How to Dry and Cure Your Cannabis Crop
Once you’ve harvested a bumper crop of cannabis, the hard work isn’t done. Drying and curing the buds can significantly affect the general quality and taste of the product, and it should be done as quickly as possible. Before we show you how to dry and cure cannabis, we’ll discuss why you should do it as quickly as possible after the harvest.
Curing Buds Increases Potency
Why should a grower go through the effort of cultivation and harvesting? The answer is simple: product potency. During biosynthesis, marijuana plants produce THC or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid as well as several other cannabinoids.
Then, these compounds are converted into varying blends. For example, THCA is converted to THC. When weed isn’t properly cured it contains fewer cannabinoids. After harvesting cannabis, it should be kept at a temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 45-55%. With these steps, you’ll facilitate biosynthesis and ensure a high thc crop.
Curing Buds Affects the Quality and Flavor of Every Smoke
The unique and pleasant smell of cannabis is due to its high terpene content. However, these fragile and volatile compounds easily degrade and evaporate even at low temperatures. Companies producing low-quality products often use a quick drying process.
When cannabis is properly cured, it creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and enzymes that break down unwanted and unhealthy materials that are formed during chlorophyll decomposition. These compounds cause the harsh throat sensations some users experience when smoking. Not the kind of result you are looking forward to when first buying marijuana seeds online.
Curing Preserves Cannabis
If you’re planning to store the product for a while, high-quality curing is crucial. When the plant is cured correctly, it can be stored in an airtight container for about two years without any potency loss. If it’s not stored properly, it may lose its potency and become more vulnerable to mold growth.
Now that you’ve learned why you should cure cannabis, we’ll show you how to do it.
How to Cure Cannabis Buds
Learning how to dry and cure marijuana is both an art and a science. If you’re living near the coast, high humidity may make it hard to dry buds quickly. Crops grown in these areas are susceptible to mold growth, so the best time for fast drying is in fall or winter.
If you’re living in an elevated area or one with a warm climate, things are a bit different. For instance, in Nevada and Arizona, daytime temperatures may range from 30 to 115 degrees throughout the year, with low humidity. For those living in these areas, attention must be paid to the processes of drying and curing.
A cured bud will react a certain way when squeezed. If it’s too dry, it will crumble into dust. While it’s easy to manage small amounts of cannabis, there are great challenges associated with large quantities. Do not assume there’s a certain elevation, humidity level, or temperature to stick to.
The drying room should be well ventilated with plenty of fresh, filtered air coming in. You’ll also have to take steps to minimize the odor of the air coming out of the room. Dry the buds at 60-70 degrees to keep terpene levels high and chlorophyll levels low.
Before starting the drying process, be sure to assemble the necessary equipment. You’ll need enough wide-mouth glass jars for all the buds, a rack upon which to dry them, and a hygrometer. The last tool makes things easier by measuring the room’s humidity and ensuring that the product doesn’t get too dry.
The drying process can be started as soon as cannabis is harvested. When the plants are cut down, you may notice how wet and sticky the buds are. This is a great indicator of the product’s quality and resin level. However, if things are left as they are, fungi and bacteria may find their way in. Let’s learn how to dry cannabis after harvesting.
- Cut the plants down. Because it’s possible to harvest buds one by one, it’s very difficult to make mistakes during this step. Cut the plants’ branches away and let them dry or hang the entire stalk upside down. Some growers find more success by cutting the buds and laying them on drying racks. After harvest, there is basically no difference between the way cheap weed seed plants and premium seed plants are treated.
- Trim the buds. There are two methods from which to choose: wet trimming and dry trimming. In wet trimming, the buds are trimmed as soon as they’re ripe. Cut the branches individually and use sharp scissors to trim away unnecessary material. Save some of the sugar leaves, because their reduced cannabinoid content makes them great for edibles. Dry trimming is best for commercial harvesters. Here, the branches are cut and hung upside down from lines. As the name implies, the buds are only trimmed and processed when they’re completely dry. No matter how you cut the branches, be sure to trim away the large fan leaves to improve the buds’ appearance and reduce the harshness of the final product.
- Dry the buds slowly. The drying environment should be kept at a temperature of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 50%. Reduce the room’s humidity with a dehumidifier, a heater, or an AC unit. Alternatively, humidity can be increased with an evaporative cooler or a humidifier. It’s best not to use a stove, dry ice, or a microwave to dry your weed. It ruins the taste, and it may cause headaches, paranoia, or other undesirable effects. Don’t dry the product in temps higher than 80 degrees, or most of the terpene content will be lost. Industry experts say that good drying practices comprise about 50% of the product’s quality. So don’t waste your money by buying the best marijuana seeds for indoor growing, and then trying to dry it too quickly! Though drying racks are useful, hanging the plants upside down is a good way to save money. Stalks can be hung from hangers, strings, or a clothesline.
