Drying is just as it sounds—it’s the process of removing the majority of the water content from your buds. This will make them easier to handle, more resilient against mould formation, and a lot more pleasant to smoke. Some growers are happy to blaze dried buds, but if you want to take the flavour and potency of your harvest to the next level, you’ll need to cure them.
During the curing process, you’ll need to keep your stash in a dark location. Light is one factor that can lead to the degradation of valuable molecules such as THC and terpenes. To avoid having light spoil the taste and potency of your flowers, keep your jars in a dark cupboard or box. Alternatively, storing your buds in miron glass jars, a type of glass that filters out all visible light apart from violet, will offer additional protection.
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.
On the flip side, curing bud that is too dry will create a crumbly and harsh stash that isn’t pleasant to smoke. Ideally, cannabis flowers should be dried in a room with a humidity of between 45–55%. This will result in a dry and slightly crumbly exterior and a more humid interior. Once it comes time for curing, humidity is increased slightly to an ideal reading of around 62%.
Harvest time might seem like the final stage in the growing process, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. After you’ve harvested the fruits of your labour, it’s time for the most vital steps of them all: drying and curing.
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.
Place the buds loosely into the container and fill to 75% capacity. It’s important to leave room for air. Now is a good time to test if your stash is dry enough for curing. Give the jars a gentle shake. If your buds rattle around the glass freely, then continue with the next steps. If they begin to clump together, this is a sign the exterior is still too wet and further drying is required.
During the first couple of days, you’ll need to check on your buds around twice per day. Inspect them through the glass and keep a careful eye on any mould formation. You’ll also need to open the lids for a couple of minutes each time you check to allow for fresh air exchange. Keep an eye on your hygrometers. If the reading displays 60–65% humidity, continue as normal. If things are getting too wet, leave the lids off the jars for around 3 hours to let excess moisture escape. If humidity is too low, leave the lids on for longer periods without breathing sessions. If you still don’t notice any increase in humidity, place a small humidity pack inside the affected jars.
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 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.
Some growers dry their buds in paper bags or even by laying them out on cardboard.
The amount of leaves you trim off is due to personal preference. However, like the last step, you want to leave more if you live in a very dry area. You want to cut off as much as you can if your area is humid, to help speed up the drying process and prevent mold. If it’s very humid where you live than you may consider removing buds from branches while drying.
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by Nebula Haze & Alltatup
Hygrometer (optional) – I like the Caliber IV Hygrometer because it easily fits inside quart mason jars. This measures the humidity of the air inside your jar, so you can make sure it’s not too humid or too dry for optimal curing.
A relatively slow drying process (along with smart curing practices) gives you the best benefits. It doesn’t need to take forever, but any time you “speed dry” your freshly harvested buds you’re losing many of the benefits of curing. However, your buds are still improved by curing even if you overdry your buds or dry them a little too quick.
A big part of why buds from medical marijuana dispensaries or cannabis cups often seem so special is they have been expertly dried and cured. People who have never experienced buds prepared this way are often amazed by the smooth, pleasant experience of slow cured buds. Here’s a quick review:
If Your Humidity Is…
Example of “brick weed” cured in anaerobic (wet) conditions
This tutorial teaches you the best way to dry and cure cannabis buds after harvest, which greatly increases bud quality. Quality drying/curing ensures the best smelling, most dense and highest potency marijuana buds!