When cultivating hemp for private or business use, it is important to realize that the process doesn’t finish with an abundant harvest. Even though harvesting the fat fruits of your labor may feel like a perfect accomplishment, you won’t be able to experience the benefits of your selected strain directly from the stem.
Hemp, in general, has to be dried or cured before usage to get the most benefit from it. The chemical components accountable for hemp’s impacts begin to amplify and modify important responses by initiating such crucial processes. In other words, burning a new hemp nug is like grooming your grass, putting the trimmings in a pipe, and having a toke — it is worthless.
Preserving delicate cannabinoids, trichomes, and terpenes requires careful drying and curing of your flowers. It is advisable to start planning your harvest from the time you start growing the plant. Innumerable farmers blindly throw hemp seeds into the ground with little thought about drying and curing the plants’ blooms.
In the long run, this lack of forethought may cost you dearly. Ensure you provide the density of your liquid base when dealing with your hemp flowers. We are here to assist you in getting a head start on the harvesting period by delving further into the drying and curing of flowers.
A step-by-step approach to drying and curing hemp flowers
Harvest is when the drying period starts. Depending on how you intend to harvest your crop, you’ll have to decide on the best drying conditions for the bud. Some growers opt to remove the mother plant’s tiny, retail-sized buds. If you are a small store or just developing for yourself, this is a great option.
Larger twigs, ranging in length from one foot to one foot and four inches, are also an option. Slicing the crop at the stalk and transporting the full length to the drying room requires the minimum work for people who don’t want to spend too much time harvesting. After you have chopped up your crop, you are prepared to enter your drying facility and begin the following phase.
- Ensure that the right conditions are in place
To avoid losing important terpenes and cannabinoids, you must transport your hemp crop to your drying facility as soon as possible after it is harvested. So, before you start cutting your hemp plants, make sure your drying room is ready to receive your new hemp resident.
Temperature and humidity are important factors to take into account while designing your facility’s environment. Hemp should be dried in a warm, well-ventilated environment with a temperature range of 60-70°F. Between 45 and 55 percent, humidity is ideal. If you have access to a fan that circulates air gently, that is great.
- Hang your hemp
To dry your hemp, just cut it into nug-sized pieces and spread them out on a rack. Hanging the branches could be a better option if you have taken the complete plant or chopped off the taller limbs. It would help if you remembered that, even though drying larger samples on a line takes less time, there are drawbacks to doing so.
To begin with, the denseness of the leaves may act as a barrier to airflow entering the branch’s core. Another problem may be leaves sagging downward, which could harm the final product’s aesthetics and glaze.
- Decide on the optimal level of aridity
After the initial 5 to 2-week drying phase, the drying time will depend on your environment and the quality of your buds. You can tell whether your hemp is dry enough to cure if its terminal branch breaks. Hemp is ready for the next stage if it snaps rather than bends on itself.
- Dividing larger samples into smaller ones
When it comes to dividing your crop into retail halves, you have two options. Using a moist knife, cut the hemp to allow for more exact measurements and simpler handling for the harvester. Some growers, on the other hand, wait until the samples are completely dry before cutting them.
While dry cutting has the potential to damage the delicate trichome covering, it typically results in better-tasting hemp once it has been dried and curing has occurred. It is possible that using dry cutting will help you achieve that top-shelf status you are after.
- Cure for hemp flowers: best practices
Curing hemp is a technique used to preserve flowers appearing and smelling great after they have been harvested. While allowing chlorophyll to decompose, moving your flowers from sealed and open pots ensures that water is evenly distributed throughout the bouquet.
Curing takes a couple of days for the majority of industrial hemp farmers. The best technique to cure hemp commercially is to store dried, bucked, and clipped flowers in air-tight bins or barrels.
For the first 12 hours, shut the container tightly. Then, blow the flowers and reseal the container for another 12 hours. Continue this procedure for a few days, reducing the amount of time the container is left open for burping each day.