Cannabis, like any other botanical product, suffers degradation once harvested. The precious cannabinoids and terpenes start to deteriorate, affecting the overall quality of the plant. This degradation can have serious consequences for cannabis manufacturers, especially those who need to store their biomass for a considerable duration before extraction or other uses. Fortunately, an innovative method called freeze-drying has been introduced to mitigate these issues.
What is Freeze Drying?Freeze drying, also known as lyophilization, is a cutting-edge method that swiftly removes moisture from consumable substances to extend their shelf life, prepare them for travel, or preserve their freshness and nutritional content. This advanced technique is transforming the cannabis curing process, reducing the time taken to bring the product to the market, and significantly increasing the retention of cannabinoids and terpenes.
The process of freeze drying involves freezing the material, then lowering pressure and adding heat to allow the frozen water in the material to transform directly into vapor, a process known as sublimation. This method occurs in three phases:
- Primary drying (sublimation)
- Secondary drying (desorption)
Why is Freeze Drying Cannabis Beneficial?Freeze-drying cannabis is gaining popularity in the cannabis industry due to the numerous benefits it offers over traditional drying and curing methods.
Time Efficiency:Unlike the traditional drying and curing process which can take between two to six weeks, freeze drying can produce a cured, shelf-ready product in just 24-48 hours.
Enhanced Quality:Freeze-dried cannabis retains higher levels of THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC than other drying techniques. It also helps to stabilize the compounds found in cannabis, allowing for a high-potency and terpene-rich product.
Space Saving:Freeze drying requires significantly less space than traditional hang drying methods, making it an efficient choice for cannabis producers operating in limited areas.
Prevention of Contamination:Freeze-drying eliminates the risk of mold and insect contamination, thanks to the clean procedure and the vacuum-sealed container used during the cannabis drying process.
Longer Shelf Life:The end product of freeze drying is a shelf-stable product that can be stored for up to 25 years without refrigeration.
The Role of Harvest Right Freeze Dryer in Cannabis PreservationTo effectively freeze-dry cannabis, a reliable freeze dryer is required. The Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is a freeze-drying system that features a user-friendly interface with real-time readings of temperature and pressure, as well as full control over these variables.
This freeze dryer can dry up to 1 to 2 gallons of cannabis at a time. It comes with a commercial oil-free pump for easy extraction, four stainless steel trays for holding your product, an insulator pad for protecting your product from external forces during the drying process, and a three-year warranty from Harvest Right.
How to Use a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer for Cannabis PreservationTo get the best results from your freeze dryer, keep these tips in mind:
- Always use a high-quality freeze dryer like Harvest Right to ensure optimal results.
- Go for a low 75-degree temperature setting because cannabis has trichomes which can be damaged at higher temperatures.
- Once you have finished, remove the cannabis from the chamber and store it in polybags if you want to use it for at least three months, but store it in cans if you intend on keeping the product for 25 years or more.
- Avoid rushing the process by using less time than recommended or by increasing the temperature too much. This could result in an inferior product.
The Drawbacks of Freeze-Drying CannabisWhile freeze-drying offers several advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges:
- If the cannabis has not been freeze-dried properly, it can result in over-dried product, decreased aroma and flavor (terpenes), and a quicker, hotter burn.
- Freeze-drying can be energy-intensive and expensive.
ConclusionThe cannabis industry has been growing significantly over the past few years. With more states legalizing cannabis for medical or recreational use, there's a lot of potential for profit in this industry. That’s why the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is a great investment for your cannabis preservation needs. With its high-quality construction and easy-to-use features, you'll be able to enjoy your dried flowers longer! Plus, you can also freeze dry your foods and herbs for later use, which is a great way to save money and preserve freshness.
So, have you ever tried cannabis that was freeze-dried? Share your experiences and let us know!