Cryo Cure Machines Comparison Guide

Cryo Cure Machines Comparison Guide

Drying and curing has long been a time-consuming process that naturally leads to the degradation of some terpenes and cannabinoids. Enter Cryo Cure, a patented process which skips the hanging phase of drying and reduces time spent from weeks to less than a day. The results are flavorful, potent, and beautiful.

From craft growers to large scale operations, we have Cryo Cure machines for growers of every scale. This guide will introduce you to each Cryo Cure machine, explaining each one’s capabilities and the kind of operator it’s best for when drying and curing premium cannabis flower.

Which Cryo Cure machine is right for you?

Whatever the scale of your cannabis grow, there’s a Cryo Cure machine for you. From the various high capacity models to the small scale CC260, Cryo Cure is dedicated to serving every type of grower and providing the necessary tools to produce exceptional flower.

Here’s a closer look at the Cryo Cure machines that are available today and the features each offers.

High capacity machines

Cryo Cure offers three high capacity machines. Each one offers the same set of features at different sizes. These machines include:

  • HC4: The HC4 holds four roll-in racks and accommodates approximately 400 pounds of wet cannabis biomass. This machine features a Leybold model SP630 vacuum system and a chamber footprint is 8’ x 9’, making it the most compact high capacity machine Cryo Cure offers.
  • HC7: The HC7 holds seven roll-in racks and accommodates approximately 700 pounds of wet cannabis biomass. This machine features a Leybold model SP630/1001 vacuum system and a slightly smaller chamber footprint than the HC4 at 8’ x 15’.
  • HC10: The HC10 holds 10 roll-in racks and accommodates approximately 1,050 pounds of wet cannabis biomass. This machine features a Leybold model SP630/1001 vacuum system and a chamber footprint of 8’ x 21’.

Each high capacity machine features an easy load-in, load-out system that incorporates trays and rolling racks to make it easy to load and remove your cannabis from the machine. Each rolling rack includes 35 shelves and can be easily rolled from the walk-in freezer essential to prepping flower for the process directly into your Cryo Cure machine. 

Each rack is designed to evenly dry and cure your cannabis flower and includes embedded temperature sensors and multiple independent control zones, giving you granular control over the entire drying and curing process. They are also designed to allow the removal of product while the machine is processing another batch, allowing for maximum efficiency.

Each high capacity machine has features designed to expedite processing time of each batch while still producing perfectly preserved top shelf flower. Programming the machine is as simple as using your smartphone or tablet to tailor each stage of the process to your exact specifications. Additionally, every high capacity machine is capable of reaching -40°F.

High Capacity Pilot

For those who want to give Cryo Cure a try, we offer a High Capacity Pilot machine, the perfect introduction to our advanced capabilities.

The High Capacity Pilot can process up to 30 wet pounds of cannabis in a 12 to 16 hour cycle at temperatures ranging from -40°F to 20°F. The machine includes one temperature control zone and two temperature sensors for monitoring conditions during a cycle. It’s also more compact than the other high capacity machines, with a chamber footprint of 3’ x 3’. 

The High Capacity Pilot includes open-source programming accessible via wireless devices like smartphones or tablets, as well as 96 user programmable recipes to tailor your cycle to the precise specifications needed to maximize the preservation of terpenes and cannabinoids in your flower. Additionally, the High Capacity Pilot offers password-level protection for operator access and a native VPN and web-based Groov View interface.


The CC260 brings Cryo Cure power to small scale cultivators. This machine fits up to 20 wet pounds of cannabis and can complete the drying and curing process in as few as 11 hours. You won’t need a ton of floor space for the CC260 either: this machine has a super compact chamber footprint of 4’ x 3’. Despite this small size, the CC260 still includes six built-in drawers and comes equipped with three Cryo Cure “recipes” for perfect flower. And, like all other Cryo Cure machines, the CC260 offers customizable settings so you can tailor your machine to suit your process and workflow.

How do Cryo Cure machines work?

