issues, but when it comes to recreational use, they see this as a clear demon and Sessions likens recreational use of marijuana to heroin.
We are very excited about your upcoming book, Weed Deeds: From Seed to Sage, discussing your journey from past to present. When can we expect it on the shelves/Amazon?
Thank you! The book is in the final stages of editing now and we’re working on the cover, so I expect to have it available for sale by the first week of May.
For more information on Russ Hudson, here’s a fantastic article he wrote entitled “Coming Out Of The Cannabis Closet”.
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