So you’ve successfully grown your first marijuana plant and you’re very excited to smoke your buds! Do you know that you’re halfway done with making good weed? It’s time to learn how to cure weed.
Just like fine wine, your cannabis buds will be ready to consume after curing. Don’t worry, your long wait will soon be over. After drying and curing your buds will be tastier, flavorful, and more potent right after proper drying and curing. Let’s get to know the steps.
Why Do You Need to Cure Weed?
Have you experienced smoking weed that smelled and tasted like newly-mowed grass? If you have, then you just smoked poorly- cured weed.
To avoid this unwanted smell, taste, and flavor in weed, curing is done right after drying weed. If you want weed with a smooth and enjoyable taste then you must cure it correctly. Here are more reasons
Curing Preserves Weed Better
Properly cured weed will remain inside your storage box or jar longer. This is one of the secrets of professional commercial growers who sell their weed worldwide. It’s sure that the weed you get when you buy from a dispensary is not just carefully placed inside freshness-sealed packaging but has been carefully dried and cured beforehand.
Curing Enhances the Potency and Flavor of Weed
As soon as weed is harvested, this starts to degrade. The enzymes and the aerobic bacterial will soon break down sugars and plant starches. Curing will force the marijuana plant to use these nutrients, sugars, and starches before these start to dry out and become stuck in the plant. Some cannabis is not as flavorful when you smoke them because these leftover components are not cured of the plant before drying or packing. Therefore, cannabis that is properly cured will not just enhance flavor and the smoothness of the smoke but will also make the weed more potent.
In newly-harvested cannabis buds that are stored in properly maintained humidity and temperature, the non-psychoactive components will change from THCa to a very psychoactive THC.
Curing will Protect Weed from Bacteria
Cured food such as ham, sausages, and fish can last longer because the curing method used can eliminate bacteria. Curing weed also does the same and this will help keep properly cured and preserved weed for a longer time.
How to Cure Weed
The curing process is long but productive. There’s no short cut with curing and it starts right after you harvest your plants. Here are the things you need to dry and cure your weed:
A Dark and Dry Room
The key to properly dried weed is to let these dry undisturbed inside a drying room. You don’t need to construct a room or a tent to dry your buds and plant parts, a spare room will do as long as it’s dark and dry. Inspect the room well for leaks and any moisture because these can lead to mold or mildew growth.
A Screen or a Large Sieve
This kind of kitchen equipment/tool can help you dry precious popcorn buds faster and more efficiently. Sieves and screens used to drain pasta and for washing fruits, legumes and veggies are perfect for drying large, round and dense buds perfectly.
You need a good pair of harvesting scissors to manicure the buds right after they are dry. You need to do this before you place the dried buds in sealable containers.
Any kind of rope or wire that you use to hang clothes on can be used to hang your plants. Just make sure to secure the clothesline well across the room. Large plants tend to be heavy and just become lighter as these eventually become dry.
You need clothespins to secure the plants safely on the clothesline. Use large plastic or wooden clothespins. Take note of how thick cannabis branches and stems are and thus you need secure clothespins to make sure that your plants stay put.
Use heavy-duty clothes hangers to hang heavy plants. This is a better alternative instead of just hanging them directly from the clothesline. And just like clothespins, we recommend using heavy-duty wooden hangers to hold your buds securely.
Use large aluminum drying trays to hold your buds as you trim or manicure them. Use trays with raised edges to keep your weed safe.
Line the drying table or cabinet with newspaper. Newspapers will not just keep even the smallest bits of weed secure but will also help absorb moisture and help stop the development of mold and mildew in the area.
You need to be ready with spacious sealable glass containers to keep your dried and cured weed safe, secure, and dry.
We prefer using a digital hygrometer to accurately measure the humidity levels in your drying area. You need to maintain accurate, consistent low humidity to dry your buds and plants well and to keep mold and mildew at bay.
Vacuum-sealed Storage Bags or Containers
Vacuum-sealed bags can be a good alternative to mason jars and containers. You can buy these cheap too; you can also use vacuum-storage bags with a vacuum pump to remove air completely and more efficiently.
Instructions on How to Cure Weed
1. Prepare Your Grow Room
We recommend that you prepare the drying room even before you cut your plants and buds down. Disinfect the room, remove clutter, and cover the windows completely with cardboard.
You may need tables and drying cabinets to keep trays and screens in. Keep in mind that for buds and plant parts to dry well, these must be dried with a good distance from each other. This way, air can move through the buds and between the plants.
Place the tables in the middle of the room and the shelves or cabinets near the walls. Add a small fan to blow steady cool air inside the room. If you have a large room, use two fans to efficiently move air around.
