Sweet Mary not only has trichomes on her very special succulent parts, she has trichomes on both her fan leaves and her stems.  Even her roots have goodlets, though not trichomes.  My kind of gal! 

Not a big secret, but one usually overlooked because the trichomes at those locations are sparser, and tend to be more mature, so as to provide more sedative effects than the flowers.  The effects are more like a Charley horse between the ears than a euphoric high and it has an off taste.

It makes a killer topical however, so no issues with taste or head effects, and as it is typically composted, a cheap source of raw material.

Because of low trichome population, yield is low and bulk handling is high, so we looked for ways to handle in bulk or reduce everything down into manageable consistency by grinding.

Bulk handling included using a giant tea ball from Hong’s Restaurant Supply and we also tried tumbling in clean sand, screening, and then extracting the sand. 

Giant Tea ball and denatured alcohol extraction with no pre-processing

Stems tumbling in clean sand with no pre-processing beyond sizing to fit container. 

Carla down by the kitchen island side, sifting sand………………….. 

Yield from gallon jar of tumbled stems 

That brings us to grinding where alas we discovered that cannabis stems and most grinding equipment are a disaster due to the fibers.  We destroyed multiple grinders in the process, and finally ended up with a big win from Romania, in the form of an affordable hammer mill.

The second closest was a garden chipper, which we still had to regularly dismantle and clean to keep functional.  Not the hammer mill!  It didn’t care what you put in it and the discharge particle size is automagically controlled by the size of the holes in the screen, so no fiddling or tweaking required.

Carla and Joe at farm using hammer mill and lawn chipper.

Between root grinding runs with hammer mill and House Manager Melissa supervising.

We also ground up roots and extracted them with alcohol to see what we ended up with, and found them to be primarily water solubles, without any discernible essential oils.

Hammer milled roots soaking in Ethanol

Fan leaves and stems soaking in 190 proof Ethanol. 

Chinoise strainer and commercial coffee filter holder with filter.

Roots extract on left, stem and fan leaf extract on right in 190 proof.

 Leaf and stem extract on left and root extract on right.

As you can see, yield is low, so you have to process a lot.  Here is some topical made from the extract on the left, based on our Holy Anointing Oil recipe.

Holy Anointing Oil from stem extract.

As a side issue, I was blown away by how soft the cannabis fiber is coming out of our hammer mill.  Not rope like at all, but closer in softness and texture to cashmere.  We screened that out before processing the remaining constituents.  

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