Barney’s Farm Strain Story – The Miraculous Dr. Grinspoon

They appear like endangered exotic species struggling for survival in secluded habitats in their native countries. And, apart from that, are devotedly cultivated by merely a handful of people, just as is the case with orchid devotees.

Well, this scenario is sadly true for the species called cannabis sativa – pure sativa landraces have long been on the retreat in their native countries and are increasingly hard to find there.

Because since at least the new millennium the famers in these original provenances have more and more turned to higher yielding and faster flowering turbo genetics from commercial seed companies that are easy to get in times of globalisation. And those few in Africa, Asia or South America still relying on native sativa landraces are sometimes finding it hard to preserve their genetics in pure form as they may get cross-pollinated by highly-bred commercial plants from neighbouring fields.

Yes, pure acclimatised sativa landrace strains are few and far between in the current world of cannabis varieties, not only in the outdoor fields of Asia or Africa, but also in the assortments of all those seed companies. Which is down to the fact they often have a painfully long flowering time and mediocre yield, making them irrelevant for many growers. Because time is money, and electricity is money, too.

Barney’s breeder Derry discovered the exotic doctor in Laos

Particularly big well-known seed companies rarely carry pure sativa landraces in their range of varieties. Barney’s Farm is a laudable exception here with their Dr. Grinspoon strain. Yes, the plant behind this fine specimen of a honourable herbal doctor is 100% sativa! Which is endemic to Laos – Derry, the founder, owner and breeder of Barney’s Farm, discovered the genetics during his time in Laos and Thailand in the 1980s and brought some seeds to the Netherlands on his way back where he developed the strain through selective breeding.

Later on Derry decided to name his heirloom cultivar after Dr. Lester Grinspoon to honour the merits this US American psychiatry professor and cannabis advocate (who unfortunately passed away in June 2020) had acquired in rehabilitating the plant on both a medical and social level.

Despite troublesome seed production: Comeback in 2019

So the Dr. Grinspoon strain is a true botanical rarity from Asia. Which is still characterised by a good deal of wildness and intractability: Until its comeback in 2019, it hadn’t been available for quite some time, due to the exceptional time and difficulty it takes producing seeds of quality with this variety. But then the Barney’s breeding team put a huge lot of effort and time into producing decent amounts of Dr. Grinspoon seeds to bring it back to shop life again, much to the delight of the strain’s numerous fans. Such an extraordinary variety has likewise extraordinary grow characteristics of course.

The long flowering time has already been mentioned, it’s 90-95 days in the Doc’s case. His buds, looking highly exotic, are composed of single graceful flower lancets on which calyxes are sitting like separately threaded glistening pearls, richly covered in resin glands. Thanks to the vigorous growth (under artificial lights, they easily grow to 160 cm tall) and multitude of buds though, indoor yields can amount to up to 350g/m2.

The flower scent is described as having a sourly lemon nature reminding of sumac, the smoke as light in consistency, but nevertheless full-bodied, with tangy tropical fruit aromas, plus a bit of earthiness and honey sweetness. Being smoked or vaporised, Dr. Grinspoon precisely delivers what one would expect in view of its wild exotic sativa look:  an energising, very cerebral long lasting-sativa buzz, bright and clear, bringing heightened sensory awareness and focusing.

A brilliant doctor is always good to have: Resin Rider puts Dr. Grinspoon to the test

„A brilliant doctor is always good to have“, said the grower called Resin Rider with a grin and decided to add a Dr. Grinspoon plant to his next grow cycle. With the big size of this sativa beast to be expected, there wasn’t enough space for more. Popping the seed was done with ease, three days after he had sown him, the little doctor presented himself above the ground.

When the first real pair of leaves appeared, Resin Rider instantly realised that, indeed, it was  those very thin classic sativa leaves he had seen in web photos of Dr. Grinspoon plants. Growth speed was high, with the main stem shooting up enormously quickly so that Resin Rider bent it down after 2.5 weeks to ensure things didn’t get out of control height-wise later on. But side branches were in a hurry, too, likewise rocketing upwards.

Welcome to the Jungle: growth and bloom like in a fairy tale! 

After 3.5 weeks, Resin Rider moved the plant into flowering, with Dr. Grinspoon responding to 12/12 with even further intensified stretching dynamics. Which made it necessary for Resin Rider to bend the two oldest and longest side branches down as well, to tame that vivacious doc anew. The whole plant kept on growing rampant during the first six weeks of flowering, at the same time countless flower lancets with singular calyxes emerged.

These lancets looked very similar to wheat spikes and in the course of flowering conglomerated into huge buds that became so heavy at a certain point that they hung down, with their pointed bud shape looking like a swarm of cruise missiles on a trajectory towards the earth, whereas other buds just like birds were sitting up straight on a horizontally grown branch.

