Some thoughts on rotation.
I’ve spoke towards a good deal of methods to combat tolerance issues, such as hirsuta, javanica, other botanicals, or interactions with supplements. However, I’m seeing more and more interesting things that I’m getting questions about and want to help folks a bit concerning leaf rotation.
This is important, as I get a lot of "This leaf just isn't working, how can I reduce doses?" Or "Vendor XXX stuff is sooo good, but doesn't hit anymore." After some context, most of the time it is folks just not being diligent in rotating. If one only gets leaf from Borneo, they'll have more tolerance towards leaf with similar profiles.
A recent question I’ve received is “Do you carry bones so I can add to my rotation?” On the surface it’s a simple question; but a bit harder to answer. Bones in Malaysian is the literal translation to the stems of the leaf. In traditional preparation, “bones” are just leaves that have not had the stem and vein removed. So what’s the difference in stem and vein and “bones”? In my experience, speaking, to at least thirty Indo vendors on the preparation of “bones” strains, there’s no difference. What one traditionally thinks of as stem and vein is just been renamed to “bones” in most cases. Perhaps it’s easier for the Indonesians to describe this way, or just an English-speaking vendor that didn’t interpret it well.
Most string dried methods use the stems to tie upward, and most Indonesian suppliers I’ve spoke to consider these “bones” as they weren’t stripped like most their rack dried batches. Obviously, some suppliers string dry using a line through the leaf, these may not be “bones” to many.
I think less important is the “bones” question, more important is where does your “bones” come from so it’s alkaloid profile is different from other offerings you have? Hold this thought, I'll discuss why in a moment.
What about “milk” strains of light/dark, why don't you have those? From my discussions with Indonesians that prepare it, these are typically their regular strains, just more exposed/less exposed to light. Better question would be how do the soil/environmental conditions promote a differing alkaloid profile than your other offerings?
I find this question and the above to be a huge issue for consumers. Instead of just receiving a traditional Hulu, consumers may be receiving a stem and vein "bones" Hulu, a Hulu that’s been in the sun more "milk/light green", another regular Hulu labeled "plantation", a Hulu thats very green labeled "hulk," and a Hulu dried inside more "dark green." Oh, I forgot to mention the large Hulu leaves "elephant" and the super pointy ones "horned/dragon". If one thinks they’re getting a bunch of strains from a vendor to be able to rotate, in most cases unfortunately, yes it's different, but not so dissimilar profiles. Quite the opposite I’d argue. I feel like Morpheus saying this... What if I told you some vendors have 5 out of 12 greens that are close to exactly the same...?
One might ask, if a vendor’s Maeng Da, Borneo, and Elephant all come from the same harvest and the same farm, are the alkaloid profiles much different? Now that’s an extremely difficult question to answer, as I doubt anyone has tested a full alkaloid profile to prove/disprove this; it’s cost prohibitive in most cases. However, what I would say is that the probability of the alkaloid profile to be different from a Red Sumatra, actually from Sumatra, and a Red Hulu, actually from Hulu would be much more different than the same farm/same harvest Red Sumatra and Hulu or Milk Hulu and Elephant Hulu from one farm/one harvest. This could be easily proven with mitra/7ohm levels. If you’re actually building a rotation, probability is it would be a better option to have leaf from different farms in different areas.
Another excellent thing to consider is rainy/dry season leaf. I often hear, “I only buy dry season leaf!” I know Gumbyke, wrote some about this, but folks still seem to believe that rainy season leaf is inferior for some reason. Certainly some Indonesian suppliers struggle to properly dry during rainy season, but most of the good suppliers have overcome this. For example, I’ve had leaves from the same trees from a rainy harvest and from a dry. And while yes, their mitra/7ohm profiles were slightly different, both were fire leaf and excellent. I’m certain other alkaloids affect this and impact the one with lower mitra for us to perceive it's just as good as the one with higher. Perhaps the differing alkaloid profile assists in keeping tolerance low, as I've had low mitra ones slam in ways higher mitra ones can’t. I cannot prove the composite alkaloid profiles do this, as again, it would be cost prohibitive, but probability is that rainy/dry season has different alkaloid profiles that would in all likelihood assist better for rotating rather one farm/one harvest. I would say rainy seasons leaf is perhaps just as important in a rotation as dry season leaf, as long as it works well for you.
This is why small craft leaf suppliers are important. The mass produced farm stuff can wreck tolerance and rotations, even when one thinks they're rotating.