Properly Cured Cannabis is not Available from Licensed Producers
Smoking weed from Canopy Growth Corp (TSX:WEED) (NYSE:CGC) (FRA:11L1) or Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSX:ACB) (NYSE:ACB) (FRA:21P) or Aphria Inc (TSX:APHA) (NYSE:APHA) (FRA:10E) is not a pleasant experience for the throat. Invariably, most of the product available from any licensed cannabis producer has harsh effects on the throat resulting in coughing and agitation to the airways. This is because the cannabis on the shelf of your local dispensary has not been properly “cured” prior to shipment.
What is cannabis “curing”?
Curing of cannabis is the process of sealing and airing cannabis once it has been dried to cause the caustic elements within the buds to become less agitating to throat and lung tissue when combusted. Residual nutrients, chlorophyl, starches and sugars are all present in the drying buds, and remain so after moisture content has been reduced to the ~60% point where it is dry enough to smoke.
This is accomplished by sealing the buds in air-tight jars or stainless steel cannisters, storing them in a dark, cool (14 – 18°C) area, and opening the lids and allowing the air to be exchanged inside the jars for one hour or so each day. During this process, the metabolic processing of the residual volatiles is carried out by anaerobic and aerobic bacteria in turn.
In the commercial cannabis world, this is where the bud gets packaged and sealed and in many cases irradiated prior to shipping off to dispensaries where they remain sealed until the consumer buys it and smokes it.
The result is a harsh smoke that has not been allowed to cure for the additional 60 days necessary to allow the gradual off-gassing of these residual compounds at a slow and gradual rate. When cannabis is properly dried and cured, it has a rich mellow throat-feel that does not cause any agitation or coughing, and generally provides a much more satisfying flavour and effect as well.
A huge portion of the cannabis consuming public is unaware of, unconvinced of, or indifferent to this important distinction between cannabis that has been merely dried, or even worse – speed dried using accelerated airflow and temperatures and (worst of all) microwave processes to reduce drying time.
Commercial cannabis growers lack both the knowledge (in my experience) and the time and space to properly cure cannabis after drying.
Who wins in the non-cured cannabis world?
Because large commercial growers fail to undertake the process of curing in their product preparation processes, unlicensed growers are the beneficiaries of that segment of the cannabis consumer market who prizes properly-cured cannabis. And because as consumers mature and develop the palette and experience of coughing from harsh non-cured weed they will ultimately begin to seek out the superior product inherent in properly cured buds, the impetus toward the preservation of a robust and profitable black market will continue.
The first licensed cannabis producer to clue in and mandate a proper curing process prior to shipping and packaging their cannabis will likely be the beneficiary of increased sales over time. I’m still waiting to hear any of the LP’s cotton on to that simple fact, and think about this all-important step as a competitive differentiator that equates to a serious edge over the competition.
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