The Art of Cannabonsai

in Culture

Growing up in Hawaiʻi, Davin Carvalho was always drawn to the outdoors. He and his friends would skateboard, surf, and explore Oʻahu’s west side, enjoying the warm sun, breezy tradewinds, and cool waters around Mākaha Beach. As he grew older, he sought new hobbies that would keep him outside, and eventually discovered gardening. Today, Carvalho is known for his cannabonsai trees, which possess a Zen-like aesthetic and offer an enlightened high through the flower that they provide.

Carvalho’s journey as a gardener started early, when he began growing kalo as a kid. Kalo, or taro in Hawaiian, is a root vegetable that is inextricably linked to Hawaiian culture. According to mythology, the kalo plant represents the original ancestor and elder brother of all Hawaiians. For Carvalho, who is indigenous, growing kalo bound him to his familial roots. With around 100 plants in his garden, he could happily spend over an hour watering, fertilizing, and pruning on a daily basis.

For reasons unknown, in late 2020 Carvalho began to experience debilitating panic attacks. After two months of agony and countless emergency room visits, he discovered that gardening was a tool he could use to manage his anxiety. A friend sent him some traditional bonsai videos, which were relaxing and educational at the same time. Before long, Carvalho bought a couple ficus and juniper trees and began to seriously study Chinese and Japanese bonsai as a form of therapy.

During that same period, Carvalho decided to apply for official documentation with Hawaiʻi’s Medical Cannabis Registry, allowing him to grow marijuana for personal use. After realizing that traditional bonsai requires decades of devotion, he decided to adapt bonsai techniques to pakalolo which allowed him to grow beautiful, medicinal plants in a shorter period of time.

Through research on …

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Author: Elliott Wright / High Times

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