Is there something about growing tobacco, or processing it, that is beyond the scope of what yer average home grower can achieve? Or does the yield from the plants equal so few cigarettes to make it not worthwhile except on an industrial scale?
This doesn’t say anything about the yield, but describes the process of growing your own tobacco in detail:
If you love growing and processing plants, don’t put a value on the time spent and the space used, and you are happy with loose tobacco rather than finished cigarettes, I’m sure you could save some money.
I suspect the key step is curing it. Tobacco has to be dried carefully in the sun, air, or using fire over a period of weeks to months. I think it’s a good deal more complicated than just picking the buds from cannabis.
Here’s another reason not to grown your own tobacco. You might not like the product.
The source has some odd ideas about the world, but is likely correct about this part.
Mass produced cigarettes are much more than a paper tube full of tobacco. There are many additives and flavors used in factory-made cigarettes. If you are used to a brand you know that other brands will disappoint. Only if you are used to rolling your own with pure tobacco will growing your own be satisfactory.
My expertise is with cigars only. But at least for tobacco used in cigars, the tobacco is fermented. This requires a very large bale of tobacco. The process is exothermic and spontaneous combustion is very possible. It also releases a large amount of ammonia. This is not an operation for most amateurs at home. You can buy loose tobacco leaves to make your own cigars and other tobacco products. Here is a site that sells the leaves:
Do click on the site and watch the video at the top of the page. You can see that the tobacco leaves can be roughly two feet in length (quite a bit larger than cannabis leaves). This is what is stopping me for attempting to roll my own cigars. I don’t have a humidor large enough to store even one leaf. And leaves with different characteristics are needed for the filler, binder, and wrapper of a cigar. Buying tobacco leaves by the pound is not very expensive, partly due to the fact that the tobacco tax does not apply to tobacco because the raw leaves are not a tobacco product. It is legal in the US to buy raw leaves and make your own tobacco products. But you run afoul of the law if you sell finished products without the proper licenses and collecting the proper taxes.
I remember being told a long time ago (and no, I can’t find a cite) that there were tobacco collectives in Kent, England. This is a variant (maybe quite a practical one) of growing your own - if the collective owns the crop they can pay someone to process it and make it into cigarettes for them. As they are not buying the cigarettes, there’s no duty to pay on them, which makes the enterprise financially attractive (as it was explained to me).
Any other memories of this?
I would suspect the biggest reason for not growing your own tobacco is that you can buy cigarettes just about anywhere. From where I’m sitting I can, with in a few minutes be at two different gas stations and legally buy all the cigarettes I want. I can get them at the grocery store while I’m there, there’s tobacco stores in strip malls.
Cannabis on the other hand is a bit harder to get your hands on. At this point in my life, I wouldn’t even know where to go looking for it or who to call. But even if you have some regular people you can buy from, you’re still taking (legal) risks in doing it. IMO, many pot smokers, at one point or another, toss some of their seeds in the dirt to see what happens. Some take a liking to it and can produce enough for themselves or to sell.
If marijuana was as available, and legal, as cigarettes, I don’t think many people would still be growing it in a closet. Similarly, if tobacco were illegal, I think people may make an attempt at growing their own.
Lots of people grow cannabis even though it’s perfectly legal to buy it in their states. There are several reasons, not the least of which is the cost savings. They can also fiddle with the end product, produce their own strains, etc. But yes, some grow it because growing it is easier than getting it thanks to their jurisdiction’s laws.
FWIW, I’m not a (tobacco) smoker, I’m just asking academically.
One reason smokers might want to grow their own tobacco is that there’s seed available of many different kinds, including heirlooms and native American varieties that would be unavailable in store-bought products. And your tobacco would be free of additives common in commercial tobacco (though probably not better for you healthwise).
*one company (scroll down to see what’s listed under Nicotiana tabacum) has promoted its seed with the dark observation that you should be prepared to grow your own crop because Prohibition is coming. :eek::eek::eek::smack:
Cannabis also needs to be dried/cured very carefully. “Just picking the buds” is a great way to ruin it.
It can’t be that hard to go out and buy some green tobacco out of the field, if you’re in one of the many parts of the country where it’s grown. I drove by a field of it just yesterday.
FTR, on “additives” and what not in mass manufacture of cigarettes. The difference between “a tube of tobacco”–in other words, a hand-rolled cigar–and a cigarette is far more a function of the processing and original stock (trimmings, bush refuse, etc.) liquified, made into a paste, [then additives are … added], dried, and reconstituted.
Not OP, ie, not people growing for commercial use, but fascinating vid nonetheless:Last surviving live tobacco auction in the US (for flue cured).
My mom used to be the coordinator of a community garden (largeish city block, divided into 20’ by 20’ plots), and one gardener asked if he was allowed to grow tobacco. She couldn’t find any reason why not, as long as he obeyed the other garden rules. I don’t know anything about the quality of the product it produced, but the plant seemed to thrive.
It’s also why most smokers smoke ready-made cigarettes instead of rolling their own, or smoke pipes. The convenience factor is huge.
Sure, there have always been people growing and rolling their own tobacco. There was a time when that was more or less required if you wanted to smoke (and probably back then people didn’t smoke nearly as much as today) but not anymore.
Sort of similar to why most people buy bread instead of baking it, buy beer instead of brewing it, buy whiskey instead of doing their own distilling, buy wine instead of making it, buy butchered meat instead of raising animals for slaughter, and so on.
I think scale is also an issue. When I smoked (a couple decades ago) I went through a lot more tobacco in a day than I think I wpuld ever go through marijuana. Maybe my innocence is showing, but I think you could probably cover a household’s pot needs with a container garden; for tobacco, I would need like a field.
Tobacco is harvesting, dried, and the aged for years before being made into cigarettes. If one does not have the room to dry and age tobacco leafs, there is no purpose to grow them.
Both tobacco and cannabis need to be dried and cured to arrive at a quality finished product.