When the smell reaches the entrance hall

By: Walter, March 30, 2018

People who grow their own cannabis, keep their monthly stock in a broom closet and smoke in their flat are not likely to smell hash. Yet unwanted home visitors could still perceive some smell in the entrance hall. For this reason, safe drying and storage processes are a basic requirements. It is not just a matter of removing the smell, but also of how to achieve and retain a good quality level in production.   Robert B.

With a fast drying process, flowers do not have enough time to ripen after they have been cut. In actual fact, all flowers cut from plants should be dried not in a baking oven at 80 degrees for 8 hours, but rather in a broom closet for 8 days, with nearly 60% relative air humidity and a temperature of around 20°C. If the environment is colder, warmer, drier or more humid, it will not be beneficial for the harvest. In the worst case, cannabis will start to get mouldy. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to aerate the drying chamber, or at least to favour air circulation. Should an air extractor not suffice to remove the smell, a suitable active carbon filter should be hung before it.

The problem with a hash smell starts already with the harvest. When plants are not harvested in a grow room where a filtered air extraction system has been installed, but rather in another room, there is a need to prevent the smell spreading all around. Air-suction harvesting machines circulate the mass of scented air. In a harvest room, air should be extracted with the use of a filter or forced into the grow room with a continuously running filtered ventilation system.

Quality depends on a proper drying process. Individual flowers can lie in thin layers on a drying bar and be turned once a day. Branches of flowers could also be hung on a clothesline. A successful result can also depend on climate.

When, after drying, individual flowers are placed into bags, then it must be checked, on the same day as well as on the next day, whether they have become sticky again in the sealed plastic bag. In case of low residual humidity, the bag can be simply left open for the remaining humidity to evaporate slowly. A slow and smooth drying process is always beneficial for quality. It is therefore appropriate to let residual humidity evaporate under controlled conditions.

Proper and safe storage conditions

THC oxidises under the action of oxygen and light. Therefore, dry marijuana flowers, hash lumps or extracts should be protected from the air and sources of light. In addition, a cool room should be chosen for storage. Marijuana flowers contain both cannabinoids and terpenes, which are essential for the taste and effect of the end product. Many terpenes, however, are highly volatile and therefore evaporate at temperatures above 30°C.

Many growers freeze their harvests, which is a good thing to do. During the unfreezing and opening process, however, care should be taken to check that no humidity has built up in the container.

During freezing, it is better to make sure that the container does not remain open. Those who rely on large quantities obtained in a single harvest for the full year should also consider using a buffer storage area. Places such as a cellar, a garage, a garden shed, a nice spot in the forest or any similar locations will serve the purpose so as to avoid smells in the house. Care should also be taken to avoid humidity getting inside the container. In short, the storage place must be inodorous and leak-proof.

The usual grip seal bags are not 100 % tight. Noaks Bags are much better. There are also anti-odour bags that are sealed with an electric iron after filling. Another option are vacuum-pump bags. In both cases, bags are airtight. Anti-odour bags are also lightproof. However, these bags should not be bent or twisted, otherwise the internal anti-odour film would be damaged. Filled vacuum-pump bags can perhaps still be smelled by dogs. The outermost edge of bags is normally sealed. If this edge is cut off and the bag is opened, its content can be transferred to another container, after which the edge can be resealed. Good Tupperware containers are particularly practical. Shrink-wrapping is however more appropriate for storage. For freezing, vacuum storage could be perfect.

It is worth noting that even a single gram in a closed environment can release a smell that can be perceived several metres away by a human nose, even though the human nose is not as good as that of dogs. Those who travel around with herb should perhaps avoid using a grip seal bag even for a single gram, and rather opt for odour-free hiding places.

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