Shaping Fire

By Shango Los

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Category: Alternative Health

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Shaping Fire host Shango Los interviews the most knowledgable and insightful people in cannabis and entheogens. With topics ranging from cannabis cultivation, medicine and hashmaking, to healing humans with microdosing, there is something for every sort of enthusiast.

Episode Date
The Compost Supershow with guest Leighton Morrison

Compost is not one thing. We use compost to describe a whole range of soil amendments. And some of them don’t live up to what we want compost to do. On this week’s episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los welcomes back soil biologist Leighton Morrison to talk about the varieties of compost and the benefits and challenges of each, the structure and micro-biology of inoculant organic matter, how to make a microbe-rich cold compost without pathogen risk, and a whole lot of insight into the grading, use and storage of compost.

Oct 02, 2022
Crossbreeding Your First Cannabis Seeds with guest Brandon Potter

This episode is for folks who would like to make their first cannabis seeds, and for those simply interested in the process. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Brandon Potter about best practices for making your first seeds, how to choose your parents, effective use of pollen, and harvesting, curing and storing your seeds.

Sep 16, 2022
Teaming with Bacteria with guest Jeff Lowenfels

The “Lord of the Roots” returns to Shaping Fire with a fourth book in the essential “Teaming with Microbes” soil food web series. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with author and educator Jeff Lowenfels about bacteria’s role in the soil, endophytic bacteria’s rhizophagy cycle ducking into and out of plants themselves, the bacterial life inside cannabis seeds, and how to use these insights in your garden for thriving plants.

Aug 12, 2022
Psilocybin Mushroom Analytical Testing with guest George Sellhorn PhD

Interest in magic mushrooms has skyrocketed and now, for the first time, enthusiasts have access to analytical lab equipment. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with biochemist George Sellhorn PhD about performing analyses on psilocybin mushrooms, the key analytes including terpenes labs are presently looking at, the differences between cannabis and psilocybin testing procedures, and how to properly store mushrooms at home to preserve potency. 

Jul 30, 2022
Nematodes: Just Don't Call Them Worms with guest Ernie Bernard PhD

Nematodes are one of the least studied participants in the soil food web. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with nematologist Ernie Bernard PhD about nematode physiology and habits, beneficial attributes like protecting against pests and creating rich soil, and how to keep parasitic nematodes from becoming established in your garden.

Jul 10, 2022
Biochar: Building Soil and Memory with guest Cuauhtemoc Villa

Biochar is an often overlooked soil amendment that can be a game changer for container gardening, hügelkultur and regenerating farmland. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with living soil educator Cuauhtemoc Villa about the vast and varied role biochar can play in cultivation, best practices for making it yourself and how to deploy it in your garden at any scale.

Jun 19, 2022
Understanding and Breeding S1 Seed Varieties with guests Caleb NSpecta and Ryan Lee

There are few things as rewarding as germinating an exploratory pack of S1 seeds to see all the different phenos within. S1 seeds are both a breeder's intermediary tool, and a grand adventure in themselves. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Caleb Nspecta and Ryan Lee about what S1 seed lines are, their characteristics and uses, and how to make them

Jun 05, 2022
Ep91 - Getting Friendly with Worms with guest Chandler Michalsky

Worms are an everyday companion in the garden, and most of us barely know them at all. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with living soil educator Chandler Michalsky about worm physiology and activities, how to use their nutritive castings as an extraordinary natural fertilizer and some insights on how to raise worms for all your cultivation needs.

May 21, 2022
Biodynamic Cannabis: Cultivating Awareness with guests Blaire and Daniel AuClair

There are as many methods of growing cannabis as there are cannabis cultivators. For generations, some farmers have used cannabis cultivation as a means to express their spiritual connection with both the earth and spirit. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Blaire and Daniel AuClair about biodynamic growing techniques, specialty foliar preparations infused with intention and the importance of cultivating awareness alongside their cannabis.

Apr 17, 2022
Episode 89 - Autoflower Shortcomings (and a few solutions!) with guest Dan Jimmie

We love autoflowers here, but there is no doubt that some aspects of growing autoflowering cannabis plants can be incredibly frustrating. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los chats with autoflower breeder Dan Jimmie about all the things they dislike about autoflowers, and solutions for a few of them. This is a really honest and comprehensive discussion about the failings of autoflowers from cultivators who love them.

Feb 13, 2022
Fusarium and Pythium Root Rots in Living Soil with guest Cora McGehee

Fusarium and Pythium root rots attack our plants and we never really know until they wilt, and it is too late. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with plant pathologist Cora McGehee about identification of these pathogens, best practices for prevention, and their mechanisms for action, so cultivators can take action to protect their gardens.

Jan 26, 2022
Indoor Raised Bed with Horizon Soil Technique First Cycle Assessment with Leighton Morrison

How does a horizon-style living soil bed function in real life? On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los and soil biologist Leighton Morrison assess the first run of Shango's indoor raised bed implementing regenerative cultivation techniques and the horizon soil strategy as explained in Shaping Fire episode 54. Included are soil layer measurements, fungus gnats, a failed green mulch and the best plants Shango has ever grown.

Dec 31, 2021
Special Shaping Fire Episode: Shango Los as guest on the Curious About Cannabis Podcast

On this episode of Shaping Fire, we share with you an episode of the Curious About Cannabis podcast. Shaping Fire host Shango Los was recently special guest on the show. Shango and CAC host Jason Wilson discuss using outdoor regenerative cultivation techniques indoors, the rocky transition from medical to recreational markets for cannabis patients, how to form local growers collectives and how Shango formed the one on Vashon Island, the rise of autoflowers, and some behind the scenes thoughts about the Shaping Fire podcast.

