What is the best way to preserve terpenes in cannabis?

What steps can I take to ensure that the terpenes in my cannabis plants are preserved, especially during the drying and curing process?

One answer “What is the best way to preserve terpenes in cannabis?

  1. The preservation of terpenes in cannabis plants during the drying and curing process is an extremely important step in ensuring the highest quality end product. Terpenes are found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant and provide an array of medicinal, flavor and aroma properties. Without proper preservation, these essential compounds can easily be lost. Luckily, there are several steps one can take to ensure terpenes are preserved in order to produce a high-quality product.

    To start, drying and curing the cannabis plant properly is critical. Begin by harvesting your plant at the right time, when resin heads are fully developed. It is best to harvest in the morning when trichomes are highly loaded with terpenes. Cut the plant into separate branches and hang them in a well ventilated, climate controlled area with around 60-70% relative humidity. Dry your plants slowly and evenly, this will help maintain a full terpene profile.

    Next, in order to limit the degradation of terpenes, it is important to store your cannabis properly. This means storing it in airtight containers at a cool to room temperature. If done correctly, cannabis terpenes can be preserved up to six months in an airtight container. Make sure the containers have an opaque, dark color and are made from non-reactive, UV resistant material and it’s best to use a completely darkened room.

    When it comes time to cure your cannabis, it is essential to maintain low temperatures. Since most essential oils are extremely sensitive to high temperatures and light, it is best to cure at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. As the terpene content slowly degrades, it is important to keep your storage containers open to avoid mold and pest infestations. Use a fan to reduce the risk of moisture buildup in the container and periodically open the containers and stir the buds to ensure even curing.

    In addition, to preserve terpenes and keep them fresh, it is important to keep things clean. Make sure to wear gloves and masks when handling cannabis, as oils from your skin can contaminate the buds and affect the terpene profile. Additionally, avoid overhandling your cannabis during the drying process, as excess friction can break down terpenes as well as cannabinoids.

    By following these tips and maintaining the proper conditions, you can ensure the ultimate preservation of terpenes throughout the drying and curing process. Though not a guarantee, taking these precautions can help minimize the degradation of terpenes and create a final product of the highest quality.

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