After a long time caring and cultivating your cannabis plants, growers would want nothing more than to start puffing away on their dank buds. But as tempting and well-earned as that may seem, you might want to hold off for a bit! Your tasty weed nugs should still undergo some drying and curing. You growers may have heard of this before. When you dry and cure marijuana buds, their flavors and potency increase drastically!
So how exactly does a grower dry and cure cannabis buds? What are they for? How long do these procedures take? For starters, you must be patient with the way they dry out and cure. Remember, you can’t rush art! And with the way these potent buds will turn out, it will surely be worth it!
DRY AND CURE WEED BUDS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
One thing that they also have in common is the fact that growers dry and cure cannabis after harvest. Once growers decide to collect their resinous buds, it is extremely important not to store them first! Placing them into containers before drying and curing drastically increases moisture levels.
This increases the chances of molds developing and contaminating your weed buds. Of course, growers carry out drying and curing separately. This is because each process is used for different effects. Let’s see what they are:
While the two are quite similar, it is important to understand how they differ from one another. On one hand, we have drying. As the name suggests, this involves taking out any moisture and dampness from the buds. During the whole cultivation cycle, your weed plants will have probably been exposed to numerous growing conditions.
These factors undoubtedly contribute to the development of moisture in the buds. As such, drying them out will make the buds easier to combust. This allows them to light up better and give a more full-bodied smoke. It is a very simple and straightforward process.
On the other hand, we have curing. Much like when you dry cannabis buds, curing involves letting it settle for a period of time after harvest. But curing has more to do with the overall profiles and performance of marijuana. When growers cure their weed buds, the potency increases as the THC levels continue to develop. Furthermore, the flavors and aroma of the weed buds start coming together. Once cured, cannabis plants will be able to bring out the full tastes and strength when being smoked.
Curing involves storing your weed seeds in certain containers and keeping them under the right conditions. While it will depend on what potency you want to achieve, the curing process takes roughly around 2 to 4 weeks.
IMPORTANCE TO DRY AND CURE MARIJUANA
Now that we are able to distinguish the two different processes, it is time to talk about their importance. Why should growers first dry and cure their weed buds? Is it worth waiting the extra few weeks before consuming them?
Despite some people foregoing these, the benefits when you dry and cure weed are immeasurable. Not only will you have healthier and more potent buds, they will also develop much longer shelf lives!
Here are some of the most important advantages that you get when you dry and cure your weed:
- DRYING RELEASES ANY EXCESS MOISTURE IN THE BUDS
When buds are too moist, smokers may have a hard time grinding them up. Also, you will not be able to light up your joints due to the wetness that the buds have. Overall, it will be a lot harder to handle these nugs.
Moisture also leads to the burning of excess water. This often leads to a very harsh and bitter flavor. Drying your weed buds ensures a smoother and cleaner toke with a richer flavor. Dry weed buds will usually contain up to 15% less water. As you can see, that is a significant difference!
- CURING IMPROVES THE FLAVORS AND SMELL OF MARIJUANA
Right after harvest, you will notice that your cannabis buds will have a subtle hay-like or grassy smell. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you will always want a nice fruity and earthy smell instead! When you cure and dry marijuana, the terpene profiles manifest themselves much more. This gives them a more robust and deeper flavor.
Curing buds will usually break down the chlorophyll content in a cannabis plant. This leads to a very big improvement in the taste and creaminess of your smoke! Instead of just tasting one particular flavor, the dry and curing process brings out all the subtle tones of your buds!
- REDUCE THE CHANCE OF MOLDS AND BACTERIA DEVELOPING
Like we said, drying out of cannabis buds takes out a significant amount of water content from them. But one of the most important things that this achieves is that it mitigates the development of molds and bacteria! Excess water gives molds and bacteria a medium to house themselves in.
The presence of bud rot and powdery mildew can definitely destroy the outcome of your crop. With too much water built up in your buds, this gives the molds and bacteria a medium to grow in. If you ignore this, you will end up wasting perfectly good buds.
- CURING PROLONGS THE SHELF LIFE OF CANNABIS BUDS
Another very important feature that cured and dry cannabis buds offer is the longer shelf life. When you cure and dry your weed before consumption, all of the different cannabinoids and terpenes start manifesting themselves more. This helps keep the THC levels and potency intact for much longer periods of time.
Many people say that the first step to longer cannabis life is proper curing. If you dry and cure your buds, they are capable of lasting for up to 2 years!
