Due to the constrained supply of plant material, maximizing production and profits on that material becomes more important. Currently, there is no urgent need to quicken the drying process, but as competition stiffens, processing as much and as fast as possible will become more important. Vacuum drying will become increasingly important due to its shortened cycle time. It could even be argued that with a shorter cycle time, less inventory would have to be on hand in various stages of drying at any given time, thus reducing net working capital and improving cash flow dramatically. Also, product turnover could increase dramatically which would have a profound effect on return on capital.
Related: Discover the principles behind freeze drying, and how and why it's used, on our Freeze Drying resource page.
Limiting temperature during processing is generally seen as advantageous to preserving the top quality of the processed oils. Lower temperatures result in clearer and more viscous THC oil.
Note: Highly purified THC oil is clear to very light amber and is thicker than honey. If turned upside down in a jar, the oil will not pour or even slump. It has very little odor. According to Leafly, decarboxylation is critical to react the THCA into THC, which makes the substance psychoactive. Reaction is done at temperatures of 110C to 130C and releases a great deal of carbon dioxide. Decarboxylation happens instantaneously when marijuana is smoked, due to the high temperatures from burning. It is also likely to be less viscous, more like honey. Darker THC oil will not sell for as high a price, though still high enough for enormous profits.
Just how involved is vacuum in this entire process? Well, equipment for drying of cannabis is done in atmospheric, elevated temperature drying ovens and dehydrators made by various equipment manufacturers like Leybold. Check out our product page packed with vacuum suggestions for cannabis processing.
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