Nov 25, 2021
Psilocybin Mushrooms and Brain Chemistry with guest Miyabe Shields PhD

More and more, folks are embracing the mental and physical benefits found in using psilocybin mushrooms in either small or large doses. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los invites Dr. Miyabe Shields back to explain how psilocin stimulates the serotonin and other systems, how differing doses reach specific threshold points and using this knowledge to heal humans.

Nov 05, 2021
Naming Our Monsters: Is this Post-Prohibition? with guest Dr. Dominic Corva PhD

Cannabis normalization is a patchwork of mismatched laws across the country. And this uncoordinated approach creates inefficiencies that cost money, liberties and lives. Only by naming these challenges and facing them straight-on will we have any chance of fixing the American cannabis experiment. On this special episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Dr. Dominic Corva PhD about the impact of state-licensing on long-time cannabis farmers in California, the awkwardness of prohibition and licensed sales existing at the same time, cannabis prohibition as a public health issue, the profitable injustice of non-violent cannabis prisoners, the latest on electrical usage by industrial agriculture cannabis farms and the rise of the citizen scientist.

Oct 23, 2021
The New Science on Using CBG

The cannabinoid Cannabigerol (CBG) is so new to being studied that most people are still unclear what varieties of relief it offers. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los welcomes back neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo to discuss his new study published this week compiling patient uses for cannabigerol, the specific ailments CBG works for, and the quality of patient results.

Oct 03, 2021
Deploying Aerobic and Anaerobic Soil Amendments with guest Leighton Morrison

All life breathes in its own way. We can become better cultivators by understanding the interplay between aerobic and anaerobic microbes and bacteria. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los welcomes back soil biologist Leighton Morrison to discuss the differences between aerobic and anaerobic environments, the interplay between oxygen-loving microbes and bacteria in building soil structure, and how to breathe life into dirt to regenerate your soil.

Aug 05, 2021
Endocannabinoid Mechanics Part Two with guest Miyabe Shields PhD

Everyone's endocannabinoid system works in ways that are unique to themselves. Our best chance at success with cannabis is to understand both the science generalizing cannabis use, while also learning how our own body functions specifically. On this episode of Shaping Fire, Miyabe Shields PhD returns for Part Two of Endocannabinoid Mechanics and talks with host Shango Los about how minor cannabinoids function, why we find cannabis relaxing, choosing between the various modes of cannabis use for the variety of relief we are looking for, and dosing thresholds for extraordinary ailments like immune disorders, cancer and others.

Jul 29, 2021
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Genomic Investigation Results with Dr. Ethan Russo

Today, Dr. Ethan Russo has published his groundbreaking research into the causes of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome. The research team's survey and genomic investigation of patients has, for the first time, identified the genetic mutations affecting neurotransmitters and the endocannabinoid system. In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los reviews the entirety of the paper with Dr. Russo, including all five of the genetic mutations, the results of the patient survey and why we can exclude causes such as neem.

Jul 06, 2021
Creating Soil Amendments and Natural Pesticides from Local Plants with guest Joey Burger

Everything we require to grow thriving cannabis plants already exists for free in nature. Sure, some things are easier to buy, but for most of us, wildcrafting our local plants can provide what we need. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with permaculture and natural farming educator Joey Burger about how to unleash the power within our local plants for nutrition and pest deterrence.

Jun 26, 2021
Endocannabinoid Mechanics Part One with guest Miyabe Shields PhD

The endocannabinoid system can seem like a magical engine sometimes and, as cannabis enthusiasts, it's good to dig in and learn how it actually functions. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with cannabinoid scientist Miyabe Shields PhD about the chemical mechanics at the basis of our endocannabinoid system, including how cannabinoid receptors function, how cannabinoids take action, why we develop THC tolerance and how to manage it, and the effectiveness of whole plant versus single molecule cannabis medicine.

Jun 13, 2021
Personalized Cannabinopathic Medicine with guest Dr. Chris Spooner

Every human body has a different capacity to intake and effectively deploy cannabinoids. Humans are often treated as if they all have the same cannabis capacity, and it is simply untrue. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Dr. Chris Spooner about gauging a patient's preparedness for cannabis medicine, what analytics to deploy to properly assess a potential cannabis patient, and what foods to eat that strengthen your endocannabinoid system

May 16, 2021
Comparing Psilocybin Microdosing Protocols with guest Adam Bramlage

Microdosing mushrooms has suddenly been embraced by much of the medical establishment, and regular folks are finding huge benefits. Psilocybin mushroom are increasingly available and good people are using them to relieve trauma, sometimes without understanding how best to use them. In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with microdosing coach Adam Bramlage to compare microdosing protocols, understand more clearly the differences between doses and how best to explore self-healing safely.

Apr 25, 2021
Off-Season Preparations for Your Regenerative Cannabis Garden with guest Nicholas Mahmood

Your relationship with the land you cultivate is perhaps the most important variable for growing thriving cannabis plants. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los chats with Nicholas Mahmood of Green Source Gardens about best practices for putting your gardens to sleep in the fall, some ideas for off-season improvements, and some strategies to start your spring with abundant momentum.

Feb 28, 2021
Tissue Culture and Micropropagation with guest Ryan Lee

The phrase "tissue culture" can get cannabis folks excited and yet not many have a good idea of what it is or how the cannabis plant can benefit from its opportunities. In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los welcomes back cannabis geneticist Ryan Lee to discuss what tissue culture is, the opportunities found in micropropagation, how to remove viruses and other impediments from important cannabis cultivars, and the wide range of other scientific possibilities that tissue culture holds.