Whichever Cryo Cure machine you choose, the process of drying and curing your cannabis with Cryo Cure remains the same. By following this simple, five step process, you can reduce your drying and curing time from weeks to less than 24 hours. Here’s how it works.

1. Freezing

Before you can cure your cannabis, you need to freeze it. We recommend freezing your biomass at temperatures between -20°F and -30°F for at least 10 hours to be absolutely sure your cannabis is totally frozen.

Some Cryo Cure machines offer a built-in freezer, but you can also use a separate freezer so long as it can reach temperatures of -10°F or lower. It’s critical that all the moisture in your cannabis biomass is completely frozen before beginning a cycle in order to achieve the best results.

2. Vacuum pressure

Once frozen, load your cannabis into your Cryo Cure machine and confirm the settings are to your liking. Begin the cycle and confirm that vacuum pressure is achieved. Once the cannabis is under vacuum pressure, it will create the conditions necessary for stage three: sublimation.

3. Sublimation

Sublimation occurs when a solid is turned directly into a gas, skipping the liquid phase. In this case, Cryo Cure machines are converting ice into water vapor. Cryo Cure uses controlled radiant heat during this process, removing the optimal amount of moisture from the flower without damaging terpene or cannabinoid content.

4. Condensation

The water vapor that is removed from the flower is condensed back into a solid and collected in the machine’s ice bank. This keeps it away from the flower to avoid reabsorption or the risk of microbial contamination by molds and mildews. 

5. Defrost

After the moisture is removed from your cannabis during the sublimation process, the final step is to defrost the ice in the ice bank. It’s then drained and collected as a hydrosol liquid. Any terpenes extracted from the flower can be separated from the hydrosol liquid and used in manufactured products like vape pens and oils, so literally none of your valuable compounds are wasted.

Once this process is completed, your cannabis flower should be perfectly preserved. Cryo Cured flower has a shelf life of up to two years when properly preserved in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry area. Cryo Cured flower retains the maximum amount of terpenes and cannabinoids for a flavorful and potent consumption experience, and offers the perfect consistency to break it apart in your hands — no grinder necessary!

How does Cryo Cure differ from freeze dryers?

A common misconception is that freeze dryers can attain the same results as Cryo Cure, but our machines are specially designed to achieve optimal preservation without degrading the quality of the flower. Freeze dryers cannot do the same. 

Freeze dryers are designed to nearly eliminate all moisture, leaving cannabis flower with just 0% to 1% moisture content. That’s great for apple chips, but terrible for cannabis, which needs some moisture. Cannabis run through traditional freeze dryers turns out brittle, difficult to handle, and harsh to consume. It’s also a sub-optimal way to preserve terpenes and cannabinoids, potentially damaging some of these valuable compounds in the process.

Cryo Cure’s vacuum-driven process, on the other hand, leaves cannabis flower with between 8% and 12% moisture content and a water activity (aW) level below 0.7 aW. This prevents microbial contamination while keeping the consistency of the cannabis in the perfect range — you can break it apart without a grinder but it won’t crumble to dust at the slightest touch. Unlike traditional drying and curing methods, Cryo Cure maintains the just-harvested aesthetic of your buds for top notch shelf appeal. In every way, Cryo Cure beats freeze dryers.

See the Cryo Cure difference for yourself

With a range of machines for every type of grower, Cryo Cure makes top shelf flower an attainable reality for everyone. If you’re ready to see the difference Cryo Cure makes for yourself, contact us today about which machine is best for your needs. Or, if you prefer to sample Cryo Cured flower before committing to purchasing a machine, check out these testimonials from Cryo Cure customers. With Cryo Cure on your side, you’ll be producing bud that wows everyone who tries it in no time.

The Cold Truth Episode 4: Talking Cannabis Compliance with Heidi Teutsch

The Cold Truth Episode 4: Talking Cannabis Compliance with Heidi Teutsch

In this episode of The Cold Truth, Cyro Cure CEO Tracee McAfee sat down with Heidi Teutsch, Founder and CEO of T420 Consulting and a former regulator in Massachusetts. Teutsch is fighting to end cannabis stereotypes and push back against stigma.

