Ever since mankind was first able to lift its eyes upwards, space has captured our attention. It is natural that we wish to explore it and find out what is going on there. When you add cannabis to this fascination, there are a lot of interesting questions that arise. Let’s explore space, cannabis, and space cannabis together!
Talks of launching cannabis into space began in 2017 when Herban Planet reported their major achievement of successfully launching cannabis 35 kilometers above the Earth. This was a joint effort with Sent Into Space.
Why would they want to do this? The answer lies in the name of their subsidiary company, Space Weed Bro. They offer their «space cannabis» exclusively at one dispensary in the state of Arizona, USA. On their website, Space Weed Bro talks about how they have sent a unique product on a journey into space to get high quality cannabis that has reached the stars.
Does this mean that the «ultra-premium» character of the budgies is due to the fact that they have been to space with weightlessness? Presumably, as with human astronauts, the best cannabis specimens will be selected.
But would cannabis change if it was in space? Are 35 kilometers even considered «in space»? What is «weightless space»? What else has Sent Into Space sent into space? And did this space weed boldly go where no buds have gone before, or any other cannabis has also been to space? The mission to find the answers to these questions has begun!
How high has cannabis risen in the space?
According to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the boundary of space begins at a distance of 100 kilometers from Earth. The FAI was established in 1905 to oversee the development of flying sports, but over time its functions have expanded to managing records of all sky-related activities, including spaceflight.
Currently, the altitude record for an uncrewed balloon is held by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at 53 kilometers. However, this result is only halfway to the Karman Line, which is 100 kilometers high.
According to FAI standards, the International Space Station (ISS) at an altitude of 322 kilometers is definitely in space. If the famous photo of Commander Chris Hadfield carrying a large bag of «space weed» were real, it would be the farthest cannabis flight into space. However, this photograph is a falsification.
An astronaut holding a bag of Easter eggs aboard the space station brings joy to his colleagues. If there was a hemp crop on the ISS, not many people know about it, since no one in space will hear you coughing.
However, the range 35 km above the earth’s surface, known as «near space» (as opposed to «outer space»), is important. This range is at the top of the stratosphere and is impressive. Especially considering that the balloon used by Jaxa was 60 meters in diameter, while the Space Weed Bro/Sent Into Space balloon was about 10 meters at the time of the explosion.
This explosion causes the payload, in this case our favorite cannabis, to return to the ground. The reason is that the air at the top of the stratosphere is about 1,000 times thinner than at sea level. As a result, the gas inside the balloon expands rapidly and the balloon cannot resist this pressure. Thus, the cannabis begins to free fall.
Free-falling space cannabis has no weight
Attention, potential astronaut distributors! In free fall, cannabis, like other objects, is weightless. When the balloon bursts, the only force acting on its weight becomes gravity. This phenomenon is called free fall.
Free fall produces the effect of weightlessness on the International Space Station (ISS); on a roller coaster; and even – although only for a short time – if you jump off a table. Thus, you can experience it right here on Earth. Curiously, there is no such thing as «weightless space»; as you move away from Earth, gravity continues to drop, but never reaches zero.
That’s actually good news for our space cannabis, buddy. If it were truly in «weightless space», it would just float around after the balloon bursts without returning to Earth. In addition, the gravitational attraction of other objects would have kicked in.
The Moon’s gravitational pull is strong enough to cause tides on Earth, so obviously it can affect objects closer to it. By the time our space cannabis escapes the significant influence of Earth’s gravity, it will be affected by the gravitational pull of other celestial bodies.
What happens to cannabis in space?
In addition to Space Weed Bro, the Sent Into Space team sent a joint into space for Viceland TV to celebrate «Weed Week» in April 2017. It reached 32.4 kilometers! Sent Into Space really know what they’re doing; this interview with co-founder Dr. Chris Rose, Ph.D. makes that very clear. Their area of expertise is space, not cannabis, but Dr. Rose’s excitement at finding out what happens to cannabis that has been to near space is palpable.
What was the first cannabis in space?
Although Space Weed Bro is considered one of the most professional cannabis launches into space, the emergence of this project was not the first of its kind. Previous achievements belong to people seemingly affiliated with a directory of seed companies in the United States, SeedHub.
The link provided in the YouTube description doesn’t work and leads to a blank page. However, we can be sure that the project not only sent a joint of cannabis into space, but also seeds and even live plants.
According to the video, the launch took place on June 1, 2013 and reached an altitude of almost 29 km before the balloon exploded. If we take 32 km as the limit of space, 29 km is still an impressive achievement. This launch was an amateur style launch, but is of particular interest in the cannabis industry.
Four years later, the Herban Planet mission was launched, but the cannabis race in space is not over yet. In 2019, Space Tango sent cannabis seeds to the International Space Station (ISS) to study their behavior in microgravity. This exciting project is the result of a partnership between CBD producer, cannabis grower, lifestyle and microgravity experts from Space Tango. The results of this study have not yet been published, but are of great interest.
Coffee and cannabis were on the international space station
Front Range Biosciences has done another interesting experiment: in 2019, they sent samples of cannabis and coffee plant cultures to the ISS to investigate possible mutations. This is a true «space herb» study! We don’t know if Commander Hadfield hid these samples as his Easter eggs.
The main goal of this experiment is to help develop crops that are more resistant to climate change or to unlock the potential of the cannabinoids in the plant. Front Range Biosciences has already collaborated to develop a coffee variety that can be grown in California, which has a different climate than the equatorial regions where coffee originally originates.
What do you think about the idea of sending hemp into space to study its mutations? Is this a progressive step for humanity or is it better left in the ground? Share your opinion in the comments below!