Feb 02, 2021
A History of Autoflower Breeding with guest Dan Jimmie

Autoflowering cannabis cultivars have come a long way in the last decade. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with autoflower breeder and co-founder of Dan Jimmie aka Mandalorian Genetics about the early days of autoflowers, the genetic breakthroughs since 2008, the establishment of a forum dedicated to the autoflower community and the basics of why breeding autoflowers is trickier than photosensitive varieties.

Jan 16, 2021
Detangling Cannabis and Schizophrenia with guest Greg Gerdeman PhD

Prohibitionists often argue that cannabis causes psychotic breaks and schizophrenia. And while the science does not support that position, schizophrenia is not entirely unrelated to cannabis use either. In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with neuroscientist Greg Gerdeman PhD about the nature of schizophrenia and the relationship between psychosis and cannabis.

Jan 03, 2021
Cannabis Pollen Collection and Preservation with guest Daniel Morford

Cannabis pollen is both feared and sacred. It can ruin a crop of sinsemilla, while at the same time create a new cultivar than can bring health and joy to many, and fame to the breeder. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Daniel Morford of Heartrock Mountain Farm in Mendocino County about his best practices for the collection and preservation of pollen.

Dec 03, 2020
Cannabis, Mushrooms and Terpenes with panelists Dr. Ethan Russo, Tony Verzura, Jeff Chilton and Berner

Today's episode is different. Shaping Fire host Shango Los was invited to moderate a private webcast entitled, "Cannabis, Mushrooms and Terpenes for Optimum Health." Shango didn't choose the topic or speakers but the quality of answers by this experienced panel are so good that we want to share them with you. Dr. Ethan Russo, Tony Verzura, Jeff Chilton, and Berner discuss how best to blend a variety of alternative medicines to reach healing goals often unattainable by pharmaceuticals.

Nov 15, 2020
Integrating Cannabis into End-of-Life Care with guest Dr. Sunil Aggarwal

None of the stylish cannabis advertising is directed at folks soon to die. And yet, humans at the end of their days often wish for the relief and perspective that comes from cannabis. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los welcomes back Dr. Sunil Aggarwal to talk about integrating cannabis into end-of-life care, dosing protocols, and how to address objections from family and institutions.

Oct 22, 2020
Using Korean Natural Farming Foliar and Drench Preps with guest Chris Trump

Age-old natural farming fermentations and preparations have made a huge resurgence in the cultivation scene. However, there is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding how to blend them, if at all. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Certified Master Natural Farmer Chris Trump about how best to use Korean Natural Farming preparations, how to blend them, and how small amounts can have such substantial impacts on plants.

Sep 27, 2020
Migraine Therapy Using Cannabis and Mushrooms with guest Dr. Ethan Russo

One of the greatest challenges in life is to suffer from an ailment that people have chosen to take for granted. Fifteen percent of all humans suffer with migraines and yet still little is known about them. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los interviews world-renowned neurologist and cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo about the state of the science on migraines and how to incorporate cannabis and psilocybin mushroom as therapies.

Sep 13, 2020
Cannabis Triploid Genetics: Sterile and Thriving with guest Seth Crawford

Female cannabis plants are often threatened by male pollen coming from a neighbor's garden. Now though, regular breeding has created the first cannabis triploid plants. This naturally occurring plant type not only is impervious to unexpected pollen, but the third chromosome these plants have makes them larger, more resistant to pests and molds, and with bigger yields. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with socio-ecologist Seth Crawford about these new plants and their extraordinary characteristics.

Aug 29, 2020
Ice Hash Best Practices for Home Hashmakers with Guest Ganja Gil, The Ice Wook

More and more people are growing cannabis and making ice water hash at home. It is an incredibly simple yet satisfying hobby that takes a short time to learn but years to master. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los discusses home hashmaking best practices with lifelong hashmaker Ganja Gil - The Ice Wook. Their discussion spans the entire process, including choosing starting material, ice, hash bags, temperature, screens, washers, agitation, drying and storage.

Aug 11, 2020
Feminized Seeds and Female-Only Breeding with guest Ryan Lee

Feminized seeds have a reputation based on devotion, hyperbole, and myth. Cultivators have strong feelings about these particular seeds, no matter if they love or hate them. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with biologist and cannabis geneticist Ryan Lee about the science behind feminized seeds, how to make them, and why they used to have a bad reputation. The third set is dedicated to understanding "female-only" breeding.

Aug 01, 2020
The Difficult Reality of Banker and Trap Plants with guest Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

Natural gardeners like the idea of planting companion plants that will distract cannabis pests and harbor the insects that prey on these same pests. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, The Buglady, about the complexities and challenges of using banker and trap plants in a cannabis garden, why the plants suggested so often online don't actually work in real life and some strategies for making banker and trap plants work for you if you are willing to put in the effort.

Jul 17, 2020
Satisfying Sex for Chronic Pain and Disease Patients with guest Chris Maxwell Rose

Pain and chronic illness are so dynamic that they can injure us on multiple levels. Too often, not only does our body suffer, but our sexuality suffers as well. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with sex educator Chris Maxwell Rose of Pleasure Mechanics about the mental and emotional challenges of having sex while experiencing chronic pain, communication between partners, and positions, toys and other strategies for sexualizing your life, even with a chronic malady.

