In the process of creating a hemp product, the plant must be dried and trimmed in order to achieve a high-quality end product. The drying and trimming process reveals the bud or flower, and is traditionally done by hand. Read on to learn the entire process behind harvesting hemp.
Drying & Trimming Hemp
How to Dry Hemp
Traditionally, the drying process is done by cutting off large portions of the plant. Larger operations might cut the whole stalk, while smaller farmers might cut off each individual bud from the plant, often referred to as “bucking.”Bucking is typically a manual process; however, there is equipment available that is intended to speed up the process.
The key to successful drying is to dry the hemp enough, but not too much. Too much drying can impact the quality of the plant. A general rule of thumb that most growers follow is to lose no more than 15% of the moisture from the plant, although more generally speaking growers shoot for a 10% moisture loss.
The plants are transferred to a facility where they will be hung and dried at a specific temperature and humidity to ensure the plants don’t overdry. This facility could be an inexpensive, open-air drying facility all the way to climate controlled segments or forced air dryers. Farmers will determine when the plant is dry enough to move onto the next step in the process. Depending on the plant and the drying methodology used, the drying process can take 5–14 days.
How to Trim Hemp
Trimming can be done before the hemp is harvested. This is referred to as wet trimming, and it’s a very common method, especially for smaller operations. This method is primarily done by hand, but there are some machines that do it.
More experienced growers will trim their hemp plants after the plant has been cut and dried. This technique, called dry trimming, is typically done to achieve a higher quality end product, since you get a more precise end product with this method.
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