After carefully cultivating your crop for months, an additional few weeks of curing is nothing. It will transform harsh and damp buds into smooth flowers loaded with taste.
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.
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.
- Why cure your cannabis buds?
- Factors that affect the curing process
- The best way to cure your cannabis buds
Why Cure Your Cannabis Buds?
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.
Curing also preserves desirable flavours. The molecules that give cannabis strains their intense and unique flavours are known as terpenes. These volatile compounds can degrade easily under high heat, so gentle drying followed by prolonged curing is the way to go for tasty buds.See AlsoThe ultimate guide to drying and curing cannabis for the best resultsHarvesting, Drying and Curing your Weed - The Last steps of the journeyThe Importance Of A Tree Biopsy In The SpringHow to harvest, trim, dry and cure your weed
Taste isn’t the only thing that curing can accomplish. The process can also enhance the high itself. THC, the active psychotropic constituent in cannabis, degrades over time into a cannabinoid known as CBN. CBN is thought to be mildly psychoactive, but is associated with different effects than THC.
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.
Factors That Affect the Curing Process
Before we get into exactly how to cure your cannabis buds, let’s discuss some of the factors that influence the process. This will help you gain a firm understanding of what to aim for and what to avoid.
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💡Avoid Light Exposure
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.
🌡️Protect Your Stash From Heat
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.
🌫️Find the Humidity Sweet Spot
Curing is a straightforward process considering you start with properly dried buds. If your stash is too wet before curing, buds will clump together and there’s a good chance that mould will take hold. Increased moisture will also encourage anaerobic bacteria to start breaking down your stash. A telltale sign this is happening is the smell of ammonia emerging from your jars every time you open them.
On the flip side, curing bud that is too dry will create a crumbly and harsh stash that isn’t pleasant to smoke. Ideally, cannabis flowers should be dried in a room with a humidity of between 45–55%. This will result in a dry and slightly crumbly exterior and a more humid interior. Once it comes time for curing, humidity is increased slightly to an ideal reading of around 62%.
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The Best Way to Cure Your Cannabis Buds
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.
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Step 1: Trimming Your Buds
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.
Step 2: Stashing Your Flowers
Next, you’ll need to place your stash into airtight containers. Mason jars provide a sturdy option and allow growers to easily monitor their buds throughout the process.
Place the buds loosely into the container and fill to 75% capacity. It’s important to leave room for air. Now is a good time to test if your stash is dry enough for curing. Give the jars a gentle shake. If your buds rattle around the glass freely, then continue with the next steps. If they begin to clump together, this is a sign the exterior is still too wet and further drying is required.
Step 3: Curing Your Weed With Optimal Humidity
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.
Step 4: Regulating Humidity Levels
During the first couple of days, you’ll need to check on your buds around twice per day. Inspect them through the glass and keep a careful eye on any mould formation. You’ll also need to open the lids for a couple of minutes each time you check to allow for fresh air exchange. Keep an eye on your hygrometers. If the reading displays 60–65% humidity, continue as normal. If things are getting too wet, leave the lids off the jars for around 3 hours to let excess moisture escape. If humidity is too low, leave the lids on for longer periods without breathing sessions. If you still don’t notice any increase in humidity, place a small humidity pack inside the affected jars.
Step 5: You’re Almost There
Continue to open the jars once per day over the next 2 weeks while taking appropriate measures to maintain optimal humidity. After 3 weeks, your buds will be well cured and ready to smoke up. However, the more patient smokers out there will receive the best rewards. Your flowers will continue to increase in quality for up to 6 months of curing.
Brown Bags and Computer Fans
Simple brown paper bags, like the kind you get from the bakery, are perfect for drying buds. Especially popcorn buds. If you place a handful or two of freshly manicured smaller nuggets into a paper bag and leave them to dry for 2–3 days your halfway there.
- Step 1: Dry your crop slowly but sufficiently. Remember the 60s (60 to 65°Fahrenheit and 60 to 65% relative humidity). ...
- Step 2: Trim your harvest. Curing works for both hand-trimmed and machine-trimmed flowers. ...
- Step 3: Select a curing container. ...
- Step 4: Commence the cure. ...
- Step 5: Enjoy!
Pack the buds loosely and not all the way to the top – you don't want them crushing each other. Once your buds are tucked away in their jars, place them in a dark area and double check the environment. The optimal temperature for curing remains at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius.What is the best way to dry and cure buds? ›
The best way to achieve this is to place the buds into a sealed container for a short period at drying temperature (for 2 to 24 hours depending on quantity), while periodically exchanging the container air. The bud will again become uniform in moisture consistency or dryness.How do you cure large amounts of bud? ›
Curing Room – If you're curing cannabis on a large scale and using a curing room, ensure your climate is conducive to the best cure possible. Humidity levels should be between 50-60%, and temperature should be between 60°-70°F. Breathable screens should be set up and ready to go once the buds are dry.How long does bud need to cure? ›
Curing buds takes longer than drying them, but the length of the curing process is a matter of personal preference. Some people find that curing cannabis for 2 to 4 weeks produces a quality final product, while others prefer to cure it for 4 to 8 weeks.How do you tell if buds are dry enough for curing? ›
You can tell if your flower is ready for curing by giving it a gentle squish between your fingers. It should be spongy and still a bit sticky. If it feels wet or moist, it needs more time to dry. If you are dry trimming, the flower is dried if you can snap the branches rather than them bending.What is the best bud hardener? ›
General Hydroponic KoolBloom
Available as Liquid KoolBloom or Dry KoolBloom, this additive is widely regarded as the best bud hardener out there.
When Do I Know My Buds Are Properly Dried And Ready To Cure? There's a simple test to know if your buds are dry: Simply take a small branch and try to bend it. If it snaps, your buds are dry and you're ready to move on to the curing process. If they bend, your buds need a little longer to dry.Can you dry buds for too long? ›
When cannabis is dried too long or rapidly, it is primarily at the expense of the lighter, more delicate essential oils (terpenes). The lighter, most volatile terpenes have the lowest evaporation points and dissipate first during drying, before the water does.
For this reason, more and more outdoor growers have started to wash and rinse their harvested buds in clean water to remove dirt and bugs before beginning the drying process.Can you wash buds after curing? ›
While not mandatory, it's definitely a good idea to wash cannabis flower buds that were grown outside. The process reduces outdoor air pollutants that may have accumulated on the buds such as dirt, dust, pollen, toxic wildfire ash, caterpillar poop, insects, bird debris, and other particulate matter.Does Bud get stronger after curing? ›
Proper curing can have many benefits for the consumer including better tasting buds as well as an increase in potency. Proper drying releases the terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant, which is a difficult process that can be lengthy.How do you know when buds are curing? ›
A simple test you can do is to take one of your bigger buds and put it in a small jar or bag. Come back in an hour and if there is any moisture on the inside of the bag or the bud is suddenly damp to the touch, then you know it needs more drying time. If it's just a bit too wet to smoke, it needs another day.Can you cure bud in a jar? ›
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.Do you dry buds before curing? ›
When growing cannabis, you need to let the buds dry out after you harvest them to make them ready for consumption. This process is called “curing” and is super important, as it can have a big impact on the flavor and potency of your buds.