When it comes to cannabis cultivation, patience is a virtue.
This is especially true when it comes to the curing process.
After many months of careful tending during the life cycle of the plant, the harvested buds endure another several weeks of drying and curing before the cannabis can finally be consumed.
Tracee McAfee and Greg Baughman knew there had to be a better way.
The Michigan-based caregivers had been enjoying Baughman’s homegrown bounties for many moons when McAfee wondered, “How can we enjoy this beautiful bud right off the stalk?”
Devoted followers of “Guru of Ganja” Ed Rosenthal, they thought back to one of the famed cultivator’s books in which he mentioned freeze-dried marijuana as some of the best he had ever consumed.
“We figured, well, if Ed said it maybe there’s something to it,” laughed McAfee in an interview with Cannabis & Tech Today.
After painstaking research and development, McAfee and Baughman invented Cryo Cure, a technology capable of revolutionizing the drying and curing process.
The system dries and cures freshly-harvested cannabis in as little as 24 hours, offering vibrant and fragrant buds that take the term “bag appeal” to a whole new level.
“A live resin flower…”
Cryo Cure machines utilize a proprietary five-step process.
Raw cannabis is frozen and subjected to extreme vacuum pressure.
The flower then goes through a sublimation process, wherein the frozen moisture content within is converted into vapor.
That vapor is then condensed in an ice bank and defrosts in the form of hydrosol liquid.
When all is said and done, the bright-green cannabis within retains more terpene and cannabinoid content than traditionally cured bud with no trichome deterioration.
“If you were to go and pick up cannabis from a local dispensary and put it under a microscope to take a look at those trichomes, they’ll look a lot like raisins, which shows the degradation of the flower,” explains Baughman, Cryo Cure’s President (McAfee is CEO). “Now, if you were to take a Cryo Cure sample and look at that under the microscope, you’ll see perfect elliptical trichomes without any degradation, shrinkage, or damage to them. We like to call it a ‘live resin flower.’”
Additionally, the Cryo Cure machine makes it easy to extract terpenes, thanks to the sublimation process.
This is especially attractive for hemp farmers looking to get the most out of their harvest, according to Baughman.
“Every 10,000 wet pounds of hemp that has at least a 1% terpene profile on it, if you extracted that terpene profile, that would have been worth $2 million on the market just for the cannabis-derived terpenes. And that’s only at $50 a milliliter. We can actually extract 95% of the available terpene in any biomass that is put in our machine for a 24 hour period.”
It’s important to note that a Cryo Cure machine is not the same as the freeze-drying machines we all remember popping up on late-night infomercials of yesteryear.
The technology may be similar, but these machines were specifically-designed for cannabis and hemp.
“We have a patent-pending process that perfectly preserves the flower,” McAfee said.
“A hundred percent of the time people see it, everybody says, ‘I can’t wait to try that.’”
The Cryo Cure Cannabis Experience
There’s no doubt that cannabis put through the Cryo Cure process is different from traditionally-cured flower — and that’s a good thing.
Buds appear fluffy with an intensified color, befitting of any centerfold spread.
The aroma and flavors are rich and pungent, enticing anyone who gets within its scent.
Buds are easy to manipulate and break up, something Baughman says has been a welcome respite for many medical marijuana consumers.
“I have a patient [in Michigan] who has MS, and he doesn’t have feeling in his hands. He says one of the worst things is how it’s very difficult for him to break up some of the flower that you would traditionally get in a dispensary. The first time that he was able to break this up, he was just like, ‘I love it.’ It was so easy for him. He didn’t need a grinder. He didn’t need to sit there and use his hands for 10 to 20 minutes.”
McAfee added the high associated with Cryo Cure cannabis tends to be more uplifting and cerebral, something she credits to the higher terpene and cannabinoid content.
Early Fans Include Rosenthal, Danny Danko
McAfee and Baughman knew they had something special when famed cannabis cultivation expert Danny Danko declared himself a fan after meeting the duo at a Michigan Cannabis Cup.
Things went truly full circle after Danko introduced them to Ed Rosenthal, who had initially inspired them.
“Ed was so impressed with our final results that he actually joined our company!” McAfee said.
Adding such notable growers to the fold has led to a dramatic increase in demand for Cryo Cure, receiving orders from around the world, quickly becoming an international company almost overnight.
They say any misconceptions, such as a decrease in yield due to less water weight, or a chlorophyll-taste due to the color of the bud, are quickly put to rest.
And if 24 hours is simply too long to wait, fear not — the duo is working on an upgraded system that works in as little as 13.
Creating Consistency and Quality in the Curing Process
For Baughman and McAfee, the end goal is not necessarily about getting to enjoy fantastic cannabis sooner — it’s about achieving a consistent and efficient experience for producers and consumers alike.
The curing process has as many risks as the rest of the plant life cycle, whether caused by environmental conditions or human error.
Cryo Cure aims to eliminate those dangers and help increase profits at the same time.
“We’re here to make our customers’ lives easier,’ said Baughman.
“We understand the challenges that come in this cannabis industry, we know the challenges that you face in different seasons. [With Cryo Cure] you actually can control your moisture content. You’re actually gaining every time in your harvest by using our machine because you’re keeping your moisture level consistent across the board on all of the cannabis that you harvest.”