When using a drying rack, the buds must be stripped of their stems. It’s best to use drying racks in areas with high humidity, but many growers find it easier to lay the buds out on a flat, porous surface. Though a small fan will increase airflow, it shouldn’t be pointed right at the weed. Be sure to dry the product in a place where you can evaluate it regularly.
- Be patient. After hanging the kush or silver haze buds or laying them out on racks, all that’s left to do is wait. Check the buds regularly and let them dry until they feel dry to the touch. When small stems snap instead of bending, the product is ready to be enjoyed. It may take three to seven days for buds to dry completely. If they dry before then, you’ve moved too quickly, and the curing process will take longer.
Now that the buds are dry, they’re ready to be cured. Follow these steps to ensure the best product quality.
Curing Your Cannabis
Once the buds are dry, it’s time to cure them.
- Separate the buds from their branches if you haven’t done so already.
- Put the buds in an airtight container. You’ve put so much work into the crop that it would be unfortunate to make a mistake now. Buds should be stored at a temperature close to 70 degrees and a humidity level of 60-65%. At this level of moisture, buds will feel very dry, but they’ll still be soft and pliable. Wide-mouth glass jars make great storage containers, and they’re widely available. Fill the jars until they’re 75% full; any more than that, and you may crush the buds. Be sure to shake the jars occasionally. If the buds stick together when shaken, they’re not dry enough to be cured. Plastic, metal, and wooden containers can also be used to cure weed, and in a pinch, you can even use plastic bags. However, these bags may degrade after coming into contact with certain terpenes. Though some growers intentionally cure weed that’s not dry, it typically produces a harsh product of inferior quality.
- Put the containers in a dark room. Be sure the jars are sealed and put them in a dry, dark, and cool spot. If the buds are dry and crunchy on the outside, it means that interior moisture has worked its way outward.
- Check the jars regularly. During the first several days of curing, open the jars a few times to allow the flowers to breathe. This step is crucial because it lets moisture escape and it gives the buds some much-needed oxygen. If the container opens to reveal a foul ammonia odor, anaerobic bacterial growth has taken place. This commonly happens when wet buds are stored, and if you don’t take immediate action, you’ll end up with moldy, unusable weed.
Use a hygrometer to test each container’s humidity, keeping it between 60 and 65%. If it’s higher than that, take the lids off the jars, rehydrate the buds with a humidipack, or empty the jars for a few hours.
Leave the jars open for several minutes with each check. After a week, the containers can be checked every two days. If the sour deisel buds are too dry, leave them in the jars for a few more days. This lets you see if moisture is coming to the surface. If you don’t have humidipacks, use orange peels or other organic material to rehydrate the buds. Be careful, though, as this practice may lead to mold growth and crop damage.
- Repeat these steps for two to three weeks. By then, the cannabis should be ready to smoke and enjoy. However, a few industry experts suggest an eight-week curing time. Certain marijuana strains from pot seeds may benefit from a six-month cure if you can hold out that long. In most cases, curing does nothing to improve quality after more than six months. At that time, it would be better to come up with a long-term solution to ensure the continued potency of the product. The same wide-mouth jars used to cure the product can be used for storage as well.
- Weigh and pack the buds. If you are keeping the product for personal usage, investing in humidipacks will keep the buds fresh for a long time. There are numerous cannabis scales available from online vendors. Find a reliable scale, weigh the product, determine your usage, and you’ll know how long the crop will last.
Preventing Mold During Curing
It’s impossible to keep mold out of the curing room. After all, spores have been found everywhere, from the desert to Antarctica. However, the omnipresence of mold doesn’t mean that it will grow everywhere. Like all other organisms, molds have qualities that determine where they thrive. With a few protective measures, you can keep mold from ruining an entire crop of plants you have carefully grown from i49 seeds.
Cannabis should be trimmed before it’s cured. The buds should look much like they’ll appear when they’re ready to enjoy, which involves trimming them down to the right size and removing unneeded stems. Buds shouldn’t crumble or feel moist, and the stems should snap easily.
A Few More Thoughts on Cannabis Drying and Curing
When marijuana sale and possession was illegal everywhere, growers paid little attention to the processes of curing and drying. The objective was to raise, dry, cure, and sell weed as soon as possible, which meant that crucial processes were neglected. This explains the very low quality of the product that was once available from street sellers.
Today, the competitiveness of the cannabis industry means that producers have no choice but to invest their effort, time, and money in drying and curing. The process requires no special equipment, and most growers do it at home with the tools they already have on hand.
For the best and most flavorful product, be sure to start the curing process as quickly as possible after the buds are harvested. If you put things off, the quality of the weed will be significantly reduced. There’s a narrow margin between over- and under-drying, and with practice, you’ll learn how to get things right. The most fragrant buds begin with high-quality seeds from a reputable seed bank. Visit us at i49.net to get started on your next cannabis crop!
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