I need some advice from the experts here pls. I just saw this warning on the Nimbin Hemp Embassy website. Has anyone else here got opinions on this. It makes a lot of sense to me.
There is a product called "Brix Plus" sold in hydro shops that is produced by "Guerilla Gardener" and claims to be 100% organic, Its purpose is to "Add weight to your buds, enhance yield, taste and colour" On the back the directions are to "apply directly from bottle, spray onto plant 10 days before harvest, re-apply 5 days before havest and spray with water 1 day before harvest.
Then it says to soak and agitate dry buds in the formula for 10 mins and then allow to air dry.
There is another brand called "Green Planet Hydroponics brix+"
Brix – A unit of measure used in the refractometer. When the Brix reading is divided by 2 it will be equal to the percent of crude sucrose in the plant tissue.
Refractometer – A device used to measure the refractive index of plant juices in order to determine the mineral/sugar ratio of the plant cell protoplasm.
Refractive Index of Crop juices are calibrated in percent sucrose or degree Brix.
During the growing season it is possible to check a plant for percent sucrose. A refractometer is easy to use. You will need something like a garlic squeezer for juicing the plant sample. To make a reading, place 2 to 3 drops of the liquid sample on the prism surface, close the cover and point toward any light source. Focus the eyepiece by turning the ring to the right or left. Locate the point on the graduated scale where the light and dark field meet. Read the percent sucrose (solid content on the scale).
The refractometer measures in units called Brix. The Brix equals to percent crude carbohydrate per 100 pounds of juice. The higher the carbohydrate in the plant juice the higher the mineral content of the plant, the oil content of the plant, and the protein quality of the plant.
For example, if you were to have 100 pounds of alfalfa that has a Brix reading of 15 it would mean that there would be 15 pounds of crude carbohydrates if the alfalfa was juiced and dried to 0 percent moisture. By dividing 15 by 2 it tells us that the actual amount of simple sugar would be equal to 7.5 pounds.
Crops with higher refractive index will have a higher sugar content, higher protein content, higher mineral content and a greater specific gravity or density. This adds up to a sweeter tasting, more mineral nutritious feed with lower nitrates and water content and better storage attributes.
Crops with higher Brix will produce more alcohol from fermented sugars and be more resistant to insects, thus resulting in decreased insecticide usage. For insect resistance, maintain a Brix of 12 or higher in the juice of the leaves of most plants. Crops with a higher solids content will have a lower freezing point and therefore be less prone to frost damage.
Brix readings can also indicate soil fertility needs. If soil nutrients are in the best balance and are made available (by microbes) upon demand by plants, readings will be higher.
You will find that when the phosphate levels in the soil are not up to what they should be, the sugar in the plants will vary from the bottom of the plant to the top. In other words, the Brix reading at the bottom of the plant will be higher than the top of the plant. The better the phosphate levels in ratio to potassium the more even the Brix reading will be all over the plant. Also the better the phosphate levels in ratio to potassium the less fluctuation there will be in the brix reading in any given 24 hour period.
You will also note that when you are looking into a refractometer you will sometimes be able to see a very sharp line which is very easy to read, while at other times it may be a very hazy line and not well demarcated and so difficult to read. The very sharp and dark and easy to read line means the crop is lower in calcium and higher in acid. A very diffuse and hard to read line tells one that the calcium is higher and the acid is lower in the plant. This is why a lower Brix reading on a plant will actually taste sweeter when there is high calcium than one that may have a little higher Brix reading and a low calcium. The available soluble sugar is what gives taste and sweetness to food. The more calcium in the crop along with the sugar, the sweeter the taste even though the Brix reading will be the same on two samples.
According to one source,"brix plus is not a contaminant mate. its a foliar feed or soak that boosts brix levels when harvesting by helping break down the chlorophl into sugars, it has nothing to do with adding thc like substances to your weed it acts internally and enhances the plant sugar levels. it has nothing at all to do with contaminated weed"
The listed ingredients do not present much of a hazard. The recommended application, foliar spray in late bloom and soaking after harvest, does increase the risk of mould, which can be very harmful. Assuming the worst, that it has sugar to the saturation point, one litre of solution will have roughly 200 grams of sugar. The recommended post-harvest application is 1 litre per 500g of harvested material. Assuming all of that sugar ends up stuck to the surface of the buds, that will increase weight pretty significantly, at the cost of reducing the THC concentration. With that much sugar, the buds will look like powdered donuts and smoking them will taste strongly of burnt sugar. Of course, since you are already doing a wet cure, you could just rinse the treated buds off to remove any excess sugar before drying.
Many feel it is a dodgy way of adding weight to plants. On the face of it, it is a similar practice to cutting powdered drugs with inert substances.
Europe is reported to have many cases of people putting sand, talcum, sugar or gravel into deals to inflate the weight. One dealer put lead sulfide into his deals presumably not realising he was about to cause an outbreak of lead poisoning, considering that smoking lead sulfide is a most effective way to absorb lead. He permanently affected the lives of about 500 people living in and around Liepzig.
We would hope practices like this do not become commonplace here, but urge buyers to always exercise caution, examine product carefully, and not buy if obviously adulterated.