Tutorials

Data Collection Video Tutorial:

(Click HERE to see video with time stamps)

Written and photography instructions:

Tips for taking good photos
Taking photos of your plants to ensure confidentiality and safety from legal liability
Measuring pH
Measuring leaf shape
Measuring leaflet dimensions
Counting the number of primary branches on your plant
Counting the number of total branches on your plant
Measuring temperature
Measuring humidity
Measuring plant height
Measuring watering intensity
Collecting DNA

Instructions on sending samples to the lab (click here)

Anatomy Descriptions

Female Flower: A flower on the plant that contains only female reproductive parts. Only female flowers of Cannabis sativa carry cannabinoids.
Cola: A cluster of female flowers that grow compactly together.
Pistil: The reproductive organ unit of the female flower.
Fan Leaf: The primary leaf that makes up the plant’s foliage.
Main Stem: The primary, vertical structure of the plant that grows above-ground.
Horizontal Stem: Stems that grow and protrude out from the main stem.

Gardening Tool/Photo Tutorials

Tips for taking good photos

  1. Make sue the camera is in focus on the subject so that the photo comes out sharp.
  2. Take photos from a straight-on or directly-in-front angle of the subject. Try to avoid taking any pictures from an angle, as this may warp the proportions of the plant or measurement.
  3. Take photos in a bright or well-lit area so that the photo comes out clear.
  4. Ensure that the measurement being photographed is clearly seen in the photo. You can do this by making sure that the measurement is in frame and is close enough to the camera so the measurement reading/value is legible.



Taking photos of your plants to ensure confidentiality and safety from legal liability

  1. Try your best to take photos of your plant with nothing in the background. This reduces the risk of you being identified for doing anything unlawful (ex. Having more than the legal limit of 4 Cannabis plants, having illegal pesticides, etc.). Having nothing in the background also allows for a clearer picture.
  2. Ensure that there is nothing in the photo that could expose your person identity. For example, a license plate, a bill with your name on it, etc.

DISCLAIMER: The lab does its best to protect your confidentiality through de-identification of your identity and data, as well as encrypting, password-protecting, and limiting the number of individuals who have access to your data. These tips are just ways that you personally can add further protection from legal liability and risk of identification.



Measuring pH

  1. Grab a small handful of soil from the surroundings of your plant and place it into your lab-given measuring cup. The closer the soil is to your plant, the better.
  2. Pour two parts water to dirt into the measuring cup. Distilled water is best for this, but any kind of water will do. This will create a 2:1 ration of water to soil.
  3. Swirl the solution around and ensure that the soil is completely wet.
  4. Insert one pH strip into the soil-water mixture and remove it from the solution when the paper is soaked. Your paper may or may not change colour.
  5. When taking a photo of your pH strip to upload to the Google Drive, please try your best to take a photo of the strip that best mimics the colour in real life.
  6. Put the soil back with your plant and clean your measuring cup

Two Pieces of Extra Advice:
1. It is completely okay if you mess up doing this. This is why we’ve packed two extra pH strips in your tool kit bag, for occasions like this. Just try again!
2. If the paper does not change colour, this does not mean that anything is wrong. This is a completely fine result and you can go ahead and take a picture of your paper as usual.


Measuring leaf shape

  1. Find the largest leaf on your plant. This will be the leaf used for measurement.
  2. Hold the paper with a ruler and 2D barcode printed on it underneath the leaf.
  3. Take a photo of the leaf resting on the paper. Ensure that the entire leaf rests within the area of the paper, and that the ruler and 2D barcode are clear and sharp in your photo.


Measuring leaflet dimension

  1. Find the largest leaf on your plant.
  2. Find the central individual leaflet. This will be the leaf used for measurement.
  3. Use the measuring tape and measure the length and width of the individual leaflet.
  4. Enter these measurements on the weekly survey.


Counting the number of primary branches on your plant

  1. Identify the main stem on your plant. This is the center and most thick part of your plant that comes out from the soil.
  2. From the main stem, count the number of stems coming laterally out of it. These are the primary branches. They look like the main stem but are thinner and have their own leaves, flowers, or buds coming out from it
  3. Enter this measurement on the weekly survey


Counting the number of total branches on your plant

  1. Identify the main stem on your plant. This is the center and most thick part of your plant.
  2. From the main stem, count the number of stems coming laterally out of it. These are the primary branches. They look like the main stem but are thinner and have their own leaves, flowers, or buds coming out from it.
  3. From the primary branches, count the number of branches coming out of those. These are the secondary branches. They look like the primary branches but are even thinner and have their own leaves, flowers, or buds coming out from it.
  4. Add the number of primary and secondary branches together.
  5. Enter this measurement on the weekly survey.


