plicated than simply observing moisture content and ash color. With each plant providing a unique set of characteristics, everything from bud structure to terpene profile can influence your smoking experience. In recent research, the RX Green Technologies R&D department - headed by “expert plant scientist” Dr. Stephanie Wedryk - analyzed “the effects of different flushing times on chemical profile, flavor, and smoking characteristics in Cannabis flower.” Flushing periods were applied to groups of Cherry Diesel (Cherry OG x Turbo Diesel) in zero, seven, 10 and 14-day increments. The cured flower was evaluated by “a group of industry experts” in a blind taste test that rated the consumption characteristics and flavor. Overall, the duration of the flushing period had no impact on flavor, smoothness of smoke, or color of ash... The seven-day flush period had the highest “bad” rating (21.1%) and the zero-day flush had the highest “great” rating (16.7%). The quality of hit was not rated significantly different among samples, but researchers did note that contrary to previous beliefs, “smoothness of the smoke increased with decreasing flushing time.” When it comes to methods, it’s important to note that RX Green used its own products for the study and that the company makes a portion of its profits off of nutrients, supplements and additives. It’s safe to assume some bias in the analysis, but with few academically-funded (Cannabis) terpene studies, there’s still valuable information to be considered. Take, for example, their statistical findings on yield, It’s not uncommon to run into smokers that associate white ash THC and terpenes. While data didn’t point to any significant losses in the “flushed” test groups, terpenes with cleanliness and quality. But when it comes to the burning of exhibited the only consistent decrease over longer flush buds, where did this old toker’s tale come from? And what does periods (losing 0.18% between zero and 14-day flushes). Factors like grow conditions, care, and plant varithe color of ash tell us about cured Cannabis? ety also play a part in the cycle of terpene preservation and loss, but additional studies present the possibility of In theory, less hot organic material entering ost folks offering up the deteriorating a plant’s profile when flushing. the lungs should make for a smoother hit. In aforementioned white ash A 2017 piece in the Journal of Molecular Liquids on this light at least, the white ash ideology may adage will tell you that bud “Terpenes solubility in water and their environmental just hold up. Many other factors influence burning white signifies a proper flush distribution,” looked at the solubility of seven monocombustion temperature, however, and a crop of the plant - a process where water terpene structures. Researchers found that (with one grown for human consumption presents a set of is used to remove nutrients and exception) “the solubility of terpenes in water shows a different variables than the ash from wildfires. trace elements. There are conflicting (monotonical) increase with temperature.” In the Cannabis community, the curing opinions among growers and gurus While most terpenes may remain in the plant during process of flower is commonly associated with alike about methods, benefits, and a flushing process, there is data to support the resulting ash color. This process even the efficacy of flushing as a some loss. Specifically, when using water directly correlates to moisture practice. upwards of 75 degrees Fahrenheit - a method content and most certainly affects Amanda Day is an combustion temperature. Data on Oregon Leaf contributing that, according to horticulture author and edDr. Allison Justice and Dr. Markus Roggen Cannabis combustion and moisture writer and photographer, ucator Ed Rosenthal, is commonly practiced to bring backgrounds in horticulture, organic based in Eugene and increase nutrient movement out of the plant. content is limited, but the studies chemistry, and more to multiple branches of the providing Cannabis The practice of flushing is highly personalon wildfires and vegetative burning industry. photos & video services. ized among grows and while it shouldn’t be points still provide insight. Most In an article for Cannabis Business Times, the viewed as inherently bad, maybe it’s time to reevaluate results lean toward a plateau effect when it duo explored the science behind ash, starting our standards from a consumer standpoint. comes to moisture. Too little, and most plant with what contributes to its color: Research into With all of the products, growing methods and matter will burn at a rate too fast to reach the ash from wildfires points to burn temperature as plant varieties out there, it’s difficult to generalize what high temperatures needed to create white ash. the main factor in determining ash’s properties. makes ‘good’ or ‘clean’ flower. Too much moisture, and similar outcomes are With increasing combustion temperature, the Most seasoned smokers would probably agree exhibited. charred organic material and organic nitrogen that buds should be healthy, potent, high in terpene Determining the quality of bud (and tracking concentrations decrease, and the ash color content, and free from any harmful additives. It’s 2020 combustion rates) is, of course, more comlightens from black to gray to white. and the white ash method probably isn’t the best indicator for any of these characteristics. Most Oregonians now have access to enough con“ The practice of flushing is highly personalized among grows sumer information to make informed decisions about the quality of flower before lighting up and inhaling. and while it shouldn’t be viewed as inherently bad, maybe it’s Maybe it’s time we finally put this old stoner stereotime to reevaluate our standards from a consumer standpoint.” type to rest.
ASH FLUSHING OUT OLD STEREOTYPES
STORY by AMANDA DAY @TERPODACTYL_MEDIA