How to Cure Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide - September 21, 2021

After months of hard work, it’s finally time to harvest your buds and prepare them to be all ready for use. There’s no doubt about it being the most awaited time of the cultivation process. Whether you have a small plant or a backyard full of mary jane, the excitement of harvesting a healthy yield knows no bounds.

But, most experienced cannabis growers would know that harvesting cannabis is not as simple as plucking a nug and rolling it into a paper. The true taste of cannabis shines through after a thorough curing process.

Not sure what curing is or how to do it? Well, this guide is for you. Buckle up as we’ll take you through a step-by-step process of how to cure cannabis for maximum flavor and smooth taste.

How to Cure Cannabis?

Curing cannabis is not just a one-step process. Successful cannabis curing is achieved by employing three important steps.

  • Step1: Drying cannabis
  • Step 2: Curing cannabis
  • Step 3: Storing cannabis

You cannot have properly cured cannabis nugs if you fail to be careful with drying and storage. Each of the three steps must be done carefully in order to have a flavorful batch of buds that deliver smooth hits and good smoke. So let’s understand each step in detail.

Step 1: Drying Cannabis

Drying is a crucial step during the harvesting process because it helps let out all the initial moisture in the buds. Growers have to be careful at this step because you don’t want to end the drying process too quickly or extend it for too long. Either way, the buds will be damaged and the cannabinoid content in them will suffer.

How to Dry Weed?

Drying weed involves cutting or trimming (wet or dry) the cannabis plants and letting the moisture out from the buds. Now, traditionally, the branches were hung upside down. Some people follow this method even today. Others use a drying rack to dry the buds. But above all, you need to set up a proper drying room.

how to dry cannabis

How to Set Up a Drying Room for Cannabis?

Light Make sure to keep your harvested cannabis in a dark room.
Temperature The temperature should be around 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit with 70℉ being an ideal temperature.
Humidity Control the humidity constantly and keep it well within 45- 65%.
Equipment A drying rack or line
A hygrometer
Fan or AC unit
Dehumidifier

How Long Does it Take to Dry Marijuana?

It can take anywhere from 3 to 12 days to dry marijuana. Though the time varies from harvest to harvest, the ideal time is 3-5 days and can extend up to 12 days.

Now, which one is it? 3, 6, or 12?

Well, to decide the exact drying time for your buds, you need to look into the following factors:

  • Trim: The drying time may be shorter for dry trimming compared to wet trimming.
  • Climate: You will have to dry your buds for a longer time if you live in a humid or wet location.
  • Size: Large buds and branches will take more time to dry up.

If you are still not sure about what to do, inspect your stash after 3-5 days to check the level of dryness. Here’s how you can determine if your buds have dried or not:

  • Bend a branch and if it snaps, your buds have dried.
  • Use a hygrometer to test the humidity level of your buds. It should be at a good 62-68%. In any case, avoid humidity levels of 70% or more.

In any case, do not under or over dry your cannabis. Ending the process too early will not let the buds get rid of the moisture which increases the chances of mold and bacteria growth during the curing process. On the other hand, over-drying can lead to brittle flowers and excess degradation of the beneficial chemicals. So, it is important to maintain a balance.

Did You Know?
You can use growth mediums other than soil to grow cannabis. Hydroponics systems are one of the most common alternatives to the soil.

Step 2: Curing Cannabis

Curing cannabis is either overlooked or done hastily but it is the most important step that determines the quality, flavor, aroma, and overall experience of a bud. You can even call it a slower and more controlled drying process because this is when the leftover moisture from the center of the buds spreads towards the edges.

Time is generally not a constraint during the curing process. The slower the cure, the better. Curing is the phase when all the factors that can hinder the quality and smoking experience of a bud disappear. This phase allows bacteria to break down most chlorophyll and all the by-products formed during the drying process that contribute to harsh smoke.

When done slowly and at low temperatures, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals stay within the precious trichomes and improve the quality of your buds.

Now, you need to take care of a few aspects when curing cannabis.

Important Factors for Curing Cannabis

Light Exposure Light can degrade precious chemicals like THC and terpenes. Store your stash in a dark room or space during the curing process.
Heat Exposure When curing cannabis, make sure the temperatures are room temperature. Heat also degrades chemicals and reduces the potency of the buds.
Humidity Levels While excessive humidity will increase the possibility of mold and bacteria growth, low humidity can make buds crumbly. Make sure to maintain balanced humidity of 55-68%.
Trimming If you dried your cannabis along with the branches, make sure to do the trimming and separate each bud.
Equipment Hygrometer
Airtight mason jars
Storage Use an airtight container for curing and fill it to 70-75% capacity. It is important to leave room for air.

How to Cure Cannabis?

Once you have the equipment ready, follow these steps to cure cannabis:

  • Add your trimmed buds into the airtight container. Do not fill the jar to the brim.
  • Store the jar in a dark room.
  • Burp your nugs as per need. Open the jars for 10-15 minutes every day or every few days to allow an exchange of air.
  • Check humidity levels regularly. Increase the duration of burping if the humidity levels are high.

The frequency of burping can start with twice every day initially to once a week after a couple of weeks of curing. The result of a good curing process is better to taste, better high, smooth smoke, and a quality bud that no one can resist.

How Long Should I Cure Cannabis?

3 to 4 weeks of cannabis curing is enough to have quality buds. However, according to the strain type and individual preferences, curing can continue for up to six months or more.

Step 3: Storing Cannabis

Storing Cannabis

After proper drying and curing, it’s time to store away the beautiful nugs so that they can last for a long time. In order to store away cannabis properly without compromising quality, you need to keep in mind a few things.

How to Store Marijuana?

Follow these tips to store marijuana and keep your buds fresh for long:

  • Use the curing airtight mason jars to store your buds.
  • Keep the jars in a dark location at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Burp the jars once a month if you are storing them for a long time.
  • Avoid freezing the jars.

Takeaway

Growing cannabis is fun once you get hold of all the technicalities. From proper temperature to watering the plants on time, all of it seems like hard work but totally worth it on the day of harvest. But, don’t let all your efforts go to vain with hasty curing.

With a little extra effort with drying, curing, and storage, you will be able to fully enjoy your buds and keep them fresh and potent for a long time. Use our guide to go through the process and truly experience quality buds and smooth smoke.

Selena Mora

A writer at heart and a sub-editor by habit, Selena Mora churns content for various online businesses. Her unique specialty is cannabis, and she has been following the industry for the past five years. She brings her writing personality, research, facts, SEO insights, and experience to the table. Besides cannabis, she also covers niches like travel, beauty, health, law, marketing, and literature. She is currently providing content solutions to Online CBD Store and other respected companies.