Measuring temperature

  1. Place the thermometer within a 3 meter distance of your plant.
  2. Leave the thermometer there for at least 24 hours prior to recording temperature data so that it can calibrate and adjust to the environment. This ensures that the reading given is accurate to the actual temperature.
  3. Enter this measurement on the weekly survey.


Measuring humidity

  1. Turn on your hygrometer/humidity meter.
  2. Place the hygrometer within a 3 meter distance of your plant.
  3. Leave the thermometer there for at least 24 hours prior to recording humidity data so that it can calibrate and adjust to the environment. This ensures that the reading given is accurate to the actual humidity.
  4. Enter this measurement on the weekly survey.


Measuring plant height

  1. Stretch out and straighten your elastic measuring tape. Make sure there are no kinks or bends in it.
  2. Holding one end of the tape, line the start of the tape up with the top of your plant. Let the rest of the tape fall down to the bottom of your plant. Make sure the tape falls in a position that outlines the height of the plant.
  3. Enter this measurement on the weekly survey


Measuring watering intensity

  1. With your measuring cup, fill it with the amount of water you are going to water your plant with.
  2. Place the cup on a levelled surface and let the water rest until there is no more water movement.
  3. Enter this measurement on the weekly survey.


Collecting Plant DNA using Cytiva Whatman™ 3MM Chr Chromatography Paper

  1. Collect a leaf from your plant. Try to choose a leaf that looks fresh and green, compared to any leaves that are older, yellow, brown, or dry.
  2. Fold the chromatography paper in half.
  3. Place the leaf in between the fold of the paper.
  4. Use a blunt object (e.g. pestle, hammer, rolling pin, shoe horn, etc.) and pound the piece of paper so that the leaf is squashed in betwseen the two sheets. Continue pounding the paper until the paper appears wet and stained. Try to achieve a wet spot of at least 1cm x 1cm in area, the bigger the wet spot, the better.
  5. Remove the leaf between the paper.
  6. Draw a circle around the wet spot to indicate where the stain was made. Make sure the circle does not overlap or go over the stain in anyway. The stain should be in the centre of your circle.
  7. Leave the paper to dry for at least 1 hour. Do not touch the wet spot as this could contaminate the sample.
  8. Once dry, place the card into the mailer bag address to the research lab and continue with the mailing process.

    Instruction adapted from Adugna, Asfaw & Snow, Allison & Sweeney, Patricia. (2011). Optimization of a high throughput, cost effective, and all-stage DNA extraction protocol for sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology



Mailing Samples to the Lab

  1. Find the mailer bags, stamps, and test tubes from your gardening tool kit. Two plastic bags of any kind will also be needed.
  2. One mailer bag will have the Manitoba address of the analysis lab on it, and one mailer bag will have the Toronto address of the research lab on it. On both bags, write only the first 3 digits of your postal code and the first 3 characters of your email address on the top left corner of the bag (ex. M4S CSP). Do NOT write anything else on the bags to ensure that no identifying details are on the bag. This will ensure your confidentiality.
  3. Grab about 0.5-1 gram of bud off your plant and place it inside one of the test tubes. Place that tube inside of the plastic bag. This sample should be put into the MANITOBA addressed mailer bag.
  4. Grab your Cytiva Whatman™ 3MM Chr Chromatography Paper that has been stained with your leaf and place it inside of the mailer bag. Instructions for staining your leaf on this paper can be found in this tutorial section as well. This sample should be put into the TORONTO addressed mailer bag
  5. Seal both mailing bags shut.
  6. Put one stamp on the top right corner of each bag.
  7. Mail both bags off at a Canada post office or public mailbox. Your packages are now off to the lab!

Mailing Cannabis is a completely legal process and is allowed by law. As long as participants send samples within the boundaries of legal Canadian guidelines, there should be no issues or liabilities encountered. Instructions on how to mail plant samples to the lab in a safe and secure way are provided. In the situation where a participant mails a plant sample in an unlawful way, we have asked participants to not put any identifying details about themselves or their location on the package, this the package cannot be traced back to them.

Helpful Resources:
You may also go to a Canada Post where a Canada Post service worker can help you pick out a bag, stamp, and then mail it for you there.


Addressing guidelines for packages:
https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/kb/details.page?article=addressing_mail_accu&cattype=kb&cat=addressing&subcat=accuracy

Instructions on sending mail using bubble mail:

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