462 grams of grass – Marty’s grow report, chapter 10
Incredulous, I fill glass after glass. Wow, so much weed.
Ten days have passed since I put the harvested hemp buds to dry in the dark. They’ve all totally shrivelled up since then. Already on day three of drying, the original amount seemed to have shrunk to half its size. From an estimated 1,500 grams of freshly harvested cannabis, 462 grams remain today. What I consider to be super yield grown on an indoor surface of just 90 by 90 centimetres.
The only problem that arose during the drying process was the lack of humidity in the dark tent. To avoid ending up with crumbly grass, I started to place damp kitchen towels on the free tray from day three onwards. And today, everything is finally ready. My weed smells fantastic and has lost that hint of chlorophyll it had right after the harvest.
For all of you out there who want to know what the exact yield per plant was:
(The one with the largest buds.)
(The largest one with the mini buds.)
(The one that was at the front right of the tent.)
(The one that died young.)
(The one that was poorly towards the end.)
Time to take stock
My hemp farming experiment lasted 113 days. I did not include the many hours of sweat and labour that went into the process when taking stock but focussed on the hard cash for electricity, water, seeds, soil and the grow setup. And I’m OK with that, as I loved putting the work in and get lots of joy out of my hobby.
The buds are worth...
My Mota CBD Rich Auto weed has a CBD content of about 15 per cent. Its THC content accounts for less than 0.6 per cent. Comparing these values to varieties available from our shop, I found the following five buds that also have a 15 per cent CBD content:
Some of the varieties are also available in smaller bags. However, this increases the price per gram. If I take the average daily price of these products, today’s worth is 6.3 Swiss francs per gram. Even though my Zurich hemp most definitely contains more love and a sweeter scent than, let’s say, Berna Shop weed, I use the following numbers to calculate the worth of my weed: 6.3 × 462 = 2919.60 francs.
Whoa! I just grew ganja worth almost three thousand francs!
My growing expenses
My initial cannabis grow setup described in the first chapter of my grow report set me back 803 francs. And then there was 31.8 francs for 60 litres of citrus soil and 25 francs for the seeds. As described in chapter 9, I also invested in a second diagonal fan for 45 francs and a second activated charcoal filter for 32 francs during the drying process. That’s a total of 936,8 francs excluding water and electricity.
Before I go on calculating, I'm going to light up my first hand-cultivated pure CBD joint. My marijuana tastes sweet and fruity – it's mild and doesn’t feel rough in my throat.
I only cough once.
And then turn to the calculation provided by a user called Anonymous. I like anonymous givers of tips:
Thanks to the low THC content of the joint I’m smoking, I’m conscious of the fact that my electricity price per kilowatt hour is more than three centimes. To be precise, my energy tariff comes at a monthly base price of 8.62 francs. Plus 18.98 centimes per kilowatt hour during high rate periods and 13.48 centimes during low rate periods. My sodium lamp eats up 400 watts and runs for 126 hours per 7 days. The total includes 71 hours of high-rate electricity. Let me break that down: 55 × 0.4 × 0.1348 + 71 × 0.4 × 0.1898 = 2.9656 + 5.3903 = 8.35 francs per week.
In other words, my grow experiment lamp costs an average of 1.19 francs per day. Times 103 days makes 122.57 francs. Plus four times the monthly base price adds up to a total of 157.05 francs.
The diagonal fan uses 23 watts. Running it 24 hours a day means 97 hours per week are charged at the low rate and 71 hours at the high rate: 97 × 0.023 × 0.1348 + 71 × 0.023 × 0.1898 = 0.3007 + 0.3099 = 0.61 francs per week.
One of the fans was running in the tent for 103 days straight. Plus twelve hours during the drying process. The second was permanently active in the room outside the tent for the final ten days. Therefore, I’m counting 114 days times 0.0871 francs. That’s a total of 9.93 francs.
Did I forget anything? The electricity for the USB fresh air fans in the tent during the budding phase plus the water. I decide not to include those, which leaves me with a grand total of 1103.78 francs. Give or take. As mentioned earlier, I consider growing a hobby, so haven’t included the «work hours» I put in.
The conclusion: just one grow has covered all my expenses. What’s more, the great harvest would earn me 1815.82 francs if I were to convert it into cash. But that’s out of the question. So strictly speaking, I didn’t make money but saved money.
And now what? Inhale it all in one go?
I have a few ideas about how to put my harvest to use. In any case, my vapouriser is looking forward to the weed. Maybe I'll bake a ton of spacecookies for the staff at Digitec Galaxus and hand them out at the next company party. Or I’ll have a weekly fondue throughout spring, summer and autumn and use it as a condiment. It’s also great for making good liquor even tastier. Simply add some buds to the liquor, place it in the dark and let time take its course until the cannabinoids have been extracted by the alcohol.
I wonder how good my ideas are. What would you do with it?
Like fine wine: fermenting cannabis
Before I do anything stupid with all that green, I turn to fermenting. It’s a process which involves an enzymatic conversion of organic substances. Fermentation also happens when you make salami, yogurt or alcoholic beverages (fermentation).
When it comes to hemp, one of the purposes of fermentation is to break down even more green substances and intensify the flavours. It also makes the buds more compact. Generally speaking, cannabis, like good wine, gets better over the years. In other words, maturity increases quality. Refining the grass aims to create a mild and intense experience that is rich in taste. So if I get the process and storage right, my buds will become an investment that yields interest.
In any case, it’s paramount to keep the cannabis buds in the dark. If not, there’s a risk of the cannabinoids transforming or degrading. Therefore, the same rule applies to fermenting as it does to drying: keep the buds in a dark place in a room that isn’t too warm. The easiest way to do this is with the help of jam jars. To keep the enzymatic conversion going, you need microorganisms, the right environment and regular air exchange.
The microorganisms are already present in hemp if it has been dried correctly. In the coming weeks, months and years, my job will be to keep humidity in check and open and close the lids of the jars. I’ll be able to tweak the humidity as required by leaving the jars open for longer or using cotton pads and drops of water to add more moisture.
To be on the safe side, I’ll also be on the lookout for mould when exchanging air and stick to the plan below:
- In the first 14 days: air jars twice a day for about 30 minutes.
- From week three: air jars twice a day for about 20 minutes.
- From week seven: air jars once a day for about 10 minutes.
- From week eleven: air jars every other day for about 10 minutes.
- -From week 14: air jars every three days for about 10 minutes.
- From 20 weeks: air jars every seven days for about 15 minutes.
I hope this plan works. If you have more experience with this process, which is also referred to as curing, I’d greatly appreciate any suggestions or ideas.
Process Successfully Completed
Done and dusted. Even though I still have a lot to learn, the effort I put in in the past 16 weeks has been worth it. My grow experiment was a roller coaster ride of sickness, death, an out-of-control jungle and a happy ending with lots of marijuana.
I can’t wait to repeat it. But next time, I’ll be using LED instead of NDL.
Until then, there are only two things left to say:
- I like big buds and I cannot lie.
- Please end prohibition, end illegalisation, legalise weed!