2. Install the Clotheslines
Now that the growing area is ready to install the clothesline. This should be installed on a sturdy column or hook. If you have a larger room and you are trying to dry and cure more buds, install more lines but make sure that they are far apart from each other to help your plants dry better and faster.
3. Bring in Your Newly Harvested Plants
Your newly harvested plants should be dried as soon as possible. The moment you cut these down, decide if you want to dry and use the plant parts too (leaves, stems, and branches). If you want to use the rest of the plant, remove the buds first to separate these from the entire plant.
4. Hang Your Plants to Dry and Place the Buds in their Proper Drying Area
If you prefer to use the entire plant and not just the buds, simply remove the buds and hang the whole plant upside down. Use hangers or clothespins to do so. If the plant is too big or tall, chop it off into smaller branches and similarly hang this.
Leave enough space in between each plant that is hung on the clothesline. Don’t allow the plant to sag and touch the floor, table, or any structure in the room. There must be enough space for air to move through and dry all the plant parts.
If you’re drying a very thick and compact plant, cut the plant into smaller, thinner pieces so these will dry evenly.
To dry the buds, leave the buds, sugar leaves and all, on a sieve or wire screen. You may also use native baskets to dry the buds. As with drying an entire plant, have enough space in between the buds to allow air to move through. The sieve or the wire screen will allow air to move on all sides of the buds. Every other day, turn the buds for proper, even drying.
A special note, if you’re using native baskets to dry buds, make sure these baskets are not painted or decorated in any way. Use plain baskets to avoid affecting the smell and aroma of your weed.
Maintain humidity levels between 45% and 55%. This will help preserve the terpene amounts in the bud.
5. Wait Till Your Buds are Dry
Depending on the size and the number of plants and buds you’re drying, it can take up to a week or two for your plants and buds to become dry. Don’t be in a hurry to cure your buds. Always maintain the humidity and temperature of the room.
6. Test for Dryness
You can tell that your buds are dry when the stems break easily. If the stems are folding then these are not yet ready. Also, the outside of the buds should be crisp to touch just like burned paper or fresh chips. Test a very small part of your buds or plants daily. And since the buds are smaller than the rest of the plants, these will naturally dry faster while the rest of the plant can take additional days.
7. Manicure the Buds if Necessary
Manicuring your buds may be done before you dry them or just after drying when the sugar leaves are easier to pick and remove. Many growers remove the sugar leaves before curing to let the buds cure faster and more evenly. Use sturdy scissors to manicure your buds.
8. Prepare the Curing Containers
A few days before you cure your weed, prepare the curing containers. If you’re going to reuse food containers or jars, clean these thoroughly and sterilize them in boiling water. For new jars, clean and disinfect them. Let these dry before you place your buds in.
9. Place the Dried Weed Inside Curing Containers
Gently place the buds inside curing jars. Don’t compress the buds and don’t fill the jar or container to the brim. Allow at least an inch of space on top so your buds can breathe. To cure plant parts, cut these into small pieces, small enough to fit your containers. And just like placing dried buds, keep at least half an inch of space on top of the jar to allow the plant parts to breathe.
10. Burp the Buds
Now comes the curing process and this involves the timely opening of the jars to “burp” your weed. Cover the containers and place these in a dark and cool area like a cabinet or cupboard. Come back three to four times a day (please schedule burping times daily) to open the jar and remove excess moisture. Regular, multiple burping will help gradually remove moisture and draw in fresh and clean oxygen.
11. Monitor Your Curing Buds
Check the jars for mold. As you open the jars regularly, check for moldy or ammonia smell. The presence of these smells means that you need to continue drying the buds or plant parts. This usually happens during the first few days of curing.
Usually, the buds will be ready to smoke after two or four weeks but most growers prefer to cure much longer up to 8 weeks. They say cured cannabis will smell and taste much better when it’s cured longer.
12. Keep the Buds in Proper Storage Containers
When cannabis is properly cured, it can be kept inside containers up to five to six months. Keep cured buds and plant parts inside resealable containers or inside vacuum-sealed bags to preserve them longer.
Another good place to hide well-cured cannabis is inside a humidor. This type of container has humidity controls which can help prevent the growth of molds. Always protect your stash from heat and direct sunlight, these can dramatically degrade THC content and other cannabinoids in your buds. Never place your stash near hot appliances like stoves or ovens too. Keep these away from children and pets.
Now that you know how to cure weed the right way, we hope you understand how important this step is. Without properly curing and preparing your weed you won’t be able to enjoy the pleasure of smoking smooth and fine marijuana. Enjoy!