Elevate Your Cannabis Harvest: Expert Post-Production Techniques

Elevate Your Cannabis Harvest: Expert Post-Production Techniques

If you’ve been dedicating the last year to growing your own cannabis, and you’ve recently completed a successful harvest, you’re likely eager to indulge in your homegrown buds. However, it’s crucial to remember that your work is only halfway done. The next steps in the process, including drying, trimming, and curing, are vital to elevate the quality, flavor, and smokability of your freshly grown flowers.

The post-harvest steps, whether you’re a commercial cannabis company or a small-scale grower, are pivotal in ensuring the quality of your crop. Each step in the cannabis post-production process offers various methods and techniques, which can significantly impact the final product. To shed light on the best practices and help home growers maximize their harvest, we spoke with three seasoned cultivators.

Emphasized the importance of post-production, noting that it accounts for 50% of producing high-quality end-products. Rushing the drying process or leaving too much fan leaf on the buds can ruin a visually appealing flower.

Also highlighted the need to adapt post-production methods to the specific genetics of each cannabis strain. Different strains require distinct handling during cultivation and post-production.

Drying:
After harvesting, the next step is drying your buds. Proper drying is essential not only for preserving and enhancing terpenes but also for preventing mold and bacteria growth. Different cultivators employ various techniques, such as hanging plants upside down in canopies, maintaining specific temperature and humidity levels, and ensuring even airflow in the drying room.

Curing:
Curing involves placing properly dried cannabis in airtight containers to eliminate harmful bacteria, mold, and chlorophyll. This process contributes to a smoother smoke, retains flavor and terpene profiles, and reduces unwanted chlorophyll. Curing durations can vary, ranging from seven to ten days to as long as 17 to 28 days, depending on factors like bud size.

Trimming:
Trimming involves the removal of sugar and fan leaves from around the bud. It’s a critical step in preserving a product’s shelf-life. The trimming process can vary, with some growers opting for on-stem trimming to minimize handling and disturbance to the trichomes.

Dry Trim vs. Wet Trim:
There’s a debate between dry trimming and wet trimming. Some cultivators prefer dry trimming, while others employ a two-stage method of both wet and dry trimming, adapting their approach to the specific strain.

A Close Shave Vs. Leaving the Leaf:
Preserving the bud structure is a key consideration during the trimming process. While consumers prefer not to see excessive leaf on the buds, it’s equally important not to over-trim. The balance between manicuring the buds and preserving their structure is crucial.

Preserving Terpenes:
Terpenes, the compounds responsible for cannabis strains’ unique aromas and flavors, are essential for crafting a desirable final product. Maintaining terpenes involves careful control of temperature and humidity throughout the post-harvest process.

It’s All About the Humidity:
All three experienced growers stressed the importance of maintaining the correct humidity levels throughout post-production. Proper humidity control, achieved through methods like dehumidifiers and fans, is crucial to preventing mold and preserving the quality of the buds.

Pro Advice for Home Growers:
For home growers, the post-production process is just as critical as it is for commercial cultivators. Proper drying and curing, along with careful trimming, are essential to ensure your hard work results in a high-quality end product. Home growers should create a controlled environment for drying, use glass jars for curing on a small scale, and be mindful of temperature, humidity, and airflow.

Understanding the intricacies of post-production processes in cannabis cultivation can help you appreciate the nuances and craftsmanship that go into producing high-quality cannabis products. Whether you’re a small-scale home grower or a commercial cultivator, the right post-harvest techniques are essential for achieving the best results.

DIY Cannabis Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Your Own

DIY Cannabis Tincture: A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Your Own

Making a cannabis tincture using decarboxylated cannabis is a popular way to create a concentrated and versatile cannabis-infused liquid.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Ingredients and Equipment:1/4 to 1/2 ounce (7-14 grams) of decarboxylated cannabis
High-proof alcohol (e.g., Everclear, vodka, or rum)
Glass jar with a tight-sealing lid
Fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
Amber glass dropper bottles for storage
Funnel
Mixing bowl
Measuring cup

Instructions:

Prepare the Cannabis: Start by ensuring that your cannabis is properly decarboxylated as explained in the previous instructions.

Measure the Alcohol: Determine how much tincture you want to make and measure the appropriate amount of high-proof alcohol. A common ratio is 1 gram of decarboxylated cannabis to 1 ounce (30 ml) of alcohol, but you can adjust the ratio based on your desired potency.

Combine Cannabis and Alcohol: Place the decarboxylated cannabis into the glass jar. Pour the measured alcohol over the cannabis, making sure it’s completely covered.

Seal and Store: Seal the glass jar tightly with the lid, and store it in a cool, dark place. Shake the jar gently once a day to help with the infusion process. Let it steep for at least 2-4 weeks for optimal results. The longer you steep it, the more potent the tincture will become.

