How to Cure Buds

How to Cure Buds

Created: 01.11.2018

Harvesting cannabis buds always get growers excited. After months of toiling, you finally see glistening buds coated with so much resin that it makes your mouth water.

Indeed, it’s very rewarding to grow cannabis. You can’t contain your joy when you see those beautiful buds. You think that your work is finally over. However, the real process begins now. You may have harvested a huge amount of beautiful buds, but they need to be dried and cured.

So, to sum it up, the process of growing cannabis includes:

  • Choosing excellent genetics
  • Germinating the seeds
  • Providing the right environmental conditions to grow the plant
  • Harvesting the buds
  • Drying
  • Curing

Many people tend to skip this last process. Many growers also tend to dry their buds quickly because they can’t wait to taste those buds. But, did you know that all your hard work is pretty much useless if you don’t take the time to properly dry and cure buds?

Drying and curing is the most important part of growing cannabis. You cannot skip it, no matter what. So, take some time to understand how to cure buds. But, before we begin, it’s important to discern why drying and curing are critical in the first place.

Why should I dry and cure cannabis buds?

When it comes to curing marijuana, the word “cure” tends to be a little confusing. What exactly are you curing here? Adapted from the Latin word curare, cure means to manage or take care of things. Not only cannabis, but many vegetables are cured after harvest to preserve the flavor.

Peppers are dried and even bacon is sprinkled with salt to ensure that term storage. Likewise, cannabis is cured to preserve its potent flavors and terpenes. Basically, the curing process eliminates the moisture from the buds so that they don’t develop mold or other unfavorable conditions that render them useless.

Have you tried smoking a green bud that’s not cured yet? Try it! And you’ll swear off smoking cannabis forever because it’s just too harsh. Smoking uncured cannabis also makes you feel like you’re smoking grass. So, why does that happen? It’s because of chlorophyll.

There are many sugars and minerals left in the plant even after harvest. If the buds are cured in perfect conditions, it helps bacteria break down the minerals and sugars that impart an unpleasant, harsh sensation when you smoke uncured cannabis.

Curing breaks down the chlorophyll present in the buds. Once the chlorophyll begins to degrade, the buds improve in taste dramatically. It also increases the smoothness.

Many smokers complain of headaches when they smoke cannabis. Have you ever wondered why? Well, again it’s because of smoking uncured cannabis. When you don’t take the time to properly dry and cure cannabis, headaches and other bad issues are just looming around the corner. Curing also reduces the likeliness of developing paranoia.

But, most importantly, curing increases the potency of the buds. Cannabis produces many cannabinoids. Out of them, THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – is the most famous. But, did you know that the plant first produces THCA – tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – that is later converted to THC during the curing process?

Yes, that’s right. So, if the buds are not cured, then the conversion to THC is unlikely and the potency is reduced drastically.

Apart from the potency, curing greatly affects the flavor of the terpenes. Terpenes are nothing but aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant. It imparts a specific flavor. For example, Lemon AK tastes like lemons and it’s only because of the terpenes.

Last but not least, drying and curing allow you to store the buds. Imagine that you’ve harvested 10 oz of buds only to find out that you have to finish them quickly lest they expire! No, that’s not what we want. What we need is cannabis that can be stored for a long, long time.

How to Dry Cannabis the Right Way

Image source- herbalist.com

The drying process depends on how you’ve harvested your buds. It also depends on the humidity. But what you need to remember is that the drying process has to be done slowly. No matter how much you want to smoke the buds right away, do NOT microwave the buds.

Don’t use a stove or any other type of heating element to dry the buds because it will be the most horrible marijuana you’ve ever smoked. Don’t use a dehydrator either. It’s simply best to allow the buds to dry slowly and naturally. Kapish?

The best temperature to dry the buds range from 20°C to 23°C (68°F to 73°F) with about 50% relative humidity.

Once you’ve cut the plant down, remove the fan and sugar leaves. The more you remove the better. With almost no leaves, your bud will taste fantastic and the extra effort is all worth it. However, if you reside in a location that’s acrid and dry with less than 30% humidity, you can postpone removing the leaves until they are completely dry.

