Kerala gold weed
Kerala Gold is an equatorial heirloom variety, characterized as a Narrow leaf drug producing cultivar. It is said to have branched out from Idukki Gold a pure equatorial landrace, now extinct.
Kerala is situated at the southern-western ghats of India near the Malabar coast, and sees little to no change in daytime light duration, as it is only about 9 degrees North from equator, with a mild tropical-wet climate and moderate temperature throughout the year.
Kerala Gold plants can be grown easily at any time of the year in its place of origin, but January is usually seen as the most popular choice for harvesting. The humidity and amount of precipitations increases by 10-15% from April, gradually peaking at monsoon July-August and with the passing of monsoon to northern part of India, the humidity levels starts to go down and hit the lowest in January and February.
First 5-7 weeks of flowering is spent in stretching and creating internodal space for flower bracts. The parigonal bracts swell towards the very end of flowering and give of a yellowish/golden tint, caused by the majority of amber trichome heads and ample coverage of unusually long dried stigmas wrapped around it. Although it is not a vast difference like many highland regions but with relatively cooler nights in the last 4-5 week of the flowering plants transpire a bit more than wetter monsoon months, adding much needed girth to the budding flowers.
Kerala Gold features 16- 20 weeks of flowering with moderate to high yields. The strain shows great resistance to mold/powdery mildew, and pests in general. Even when grown outside of its natural habitat (at latitudes as high as 43 degrees), Kerala Gold thrives and flowers properly within 16-20 weeks depending on the phenotypic selection.
It produces an invigorating mental high, with euphoric onset which can continue for 2 hours. The terpenes are floral, woody, sour, spicy, incensey and,sandal.
|Tipo||FIRST GENERATION (P1) LANDRACE STRAIN|
|Sativa / Indica ratio||100 % sativa|
|Flowering indoors||16-18 weeks|
|Flowering outdoors||End of December / Early January.|
|Resistance against spider mites||Average|
|Resistance against powder mildew||High|
|Resistance against botrytis||High|
|Resistance against white fly||High|
|Resistance against cold||Average-Low|
|Resistance against heat||High|
|Genetics||First generation pure sativa landrace from Kerala, south India.|
|Structure||Vigourous and tall classic equatorial sativa structure.|
|Bouquet||The terpenes are floral, woody, sour, spicy (curry), incensey, sandal and wormwood.|
|High||Cerebral and very energetic, will easily replace morning coffee.|
|Terpene profile||It has not yet been analyzed.|
|Growing Tips||Grows well in most environments, although it’s eminently an outdoor strain for warm and tropical climates, showing great resistance against heat, rains, wind and fungus.|
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Kerala Gold is an equatorial heirloom variety, characterized as a Narrow leaf drug producing cultivar. It is said to have branched out from Idukki Gold a pure equatorial landrace, now extinct.<br><br> Kerala is situated at the southern-western ghats of
A drug fuelled fantasy?
The legend and reality of Idukki Gold
The News Well
Mar 18, 2017 · 6 min read
By Theres Sudeep
Tea, coffee, rubber, coconut, cardamom, pepper are the major agricultural crops grown in Idukki, as listed in the official government website for the district in Kerala. Alternative culture tells us a different tale. The famed Idukki Gold, touted to be one of the finest strains of Cannabis in Asia, has its roots nestled in the dense forests in Idukki. Colloquially known as “Neelchadayan” it is in high demand and sells at even higher rates.
Weed is what it is beca u se of the hallucinogen Trans-delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Idukki Gold has a percentage of up to 9, a relatively low TCH on a global scale; but it is stronger than the average weed you get in India. The strain has been blowing up on the internet for it’s higher than average psychedelic properties for just over a year now, already achieving legendary status.
“I want to go to Kerala just for that”, says a user from Mumbai. She claims the high was so good, she cried. Other accounts of users ring in the same sentiments. But is the hype around the hallucinogen really based on reality or is it just another urban legend?
The truth behind the legend
Even the truth in this tale is legendary, different accounts tell of different tales. By most popular accounts, it’s origin was in the 80’s. Migration and “weed connoisseurs” from different parts of the world had brought a variety of strains to the Idukki region. With fertile soils and a suitable climate, the seeds of the now infamous Idukki Gold took root. Today in 2017, the very existence of this part native, part foreign strain (80/20) is under dispute.
With varying accounts of its very existence, it is almost impossible to track down the cultivation of Idukki Gold. This is especially true because the situation in Kerala regarding weed is very messy with dealers getting busted left, right and centre. No one is willing to talk about it openly and those who do, do not have solid proof to back up their claims.
