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Post-harvest operations to generate high-quality medicinal cannabis products

The traditional cannabis plant as a medicinal crop has been explored for many thousands of years. The cannabis industry is rapidly growing; therefore, optimising drying methods and producing high-quality medical products have been a hot topic in recent years. In this study, researchers systemically analysed the current literature and drew a critical summary of the drying methods implemented thus far to preserve the quality of bioactive compounds from medicinal cannabis.

Different drying techniques have been one of the focal points during the post-harvesting operations, as drying preserves these cannabis products with increased shelf life. This stuyd follows or even highlights the most popular methods used. Drying methods have advanced from traditional hot air and oven drying methods to microwave-assisted hot air drying or freeze-drying. In this review, traditional and modern drying technologies are reviewed. Each technology will have different pros and cons of its own. Moreover, this review outlines the quality of the cannabis plant component harvested plays a major role in drying efficiency and preserving the chemical constituents.

The emergence of medical cannabis, and cannabinoid research requires optimal post-harvesting processes for different cannabis strains. We proposed the most suitable method for drying medicinal cannabis to produce consistent, reliable and potent medicinal cannabis. In addition, drying temperature, rate of drying, mode and storage conditions after drying influenced the cannabis component retention and quality.

al Ubeed, Hebah & Wills, Ron & Chandrapala, Jayani. (2022). Post-Harvest Operations to Generate High-Quality Medicinal Cannabis Products: A Systemic Review. Molecules. 27. 1719. 10.3390/molecules27051719. 

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