It is the day before Halloween, our crops have been harvested and our flowers have been dried and cured! If we were only growing for flowers to smoke than we would be done for the year but this is not the case; the end of drying and curing means the beginning of processing our cannabis into tinctures, edibles, oils, and salves. But before we do that, we have the main event of the year…
The Final Weigh-in
And now the moment we have all been waiting for; the final weigh-in! This year’s harvest has been divided between flowers for smoking and flowers for processing; the flowers for smoking are placed in mason jars while the flowers for processing have been placed in oven-bags.
Flowers for Smoking
Because I don’t smoke much myself and because of the early harvest due to bud-rot, I have only reserved 9 ounces of flowers for smoking. Each mason jar holds about 1 ounce of cannabis and I tend to smoke during the daytime so I made sure to include lots of the GG#4 as it is the only sativa-dominant strain that I grew this year.
For smoking and vaporizing I have set aside:
- 5 ounces of GG4
- 3 ounces of Sherbet
- 1 ounce of Blackberry Fire
Some of this will be shared amongst friends and loved ones throughout the year and I usually save a few ounces for the following year’s processing cycle to make CBN tincture. Sadly, none of the Blueberry Muffin flowers are suitable for smoking and have been reserved for processing.
Flowers for Processing
In general, I prefer tinctures and edibles compared to smoking or vaporizing so I have set aside the majority of my harvest for processing. Most of this cannabis was harvested early due to an oncoming bud-rot epidemic; they are inferior for smoking due to their immature trichomes but will make great material for creating other products.
For processing I have set aside:
- 23 ounces of GG4
- 17 ounces of Blackberry Fire
- 16 ounces of Sherbet
- 4 ounces of Blueberry Muffins
My tincture recipe requires a 3 ounces of cannabis per 32 ounce bottle and each bottle tends to last me 3 months. I have a total of 60 ounces of cannabis which will make 20 bottles of cannabis; enough for 5 years of my personal use! I may have to pick up more grain alcohol and coconut oil…
The Bottom Line
My total harvest this year is 69oz; that’s a little over 4 pounds! Not bad considering I only had 4 decent plants. Here’s how it breaks down:
- 28 ounces of GG4
- 19 ounces of Sherbet (average of 9.5 ounces per plant)
- 18 ounces of Blackberry Fire
- 4 ounces of Blueberry Muffins (average of 2 ounces per plant)
As expected, the GG4 and Blackberry Fire are this year’s big winners and I am particularly interested in growing more Blackberry Fire next year as I prefer indica and the strain has an excellent bouquet and flavor. The relatively low yield of the Sherbet means that I will not seek it out again and the extremely low yield of the Blueberry Muffins ensures that it will not find a place in my garden ever again.
This may come as a shock to some but cannabis, in it’s natural state, has no THC; instead it has a non-psychoactive cannabinoid known as THCa. THCa is converted to THC through heat; when we smoke or vaporize cannabis the process is done automatically and we never have to think about it. If we were to make edibles with raw cannabis flowers than we would receive a product that will not give us the effects that we desire; we will have to heat it up in the process known as decarboxylation (or “decarbing”, for short).
We will follow the method that Magical Butter recommends for a high THC decarb:
- preheat oven to 250 degrees fahrenheit
- bake cannabis in oven bag for 30-45 minutes
If we bake the cannabis at a higher temperature or for a longer time the THC will convert to CBN, a cannabinoid that promotes sleep.
Decarbing large amounts of cannabis in your oven will fill your house with a strong, but pleasant aroma similar to vaporizing; you might want to do this late in the evening after the neighbors go to bed.
Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil
Cannabis is fat-soluble which is why so many recipes use either cannabis-infused butter or oil as a base. Coconut oil is perhaps the most popular fat to use because it is extremely versatile (can be used for edibles as well as topicals) and is a solid at a room temperature which makes it easy to work with. If needed, we can use either a crockpot or a double-boiler on a stove-top to make this oil but we will use a more specialized tool; the Magical Butter Machine.
Though it’s a bit pricey, the Magical Butter Machine is a very useful device for those who are primarily interested in processing their cannabis as most of the steps are automated and it works equally well for butter, oil, or tinctures. It gets so much use in my household I may end up buying a second one!
Again, we will follow Magical Butter’s recipe for making our cannabis-infused coconut oil:
- 2.5 ounces of decarbed cannabis
- 5 cups of coconut oil
- 5 tablespoons of soy lecithin
- Warm coconut oil on a stove top till it turns to liquid
- Put all ingredients into the Magical Butter Machine
- Set temperature at 160 degrees fahrenheit and run machine for 2 hours
- Strain liquid through Magical Butter filter or cheese cloth into containers and let it cool (it will be hot so wear insulated rubber gloves!)
I am using the GG4 for this recipe as it is the one that I have the most of and I will primarily be using this oil for topicals. In it’s current state this oil can be consumed on its own or used in a number of recipes. Our oil will be stored in the freezer for now for later use as we move on to other projects.