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In this lesson, Cameron discusses the conditions and procedures necessary for optimal drying of your cannabis.
The drying process is really the last step in the cultivation process that really ensures that all the hard work you’ve put into the plant thus far is captured and translated to the finished product for the customer. While it might seem a little bit boring and mundane, it’s actually a time-consuming process. It generally takes a week or even longer, and any misstep here can ruin everything that you’ve done to get to this point.
The drying process is actually a critical part of production, and it requires really tight controls over your temperature and humidity and certainly should be taking about 5 to 7 days at a minimum to ensure a great finished product. In addition to temperature, the humidity is going to be decreasing over time in order to really promote the full expression of the plant’s phenotype characteristics.
The drying process is what is really going to promote the full attributes of your finished product. And the drying process really takes place after all of the green waste has been removed and the leaves and stems have been removed. And now all you’ve got are your flowers and they’re existing in this temperature- and humidity-controlled environment where the temperature is maintained and the humidity is sort of decreased over time.
Generally, you want to be at about 75 degrees, and you want to see your overall environmental humidity stepping down from about 70 to about 30, 40 at the end of the your drying cycle. This generally can take about 5, 7, maybe even 9, 10 days depending on your SOPs.
The drying process is really sort of nuance process that is going to take the plant from a wet state to a dry state. It is a tightly controlled process. Your mechanical pieces, including your temperature and humidity need to be worked in a locked step(?) we need to maintain our temperature at around 75 and we’re trying to take the room humidity down from about 70 to 30 to 40 over somewhere between a 5- and 10-day process in order to ensure the proper dry time, which will really help express the terpene profile of your finished product.
And so what you want to be looking for in terms of the moisture content of your flower, a dried flower is generally somewhere in about 7 to 10 percent moisture content to dry and that finished flower will turn to dust to wet and you run the risk of your flowers molding.
The harvest manager wants to maintain proper environmental control within the drying room in order to ensure that the finished product really shines and shows the true characteristics of the plant and has the highest quality. And they can do this by keeping tight records and tight observations of the temperature and the humidity in the room. Also making sure that the flowers aren’t packed too close together.
One of the ways to ensure that you got the right density of flowers in the room is that you should be able to see light pass through the sort of the drying mass. And that ensures that things aren’t packed too close together, things don’t get smashed and there’s proper airflow and humidity throughout all the microclimates (?) in the room.
There’s pretty much two schools of thought when it comes to drying. Facilities will either generally dry sort of wishbone or V-shaped branches that are then hung over hangers and those hangers are hung onto lines. Another way that you could dry is to dry on what basically is called rolling bread racks and perforated cookie sheets.
In that scenario, the flowers are bucked from the plant. The leftover materials get green wasted, and then those bucked flowers get laid out on cookie sheets and rolled into the drying room for the drying process.
Fortunately, weather reporting has become pretty sophisticated and so a harvest manager can always be abreast of what the weather is going to be like 3, 4, 5, 7 days into the future. Certainly as you roll from season to season and year to year, weather patterns change.
You might be harvesting when it’s really hot and dry. You might be harvesting when it’s cold and damp so the harvest manager’s job as it pertains to weather is to monitor what’s going on on the external, outside of the facility, and know that it’s going to affect what’s going on inside the facility. This is certainly true on the cultivation side and again it’s true on the drying side. It’s the middle of winter and it’s cold and rainy like it’s going to take a couple more days for the finished product to dry.
We need to have tight controls over the temperature and humidity within our dry rooms in order to mitigate any problems that may be present due to the external environment. Depending on the size and scope of your facility and the sophistication of your facility, you may have automated controllers for everything, including you know burping your dry room, heating, cooling, adjusting the humidity so on and so forth.
Obviously the more sophisticated the computer that’s controlling your environment, the more predictable your finished product is going to be, and certainly from a product quality standpoint, this is paramount.
So thanks for learning about the drying process. We’ll see you next time!
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