Curing Cannabis Differences And Benefits
Cannabis growers know that getting the maximum quality out of their buds doesn’t end with harvesting. Even after spending months letting your plants grow and flower, the drying and curing process is incredibly important. Drying your cannabis buds helps avoid moisture and degradation. Curing cannabis helps unleash its potency.
Curing usually comes straight after harvesting and drying. It involves keeping your dried cannabis buds in sealed jars or bags in a cool, dry place. This helps prevent exposure to heat, light, air, and other factors that can negatively impact the quality of cannabis buds. More importantly, storing them for a longer time helps the cannabinoids and terpenes develop further.
If you want to cure your cannabis buds, it’s important to know how to cure weed properly. Knowing how to store your cannabis, when to burp your containers, and how long to cure your cannabis can all help you maximize your cannabis quality. Failing to take the right steps can result in lower-quality cannabis.
Here’s a helpful guide to the differences and benefits of curing cannabis and how you can maximize your cured cannabis quality.
What Is Curing Cannabis?
If you’ve ever researched cannabis growing or tried it for yourself, you’ve probably heard about how important curing cannabis is. Even after fully-grown cannabis plants have been harvested, the flowers must be dried to remove moisture. After this, they’re generally stored for 4 to 8 weeks for “curing”.
Curing is a crucial step for high-quality cannabis as it allows buds to reach their full potential. If cannabis is used as soon as it’s dry, it’ll still give you psychoactive effects and may have a decent flavor. However, curing cannabis can enhance its cannabinoids and terpene content, leading to stronger, more flavorful cannabis.
Failing to cure cannabis buds properly can ruin a good batch, so expert growers take the curing process extremely seriously. Home growers may become impatient and want to smoke their weed as soon as it’s grown and dried. However, allowing their cannabis buds to cure for at least a month can enhance their quality and result in much more satisfying smoking sessions.
Luckily, curing isn’t too difficult. It usually involves keeping your dried cannabis in containers in a cool, dry place for a while. As long as you have some suitable containers and storage space, you won’t have any problem curing your cannabis. However, you must also know how long to cure your buds and how to “burp” your containers to avoid any problems.
How To Dry Your Cannabis
Drying is another important step of growing cannabis that comes directly after harvesting and before curing. Growers usually know when to harvest their cannabis plants by examining the trichomes on the cannabis flowers. White, milky trichomes and amber pistils are usually a good sign that the buds have high levels of THC and are ready to harvest.
When you harvest your plants, you should cut away the branches of buds and place them on a drying rack or drying tray. The rack or tray should be placed in a room with a temperature of around 21°C (70°F) and relative humidity levels of around 45-55%. A dehumidifier and hygrometer can help you achieve these levels.
Once you’ve carefully trimmed your plant and placed all the buds on a drying rack or tray, you can leave them to dry. It usually takes around 3 to 10 days for the buds to fully dry. However, it can take longer in some cases. You should check your buds regularly to ensure they aren’t affected by pests, mold, or anything else that might ruin their quality.
Drying is important to remove moisture from your cannabis buds - especially as excess moisture can quickly cause the buds to develop mold and mildew. Once the buds have been dried, they can be transferred to sealable, airtight containers for curing. Curing your buds for at least a month can enhance their cannabinoid and terpenoid content, maximizing the quality of your cannabis.
How To Cure Your Cannabis
The curing process comes immediately after the drying process. Usually, growers know that their cannabis is ready for curing when the stems are so dry that they break like brittle twigs when handled. If your buds still contain some moisture, make sure you give them more time to fully dry.
Once your buds are dry, you should transfer them to airtight, sealable containers. For small batches, many growers use Mason jars or similar glass jars with rubber seals. These are great for reducing exposure to moisture and oxygen. Remove the leaves and stems from your cannabis and fill the jars with the buds.
Make sure you only fill your jars until they’re ¾-full - overpacking them can ruin the curing process. Growers with large batches of cannabis often use sealable bags instead. This is a good approach for those who have too much cannabis to pack into jars, but jars usually work better for curing and storing cannabis.
The containers should then be kept in a dark, dry area such as a closet, cupboard, or dark room. They should be kept at a temperature of around 21°C (70°F) and relative humidity levels of around 45-55%. Some growers add humidity packs to their containers to ensure optimal humidity levels. Your containers will also need to be burped regularly during the initial curing stage.
Burping Your Cannabis
After placing your cannabis buds in sealed containers for curing, you’ll need to burp them quite often. Your cannabis buds will still develop some oxygen, and this will need to be released to ensure they cure as successfully as possible. As such, opening the containers briefly to release excess oxygen will help.
For the first couple of days of curing, you should open your containers a few times a day. You should then open them once a day for the first week. After the first week of curing your cannabis, your containers shouldn’t develop so much excess oxygen, and burping them every few days should suffice.
The same applies regardless of what kind of containers you’re using to cure your cannabis. Jars are often used as they’re easy to open and close quickly, making burping simple. Even if you’re using airtight plastic bags, make sure you burp each of them to release excess oxygen and improve the curing process.