If the humidity is perfect, simply remove the leaves and hang the branches to dry. You can do it by tying a clothesline or a strong thread from end to the other in your grow tent. Even hanging the stems on a clothes hanger will work. Or, a closet will do. Remember that it needs good air circulation.

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Use a dehumidifier to achieve perfect environmental conditions. An air conditioner, cooler or even a heater will work, depending on whether you want to raise or lower the humidity. If you’ve cut down the stems and are left with only the buds, use drying racks to dry them.

It’s important to let air get to the buds. This is even more important if you live in an area with high humidity exceeding 60%. Most growers hang the stems to allow them to dry, but if the humidity is too high, you need to take another approach.

Simply remove the leaves and separate the buds. Then, place the buds on a drying rack. If you don’t own one, use a laundry basket with several layers of sieves.

So, if the humidity is less, do not remove the leaves until they are dry. But if the humidity is too high, it’s compulsory to remove all the leaves so that they don’t attract mold and fungus. Use the leftover leaves to make your own cannabis extracts.

The more the number of leaves, the slower they dry. Therefore, adjust the drying conditions based on the climate.

The drying process takes about 5-6 days but it might extend longer. To find out whether the stems are completely dry, snap the stems. If they snap right away, go ahead and cure them. But, if the stems don’t snap and are still soft, let them dry for a few more days.

If the buds are completely bereft of stems, check the outsides of the buds to detect any moisture. When they are absolutely dry, it means they are ready. Be careful not to over-dry the buds.

It’s possible that the bigger buds are still soft while the smaller ones are completely dry. That’s okay! Just collect the dry ones and let them cure while the soft, moisture-laden buds can continue to dry.

How to Cure Cannabis Buds

 

Image source: greencultured.co

The best temperature to dry the buds range from 20°C to 23°C (68°F to 73°F) with about 60% humidity. The humidity can go up to even 65% and the buds will still be okay. The buds will be cured in glass jars, so you need to control the environment inside the jar.

The best jars to cure the buds are mason jars. Any jar will do, but they have to be wide-mouthed and air-tight. This is very important. Please don’t ignore this process as the buds won’t be cured properly.

For a quick lesson on how to cure buds, check this out:

There are some growers that use plastic bags or containers to cure buds. However, it’s not recommended. Plastic doesn’t allow oxygen to flow properly. Also, the essential oils and terpenes tend to break down the plastic and you might end up with plastic in your buds!

Therefore, mason jars that hold up to an ounce of bud are perfect. Don’t go for jars that are too big since they attract mold. On the other hand, don’t use small jars where there’s no room for the buds to breathe.

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Only fill the jars to about 3/4th of the space. This will give ample room for the buds to breathe. In other words, the buds must have space to move around. If they all tend to stick to each other even when there’s enough space, remove the lids so that the buds dry a bit more. Remember not to place wet buds in the jar or you’ll have mold, fungus, and whatnot.

To create the perfect environment for your buds, use silica packets that are used to control moisture. You can also use Boveda packs – the 62% packs are made specifically for cannabis to maintain ideal humidity. Simply place the packs in the jar and you’re good to go.

So, here’s how you cure the buds:

  • Once the buds are dried satisfactorily, pack them loosely in a glass jar.
  • Seal the lids tightly.
  • Place the jars in a cool, dark and dry place such as a closet.
  • Let the buds cure for a week, but remember to open the jar every day for about ten minutes.
  • Opening the jars replenishes the oxygen and also prevents mold.
  • From the second week onwards, open the jars once in a few days, but seal the lids tightly again.
  • Allow the buds to cure for at least 4 weeks, but they become even more flavorful if cured for 6-8 weeks.

Curing cannabis is a process many people overlook. They smoke buds are soon as they are dry. Although dry marijuana can be smoked, it’s best to cure cannabis to get the results you’re really looking for.

Drying and curing marijuana can make all the difference between cheap and top-grade cannabis. It doesn’t matter whether you’re growing photoperiod or an autoflower strain because the process will remain the same.

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