Some of the best weed I’ve ever smoked had a slow dry and a very long cure.
Of course, a large part of the equation is having banging genetics along with giving the plants the time and attention they require. The final dry and cure, though, is what really makes your product perfect and plays a vital part in it being just average weed or wonderful top-shelf cannabis.
One of the difficulties with curing is that if done incorrectly, you risk ruining your crop. That means, if you allow your buds to become excessively humid during the procedure, mould can form. This is why, out of fear, many people will simply skip this stage and let the bud dry out quickly in the air.
Do not be afraid of curing!
You can do this, and the extra effort will truly pay off in terms of the final bud’s quality. Cannabis that has not been cured is of poor quality, and after all the effort you put into producing it, you really should finish the job properly. This can be extra tricky if you are craving a smoke – sadly there are no effective shortcuts.
The process that occurs during the drying and curing stages is enzymes breaking down chlorophyll and any excess nutrients. This is why flushing the nutrients from the plants prior to chopping is critical to ensuring the quality of the buds once it’s time to cure.
Because curing begins the moment the plants are cut down, understanding how to properly dry the buds is the first step to a successful cure.
You can dry your buds in a variety of ways.
Some people will chop the plant down completely, while others will cut branches and hang them. Occasionally, it makes sense to split the buds into smaller pieces and dry them on screens.
Sometimes plants will develop huge buds and become far too bulky to dry on the branch without risking mould difficulties. If this happens, simply break down the buds into smaller pieces and dry them on a screen.
The environment is a constant concern throughout the whole lifecycle of your grow, and this includes the drying and curing stages especially.
Using expensive pieces of equipment such as an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during the drying stage allows you to have more control over how you dry and trim, but if you’re not using these items and are at the mercy of your location’s environment, there are more simple ways to achieve great results.
It’s tough to give very precise time scales for jarring because, clearly, we all live with varying humidity levels. In some situations, even within the same country, there are significant discrepancies in humidity, which changes how this process works . It is possible, however, to work around this issue by using some simple technology.
If your drying room is consistently low in humidity, around 30% or 40% on average, strongly consider chopping the entire plant down and leaving all the leaves on. The more of the plant that is left standing after chopping it down, (ie it still has some leaves) the longer the drying process will take.
A humidity level of approximately 50% inside your dry room is ideal for hanging plants whole or on branches.
You do not want your crop to dry out too quickly or too slowly.
When the buds are sufficiently dried and ready to be jarred, they will feel feel crisp on the outside and the stems should begin to break rather than bend under pressure. This is the time to do the last trim. The buds at this point will still be wet inside, even though they feel dry on the outside.
When it comes to jars, stick to simple mason jars. It’s handy to have a few different sizes available.
These jars should easily fit between two and three ounces in them, depending on the form and size of the buds. Do not fill them to the top you should only fill the jars to around 75% of their capacity. This will help with regulating the humidity.
When selecting a container for curing, it is critical that it has an airtight closure. The important aspect of the curing process is the environment inside the jar. The chlorophyll that we want to degrade depends upon on a nice, controlled environment for an extended period of time to disappear in full.
Between 60% and 65% humidity inside the jars is the best level for the curing process to occur.
This is made incredibly simple by the use of inexpensive and effective digital hygrometers. Whilst you can detect the state of the buds through touch, given their low price and ability to eliminate all guessing from the procedure, I cannot recommend these little devices highly enough.
If the chopped buds are placed in a jar and the humidity level rises above 65 percent, remove them and allow them to dry in the air, on a plate, or similar surface for about an hour before reintroducing them to the jar.
The sweating process begins once the buds are placed in the jars.
Several times daily during the first week, open the lids and burp the jars. This removes excess moisture by slowly drying it out via the bud while maintaining a healthy oxygen level. If the buds have become stuck together, gently shake the jar so all of the buds are equally spaced out again.
Keep an eye on your hygrometer and make sure it stays between 60 and 65 percent. If it rises above that, take the buds from the container and allow them to air for around an hour. This is critical and is the only way to avoid mould problems.
After a few weeks, you can reduce the frequency with which you burp the containers.
You should see that it takes approximately 30 days to notice those strong familiar fragrances when you open your lids.
This is when curing has finally completed its task sufficiently and you can begin smoking the flower; however, curing does not end at the 30 day mark and the longer the bud is kept in jars, the better it will get.
Indeed, the majority of cannabis cup-winning flowers received a six-month treatment, which is a very long time to preserve the proper moisture levels in the flowers!