Drying Flower vs. Drying for Extraction

Here at Cann Drying Systems we are passionate about high-quality cannabis, but we also love the high-terpene extracts our cultivator partners create with that same flower. With the incredible rise in interest from cannabis consumers for both vape products and high terpene full spectrum extracts, the industry as a whole is seeing a greater need to branch out from just a flower focus and more towards a product mix that often includes extract-based end products. While the cultivation process is relatively similar for both intended end-products, the drying cycle is often where some of the major differences in the flower product life-cycle happen. Here we’re going to break down some of the general differences in your dry cycle when it comes to drying your crop for top shelf flower versus drying your crop for extraction end-product usage.

It’s crucial to maintain a “low and slow” drying pace when drying cannabis for high-quality. Low and slow typically comes out to 60°- 65°F (15°- 18°C) to best preserve trichomes and the terpenes/cannabinoids they hold within. On the flipside of the coin, when drying cannabis flowers for extraction purposes, we often see our customers put a greater focus on faster dry times (often 24-48 hours), which means they are often drying at temperatures of 85°F+ (29°C +). This causes terpene-rich moisture to evaporate off at a faster rate while still preserving the cannabinoids that they intend to extract later on. (Cannabinoids do not begin to evaporate until about 126°F or 56° C). But what about those valuable terpenes we keep mentioning? One of the primary reasons our customers are comfortable drying at higher temperatures is their confidence in our terpene collection system. Since cannabinoids have a much higher evaporation point, our customers are able to reclaim those terpenes that come off with the plant’s moisture and reclaim those in our DH unit’s condensate collector – that they can later recombine with the extracted cannabinoids to create the same terpy live extract products the market craves. Whichever the intended end-product, our drying systems give our cultivators all of the necessary tools to dry and cure their cannabis more efficiently and with greater confidence in the consistency of their post harvest processes.

Most cultivators that we talk to state that humidity control is their #1 issue with their existing dry room. Cann’s dehumidification systems allow cultivators to tightly control humidity in the dry room – whether they are drying for top-shelf quality or for extract end-purpose. Product in the dry cycle that will be utilized for high-quality smokable flower is typically dried with a moderate relative humidity (typically somewhere between 50-65% RH). This relative humidity level supports a gentle dry cycle – one that helps to preserve trichome structures and terpene/cannabinoid contents. For extraction purposes, many cultivators utilize a slightly lower relative humidity level (40%-50%) to help speed up the drying process. Whatever your end product goals, Cann’s system provides you with ultimate control of your drying environment.

Airflow Speed & Distribution
While all Cann Drying System chambers and custom solution installs utilize laminar airflow distribution components to prevent the formation of microclimates, the air speed often varies for cultivators drying flowers for high-quality vs. for extraction end-use. Air speed is often the most overlooked environmental factor in a cannabis dry room. With high-quality cannabis as the end goal, we often see our customers set the fan systems’ air speed to a low air flow (around 25%) in the school of thought of going “low and slow.” Low and slow gently dries the flower to a perfect shelf-ready moisture content level. For extraction, however, cannabis can be dried at a moderate air speed (30%+) since the cultivator is generally more focused on dry cycle turnaround times as well as having Cann’s terpene capture system to fall back on for creating high-quality, terpene heavy extract products.

While cannabis for combustible use and cannabis for extraction are often grown the same, the process for preparing it for use can be different. Thankfully, with Cann’s intuitive user interface, the cultivator is able to change settings easily for either intended end-use. All controls can also be accessed, adjusted, and monitored remotely from any desktop, laptop, mobile device, or tablet from anywhere in the world. Cann Systems also features an upgrade available to all chambers to feature a built-in auto-curing kit in the drying chamber, effectively being able to utilize the same square footage for a seamless, hands-free, one step dry and cure.

No matter what end-use purpose your team has in mind for your crop, our drying chambers are built and customizable to whatever the cultivators’ needs may be. Click here to connect with our team directly and let us help you surpass your drying goals.

Transforming an art to a science.