Vintage Tales

Cannabis Cultivation in Southern California 1970s

We who lived through the 1970s Cannabis Prohibition remember without a speck of fondness the scary moments arising from encounters with police and other authoritarians who had no idea what a boon to humankind was the Cannabis plant.

If you were caught with a film can containing a bud, you could lose your home, your career, your reputation. Smoking or imbibing Cannabis had to be kept tightly under wraps. We lived in a Green Closet with clowns to the left of us, and jokers to the right.

Before we met, my partner cultivated buds in the 1970’s. First he grew some hefty plants in his father’s backyard on an urban San Diego slope. When he met with success he decided to try a larger crop. Thus began his search for a perfect plot of land out in the SoCal wilderness with a lot of sunshine and a water source.

He and his buddy found a patch of land out in Mesa Grande where the two drove a couple of times a week to care for their crop and divert water from a nearby stream. That year yielded a fine crop of 1978 Nectarball – so named because of the honey-like resins on rounded flowers.

This homegrown cultivar – a blend of Afghani Indica and Mexican sativa, became the namesake of his Nectarball Collection.

Millennials and the generations that come later will hopefully never have to experience the cold sweat feeling of police lights in your rearview mirror after you have just smoked a bowl of righteous herb. We still both suffer from a minor case of PTSD – because we had to hide who we were from just about everybody in our lives. Only the most trustworthy friends or family knew of our relationship with Cannabis.

We look forward to the day when it will be legal all around the world to cultivate your own medicine in your own backyard. We have no doubt that the Cannabis plant has been orchestrating that dream this whole time.

Vintage Tales

Cannabis and Mountain Biking

I have long thought that Cannabis and Mountain Biking were perhaps made for each other. My partner and I have been mountain bikers since we first discovered the sport in 1986. We married on our mountain bikes in 1987 in the Southern California wilderness and we produced the world’s first instructional mountain biking video in 1987.

We raced as seriously as a couple of amateurs could race in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I placed first in a few races simply because the women’s field was so small. And when we were racing, we were in training. And that meant no beers and no marijuana.

A hiatus on Cannabis. How silly was that. Look at Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Ross Rebagliati and Jamie Anderson, four Olympian gold-medalists who all enjoy Cannabis. Knowing what we do now about the Endocannabinoid System and the way the plant interacts with our cell structure, Cannabis would have certainly helped with all the aches and pains acquired from racing hard and at times crashing and literally shredding muscles and skin.

After the end of the race, it was a different story. Revelry ensued with our fellow mountain bikers and we would celebrate our successes or lick our wounds by sharing a doobie and a mug of beer. Thomas Jefferson once opined that beer and wine were the great social lubricants. I don’t think that it would be a stretch to think that Jefferson may also have imbibed some of the flowers from his hemp crop. It’s not been proven, but it’s not been disproven, either.

We have met and hung out with a few of the pioneers of Mountain Biking and smoked a bowl or two with them. Mountain biking and Cannabis have always been great buddies (pun intended).

Vintage Tales

Classic Cultivars of the 1970’s

The 1970’s yielded some interesting cultivars despite the attacks on Cannabis by our own government, specifically President Dick Nixon whose war on drugs (really it was a war on hippies and people of color) resulted in demonizing a plant, and adding it to a list of Schedule 1 drugs that were considered dangerous. 

Meanwhile, Cannabis aficionados cultivated some classics including Acapulco Gold, Columbian Gold, Panama Red and Thai Stick, all of which still exist in the Nectarball Collection, the largest and oldest known collection of flowers.

Acapulco Gold 1972 – the nug that began the Nectarball Collection
The Nectarball Collection
Columbian Gold Dark 1978
Panama Red 1978
Pacific Beach 1978
Columbian Dark
Columbian Gold 1978
Thai Stick 1978
Humboldt 1979
Nectarball Black Indica 1979
Thai Stick 1978
Vintage Tales

Thai Stick from 1978

The Thai Stick is possibly the most popular piece of Cannabis in the Nectarball™ Collection.  The idea of wrapping a bud around a skewer and then securing it with a piece of hemp string seems to ignite the imagination of every aficionado.

We know that today there are several Youtube videos out there about how to create and smoke a Thai stick.  But as you’ll see from the photo, the original Thai stick was a simple and elegant piece of smoking paraphernalia.  You just can’t fake the 70’s.