Jun 20, 2020
Plants, Humans, and the Cultivation Light Spectrum with guest Robert Soler

The application of light to plants, whether it be sunshine or from electricity, is an important part of the overall skillset a cultivator needs to perfect their craft. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with former NASA lighting scientist Robert Soler about some of the key threshold points in the relationship between the light spectrum and cannabis plants that impact all cultivators, clearing up some botanical myths that persist in cannabis cultivation, and a bit about how working under artificial lights impacts the lives of professional indoor cultivators.

Jun 15, 2020
Transitioning from Opioids to Cannabis for Pain Relief with guest Adie Rae, PhD

One of the most common reasons people become interested in cannabis is for pain relief. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Adie Rae, PhD about the physiological underpinnings of pain, how cannabis offers pain relief by interacting with several body systems, and how patients can transition from highly addictive opioid pain relievers to using cannabis instead.

May 20, 2020
Water and Watering with guest Leighton Morrison

Water is essential for all of our cannabis gardens and yet so few of us have an intimate understanding of its role in the rhizosphere. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los welcomes back soil biologist Leighton Morrion to explore the origin of water, water harvesting, water's role in in the soil and some best practices for watering your garden.

May 03, 2020
Supplemental Insights for Successful Korean Natural Farming with Drake

Korean Natural Farming is very detailed and very adaptable. On today's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los leads certified KNF educator Drake down some uncommon paths to discuss how to adapt KNF for atypical implementations like growing and wildcrafting in the city, collecting IMO in desert environments and using preparations for human health and biosecurity.

Apr 01, 2020
Using Cannabis for Parkinson's Disease Relief with guest Zoe Sigman

Most discussions of using cannabis to help relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are woefully incomplete and don't offer much actionable information for the actual patient or their family. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with cannabinopathic researcher and health educator Zoe Sigman about what Parkinson's is at the cellular level, what role the endocannabinoid system plays and how to use cannabis to relieve symptoms, in fine detail.

Mar 15, 2020
Cultivating Cannabis in Tents with guest Jeremy Silva

For many, the most effective way to be self-sufficient with cannabis is to grow indoors using a small, dedicated cultivation tent with a light. Tents are a whole lot of fun to grow in and for many provide their first opportunity to get really close to the cannabis plant. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with cultivation educator Jeremy Silva of BuildASoil about cultivation tent best practices, where to start, and how to address some common challenges.

Feb 26, 2020
Breeding Cannabis for Faster Flowers with guest Nat Pennington

Most cannabis growers live in parts of the country with summers too short and cool to grow common cannabis varieties to full maturity. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with Nat Pennington of Humboldt Seeds Company about breeding for faster, early-finishing cannabis flowers, the importance of knowing the cannabis plant intimately, and a little bit on tissue culture and genetic marker assisted breeding too.

Jan 23, 2020
Geology and Biomimicry in Living Soil Cultivation with guest Leighton Morrison

Much of the cannabis growing during prohibition involved forcing the plant to do our bidding. Now though, cultivators everywhere are spending more time listening to the cannabis plant and learning how to provide what she needs. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with soil biologist Leighton Morrison about the geological source for today's soil, how we can replicate natural systems in our growing containers, and why it is important to let nature lead us towards thriving cannabis plants.

Nov 13, 2019
Recruiting New Cannabis Gardeners with Autoflowers with guest Jeff Lowenfels

More and more "regular folks" are beginning to take interest in growing cannabis. Gardeners who love growing tomatoes are realizing that cannabis is just as fun and perhaps even more rewarding to grow. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with soil science educator and long-time gardening columnist Jeff Lowenfels about the arrival of modern autoflowering cannabis varieties and how they are being embraced by home growers across the country.

Oct 22, 2019
The Water Food Web and Aquaponics with guest Steve Raisner

The soil food web in living soil is something many of us are familair with. There is a similar web of life that occurs in water. With aquaponics, the beneifts of living soil get supercharged with the life force of the water food web! In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Stever Raisner about the water food web, the science of blending the water and soil food webs and how this knowledge is deployed in aquaponic cannabis cultivation.

Oct 10, 2019
Detailing the United Cannabis & Biotech LLC Cannabis Patents and What Comes Next with Dale Hunt

Cannabis patent discussions get people rowdy! And yet, getting fine details about existing patents is really hard. In this episode, Shaping Fire host Shango Los talks with plant scientist and patent attorney Dale Hunt, PhD, JD about the two most popular patents to hate by United Cannabis and Biotech LLC. We look at each in detail to better understand their specific claims and then discuss their legitimacy and what cannabis enthusiasts can do to keep cannabis accessible to all.

Sep 23, 2019
Cannabis Medicine for Pets and Livestock with guest Dr Gary Richter

Animals play a significant role in our lives and they are family to many people. When we learn we can reduce suffering in humans using cannabis medicine, it makes sense that we would consider using cannabis to help our animals too. But there is scant research on using cannabis with animals and since they don't speak, we have to be extraordinarily cautious. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Dr. Gary Richter about using cannabis with household pets and livestock in ways that serve them best.

Aug 23, 2019
Feminized Cannabis Seeds with guest Caleb Nspecta

For pretty much everybody in cannabis except seed makers, male cannabis plants are a scourge. For breeders, male cannabis plants are a joyful thing and essential to the advancement of cannabis genetics and the creation of regular seed. But for nearly all hobby, medical and commercial growers though, males are a threat. Feminized seeds have come a long way since their early days and on this episode of Shaping Fire host Shango Los talks with renowned breeder Caleb Nspecta of CSI Humboldt about the benefits of modern feminized seeds, the process to create them and where his fabulous strain names come from.

