LAS VEGAS – As the legalization of cannabis pushes the industry and its innovators into more sophisticated heights, consumers have seen a variety of new products become available.
Regardless of fancy new bells and whistles, good cannabis still has a solid foundation: it isn’t too dry and it isn’t too moist. In common parlance, it harbors the “Goldilocks” ratio. Many can elicit this effect through luck, but when a grower or cultivator understands how to leverage Relative Humidity (R.H.), they can manufacture this effect and win loyalty from customers.
It’s All Relative (Humidity)
Relative Humidity (R.H.) is the amount of water vapor that exists in an environment, commonly identified by a percentage. It depends on environmental factors, so dryer, more arid climates will have much lower R.H. percentages than those in typically humid regions.
Cannabis requires specific levels of humidity during the varying stages of growing, cultivating and storing. When curing, cannabis buds are given time to dry, wicking away moisture without removing essential compounds like terpenes and cannabinoids.
When R.H. levels dip below 55% in general, there is not enough moisture present in the environment and flower will dry and become brittle. Too dry of a flower also leads to a decrease in potency and weight, and either way will be less pleasant for consumers overall. Moisture in the flower is essential during the burn to carry cannabinoids into the body.
R.H. levels exceeding 62% can also cause major problems, as those conditions typically allow for growth of mold, mildew and fungus. States like Louisiana, with high levels of humidity must be vigilant of how their surrounding environments affect their operations. Storage conditions that are within 55% and 62% are typically considered “ideal.
“Not everyone understands they need to keep an eye on R.H.,” says Ben Blankenhorn, General Manager of Integra. “And when you get it wrong, you stand to lose a crop, get cited, or worse, suffer a blow to your brand that consumers won’t forget.”
When Going on the Defensive Stings
In August of 2019, several Nevada dispensaries were cited for having sold cannabis products containing trace amounts of mold. In November of 2019, the state of Ohio just issued its first mandatory recall of product including trace mold amounts.
All entities dealt with subsequent fallout, and yet mold doesn’t often appear at the top of the list of concerns.
Whether it’s a class action suit that threatens an entire operation or a citation that causes customers to lose trust in a dispensary, mold is still a dangerous issue in the continually legitimizing cannabis industry.
Preventing it requires an understanding of humidification’s role in growing, cultivation and storing.
Integra, producer of two-way humidity solutions is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is advocating that cannabis enthusiasts, growers, cultivators, dispensaries and end-consumers alike, draw as close to humidity basics as possible.
R.H. has the power to be a critical factor in ensuring high quality product.
The ideal R.H. allows producers to ensure that the right chemical reactions take place after harvest. THCA converts to THC, chlorophyll is broken down (the compound that gives cannabis a harsh smoke when not cured correctly) and released. With the right R.H., terpenes have a better chance of being preserved to enhance flavor and desired effect.
The right humidity level is crucial for storing product safely and protecting against mold. It protects against trichomes breaking off should the humidity level drop, and reduces heat during the burn which is another contributor to harsh smoke.
Integra refers to its two-way humidity boost packs as a product that can maintain the Goldilocks moment for the products it is paired with, which means they have ample discussions around R.H. with a wealth of cannabis companies.
“We’re constantly talking with companies who are eager to learn how relative humidity can improve their operations,” said Blankenhorn. “It’s one of the most critical factors you need to get right.” To learn more about these products visit www.integra-products.com.
About Integra by Desiccare
Integra by Desiccare creates humidity control solutions for a variety of products through a proprietary salt-free, non-toxic blend of plant-based material. Integra products release or absorb moisture to protect a variety of items including tobacco, cannabis and pantry items. Formed out of parent company Desiccare, Inc. in 2016, Integra provides dependable, top-tier products that meet quality-control standards in order to create the perfect atmospheric environment regardless of location or conditions. With laboratories in Mississippi, USA, and Mexico, Integra’s custom chemical blends are FDA-approved and offer a wide range of humidity-protection solutions.