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curing cannabis in paper bags

Curing cannabis in paper bags

Now that we’ve discussed these vital factors, keep them in mind as you proceed to cure your stash. In reality, curing is simply a matter of opening and closing jars at the correct time. By placing your dried cannabis flowers into airtight glass mason jars, you’ll be creating an optimally controlled environment. These enclosed vessels allow humidity from within the flowers to rehydrate the exterior, without buds becoming overly wet. The end goal is a stash that smokes smooth and offers superior tastes.

Taste isn’t the only thing that curing can accomplish. The process can also enhance the high itself. THC, the active psychotropic constituent in cannabis, degrades over time into a cannabinoid known as CBN. CBN is thought to be mildly psychoactive, but is associated with different effects than THC.
Heat will only be a substantial issue if you live in a climate where it becomes exceptionally hot. Heat is another factor that can lead to the degradation of cannabinoids, potentially reducing the potency of your buds. Be sure to keep your jars in a cool location to minimise damage and mould formation. An ideal room temperature for curing is around 21°C.

Curing is a straightforward process considering you start with properly dried buds. If your stash is too wet before curing, buds will clump together and there’s a good chance that mould will take hold. Increased moisture will also encourage anaerobic bacteria to start breaking down your stash. A telltale sign this is happening is the smell of ammonia emerging from your jars every time you open them.
Before we get into exactly how to cure your cannabis buds, let’s discuss some of the factors that influence the process. This will help you gain a firm understanding of what to aim for and what to avoid.
Curing will also greatly enhance the shelf life of your harvest and further minimise cases of mould. If cured and stored correctly, your buds can last for a year or longer without any decline in taste or strength.
Curing also preserves desirable flavours. The molecules that give cannabis strains their intense and unique flavours are known as terpenes. These volatile compounds can degrade easily under high heat, so gentle drying followed by prolonged curing is the way to go for tasty buds.
To begin the process, you’ll need to prepare your flowers accordingly. If you dried your buds individually, you’re good to go. If you elected to dry them by the branch, then you’ll need to get trimming. Separate each bud and rid them of sugar leaves.

After carefully cultivating your crop for months, an additional few weeks of curing is nothing. It will transform harsh and damp buds into smooth flowers loaded with taste.

Curing is a long and tedious process for many growers, but results in a buttery smooth smoke and enhanced flavour. Learn how to do it properly here.

Our columnists from the Emerald Triangle share tips for one of the most vital steps in cannabis harvesting. As Nikki and Swami say, “The key to a good cure is to be kind to your girls!”

Our columnists from the Emerald Triangle share tips for one of the most vital steps in cannabis harvesting. As Nikki and Swami say, “The key to a good cure is to be kind to your girls!”
In the old days, farmers used to do a “wet trim,” cutting all the leaves off the buds as soon as they were harvested. The theory was doing a good scissor trim before hanging them to dry would foster tighter buds, but it also means more handling of the plants. As Master Hashishin Frenchy Cannoli once explained to us, “It is all about keeping the trichomes intact.” To that end, we recommend a quick yellow or fan leaf plucking before hanging, while leaving some leaves on the plant to protect the precious buds while they dry.

Every farmer has their own techniques, developed after years of trial and error. There are a few of us even experimenting with curing, with certain farmers trying to “lay down” some jars of flower for upwards of nine months, and sometimes as long as a couple years, to see how aging affects the crops. So far, the aged cannabis we’ve tried is more mellow on the body, but still very stony. Typically, we prefer to not smoke our cannabis until after January — at the earliest — allowing it time to fully cure and come into its own. The key to a good cure is to be kind to your girls. Like Otis Redding said, “Try a little tenderness”. you will be rewarded.
It doesn’t stop there, though. A burping schedule is recommended, which means popping open the tubs and bags every few days over a couple of weeks or so. When the stems are easy to snap, you know that the cannabis is fully dried. At this point, it’s ready to be trimmed and packaged. Traditionally, trimmed flower is put in turkey bags, which have been popular for years since they actually seal odor, making it best for transportation reasons. But now that we are entering this new era of legality, other options are available. On our farm, we choose to treat our girls like real princesses. In order to preserve the freshness of the plants, we gently place each bud into violet blue apothecary glass jars, which we seal tightly and then transport to the dispensary — not unlike how a vinter carefully bottles wine before distributing it. This offers consumers the assurance that no one else has touched the product since it left the farm.
Back in the earlier days of the Emerald Triangle, when hiding from the cops and growing under manzanita bushes was the norm, you could sell marijuana for $4000 a pound. During the curing process, residents hung plants under canopies or plastic carports, and everyone prayed that the rainy season would hold off for a while. When it didn’t — which was more often than not — weed would be trimmed and sent off to market before it was properly dried. I remember one instance of a farmer leaving open grocery bags filled with pounds of pot on the back seat of his car to finish drying as he drove them to the dealer. The demand was high; people were happy to pay lots of money for whatever they could get.
Years ago, a longtime grower friend taught us the secret of using unbleached Kraft paper to wrap the cannabis when it comes down from drying. We buy it by the roll and make tall cones to hold the bucked branches. After a few days in the cone, when the flowers are feeling dry enough, we’ll close up the top and continue to let it dry a few more days. A skilled farmer can tell when the level of humidity in the bag is just right with just his or her fingertips. At that point, the cannabis goes into big plastic tubs, carefully marked to separate strains and plants.
The weather during harvest plays a key role during the curing process, too. If it’s rainy, you’d better have your dehumidifiers ready to go. If the weather is sunny, be sure it doesn’t crisp up your plants by drying them too fast. The humidity levels should be around 65, and fans are essential to keep the air flowing. It’s kind of like Goldilocks — you want the conditions in the dry shed just right

Lead image via iStock Photo, all other photos courtesy of Swami Selects

Our columnists from the Emerald Triangle share tips for one of the most vital steps in cannabis harvesting. As Nikki and Swami say, “The key to a good cure is to be kind to your girls!”