Harvesting should ordinarily be the final stage of growing plants, but that’s not the end with cannabis. If you’re growing marijuana at home, it’s crucial for you to know how to cure cannabis yourself. Otherwise, you’ll never get the result you want! Drying and curing still happen after you harvest your cannabis and these processes ensure that you get good quality products with improved flavor and taste.
So, how do you cure cannabis?
How Do You Cure Cannabis?
Properly curing cannabis is an essential step to producing good quality cannabis flowers. So, before we go on to answer the question of how to cure cannabis, let us dwell a little bit more on why curing cannabis is vital in the first place.
When you cure cannabis, you preserve its cannabinoid and terpene content while also reducing its chlorophyll content. Doing this helps you have a better tasting and more potent product. It means that if you do not properly dry and cure your buds, you end up with cannabis that has a sour taste and reduced potency. Some cannabis buds may even start to mold, and you do not want that.
Now, let’s talk about how to dry and cure cannabis, as well as how long it might take.
How Long to Cure Cannabis
How long you cure your cannabis may depend on the grower. Post-harvesting, you need to dry your cannabis before you cure it. Generally, drying cannabis takes between 7 to 10 days. However, there is no fixed period for curing the buds, although it generally takes longer to cure buds than to dry them.
If you ask us how long to cure cannabis, our rule of thumb is this: it can take anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks to cure your buds.
What Does it Mean to Dry and Cure Cannabis?
Several people see drying and curing cannabis as one process in the cannabis cycle, but they are two different things. While these processes come one after the other, they have different purposes and involve separate steps. The only thing they share in common is that they are both done to remove moisture from harvested cannabis plants in the best way possible.
Drying cannabis is usually done first, which helps remove the moisture from the outer layers of the cannabis flower. Curing comes after the drying process is complete to remove water from the flower’s inner part and ensure the flower does not get too dry. You must get out the moisture from cannabis before storing or smoking.
Proper drying and curing also ensure that you preserve the cannabinoids in the cannabis flower, and you do not lose any of its essential THC or CBD properties.
Now that you know why we do it, let’s discuss how to dry and cure cannabis yourself. We promise that it’s a bit easier than you may think.
Dry trimming and wet trimming are the two strategies for trimming flowers from harvested cannabis plants. When dry trimming, you dry your plants first before trimming off your buds. However, with wet trimming, you trim the buds of the wet plants before you dry the buds.
The drying process for dry and wet trimming is the same, but the techniques are pretty different. For instance, for both dry and wet trimming, you need to dry the harvested cannabis in a dark room and at a specific humidity and temperature.
If you are drying cannabis using the dry trimming strategy, the techniques are:
- Hang your cut branches upside down on the drying line and ensure you do not crowd the branches on the drying line. Hanging upside down is a trick that helps keep the flowers in good shape.
- Leave the plants to dry under the controlled temperature and humidity slowly. The ideal temperature is between 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity between 55 to 60 percent. Remember that drying cannabis branches typically takes between 7 to 10 days, and leaving the plant to slowly dry rather than rushing the process improves the quality of your final product.
- Periodically check for dryness during this drying period. As a rule of thumb, the drying process is complete when the outer part of the flower feels dry, and the stems are beginning to snap.
- When the cannabis flower is dry, do the final trimming, and then you have your dry cannabis buds.
If you decide to dry your cannabis using the wet trimming strategy, the techniques are:
- Spread out your ready-cut buds on a flat drying rack. The design of the drying racks is in such a manner that it gives room for proper airflow. It is usually faster than drying buds when they are still on cannabis branches.
- In about 2 to 3 days, the wet-trimmed buds usually get dried. After this period, touch the buds to see if they are still wet. If the buds are dry, then you can proceed to cure. If they are not dry, you need to leave them and check for dryness the next day.
Now that you know how to dry, “how do you cure marijuana?” is the next question that needs an answer.
To cure cannabis, you need to get airtight jars and hygrometers. Glass jars, metal, wood, or ceramic jars would work perfectly as your airtight containers. Please try to avoid plastic containers, especially plastic bags which are permeable to oxygen.
The process of curing your cannabis when you have these items include:
- Place your dried buds in the airtight containers with your hygrometer. Do not crowd the containers with too many cannabis buds.
- Seal the containers tightly and store them in a cool, dark, and dry place.
- You need to monitor the moisture content in the jars, which is why you have placed hygrometers in the jars.
- Check the humidity level. You are expecting to have a humidity level between 55 to 65 percent. If the humidity level is higher than this, you have to take the lids off the jar for about 12 to 24 hours and then reseal.
- If it has a perfect moisture level in the first week of curing, you still need to burp your buds, and this means taking the lids off once or twice daily for a couple of minutes. Doing this helps to replenish the oxygen in the jars and gives room for some moisture escape.
- At the end of the first week, you can start to burp the jars just once every several days. You should also monitor the humidity level and be on the lookout for ammonia smell when doing this. If you notice this smell, it means there are anaerobic bacteria, and wetness causes this. So, it would help if you left the lid open for a full day before you reseal
As we mentioned earlier, there is no fixed period for curing buds. However, it generally takes longer to cure buds than to dry them. Some people take between 2 to 4 weeks to cure their buds, while others leave their buds to cure for 4 to 8 weeks. The period it takes to cure your buds depends on your preference. Practice makes perfect, so experiment a bit to find out what curing time is best for you.
Learn How to Cure Cannabis with Elevate Holistics
In this post, we answer some questions such as how do you cure marijuana, how to dry and cure cannabis, and how long to cure cannabis. If you have decided to grow your cannabis, you still need to learn more to ensure you get a product worth your time and efforts. Thus, you need to be fully equipped with the correct information and access a platform to get answers to all your questions. That is where Elevate Holistics comes in.
At Elevate Holistics, we offer Grow Consultations where an expert grower will walk you through the cultivation process, what you need, and what to expect. With us, growing, drying, and curing cannabis has truly never been easier.