On the podcast, Tracee spoke with Heidi about cannabis compliance and all the moving parts around such important work, including team morale. Read a quick summary of that conversation below, watch the full interview on YouTube, or download this podcast episode from platforms like Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Approaching cannabis with care

With a background in law enforcement and mental health services, Teutsch has dedicated her career to helping others. She spent her undergraduate years studying sociology with a concentration in anthropology and earned her Master’s in Criminal Justice. 

On the podcast, Teutsch shared her experience working for a mental health unit in the greater Boston area. During her time as a milieu therapist for children and adults, Teutsch saw firsthand how many people she encountered made cannabis a part of their mental health routine. 

“Some of the medications out there right now have a lot of side effects,” she expressed on the episode. “I’m encouraged and hopeful that with federal legalization, we’ll be able to get people to research the wonderful benefits of cannabis. It’s going to help the greater population overall,” she continued. 

The status of compliance

As the interim director of the compliance and investigation portion of the medical marijuana program in Massachusetts, Teutsch was responsible for visiting all of the grows in the state and checking for compliance with state standards. 

“We were looking at every aspect with a very critical eye.” Heidi noted regarding her experience, “And while there are many companies doing it right, many companies are struggling.” 

Teutsch’s team would conduct unannounced visits to investigate the compliance of medical cannabis facilities. “We weren’t going in with white gloves, but we did have to see everything that was going on,” she shared. “We weren’t looking to shut people down. We were looking to make sure they were doing it right.”

One piece Teutsch expressed about her experience is the common struggle within cannabis facilities concerning staffing and turnover rates. 

“It was always tough to get inside an organization and get complaints from workers who were happy. It’s when the workers aren’t happy… [like] when one person comes in and changes the culture, then there are all these disgruntled employees calling me,” Teutsch said.

Teutsch also noted a strong balance between personalities within a cannabis facility to be another essential ingredient for success. “While those on the inventory side might be more meticulous and less people-friendly, those on the retail side have to be super friendly and understand the plant,” Teutsch said.

Keeping employees happy

According to Teutsch, successful cannabis facilities are rooted in knowledge and care, and that ethos translates to a content workforce.

“When top management really understands what entry level employees are doing and have a good eye on it, they are more likely to succeed,” Teutsch said. “This includes understanding the plant’s needs for cleanliness, or really that these plants are living. Even after harvesting the product, the plant is still continuously evolving. When people are slowing it down a little more, it gives them a longer, healthier plant base that they’re able to get more out of.” 

Teutsch also noted a strong balance between personalities within a cannabis facility to be another essential ingredient for success.

“While those on the inventory side might be more meticulous and less people-friendly, those on the retail side have to be super friendly and understand the plant.” Utilizing the right team members in the right places to balance differing skill sets is critical. 

Both host and guest agreed on the importance of a positive company culture. “I think these plants pick up on the energy of the corporate culture,” Teutsch noted. “Happy environment, happy plants.”

Compliance advice for new cannabis businesses

Backed with knowledge from previous investigations, Teutsch offers consulting for start-ups. 

“I, fortunately, know a lot in this industry, and I’m proud to say I’ve had a lot of unique experiences that have given me a particular insight,” she expressed regarding her consulting.  “I don’t know all the answers, and I don’t have all the information all the time. I likely know who does, though.” 

“One of the things that I do is help people sort out if a project is sound or not if they want to invest in it,” Heidi explained. “And I think that part of the myth is just taking that pretty shiny wrapper off and looking at cannabis for what it is. Then you can value the industry for what it has to offer.”

Overall, Teutsch credits herself as a “forever student” who’s learned from every cultivator she’s ever met. “It’s really just understanding the looseness of this industry and that what’s right today isn’t necessarily going to be right tomorrow.” 

