Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is used for recreational, medical, and entheogenic purposes. Cannabis has been legalized as a recreational drug in 18 states of the USA. Commonly known as marijuana, this drug is derived from the Cannabis plant. To preserve the quality of cannabis and to prolong its life, cannabis is dried and curated under strict conditions. Properly dried cannabis retains its color, shape, and psychoactive properties.
In most areas, cannabis is dried manually. Let us take a look at how and under what conditions this process is performed.
How is Cannabis Drying Performed?
- All moisture from cannabis should be removed within the first three days of plucking it. Doing so will prevent it from deteriorating. After the three days mark, 60-70% of moisture content has been removed. Conventional drying of cannabis is performed manually. In this process, the cannabis branches are hung upside down. In this position, the water from the stems (which contain the highest percentage of water) moves to the branches under the action of gravity. The air circulates freely through the branches and absorbs moisture.
To achieve optimal drying of cannabis, temperature, pressure, humidity, and luminance levels have to be maintained. To evaporate most of the moisture from the plant during the first three days, it should be placed in an open room where the following conditions are maintained:
- The temperature should be set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius)
- Relative humidity of 55% should be maintained.
After 60-70% of the water has been evaporated, the temperature is lowered to 64° F (18° C). This is done to prevent flash drying of the plant. The remaining 30-40% of water is removed in the next 5 to 10 days. During this time, chlorophyll decomposes and the deposits of starch are consumed. If flash drying occurs, the chlorophyll will not decompose completely. The smoke from such marijuana is bitter and leaves a leaf-like aftertaste.
- To achieve a perfectly dried plant, maintaining humidity is equally important. If the humidity drops below 50%, the plant will dry too quickly which will spoil the taste of the cannabis and the quality of the high it will give. To maintain these conditions, air conditioners and humidifiers are used in the drying area.
The bitterness of the dried branches is an indicator of the completion of the drying process. Take the smallest branch and bend it. If the branch snaps on bending and the bud has a crisp quality, it means the plant has dried perfectly.
Why is Cannabis Drying Important?
Cannabis drying is the first step performed after harvesting the cannabis buds. Drying them under the right condition delivers the following advantages:
- THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive compound of cannabis. This component is missing from recently harvested plants as they contain a high quantity of chlorophyll. When chlorophyll is decomposed under the right conditions, only then the THC is activated.
- Drying preserves the quality and makes transporting cannabis easier. When all moisture is removed from cannabis, bacteria cannot infest the bud.
Is There A Better Way To Dry Cannabis?
Conventional drying has been the go-to way of drying cannabis for centuries. However, it is labor-intensive and takes a longer processing time. Maintaining the requisite temperature and humidity conditions is tricky as well. Industrial grade kilns are a much better, faster, economic, and energy-efficient way of drying cannabis. Bol Design Inc’s state-of-the-art kilns are the perfect solution for drying cannabis on a large scale. They are equipped with multiple cost-cutting and modern features which provide convenience and excellent results.
For more information, call us at 828-754-7001.