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A Complete Guide To Cannabis Processing

The cultivation of raw cannabis plants and putting them through an appropriate production process may sound like a complicated, lengthy process from harvesting to extraction, trimming, drying, curing, and storing. However, when you have the appropriate guidance and necessary tools, the entire ordeal will be less cumbersome. With the right technique and equipment, such as those produced by Mobius, you can get the work done effectively. Keep reading to understand the process that can guarantee a breezy and uncomplicated production of cannabis.  

  1. Cannabis Extraction 

The job is just beginning after the buds are harvested and picked. Different methods are employed to extract the desired cannabinoid compounds from plant material, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and for separating the desired components, such as lipids and waxes, from the active compounds in cannabis extracts.  

  • Solvent-Based Extraction: Using a volatile chemical, solvent-based extraction procedures separate the trichomes from the plant material, leaving behind a potent end product devoid of plant matter. 
  • Solventless Extraction: Instead of using chemical solvents, solventless extraction procedures use a range of agitation techniques and machinery that uses low heat and pressure to shatter the cannabinoid trichomes from the plant. 

Depending on the type of plant extraction, chemical solvents like ethanol, alcohol, or CO2 are used for solvent-based extractions, and agitation, heat, and pressure methods are for solventless extractions.  

  1. Cannabis Trimming 
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A significant portion of the post-harvest labour involved in getting a cannabis crop ready for consumption is trimming cannabis, which is the process of removing the sugar leaves from the buds. Trimming the cultivation buds is the most labour and time-intensive step in the cannabis growth process. While a few small plants can be cut by hand with scissors in a reasonable amount of time, cutting larger plants or more of them is frequently necessary if the harvest is to be completed within the ideal amount of time. 

There are many different trimming machines available in the market—from the most basic, manually operated trimmer to the most advanced, highly specific devices. Bear in mind that there are two major types of trimming processes: some producers opt to remove the buds from the branches as soon as they are harvested to dry them; others choose to leave the buds on the branches and trim them after the initial drying process. 

  • Dry Trimming: Dried cannabis buds are pruned using the dry trimming technique before they are cured. In dry trimming, freshly cut branches are hung for 10 to 14 days in a drying room until the correct moisture content is reached. The big individual branches are divided into manageable bits after drying. Due to a longer dry time, dry pruning is typically thought to be superior at preserving the entire flavour of cannabis flowers. 
  • Wet trimming: This is the procedure of cutting cannabis buds before they are dried, right after they have been gathered. Learning to trim cannabis, whether it is wet or dry, is generally the same regardless of moisture content. 
  1. Cannabis Drying 

The cannabis flowers still need to be dried and cured in order to get a product of the highest grade possible. When dried properly, the flavour, aroma, and properties of the buds are improved.  

Drying typically takes one to two weeks. Cultivated and harvested cannabis plants can shed approximately 75% of their weight or more due to moisture loss during the initial drying of the buds, which typically occurs in the open air. This loss also includes sticks, stems, branches, and leaves that are cut off. Equipment for a cannabis drying room includes a drying line or rack to hang buds on so they can dry, a hygrometer, a fan, a dehumidifier, and an air conditioner. A suitable drying chamber should be dark, 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, and have 55 to 65% relative humidity. Keep the location dark for the best drying results because UV rays from the sun can destroy cannabis. 

  1. Cannabis Curing 

The task is not over after the buds have been dried and clipped. The process of curing distinguishes buds that are merely passable from those that are of good merit. A poorly developed plant cannot be fixed, but a well-developed one can be destroyed, thus accuracy is crucial. It’s time to cure the cannabis when the initial moisture in the buds has been removed after drying. Prevent moisture loss and retain flavours and smells by keeping finished buds for curing in airtight glass jars. Keep the humidity between 45% and 65% in these containers. Curing typically takes two to four weeks. 

Fresh cannabis flower must be dried and cured before being placed in storage jars since it is susceptible to the same deterioration as other products. A crucial aspect of the procedure is ensuring that the humidity in the jars remains constant. Cannabis should be cured at moderately cool temperatures, ideally between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius, as the temperature can also affect the degradation of cannabis in numerous ways. The decarboxylation (breakdown) of cannabis is facilitated by higher temperatures. Regardless of humidity throughout the first week of curing, opening the containers once or twice daily for a few minutes is recommended. By doing so, moisture is released and the container’s air supply is replenished. 

  1. Cannabis Storing 

Proper storage technique is one of the most crucial and frequently overlooked aspects of cannabis cultivation. For storage, cannabis buds are best kept in a dark, cool location, just like when they are being dried.  

Light degrades the cannabinoids and terpenes present in the resin glands of buds, so they should always be kept away from light sources. While refrigeration slows down the breakdown of cannabinoids, do not freeze the buds. Due to its water content, the water inside the buds may crystallize and damage the plant tissues, letting the chlorophyll escape and harming the resin glands. 

Conclusion 

Whatever method of cannabis growth is employed, the effectiveness of each stage will have a significant impact on the final quality. Although the aforementioned procedures could appear challenging, if you have patience and attentively complete each phase without skipping any steps or failing to follow important instructions, success is guaranteed.

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