Moving forward, Teutsch said she is excited to be a part of a group of people genuinely inspired by the plant and working together to build this industry. “Cannabis should be super functional and accessible to everybody without stigma,” she noted. “[There’s space] to make plenty of money and have a career you can work 30 years in.” 

Listen to the whole interview with Heidi Teutsch

Heidi and Tracee tackled some of the dos and don’ts of cannabis compliance and maintained success in this pressure-some industry. And while Heidi ultimately says there is no one way to grow, it’s clear that positivity in the workplace can result in higher success rates.

“Happy environments, happy plants,” Heidi noted. 

Listen to the full episode of The Cold Truth. Subscribe to Cryo Cure on YouTube or to The Cold Truth on your favorite podcast streaming platform.

Live Cured Flower: A Disruptive New Retail Category of Smokable Cannabis

Live Cured Flower: A Disruptive New Retail Category of Smokable Cannabis

This content was updated to reflect the product name change to Live Cured Flower.

When it comes to smokable flower, quality is king. And for the best quality available, there’s nothing like Live Cured Flower.

At Cryo Cure, we have perfected and patented a process for producing fresh from the farm live resin cannabis flower unlike anything else in the U.S. and global cannabis market. Our unique process consistently delivers top-shelf quality every time. What makes this “Live Cured Flower” stand out from the crowd? Read on to find out.

What is Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower?

Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower is driving a brand-new category of smokable flower. This flower is preserved in as fresh a state as possible. While freezing flower to extract live resin isn’t a new concept, creating a smokable flower from the same technology is an emerging category, driven by Cryo Cure’s globally-patented methodology. Simply put: You can’t get much closer to the “fresh from the farm” feeling as you can with Live Cured Flower.

Where did the term Live Cured Flower come from?

The term “Live Cured Flower” combines the flavorful and potent experience you’d get from extract sourced from frozen flower while still enjoying the experience of smokable flower. That’s because Cryo Cure’s process goes beyond simple freeze drying to retain all those cannabinoids and terpenes live resin is famous for preserving.

Our patented process stabilizes all those compounds, yes, but it also retains the integrity of the smokable flower by locking in the perfect moisture content level – not too dry as to make it impossible to handle, and not too damp as to inhibit mold or mildew growth. Our smokable flower features the best of both of these worlds; it’s a flower of impeccable quality that preserves flavor and potency at the height of freshness.

How does Live Cured Flower work?

The main goal with Live Cured Flower is to preserve natural resin at its peak, maximizing flower quality and supporting an unparalleled consumer experience. Fresh preservation of cannabis helps to keep trichomes fully intact, maintaining the resin inside as close to its “live” state as possible.

Freezing cannabis directly following harvest eliminates the traditional process of hang drying, a weeks-long period in which cannabinoids and terpenes are exposed to the elements and begin to degrade. Cryo Cure reduces the drying time to 11 to 14 hours. And unlike other freeze drying methods that leave the flower dry as dust and deprived of its terpenes, Cryo Cure never needs to be rehydrated.

The result is Live Cured Flower with higher cannabinoid and terpene content. You can tell the difference just by looking at it: Live Cured Flower is vibrant in color, with no shrinkage, and smells just like a fresh growing plant, with none of the “grassy” smell or taste.

What is Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower used for?

Some of the most common applications for this flower include:

Smoking or vaping

You can treat our Live Cured Flower just like other top shelf flower. Not only does Cryo Cure’s have undeniable shelf appeal, but consumers notice the difference from the get-go. For rollers or people who vape, Live Cured Flower offers a discerning experience unlike anything else they’ve tried before.

Live Cured Flower contains rich terpene profiles for an unforgettably flavorful and aromatic session. Labs have found elusive monoterpenes in this flower, terpenes that normally evaporate off at room temperatures. One example, Delta-3 Carene, has been studied for its impact on bone health.

Along with monoterpenes, Live Cured Flower preserves cannabinoids in their acidic state before they’re converted into active cannabinoids. High levels of THC-A, CBD-A, and CBG-A, just to name a few, can be found in Live Cured Flower.

