[Canniseur: It’s springtime and time to plant all our seeds; lettuce, peas, pot…yop. And this year, amid all the social distancing, it’s time to think about your crop that will make you happy after you’re well fed. Time to up your cannabis growing game!]
There’s a lot to consider before making the decision to create and sustain a cannabis garden. Cultivators can never know too much about growing cannabis, so being educated about the process and diligent about the health of the crop will make a world of difference.
We’ve collected some articles designed to help you prepare your home garden for spring. Happy planting!
[Canniseur: Just like the article about “Luxury Cannabis” there will also be room for nice expensive humidors for your favorite bud. You can’t store your bud in a plastic bag any more, so if you can afford one of these, at least you’ll know your flower is staying fresh. As for me, I like little mason jars with a 62% Boveda humidity pack inside. The system works great for me.]
We got some bad news — that sweet smell of dank in your room is the smell of your medicine and money evaporating into the air. ]
Cannabis’s terpenes (or odor molecules) are therapeutically active and contribute immensely to bud’s overall effects. You need to keep your terps in your bud, bruh, and that means sealing it in a dark, temperature and humidity-controlled enclosure.
For starters, try the Icky Box, or the Icky Box XL, which are $39 and $69 respectively. Designed by three bros in Miami, FL., Icky Boxes are ideal personal cannabis humidors. Both sizes are about seven inches wide, and the XL is taller and deeper. Both come with a special slot and a fresh Boveda humidity pack. You open the pack’s wrapper, slot it in the Box, and it’ll keep your stash at a fresh 62% relative humidity for about eight weeks — no matter what the ambient conditions. Icky Boxes are handmade in the U.S. from thick cherry wood that’s cut, glued, sanded, stained and one-of-a-kind. It feels crazy the first time you leave some fresh herb just sitting open in the Box’s metal tins and drop the top down. But come back weeks later and the bud’s stems still snap like you just opened a bag. And those terps? They’re all yours. Now that’s dope. —
Here is the stylish cannabis stash kit of your dreams. Made of mahogany with a cherry wood interior that’s been sustainably forested, this Cannador 4-Strain humidor is an aesthetic and functional beauty. An elegantly designed airtight cannabis repository for short- and long-term storage, this humidor’s discreet appearance could easily blend into any decor or area of your house and remain covert and odor-free. Four of the five cans store an eighth of an ounce a-piece. The center can holds a quarter-ounce. Each metal canister has a clear lid with adjustable air holes to control optimal ventilation. The humidity device is a clear case of beads activated by dipping into water and affixes via a magnet to the inner portion of the lid. Total dimensions of the system measure roughly 5 x 10 x 11 inches, with a handy stowage nook for accessories like grinder, lighter and dab tools. Cannador has created a handsome humidity-control system that impeccably preserves your top-shelf bud maintaining an optimized degree of freshness, taste and dankness. — Dave Carpenter
These German-made humidors provide a sturdy storage solution. Cannaseur is crafted from walnut or mahogany, woods that don’t release oils after processing, meaning your pristine ganja won’t come out reeking of the woody cedar hamster change funk some other wood boxes can leave behind. Humidors have stored items like cigars and pipe tobacco for years and as sustainable cultivation of premium marijuana continues to blossom alongside the appreciation of this horticultural artform, it’s only natural they would evolve to store a much-safer plant. The Cannaseur comes with a humidity bead system and distilled water to establish the right humidity level for your marijuana stash. — Ellen Holland
[Canniseur: There’s nothing as good as lighting up a bowl of your favorite flower and enjoying the taste. There’s nothing worse than lighting up a bowl of your favorite flower that’s not been dried and cured properly. The process of drying and curing your cannabis is as important as growing it. Once you’ve harvested, the important process of drying and curing begins.]
Properly dried and cured cannabis flower buds burn evenly and have a smooth, rich taste. When smoked, the embers have an even glow and enter the body smoothly. When vaporized, there should be no apparent “green” taste.
If flower buds are dried too quickly, chlorophyll and other pigments, starch and nitrates or other fertilizer salts are trapped within plant tissue, making it burn unevenly and taste unpleasantly “green.” If buds are dried too slow, or not at all, they rot.
