The Art of Preserving Cannabis: The Magic of Freezing
Can Freezing Help Preserve Cannabis Freshness and Terpenes?
The Rise of Live Resin: A Flavorful Revolution
As the cannabis world evolves, aficionados are diving deeper into the intricate profiles of terpenes, flavonoids, and other unique compounds present in the cannabis flower. This has led to a surge in the popularity of live resin products.
Live resin finds its way into a myriad of products, from vape cartridges and dabbable concentrates to delectable edibles.
The Secret Behind Premium Live Resin: Freezing
The secret sauce? Freshly harvested cannabis, brimming with moisture. As Nic Robertson, a leading expert from the renowned 4Front Ventures in Massachusetts, points out, moisture is the guardian of terpenes. Terpenes, though packed with flavor and aroma, are highly delicate. Traditional drying methods, even under ideal conditions, can lead to a significant loss of these precious compounds.
However, by freezing the cannabis shortly after harvest, the moisture and, consequently, the terpenes are preserved, ensuring a richer and more flavorful product.
Robertson emphasizes, “The day you harvest the cannabis is when its terpene concentration is at its zenith. Preserving this richness is the ultimate goal.”
Methods to Freeze Cannabis: Flash vs. Fresh
Cannabis can be frozen in two primary ways:
Flash Freezing: This method is a favorite among outdoor cultivators, especially those located a significant distance from processing units. Here, freshly harvested plants are swiftly passed through a flash-freezing machine, immediately sealed in bags, and transported in insulated containers. This technique is not exclusive to cannabis; it's also employed for preserving the freshness of vegetables and even pizzas.
Fresh Freezing: More common in indoor cultivation setups, this method involves harvesting the plant, processing it, and freezing it on-site, typically within a half-hour of harvest. The process mirrors that of curing, where the plant is trimmed and then stored in freezer bags.
Marco Malatrasi, a top cultivator at Fluent Cannabis, notes, “The moment the plant is harvested, the race against time begins. The goal is to freeze it while it's still 'alive' to preserve its rich monoterpene profile.”
The term “live” in the cannabis industry doesn't imply the presence of living organisms, as one might find in yogurt. Instead, it signifies that the cannabis was frozen when its terpene and resin concentrations were at their peak.
The Importance of Quick Cannabis Freezing
The interval between harvesting and freezing, known as the “dwell time,” is crucial.
Minimizing this time ensures the preservation of the plant's rich profile.
Flash freezing demands a swift process.
Every second counts.
It's also essential to avoid overpacking the freezer bags, as this can lead to the loss of trichomes, tiny outgrowths on the plant that are rich in cannabinoids.
Choosing the Right Cannaibs Freezer
The choice of freezer is paramount. While some cultivators might opt for chest freezers, larger operations might require walk-in freezers. Standard household or commercial freezers won't make the cut. Note, investing in pharmaceutical-grade freezers or customizing freezers to achieve temperatures between 40-70 degrees below Fahrenheit is recommended.
Robertson concludes, “High-quality freezers ensure rapid freezing, preventing moisture separation and preserving the plant's essence.”
Want to Join in Medical Cannabis Research?
Research summary and goals:
1. To identify patients willing and able to participate in medical cannabis research.
2. To determine medical cannabis treatment safety.
3. To determine medical cannabis treatment standards.
4. To determine the quality of life outcomes in cannabis patients.