Hey, mate! I write to you with a sad heart today. Why? I rolled a perfect joint, and just before I could light it, Felix, my cat, jumped and toppled my cup of coffee over it.
I made it with the last bit of my favorite Bruce Banner strain I got from i49. I love how it boosts my creativity and euphoria. Imagine the disappointment.
Though I have another batch of these amazing buds getting cured on the drying rack, I will have to wait for a few days for them to get ready. I tried lighting the half-wet joint too. It didn’t work. So, I thought I would write to you instead.
Let me share with you today all about the drying and curing process of marijuana. Read on to know how this process affects the taste and potency of your harvested buds, the equipment you need, and a step-by-step curing guide.
You know how sticky and wet the marijuana buds are during harvest from the huge amount of resin they produce. If not cured, they will get infected with bacteria or mold.
Curing is the process where you dry your harvested cannabis buds gradually in a controlled fashion. Your buds would be ready to be stored in glass jars after that. Curing makes the marijuana aroma more enticing and might also improve the potency and taste.
There are multiple methods for this process, namely freeze-dry, water cure, and dry ice. In this article, I will explain the method I find useful for small quantities of harvest.
Sounds interesting? Let me begin by sharing what you need for the process.
Prerequisites For The Drying And Curing Process
Your drying and curing area should be well ventilated. A good amount of fresh, filtered air should come from outside. Exhausted air might also need odor control.
Fall and winter provide the best conditions to cure and dry cannabis; if you are lucky enough to reside somewhere with a warm and somewhat arid climate, congrats! Your curing process will not require much effort.
You will need a drying rack and some wide-mouth mason jars if you have adequate space to hang them. Humidipacks and a hygrometer will also be useful, but they are optional.
If you don’t have any temperature or humidity measuring equipment, wait for at least five days before checking buds for moisture. When the smaller buds come out clean with a snap when applying slight pressure, know that they are ready for curing.
You will also need to trim the plant. Though you can trim them before or after the Curing is done, Wet Trimming is best for smaller homegrown batches.
Trimming Your Buds: Wet Vs. Dry Trimming
You need to snip off the larger fan leaves and extra stems. If the buds aren’t trimmed, the smoke will be harsher due to the leafy material present. You need to trim fewer leaves if the humidity is below 30% on average.
When you trim the plants just after the buds have matured, it is called wet trimming.
However, be prepared to get the sticky resins dripping onto you. Wearing gloves might help. I also like to apply coconut oil or rubbing alcohol on my skin and the shears to get the resin off easily.
Dry trimming is done after you dry the plants by hanging them upside down on individual lines. This method is mostly used for buds grown for commercial use.
However, the leaves get curled upwards after they dry, making the process difficult.
Hanging The Buds
Chop stems of 12-inch length. Trim the extra leaves and hang them on a string or clothesline. Keeping the area pitch dark will give you better tasting, and fragrant buds as all the chlorophyll will get removed.
To facilitate proper drying, you need to ensure about 45-55% moisture content and 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. A small fan can be useful to aerate the drying area, but you should not point the fan directly at the hanging buds.
Some growers like to use air conditioners, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers for this purpose.
Drying Without Hanging Or Equipment
In the absence of any space to hang the buds, keep them on a flat surface like cardboard and turn them over every hour. They should get cured in 7 to 12 days.
If you have produced a large batch, place the stems in an uncovered bin. Check for moisture in the bin every day. Turn them over when you find the bottom wetter than the surface. You can cover the bin when both sides are uniformly dry.
Step 1: Snip Off The Buds
If you haven’t done it already, cut the buds from the branches and trim them.
Step 2: Place into a Container
Fill 75% of medium-sized wide-mouth glass jars with buds, keeping space for air.
Shake the jars in fixed intervals. If they stick together, it means that the buds need to dry some more before they are cured.
Step 3: Keep the Jars in A Dark Place
Choose a space that is dry, cool, and dark for keeping the jars.
Step 4: Check The Jars Regularly
You should open the jars at regular intervals to let the moisture escape and to allow more oxygen.
If you ever come across an ammonia-like bad odor, it means that the buds are infested with mold. Quickly take adequate steps to ensure complete drying.
You can check the moisture content of the container with a hygrometer. It should be around 60 to 65%.
You can take the following steps to ensure the correct humidity.
- Keep the buds open for a day or two if the humidity is above 70%
- If the moisture content is around 65-70%, keep the jar uncovered for two to four hours.
- When the moisture content goes below 55%, re-humidify using a humidpack, orange peel, or other organic matter.
Keep the jars open for some time when you open the lids. You can check the jar every two days from the second week.
If they are drier than needed, leave them inside the container for three days or more to allow any remaining moisture from the bud to surface.
Step 5: Repeat
Though some growers feel eight weeks of Curing is needed, I find three weeks to be enough to adequately cure cannabis.
Step 6: Weigh, Pack, And Store
Weigh your weed using a low-cost cannabis weighing scale that you can get online.
Calculate your usage, divide them into portions and store them
Humidity packs ensure lasting freshness when stored in them.
Now that you understand the process, you must also understand why drying and Curing are important.
The Importance Of The Drying and Curing Process
Uncured weed loses its cannabinoid content and develops mold.
You can store Well-cured batches of weed for a longer period.
They might stay fresh and potent for almost two years if you store them in airtight jars.
Improved Potency, Smell, and Taste
Curing preserves the terpene in the buds, making them more fragrant and rich in taste. It also breaks down the chlorophyll, and thus any harshness in the smoke is
in the buds breaks down, removing harshness from the smoke.
Enhanced Marijuana Potency
With the non-psychoactive cannabigerol turned into tetrahydrocannabinol or psychoactive THC, the weed becomes capable of producing a buttery smooth high. Uncured buds have low potency due to low THC content.
Back in the days when marijuana was not widely legal, like today, due attention was not given to the curing and drying process. But as the competition grows strife, every grower, especially the commercial ones, wants to produce high-quality weed.
That’s good news, isn’t it? Do you know what other good news I am waiting to hear? You produce some amazing weed and enjoy the process.
Ah! I feel a lot of joy in my heart already sharing this treasure trove of knowledge. Hope you do too!