Strain the Tincture: After the steeping period, strain the tincture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a mixing bowl. This will remove the plant material and leave you with a liquid tincture.

Bottle the Tincture: Use a funnel to pour the tincture into amber glass dropper bottles for storage. Amber bottles help protect the tincture from light, which can degrade the cannabinoids. Seal the bottles tightly with the caps.

Label and Store: Label your tincture bottles with the date of preparation and the strain (if applicable). Store them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Dosage: Tinctures are typically administered using a dropper. Start with a small dose (e.g., a few drops) and wait for the effects before taking more. The potency of your tincture will depend on the strength of the cannabis and the duration of the infusion.

Use in Recipes: Cannabis tinctures can be consumed orally by placing drops under the tongue or added to food and beverages for a discreet and convenient way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.

Remember that cannabis tinctures can be potent, so it’s essential to start with a low dose and gradually increase if needed. The onset of effects is usually faster when taken sublingually (under the tongue) compared to ingesting it.

Additionally, be aware of the legal regulations regarding cannabis and alcohol in your area, and consume tinctures responsibly and in accordance with local laws.

Mastering the Art of Decarboxylating Cannabis Buds

Mastering the Art of Decarboxylating Cannabis Buds

Decarboxylation is a crucial step when preparing cannabis for use in edibles, tinctures, or other infusions. This process activates the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, by removing a carboxyl group from their chemical structure, making them more bioavailable and psychoactive. Here’s how to decarboxylate cannabis:

Ingredients:

Cannabis buds or trim

Equipment:

Baking sheet or oven-safe dish
Parchment paper
Grinder
Oven
Instructions:

Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 240°F (115°C). This is the ideal temperature for decarboxylation because it activates the cannabinoids without burning or vaporizing them.

Prepare the Cannabis: Start by breaking down your cannabis into smaller pieces. If you’re using whole buds, you can break them into smaller nugs or use a grinder to achieve an even consistency. The goal is to expose as much surface area as possible to ensure even decarboxylation.

Line the Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet or oven-safe dish with parchment paper. This will prevent the cannabis from sticking to the surface and make it easier to collect afterward.

Spread the Cannabis: Spread your prepared cannabis evenly on the parchment paper in a single layer. Avoid piling it up, as this can lead to uneven decarboxylation.

Bake in the Oven: Place the baking sheet with the cannabis in the preheated oven. Set a timer for 30-40 minutes. The exact time may vary depending on factors like your oven’s accuracy and the moisture content of your cannabis. During this time, the cannabis will undergo decarboxylation, and you may notice a subtle change in color and aroma.

Check for Doneness: After about 30-40 minutes, check the cannabis. It should appear slightly browned and have a fragrant, toasted aroma. If it still looks green or has a “grassy” smell, you may need to bake it for a few more minutes.

Cool Down: Once you’ve achieved the desired decarboxylation, remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cannabis to cool completely. It’s essential to let it cool before using it in recipes or infusions.

Use or Store: You can now use the decarboxylated cannabis in your desired recipe, whether it’s for making edibles, tinctures, or other cannabis-infused products. If you’re not using it immediately, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency.

Decarboxylated cannabis can be quite potent, so be sure to use it in moderation, especially if you’re new to cannabis-infused products. Remember to adhere to local laws and regulations regarding the use of cannabis in your area.

Medical Cannabis Information for Patients

Medical Cannabis Information for Patients

Learn about how to become a patient, qualifying medical conditions, where to get medicine and more!

Who will be Minnesota’s marijuana czar, the daunting job leading new Office of Cannabis Management?

Who will be Minnesota’s marijuana czar, the daunting job leading new Office of Cannabis Management?

https://www.minnpost.com/state-government/2023/08/who-will-be-minnesotas-marijuana-czar-the-daunting-job-leading-new-office-of-cannabis-management/

 

The job involves drafting rules covering everything from the requirements for each of the 16 licenses, how retailers are regulated, how social justice programs are shaped and administered and how potent marijuana and hemp-derived products can be.

The person charged with leading the complex and closely watched process of making Minnesota the 23rd recreational marijuana state could be appointed to the job within weeks.

The interim head of the Office of Cannabis Management predicted an early September appointment by Gov. Tim Walz. Charlene Briner, a current Department of Agriculture manager who is the temporary “implementation director” for the fledgling new agency, is leading the search and spoke during a webinar to update interested people about the first steps in carrying out the new law.

“That means writing the job description, posting it, casting a wide net in the recruiting process, leading a multi-phased screening and interview process,” Briner said Wednesday evening. “We anticipate sending finalists to Gov. Walz in late August, and he expects to make an announcement in early September about who that new leader will be.”

