The 2021 Emerald Cup Winners were recently announced and one of our very own locals popped up as a winner! DEREK ROSEBOOM is one of our local cannabis gardeners, and you may have seen a recent article in The AVA, “Odyssey of a Boonville Cannabis Grower,” by Jonah Raskin, March 30, 2021. Well, the odyssey continues!
For the past 13 years, Derek has diligently entered the Emerald Cup, and won first and third place awards several times. This year, in the category, “Personal Use Flower”, Derek took two awards, Fourth Place, with buds of “In The Pines”, and Sixth Place, with “Dirty Zkittlez x Lemon OG”. Both strains are rich with terpenes, which was the focus of this year's competition. In fact, Derek's “In The Pines” had the highest terpene count (laboratory tested and rated) for the entire Emerald Cup!
What greater compliment could Derek receive for this year's winner, “In The Pines”, than to see a Facebook post by some highly respected icons of the cannabis industry — Called “The Swami of Pot” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Swami Chaitanya and his partner Nikki Lastreto are classic “hippies”, and have been heavily involved with the Emerald Cup for years, including being judges. They are also friends of Derek and major admirers of Derek's “In The Pines” strain, so they made a special point of posting a “Thank You” video, praising his Personal Use flower and noting how much they loved seeing it entered every year. This year, they were quite impressed with the fact that it had the highest lab scores for a new terpene everyone is buzzing about, ocimene. A natural medicine? Of course! Check out their video on “Swami Select” Facebook page: facebook.com/swamiselect/videos/554954608811073
So let's digress a moment to talk about terpenes. What are they? Basically, they are compounds that produce the wide variety of aromas and flavors in all kinds of plant life. For cannabis, it also includes some of the effects (not as noticeable when eating an orange or smelling a rose, for example). Some terpenes are found more predominantly than others. Terpenes such as limonene (citrus, fruity flavors, uplifting/energizing) and myrcene (earthy aroma, relaxing/sedative) are prevalent in many strains. Caryophyllene (spicy, peppery analgesic/anti-anxiety) is found in black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, oregano, basil and rosemary besides cannabis.
Most recently discovered is the ocimene terpene, which is known for it's sweet, woodsy aroma (found in mint, parsley, tarragon, bay laurel, basil, pepper, and more). It also has a unique ability to help plants defend themselves from pests and disease. Research shows when a plant is attacked by insect pests, the plant will release ocimene to deter pests and “warn” other nearby plants to defend themselves.
Ocimene is also known to be a decongestant and expectorant, by clearing airways and improving respiration when smoked or vaped. However, this process can induce coughing (expectorate) and if a person wants to avoid coughing, they should avoid strains high in ocimene.
Ocimene also has strong anti-fungal properties. Tarragon, which is very high in ocimene, also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, giving it a similar ability to act as a food preservative. Ocimene may have anti-viral properties. Research indicates that the oil of plants containing high levels of ocimene, such as bay laurel, inhibits the SARS virus. There is still much research to be done to fully understand this particularly powerful terpene.
So what makes these two strains so special to Derek? For “In The Pines”, tradition appears to be the strongest motivator. This has been the one strain that wins most often at the Emerald Cup. It is a fairly rare strain for this area, so it's personal to him to keep it growing. Plus, “I really like the terpene smells and flavor of this earthy flower that also tastes like a touch of fruity sweetness. And the high lasts a long time, but I still have creative energy to get projects done and I don't stress.” Others say this strain relieves chronic pain, headaches, migraines, and melts away anxiety by causing a calm, relaxed effect. That's a nice all around natural medicine!
With a name like “In The Pines”, the expectation would be something woodsy and piney flavored/scented. But the nice surprise is it really refers to it's genealogy of Pineapple Thai, Master Kush and Pineapple. Hence, the tropical fruity flavor on the inhale and the earthy, wooded forest taste on the exhale. (PS. Don't be fooled by the popular “In the Pines” strains from OR and WA — they have been crossbred with another strain, so the benefits and effects may be different.)
And what about this upbeat Indica hybrid, “Dirty Zkittlez x Lemon OG”? Derek said he chose it because it was highly recommended by the folks at Compassionate Heart, a dispensary in Ukiah. They love this strain and knew what Derek was capable of doing as a gardener, so the resulting winner proved they were right! It grew well, the smell and flavor were outstanding and the effects were euphoric and pleasant. Derek admits it was a tough decision to enter it in the Cup because he grew a few other strains that were also outstanding. The decision was a good one, as it took 6th place.
Both strains grew well, the buds were strong, and the bugs were held at bay this year (probably due to the ocimene terpene), and Derek is planning on growing them again. What better way to spend a day, all motivated, energized and ready to create, yet feeling relaxed and uplifted?
Congratulations, Derek, on a grow well done!