Gardeners can lose some or all of their crop to poor drying and curing. Here’s how to do it right:
Drying converts 75% or more of a freshly harvested plant into water vapor and other gases and converts carbohydrates to simple sugars. Drying also converts chlorophyll and other pigments so that no “green” residuals remain.
You can harvest an entire plant, individual branches or strip flower buds from branches to dry. When stems are severed, the transport of fluids within the plant continues, but at a much slower rate. The natural plant processes slowly come to an end as the plant dries. The outer cells are the first to dry, but fluid still moves from internal cells to supply moisture to outer cells, which are dry. When the drying and curing processes occur properly, plants dry evenly throughout. Removing leaves and large stems upon harvest speeds drying; however, moisture content within the “dried” flower buds, leaves and stems can become uneven.
Drying time depends upon temperature, humidity and bud density. Ideal temperature is 60-70°F and the best humidity range for drying is 45-55%. Most flower buds will be dry enough in three to five days before passing to the curing process, but they may take longer. It can take up to two weeks before all chlorophyll — the stuff that gives the “green” taste — has dissipated from foliage. Big, fat, dense flower buds can take three to four days longer to dry than smaller buds. Gently squeeze buds after they have been drying for a few days to check for moisture content. Bend stems to see if they are dry. If the stem breaks rather than folds, it is ready to cure. The bud should be dry to the touch but not brittle. The bud should burn well enough to smoke when dry.
Even after plants, branches or buds have dried on screens or been suspended in a drying room for five to seven days and appear to be dry, they still contain moisture inside. This moisture affects taste, fragrance and cannabinoid content (potency). Curing will remove this excess moisture and all it contains.
Curing makes buds uniformly dry and pleasant to consume, and preserves natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Curing after drying helps remove any remaining chlorophyll, other pigments, latent fertilizer salts and so on that have accumulated in flower buds, leaves and stems. If dried too quickly, flower buds retain more chlorophyll and have a “green” taste, and when vaporized or smoked are harsh on the pallet and often burn too hot. For some, curing is not essential. In fact, some medical patients prefer the often minty flavor of uncured cannabis.
Curing also allows cannabis to fully dry so that mold does not grow when it is stored. Well-cured flower buds are soft and pliable but dry inside. Flower buds should feel like they are dry and only the dry pliable foliage is holding resin onto stems. Here’s how to cure bud:
Gently place “dry” flower buds in an airtight container. Clear and opaque turkey bags are popular. So are food-grade sealable plastic buckets. There are also bags that reflect heat and are airtight (when properly sealed) and infrared-proof, which protects them from heat.
Write the date on the containers and place in a cool, dry, dark place. Moisture inside buds will migrate from the center of the stem outward. Check the container after two to four hours to see if buds feel different. Gently squeeze a couple of buds to see if they feel moister now, but be careful, resin glands bruise easily.
Open the drying container two to three times a day for the first seven days to release moisture. Take a whiff the instant you open the container. The fragrance should be sweet and somewhat moist. Close the container quickly. If necessary, remove buds from jar for a short time to inspect for mold and disease.
After the first week, open containers once or twice a week for a quick whiff. Do not open too many times or the slow-curing process will stop. Some gardeners cure flower buds slowly for six months or longer. However, after two to three weeks they should be fully cured and remain fresh, firm and pliable. Flower buds can be sealed in containers and stored.
Things to Avoid
Light — especially ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural sunlight — heat and friction hasten biodegradation of resin glands and cannabinoids. Do not place dried cannabis in hot automobile glove compartments, and keep it away from heat vents and so forth. Friction and rough handling can bruise and rupture resin glands. Even with proper drying and curing, brutal handling of harvested cannabis will diminish cannabinoid content.
By Jorge Cervantes
Jorge Cervantes is a world-renowned expert on indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cannabis cultivation. His articles, books (“Cannabis Encyclopedia” and “Marijuana Horticulture”) and YouTube videos have helped teach millions of people how to grow top-quality cannabis. Connect with Jorge on his site, marijuanagrowing.com.
