Desiccants are substances that have a strong affinity for water and can quickly absorb moisture from the surrounding atmosphere. They can be particularly useful for drying kief and storing cannabis seeds and pollen. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of using desiccants and how to use them effectively.
The Importance of Drying KiefWhen it comes to drying kief for long-term storage, using a desiccant is a simple and effective method. If you plan to press and smoke your hash soon, drying is not necessary as the THC will decarboxylate while heating and crumbling, as well as when smoking.
Drying Kief for Long-term StorageTo ensure that fresh kief does not retain excess moisture, it is crucial to dry it in an airtight tin or glass container. Tumbled kief typically takes a week to 10 days to dry, while kief from a bubble bag may require more time. Once the kief is dry, it can be stored in a sealed airtight container at freezing point for several years with minimal loss of potency. During storage, many volatile terpenoids change and mature, altering the flavor and high of the final pressed hash.
Preserving Pollen and SeedsPollen can be preserved in a low-humidity environment at near-freezing or deep-frozen temperatures for several months or more. Similarly, cannabis seeds stored in these conditions can remain viable for over 10 years, with nearly 100% germination.
The Best Desiccant for Kief, Pollen, and SeedsSilica gel with a color indicator is the most effective desiccant for kief, pollen, and seeds. It can be reused multiple times and provides years of use. The most common indicator color is blue when dry, turning pink when saturated. To recharge the silica gel, heat it in a low oven at 110°C for about 15 minutes until all moisture has evaporated, and it returns to a cobalt blue color.
Drying and Storing Techniques
Kief DryingFor drying kief, use an airtight container with a small porous container inside containing rechargeable desiccant. This setup is sufficient for drying kief at room temperature. A couple of ounces of silica gel can effectively dry 6 oz of kief.
Seed StorageFor seed storage, use the same container setup as for kief, but add small porous containers for the seeds. Avoid using the polythene/plastic bags provided by seed companies, as they are impervious to water. Store the airtight container between 0 and 5°C, such as in a salad crisper tray. This method slows down the aging process of seeds, enhancing their vigor and germination ability over an extended period.
Pollen StorageFor neat pollen storage, use large plastic drinking straws cut into lengths, with one end sealed by melting and the other end plugged with cotton wool. It is preferable to add extenders only when the pollen is about to be used, never before storing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is drying kief necessary if I'm going to press and smoke it soon? No, drying is not necessary as the THC will decarboxylate during heating, crumbling, and smoking.
- How long does it take to dry kief? Tumbled kief takes around a week to 10 days to dry, while kief from a bubble bag may take longer.
- What is the best desiccant for kief, pollen, and seeds? Silica gel with a color indicator is the most effective desiccant for these purposes.
- How do I recharge silica gel? To recharge silica gel, heat it in a low oven at 110°C for about 15 minutes until all moisture has evaporated and it returns to a cobalt blue color.
- What is the ideal storage temperature for cannabis seeds? Store cannabis seeds in an airtight container between 0 and 5°C, such as in a salad crisper tray.