You have finally harvested a crop of frosty, fragrant cannabis buds after months of hard work tending your plants carefully, which you just can’t wait to try. But first, you need to dry them. Though you may be tempted to dry your cannabis as rapidly as possible, bound by controlled environmental conditions, curing is a tedious process of extracting moisture from the buds and can produce a much better product for different reasons.
In the growing process of cannabis, the harvest time or period might seem like the final step, but it is still far from reality. It’s time for the most important steps of all of them after you have harvested the fruits of your labor: drying and curing of cannabis.
What is Cannabis Drying?
Drying is the method of extracting much of the water content from your buds. This will make them easier to treat, more robust, and much more fun to smoke against mold forming. Most growers are happy to burn dried buds, but you will need to cure them if you’d like to get your harvest’s flavor and potency towards the next stage or level.
Importance of Cannabis Curing
Proper cannabis curing increases the potency of its bud. Cannabis plants develop tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and other cannabinoids via a method called biosynthesis, through which such substances are progressively converted into new mixtures. THCA, for instance, is THC, the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis. This phase does not fully stop the second time you drastically trim down your plant; if you hold newly harvested cannabis at temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 45-55%, the transformation of non-psychoactive cannabinoids to THC will begin and your buds will seize potency. Fast curing under wet, dry conditions makes this process much faster.
Proper cannabis curing affects the flavor and quality of smoke. Several of the aromatic compounds (terpenes) which offer the distinct smell and flavor of cannabis are very fragile and can spoil and evaporate at temperatures as low as 70-degree Fahrenheit. These terpenes would be better preserved by a sluggish cure at low temperatures than by a quick, hot cannabis drying process. These factors also provide an optimum environment in which enzymes and aerobic bacteria disintegrate leftover minerals and the unwanted sugars created during the drying process by decomposing chlorophyll. The existence of such sugars and residual minerals is what induces the harsh, throat-burning feeling that you get when you smoke cannabis that is poorly cured.
Curing preserves your cannabis. Without worrying about molds or loss of cannabinoid material, an effective cure enables you to preserve your cannabis for a long period of time. The well-cured plants or buds can be stored in a cool, dark spot for up to 2 years in an air-tight container without any loss of potency.
Factors That Affect Cannabis Curing
Let’s address some of the variables that affect the process before we get into specifically how to cure your cannabis buds. This will allow you to develop a firm knowledge of what to strive for and what to prevent during your cannabis curing process.
- Keep Away your Cannabis from Light Exposure – You have to store your stash in a dim area throughout the curing process. Light is one aspect that can contribute to useful compounds such as THC and terpenes being degraded. oPlace the jars in a darkened room or box to prevent light from spoiling the flavor and potency of your flowers. Moreover, additional protection will be offered by storing your flowers in glass jars.
- Protect your Stash from Heat – Another aspect that may contribute to cannabinoid depletion is heat, significantly reducing the potency of your flowers. Heat can only be a serious problem if you live in an area where it gets incredibly hot. To minimize or limit damage and mold development, be sure to store your jars in a cool place. Around 21 degrees celsius is the optimal room temperature for recovery.
- Curing is a smooth process because you start with buds that are properly dried. Before curing, if your stash becomes too wet, buds will bunch up together and there’s a fair chance of mold taking root. Anaerobic bacteria would also be stimulated by increased moisture to begin tearing down your stash. The scent of ammonia coming from your containers each time you open them is a clear indication that this is happening.
Additionally, curing cannabis buds that are very dry could produce a brashy and harsh stash that is not good to smoke. It is really great to dry your cannabis flowers in a room or place with a humidity of 45 to 55 percent. A dry and slightly doughy exterior and a more humid interior would result in this. Humidity is marginally increased to an optimum reading of about 62 percent until it is time for healing.
How To Cure Your Cannabis Buds
Now that these important variables have been addressed, keep them in mind as you try to cure your cannabis stash. Basically, curing is merely a matter of opening and closing containers at the right time in fact. You’ll create an optimally managed atmosphere by putting your dried cannabis buds into air-tight glass mason jars. These enclosed vessels allow the outside to be rehydrated by moisture from inside the flowers, without the buds being too wet. There are several ways to cure cannabis flowers, but a variant of one common approach is used by most people. Even though your buds can be frozen dry, water cured, or even dry-ice cured, we will concentrate on the simplest and safest way to get a great outcome from your crop.
- Step 1: You will need to prepare your flowers properly to start the process. If you have individually dried your buds, then you are good to go. If you have selected the branch to dry them, then you still need to get the trim.
- Step 2: Next, you will need to put your stash in containers that are air-tight. Mason jars provide a robust choice and enable growers during the process to check their buds conveniently. Put the buds firmly in the container and fill up to a capacity of 75%. The main thing is to leave space for air. It’s a good time now to assess if your stash is dry enough for healing. Give a gentle shake to the containers. If your buds are openly rattling around the jar, then proceed with the next measures. If they start bunching together, this is an indication that the exterior is still too damp and needs more drying.
- Step 3: To protect against the above-mentioned threats, add the lids to your jars and put them in a cool and dark place. Ideally, position them within the jars in a cupboard or other storage room that maintains a temperature of 21 ° C and relative humidity of 60-65%. Adding a small hygrometer to each container is the only way to reliably assess this.
- Step 4: You’ll need to check your buds about twice a day for the first couple of days. Monitor them through the glass and keep a close eye on the development of every mold. Each time you check to allow fresh air exchange, you’ll also need to open the lids for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the hygrometers here. Continue as usual if the reading shows 60-65 percent humidity. Keep the lids off the jars for around three hours if things get too wet, to let excessive moisture flee. Keep the lid on for a long period of time and not allow them to breathe, if the moisture is too low. Put a humidity pack inside the jars if you still do not find any rise or increase in humidity.
- Step 5: For the next two weeks, you should continue to open the containers once a day while taking reasonable steps to maintain maximum humidity. Your buds will be well healed and ready for smoking after 3 weeks. For up to six months of curing, your buds will tend to escalate in quality.