Some Pig… Duped by Strain Bank of Los Angeles!

Sespe Creek ordered some clones from Strain Bank in Los Angeles that were advertised as Charlotte’s Web, a true hemp strain known to relieve epilepsy. We have a growing waiting list of patients waiting to get cuts of this plant from us, and lots of anticipation to finally carry this well-known therapeutic strain. But this is not at all what we were in fact sold, as documented by multiple plant leaf tests. Strain Bank advertises its genetics are “verified” and “authentic” but repeatedly refused our requests to see any prior verification.

In our previous garden we grew Cannatonic, Canna-Tsunami and Sour Tsunami from seeds. Once the plants had reached a certain height we were advised by our lab that we could do leaf testing to determine which plants would have the most desirable cannabinoid profile because you can predict from the ratio of THC to CBD in the leaves an idea of what the ratio of THC to CBD will be in the flowers. No one is implying the overall mg/g of cannabinoids in the leaves compares to what it will be in the flowers. But the ratio of THC to CBD remains quite consistent. This has been well-documented.

We selected Strain Bank because of its alleged commitment to quality and verified genetics. When we initially raised our concern we were put in touch with a woman who apparently has the mother plant, and tried to explain our concerns. She felt adamant that we were being lied to by our lab, and wanted to explain how “no one gets high from smoking water leaves, of course you’re not going to see as high numbers when you test the water leaves.” We tried to explain to her, to no avail, that’s not the point we were making at all. The results predict a strain high in THC with only trace amounts of CBD. In fact, the water leaves alone were showing over 6% THC, more than the flowers of the strain should have.

Greg at Strain Bank insists, with no scientific evidence to support his claims, that we have to wait until the plant is flowered out to do the test and determine if this is Charlotte’s Web or not. I challenge this policy based on 1. a basic understanding of plant science and 2. their whole business model premise of doing genetic authenticity verification of strains they carry.  We question what genetic testing is useful for anyway. Yes, we know it’s cannabis. What’s useful is to know the cannabinoid and terpene profiles. If they test plants as they say, they should have absolute confidence about the plants their offering and be transparent about providing the results. No one should wait to flower plants out before deciding whether to keep them as mothers or not. It’s a waste of time and resources, and in this case just adds costly insult to injury. In fact, we will continue to flower these clones out as a mystery high THC strain (potentially, depending on our own conditions going forward of course) named Gullible’s Travels, or maybe Duper’s Delight, or perhaps Wilbur or “Some Pig” in homage to the strain it was supposed to be.

Sespe has invested spent thousands of dollars raising plants for clones and getting our patient’s hopes up, on a plant that has the opposite cannabinoid profile of what the name would imply, and could even cause unwanted side effects if a patient is consuming an extract for CBD but gets a dose full of THC instead.

Let this be a lesson to anyone growing a particular strain with the intent to produce a specific, not random, cannabinoid profile! We highly recommended leaf testing during the vegetative state for anyone growing their own strains to determine which plants will produce the desired medicinal effect.

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7 Comments

  1. That’s messed up! I was wondering what happened to those Charlotte’s Web clones! I, too, had problems with this same outfit, albeit of a different nature: I wanted clones of the standard medical variety, and gave this place a call. I was told they would call me back at 1 p.m. when their associate in Mailibu rolled out of bed. Long story short, they blew me off, so I went to Arbor Nursery clones located here in Ventura, with Progressive Options in Pacoima as my backup plan. 4 weeks into my outdoor grow and so far, so good. Obviously, I can’t say that I got what they say I got (northern lights, diablo og, blackwater og, platinum gsc, platinum bubba kush, and jack herer), but each plant looks different, and all are very healthy. So, fellow county residents, you may want to consider this place. Not that they had ( or have) high CBD varieties, but perhaps they can get them.
    On a seperate note, if you want to grow outdoors using purchased clones, do your homework. I felt I had waited too long in the season to start my garden (6-14-14). WRONG! My plants have now started to bud already. I was hoping for another 4 weeks of veg growth. Oh well. The cause, as I am learning, is taking clones from a 24/7 light schedule and putting them in a 14/10 daylight/dark (approx.) regimen. The lesson? Well, for a large yielding outdoor grow, start from seed. Or, as has been suggested on forums, wait until 6-21 to put clones out. Think I’ll just start from seed next year, and concerning seeds, Progressive Options has assloads of seeds available, though mostly of obscure varieties I have never heard of, not necessarily a bad thing. Hope some of this info helps!

  2. Hi Julie,Do you still have any of the clones of Harlequin left.If so I would love to get one.i have been looking for that strain for awhile.

  3. We have purchased from strain bank twice first time we ordered 120 cuts. Supposed to be 30 of each. BlackBerry kush. Girl scout cookie.
    Super lemon haze. And Tahoe og.
    When we were on our way to meet Greg’s people (in a parking lot) the called and said they were their with our stains but when they told me what they had they said Dj short blue berry rather than the black berry og. Told them they were wrong but we needed all 120. So we took them. They were not all together like the said it was obvious with sporadic plants all over the rooms as well as hermaphrodites with caused us to have to blow the whole crop. We told Greg about the issue and he told us it must have been a fluke and give him another shot at a discounted rate. We get there to pick up the cuts and his people tried to charge us more. Once again needing the we negotiated back to the same price we paid the first time. Now all the problems we had before have happened again. These people are very unprofessional and dishonest. I wouldn’t recommend doing any business with them. Greg you and your people are liars and cheats.

  4. You are 100% right Gene Moss. These guys are liars and completely unprofessional. I placed an order of 40 big bud, they showed up with 50 (teens) of sour D and sfv. I needed, so I took them. Upon further inspection I saw mites. I dipped them and started my process. A month later (in flower) I spied a male. NOT A HERMIE… MALE PLANT. These idiots clone males. DO NOT BUY FROM THESE GUYS.

  5. Absolute crooks. Had WPMD in the middle of my flats. They ran me around in circles until I couldn’t take it any more. Greg is a silver-tongued LIAR and cheat

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