And most importantly, Live Cured Flower makes for a smooth smoking experience. It breaks apart nicely, making it ideal for packing a bowl or rolling a joint with ease. There’s no grinder necessary, either – the flower is soft enough to come apart with your hands without losing its integrity. Just be sure to store it properly, away from heat and light. There’s no need to freeze, refrigerate, or “rehydrate” Live Cured Flower – all it needs is a cool, dark storage spot in a sealed container.


Live Cured Flower can be used to produce live resin extract without the use of chilling material columns or using cold solvent. This saves processors the costs of using expensive chillers while seeing production increases of up to 500%. The starting material never leaves the cold chain process until the point of extraction leaving the resulting crude to have the same properties of fresh frozen extract.

Extractors can create all sorts of concentrates from Live Cured Flower, not just live resin. Cryo Cured flower is regularly used to create diamonds and other types of concentrates, used in edibles, to create tinctures, and much more.

Characteristics of Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower

Cryo Cure produces the first and only Live Cured Flower, known for its bright appearance, potent aroma, and robust flavors. Characteristics of Live Cured Flower include:

  • Appearance: Color, size, and shape are typically the easiest ways to differentiate premium cannabis flower like Live Cured Flower from standard options. Live Cured Flower is generally known for its glistening, frosty coating of trichomes, too.
  • Scent: Our Live Cured Flower offers a strong, fresh scent that’s much more alluring than traditionally cured cannabis, which can lose some of its smell as terpenes evaporate off during the hang-drying process. Formulated with terpene protection in mind, the Cryo Cure process preserves significant terpene content, the driver behind the smell and flavor of any cultivar.
  • Texture: Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower offers a texture that’s not too dry, retaining just the right level of moisture to make it easy to work with without encouraging molds and mildews. While traditional cannabis flower may range in consistency, premium cannabis flower will generally be sticky and spongy but still dry enough to produce a “snap” when broken apart.
  • Consumption experience: The smooth smoke – with no grassy taste – is unlike any other flower out there. But it’s not just how it feels, but the consumption experience itself. By stabilizing the curing process, Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower offers a rush of therapeutic cannabinoids and a bounty of terpenes that are full of flavor. The process even preserves rare and fragile terpenes not found in other flower.

Live Cured Flower from Cryo Cure

Cryo Cure is proud to have perfected our patented process to manufacture premium Live Cured Flower. In addition to cutting the time and hassle of drying and curing, Cryo Cure can yield the same results every time, making it reliable and suitable for a standardized process and consistency. A quality grow can reach new heights when it undergoes the Cryo Cure process.

From the smell to the taste to the feel, Cryo Cure is shaping not just a new tier of smokable flower, but new categories that expand what we know and appreciate about cannabis. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you harvest vibrant and aromatic Live Cured Flower.

The Cold Truth Episode 3: Talking Couples in Cannabis, with Mary Palmer CBD Founders

The Cold Truth Episode 3: Talking Couples in Cannabis, with Mary Palmer CBD Founders

At Cryo Cure, we’re redefining what’s possible for the cannabis industry. In this video and podcast series from Cryo Cure founders Tracee McAfee and Greg Baughman, cannabis industry myths are explored, debunked, and retold to help the world understand the ever-changing cannabis landscape and explore the beauty and magic of the plant.

For this month’s edition of The Cold Truth, Cyro Cure co-founders Greg Baughman and Tracee McAfee sat down with Steven “DJ Stenny” Stentiford and Lynne Spinney.  Partners in business and love, Stenny and Lynn are the co-founders of Mary Palmer, a highly awarded hemp CBD company based in Quincy, Massachusetts.

On the podcast, Greg and Tracee spoke with Stenny and Lynne about what it’s like to run a CBD company as a couple and spent some time diving into what goes into quality products. Read a quick summary of that conversation below, watch the full interview on YouTube, or download this podcast episode from platforms like Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Working together as a couple

As a couple running a cannabis business together, Greg and Tracee spoke at length with Lynne and Stenny about their experience balancing the overlap between their work relationship and life outside of the office.

