drying and curing

Drying and Curing: A Critical Step for Superior Cannabis

by | Apr 2, 2024

drying and curing

Written by Kristina Etter

Kristina is a digital content creator and designer. She has a talent for creating engaging and informative content that resonates with our professional audience. Kristina’s passion for the cannabis industry stems from her belief that it has the potential to revolutionize the world in many ways, and has a personal testimony of cannabis success.

Anyone who’s grown cannabis, whether growing commercially or in a small home grow setup, knows the journey from seed to smoke is marked by meticulous attention to detail. Each step contributes to shaping a quality final product. Often underestimated, the art of drying and curing unlocks the plant’s true essence, revealing its full potential in aroma, flavor, and potency.

It had been a couple of years since our last conversation, and I was eager to catch up on the latest developments at Cannatrol, a company producing a groundbreaking approach to cannabis drying and curing.

I sat down with David Sandelman, the visionary mind behind the tech; I couldn’t help but sense the excitement in his tone. “It’s been really exciting what’s been going on,” David exclaimed.

Applying Science to Subjective Review

David discussed the recent breakthroughs propelling Cannatrol to the forefront of curing innovation. “We’re now starting to get results that the CRC, Cannabis Research Coalition, is working on,” he revealed, referring to the pioneering work led by Dr. Allison Justice. This collaboration marked a significant milestone for Cannatrol, which sought to unravel the mysteries behind the exceptional quality of its cannabis products.

Since its inception, Cannatrol has garnered praise for producing some of the finest flowers known to connoisseurs. Yet, as David emphasized, anecdotal acclaim only scratched the surface.

“Anecdotally, it’s nice, but what’s the science behind it?” he pondered, echoing a sentiment shared by many in the industry. This quest for scientific validation led Cannatrol on a journey of discovery, culminating in groundbreaking revelations in recent weeks.

David also unveiled the findings of rigorous testing conducted by the cannabis research coalition. “The first numbers we came up with show that we achieved 16% higher terpene retention than conventional dry cure methods,” he exclaimed with a hint of pride evident in his words.

But it was the microscopic photographs, capturing the intricacies of trichomes, that truly underscored the significance of Cannatrol’s technology, which helps maintain trichome integrity.

With Cannatrol, the photos show just 1-2% trichome damage, while other drying and curing solutions displayed damage. David explained, “Somewhere around 25 to 35% of the trichome heads have ruptured and lost the terpenes and THC.” These results provide irrefutable evidence of the superiority of Cannatrol’s approach.

With science as its compass and innovation as its guiding light, Cannatrol is paving the way for a new era of excellence in cannabis cultivation.

cannatrol drying and curing for homegrowers

Understanding the Need for Advanced Drying and Curing

Traditionally, cannabis growers have grappled with the challenges of achieving optimal drying and curing conditions. As David recounted, the industry has long relied on methods that leave much to chance, subjecting precious harvests to the whims of atmospheric conditions and environmental variables beyond growers’ control.

The result? Inconsistent product quality, lost yields, and a frustrating lack of reproducibility.

Proper drying and curing cannot be overstated. Beyond simply preserving the plant’s integrity, these processes are crucial for unlocking the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other bioactive compounds that define each strain’s unique characteristics. However, achieving this delicate balance is easier said than done.

Traditional drying methods, as David aptly pointed out, often fall short in addressing the core challenge: the removal of free available water—the very substance that molds and bacteria thrive on. Without precise control over moisture levels, growers are left vulnerable to the risk of over-drying or under-drying their harvests, both of which can have detrimental effects on product quality and shelf stability.

Herein lies the crux of the matter: the cannabis industry, much like its counterparts in the food and pharmaceutical sectors, requires a standardized approach to drying and curing—one that prioritizes consistency, efficiency, and, above all, quality.

Inspired by the age-old practices of cheese aging, Vaportrol was born out of a desire to replicate the conditions necessary for achieving shelf stability and superior product quality. Drawing on principles of water activity—a metric long favored by industries with stringent quality control standards—Cannatrol devised a solution that transcends traditional drying methods, offering growers unparalleled control over the drying process.

