Protecting the Quality of Your Plants After Harvest

Now that harvest season is upon us, it’s more important than ever to take every measure to protect the quality of your crops as medical cannabis patients are demanding stricter quality control.

By Kat Young  |  September 27, 2011

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THC will rapidly degrade after a cannabis plant has been cut down if exposed to heat, light or friction.

It is important to consider these factors post harvest in order to preserve the aroma, flavor and potency you and your plant worked so hard to achieve.

After you cut your plants down you want to dry them in a cool, dark place with controlled humidity.

You want your buds to dry as slow as possible, from one to two weeks.  This makes a huge difference in flavor and aroma in the final cured product.

Avoid drying them outside unless the conditions are perfect and they are kept dark and out of the wind, and whatever you do, don’t dry your plants out in the sun!

A sealed room with a dehumidifier works great because you can control the environment.  Keep the dehumidifier turned up to a high % (65-80%), and turn it off intermittently (not more than one day) if necessary.

Be sure to continue checking the plants by bending a stem to get a feel for how dry or wet they are and do whatever it takes to keep the plants from drying too fast.  It is good to gently move the air around in the room to promote even drying, but be sure not to let a fan blow directly on the plants.

When your harvest is ready to trim (stems snap), cut everything down (if needed) and put them in black bags or other dark and reasonably airtight container.

If the product is not completely dry, use brown paper bags to allow airflow while keeping them dark.  Now you can begin the curing process while you are still trimming.

Keep only a working pile on the table while trimming and periodically put the finished buds into a sealed dark container.

Now your medicine is ready for the final cure.

Some people prefer to cure in glass jars, but growers with larger quantities often use either a plastic bag or an oven style bag.

In these cases the grower should take care to keep those jars or clear bags in the dark at all times.

Even routine light exposure can make a big difference in flavor and potency.  A black bag is ideal because it blocks out light at all times unless it is wide open.

It is important to store your cannabis in something that is odor proof to keep the odor molecules from escaping and preserve that delightful aroma for when you open the bag.

Anything airtight will have this effect.

Vacuum seal bags are odor proof, but cannot be opened and closed so they not great for regular use.  Jars can be air tight, but be sure that the rubber seal is new and in good condition as they degrade over time and leak.

Oven style bags actually contain odor while allowing a small amount of vapor to breathe out, this can be a good or a bad thing.

The benefit to this is that if there is any lingering moisture within the bud, it can escape without causing mold (a possibility with vacuum seal).  The catch is you don’t want it to dry out too much, and in extremely dry weather that can be a problem.  The thicker the bag, the less moisture will escape.

Now your medicine is ready for use.  Just keep it dark and odor proof and enjoy it readily.  Like all fresh produce, the fresher the better, so smoke it up!

FULL DISCLOSURE:  Kat Young is the owner of Gro Gro Gadgets and maker of a brand new product called the Black Magic Odor Barrier Bag. With more than eight years of experience with indoor and outdoor medical cannabis harvesting, this bag is specially designed it for that protecting your harvest after she learned through trials and tribulations the quality that may be compromised from harvesting cannabis.

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