[Editor’s Note: Fantastic fine food, paired with wicked weed. Great winning menus ideas to bring your dinner party to life! ]
Weed, wine and gourmet delicacies… okay, where do we sign up?
A winery might not be the most obvious location for a cannabis dinner pairing — at first. But it becomes immediately apparent how appropriate it is once you’re aiming to treat cannabis like an upscale meal enhancer, as you would a good glass of wine.
So on the Friday evening before the Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, California, it seemed only natural that cannabis industry folks gathered at Bowman Cellars for an eight-course meal, accompanied by NASHA concentrates presented in elegant, sturdy vaporizers by Topstone.
Munchies, But Make It Classy
With creative, intricate takes on dishes like sweet potato, octopus, carrot, cuttlefish and angel cake, along with fine wine, the dinner paired food with weed to bring out the flavors of each. There were different buzzes for different courses of the meal and it was clear the experience was curated for a consumer with high taste, so to speak, in munchies.
The dishes were at once interesting enough to captivate guests’ attention, while also feeling like a sophisticated version of everything you’d pull from your fridge, stoned and looking to chow down. Here, the seemingly odd flavor combinations like chocolate and carrot felt curated and intentional rather than random and depraved.
The accompanying countertop vapes with wooden charging bases “have a place and environment on the table,” says Topstone founder William Bosch, making them perfect for mealtime use. “It’s not like taking bong rips, or a joint being passed around and you feel obliged to smoke it. It’s a simple, casual way to smoke hash.”
Putting Quality Cannabis First
“Initially we picked a whole plant, fresh frozen, live rosin pressed at a really low temperature,” explains Barron Lutz, CEO of NASHA. “And what this did was create a flavor with a lot of THC and banana, which gives me an energetic feeling and gets everyone talking and social. Then we moved onto Sunset Sherbert and the Zkittlez, [which] makes people chill out a little bit after they’re eating.”
The flavors in the banana rosin were meant to complement a milk-based dish, he explains, while the Sunset Sherbert was meant to be akin to a Cabernet, with a full-body, fruity flavor that pairs well with meat. Other strains like Gelato were presented mid-meal to help everyone relax as they filled up on food. And with a product like Topstone that’s meant to bring out the flavors of the bud at moderate temperatures in manageable microdoses, the details and quality of the cannabis really stood out.
“In the end, it’s all about how beautiful these farmers are and the quality of the resin only comes from the farmers,” says Lutz. “They’re all in Humboldt County and have been doing that for ages. To be able to get product like that from just ice and water and pressure, that’s the purest you can get. And the cannabis is outdoor grown — you don’t see people putting their Cab grapes inside warehouses in the desert.”
Much like the flavors of the food and the cannabis, the music that accompanied the dining experience was mesmerizing: steady, yet trippy, ambient beats punctuated by deep trills and smooth electronic melodies. “East coast, west coast, the cuisine is always presented very well and there’s always music with the food,” says New York-based DJ The Josh Craig. “It makes the environment that much more welcoming for people who are dining with strangers.”
Indeed, while most of the guests were meeting for the first time, the invite-only crowd was also curated specifically to highlight certain folks in the cannabis space. About a third of those in attendance were farmers from Humboldt County according to host Chris Coulombe, CEO of Pacific Expeditors, a cannabis distributor and a sponsor of the Emerald Cup. “We put the farmers out front,” he says. “We want to stand beside the farmers, not in front of them.”
Per Coulombe, the motivation behind the dinner was to continue to destigmatize cannabis by elevating its positioning in fine dining. “We’re trying to bring it into the same light that people look at Burgundy or Bordeaux,” he says.
Looking into the future, he says he sees defining cannabis within a legal framework as a challenge he aims to tackle.
“I hope to keep doing events like this, and I see there are a lot of restrictions in regulations as far as our ability to advertise — that’s our biggest inhibitor, the ability to articulate what cannabis is and how it fits inside the greater community,” he says. “That’s what this is trying to move towards. I hope it becomes a normal conversation so we we look at flower and we’re like, ‘yeah, it’s flower.’”