Thanks to these very differently arranged flower formations and branches, the Dr. Grinspoon plant offered a highly multifaceted appearance, looking completely different from each angle, offering a surprising vision every time. Resin Rider was deeply impressed and fascinated by this imposing flower show: “This is a doctor’s fairy tale, the tale of the miraculous Dr. Grinspoon! This plant is so rampant and full of flowers that it reminds me of those tendrils overgrowing everything in “The Sleeping Beauty”. Or of a jungle’s wild exotic vegetation… welcome to the jungle – this doctor has turned out to be a real bush doctor! Who totally blows my mind. And what I hadn’t expected: These flower spikes are extremely resinous! Calyxes are super-crystalline, encrusted with thick trichome layers, and those many little sugar leaves surrounding them are also full of resin glands.

Which makes these gracefully built sativa buds seem like an utterly potent concentrate, I bet they pack a tremendous punch and just cannot wait to test this weed extravaganza. Also because the scent is another true highlight, basically reminiscent of Haze, but with a slight pine note and dash of lemon added.

Resin-dripping silver spikes in vast amounts, with a mouth-watering tropic scent

14 weeks the miraculous doctor spent in the blooming stage before he reached maturity more or less at the end of the harvest window stated and Resin Rider put an end to that massive spectacle. Dr. Grinspoon stood 1.3 m tall in the end, but it would have been about 1.7 m if Resin Rider hadn’t bent it down. To underline that wonderfully wild exotic look of the buds, he left all the smaller and partly also bigger flower leaves uncut. The dried flowers were sativa-style in the purest of forms then, with those countless resin-dripping silver spikes looking oh-so elegant and classy. “This is as exotic as it gets, say hello to Laos!”, Resin Rider happily said to himself.

What also took him on a mental journey to South East Asia was the mouth-watering tropic flower scent which had remained almost unaltered after the drying process, still blending Haze with pine and lemon, but with a hint of honey sweetness in the mix now, indeed. It was a huge pile of buds that Resin Rider put on the scales after four weeks of drying and curing which made him experience the next Dr. Grinspoon wonder: The miraculous doctor weighed in at stunning 173 grams! Rejoiced Resin Rider, “this tops it all off! Dr. Grinspoon has widely overshot the official yield stats and delivered a real shipload of buds – I am pretty speechless now.”

The smoke test: Dr. Grinspoon proves to be a super sensory sharpener

Full of happy anticipation, Resin Rider rolled his first three-quarter gram Dr. Grinspoon sticky with just a pinch of tobacco. Before he lit it, he sang that 1980s Thompson Twins song: “Doctor, Doctor, can’t you see I’m burning, burning“, and laughingly added “….a doobie!” Tasting Dr. Grinspoon, he felt like taking part in a dégustation de champagne, so tenderly the pleasantly mild, yet full-bodied spicy flavour played on his palate, leaving piney, lemony and sweet notes that were blending perfectly well. With a first voluminous draft down his lungs, Resin Rider instantly felt that “wakey wakey effect” typical of high-class pure sativas, his eyes popped open and there was a slight prickling around his temples.

The second one caused his entire body to gently vibrate and he sensed a crystal clear, slightly euphoriant head buzz. Which after a few more puffs culminated in pure bliss that was characterised by a sense of inner calmness and balance, combined with enhanced sensory perception and highly focused attention – Resin Rider seemed to see and hear better, he felt incredibly aware of everything around him. Now he also had a much clearer and more positive view on a certain issue that had occupied him for quite some time.

Dr. Grinspoon proved to be a super sensory sharpener, a mentally invigorating sativa strain that wasn’t overpowering, not leading to racy thoughts or physical restlessness. “What a fantastic mental tonic”, Resin Rider enthused. That euphoriant, stimulating but yet calming state of mind lasted more than two hours, of course gradually levelling off at a certain point, but not transitioning into fatigue or tiredness.

Concluded Resin Rider, “what an ingenious doctor! Dr. Grinspoon has bestowed me with the greatest, most exotic and unique cannabis experience I ever had. A fairy-tale growth and bloom performance was followed by a monster yield and sensational smoke experience that brought a gourmet flavour and a unique mental wellness effect. The Dr. Grinspoon strain is Barney’s Farm’s wondrous sativa gift to the world of cannabis and a lovely homage to the great Lester Grinspoon!”

Cultivation data:

Genetics Dr. Grinspoon (100% Laotian sativa)
Vegetative stage 3.5 Wochen (after germination)
Flowering stage 98 days / 90-95 days in general
Medium Plagron light mix soil, 12.5 litre air pots
pH 6.3-6.6
EC 1.2–1.8 mS
Light up to 6 x SANlight S4W = 840 watts (area: 2.25 m2)
Temperature 19-28°C
Air humidity 40-60%
Watering by hand
Fertilisation Organic Bloom Liquid + Organic More PK from Green Buzz Liquids
Additives/stimulants Alfa Boost from Steckit, Big Fruits from Green Buzz Liquids
Tools CleanLight Pro for mould prevention
Height 130 cm
Yield 173 g

Written and Published by Barney’s Farm (Green Body Identity) in Weed World Magazine issue 157

Images by: Green Body Identity – G.B.I

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