But Vaportrol is more than just a technological feat; it’s a paradigm shift in the way we approach cannabis cultivation. By harnessing the power of science and innovation, Cannatrol empowers growers to produce a consistent, high-quality product, irrespective of environmental factors or geographic location. From the high desert of Colorado to the swamps of Florida, growers can now replicate ideal drying conditions with precision, ensuring that every batch meets the same exacting standards of excellence.

Exploring Cannatrol’s Vaportrol Technology

At its core, Vaportrol operates on the principle of controlling vapor pressure—a concept that lies at the intersection of chemistry and thermodynamics.

“What we’re doing is we’re controlling the vapor pressure, the absolute amount of moisture in the space when the flower is being dried and cured,” David explained.

The magic of Vaportrol unfolds as freshly cut cannabis enters a space infused with Cannatrol’s proprietary technology. Here, vapor pressure is meticulously regulated, creating an environment where equilibrium is achieved—a delicate balance between moisture levels within the plant and the surrounding space. This equilibrium, typically measured at a water activity of 0.6, heralds a crucial milestone: shelf stability.

Far from being a mere drying mechanism, Vaportrol sets the stage for a transformative curing process—one that allows growers to precisely control the final product’s flavor, aroma, and potency.

Unlike traditional drying methods, which often necessitate the abrupt halt of the drying process followed by manual intervention to initiate curing, Vaportrol offers a seamless continuum from drying to curing for home growers and commercial producers alike.

Commercial Solutions with Cannatrol

“So if you think about a large grow operation, where they’re looking at flowers and going, you know, this flower is going to be ready to be pulled from the dry room over the weekends. Do we bring in a crew over the weekend on overtime to take it down? Or do we leave it till Monday, when it will probably be overdried? That dilemma doesn’t exist with us,” David asserted, highlighting Vaportrol’s unparalleled flexibility and efficiency for commercial production.

commercial drying and curing room
Image of drying and curing facility provided by Cannatrol

But perhaps Vaportrol’s most profound impact lies in its ability to democratize quality. Gone are the days of disparate drying and curing outcomes, where small popcorn buds languished in the shadow of their larger counterparts. With Vaportrol, every bud, from the smallest popcorn to the grandest cola, is treated with the same meticulous care and precision.

Cannatrol’s comprehensive approach to the commercial market offers tailored solutions to meet the diverse needs of growers and producers. At the heart of their commercial lineup are kits designed to accommodate varying volumes of wet flower, ranging from 160 pounds to an impressive 720 pounds. These kits provide a turnkey solution for commercial cultivators, delivering precise control over the drying and curing process at scale.

But Cannatrol’s commitment to commercial excellence doesn’t end there. With a keen eye for innovation, they offer custom solutions tailored to each facility’s unique requirements. Whether retrofitting existing operations or seamlessly integrating into ground-up construction projects, Cannatrol’s technology becomes an integral part of the cultivation landscape.

Real-World Examples

David highlighted several success stories during our conversation. In Massachusetts, a facility that had long been mired in the race to the bottom of pre-roll production found newfound success after retrofitting their room with Cannatrol equipment. By delivering top-dollar quality, they transformed their pre-rolls from afterthoughts to sought-after commodities, leaving competitors in the dust.

Similarly, a facility in New Mexico experienced a dramatic shift in perception after retrofitting one of its rooms with Cannatrol technology. In a climate notorious for producing crispy, over-dried flower, its sticky, supple buds stood out for their quality. The immediate demand for its product spoke volumes, prompting a swift expansion of Cannatrol’s technology across its entire operation.

drying and curing facilities
Images of drying and curing facilities provided by Cannatrol

From boosting product quality to driving demand, Cannatrol empowers commercial cultivators to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

In the ever-evolving complexities of cannabis cultivation, embracing technology is key to unlocking the full potential of your crops. Advanced drying and curing technologies offer a myriad of benefits, from increased yields and product quality to enhanced shelf stability and reduced labor costs.

With proven efficacy and scientific backing, these innovations empower growers of all scales to elevate their harvests to new heights of excellence. Whether you’re a home grower or a commercial cultivator, now is the time to embrace technology and revolutionize your cultivation practices. Harness the power of science to cultivate a brighter future for the cannabis quality.