When Freedom Seeds visited the Cannafest trade fair in Prague recently we had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Scott Blakey, aka Shantibaba. Scott is one of the most influential breeders and activists in the cannabis field.
I started by asking Scott to tell me about the CBD Crew.
CBD Crew is basically a joint venture between Mr Nice Seed Bank and Resin Seeds in Spain. We came together, along with Grassomatic who’s doing the autoflowering CBD, to try to bring a medical grade seed to the market.
Now we’ve evolved into being a medical grade seed producer. We have Dutch Passion, Paradise Seeds, Dinafem and about 11 others who are all now involved. Because we now have the tools to enrich everyone’s strains, instead of just keeping it for our own use and you know milk it, we actually went to everybody and asked them if they would like to join in.
For the medical patients we believe it should be correct that what’s written on the packet should be what the medical patient is getting. We feel it’s a little bit bigger than us and we need all the reputable companies to come on board and help us out and they have all been fantastic, very proud to be part of it all. It seems to be working as the feedback and the test results we are getting from growers and patients are even better than what we are recommending on our lists of CBD Crew seeds.
How does it work with the cooperation, do you approach them or do they approach you?
Well actually at the start I approached Hank at Dutch Passion as I didn’t know where to go with it. Hank came straight on board and he thoroughly thought it was the right idea like Derry from Barneys Farm he thinks it’s the future and Oier from Dinafem. They all approached us, of course we were going to approach them too and so it was a compliment.
We know we have done the work two or three years in front of everyone to have the right tools for this CBD enrichment, so rather than be exclusive we offer the exclusivity of their strains to be enriched in CBD and we become a production company. We are putting a hologram sticker on everyone’s packets, we can control that that was an authentic batch of seed made on that date for that company so we have tried to do it the best we can in kind of a seed union, kind of a medical seed union. It wasn’t intended initially like that but it’s evolved, we started something we have to keep it going.
I know that CBD is reputed to be an anti-inflammatory but a lot of this Scott is rumours. Are you going to get to the stage where you are published in a peer reviewed journal, as you would with any other mainstream medical product?
Well actually this year we presented a paper at the cannabinoid conference in Cologne on the autoflowering breeding, on how we bred in the CBD. So we are reaching that level now Martin, but the thing is we’re not doctors, were just giving the tools to the people like GW Pharmaceuticals are giving the Sativex to the people.
This is just an affordable plant that you can control all the facets of growing. So if you are organic or if you are super cropping or whatever you are, if it’s the medicine you want to give to your parents or people like that, that’s generally what’s happening at the moment. So young blokes are wanting to grow for their parents high CBD varieties, which are certainly helping with cancers and chemotherapy, but we aren’t doctors and we always try to tell that. We are giving the tools to the people.
What sort of reaction have you had from the straight medical/pharmaceutical establishment?
Well I actually can’t discuss that at the moment but they are knocking pretty heavily at our door from many countries from El Salvador to Uruguay. I have been sponsoring a lot of things with seed because we know we have got the right thing and if they start at least with the right thing then they are spreading the word as well you know.
You can’t control who uses a wheel but as long as it’s being used around the place it will reach enough people, and you know this industry is just too big for a couple of small guys like ourselves.
It would be nice to get some medical credibility, rather than just a bunch of hippies making, so far unsubstantiated, claims that it can cure cancer.
We’ve come from both camps, you know we’ve been scallywags at one stage and were trying to repay to the public what we have always kind of known but couldn’t prove. The major thing about this CBD breeding project is its science for us, we just bred from laboratory reports. With Mr Nice seeds I just bred from my own personal taste, there’s the difference. So I can prove everything we did with the CBD thing and it’s just factual. We have to play their game with our rules and that’s the reason we created this thing and hopefully were playing it better than them.
It’s been a pleasure.