Kristina Etter   |   December 06, 2017

Why Curing is So Critical for Quality Cannabis

Curing is the final phase of cannabis cultivation and is a critical step in ensuring quality, potent medical marijuana.
Before becoming a freelance cannabis writer, Kristina Etter, spent 20 years in corporate information technology with companies including Maytag Appliances, Wells Fargo Financial, and DuPont Pioneer. With a niche in mobile technology and…

Agricultural technology is helping growers perfect a myriad of processes to improve quality, yields, and potency of their cannabis crops. During the growing processes, advanced lighting systems help enhance cannabinoid and terpene production, but building potency doesn’t end there. Another key element is to simplify the critical and difficult process of curing cannabis.

Image courtesy of Yofumo

 

What is Curing?

After cannabis has been harvested and hung to dry, quality cannabis requires a slower, more controlled drying process to bring out a superior cannabinoid profile. Curing allows bacteria to break down the chlorophyll in the plant material. Chlorophyll contributes to a harsh smoking experience. In addition, when a plant is harvested, the process of producing cannabinoids doesn’t just cease immediately, it continues until all the water is dried from the plant.

Therefore, the grower’s climate and ability to control the environment can affect the overall quality of the end-product. If conditions are too moist, the product can grow mold and rot, while if the conditions are too dry, the material dries too quickly and prevents full cannabinoid expression.

With the curing process being difficult to manage, cultivation facilities, and even some home growers are starting to look to technology to make the process easier. Fortunately, two companies have emerged to help simplify the art of curing cannabis.

 

Yofumo

Yofumo’s patented technology was created to simplify post-harvest operations and provide unparalleled results across the entire post-harvest spectrum. This curing equipment can speed up the drying process by 300% while providing a high-quality product. With a non-residual decontamination process which enables complete control over curing and finishing, Yofumo’s devices ensure a quality, clean product, and increased value for the crop.

According to Yofumo, their commercial curing equipment can provide the following benefits:

  • Accelerates cure time by up to 300%
  • 5% to 8% increases in yield recovery
  • Complete product decontamination
  • More than $100 price increases per pound
  • Increased product consistency
  • Decrease in overall operating costs

A Denver, Colorado-based company, Yofumo curing equipment helps cannabis cultivators make the curing process easier to control. Whether a small commercial operation or a big, industrial grow, Yofumo has a product to suit the size of the operation. In addition to adding an Outdoor Line to accommodate large industrial cultivation operations, Yofumo is expected to release a smaller, personal storage and curing device for home growers and cannabis consumers, in the near future as well. Currently, the company offers two models:

  • Pro - Designed for small producers with high rotation and diverse crop harvests. Curing capacity – 3 to 6 pounds depending on the strain.
  • Pro+ - Ideal for mid-size and large commercial operations with diverse crop harvests. Curing capacity – 30 to 60 pounds. 

 

AutoCure

A company based in San Diego, California, AutoCure has also entered the market with advanced technology curing equipment. Their automated curing technology uses proprietary software and specially designed robotics to create the perfect drying environment, thereby eliminating mold. 

Image courtesy of AutoCure

AutoCure discusses the importance of proper curing on their website stating,

“…true curing must be executed in an air-tight environment that is separate from ambient humidity conditions. This allows the harvested material to mature in an environment that will not dry the product too fast and stay mold free, if the air within the curing environment is vented (burped) at the right time.”

Their equipment and software are designed to provide this perfect combination of airflow and humidity to create a consistently quality product.

Auto Cure's airtight curing chamber, made from lab-grade acrylic which produces no off-gassing, is welded together without the use of toxic glues or adhesives. A sealed door creates an air-locked interior environment. Within the chamber, two sensors monitor RH% and temperature. The posterior of the unit has two separate flow chambers for intake and exhaust and houses two servos and four fans which turn on and off to create or stop air ventilation while removing all humidity.

AutoCure currently has two sizes available to suit the size of the cultivation operation, medium and large, which handle 8-12 pounds or 75-80 pounds respectively. AutoCure is expecting to release a smaller model, about the size of a microwave, with a capacity of 5-7 pounds for home grows.

Once again, legalization has allowed the cannabis market to advance with technology to continually provide a better, quality product. Science and technology are not only improving the grower’s bottom line, but producing a more consistent, medicinal product for the patients who are turning to cannabis in the hope of treating some chronic ailment. 

 

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