Jul 17, 2019
From High Times to Modern Times: Selling Ethanol Extraction with guest Fritz Chess

Not too long ago, all cannabis business had to be done in the shadows. If you had developed a product for cannabis, you had to market it as something else, and then give a wink that it had "other applications" as well. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los sits down with Fritz Chess, founder of Eden Labs, to discuss what it was like to bring his ethanol extractor to market in the back pages of High Times magazine, how the changing political climate caused cannabis activity to migrate and some insights into ethanol extraction itself.

Jun 21, 2019
The Future will Autoflower with guests Jeff Lowenfels and Seth Crawford

Autoflowering cannabis plants offer revolutionary new options for home, medical and commercial cannabis cultivators. This episode of Shaping Fire was recorded live on the main stage at Cultivation Classic in Portland. Join host Shango Los as he talks with author Jeff Lowenfels and Seth Crawford of Oregon CBD Seeds about the new wave of autoflower genetics and the extraordinary cultivation strategies they allow. Available as an audio-only podcast episode and also as a video on the Shaping Fire YouTube Channel!

Jun 11, 2019
Exercise and Cannabis with guest Greg Gerdeman, PhD

The idea that cannabis enthusiasts are forever couchlocked is myth. We all know people who get high and get active. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with neurophysiologist Greg Gerdeman, PhD about the interplay between our endocannabinoid system and exercise, cannabis's ability to focus our efforts to reach training goals, and the possibility that the endocannabinoid system evolved, in part, as a response to long distant running of our ancestors.

May 17, 2019
A Look at Global Cannabis Growing Culture with Colin Bell

As cannabis freedoms expand across the globe, more and more cannabis enthusiasts are getting the opportunity to meet each other and learn each others' cultures and traditions around cannabis. Because access to technology, information and fertilizers vary greatly, cannabis culture is unique everywhere you go. In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with Colin Bell, co-founder of Mammoth Microbes about what he has seen traveling the world in search of cannabis growers everywhere.

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Mar 21, 2019
Cannabis Seeds, Sharing and Public Patents with guest Alan from Strainly

Sharing cannabis seeds is essential to the preservation of the plant and our access to it. Forces are gathering to make legal challenges to many of the present over-broad cannabis patents. While others are looking at ways the cannabis community can agree to informal, yet legally enforceable public patents to help defend heritage chemovars. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with Alan from Strainly about cannabis seed sharing, alternatives to USPTO plant patents and a new online community of seed traders.

Feb 09, 2019
Indoor Cannabis Polyculture with guest Joshua Steensland

Historically, indoor cannabis growers relied on bottled nutrients and often hydroponics, but there is a new wave of indoor growers who are bringing the insights of living soil and polyculture to indoor cannabis. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with cultivator Joshua Steensland about using robust microbe communities, wildcrafted nutrients and companion planting when growing cannabis indoors under lights.

Dec 26, 2018
Licensing Your Cannabis Brand with guest Kris Krane

As new states begin to normalize cannabis, the latest phase of the cannabis industry is rapid brand expansion. There are many ways to crash your cannabis brand as you attempt to expand into other states, and perhaps new product categories, by working with corporate partners. Too many entrepreneurs take action based on their hunches and not factual knowledge. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Kris Krane of 4Front Advisors about the intricacies of cannabis brand licensing, some best practices for moving into new states, and some common pitfalls to avoid on your way to becoming a national brand.

Dec 04, 2018
Cannabis Greenhouse Rescue with guest Eric Brandstad

Growing cannabis in greenhouses offers the best attributes of both indoor and outdoor operations. However, because it is a combined solution, it can suffer from the challenges of both growing methods too. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with cannabis greenhouse expert Eric Brandstad about crop-saving techniques to rescue your greenhouse operation when it takes a turn for the worse and preventative techniques to stop it from ever getting that bad.

Nov 06, 2018
CO2 Extraction and Mods Today with guest Jeff Wilhoit

Extracting cannabinoids with carbon dioxide has matured a lot over the last few years. Professional extraction teams have become far more versatile with the technology resulting in a much improved product. On today's episode of Shaping Fire, extractor Jeff Wilhoit talks with Shaping Fire host Shango Los about the evolution of CO2 extraction in the last five years, why CO2 dabs tastes so much better now and some of his favorite modifications for extraction machines.

Oct 15, 2018
Deep Sh!t: Biodynamic Compost and Bioregional Microbes

Cannabis plants thrive on biological diversity that can meet all its nutritional needs. Well-made compost is not only alive with microbial and fungal activity, but it can be personalized to your growing region as well. In this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Colum Riley of Malibu Compost about the complex biology of compost, why using local microbes is so very important and how compost-thinking may be what we need to save the world.

Aug 24, 2018
The Cannabis Seed Game with guest Eric Wimber

Selling cannabis seeds is a serious hustle. Like the fine artist painters of old, today's cannabis breeders are creating extraordinary cannabis strains, and at the same time being ingenious with their marketing and outreach. They have to be visionary with the genetics and still know how to crush social media in their own way. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with Eric Wimber of Dungeons Vault Genetics about the challenges and rewards of breeding and selling championship cannabis seeds.

Jun 29, 2018
The Nexus of Medical Cannabis and Hemp with guest Seth Crawford

Patients often try to save money or stay legal by using CBD from industrial fiber hemp but there is little scientific support for its efficacy when used alone. Now though, a new generation of plants exist that are closer genetically to traditional medical cannabis plants but are also legally hemp plants. These plants will remake the current CBD hemp market. On this episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with agricultural-scale cannabis breeder Seth Crawford about these new cultivars of cannabis and why their difference is so meaningful.

