Your cannabis plants may have completed their growing cycle, but there is still one final important step that remains before getting to enjoy the fruit of your labor and that’s how to cure weed.
What is Curing Weed?
Curing is a preservation technique used in a variety of industries to properly store and preserve degradable items. Curing weed is a weeks-long process that slowly removes extra moisture from the buds so they can be properly dried and prepared to smoke. It comes with patience and proper technique in a controlled environment.
Is Curing Weed Important?
Although the process can take some growers up to six months, curing weed is crucial to the cultivation process as it turns freshly grown buds into top-quality, dried green goodness. Overall, the general timeline of curing weed can take anywhere from three weeks to six months depending on the controlled environment it is stored in.
When cannabis is freshly harvested, it contains an abundance of plant matter such as sugars, chlorophyll, and other starch compounds. Without the curing of weed, these compounds would linger in the buds and can eventually produce mold, mildew, and other bacteria when consumed. Curing eliminates these plant byproducts by drying out the weed and protecting your plants from bacteria or mold growth. Plus, cured weed makes a difference when inhaled as it gives a more potent, flavorful, and smooth smoke.
How To Cure Weed
When it is time for you to cure the weed you have harvested, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. If done correctly, the process of curing weed is the final important step of your cannabis growing cycle.
- Avoid Light Exposure: Light exposure is one of the easiest mistakes to make when curing weed. Light waves and UV rays tend to degrade the components of the weed. This includes important terpenes and cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
- Maintain Proper Humidity: The right amount of humidity can help cure weed, but there is great risk if exposed to improper amounts. If the weed is cured in an environment with too low of humidity, it may become brittle and crispy. Too much humidity may result in mold or bacteria growth, potentially damaging the buds you have grown. Maintaining an adequate humidity level of 60-65% during curing is ideal for the weed.
- Heat Protection: Similar to light, heat is responsible for the degradation of the flavorful terpenes and THC potency. Lower, cooler temperatures are recommended to maintain the bud’s quality. Low temps prevent the risk of reducing the number of terpenes and cannabinoids present when consumed.
When you’re ready to cure your weed, there are a few materials you will need to correctly cure your cannabis. You will need:
- Your cultivated weed
- Disposable gloves
- Mason jars (or something similar to store your cannabis)
- Humidipaks to help maintain the correct humidity range (optional)
- Hygrometer to measure humidity levels inside jars (optional)
How to Dry and Cure Weed
- Gather the buds you will be curing. Make sure the weed is thoroughly dried, to prevent excess moisture and humidity. If not done already, trim and manicure the dried buds before storing them in the mason jar.
- Place the buds in the jar, filling up to about 75% capacity in order to leave room for airflow. A helpful trick to test the dryness of your buds is to gently shake the jar full of weed. If the buds clump together slightly, there is still moisture and this can lead to signs of bacteria or mold. If you shake the jar and the buds do not stick together, then they are dry and ready to be cured.
- Apply the lid of the jar tightly and place the jar full of weed in a cool, dark location. Keep in mind that light, moisture, or heat exposure can affect this weed curing process! A closet or storage room is recommended to store the weed curing, as long as the temperature stays below 69-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The weed curing process will take multiple days to complete. Over the first few days, check on the jar of weed about twice daily. Keep an eye out for any mold or strange appearances being formed, as well as any signs of increased humidity. Open the lids for a couple of minutes each day to allow fresh air to flow into the jars.
- If the container seems to form moisture over the first few days, leave the lid off the jar for up to 4 hours to allow the excess moisture to escape. Humidipaks can be placed inside the jar of weed to absorb moisture. If your weed is doing fine in a lower humidity environment, continue the next few days without airing out the jars in order to maintain this freshness.
- Throughout the two weeks of curing your weed, if you notice the smell of ammonia when opening the jar your buds may not be dry enough to cure. Try changing the environment for storing the cured weed. Make sure to air out any excess humidity in the jar.
How Long Does it take to Cure Weed?
After regulating humidity levels and checking on your weed for about 3 weeks, your buds will be cured and ready to smoke. The longer your weed is cured (recommended only up to six months), the more flavor and potency your weed will contain.
Enjoy Your Grow
Curing weed requires patience, time, and proper technique in order to get the results you want. After a long harvest of your cannabis, curing weed is the crucial and final step of a very rewarding and satisfying growing cycle. Now that you know how to cure, consider getting the most from your grow by learning how to clone weed.