President Julian Sale opened the meeting at 9:58 am with 43 members in attendance. He welcomed today’s guest speaker, Dr. Youbin Zheng as well as guest Martin Wagner who has submitted his application to join the Club. Julian thanked Frank Webster and Martin Alderwick who chaired the meetings while Julian was away on vacation.
Julian announced that the Club is still seeking volunteers particularly someone who will set up the video and sound for each membership meeting. With the new projector the set-up is now fairly simple and straight forward.
Announcements Activities – Ken Marchant - The hike in the Arboretum went well and was well received by those who attended. - The night at the races is at Elora next Monday at 6.00 pm. - November 11th Remembrance Day ceremony at the Sleeman Centre followed by lunch at Diana’s Restaurant for those who sign-up. - Christmas Luncheon at Victoria Golf & Country Club on Dec. 12th @ 11:30 for $45 per person. - Feb. 14th Sweetheart Dinner at the Symposium Restaurant.
Coffee – Andy Curtis - Next Thurs., September 26th, @ 10:00 am coffee will be at the Boathouse and the alternative meeting location is the Airpark Café.
Speakers’ Committee – John Sneyd - The Speakers’ Committee met this past Monday and have now identified a potential speaker for every meeting from now up to the end of 2020.
John Sneyd introduced today’s guest speaker, Dr. Youbin Zheng, on Cannabis 101 and Research at the University of Guelph
Dr. Zheng is a professor at the University of Guelph, the vice president of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science. He has more than 20 years research experience in controlled environment plant production and using horticultural technologies for environmental quality improvement. His controlled environment plant production research program includes indoor cannabis and other medicinal or nutraceutical plant production, greenhouse ornamental and vegetable production, nursery and landscape plant production and maintenance. Dr. Zheng has been actively involved in indoor cannabis production research in the past years, and his group has published North America’s first few peer-reviewed scientific papers on indoor cannabis production. Dr. Zheng has been frequently invited to speak about his research results nationally and internationally.
Presentation: This talk will include: 1. A brief history of cannabis production and usage; 2. Some general and basic knowledge about cannabis; 3. The current Canadian commercial cannabis production practices; 4. How to grow your own cannabis; 5. Brief introduction of our own research on cannabis.
Presentation: Dr. Youbin Zheng opened by displaying the University of Guelph moto: Improve Life. He began his present indicating that he intended to talk on the following headings: What is Cannabis How commercial cannabis products are produced How to grow cannabis Research on cannabis at the University of Guelph
Dr. Zheng said he doesn’t use the term “marijuana” because it was banned in Canada in 1937 and was considered “evil.” Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. (Wikipedia).
Cannabis is propagated from seeds which produce male and female plants. However only the female plants are useful. Both male and female plants can be grown from seeds. Male plants are useless for medicinal purposes. If you are producing acres and acres of cannabis you cannot use seeds because there is too much variation of plants so they use cuttings of plants to propagate female plants.
If you want to grow useful cannabis you have to grow it with 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness otherwise the plant keeps growing, maybe meters high, without producing seeds or flowers. They normally flower within seven to nine weeks and then there is a resin on the plant. When the resin becomes non-transparent it is time to harvest the seeds. From this you can smoke, vape, eat or use topically etc. Most of the time it is used to extract CBD oil or THC for medicinal use.
No other plant has so many compounds. There are 545 identified compounds in the cannabis plant with 130 phytocannabinoids. This includes Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. It is the THC that gets you high. Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant, and has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD that is used to control pain.
Also in the make-up of cannabis are flavonoids and all animals have flavonoid receptors which why we react to cannabis and why we get happy or sad when we take THC. There are CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. CB1 receptors predominate in the brain, while CB2 receptors are abundant in peripheral tissues and is why our immune system reacts to CBD. Research is starting to find that the cannabinoid system holds promise to cure all human disease. We just don’t know as much about it at this moment.
The method you take cannabis is important because of the different effects that it can have on the body such as smoking versus ingesting or taking topically. For example, smoking can have a non-desirous effect on the lungs.
Dr. Zheng went on to describe the plant itself. Cannabis can be divided into two groups based on the content. If there is less than 0.3% THC it is considered to be hemp and is more fibrous. If there is more than 0.3% it is medicinal cannabis. There are three strains of cannabis: sativa, indica and ruderalis.
Dr. Zheng provided an overview of different practices of producing cannabis in Canada. It is a highly valued cash crop which can produce between $8,000 to $40,000 per square meter per year. Still about 80% of cannabis on the market in Canada is considered illegal. He went on to explain the common production practices and numerous methods. The greatest production is grown in greenhouses using artificial light. It can be grown indoor vs. outdoor but the most important factor is light.
The University of Guelph is doing a lot of research on what is the optimum light wavelength, fertilization and watering, and pruning. Research is being conducted to learn how the factors of propagation, genetics, rootzone, CO2, lighting, pruning, pathogen/insects are affected in growing cannabis. Further research is ongoing to learn how to get rid of odor, waste, and how cannabis affects the brain. At the University of Guelph there is a department called the Guelph Centre for Cannabis Research (GCCR) which offers courses.
Following Dr. Youbin Zheng’s presentation he responded to questions from the membership.
John Sneyd thanked Dr. Zheng for his presentation and provided him with a token of appreciation from the Club.
Next meeting: October 3, 2019 with Steven Kraft, CAO Guelph Library, on The New Central Library