A good dry and cure are essential for buds once marijuana plants are harvested and trimmed down. By preserving terpenes and cannabinoids and reducing chlorophyll and the vegetal flavour of the plant, these mechanisms help maintain and amplify flavours.
The initial drying of buds occurs during the drying process, which is typically done outdoors. Freshly harvested plants can lose up to 75% of their weight due to moisture loss, in addition to sticks, stems, branches, and leaves that are cut off.
Buds are clipped in wet trimming after they have dried in dry trimming and vice versa. A dry shouldn’t be excessively brief or prolonged: Buds can appear dry on the outside but not be dry on the inside if they are harvested too quickly or too slowly. After trimming and drying, buds are put in airtight containers to cure. This halts moisture loss, preserves tastes and aromas, and enables buds to develop their flavour fully.
How much time does it take for Cannabis to dry?
It takes 2 to 7 days to fully dry. Because the majority of the plant material is removed first and there is less plant to dry, wet trimming typically takes less time. When dry trimming cannabis, full plants or branches of harvested plants can be hung upside down on a line or hanger. This avoids the buds from becoming flattened.
Buds that have been wet-trimmed are put on a drying rack. After two days, whether wet or dry trimming, bend a branch or stem to test the drying buds or branches. If the stem snaps, the buds are totally dry. Leave them and check on them the following day if they don’t break.
Drying Room Conditions & Hanging Dry
A suitable drying chamber should be dark, 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and 55 to 65% relative humidity. You may keep an eye on these figures with an inexpensive hygrometer.
What you can use as a drying room might be constrained by your home or property. Be aware that controlling the humidity and temperature in large rooms can be challenging. Be aware that the space will also smell like marijuana. Make sure the area you chose doesn’t experience significant changes in humidity or temperature.
You should add a tiny fan to move the air around, and you might also require an AC or dehumidifier. If drying buds in your area is taking too long, you might need to modify the temperature or humidity.
Buds are more easily dried by hanging them, but it takes up more space. Large branches must be trimmed off, or even full plants must be hung upside down. Because you don’t have to “buck,” or separate individual buds from branches, this saves time, but because there are more plants hanging, this method of drying will require a lot more room.
Another drawback to hang drying is that because there is more plant material—such as branches, stems, stalks, and fan leaves—the buds may take longer to dry.
You will need a flat rack while trimming wet because there will be many individual buds that need to be hung up. Mesh layers cover the circumference of flat racks, which are excellent for ventilation. After two to three days, crush the wet-trimmed buds drying in the flat rack to check their progress. Leave them alone and recheck the next day if they are still too damp.
The initial quantity of moisture has been removed from the buds after trimming and drying, and now it’s time to cure your marijuana.
To prevent moisture loss and preserve flavours and aromas, you will be keeping finished buds for curing in containers—typically airtight glass jars. The humidity inside curing containers must be between 55 and 65% to ensure proper curing, which typically takes two weeks to a month.
Why is curing important?
Possibly the most neglected component of producing marijuana is the curing procedure. Moisture continues to move outward from the core of the blossom as it cures.
The flavour and quality of the smoke are impacted by curing. Many of the terpenes that give cannabis its distinctive flavour and aroma are very sensitive and can deteriorate and evaporate as low as 50°F. Terpenes will be preserved better by a slow, low-temperature cure than by a fast, high-temperature dry.
A perfect treatment also makes it possible to preserve marijuana for extended periods of time without worrying about mould growth or terpene or cannabinoid deterioration. A well-cured flower can be kept for up to two years in an airtight container in a cool, dark location without significantly losing strength.
Curing aids in the completion of buds, enhancing their flavour and aroma. Without curing, the weed would taste similar to a recently cut lawn since chlorophyll continues to break down during the process, eliminating the vegetal flavour. Because of the absence of chlorophyll, buds are smoother and less harsh to smoke.
The Curing Process
It’s time to cure the buds when they have dried. Put the cut buds in an airtight container of some kind. Wide-mouth quart or half-gallon glass Mason jars are typically used, but other containers made of ceramic, metal, or wood are also acceptable.
Since plastic bags cannot withstand oxygen, they are not suitable for curing. Additionally, you don’t want your marijuana to taste plasticky. Without compacting or crushing them, pack flowers loosely in containers. Place containers in a cold, dry, and dark location after sealing.
Buds will start to become a little softer in a day or two as moisture from the middle of the buds rehydrates the outer sections. If it doesn’t, your cannabis has probably been over-dried. The ideal humidity range for sealed jars is 55-65%. If you’re unsure, you can also get a digital hygrometer, which costs around $20 and measures moisture.
Buds can be rehydrated if they are too dry by adding a humidity pack. If the buds are excessively damp, don’t seal them again for a few hours or a whole day. Make sure to daily check the humidity levels, and if they are still too high, leave the lid off for a while.
Burping your Buds
No matter the humidity level, open the containers once or twice a day for a few minutes during the first week of curing. This is known as “burping.” This allows moisture to escape and refills the container with oxygen.
Opening a container and smelling ammonia signals that the buds are not sufficiently dried, which allows anaerobic bacteria to consume them and produce mouldy, rotten cannabis. After a day, remove the lid and seal it again. Burp containers should only be used once every few days after the first week.
Your cannabis should be sufficiently cured after two to four weeks in containers to provide you with a tasty, aromatic, and high-quality experience. Certain people like to cure for four to eight weeks, and some strains even benefit from curing for six months or longer.
Storing your Buds
Cannabis buds can be kept for up to two years after curing without significantly losing their potency. While mildew and other moulds on cannabis and organic matter grow in temperatures between 77 and 86°F, properly dried and cured cannabis is best kept in a cool, dark place, similar to a fine wine or whiskey barrel.
Cannabinoids and terpenes that have taken months to grow can become dried out by excessive heat. These essential oils can produce a hot, abrasive smoke if they and the plant material become overly dried.
To conclude, here are some tips when storing cannabis buds:
- Store in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.
- Maintain items in neutral containers, such as glass mason jars.
- Utilise hygrometers or tools to keep an eye on and manage humidity levels.
- Jars and containers should be vacuum sealed to reduce oxygen exposure.
- It stinks to mix up strains, so keep them apart to maintain their unique flavour profiles and label them with a date.