Preserving and extracting terpenes isn’t anything new, but the demand for cannabis terpenes is continuing to rise. This is because education about cannabis and terpenes has increased in scientific validity, exposure, and availability over the past several years as more states and countries continue to legalize. Widespread education is making more people aware of the medicinal value terpenes have to offer.
If people want terpenes, what are companies doing to extract and preserve them for sale? Well, there are several techniques, machines, and lab equipment that can be used to extract and preserve terpenes. All of them have their own pros and cons regarding cost, yield, and purity of the final product. The team at Cryo Cure has come up with a patent-pending process they say maximizes the value of terpene extraction yields.
The Cryo Cure machines start this process by drying and curing cannabis for one hour in a -20°F freezer before undergoing a 12-hour dry time. If the flower is not pre-frozen, the process can take between 24 and 36 hours. This drying process takes hours compared to traditional hang-drying methods that take between 5 and 15 days. As you may know, terpenes are lost to degradation and evaporation during hang drying, so by eliminating this time-consuming step, Cryo Cure preserves more terpenes and saves time, and therefore, money.
The next step regards placing the frozen product in a chamber under vacuum to promote sublimation, a process where a solid becomes a gas. In this case, the solid is ice which converts to water vapor when a controlled heat is applied. The vapor is condensed, forming an “ice bank”, and the ice bank is subsequently melted to create a hydrosol that may contain some terpenes. Cryo Cure indicates that terpenes lost during sublimation can be reclaimed.
Machines are programmable, with settings to control moisture, temperature, and time, and can customize recipes you may design. In addition to being able to dry and cure cannabis quickly while preserving as many terpenes as possible, Cryo Cure machines also have a terpene harvesting setting. After the cannabis material is frozen, the Cryo Cure uses another proprietary process “with specially designed settings that gently pull off 95% of terpenes, simplifying an extremely difficult task for processors and extractors. The result is terpene collection that closely mimics the plant in its natural state.”
Being able to extract 95% of terpenes in considerably less time than other methods is a big deal for extractors wanting to capitalize on the growing terpene market. The reduction in drying and curing time also mitigates against mold, mildew, bud rot, or other potential contamination that is a major concern for traditional drying and curing methods. For extractors, this means fewer worries, more time, and greater quantities of increasingly precious terpenes.