1. The person who is currently taking the concepts of Thai sticks and revolutionizing them into Cannabis cigars by wrapping them in cured leaves and adhering them together using cannabis oils.
2. An Angelino native. Born and raised by the sunny skies of Los Angeles.
Afgoo is an indica-dominant hybrid cross between an Afghan mother and a Maui Haze male parent.
Ex: Afghan happens to be Afgoo_head’s favorite strain.
The upper part of the human body.
Ex: When once termed a “pothead” by a police official, Afgoo_head replied with, “no, Goohead,” and the rest was history.
There were hawks soaring above, yes—in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, traffic was barely rubbing away last night’s dream, and I had the energy of a double shot espresso running throughout my system in anticipation of entering the mind of a mad genius.
At a distance Afgoo_head appeared-his ice-breaker? A smile and a hand-shake with a little surprise. As soon as I looked down at what he subtly handed over to me—his trademark lay in my hand like a baton and I wasn’t sure if I had enough time to sprint the 400 yards to my car and make a get away with his Thai stick.
Instead I tightly gripped it, for fear of dropping the gem that up until this point had been an idolized diamond I could only fantasize over. I remember scrolling through his Instagram feed trying to imagine what it smelled like, what it smoked like, what it tasted like!
Shall we grab some coffee then?
A gibraltar and 2 lattes later I found myself sitting before Afgoo_head with only my audio recorder and a Thai stick between us. I promise it was completely unplanned but we kept handing over the baton, the Thai stick, to one another whenever we spoke, as if it was the judge determining whose turn it was to speak next.
What was your first ever interaction with marijuana?
He began to describe that “first-time” of which we’ve all found ourselves going back to and reminiscing on, most often as a reminder of our adolescence.
“My first ever interaction with marijuana was not really a positive one. In the sense that it kind of gave me the wrong idea of what marijuana is, or can be for me.”
I time-traveled back with him, to high school, and soon found myself standing alongside a 16 year old Afgoo_head, “with friends of course,” because like most first timers, my own experience included—curiosity was yet another friend in the circle sharing that joint.
“I kind of smoked it for the fun part of it, but more than anything because of the curiosity aspect. I didn’t smoke it because I was trying to get high because I didn’t know what getting high was. I was just curious.”
Describing his first puffs, “I remember going off on a really bad coughing fit. Not that that was what killed it for me, but it was the hazy affect afterwards… it was more like a cloudy headed high and it actually bothered me. Not because I tried to function thereafter, but because it just clouded my head.”
Was it a heavy hitter?
“No, not even that. I didn’t know what I was looking for nor was I watching what was being rolled in it. I couldn’t tell the difference between what was great or what wasn’t. So when I first tried it I just figured it wasn’t for me.
First impressions bury themselves deep within us, carving and shaping future experiences, and Afgoo_head’s adolescent experience made him approach marijuana the second time more skeptically.
“The second time trying it I did it for more medicinal purposes. I did it for my preliminary symptoms of carpel tunnel.”
So you found yourself turning to marijuana because you were in pain?
His definitive response of “yes,” left no wonder that this avid user of computers once had to desperately seek out a solution to help assuage the ailing cries screeching from restless wrists. “The pain kept me up at night, I couldn’t go to sleep. And when I finally could my wrists would wake me up again.”
Where did you turn to? Where did you go to look for your medicine?
We owe it to one of his closest friends from college for turning Afgoo_head on to the idea of cannabis as medicine and ultimately to medical marijuana itself for helping Afgoo_head to reach that great moment when he knew “I didn’t have to turn to pills anymore…and pills screw you up. Eventually I would need pills to repair what the other pills have been doing. I 100% wanted to avoid pills”
Agreed. Need I bring up the topic of liver disease? Of addiction? I thought we could spare time on this and continue on with the interview.
So what about medical marijuana turned you on to the idea of cultivating it?
“I think that to me growing was convenient… there’s a great benefit to being able to access your meds, to access marijuana, to be able to go out and pick out something for yourself. If you grow your own meds at home you’re not relying on someone else to come up with it every other week.”
Not to mention that not every strain fits all patients alike, and sometimes it’s hard to come across the appropriate medication that best fits you. Thus it makes sense to want to grow your own medicine, to seek out and grow that specific strain that helps you.
“A lot more benefits come from it. For instance, my anxiety level has gone down a lot. I’m actually able to sleep at night because I don’t have that much stress in my life, [or that much pain] ever since I started growing. I found… my Zen.”
You find Zen in cultivating?
“Yes, it is very Zen-ful. For lack of a better term it is Zen as fuck.”
We both broke out into a chuckle, the best form of agreement that the previous statement couldn’t be any truer.
What about it do you find Zen-ful? Is it the constant humming of the fans? The girls dancing in unison to the fans’ never-ending beat?
“To me personally there are a lot of aspects that growing covers. Not only is it educational, not only is it fascinating that you get to see something as awesome as marijuana growing right before your eyes… It’s therapeutic for me. I don’t care if I’m in a room or not, I might as well be out in the field [because]as long as I’m within range of these plants I feel like I’m a little kid again. It’s not necessarily a means for me to hang on to my childhood but, just the whole idea of growing… I’m at home again.”
