Interview with Sensi Seeds
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Sensi Seeds is a famous company when it comes to cannabis seeds. Ben Dronkers started working with cannabis genetics more then 30 years ago and with his company Sensi Seeds he is helping some of the finest plants to be grown. Skunk #1 is one of the famous strains that were brought to the market by Sensi Seeds long time ago, but nowadays they are still playing a big role. Sensi Seeds is also behind the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam and in Barcelona. Ben Dronkers’ son Ravi is playing an important role at Sensi Seeds nowadays and we met up with him to ask him to tell us a little bit about their history, current affairs, and some tips on growing marijuana with Sensi Seeds.
Renzo: Hello everybody and hello Ravi, thanks for having us here at your crazy-nice looking stand at Spannabis 2017. How are you doing?
Ravi: I am doing great! It’s a great show and it’s good to see you guys again of course. There are lots of enthusiastic people here and we are doing very well as well.
Renzo: We have known you guys for a long long time of course. Sensi Seeds is one of the older companies one might say. Your father did, and now also you are doing a lot of the groundwork for other people in the industry. But maybe a lot our viewers here at Cannabis.info don’t know that personal from up and close and you can give us a small introduction on Sensi Seeds? Where are you based and when did it all start and what’s up?
Ravi: Sensi Seeds was founded in the early 80’s. It came from the Sensi Seedbank, which is a large collection of European and American genetics. We took over in the beginning of the 80’s and since then grown and produced a lot of seeds. Like you said, there are a lot of seed companies these days, but we are still one of the biggest. We are coming out with some new varieties also this year. 14 in total. Feminised automatics varieties, but it will be the original Sensi varieties such as Hindu Kush, Afghan, Mexican sativa, Early Girl.
Renzo: Also you also investing in CBD and medicinal marijuana strains at the moment?
Ravi: All the strains have medicinal value of course, but yes we are working on varieties with higher CBD values. We have Black Domina with 11% CBD for instance. Which is quite high. But at the same time people should smoke and find out for themselves. I wouldn’t recommend a higher CBD variety over a Northern Lights #5 Haze for instance. I think you should just try your medication, if you can call it like that, and test it yourself.
We do have CBD oil at Sensi Seeds, which is doing very well. We are currently selling it all over Europe and if you look at te comments on our website, it’s amazing, it really works.
Renzo: You are a medicinal smoker yourself as well right?
Ravi: Yes, I am. I smoke Bedrocan from the Dutch pharmacy. Which is being made with our genetics. It’s 7th generation Jack Herer and it’s nice.
Renzo: If you would have to make a choice between indica and sativa, which would you recommend?
Ravi: I am a sativa guy. I like the Northern Lights #5 Haze. It’s one of my favorites. I smoke the Jack Herer because it comes form the pharmacy in The Netherlands, but I would go for sativas. It keeps you awake and you can still do stuff you know.
Renzo: If you would have to give a tip to the beginning grower who chooses to grow some Sensi Seeds strains, what would you recommend?
Ravi: Don’t straight away buy the most difficult and most expensive strain. Start with a Sensi Skunk or another Skunk variety and learn to grow. It takes some time. You can of course just water the plants, but it takes some time to learn how to grow these varieties.
Renzo: Autoflowering or a feminised?
Ravi: Regular if you ask me.
Renzo: But this might be a bit too complicated for the starting grower right?
Ravi: Yeah, but the problem with these autoflowerings is that you get these small plants. Luckily there are also other seedbanks that are now developing plants that grow a little taller of course but then also about feminised, in my heart it is against nature you know? You cannot play with nature like that. So if you want a proper variety so to speak, I would go for regular seeds, make a selection and keep the cuttings for yourself.
Renzo: It’s also one of the reasons you guys have chosen to keep regular seeds in your catalogue right?
Renzo: And you are one of the few in the end.
Ravi: Yes, but you see that now in the United States for instance there is a big demand for regular varieties, because we are all playing with the same genetics.
Renzo: Do you think it will also motivate growers to start messing around with genetics more?
Ravi: Yes, if you go to California, you will find some wonderful smokes. There are some really nice flavors and some really new stuff.
Renzo: Besides the new strains that you will release on your website, do you also have some other future plans?
Ravi: We would like to go to the United States as it is a large market there, but now with president Trump, it doesn’t look like it will be completely legalized. So we will have to see what the political situation will do. Also in The Netherlands and in Europe you see some changes. Israel legalised marijuana recently as well so the future looks bright, but the war is not over yet.
Renzo: You guys also started the Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum and even have it in 2 different locations at the moment right? It became a big tourist attraction in both Amsterdam and Barcelona and it’s really great! How is that going?
Ravi: In Amsterdam we opened it in 1985 if I remember correctly and there it goes very well. 5 years ago we opened another one here in Barcelona, and besides the collection, the building here in Barcelona is really amazing as well. So even the building is worth a visit if you are into these things and you are in Barcelona.
Renzo: But of course if you are visiting Amsterdam it’s also a great place to put on your map. OK, before I will tell the people to check you guys on the website, maybe you have a message for the people at Cannabis.info?
Ravi: Share the info! This is what we should do. Together we can make this movement bigger and together is the only way we can make it legalised.
Renzo: Thank you for your time Ravi! Keep on growing!