Jun 14, 2018
Breathing and Cannabis with guest Robert Litman

Breathing is an essential part of enjoying cannabis and yet we rarely think about it. And for the most part, most of us trade partial truths and full-on myths when talking about how cannabis interacts with the lungs. On today's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Robert Litman of The Breathable Body about the mechanics of breathing, what happens when we inhale cannabis, and best practices for keeping our lungs healthy.

May 28, 2018
The Rise of Korean Natural Farming with guest Chris Trump

Korean Natural Farming is so hot right now. Probiotic farmers everywhere are learning KNF's exotic fermentation techniques to create their most thriving and potent plants ever. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Korean Natural Farming educator Chris Trump about KNF fermentation recipes, the importance of abundant indigenous microbe communities in the soil and working with the life-force in plants.

May 08, 2018
Our Chaotic Entwined Cannabis Markets with guest Dominic Corva PhD

To a casual observer, the licensed cannabis market may seem risky but essentially orderly. Of course, this is a fantasy because anyone actually involved in the process sees first hand the turbulent interplay of regulators, license holders, and the ever-present, ever-adaptable black market. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with Dominic Corva, Director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy, about the persistence of the unlicensed markets, the industrialization of corporate cannabis and how the licensed and unlicensed markets may continue to interact over time.

Apr 17, 2018
Cannabis Patent Drama and Realities with guest Reggie Gaudino PhD

Have no doubt that agricultural and pharmaceutical companies are coming for your cannabis genetics. And while these mega-corporations are well-funded and focused on their goals, heritage cannabis growers and enthusiasts are disorganized, unfunded and believe in a wide array of patent law myths. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks frankly with Reggie Gaudino PhD of Steep Hill Labs about the realities of cannabis genetics patenting today, the cannabis patents already awarded and the steps that must be taken today if the cannabis community is to defensively patent their cannabis cultivars.

Mar 22, 2018
Dead Bodies and Poop with guest Tad Hussey

As common as animal nutrients are for growing cannabis, many of them remain exotic to most growers. Worm castings are known to many but what about crab shell flour, soldier flies or sea bird guano. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with probiotic growing educator Tad Hussey about the usefulness and sustainability of a wide array of animal inputs.

Feb 23, 2018
Considering Cannabis Stock Market Opportunities with guest Alan Brochstein

The stock market is a moody beast. No matter how much insight you have or how many Fibonacci lines you draw on your charts, there are still innumerable pitfalls that can cross your path and ruin your trade. The risks involved skyrocket when you invest in a nascent industry like cannabis too. The rapidly changing market, lack of historical data and, of course, Federal cannabis prohibition all make investing in cannabis unlike investing in any other industry. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los speaks with Alan Brochstein of 420 Investor about opportunities in cannabis stocks, weighing the unique risks of the industry, and the cannabis hype machine.

Feb 07, 2018
Use Beneficial Insects and Leave Pesticides Behind with guest Shane Young

Cannabis enthusiasts are waking up to the dangers associated with pesticides and both state regulatory agencies and consumers are looking for cleaner, pesticide-free products. At the same time, cannabis growers are migrating away from chemicals and instead are choosing beneficial insects to defend their cannabis crops. On this week’s episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Shane Young of Natural Enemies about transitioning from pesticides to beneficial insects and some of the key considerations when making that change.

Jan 26, 2018
Repeatable Results! Cannabis Manufacturing Standards with guest Jahan Marcu

A key to enjoyable cannabis use is repeatable results. Whether you are a patient seeking relief, or on your way to a party or the beach, knowing what effect taking cannabis will have on your human is exceptionally helpful. Potency testing and manufacturing standards have not been part of the prohibition-era cannabis market. As normalization widens and international cannabis trade begins, manufacturing standards are being developed that will impact the entire world. On this week’s episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Jahan Marcu about how these standards are coming together and why they matter.

Dec 21, 2017
Botrytis and Powdery Mildew in Scientific Detail with guest Kevin McKernan

Molds threaten every cannabis crop. From small patient grows to large scale commercial growing operations, cannabis growers must remain vigilant to avoid crop loss and contamination. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, host Shango Los talks with Kevin McKernan of Medicinal Genomics about the biology of both Botrytis and Powdery Mildew, how it spreads, breeding for resistance and a new assay that detects it before it can be seen with the naked eye.

Nov 02, 2017
Cannabinoids and Terpenoids in Detail - Part 2 with guest Dr. Ethan Russo

Dr. Ethan Russo returns for Part 2 of our epic dive into the essential cannabis cannabinoids and terpenoids. During Shaping Fire episode 11, we went paragraph by paragraph through Dr. Russo's cornerstone "Taming THC" paper. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los and Dr. Russo review in detail his new, much longer, scientific paper co-authored with esteemed scientist Jahan Marcu, PhD titled "Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads." The paper examines even more terpenes and other components for their healing properties and potential for future research.

