The underground cultivation of cannabis in the UK shows no signs of slowing down despite the best efforts of dedicated Cannabis Eradication teams across these Isles. If anything more people are turning to growing cannabis than ever before and this is for several reasons.
Firstly it cuts the price down to ten percent. Pretty good reason, huh?
Secondly, for people who have been hit by the rising price of living and loss of income from the recession, even the bedroom tax encouraged people to grow cannabis to supplement their income. Because you can make ten times the money back. With the sentencing guidelines reflecting that 9 plants is not a commercial operation, this is the average producer we are taking a look at here as it imposed low, non custodial sentences.
Unfortunately this has led to a flat rate for cannabis that has a broad variation in quality, either in potency, growing level, drying quality and if it is cured or not. There is a difference between a bit of weed that’s alright to smoke compared to what medical grade cannabis is and should be consistently every time. Skunk and Hash as a classification do not appropriately cover the spectrum of products available in today’s market.
Much of the cannabis on the market today is high potency cannabis genetics leaning towards the high-THC end of the spectrum. There is a great need for high quality but lower potency cannabis in the market but people would rather quit than ask for more variation. Yes…it’s that addictive! There has been an increase in the amount of Sativa (uplifting) based strains being sold but Indica (relaxant) strains still dominate the market due to their shorter flowering times in a more manageable space with higher yield potentials. Automatic strains have been more available on the market, they aren’t as strong as some strains on the market and can have a more varied cannabinoid profile, although without testing facilities available we can’t really tell you much more about them.
Getting your cannabis directly from the grower usually sees a lower price as less people are taking a cut and adding on extra value as a handling fee. This may even allow you to say what kind of cannabis you would like to buy. Check out our guide to Collective Growing here to see how you could save money and improve the quality of cannabis you are getting – Perfect for patients that need Caregivers and working out a Fair Trade Value.
Sadly, there are a lot of commercial grows set up by some pretty nasty people that are involved in violent gangs and serious crime. International crime syndicates have started cannabis grows in domestic houses and imprison Vietnamese nationals that are trafficked to the UK illegally. The profits are ludicrously large and we would advise you try and procure your cannabis from more ethical sources.
So how much should I be paying?
Despite the claims that cannabis costs 10 per ounce to grow, it just isn’t so in the UK indoor cannabis growing market – unless you have a warehouse. Including reimbursement for time and cost of growing, space, the value of cannabis per gram comes out at around £4-7 depending area of the country and other variables (North being cheaper due to much lower rental costs). Check out our fairtrade calculations UKCSC here to see how much your garden is costing you.
That means between 110 – 200 per ounce. The quality could be completely varied at either end of the scale so the price here is no indication of quality.
Gardeners tend not to sell their own product to customers and sell it all to a limited number of people who then go on to distribute it. Everyone that takes some of the cannabis to sell will add on extra value to make it worth their while – it’s usually why they are doing it, to make money or to smoke for free.
This means that cannabis ends up being on average £240-280 per ounce. £20 bags weigh up at 1.6g meaning the total end price for an ounce is £350.
Now obviously as a sensible cannabis consumer you would expect to pay less for a lower quality product. That’s the way it works in other markets, it’s the way the American market works with their recognition of Low, Mid and High Grades. Low £5-6, Mid £6-8, High £9-12 (and then some if you are unfortunate enough to live in a money greedy area – usually cities).
The Hash Market Has Changed
Long gone are the days of Soapbar, although it is still around – avoid this at all costs it’s really bad for your health! Traditional hashes are still available and vary in quality; harder hashes can be £3-6 per gram where the softer polm and caramello’s can be found at £5-12 per gram with your more melty ones at the top end. The hash market has generally always recognized a correlation for price and quality whereas the high-grade cannabis market has been “all or nothing” or rather “pay the full asking price or get nothing” and that as a culture needs to change.
Now that more people are using their waste products like trim more effectively here in the UK a higher amount of both bubble hash and solvent extracted oils like BHO and QWISO are available. New products always create a new buzz and as such can demand higher than usual prices. A product is only worth what people are prepared to pay – but an educated market can make more informed decisions about the sums of money they feel are sensible to part with. Traditional Hash can be quite strong – around 40-50% cannabinoid content – but the majority on the market is not that high and contains higher levels of CBD than found in the herbal market. Oils and concentrated resins can be 60-80% cannabinoid content and they contain higher levels of terpenes (flavours).
Oils made from trim with a solvent such as butane or isopropyl or organic alcohol are usually priced at £20 for the lowest quality which will have dark colour and not much taste or a dark currant taste – expect to pay up to £50 per gram for good quality trim extracted oil that will have lighter amber or even golden colour. If it is Vacuum Purged this will generally be higher price oil.
Oil made directly from the buds can be £50 – £80 per gram. You would expect (and you should ask) it to be Vacuum Purged. Clarity, lighter colours and stability/consistency are the marks of a high quality oil. Smoking/vaping oil with excessive solvents in is not healthy for the lungs and can have neurotoxic effects – be safe when acquiring your extracts and making them. Beware of the marketing strategies some people are using when it comes to selling oil, new names and “techs” are coming out all the time but this hardly changes the product for what it is – ask questions and sniff for porkies.
It would be naive not to mention that people add on a price for risk factor in an illicit market and no one can really argue with this – unless they want to of course! What they can do though is become self-sufficient with a group of mutual friends and share the costs. This is the basis on which the Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain were founded on and that has turned into 700 cannabis social clubs in Spain where there are between 300-400 in Barcelona alone!
|Low Grade||Mids||High Grade||Unacceptable|
|Low resin coverage||Recognizable trichomes||High resin coverage||Mould|
|No odour||No fan leaves||Good presentation||Still wet|
|Leafy||Mediocre trim||Bud shaped||Branches|
|Seeded||Has weed smells||Well trimmed||Sprayed/coated|
|Stalky||White Ash (Flushed)|
|Strong emanating smell|
|Low Grade||Mids||High Grade||Unacceptable|
|Hard/dense rock||Will take nail impress||Bendy/pliable||Soapbar|
|No oudour||May have odour||Light on inside||Mould|
|Needs flame to break||Crumble with flame||Musky/chocolatey smell||Water content (undry)|
|High plant content||Relaxing not too strong||Bubbles to flame||Spice/Synthetic Hash|
|Low potency||White Ash (clean)|
|Full Plant Extract(FECO/RSO)||BHO/QWISO||Bubble/Ice Water Extract||Below Standard|
|Dark in colour||Stable consistency||High resin coverage||Unpurged BHO (No Vac)|
|Oily consistency||No plant material||Good presentation||Inconsistent stability|
|Current taste||Vacuum purged||Bud shaped||Obvious plant matter|
|From whole plant||From Nugs/Sugar Trim||Well trimmed||Solvent taste (unfinished)|
|Heat evaporation||High potency 70%+||Potency 40%-70%|
|Decarboxylated||Temperature control||Strong emanating smell|
|High Terpene content||Terpene content varies|