Every stage of the marijuana plant’s life cycle is important. But the final stage — drying and curing weed — can literally make or break the entire process. It’s very much like spreading frosting on a cake. If you don’t do it right, you’ll ruin all your hard work.
As vital as drying and curing weed properly is to the success of your grow, few people know how to do it right. But the experts at Honest Marijuana have been growing, drying, and curing some of the best cannabis in the industry for many years now. We’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge in that time — what to do and what not to do — and we’re ready to pass it on to you.
Use this information to make your homegrown hash harvest the best it can be.
What’s The Difference Between Curing Weed And Drying Weed?
Many people use the terms drying and curing interchangeably, so there is some confusion as to what differentiates the two. Here’s what each term means as it applies to pot production.
Imagine one of your marijuana flowers as if it were your skin after a dip in the ocean. You’re going to dry your skin with a towel or let it dry in the sun. But that drying isn’t going to remove the moisture deep within your skin. It’s only going to get at the surface water.
The same concept is true for drying your pot buds. Drying weed removes moisture from the surface layers of your bud only. It doesn’t affect the interior of the flower. For that, you need curing.
On a technical level, curing weed is the manipulation of moisture deep within the cannabis flower in order to start, maintain, and control the chemical reaction of decomposition while keeping the bud from actually decaying.
The easiest way to understand curing weed is to think of it like aging wine. Allowing the wine to sit in a barrel or cask imparts flavor and smoothness that wouldn’t be there if you just drank it right away.
The same concept is true for curing your pot buds. Curing your weed allows the flower to develop a full spectrum of flavors and smells.
But curing weed isn’t just about how it tastes and how it smells. It’s also about the overall experience and how the marijuana affects your body and mind.
Why Is Curing Weed Important?
The Flavors & Aromas
Chlorophyll is the lifeblood of the pot plant. It’s the chemical that makes your cannabis grow and thrive. But chlorophyll is also the chemical that makes your bud taste and smell like fresh cut grass.
Curing weed provides time for the chlorophyll at the heart of the marijuana to break down and leave the plant. This brings out the other unique, sometimes subtle, flavors of your cannabis strain.
Curing weed reduces the harshness (from the chlorophyll) that’s common during the marijuana experience. Proper curing minimizes the “acidity” you feel in your throat during that first inhale. That leads to less hacking and a more enjoyable experience.
Curing also gives the terpenes and cannabinoids time to fully develop. This actually improves the potency of your bud. So curing weed properly literally makes your ganja better. If you ask us, that’s worth waiting for.
Drying And Curing Weed Takes Time
A good point to remember about drying and curing weed is that all good things take time. You can’t rush through or force the process and expect to have a good batch of bud.
Drying your weed usually only takes a week to 10 days depending on the temperature, humidity, and air flow. Curing, on the other hand, can range anywhere from two to three weeks for a quality batch to four to eight weeks for an even better batch. Some strains even need six months to cure completely.
That’s a long time to wait for some weed, but the benefits will be well worth your time.
How To Dry And Cure Your Weed For Best Results
1) Harvest Your Weed And Trim The Leaves
The first step in the process is to harvest your marijuana plant at just the right time — not too early, and not too late. This helps to maximize the growth and development of the trichomes (the glands that produce THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and all the other groovy cannabinoids).
Once you’ve cut down your pot plant, separate the buds from the main stem and trim off any leaves that protrude from the flowers.
2) Hang Your Weed Up To Dry
Got an empty closet with a clothes rod? You’re ready to hang your weed up to dry. If you don’t have an empty closet, don’t worry. Even two hooks and some string will work.
It really doesn’t matter what you use to hang your weed as long as you control the environment around the buds.
The optimal drying environment for your marijuana is:
- 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- 50 percent humidity
Depending on where you live and the conditions in your grow area, you may need an air conditioner, an evaporative cooler, a dehumidifier, a humidifier, and/or a heater.
Adjust the environment to meet those conditions, and then leave your weed hanging for a week. You’ll know your pot is ready for the next step with the buds feel dry to the touch and the smaller stems snap instead of bend.
3) Transfer The Buds To Jars
The best storage containers for curing weed are wide-mouth canning jars (e.g., Mason, Ball, etc.). You will need lids for the curing process, so be sure you’ve got some on hand before you begin.
Loosely fill the jars about three-quarters full and screw on the lids. When you shake the jars, the buds should move around. If they don’t, you’ve packed it too tight.
4) Store The Jars In The Right Environment
Just as there were optimal conditions for drying your weed, there are also optimal conditions for curing weed.
The optimal curing environment for your marijuana is:
- 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- 60 to 65 percent humidity
It’s also vital that you keep the jars out of the sun. Even though it may be the right temperature and humidity in the room where you store the jars, if they’re in the sun, the heat can cause the temperature and humidity inside the jars to soar.
The best place to store your jars is in a cabinet, closet, or room without direct sunlight. If you use a cabinet or closet, make sure you optimize temperature and humidity inside those spaces.
So, for example, if you store your jars in a closet in your spare room, make sure that the closet — not just the room — is at the optimal temperature and humidity. The conditions inside an enclosed space can differ dramatically from the conditions on the other side of the door.
If you want to be really thorough, you can place a hygrometer in a few of the jars before sealing them up. The hygrometer shows you how humid it is inside the jar so you can get your conditions just right.
Once you’ve finished storing your jars in their place, you’ve technically started the curing process. Congratulations! But, wait, there’s more. Your work’s not done.
5) Open And Inspect The Jars At Least Once A Day
For the first few days curing weed, you may want to open and inspect your jars several times a day. This is especially useful if you’re worried that your bud may still be too moist (which can promote mold and bacteria growth).
If you feel good that your bud is plenty dry at the start of the curing process, stick to this schedule for seven days:
- Remove the lid of each jar and count to five.
- Replace the lid.
- Gently shake the jar to move the new air (and your buds) around.
Continue “burping” your jars once a day during the second week. If everything looks good after two weeks, start opening the jars just once a week for the next two weeks. That will take you through a complete month of curing.
After this first month, you only need to check (i.e., open and shake) your jars once a month for the remainder of the curing process.
Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of Curing Weed
As you can see from this article, the curing process is one of the most important parts of producing a quality pot plant. At the same time, it just may be the most overlooked and ignored step in the journey from soil to joint.
That’s a shame because curing weed can turn a decent bud into a truly righteous product. Thankfully, now you know why it’s essential and how to do it the correctly. So get out there and make your homegrown marijuana the best it can be.
For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.