Desiccant and its uses

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Contributed by: Ot1

Desiccants are substances that have an affinity for water and will rapidly absorb any moisture from the atmosphere around it.

I have had several queries about drying skuff properly before making it into hash for long term storage. Using a desiccant is a simple way to do this.

If you are just going press and then smoke your hash drying is not really necessary the thc will decarboxylate as you heat it to crumble also as it burns when smoking it.

1) The best way to make sure that fresh skuff is not holding on to too much H2O, is to dry it in an air tight tin or glass container. It takes a week to 10 days for tumbled skuff and a little longer from a bubble bag. Once the skuff is dry it can be kept in a sealed air tight container for several years at freezing point with virtually no loss of potency. During that storage time a lot of the volatile terpenoids change and mature giving the final hash once it is pressed a totally different type of flavour and high.

2) Pollen kept in a very low humidity environment at near freezing or deep frozen will keep for months if not longer.

3) Cannabis seeds kept in the same conditions will store for over 10 years and still have nearly 100% germination.

The best dessicant for all three uses is silica gel with a coloured indicator. This can be used many times and will give many years of use. The most common indicator colour is blue when it is dry turning to pink when saturated. To recharge it you put it in a low oven on a baking tray at 110c for about 15 minutes until all the moisture has evaporated, once recharged it turns back to cobalt blue.

For skuff what is needed is an air tight container that has another small porous container in it containing a rechargeable desiccant. This is all that is needed for drying skuff at normal room temperature. A couple of ounces of silica gel will completely dry 6 oz of skuff.

For seeds use the same thing but in addition small porous containers are needed to store the seeds. It is important not to keep the seeds in the polythene/plastic bags used by the seed companies as they are impervious to water. The airtight container should be kept between 0 and 5 Centigrade, the salad crisper tray is fine.

Seeds are living organisms, storing them this way will slow down their aging process, aid their vigour and ability to germinate over a much longer period of time than normal. You can keep up to twenty thousand seeds in a jar 41/4 x 43/4 inches high.

For pollen to be stored neat, large plastic drinking straws cut into lengths one end sealed by melting the other end plugged with cotton wool are pretty good. I prefer to add extenders only when the pollen is going to be used, and never before putting pollen into storage.

All the best Ot1.
  Last modified: 21:05 - Jun 21, 2001  

faq:1017 "Desiccant and its uses"