Whether you are a consumer of CBD products, medical marijuana or recreational cannabis, doing some research on the growth and harvesting methods of your company of choice is a great idea to ensure you get quality products every time. Being a cannabis cultivator is not an easy task, as it requires a deep understanding of many variables in the environment and within the marijuana plants themselves.
But how can you make sure that your supplier uses the best plants? These are a few tips that go beyond the “organic” and “responsible growth” labels you can find in many products. Most companies have relevant information available on their websites, but it is up to us as users to interpret it correctly and understand its meaning.
1) Organic Cultivation Methods
Just as with fruits and vegetables, cannabis plants provide a much better taste and effect when grown organically and without using any artificial chemicals, pesticides or harmful components. The best companies, big or small, are those that grow their plants in a responsible and environmentally friendly way.
While traditional outdoor growing methods are still the most popular, hydroponic cannabis plants are quickly gaining a large share of the market. They are praised for having a uniform taste and effect, as they are not as affected by variations in the soil or in the environment as their traditional counterparts.
2) Careful Harvesting and Drying Processes
Once the plants are ready and mature, cannabis cultivators must be careful of not damaging them during the harvesting process. The best companies harvest their plants by hand and sort them to include only the best strains in their final products.
For pure cannabis, the most important step after harvesting is drying. Marijuana plants must be dried in an environment with a relative humidity of around 50%; this slows down the process and ensures that all the natural cannabinoids and terpenes are kept intact. Any good cannabis cultivator must have a dedicated environment with controlled lighting and extensive space for the plants to dry slowly over a long period of time.
3) Clean Extraction Techniques
Along with growth and harvesting, the extraction techniques used to manufacture cannabis products are critical for a high-quality user experience. While pure cannabis can be used for smoking after a relatively simple drying process, tinctures, edibles and topicals require the plants to be extracted through one of several methods.
One of the cleanest and most common extraction techniques in the cannabis industry uses CO2 to isolate the extracts of the plant into a fatty oil which can be then vaped or used to manufacture cannabis-infused edibles. While there are other safe and clean extraction methods, it is important for customers to ensure that they do not use solvents, excessive heat or harmful chemicals which can damage the natural components of marijuana plants.