Traditional In-Door Growing
While growing cannabis indoors can produce large yields, it uses tremendous amounts of energy for everything from ventilation, exhaust fans, cooling/heating, and watering systems. NuSierra believes that the carbon footprint from indoor growing operation is unsustainable. In 2019, it was estimated that indoor cannabis grow operations accounted for 1% of all power usage in the United States. Indoor growing is rarely organic and often suffers from a buildup of pesticides, nutrients and other chemicals to sterilize and maintain these artificial growing environments. But there is another way.
“Terroir” comes from the French word “terre,” which translates “ground,” “earth” or “land.” Although the term isn’t used too often by cannabis users due to its illicit past and present indoor growing methods, terroir describes how the growing conditions of a region, or even more specifically an individual farm or plot, affect cannabis’ characteristics. Terroir encompasses all environmental conditions that affect cannabis flower’s taste, terpene, and cannabinoid expression and appearance. For cannabis, this includes things like:
Terroir is unique to a region and it is the reason why cannabis grown in the mountains of Colombia won’t taste, smell or express like one grown indoors in warehouse in California. Because terroir results from a region’s environmental factors, it cannot be replicated in a lab.
Terroir of Colombia and NuSierra
Colomia is well-known for its high-quality coffee, but Colombia also has one of the widest ranges of soils and variety of climates in the world for growing fruit and vegetables. Colombian grown fruits and vegetables have an excellent quality in organoleptic terms with good color, flavor, aroma, high soluble content and BRIX value.
Colombia is also part of the 17 mega-diverse countries of the world. With rich soil, spring water irrigation, abundant sunlight and the right elevation, the “terroir” of NuSierra’s operations is as good as it gets.
Terroir is But One Factor in Producing Cannabis Oil
For all its importance, NuSierra’s unique terroir is just one factor that affects cannabis’ final taste, smell and cannabinoid expression. Handling and processing can also significantly affect the quality of cannabis oil.
Hand Harvested and Hand Trimming of Flower
All of NuSierra’s cannabis is hand-harvested and trimmed. Hand-harvesting permits NuSierra to focus on harvesting only the best flowers, unlike commercial hemp production. Hand harvesting also lets us get the timing just right, and when it comes to harvesting cannabis timing is everything. Too soon and you have immature plants lacking in terpenes and cannabinoid expression. Too late and you have degraded cannabinoids. Hand harvesting means premium “cannabis” products, akin to a dispensary experience, not typical of commercial, hemp production.
NuSierra Relies on CO2 Extraction from Premium Oil
Extraction technique matters when producing quality cannabis oils. NuSierra relies on CO2 extraction, which takes longer but produces superior results. CO2 extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract desirable cannabinoids from cannabis flower and produces for NuSierra a wonderful amber-colored oil. CO2 produces no toxic byproducts and is the standard extraction method in the herbal supplement and food industries. Conventional processes for extraction often rely on butane, propane or other hydrocarbons. While cheaper these processes have significant limitations and concerns.