You should also use burping as an opportunity to check on your cannabis buds. Make sure your buds are as dry as possible. If you see excess moisture or notice the smell of mold or ammonia in one of your containers, you should remove the buds immediately and let them dry for longer. Damp buds will quickly develop mold, so watching out for this can help you avoid a ruined batch.
10-Day To 20-Day Curing Differences And Benefits
Curing cannabis has many benefits. When cannabis is initially harvested and dried, it’s still high in chlorophyll. On top of that, it hasn’t reached its full potential in terms of potency and flavor. As such, smoking uncured buds can result in a harsher and less pleasant smoking experience. On top of that, the buds won’t be as strong and flavorful as they could be.
It’s generally recommended to cure your buds for at least 10 to 20 days. Even if you’re impatient, curing your buds for a couple of weeks will make them much more satisfying to consume. It’ll also give your buds time to develop their potency and flavor while getting rid of excess chlorophyll.
Remember to burp your buds regularly in the first week of curing. You may need to open your containers to release excess oxygen a few times a day for the first few days. After that, reduce burping to once a day. After the first week, you can burp your containers once every few days. Make sure your containers don’t smell of mold or ammonia as this can ruin your batch.
After 10 to 20 days, you’ll start to notice differences in your buds. They may start to become more colorful with bright green, purple, and amber colors popping out. They’ll also develop a stronger aroma. However, these differences are usually much more noticeable after curing your cannabis for at least a month.
30-Day Curing Differences And Benefits
Curing is a lot like waiting for wine or cheese to mature. As such, curing your weed for longer times can result in it being much more flavorful, potent, and satisfying. If you want high-quality cannabis, you should let it cure for at least 30 days. Some growers cure their cannabis for even longer to maximize its quality.
After the first week of curing, the process becomes much easier. You don’t need to burp your containers as often and might only want to burp them every few days. You should keep a close eye on your buds to ensure no mold or mildew develops. However, if you didn’t notice this in the first week, your buds should be completely fine.
From this point, all you have to do is wait. Your cannabis buds will continue to break down the chlorophyll and develop more color. You might notice the leaves and pistils becoming more bright and more colorful. You’ll also notice much stronger aromas in your cannabis buds, which will also make them taste stronger when smoked or vaped.
Perhaps most importantly, allowing your buds to cure for longer will give the cannabinoids time to develop. That way, you’ll notice stronger effects and benefits when you finally consume your cannabis.
40-Day Curing Differences And Benefits
Curing your cannabis for 30 days can result in fresh, colorful, and potent buds. However, if you’ve already come this far, you might want to cure your buds for even longer. An extra 10 days allows more time for your buds to enhance their cannabinoid and terpenoid content, giving you even better results.
By this point, you shouldn’t need to worry much about burping your containers or checking for mold. Your buds should already be perfectly dry and your container won’t develop much excess oxygen. You should still keep an eye on your buds, but checking them every few days should be fine.
Waiting so long to finally test your cannabis might be grueling. However, keep in mind that you can still take a small portion of your cannabis out to test it while leaving the rest to cure for longer. This is a great approach for those who want some perfectly-cured cannabis but don’t want to wait so long to sample their goods.
Curing your buds for 40 days is plenty of time to ensure your cannabis is aromatic, full of flavor, and highly potent. It’ll be smooth and satisfying to smoke or vape. You can also use your cured cannabis to create high-quality edibles or concentrates. Some growers prefer to cure their cannabis for even longer - even up to 90 days.
Should You Cold Cure Or Not?
There are multiple ways to cure cannabis buds. The traditional method of storing dried cannabis buds in a cool, dry place for a month or so works well. However, cold curing is another approach that can give you high-quality buds much faster.
Cold curing involves placing dried cannabis buds in a freeze-dry device. The device deep-freezes the cannabis to extremely cold temperatures, making it fresher and more potent. The frozen buds are then placed in a vacuum chamber where the moisture is removed. It’s then transferred to an airtight container in a warm, dry place to complete the curing process.
The benefit of cold curing is that it’s much faster than traditional curing. You can end up with high-quality dried cured cannabis buds within 3 days. The buds are often cured for longer to maximize their quality, but it’s still much faster than traditional curing.
With that said, it’s a complex process that involves special equipment to carry out successfully. Most home growers should stick to traditional curing. However, expert cannabis producers often use cold curing to expedite curing cannabis or even for creating powerful cannabis extracts.
Curing cannabis maximizes the quality of cannabis buds, making them more colorful, flavorful, and potent. It also enhances the shelf-life of cannabis, ensuring that high-quality cannabis can retain its quality for a year or more.
Growing, drying, and curing cannabis can take months of your time. As such, it’s generally best left to the experts. Fortunately, it’s easy to buy high-quality cured cannabis from top dispensaries. You can find expertly-cultivated cannabis at Origins Cannabis Dispensaries in Washington and Oklahoma.