Walz was asked about the timing earlier Wednesday and was less specific.

The person charged with leading the complex and closely watched process of making Minnesota the 23rd recreational marijuana state could be appointed to the job within weeks.

The interim head of the Office of Cannabis Management predicted an early September appointment by Gov. Tim Walz. Charlene Briner, a current Department of Agriculture manager who is the temporary “implementation director” for the fledgling new agency, is leading the search and spoke during a webinar to update interested people about the first steps in carrying out the new law.

“That means writing the job description, posting it, casting a wide net in the recruiting process, leading a multi-phased screening and interview process,” Briner said Wednesday evening. “We anticipate sending finalists to Gov. Walz in late August, and he expects to make an announcement in early September about who that new leader will be.”

Walz was asked about the timing earlier Wednesday and was less specific.

“We’re still going forward,” he said. “We’re going through the applications that will be there and we’ll try to get someone as soon as possible.”

As laid out by Briner and others already working for the new Office of Cannabis Management, the job will be daunting. The new law requires the office to draft rules covering everything from the requirements for each of the 16 licenses, how retailers are regulated, how social justice programs are shaped and administered and how potent marijuana and hemp-derived products can be.

No licenses can be issued to grow, process or sell marijuana until the rules are approved, something that likely won’t be done until early spring of 2025. While use and possession of cannabis was legal starting Aug. 1, sales outside of the few tribal nations that have their own programs will remain with the illicit market.

Briner explained the policy rationale for the gap.

“The state made a determination that this is not activity that should be criminal any longer and so it is better to stop criminalization even though we would not be in a position to stand up a retail market until rules are in place,” she said.

While the new office will create the regulatory structure for recreational marijuana, it will also absorb the regulation of hemp products and the administration of the decade-old medical cannabis program. Between now and when the new office and rules are set up in March, 2025, the state Department of Health and its Office of Medical Cannabis will administer both hemp and medical cannabis.

The Department of Agriculture is what Briner termed the “incubator agency” for the OCM but that many other state agencies are involved in setting it up and administering the new law.

“This really is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor,” she said.

The director job is considered a Group II commissioner-level job similar to the state Gambling Control Board and the chair of the Met Council. The posted pay range is between $105,757 and $151,505, and the position is subject to state Senate confirmation.

The director job was posted in late June. “The inaugural Director of the Office of Cannabis Management will have responsibility for building a new state agency from the ground up and play a key leadership role in establishing and regulating an emerging new cannabis market in Minnesota,” the posting said.

“The Director will lead planning and policymaking; regulatory functions including compliance, enforcement, and licensure; social equity; tribal relations; legislative relations and operations management. This position will ensure office activities align with statutes, rules and legislation governing the Agency.”

The job posting preferred applicants with “knowledge of the cannabis and/or hemp regulatory environment,” but was primarily aimed at those with experience running a government or private agency. It asked for “eight years of professional experience in regulatory oversight, public administration, business or law enforcement. A bachelor’s degree or higher in public administration, business administration or a related field can substitute for two years of experience.”

In addition, the job posting asked for candidates with ”two years of managerial experience over one or more functional areas that includes overseeing professional and high-level management staff.”

Briner said she is also working with other temporary staff to create job descriptions for eight to 10 senior positions in the new agency with the intent of having them posted at the end of August.

“The goal is that there will be a portfolio of applicants for the new director to begin interviewing and hiring their team as soon as they’re on the job,” Briner said.

Walz must also fill out a 51-member Cannabis Advisory Commission, a massive body with specific positions set aside for state agencies, local governments, law enforcement, health and mental health, farming, the 11 tribal nations, cannabis workers, criminal justice advocates, laboratory sciences, minority business owners, cannabis lawyers and veterans.

Those positions are still open for applicants on the Secretary of State’s appointments website. Briner said she expects Walz to fill out the panel this fall.

During the legislative session, Republicans opposed to the bill voiced speculation that former House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler could be in line for the job. Winkler had led the effort in the House to pass the first significant legalization bill — House File 600 — which passed the House in 2021. It did not come to a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Winkler left the House for an unsuccessful run for Hennepin County attorney but became campaign chair for MN Is Ready, the lead advocacy organization pushing for legalization. Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, tried to amend HF 100 to say that the director could not be someone who had served in the Legislature during the previous four years. The same amendment would have banned those same legislators and former legislators from getting any license under the cannabis law.

Rep. Zach Stephenson, the Coon Rapids DFLer who was prime House sponsor opposed the amendment but said he supported the four-year moratorium for legislators becoming the director. That provision was not included in the final bill.

Winkler said Thursday he will not be an applicant for the director position.

Correction: This story was changed to correct that there are 16 licenses created in the law, not 14.