According to a Kerala user, “…the first harvest of Idukki gold is apparently exported abroad …. it goes to Amsterdam and such.” But Quora user Adarsh Narayan says that “the ‘idukki gold’ that used to be around has long ceased to exist”. Another Quora user, Satvik Sativa, speaks of another truth, “You will get IG only in idduki and in munnar. But if are so eager to score some IG, you can get it in fort kochi but it will be really costly, almost 3k for about 9gms.”
This reported selling of Idukki Gold in areas mentioned by Satvik are deemed to be fake by most Kerala users. These spots sell crossbred varieties to users at exorbitant rates by using the label of the legendary marijuana strain. “It’s working class that smokes this crossed plant….. users who can afford it all buy hydroponic weed”, says a user from Kerala.
This crossbred variety comes from the deep forests in Orissa. According to a Manorama Online investigation,“Ganja planters had “exported” the local plants to the inaccessible forest areas of Orissa for large-scale cultivation. Everything went as planned but the weeds turned out to be of inferior quality.” This led to a cross breeding with existing Orissa strains giving rise to new strains. One which is cultivated in Andhra Pradesh, Seelavathi, is said to be a close cousin of the Idukki Gold variety, but is actually a hybrid of the famed strain. As compared to actual Idukki Gold it’s TCH value is only 5%.
Idukki and other parts of Kerala, although, have remained the chief smuggling centres. This is because the weed from Orissa and Andhra are brought into Idukki and labelled as Idukki Gold. This misleading label creates a higher market value for these drugs.
A kilo of ganja costs Rs 1,500 in Orissa in the harvest season in December, according to the information with the Excise Department. The same load will fetch a handsome Rs 35,000 when it reaches Kochi and Rs 30,000 in Thiruvananthapuram. The premium goes up if it is peddled as ‘Idukki Gold’. — “The Ganja Trail” (Manorama Online investigation)
This although does not mean that the Ganja cultivation in the Idukki district has been gotten rid off completely. There still are small scale cultivators growing the substance, but these yields mainly for breeding and for export into countries like Amsterdam where Marijuana is legal.
The Idukki Gold Trail
From its birth in the forests of Idukki to its supposed death and revival in Orissa and Andhra to the smuggling ring that comes back to Idukki; Idukki Gold has had an exhilarating trip.
It starts in the high ranges of the Western Ghats in the Idukki district. Because of its proximity to the Tamil Nadu border smuggling was done easily. This also meant that police raids happened from both states. According to a former ganja plantation worker, the Tamil Nadu police would not hesitate to shoot at site. The lands used for the cultivation itself were losing its secrecy with the forest cover depleting and the population growing. It became near impossible to grow Ganja here, the risks were much higher than the returns. This is when it shifted to the Orissa-Andhra border.
Ganja is legal in the state of Orissa. “You can walk up to a government excise shop and buy your day’s need.”, BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy said in a Reddit Q&A session. Which means that there was already a thriving Ganja cultivation in Orissa. This along with a geographical proximity lead former Idukki Gold cultivators and enthusiasts to shift the cultivation to this state. According to a Hindustan Times report, villages in districts like Sambalpur head the cultivation and secretive “investors” lead the trade. They offer the seeds and fertilisers and even a sum of money upfront.
This is much more lucrative than the paddy growing business and most farmers agree to grow the Ganja crops. Although Ganja is legal in Orissa, this unauthorised cultivation is not. Thus, most of it is sent back into Kerala so that it can be sold under the label of Idukki Gold.
Kerala, the land of origin of the legend, has seen a spike in drug consumption with the controlled ban on liquor. This and a failure of the traditional Cardamom crops of the Idukki hills combined with the lucrative demand for Idukki Gold has set into action a revival of Ganja cultivation in the area. The cultivation is mostly in the Attapady hills, even extending into the Silent Valley Buffer Zones.
With the popularity of Idukki Gold ever soaring, this redirection and mislabelling has been of great profits to the dealers and smugglers. Even with a slow return of actual Idukki Gold crops, the yield is sold very exclusively. Which means that most users are being cheated. They’re paying high rates for weed that is not worth the price they are paying. The illegality and the illicit nature of the trade makes such tampering impossible to counter and even recognise; the laws of consumer rights don’t apply to this user base.
The other end of the supply chain is also suffering. Workers in the Marijuana fields don’t get a fair share of the profits that the middle men make. Yet again there is no legal device protecting their rights.
Smugglers also have sub contracted their work to poor unemployed youth or college children from low income backgrounds putting them at risk.
Idukki Gold, whether reality or legend, has enough hype behind it to sustain an industry for a long time, regardless of legality or ethicality.
Tea, coffee, rubber, coconut, cardamom, pepper are the major agricultural crops grown in Idukki, as listed in the official government website for the district in Kerala. Alternative culture tells us…