- DRY AND CURED CANNABIS BUDS CAN AFFECT THE HIGH
Drying and curing your buds will also have a profound effect on the way you will feel after smoking! Many people state that curing your weed will lead to a less likely chance of feeling adverse side effects. This means that feelings of anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, delirium, and nausea are drastically reduced.
This is due to the cutting down of the harshness and nasty stale flavor that usually comes with uncured buds. Instead, smokers are given a more full-bodied high which is much smoother.
- IT IS A MORE NATURAL WAY OF IMPROVING YOUR WEED
Today, a lot of commercial and home growers use various chemicals and solutions in place of the usual drying and curing process. While this may seem to be a more practical approach for many, keep in mind that these can contain harmful compounds! Gardening products can shorten the curing and drying processes but they will definitely have a higher risk of damaging your crops.
On the other hand, using the more natural way of curing and drying your weed buds is perfectly safe. Not only will you avoid certain contaminants from touching your plants. You will also be able to completely control the way your weed buds dry out and cure.
- DRYING AND CURING WEED BUDS DRASTICALLY IMPROVES POTENCY
Lastly, curing your cannabis plants will definitely improve the THC and potency of your weed buds! Many people think that the THC build-up of cannabis stops once they are cut down from the plant. However, THC actually continues to develop even during the drying and curing process!
As long as the buds are kept under the right conditions, their potency will continue rising through the whole process. Now, this will undoubtedly give better highs and induce effects that are much more felt.
HOW TO DRY AND CURE YOUR MARIJUANA BUDS
Finally, we will give you a detailed guide on how to properly dry out and cure your weed buds. Just like how wine and other products improve through fermentation, cannabis will also improve its qualities with curing.
It is a rather simple and easy process which requires growers to be patient. While waiting for them to cure may be the hard part, it will all be worth it when you take the first hit of your very potent buds!
DRY OUT YOUR CANNABIS BUDS
While freeze drying is possible, it won’t be as effective in bringing out the excess moisture in the buds. The best way to do this is by air drying them and keeping them under regulated temperatures. First off, you will need to take a pair of clippers and cut the branches holding the weed buds. Around 14 to 16 inches per branch will do. You can also remove debris and leaves from the colas in order to avoid any obstacles that might get in the way. This is called trimming and manicuring your cannabis buds.
Afterwards, you can hang your cannabis branches onto a drying rack. Set them aside in a cool and dark room while keeping the temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity rate must be around 50% to 55% in order to keep them breathing. You may use a humidity pack or a dehumidifier for better control. Additionally, placing a fan with a gentle blow will help keep the air circulation constant. Drying out your cannabis buds may take anywhere from 10 to 15 days. How dry they end up will depend on your judgement.
CURING YOUR CANNABIS BUDS
Now that your buds are nice and dry, it is time to pack them up with some flavor and potency. Here’s how:
Step #1: Separate the buds from the branches – The branches act mainly as a hanging support for when you dry out your buds. Now that they are dry, simply detach and manicure them from the branches. You can simply use your hands or some clippers. Be careful not to cut through the buds as this might cause them to fall apart.
Step #2: Choosing the right container – This will come in all sorts of different containers. You will have a wide array of choices based on the material used: ceramic, wood, steel, and even hard plastic. However, we always recommend using vacuum-sealed glass jars in order to get the best results. The durability and material of glass allows the buds to cure properly inside. Once you have your container, fill it with your buds. Be gentle in doing so! You won’t want them to get destroyed.
Step #3: Placing your container under the right conditions – Now, it is time to find the right place to let them cure. You will want a nice, dry, and cool place where the buds will not be exposed to sunlight. We recommend choosing an area similar to the ideal germination conditions. It is important to choose a dark place as light can damage the chemical structure of the buds and cause them to lose potency.
Step #4: Leave them to cure! – Now comes the hard part: Waiting. Leaving the buds to cure might be a little boring as you tend to get excited. Within a few days, you will start to notice your buds sweating. Do not worry! This causes any leftover moisture to leave the buds. If your buds do not sweat, then they might have been overdried.
Throughout the whole curing process, regularly lift up the lid of your containers. This allows oxygen to enter the buds and help them breathe every now and then. Regularly check if there is over moisture as this may lead to mold development. A musky and moldy smell is a bad sign. If this happens, simply take your buds and dry them out further.
The whole curing process may take around 5 to 8 weeks. However, there is no specific limit for this! If you wish to cure them for months, then you may do so. Just remember that a longer curing time will result in even more potent tastes and effects.
Now that you know how to properly dry and cure your plants, we recommend doing so with the marijuana buds that you grow. Because it can spell out the difference between stale and high-quality buds, these simple processes will definitely be worth it!