Your buds are ready for harvest, yet your job as a grower is not quite over yet. You still need to put your newly harvested buds through the cannabis curing process. In order to ensure the best quality for your freshly harvested buds, you must prepare your buds with a process known as curing , which involves drying your buds slowly in a controlled environment, then keeping buds in glass jars over the course of a few weeks to let certain natural plant processes occur. The drying/curing process causes buds to smell better and for effects to feel more potent.
Optimal Drying Environment: Room Temperature – Around 70°F (21°C) 50% Humidity. Optimal Environment in Jars (Curing): Room Temperature – Around 70°F ( 21°C) 58-65% Humidity. Growers cure marijuana buds because they will not achieve their peak potency and quality if they’re uncured. If you started with great genetics and you’ve taken care of your marijuana plants properly during their life, then curing is what makes the difference between “just okay” and trophy-worthy buds. Dry & Cure Cannabis Properly for Highest Quality Buds. A big part of why buds from medical marijuana dispensaries or cannabis cups often seem so special is they have been expertly dried and cured. People who have never experienced buds prepared this way are often amazed by the smooth, pleasant experience of slow cured buds. Here’s a quick review: Why Do Growers Dry & Cure Buds After Harvest? Here’s what drying and curing cannabis properly does for you… Breaks down chlorophyll and dramatically improves taste / smoothness of buds. Gets rid of the unpleasant “fresh hay” or “cut grass” smell which is common on newly harvested buds.
Brings out the subtle flavors and unique smell of your cannabis strain. Reduces “harshness” in buds; you’re less likely to start coughing or get a headache. Buds are less likely to cause anxiety, racing thoughts, or paranoia. Reduces the chance of mold or bacteria growing on your buds. Read on to learn more… In most cases, a proper cure will change the subjective effects of buds. There is something that happens during a slow curing process which changes the exact composition of cannabinoids and terpenoids. Try smoking buds directly off the plant vs smoking those same buds after they’ve been dried/cured. The best way to understand the difference is to try it for yourself! 😉 Many growers feel that drying buds slowly and proper curing will actually make buds feel more potent up to a point. Growers also report that properly cured buds are much more pleasant to smoke, vaporize, or turn into edibles. This is likely due to how cannabinoids and terpenoids are altered during the curing process. So now you may be wondering… How do you dry your marijuana buds slowly? How long do you dry your buds for and what’s the best drying method? How do you cure buds perfectly every time, without leaving anything to chance? Note: This article covers the tried-and-true steps for traditional curing . This is the most used and well-studied way to cure your buds. However, there are other possible methods including water curing which I personally don’t have any experience with. So in order to get the most from curing, you need to master the process of drying your buds. An important part of the curing process happens during the first few days, as you begin drying your buds. During this initial drying phase, the main goal is to let your buds dry out relatively slowly (usually 3-7 days) while protecting buds against mold and bacteria growth. Most growers trim their buds and hang them upside down to dry until the outsides of buds are dry and the small stems snap when you bend them. Basically, once your buds will pop off you’re ready to go 🙂 A relatively slow drying process (along with smart curing practices) gives you the best benefits. It doesn’t need to take forever, but any time you “speed dry” your freshly harvested buds you’re losing many of the benefits of curing. However, your buds are still improved by curing even if you overdry your buds or dry them a little too quick. Note: If you use heat to speed dry your buds (microwave, oven, etc), buds will really taste terrible. Here’s an overview of the harvest / drying / curing cannabis process.
Click for a bigger picture and keep scrolling down for more complete instructions… Now I will walk you through a step-by-step process so you can produce a professional cure every time, with no guesswork involved . This method will work for you even if you’re just starting out and have never cured buds before. No matter what previous experience you have curing buds, this will show you how to ensure they come out connoisseur-quality every time. How to Perfectly Dry & Cure Your Marijuana Every Time. Place to Dry or Drying rack (optional) – I usually hang my buds from clothes hangers in my closet but you can hang buds from almost anything! String and creativity go a long way 🙂 It’s only recommended to use a drying rack if there’s high humidity or a lot of buds to be dried in a small space, because a drying rack can dry buds too quickly in average humidity conditions. Hygrometer (optional) – I like the Caliber IV Hygrometer because it easily fits inside quart mason jars. This measures the humidity of the air inside your jar, so you can make sure it’s not too humid or too dry for optimal curing.
Humidipaks (optional) – Boveda Medium 62% packs are cheap and specifically formulated for storing cannabis so it does not dry out or get crispy. Some growers cut the plant down at the base and hang the whole plant upside down to dry. Still others will cut off individual buds so they can lay them out and dry them on a mesh screen or rack.