“We both are strongly opinionated people, so we have to work on separating our emotional minds from our business minds,” Lynne noted. “Sometimes, we just have to take that 5-minute break.”

Lynne and Stenny said that working together allows them to push each other to be better every day, even while making tough decisions that they may not completely agree on.

“When we both want to do something in our own way, we have to figure out how we can stroll our own paths and come together at the end,” said Lynne.

Standing out as a product line and a brand

Mary Palmer has become one of the most awarded and established CBD brands on the East Coast, with numerous awards from prestigious industry contests like the High Times Cannabis Cup and The Harvest Cup. Known for their distinct and innovative products, Greg and Tracee find out how Stenny and Lynne continue to stay relevant in a highly-saturated and competitive space.

“We find when there is a lack in the market, and we need to put better products in there to fill the void,” Lynne shared, citing the brand’s CBD gum as an alternative to gummies. “We try to find an improvement on what’s out there. Everyone loves gummies, but we don’t think they are the most bioavailable product.”

Other niche products like the “Best Bud” Dog Treats and CBD infused rose water facial toner have also been recognized for their unique, problem-solving formulations.

“A lot of people are not used to using CBD in that way,” Lynne said in regards to CBD for skincare. “There are so many benefits from CBD; for skin, acne, any kind of irritation you might be dealing with in your skin.”

Debunking edible myths

In addition to the Mary Palmer brand, Lynne and Stenny also helped to debunk some edibles myths. Some of the myths surrounding ingestible cannabis products they talk about on the episode include:

Myth #1: “All edibles are made the same”

Not all edibles are made with the same methods and procedures. Mary Palmer, for example, reintroduces terpenes after heat application. By adding terpenes to the product following any use of heat, manufacturers can reintroduce compounds that may have been lost during the cultivation or processing stages.

Before making a purchase, Stenny said that consumers should research the product in question and who’s making it. While many retailers claim to supply CBD products, some do not have any CBD at all.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for a certificate of analysis (CoA),” added Lynn. “This pretty much means the product has gone through a lab and has been tested and verified. If you’re selling CBD, you should be able to provide that.”

Myth #2: “Edibles need a lot of THC to be effective”

When you use a cannabis product with THC, for example, it’s not just the THC playing a role in the consumer experience. Stenny and Lynne discussed the use of full spectrum extract so customers can experience what’s called the entourage effect, or the theory that all compounds in the plant work synergistically for enhanced effects.

“We like to make products with a whole balance of the CBD and the plant in there,” Stenny explained.

“It’s really a little bit of everything,” added Lynne. “CBG, CBN, all the cannabinoids coming together, Even if it’s just in those small percentages, makes it something you are going to feel and get results [from].”

Myth #3 “There are indica and sativa edibles”

Lynne and Stenny both feel that it’s time to move the conversation about indica and sativa away from effects. While indica and sativa are valid descriptors for cultivators describing plant appearance, called phenotype, these labels do not tell the whole story and have little to do with consumption. Stenny explained that these terms do not hold much meaning beyond the manufacturing stage as they generally cannot predict user experience.

“We reintroduced terpenes into some of the drinks, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a sativa or an indica drink,” noted Stenny.

Is federal legalization around the corner?

The episode also touched on federal legalization and what that would mean for ingestible cannabis products. With federal legalization, Lynne said, Mary Palmer CBD can access more funds for research and education purposes.

“People don’t really understand what they are buying; they only understand what’s on the package,” she explained. “I think it will be nice to have standard regulation going from state to state, too.”

“[Right now] you just kind of have to pick and choose how you feel. It’s kind of scary for new [consumers], or elderly people who want to get into cannabis but don’t know what to expect,” added Greg.

From a business perspective, Stenny says he is most excited about the potential for social consumption.

