Discussion in 'Harvesting - Drying & Curing' started by Man@Work, Nov 10, 2006.
:joint4: Part 2.
Slow drying is probably the method most commonly used to dry marijuana. Because of the slowness of the dry, a slight cure takes place, eliminating the bite sometimes associated with quickly dried grass.
There are many variations of the technique, but most commonly whole plants or separated colas are suspended upside down from a drawn string or from pegs on a wall in a cool dark room, closet, or other enclosed space. A large number of plants may take a week or two to dry. The drying time for small numbers of plants can be increased (for a slight cure) by placing the plants in large, open paper sacks that have ventilation holes cut in their sides. The drying room should have no heavy drafts, but mould may form on the plants if the air is stagnant. If weather is rainy or the air humid, increase ventilation and watch for any mould. Plants should be dried quickly under moderate heat if any mould appears.
Many experienced growers prefer slow drying to curing. There is little chance of error with this method, and buds usually smoke smooth and develop a pliable consistency. Slow-dried ripe buds retain their delicious, sweet aroma and taste.
The fast dry-method produces a harsher smoke than slow drying, but it is often the most convenient method to use. The plants are suspended in the same way as for slow drying, but the temperature in the drying area is increased to between 90 and 115 degrees, often by means of electric or gas heater. The drying area is kept well-ventilated with a fan. As the plants dry, they are removed from the drying area. By this method, plants in a tightly packed room can be dried in less than four days, but the exhaust will contain the deliciously pungent odour of drying marijuana.
Indoor growers often hang plants to dry over radiators or stream pipes. Leaves are dried by placing them on a tray over a radiator or on top of the light fixture.
Marijuana that is fast-dried retains its original green colour and minty taste.
Oven drying is often used by gardeners to sample their crop. Small quantities of material can be quickly dried by being placed in a 150 to 200 oven for about 10 minutes. Larger quantities can be dried in trays that contain a single layer of material or in a dehydrator. Oven-dried and dehydrator-dried marijuana usually has a harsh taste and bite, and loses much of its bouquet. The method is often used to dry marijuana which has been cured and dried but is too moist to smoke, or to dry marijuana which is to be used for cooking or extractions. It is an adequate method for obtaining dry material for testing and emergencies, but the main harvest should not be dried in this way. Oven drying works best with leaves. When leaves are dried together with buds or shoots, remove the material from the oven periodically, to separate the faster-drying leaf material (before it burns) from the slower drying buds. One way to do this is to place all the material on a wire screen over a tray. Every few minutes rub the material across the screen. Dried material falls unto the tray and is removed from the oven. Repeat until all the material has dried.
Oven curing works well when closely watched. Dried marijuana that is left in the oven will lose potency quickly. Any time the marijuana begins to char, most of the potency will already have been lost. This should not be a problem unless you are careless, or allow the temperature to go above 200 degrees.
Some growers dry their crops right in the field. There are many methods of sun drying. In Oregon, some growers break the main stem about two feet from the ground. The leaves and buds dry gradually, since they are still partly attached to the plant. Other growers spread burlap and cover it with plants left to dry. Fan leaves are left on the plants to protect the drying buds from the sun. The grass is manicured after drying. Growers in Arizona shade drying plants with cheesecloth.
Sun-dried marijuana usually has a taste similar to that of oven-dried. Often the sun bleaches it slightly but also destroy some of the delicate bouquet. Prolonged exposure to the sun will decrease potency, although there is no noticeable loss if drying is done quickly.
Many homegrowers have written to us that the dry-ice cure increases the potency of marijuana considerably, and we would be remiss not to mention it.
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. When it melts (sublimates), it turns from a solid directly into a gas. This gas absorbs some moisture from the frozen marijuana and partially dries it.
There are many variations of the dry-ice method. Fresh or partially dried material is usually used, although some enthusiasts claim that the cure also works with dried material. The marijuana is placed in a coffee can or similar container with a lid, along with at least an equal volume of dry ice. Puncture the lid so that the gas can escape as it evaporates. Place the can in a freezer to prolong the evaporation process. When the dry ice is gone, the grass is dried, but still moist.
Some growers claim that simply freezing the grass increases potency. They often freeze fan leaves or other less-potent material for a couple of months before smoking it. This is said to work only with fresh (wet or dried) grass.
:joint4: Continued below...again
:joint4: Last part...
When vegetation dries, the individual cells which maintained life processes die. But marijuana can still be conditioned by means of fermentation. Fermentation is the process in which microbes and plant enzymes break down complex chemicals into simpler ones, mainly starch and sugars into alcohol and simple acids. In the process chlorophyll is destroyed, giving the material a more ripened appearance. If the fermentation is stopped early, the marijuana has a sweeter taste because of the sugars which the ferment produced.
Fermentation occurs when the moisture content of the marijuana is raised above 15 percent and the temperature is above 60 degrees. The more tightly packed the material, that faster the ferment proceeds. The rate of ferment is controlled primarily by varying the moisture content, but each batch proceeds at its own rate because of differences between plants in nitrogen content. (Nitrogen is necessary to maintain fermenting bacteria.) The process is delicate; should the ferment proceed too rapidly, the marijuana may be converted to compost. Watch the fermentation closely. After the desired colour or flavour (from a dried sample) is reached, dry the grass quickly to stop the process.
