Curing and drying marijuana is an important step that some growers miss. It’s easy to get overexcited or rush to turn a profit. There are several reasons why cannabis curing is essential, however.
Curing And Drying Marijuana: Curing Boosts Potency
Cannabis plants produce tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (a cannabinoid) through a process called biosynthesis, where certain compounds are gradually converted into new ones. For instance, THCA becomes the major psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC. If you read our recent article about decarbing your weed, you already understand some of this.
This procedure does not entirely stop after you harvest. If you cure your cannabis at 60F – 70F with humidity between 45 – 55 %, the conversion of non psychoactive cannabinoids to THCA will continue. This makes your harvest even more potent. Quick drying under warm, dry conditions halts this process a lot quicker so curing is more effective than decarbing but serves a similar purpose.
Curing And Drying Marijuana: Do It For Flavor
Because terpenes degrade quickly (at temps around 70°F), a slow and low cure preserves those tasty terps.
Furthermore, a low slow cure creates an ideal environment for enzymes and aerobic bacteria to break down leftover minerals as well as the undesirable sugars produced by the decomposition of chlorophyll during drying. The presence of these sugars and excess minerals is what causes the harsh, throat burning sensation you get from smoking improperly cured cannabis.
Curing also removes chlorophyll, which will make your cannabis taste grassy if there is too much.
Curing And Drying Marijuana Cure For Preservation
If you cure your marijuana correctly, it remains fresh much longer. You have no reason to worry about mold or even the loss of cannabinoid content. Well-cured flowers can be safely kept in an air tight container in a cool, dark place for as much as 2 years.
The goal of drying is slowly removing excessive moisture from your newly harvested crop. Unfortunately, cannabis contains more water than you think, so you’ll see your buds shrink as they dry. Don’t worry, they’re merely getting stronger.
Curing And Drying Marijuana: How To Cure Weed
Get yourself several mason jars and be sure you sterilize any you get second hand.
Place your cannabis in the jars with enough room left over to be able to give them a shake and see them move. If you pack them too tightly they won’t dry as well.
Open those jars several hours each day to begin. You’ll see more moisture in your cannabis than expected.
Think about taking the buds out of the jars if moisture content builds way too much and allow them to dry on a flat surface for a couple hours before returning them to their home in the jar.
Monitor moisture to prevent mold which you want to avoid at all costs. Give your buds some freedom on a flat tray if you notice too much moisture.
The amount of time this takes depends a lot on your space, so some trial and error may be necessary. Pick up an opinion from an older grower you trust if you can. It will save you time and needless effort.