“It would be cool for us to be seen more in settings where you and your friends can walk in, sit down and order a beverage, and hang out,” Stenny said.

Growing with Mary Palmer

In the course of the conversation with The Cold Truth, Stenny and Lynne tackled a wide range of topics, from working together as a couple to tackling the challenges of the cannabis industry together. And while there is no right or wrong way to grow, Stenny and Lynne say, it does take planning and consistency.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” Stenny noted.

For more information about Mary Palmer, follow the brand on social media at @whoismarypalmer.
Catch up on prior episodes of The Cold Truth here:

Episode 1: Women in Cannabis Study

Episode 2: Cultivation Legends with Daniel Vinkovetsky

The Cold Truth Episode 2: Cultivation Legends, with Daniel Vinkovetsky

The Cold Truth Episode 2: Cultivation Legends, with Daniel Vinkovetsky

At Cryo Cure, we’re redefining what’s possible for the cannabis industry. In this video and podcast series from Cryo Cure founders Tracee McAfee and Greg Baughman, cannabis industry myths are explored, debunked, and retold to help the world understand the ever-changing cannabis landscape and explore the beauty and magic of the plant.

On the special 4/20 edition of The Cold Truth, Cryo Cure President Greg Baughman sat down with Daniel Vinkovetsky (formerly known as Danny Danko of High Times magazine), Editor of Northeast Leaf Magazine, co-host of Grow Bud Yourself podcast, and the author of Cannabis: A Beginners Guide to Marijuana. Vinkovetsky is known as one of the most accredited writers in the cannabis industry who has been a respected authority in the space for more than 18 years.

On the podcast, Greg talked with Daniel about some of the most common misconceptions and questions in cannabis cultivation. Read a quick summary of that conversation below, watch the full interview on YouTube, or download this episode of the podcast from platforms like Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Indica vs. sativa: Does it make a difference?

When it comes to cultivars, Vinkovetsky says the differentiation between indica and sativa is much more complex than most consumers tend to presume. Although indica and sativa cultivars have been associated with certain effects in popular lore, that’s nowhere near enough information to fully understand how a specific cultivar may affect the consumer. Different factors, such as location, soil, grow time, and climate, all play a role in developing the phytocannabinoid and terpene profile that has the effect on a consumer.

“While the plant first originated in central Asia, it was spread across the world by human beings and adapted to the places where it went,” noted Vinkovetsky. “Altitude, latitude, up in the mountains, how much sun it gets – all these things affect the plant in all these different places,” he continued.

In general, the differences between cultivars are much more in-depth than the umbrella that sativa vs. indica tends to place them. Still, however, these identities are a simple way to introduce beginners to a complex topic.

Does more THC always mean stronger effects?

One common misconception among consumers is that products with higher Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content will result in a stronger high. In reality, however, cannabis products are made effective by what is known as the entourage effect – or the idea that cannabis compounds act synergistically to achieve maximum results.

While there is a baseline amount of THC, “somewhere around 10-15%,” Vinkovetsky says, “it’s how it interplays with the other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids that is going to give you the effective, different qualities.”

Even in products with the highest percentage of THC, the effects can be quite nuanced and influenced by other cannabinoids and terpenes. “We give a little too much credit to THC levels,” noted Vinkovetsky. “You need THC, but you also need all these other cannabinoids in different amounts and ratios to have those interesting effects; uplifting, lethargic, insightful, cerebral.”

While consumers are becoming more aware of the varying effects of different cannabis products, the public must become more educated on how the interaction of cannabinoids plays a role in that. Budtenders and dispensaries, in particular, Vinkovetsky noted, should be knowledgeable enough to prevent new consumers from being off-put by a first experience.

The finer points of cultivation: Is flushing a necessary step?

Flushing is a common practice among cannabis growers in which plants are fed nothing but water for the last week or two weeks of growth. According to Vinkovetsky, the need for flushing comes only from overfeeding and can be eliminated entirely.