Sep 28, 2017
Cannabis Root Ball Medicine with guest Natasha Ryz
The cannabis root ball is usually discarded in modern cultivation, but that was not always the case. Healers throughout history have used the root ball for preparations, relieving a wide range of ailments. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with health researcher Natasha Ryz, PhD. about her new paper, co-authored by renowned cannabis neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo and David Remillard, that illustrates the root ball's remarkable healing abilities beyond phytocannabinoids.
Sep 07, 2017
The Convoluted CBD Market with guest Seth Crawford
The market for CBD is volatile and complex. As demand for Cannabidiol increases, the lack of a functioning nationwide market for CBD results in a morass of producers, product designers and patients all trying to cobble together some sort of reliable system. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with cannabis economy analyst Seth Crawford, Phd about the rising demand in the splintered CBD market and what the future may hold for investors, pharmaceutical companies and patients.
Aug 15, 2017
The Keeper Plants: Cannabis Breeding with guest Mean Gene
Breeding cannabis plants takes planning, intuition and loads of patience. While there are many who claim to be breeders nowadays, there are precious few who have done the work to earn the title. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with Mean Gene, the legendary cannabis breeder from Mendocino California. Gene's company, Freeborn Selections has been breeding for the country's most elite growers since 1997. Their conversation spans best practices for breeding, using intuition when choosing plants, chemovar naming conventions and limited edition seed releases.
Aug 04, 2017
The Reality of Cannabis Trademarks with guest Neil Juneja
The cannabis trademark process is confusing because most of what everyone says is based on conjecture and rumor. The fact of the matter is that even though Federal trademarks are not technically obtainable yet, cannabis businesses are positioning themselves and securing related trademarks that will help them in the future. During this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with cannabis trademark attorney Neil Juneja about the actions that entrepreneurs need to take now to secure their business identity and defend their intellectual property from both scoundrels and the ignorant.
Jul 25, 2017
Treating Brain Injury with Cannabis and Mushrooms with guest Dr Ethan Russo
There is a new way to treat traumatic brain injuries that some neuroscientists believe will help patients recover more fully. Microdosing cannabis to support the endocannabinoid system while also microdosing psilocybin, the active molecule in hallucinogenic mushrooms, promises to help in the recovery of brain injury by giving the brain what it needs to heal, rebuild and reorient itself. During this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los welcomes back Dr. Ethan Russo to talk about this revolutionary approach, the scientific support for it, and some suggestions for those considering self-medicating.
Jun 23, 2017
Teaming with Microbes and Fungi for Thriving Cannabis with guest Jeff Lowenfels
There is a wave of resistance to the further use of synthetic nutrients and chemical pesticides when growing cannabis. Cannabis producers are now building living microbe and fungal communities in their soil to produce thriving and healthy cannabis plants with large yields that can protect themselves from pests. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with legendary living soil advocate and author Jeff Lowenfels about some of the ways to nurture your soil to maximize the terpene profile, yield and marketability.of your cannabis plants.
Jun 16, 2017
The New Wave of Cannabis Consumers with guest Jane West
Continuing normalization means a new wave of cannabis consumers are discovering the health and happiness benefits of the plant. These newcomers are getting turned on in such numbers that they are now influencing cannabis laws, product design and social mores. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with Jane West, founder of Jane West and Women Grow about the motivations and expectations of this new segment of consumers, how they will impact the market, and why savvy cannabis companies will consider their desires.
Jun 09, 2017
A Rather Interesting Chat About CO2 Extraction with guest AC Braddock
Using carbon dioxide to extract oils from the cannabis plant has become exceptionally popular around the entire world. The technology has come a long way in both its efficiencies and the quality of its output. During today's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los sits down with AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs, to discuss CO2 technology's place in the market, how it compares to other extraction options, defending engineering intellectual property and the importance of a well-trained lab extraction team. The episode finishes with a short discussion of the importance of the kindness culture historically present in the cannabis scene and why it is so relevant to cannabis business going forward.
May 26, 2017
Putting Terpenes to Work for You with guest Ben Cassiday
Terpenes are an essential part of the healing and playful aspects of cannabis. As normalization stretches across the country, more products are being developed and more consumers are experimenting with terpenes in an array of applications. On this week’s episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los chats with Ben Cassiday, co-founder of True Terpenes about the origins of terpenes used in cannabis products, their desirable traits and how to enjoy terpenes without cannabis at all.
May 16, 2017
Evaluating Cannabis Qualities with guest Max Montrose
Everybody knows cannabis they like when it is presented to them, but few have the experience to delineate in detail its many attributes. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Max Montrose, founder of The Trichome Institute about judging cannabis quality for oneself, for cannabis cup competitions and the sommelier-like Interpening certification for cannabis.
May 12, 2017
Topicals and the Birth of CHABA with guest Ah Warner
Until now, any health and beauty aid products that contained THC had to be regulated and sold in a medical or recreational cannabis store. With the passing of the first Cannabis Health And Beauty Aid (CHABA) law in the country, topical products containing THC can now be sold at any retail store in Washington State. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los chats with Ah Warner, founder of Cannabis Basics, about the state's new CHABA law, how it has been implemented since the legislation was passed, and how the model used in Washington should inspire other activists and health and beauty aid pioneers to lobby for similar laws in their own state.
Apr 19, 2017
Open Source Probiotic Cannabis with guest Alan Adkisson
Working in cooperation with nature's delicate systems instead of forcing her to do our bidding makes for thriving cannabis plants. Probiotic growing was muscled out of cannabis for awhile by prohibition, bottled nutrients and a misunderstanding of our relationship to biological systems. Now, living soils, wildcrafted nutrient teas and other probiotic growing techniques are making a huge comeback. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Alan Adkisson, co-founder of the Probiotic Farmers Alliance and founder of Gro-Kashi about the return of the probiotic craft, why it is winning cannabis cups and its healing roots in ancient Rome.
Apr 08, 2017
Synthetic Cannabinoids with guest Greg Gerdeman
Many have heard of the street drug sold at gas stations and party stores under many names like Spice and K2. It is often on local news. They usually call it "fake marijuana." It wasn't until one reporter referred to it as "synthetic cannabinoids" that it caught our attention. On this week's Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with cannabinoid researcher Greg Gerdeman PhD about what the hell synthetic cannabinoids even are and where they came from. Listen to this week's show for the engaging story of how synthetic cannabinoids escaped the laboratory to become popular with schlock journalists and misdirected thrill seekers who can't get their hands on authentic cannabis.
Mar 29, 2017
Maximizing Yield with Light Dep with guest Eric Brandstad
Light Deprivation can fool your cannabis plants into thinking that fall is coming and the time to flower is now. Using this approach can give your greenhouse several growing cycles per year instead of only one outdoor season. On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los talks with Eric Brandstad of Forever Flowering Greenhouses about the history of light dep, the strategy behind it and how modern light dep is taking over the commercial cannabis industry.
Mar 15, 2017
The Discovery of High CBD Strains with guest Kevin Jodrey
Cultivars of cannabis testing high in cannabidiol have awakened many people to the healing power of cannabis. These plants are exceptionally valuable and are still so rare that for some patients they are priceless. During today's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los chats with Kevin Jodrey, founder of Wonderland Nursery in Humboldt County, California, about the discovery of the very first high-CBD strains, where they came from and how they were bred and shared with medical cannabis growers across the country. This is an essential oral history of American cannabis.
Mar 03, 2017
Cannabinoids and Terpenoids in Detail with guest Dr. Ethan Russo
Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects is one of the most important research papers in cannabis medicine. For many, it was the first time they had read an explanation of the interaction between THC, CBD, terpenoids and minor cannabinoids explained in terms that a layperson could understand. On today's episode of Shaping Fire, Dr. Ethan Russo sits down with podcast host Shango Los to discuss the paper in detail and further explain and illustrate his research. This is a must-hear show for anyone serious about cannabis medicine. You can read the paper in full here:
Feb 17, 2017
Trimming for Fun and Profit with guest Kristen Baldwin

