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The results of an experimental indoor hydroponic Cannabis growing study, using the 'Screen of Green' (ScrOG) method-Yield, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and DNA analysis


The results of an indoor hydroponic Cannabis growth study are presented. It is intended that this work will be of assistance to those with an interest in determining an estimation of yield and value of Cannabis crops. Three cycles of six plants were grown over a period of 1 year in order to ascertain the potential yield of female flowering head material from such an operation. The cultivation methods used were selected to replicate typical indoor hydroponic Cannabis growing operations, such as are commonly encountered by the New Zealand Police. The plants were also tested to ascertain the percentage of the psychoactive chemical ?-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in the flowering head material, and were genetically profiled by STR analysis. Phenotypic observations are related to the data collected. The inexperience of the growers was evidenced by different problems encountered in each of the three cycles, each of which would be expected to negatively impact the yield and THC data obtained. These data are therefore considered to be conservative. The most successful cycle yielded an average of 881g (31.1oz) of dry, groomed female flowering head per plant, and over the whole study the 18 plants yielded a total of 12,360g (436.0oz), or an average of 687g (24.2oz) of dry head per plant. THC data shows significant intra-plant variation and also demonstrates inter-varietal variation. THC values for individual plants ranged from 4.3 to 25.2%. The findings of this study and a separate ESR research project illustrate that the potency of Cannabis grown in New Zealand has dramatically increased in recent years. DNA analysis distinguished distinct groups in general agreement with the phenotypic variation observed. One plant however, exhibiting a unique triallelic pattern at two of the five loci tested, while remaining phenotypically indistinguishable from three other plants within the same grow.

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