During fermentation, flavourings can be added to give the marijuana a spicy aroma. Such spices as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, sage, or vanilla are placed between the fermenting material. Orange, lemon, or lime peels are also used. About half an ounce of spice or four ounces of peel are used for each cubic foot of material to be fermented. The spices are wrapped in cloth sachets. The citrus peels are strung. They can be placed between the layers of marijuana.
There are two types of fermentations: self-generating and forced. They are best used with leaves or immature plants.
Self-generating fermentation proceeds rapidly only when there is enough material to make a heap at least one cubic yard large. When smaller quantities are used, too much of the heat generated by the bacteria is dissipated, so that the process is slow and is more properly considered aging.
Place the material in a large container or in a pile with a tarpaulin placed over it, and lightly spray it with a mister if it is dry. Let the pile heat up for a few days, and then break it down. If it is repacked, the marijuana will develop a dull matte appearance and lose its sugars. IF the process is allowed to proceed even further, the marijuana will disintegrate.
Forced fermentation can be used with small quantities of material. It requires an enclose chamber in which heat and humidity can be regulated.
Pack the marijuana loosely in a kiln or other chamber, and raise the temperature to 135 degrees. Maintain humidity at 75 percent. Check the progress of the ferment periodically. Within a week the ferment should be completed. During this ferment there is a release of ammonia compounds, resulting in some foul odours, but upon completion of the ferment and drying, the marijuana should smoke sweet and mellow.Storage
THC is degraded by both heat and light. Table 26 shows results of an experiment conducted at the University of Mississippi, in which marijuana was stored under varying temperature conditions171. These results indicate that marijuana stored at room temperature (72) or below, and in darkness for up to two years will lose only an insignificant amount of its original potency; whereas marijuana stored in darkness at 97 or above will lose almost all its potency within two years.
In another experiment,164 Fairbairn stored dried marijuana at different temperatures in both light and dark conditions. The samples in light were exposed to a north-facing windows (no direct sunlight). The results are shown in Table 27.
Fairbairn also performed an experiment to discover the effect of air on THC164. Freshly prepared Cannabis resin was stored as a loose powder, a compressed powder, and an unbroken lump for one year at 68 degrees F (about room temperature). Samples were stored under two conditions: in light and air, and in darkness and air. The results are shown in Table 28.
Fairbairn experimented further with pure cannabinoids and extracts of marijuana dissolved in petroleum ether, chloroform, and ethanol (alcohol)165. The results, in Tables 29 and 30, show that the THC and CBD in solution are much more unstable than when they are left in marijuana, especially if they are held by the plant in undamaged glands, where they are protected from exposure to air and, to some degree, light. Crude extracts seem more stable than highly refined cannabinoids, especially CBD, which is very unstable in refined solutions.
Extract makers and purchasers should limit the exposure of the solution to light and heat as well as to air. Oils and extracts should be kept refrigerated in opaque, sealed container. Notice that THC is almost completely degraded in a few weeks when it is held in solution and exposed to light. Red oil, hash oil, and honey oil must be stored in light-tight containers to preserve potency.
From the tables, you can see that light is the primary factor that causes decomposition of THC. The decomposition products are unknown, but are suspected to be polymers or resins. We also do not know whether the rate of decomposition would be faster in direct sunlight.
Air (oxygen) acts much more slowly to convert THC to CBN. Decomposition of THC to CBN is not significant unless temperatures are in the nineties or higher. However, such high temperatures can occur in grass that is packed before it is properly dried. The moisture that is left supports microbial activity, which heats the grass internally, as occurs during certain types of curing. Potency of cured grass is not lowered significantly when the cure is done properly and when the buds are left intact during the process.
The figures for powdered and compressed grass in Table 28 show that both light and air cause rapid decomposition when the resin is exposed through breaking of the resin glands. Intact resin glands appear to function well in storing the cannabinoids. For this reason, it is important to handle fresh and dried grass carefully, in order not to crush the material and thus break the glands, especially in the buds, which have a cover of raised resin glands. Most well-prepared marijuana will have intact, well-preserved buds.
The best place to store marijuana is in a dark container in a refrigerator or freezer. Cannabis should be stored uncleaned, so that the glands containing the THC are not damaged, since damage causes their precious contents to be exposed to light and air. Marijuana should be cleaned only when it is about to be smoked.
Many growers place a fresh lemon, orange, or lime peel in with each lid of stored grass. The peel helps to retain moisture, which keeps the buds pliable, and also gives the grass a pleasant bouquet.
Most growers take well-earned pride in the quality of the marijuana that they grow. By supplying yourself with an herb which may play an important role in your life, you gain a feeling of self-sufficiency that can be infectious.
Since your homegrown is well-tended and fresh, it has a sweet flavourful taste, far superior to that of commercial grass. And there need be no fear of contamination from herbicides, pesticides, adulterants, or other foreign matter. By growing your own, you come to the pleasant realisation that you are free from the vagaries and paranoia of the marijuana market - not to mention how little a home garden costs. All of these feeling can add up to a very heady experience.
In a time of quiet contemplation, you might also reflect on the experiences that brought you this wondrous herb from a tiny seed. There is a tradition of mutual nurture and support between humanity and this plant that goes back 10,000 years.
Rock on eace:
Good post bro, very informative. Do you have a link that would include the mentioned tables/figures?
call me crazy but i dont see any info
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