Trimming cannabis has been a popular way for cannabis enthusiasts to make some extra money for decades. With increasing normalization of cannabis at the state level, licensed producers and medical patients are looking for reliable and consistent solutions for processing their flowers.

On this week's Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Kristen Baldwin of Colorado's Green Mountain Harvest. They discuss the professional trimming business model, best practices for managing a trim shop and what brand of trimming shears they prefer.

Jan 31, 2017
Is Veganics a Thing? with guest Nebu

After coming across some exceptional veganically grown cannabis in Southern California, Shaping Fire podcast host Shango Los goes on a search to understand what veganics is and whether it is really preferable to grow cannabis with zero animal inputs. The special guest for this episode, Nebu, is a long time probiotic grower and writer for High Times magazine.

Jan 20, 2017
The Netflix of Cannabis with guest Max Simon

Finding quality information on cannabis is difficult. There is so much misinformation in print, online and from friends. Green Flower Media has launched a publishing platform that gives voice to the top cannabis experts in the world. For those interested in cannabis health, business or "how-to" instruction, Green Flower offers an all you can eat subscription model that makes makes these experts available anytime.

This week, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Max Simon, founder of Green Flower Media about his motivations, the Green Flower business model, raising capital for a cannabis business and why video is a great way to educate.

Dec 30, 2016
The Luxury of Leira Cannagars with guest Ariel Payopay

On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Ariel Payopay, founder of Leira cannagers. Leira's hand rolled cannagars are filled with probiotically grown cannabis flower and solventless rosin oil, some burning for as long as 6 hours. They discuss the luxury cannabis market, marketing to luxury buyers and Ariel tells the story of the $3,600 cannagar that recently sold at retailer Diego Pellicer in Seattle.

Dec 22, 2016
Saving Small Cannabis Farms in California with guest Hezekiah Allen

On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Hezekiah Allen, Executive Director of the California Growers Association, about the impact that the passing of Proposition 64 will have on small family cannabis farms throughout California. Hezekiah makes the case that consolidation of the cannabis industry into a large farm model is good for no one involved and the preservation of California cannabis community culture is worth saving. This is part two of two in our series on the impacts of Proposition 64.

Dec 14, 2016
California Cannabis Opportunities Now with guest Amanda Reiman
California Cannabis Opportunities Now with guest Amanda Reiman
Dec 07, 2016
Regulating the Regulators with guest John Novak

On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with John Novak, founder of about citizen oversight of cannabis regulators at the state level. With more and more states licensing cannabis, it is essential for citizens to monitor rule makers in their state to ensure they are not unfairly influenced by lobbyist groups seeking to implement their own agenda. In this interview, John Novak shares some of his experiences working on the front lines of cannabis policy and he makes suggestions for everyday tactics that can be used to obtain information on the inner workings of cannabis regulators.

Nov 15, 2016
The History of Humans and Cannabis with guest Dr. Sunil Aggarwal

On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Dr. Sunil Aggarwal about the historical relationship between the cannabis plant and humans. The story starts some 30,000 years ago with the development of cannabinoids in the plant and extends around the entire planet as humans propagate Cannabis everywhere they go. Dr Aggarwal's riveting account will give you a more solid understanding of the role Cannabis has played in our history and further insight into the absurdity of its prohibition.

Nov 08, 2016
Why Does Facebook Hassle Cannabis? with guest Lauren Gibbs

On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los chats with Lauren Gibbs of Rise Above Social Media about her #ENDTHECANNABAN campaign and discusses the possible motivations and solutions to Facebook and Instagram's lack of clarity about their cannabis content advertising guidelines.

Oct 29, 2016
Cannabis Policy Transfer with guest Dr. Dominic Corva

On this week's episode of Shaping Fire, podcast host Shango Los speaks with Dr Dominic Corva about the sharing of best practices between states legalizing cannabis.

Oct 27, 2016