Freeze Drying post harvest handling

Anyone out in our growing community using freeze drying for post production processing?


Yes. I use freeze drying.


Will you share your experience with freeze drying? Do you use a commercial model or a home made one? If a commercial model? what size?
What are your drying times like? What moisturizer levels do you actually achieve?

Question, questions oh so many questions!

Thank you!

From the voices in my head

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Hello Ethan,
I used a Virtis Freeze-Dryer, commercial 5 shelf unit 45 years ago to freeze dry people’s organs after autopsy. I was the supervising forensic toxicologist at the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC and wanted to create the methods to detect recreational drugs of abuse, such as LSD, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and heroin - none of which could be found in a person’s body after they took those drugs. Freeze drying allowed me to change the signal-to-noise ratio in the analytic methods, extracting the pure drugs. That allowed me to detect 30 mg LSD distributed in a 60 kg. body, essentially at picogram or lower levels in 1970. Then i created the lab methods to detect those drugs, which started an industry called 'pre-employment drug testing when i opened the first lab to do urine screening. The next year, i formulated a drug called methadone to help junkies get off heroin.
Now i use a Virtis shelf freeze-dryer to extract the pure chemical compounds in cannabis plant, creating USP level purity and from that have created multiple formulations, far better than methadone to alleviate symptoms of : alcoholism, opioid addiction, sleeplessness, anxiety, pain, depression.
As for process parameters- i take the biomass down to -50C, then reduce atmosphere to less than 5 torr, bringing temp up to -30C drives water to sublimate 99.95%. We capture all volatile terpenes in a special molecular filter and reinstall them selectively into the formulation, making sub-lingual tablets for direct biophysical access to the nervous system by crossing the blood/brain barrier upon administration.
Does this help you?
Steve G


Thank you very much!

I used the freeze dryer in the food science laboratory at school for napharus purposes. :grin:

I build my first one using an stove top auto clave repurposed, dry ice and a vacuum pump that was older than both of us combined. We would dry wedding flowers for florist. We would also make asparagus flour for cooking. Greate homemade pasta.

I was trying to gadge the penetration in the post harvest processing for production. It just seems to make good sense to me. Much better than what I have been reading in the blogs about drying and issues with bacteria and fungus.

I just wish I lived in a state with less archaic laws.

Again thank you for your feedback

Warm regards


Hi Ethan,
nice chatting with you- don’t worry about the laws changing- everything changes, and these laws are becoming more humanized very rapidly. just do something that that you believe in, and encourage people as sincerely as possible, and the world will notice and respond positively.
Stephen Goldner
Regulatory Affairs Associates
4761 Tara Court
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
248 515 0097 c
[email protected]


Thank you for the nice words and encouragement. I am retired because of a health issue. I worked the last twenty years as a special project developer in a fortune 50 IT company. I mostly wrote specialty programming languages for our programmers. But, all my degree work is in horticulture and plant pathology. I ran a commercial greenhouse in Kansas City for ten years.



One more question have you seen any papers on CBC or THC effects on the gaba receptor? One of the side effects of Late Onset Tay-Sacks and related diseases is particularly masked with Gabapenten. The Aphasia and some of the Torsion Distonia is relived temporary.

For example from personal experience my spoken language improves when I take a higher dose of gabapenten. I don’t have to rely on a voice application. They don’t want me to do it to often because, of the risk of burning out the gaba receptor.

I also notice better movement with gabapenten. I don’t fall as often. Other patients have reported the same observation on the LOTS patient forum.

So in retirement I am back to reading journals in all topics.

From the voices in my head
Ethan Kayes
[email protected]



Would you bump this I still want to know if anyone is using this old technology.


when you ran this what setting and for how long? - I understand you were doing this in a more clandestine measure… so what temps did you go to to begin sublimation and for how long did you run it?

were you able to test your moisture content after?

im trying to figure that out before i go buy a harvest right and start trying to run endless tests…

there has to be a math equation… is total content/(rate of moisture sublimation)/ x factor = time and rate in freeze dryer to have perfectly *dried not cured bud…

my thought was after this i could go into my jar burping process… let me know


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@Growernick do you know anyone using a harvest right for full flower drying
i understand this doesn’t meant curing is done but with space constraints i want to understand how this works… obviously we know it works but who is doing it? thanks


I am unaware of anyone using a Harvest Right to freeze dry their harvests. I know of growers who will freeze their harvests to run for live resin extracts but I cannot imagine anyone using a freeze dryer for product that is bound for sales as raw flower.


why wouldn’t you imagine someone using this bound for raw flower sales???.. the science behind sublimation as a process to remove moisture content is actually better for the flower visual + aroma are more in line to post harvest because they haven’t been subjected to open air… not to mention preserving terps being josstled around?

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If i wanted to leave 16-12% moisture content in the bud could i set a plate temp to -30 and just run this process for less time as i am not trying to get to 99% moisture removed but really more like 84%-88% moisture removal