The only words that escaped me in response were, ‘that’s beautiful’; his beautiful response painted a picture for me of a young Afgoo_head running around in a field with a smile that could be seen from miles away. He brought with him to the cannabis community a fully buttressed horticulture background, established during his youth while helping family with vegetable crops back at home.
Okay, well moving on. What medium do you use to raise your girls?
“Well I’ve tried different grow medias.”
What is the one that ultimately has worked best for you and why do you think that is?
“It kind of depends on what your goal is really. Whether this is a closet grow or a commercial grow…if you are going to be growing for yourself I 100% recommend growing in soil. Why? Because that way your plants are going to be able to…”
He looks around hunting for the perfect words… “Let’s just say it’s more natural. The plants are able to give off more of their natural flavors and aromas and become ripe at their own time.”
With respect to hydro, “Not that this is happening, but I kind of feel like [while you are] giving the plant needs, you’re forcing it upon them.”
Almost in sync we stole each other’s thought, “whereas in soil you make the food available to them.”
Do you currently grow in soil?
“You know what? Right now I don’t, only because of the lack of space. But I have in the past. For all the reasons I have told you. If I ever grow in soil it would be for me personally.”
So then, you’re girls are currently in hydro?
“Yeah, hydro. Pretty much running hydro on all of them.”
Is it easier to screw up your plants running hydro? Personally, I just feel that soil is far more forgiving.
“Yes, yes it’s true. With hydro you have to be … more of a babysitter. You have to physically be in there more. I have a friend who offered to design an app where on my iPad I could control all the CO2 levels, all the levels in the water, when to turn the lights on, when to cut them off, I could control all this from my iPad…”
“I thought it was cool for a brief second too, but I thought…that’s just a way of locking myself out of my own grow room. You have to be in there and be able to read the plants and see what’s going on.”
He went on to describe in detail the act of stabilizing a strain through culling by playing on Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest and just how important it was to have a constant set of eyes in the garden in order to successfully execute such a time-intensive project. That’s hardcore.
I see growing as a never-ending learning process; do you consider yourself a master? Or do you continue to learn cool new tricks?
His humble smile answered my question before the words seeped from between his lips, “I never even considered myself a master, or anywhere near it. One of the reasons why I actually started my Instagram and started sharing my pictures and actually using hashtags was so I could learn from other feeds.
Much to his surprise he was soon disappointed by the realization that, “a lot of people were posting pictures but they weren’t being too descriptive of what was going on. Not that they were being too tight with their information or withholding [it] but… no one is teaching anything.”
So he decided to document his own process and try to “make it interesting, even for myself you know? I want to go back and see what was going on [at the time], what I was thinking at that moment, even if I was just writing it to myself, which even to this moment I still kind of am. I write my captions to serve as my own mentors. At this point I’ve basically shared, not completely everything that I know, but a good portion of what I know grow wise. And based on the comments, based on the feedback I began to realize where I was knowledge wise. I never started on my page ‘hey come learn from me,’ that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t start trying any harder, I just continued with my own flow.”
Wait, maybe I should have asked this sooner, how long have you been growing for?
As he momentarily drifted away from me, from the table, from his Thai stick into what I would imagine to be his first crop and his first ladies he snapped back to the present time with an “uh, that’s a good question… probably about 8 years. Not too long?”
Can you share one of your garden secrets with us?
Any follower of Afgoo_head’s IG feed can agree that, “all the little secrets, I feel that I’ve already shared them. I haven’t intentionally withheld anything, anything major at least.”
Would you consider yourself an organic grower or are you all for commercial fertilizers?
“Well here’s the thing, I use both.”
While he’s able to appreciate the organic benefits of brewing his own teas, his understanding of what the girls need requires flexibility in feeding regimens so he also incorporates the use of commercial fertilizers in his grows.
Do you have any words of wisdom, tips, and pointers for your audience or any beginner out there seeking success in the garden?
“If it’s going to be your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grow and you’re doing it for money, you’re either in the wrong business or you’re doing this for all the wrong reasons. Your first couple of grows should happen because you’re doing this out of passion or because you’re trying to grow your own medicine.
He couldn’t stress enough that you should expect your first couple of grows to go awry. In fact they should systematically serve as lessons.
“You have to learn from the bad, otherwise it happens in vain…it’s something you have to deal with, suck it up, learn from it, move on and hopefully your next grow is successful. If your first grow wasn’t as successful and most of the pain that you’re feeling is because of the money that you lost, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons…you have to have a little bit of love for the flower. Otherwise, you’re just a business person and you’re in the wrong place.”
As he shrugged he added, “other than that, patience. It’s fruit growing on trees, it’s medicine growing on trees, it could potentially be money growing on trees… but yeah, you have to be patient.”
You can’t rush nature huh?
Now, I first came across you via your Instagram feed, more specifically your Thai sticks/cannabis cigars…Let’s talk about your creations! I’ve referred to you when speaking to others as a trailblazer in your particular line of work: I know Thai sticks have long existed but you put your own twist on it, how exactly did you revolutionize Thai sticks?
Want to know the answer from Afgoo_head himself? Check back with us during Part II as we continue our journey with this genius and further discuss his incredible creations of Thai sticks/ cannabis cigars.
While you’re waiting, you can check out Afgoo_head here: