Sponsored by

PuffItUp VapeFully Dynavap Vaposhop
  • Welcome to VaporAsylum! Please take a moment to read our RULES and introduce yourself here.
  • Did you know we have lots of smilies for you to use?
  • Need help navigating the forum? Find out how to use our features here.

Meds Freeze dried weed?

Killick

Well-Known Member
So an old friend from the forums told me about Space Weed. It's sells for around $13.00 USD/gram. Their website is here: https://space-weed.com/
Anyhoo, they use a special process which includes a flash-freezing and sublimation, which means freeze dryingl. So I know a guy who knows a guy with a freeze dryer. 317 grams of wet, trimmed an hour ago, bud was frozen, placed into the machine, and 36 hours later 70 grams of fluffy bud came out. I'd post pix but the end product looks the same. Where it is different is light, fluffy, easily powdered. No loss of terpenes, everything smells nice, and the first Dynavap load was very nice. I could fit a lot more FD herb into the chamber, which made for a pretty good first blast. Has anyone else used a freeze dryer for herbal manipulation?

www.harvestright.com is the freeze dryer... They make food units, and pharma units, and likely others. In this case we used a food unit and reduced the shelf temps to 100f with apparent good success.
 

felvapes

Well-Known Member
Interesting process
Very quick and looks like a great result
 

Disrupt

Well-Known Member
Freeze-dry flower routinely. You don't need a freeze-dryer - just vacuum marinators and some Damp-Rid (CaCl2). Use it to remove the last of the moisture before extracting. Or if mold strikes a bud just before harvest - freeze-drying prevents any spread during drying/curing. It's not a substitute for curing, though - shatter made from cured bud tastes a lot better, IMO.

Cured, then freeze-dried:


It should also work for long-term storage - you can rehydrate with Boveda packs.
 
Last edited:

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
I don’t think you can cure it once it‘s (mostly) dry: ‘curing’ refers to the complex changes that occur during drying; these changes include the breakdown of chlorophyll, changes in the aromatics, changes in the effects, changes in the vegetable parts.... These changes occur gradually, and they require a certain level of moisture in the green to proceed, so drying *fast* results in a very different total package than drying slow. ...And then there’s drying slow *enough*.

As I understand it, the ‘ideal cure’ would occur at a rate where these shutdown processes complete simultaneously with, or just before, the bud‘s moisture falls below the threshold that allows the process to happen. What usually happens is a compromise: burping jars, dueling de/humidifiers, and a lot of people try and make it go faster by a variety of methods - all of which will hurt the final product. When you consider that stopping or slowing the process by keeping it too moist is an invitation to rot, it’s easy to see the tightrope we’re trying to walk: there Must be enough fresh-air exchange to prevent rot, and you must do it slowly.

For extraction, it’s different, apparently: I’ve been told that fresh freeze-dried bud (entire plants! just stuck in the freezer!) presses exceptionally well, and the crumbly nature mentioned above goes hand in hand with that.

sorry, Madri-Gal - my typical wordy self....TL;DR = fresh bud can be cured, freeze-dried and concentrates can’t, but they can age, and sometimes very well...

I want to emphasize that I’ve not done this myself (except for drying too fast and it being awful); but like a good little researcher I have read hundreds of pages of opinions and experiences, talked to botanists, read books, studied tobacco curing for insights, thought a lot, and asked tons of questions, then thought about it some more, asked more questions....
 
Last edited:

Killick

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the comments! This is a new concept for me. I've been a freeze dried fan since my first MRE back in the daze, and it does great things to food. There's one concept that needs to be stressed - what comes out is only as good as what goes in, so industrial military 'food' is just as good when it comes out.

One other way to explain it is that by removing water, and then storing in a vacuum, the lifecycle for herb should be at least as long as it is for tomatos prepped in much the same way - 25 to 30 years stored in a cool dark place. In this case our herb *should* maintain the same profile going into FD as it will coming out. Having said that I didn't try to vape any wet herb from this batch, but it's likely as smooth as any freshly plucked bud. Once it's dry it vapes much smoother than anticipated. I'll try some cured herb in the next run and see what the difference is.

TL;DR = fresh bud can be cured, freeze-dried and concentrates can’t, but they can age, and sometimes very well...
There are only a few things which can't be freeze dried. The list is mainly fats, oils and honey, so concentrates, like rosin and shatter, and maybe hash?) will likely explode under vacuum, much like a fast food 'milkshake' does (see the vid below). Having said that Frenchy Canolli purges his bubble hash in a pharmaceutical freeze dryer, so in trichome form it's apparently fine to process in FD. Hash gets better with age apparently, so if that is aged after processing how important is an extended cure? We'll be hashing some sift to test this. There are a whole bunch of hypothetical questions that make me wonder what types of extractions might benefit from FD herb. I'm open to suggestions and ideas as this is all new to me... along with 'can FD take the place of hang curing? Maybe we bring it to 0 moisture, then into a jar to 'cure' with something else... a piece if apple or orange, or maybe some lavender or other plants with terpenes for added flavour? We can reconstitute with water, but maybe a heavy dose of linalool or myrcene will add more effect? Just the other day I was munching on something called 'bitter gold', small green pods which grow on slender stalks. I later learned it was a variety of hops, and quite tasty, so maybe a candidate for rehydrating herb? There are so many options...

One of the upcoming experiments will be running this FD herb through some screens to see how much and how clean the sift is. If it's not *that* clean I'll be doing some water separation tests using a couple of different methods. There might also be some QWET type experiments. Plus FDs are basically vacuum chambers with heating mats, so this gives another purge opportunity with a 7 CFM pump.

Fast Food Freeze Dry - scroll to the 3:00 mark to watch the blortsch -
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
I don’t think you can cure it once it‘s (mostly) dry: ‘curing’ refers to the complex changes that occur during drying; these changes include the breakdown of chlorophyll, changes in the aromatics, changes in the effects, changes in the vegetable parts.... These changes occur gradually, and they require a certain level of moisture in the green to proceed, so drying *fast* results in a very different total package than drying slow. ...And then there’s drying slow *enough*.

As I understand it, the ‘ideal cure’ would occur at a rate where these shutdown processes complete simultaneously with, or just before, the bud‘s moisture falls below the threshold that allows the process to happen. What usually happens is a compromise: burping jars, dueling de/humidifiers, and a lot of people try and make it go faster by a variety of methods - all of which will hurt the final product. When you consider that stopping or slowing the process by keeping it too moist is an invitation to rot, it’s easy to see the tightrope we’re trying to walk: there Must be enough fresh-air exchange to prevent rot, and you must do it slowly.

For extraction, it’s different, apparently: I’ve been told that fresh freeze-dried bud (entire plants! just stuck in the freezer!) presses exceptionally well, and the crumbly nature mentioned above goes hand in hand with that.

sorry, Madri-Gal - my typical wordy self....TL;DR = fresh bud can be cured, freeze-dried and concentrates can’t, but they can age, and sometimes very well...

I want to emphasize that I’ve not done this myself (except for drying too fast and it being awful); but like a good little researcher I have read hundreds of pages of opinions and experiences, talked to botanists, read books, studied tobacco curing for insights, thought a lot, and asked tons of questions, then thought about it some more, asked more questions....
Thank you for your well thought out and well researched answer @ClearBlueLou. I didn't see how it could be done, but I don't know much about freeze drying. I don't freeze dry food, so I wouldn't think of freeze drying bud. I do like curing, however. There is something about the fiddliness of it that appeals to me. Drying and curing seems restful after a season of growing, and the joys of trimming and washing. Open jar, close jar. Repeat as needed. I can do that. For me, drying and curing is equal in importance to growing well. Mostly because I become a nervous wreck thinking I'm going to ruin everything at the end by letting mold happen or by drying everything to dust. Checking humidity and opening and closing jars is almost restful. It calms the nerves. Drying is more upsetting, as I have neither heat or air conditioning, and there is only so much I can do about temperature.
Still, if people are freeze drying weed it's something I want to know about. I like to keep up with what's happening in the big cities.
 

Disrupt

Well-Known Member
Concentrates will only explode if they're not fully purged of solvent. Wouldn't expect rosin to do much, maybe expand or bubble a little. Store shatter in jars in the freezer under vacuum with a little CaCl2. Enjoying some 2yo shatter at the moment, hasn't lost a thing.

Freeze-drying works on the principle of sublimation - at a low enough pressure and temperature, water goes from ice to vapor directly, bypassing the liquid phase. If you flash freeze something wet (bud, berries, etc.), pull a vacuum, and keep in the freezer for a few weeks, all of the water sublimates, but very little else changes. The CaCl2 traps the water vapor.
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
@Killick, I mean to say (in case I screwed it up) resin can be aged once it’s dry, but not cured.
i did not mean to say cannabis/components can’t be freeze-dried, of course they can.

Apparently freeze-drying makes extractions of all sorts easier, faster, more efficient...but I’m not expecting a big bonus if I make my sales quota, so I’ll make use of that tidbit when it comes around. As for whether freeze-drying can affect the physical herb in the same ways as curing would be a smoke-off I’d like to be part of....

Since vacuum is used by many people to purge concentrates, why would vacuum make them “explode” when frozen and not when under heat? Unless you’ve been carbonating them (soda) or whipping air into them (milkshake)...can’t think of a single reason to do either. Interesting vid...

@Madri-Gal, like a lot of old ways, it moves at the old speed...I like that, too. More grace, less struggle
 
Last edited:

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
@Killick, I mean to say (in case I screwed it up) resin can be aged once it’s dry, but not cured.
i did not mean to say cannabis/components can’t be freeze-dried, of course they can.

Apparently freeze-drying makes extractions of all sorts easier, faster, more efficient...but I’m not expecting a big bonus if I make my sales quota, so I’ll make use of that tidbit when it comes around. As for whether freeze-drying can affect the physical herb in the same ways as curing would be a smoke-off I’d like to be part of....

Since vacuum is used by many people to purge concentrates, why would vacuum make them “explode” when frozen and not when under heat? Unless you’ve been carbonating them (soda) or whipping air into them (milkshake)...can’t think of a single reason to do either. Interesting vid...

@Madri-Gal, like a lot of old ways, it moves at the old speed...I like that, too. More grace, less struggle
I have come to like the flow of curing. One day I might have a chance to try freeze dried, but I'm not yet excited enough to think much about it. I'm such a beginner, I'm happy to just get a crop in and not lose it to mold. Much like canning peaches, it's nice to see the jars lined up. It's soothing.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
I feel the same thing when I make a big batch of something in the kitchen: the goal, the steps in the process, the attention to each ingredient...right up through serving, canning, bottling, giving, sharing, and of course, eating....

The basic satisfactions of the garden remain the same...and yes, curing is a sedate, regular process like watering and checking under leaves. I know there are those who would love to mechanize the process no matter the consequences for commercial grows, and I wish them well, and I’ll study their results...but when I grow, I’ll grow for myself and for the people I love, so I will do like I do and pay attention to the garden, to the plants and to the bud and its cure, and leave the extra manipulations to others
 

Killick

Well-Known Member
Since vacuum is used by many people to purge concentrates, why would vacuum make them “explode” when frozen and not when under heat?
Howdy - a quick response, but freeze drying is more than just vacuum. The process takes place in a vacuum chamber that has been chilled to -70f under vacuum. The product being treated is on a tray heater, and the trays can heat to +130. The trays cycle from a set lower to a set upper temperature, which is called annealing. This causes frozen water to release as vapour, and the vacuum pulls the water vapour to the frozen outer body of the vac chamber, where it freezes as water, to be removed at the end of the process. What can happen with viscous things, like oils, is that they will get runny from the tray heat, and the vacuum causes them to boil, where they will splatter other trays and also the frozen outer body of the vacuum chamber.
 

Disrupt

Well-Known Member
The product being treated is on a tray heater, and the trays can heat to +130. The trays cycle from a set lower to a set upper temperature, which is called annealing.
Wasn't aware, but don't understand the necessity. Maybe it speeds the process? 130F is a higher temperature than is typically used for purging. Wouldn't some terps vaporize at that temp and vacuum?

Otherwise, as noted above, IME experience without heated trays, freeze-drying is not a substitute for curing. Shatter made from flower that's first cured normally, and then freeze-dried only to remove the last of the water, is far superior to shatter from flower that's freeze-dried immediately after harvest. Better flavor and consistency.
 

Killick

Well-Known Member
@Disrupt The temperature of the trays is to anneal food (remove water), and the tray temp *can* reach 130 (max), or as low as 40f, depending on what the operator wants to set it at. There are pharma units that have more control over the heaters (Frenchy Cannoli uses a pharma unit in his videos). Heated trays and a vacuum chamber are required. If you are freeze drying without vacuum and tray heaters that is just freezing, no?

Freeze drying maintains 97% of the nutrients in the food. In the resulting ice, once it's melted one can smell a trace amount of the more volatile terpenes and flavenoids, but 97% remain in the starting material, be it weed or food, means minimal loss. Compare this to dehydrating, which maintains 47% of the nutritional density of the starting product, and you can start to see the difference between the two methods. All freeze drying does is remove water, which can easily be added back if thats a goal.

The only real solvent I use, other than water, is alcohol. I haven't tried using this method to purge alcohol. These experiments are to see how I might take advantage of FD properties to do more extracting.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Fascinating stuff, Killick, I had no idea.

Frankly sounds like a hell of a mess, potentially. My ’informant’ did not freeze-dry the way you describe it, simply placed harvested plants into a chest freezer and left them there until they’d desiccated...which also sounds like a mess in the making....
 

Disrupt

Well-Known Member
If you are freeze drying without vacuum and tray heaters that is just freezing, no?
My ’informant’ did not freeze-dry the way you describe it, simply placed harvested plants into a chest freezer and left them there until they’d desiccated...which also sounds like a mess in the making...
This chart is all there is to it:

1570814100300.png


To freeze-dry (sublimate), you need to be in the lower left corner. How you get there is up to you. It looks like you need to be <0.5 atm, so just popping flower (ice cream, whatever) into a chest freezer, shouldn't work. (Have seen this method described in tutorials, however.) Freezing under vacuum, on the other hand, should work fine - and does, IME. Don't really know what "anneal" means in this context. It may speed the process, which takes a few weeks otherwise.

Curing isn't about keeping everything exactly as it is at harvest, which freeze-drying will do. It's about slow, careful degradation of what you don't want - chlorophyll, undesirable plant flavors, etc. You probably do lose some cannabinoids and terpenes, but it's a trade-off that most are happy to make. It's a common observation that if you dry too quickly early in the cure, you'll lock in those undesirables. Expect the same to happen with freeze-drying - only worse.

Originally thought that freeze-drying fresh-harvested flower would be fine for extraction. It might be, if you dry-sift afterward. Haven't tried, but should be easy to do - trichomes come off very easily after freeze-drying. Non-polar solvents, like butane, hexane, or heptane might also work better than ethanol with freeze-dried whole flower.
 
Last edited:

Sponsored by

PuffItUp VapeFully Dynavap Vaposhop
Top