Curing will also greatly enhance the shelf life of your harvest and further minimise cases of mould. If cured and stored correctly, your buds can last for a year or longer without any decline in taste or strength.
During the curing process, you’ll need to keep your stash in a dark location. Light is one factor that can lead to the degradation of valuable molecules such as THC and terpenes. To avoid having light spoil the taste and potency of your flowers, keep your jars in a dark cupboard or box. Alternatively, storing your buds in miron glass jars, a type of glass that filters out all visible light apart from violet, will offer additional protection.
Apply the lids to your jars and place them in a cool and dark location to protect against the threats mentioned above. Ideally, place them in a cupboard or other storage room that maintains a temperature of 21°C and a relative humidity of 60–65% within the jars. The only way to accurately measure this is to add a small hygrometer (a device that measures humidity) to each jar.
Now that we’ve discussed these vital factors, keep them in mind as you proceed to cure your stash. In reality, curing is simply a matter of opening and closing jars at the correct time. By placing your dried cannabis flowers into airtight glass mason jars, you’ll be creating an optimally controlled environment. These enclosed vessels allow humidity from within the flowers to rehydrate the exterior, without buds becoming overly wet. The end goal is a stash that smokes smooth and offers superior tastes.
Drying is just as it sounds—it’s the process of removing the majority of the water content from your buds. This will make them easier to handle, more resilient against mould formation, and a lot more pleasant to smoke. Some growers are happy to blaze dried buds, but if you want to take the flavour and potency of your harvest to the next level, you’ll need to cure them.
Patience is a virtue in all areas of life, and it certainly pays off when curing cannabis. Curing is a prolonged process that can take weeks to complete. It might seem like a hassle at first, but the reality is that curing will turn harsh buds into ones that offer a smooth and delicious smoke. This is because prolonged curing leads to the degradation of byproducts produced by the drying process, such as sugars. These molecules leave a particularly harsh and unpleasant taste in the mouth. Curing banishes these compounds, resulting in a buttery smooth smoke.
Harvest time might seem like the final stage in the growing process, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. After you’ve harvested the fruits of your labour, it’s time for the most vital steps of them all: drying and curing.
To begin the process, you’ll need to prepare your flowers accordingly. If you dried your buds individually, you’re good to go. If you elected to dry them by the branch, then you’ll need to get trimming. Separate each bud and rid them of sugar leaves.
Heat will only be a substantial issue if you live in a climate where it becomes exceptionally hot. Heat is another factor that can lead to the degradation of cannabinoids, potentially reducing the potency of your buds. Be sure to keep your jars in a cool location to minimise damage and mould formation. An ideal room temperature for curing is around 21°C.
Curing is a long and tedious process for many growers, but results in a buttery smooth smoke and enhanced flavour. Learn how to do it properly here.
If you trimmed your buds wet, you’ll be ready to move on to the curing stage as soon as your buds have dried. If you choose to trim dry, on the other hand, you’ll want to do this before moving on to curing.
Ahhh, harvest time. After watching your ladies grow and flower, it’s finally time to collect your hard-earned buds. But before you can enjoy a toke of some homegrown Kush, you’ll need to dry and cure your freshly harvested weed. Below, we’ll share our answers to some frequently asked questions on the drying and curing process, so you can maximise the flavour and potency of your stash.
Get the answers to 9 of the most frequently asked questions about drying and curing cannabis.
Drying, as the name suggests, involves drying fresh buds so they contain less moisture and can be smoked or vaporized properly. Curing, on the other hand, involves storing your buds in closed containers over a period of at least two weeks. This helps develop the flavour and aroma of your buds as they mature.
There are many factors that affect how long it takes for cannabis to dry.
There are two main methods for trimming your buds at harvest time. Wet trimming involves trimming your buds straight after harvest. Dry trimming, on the other hand, involves trimming your buds after drying and before curing. Ideally, we recommend trimming while your buds are still wet, as it’s easier, more precise, and you don’t risk losing resin from agitation as you do when handling dry buds. That said, dry trimming can make for an exceptionally manicured product worthy of a top-shelf position on looks alone.
In order for your buds to dry evenly, you’ll want to ensure that air can move freely, coming into contact with them on all sides. The best way to do this is to string up your cut and trimmed branches, or to use wire racks if you’re working with individual buds or small branches. If you choose to use racks, keep in mind that you’ll need to flip your buds regularly to ensure they don’t flatten on one side.
Once your buds are dry and trimmed, place them in big, wide-mouthed jars (mason or jam jars work great). Fill the jars about ¾ of the way so there’s room for additional air, and to reduce the risk of mould or mildew ruining your harvest. Once you’ve filled up your jars, store them in a dry, dark environment (like a kitchen cupboard) and check on your buds at least once per day for two weeks.
In general, the drying stage takes about 7–12 days, depending on the above factors. During this time, your buds will lose a lot of water, meaning they’ll shrink in size and lose a lot of weight, too.
Properly drying and curing your fresh cannabis harvest is essential to decrease the risk of mould, and to enhance the taste and high that your buds offer.