“If you fed properly, to the amount the plant can use without overdoing it, there is no reason to flush,” he explained. Moreover, “if you have overfed your plants for 10, 12, 15 weeks,” he continued, “it’s not going to make much of a difference to flush for a week with plain water.”

Still, however, there are some instances when flushing can be beneficial, such as when a plant is overfed. And for those looking to better maintain their plant without overfeeding, Vinkovetsky recommends living soil, a growing method centered on the microbial life inside the soil.

“If you can have a medium that feeds itself and [then you] add organic material on top, you can improve your soil year after year,” he noted, adding that living soil has benefits relating to cost, the environment, and the overall healthy development of the plant.

To cure or not to cure

In the podcast, Baughman and Vinkovetsky discussed the definition of curing and the hot debate among growers about this important step.

“I know that when I first started growing, people told me it’s best if you seal it for a year, that’s how you really get it rich. And, and as I grow, I’m like, ah, no, I don’t think that is, I feel like that’s not the best way. I’ve always found like personally that it’s best when it’s fresh when that moisture level is completely, even all across the board.

“To me, curing is [the second] part of the drying process,” explained Vinkovetsky. “I do think there is something to be said for a proper, slow cure because it does bring out subtleties and nuisances, but there are things that can go wrong over time. It’s something you need a lot of time and commitment for… but it is a chemical process that is helpful to the process, and certainly better than just drying the branch and bagging it up and putting it out into the marketplace.”

Notably, Cryo Cure’s patented process drastically truncates the time and space required in the traditional hang dry and curing process. Cryo Cure machines not only cut curing time down to as little as 12 hours, but they also eliminate the risk of human error.

“A lot of places just don’t… really see that the drying process takes up as much space as it does,” noted Baughman. “We’re taking out the guesswork. [With Cryo Cure] you just walk right up to the plant and say, it’s ready, and you know exactly what you’re getting.”

What does a judge look for in a cannabis competition?

The culmination of all the hard work in the grow room is, of course, quality cannabis flower. As a longtime and seasoned cannabis flower competition judge, Vinkovetsky shared his first-hand insight into what makes for award-winning flower, including:

  • Appearance:  In addition to inspecting the full buds, Vinkovetsky breaks up the cannabis to gain a full grasp of its constitution. “I’ll use a microscope to get in and see maturity level, actual glandular trichomes; make sure they are not broken off or clear or all amber, so I know that it was properly timed and picked when ripe,” Vinkovetsky said.
  • Aroma: After inspecting the appearance of the bud, Vinkovetsky then grinds up the flower to smell its essence. “I think many of the subtleties and nuisances come out then,” he noted. “I roll it up into a rolling paper and take a dry hit to see what that tastes like without lighting it.”
  • How the cannabis burns: Vinkovetsky also checks flower for “burnability.,” or the way it burns once lit. “I do like it to burn cleanly, not have to re-light,” he explained. “[A] nice wispy ash is good and a sign of proper, light feeding.”
  • Flavor: Flavor, of course, is essential. Does it taste good at the beginning? Does it lose flavor over time, or does that flavor remain consistent for the whole session? Vinkovetsky said he checks for this as well while assessing flower.
  • Effects: Lastly, Vinkovetsky says, he sits back and absorbs how it makes him feel. How long-lasting is the effect? Does it come on super strong early and fade quickly, or does it creep up and linger for some time?

While all of these factors go into judging, Vinkovetsky said the overall experience is what matters.

“The aroma, the burnability, the effect – Is this something I’d be happy to pay for?” he said.

Listen to the whole interview with Daniel Vinkovetsky

Overall, Vinkovetsky says it’s important to remember that there is no perfect way to grow.

“We are still just scratching the surface of what this plant is capable of and what we can learn from it,” he noted. “I’m sure there is way more I will continue to learn from, but it is important to understand myths and why certain things are done in certain ways.”

You can listen to the full episode with Daniel Vinkovetsy by clicking here. Future episodes will be released across podcast platforms.