This is an important choice. You can choose to partially cure the cannabis or you can use fresh flowers. what you decide will determine costs, and the amount of pre and post processing you may have after the initial extraction takes place.
Lets look at the considerations – and then I can tell you what my choice would be.
Fresh flowers are rich in volatile terpenes that have only just started their degradation process. All terpenes start to vaporize at different temperatures. The most volatile among them are what gives fresh cannabis that smell that fills a room. If you have ever been near a cannabis flower in full bloom, you know that smell I mean.
These terpenes start to boil off at around 70F. When you dry or cure cannabis, you start to lose a whole lot of terpenes that boil off at 80F-100F.
If you use fresh flowers, there will be less of a chance that any small plant material will make it into the final extract.
- transporting fresh material is very pungent.
- fresh material is very bulky – it hasn’t lost it’s water weight.
- terpenes will start to degrade quickly so fresh material should be harvested and used within 24hrs.
- fresh material will have a much higher water weight that will have to be removed post processing.
- the end resulting extraction will be more sticky
- there may be a slight decrease in yield
In order to use fresh material it is always best to flash freeze the material. This will make the trichomes more brittle and apt to separate from the plant easier.
Dried material is a know quantity. It is immediately ready for grinding and loading into the extractor. It is less bulky than fresh material and can be stored easier.
Cured material will have already started the process of converting THCA to the psychoactive THC. Which if you are creating concentrates that is not something that you are too concerned about. Because you can expose more surface area to the solvent, your yields will be a little higher than if you were using fresh flowers.
- Lose some of the taste once some of the turpenes have boiled off
- Possibility of plant matter making it’s way to the extract
- Have to properly store the dried material and over time it will lose some potency
So what is my choice?
Even though you get a little bit less those volatile turpenes that get lost through drying really makes the taste of the final extract change, my choice would be to use fresh flowers that have been flash frozen within 24hrs of harvest.
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