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How to Cure Cannabis: Step by Step Process

How to Cure Cannabis: Step by Step Process

How to cure cannabis, whether Cannabis or hemp, use the curing process after harvest to improve the quality of the resulting product.

Fresh cannabis flower is susceptible to rot and degradation, the same as any other perishable product. For this reason, it must be dried and cured before reaching the shelves of a dispensary.

While curing foods often involves various tools, ingredients, and techniques, curing cannabis is a more straightforward process.

By drying and curing cannabis buds, excessive moisture is removed from the buds, which improves the final product’s shelf life and quality. After drying, the process of curing takes place. You may be wondering how to turn your beautiful, healthy plants into usable Cannabis if you’re growing cannabis. This is where curing and drying your cannabis comes in. Drying simply refers to the process of airing your buds out after you’ve harvested them to remove a majority of the moisture, while curing is the process where you completely dry the buds out to improve the flavor and aroma.


Air circulation is important

This helps with preventing bud rot, mold, and mildew when drying cannabis.

Drying buds properly is a very important part of the cannabis cultivation process.

Dry trimming involves trimming plants after they are dry but before they are cured. The easiest way to dry Cannabis buds is to cut them at the base of the plant and then hang it upside down in a designated drying space with a fan.

It is time to trim the plant branches after they have dried.

Cannabis that is properly dried and cured produces products that smoke smoother and induce a more pleasant and balanced experience for consumers.

There are several methods to dry Cannabis and hemp, such as hanging-drying it, wet-bucking flowers off the plant, drying plants on food-grade drying racks, or using industrial drying chambers. Using a mechanical dryer can reduce drying time from weeks to hours, but it can often result in runaway costs.

It can result in a hot, harsh smoke if these essential oils dry out along with plant material. You can store buds in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Store them in neutral containers, such as glass mason jars. Use hygrometers or products such as Boveda packs for monitoring and controlling humidity levels.


Seal your containers and jars to keep oxygen out.

The jar should be opened each day to allow fresh air to circulate. There may be too much moisture for curing if you smell ammonia. The ammonia-like smell comes from anaerobic bacteria that break down your THC when there is too much moisture in the air. Allow excess moisture to escape by opening the jar for 3-4 hours.

The starches in freshly harvested cannabis act as breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and other airborne bacteria. When smoked, these molecules leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. This byproduct is eliminated from your nugs during curing, preventing bacteria from growing and producing a smoother smoking experience.

Avoid plastic bags at all costs. If you use plastic bags, you will provide an overly humid and moist environment which will cause the bud to sweat and develop mildew.

Chlorophyll is the lifeblood for your Cannabis plants. Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste very good. The process of curing enhances the flavor profile of the buds and breaks down chlorophyll, allowing for a smoother smoke.

“If you dry cannabis improperly, you can never cure it back into what it would have been otherwise,”

Storing Dry Buds

You can store your cured flower for a long period of time. Ideally, store your flower in a cool, dark room with relatively stable humidity once it has been cured.

There is no one right way to store cannabis. It will keep well for months if you keep it in an airtight container, away from heat and humidity, and correctly cured.


How To Cure Cannabis

Once the initial moisture has been dried from your trimmed buds, it’s time to cure your Cannabis.

For curing, it’s best to store your finished buds in airtight containers – preferable glass jars are best, and the process can take up to a month. It isn’t just jarring it up and waiting. Often, a slow cure is the best option. Plenty of other steps can be taken to increase the flavor and potency, so keep reading.

Cured cannabis looks, tastes, and smokes better.

What Does Curing Cannabis Do?

What Is Curing Cannabis? In curing, harvested plant material is aged/dried to fine-tune the moisture content and allow sugars and chlorophyll to decay before consumption. Many plants are cured, including cannabis, hemp, sagebrush, bay leaves, tea leaves, and tobacco.

What is Curing?

Curing cannabis is similar to curing meats, other plants, or other foods in the broadest sense. Preserving products using this technique helps them to be longer-lasting and more shelf-stable.

Once plants are harvested, they must be trimmed by either wet trimming or dry trimming and then go through the process of air drying, which removes moisture from the outermost layers of the plant.


What Equipment & Tools Are Needed For Curing Cannabis?

There are two parts to the drying and curing cannabis. To dry buds, you need to set up a Cannabis drying room, we have listed the equipment you will need to do this properly. The controlled environment needed for your drying area should be around 50% relative humidity and 70° F.

There are several methods to dry Cannabis and hemp, such as hanging-drying it, wet-bucking flowers off the plant, drying plants on food-grade drying racks, or using industrial drying chambers. Using a mechanical dryer can reduce drying time from weeks to hours, but it can often result in runaway costs.

Cannabis drying room equipment

  • The drying rack or line on which buds are hung to dry
  • A hygrometer measures humidity and temperature
  • The fan
  • Optionally, you can use an AC unit or Dehumidifier

Ideally, cannabis should be cured in a room or space with a stable temperature and humidity – not in a dark, damp basement or a hot, muggy attic. The space should have a maintained temperature and not be too humid. It’s ideal to turn off the lights in the space or cover the jars to prevent light from damaging the terpenes.

Equipment for Curing Cannabis Buds

To cure buds, you will need:

  • Jars with airtight lids
  • A hygrometer (for each jar)


How To Cure Cannabis Using Airtight Glass Jars

To prevent bud rot, mold, and mildew growth when drying cannabis, your drying room must maintain consistent air circulation. Drying buds properly is a very important part of the cannabis cultivation process. Make sure you wear disposable gloves while filling each jar with dried and trimmed buds about 75% full. You need to leave some free space for airflow, so underfill these jars rather than overfill them. Do not use plastic bags for curing buds at all.

What To Do If The Buds Are Too Dry?

You can use humidity packs which will raise the humidity levels around your bud, making them moister.

What To Do If The Buds Are Too Moist?

Leave the lid off your airtight container for some time (12-24 hours) to release some excess moisture. Then seal the airtight container again to preserve your fresh cannabis flower.

Where Should I Store Cannabis While Curing?

Your buds should be stored in airtight containers and in a cool, dry, dark location. Make sure the container is not accessible to children or underage minors.

Remember To Burp Your Buds

Burping your buds is opening your glass container to allow the flower to breathe.Explain what this is, how often to do it, and what this helps with and avoids

How Long Does It Take To Cure Cannabis?

Curing through traditional methods is a labor-intensive process. It requires ample space and takes 10 to 30 days to properly cure the crop. The outside humidity and temperature can affect this process.

For the best results, some people will cure their buds for as long as 1-2 months, with some strains even taking up to 6 months to produce the highest potency and best flavors and aromas.


Curing Cannabis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do You Have To Cure Cannabis?

Before a plant becomes smokeable, it must be dried and cured. Much like tobacco or sage, the fresh plant is harvested and then dried in a controlled climate to ensure much of the moisture evaporates from the bud. Just like with fine wine, remember that you can only rush the aging process so much and good things come with time.

Learn more about how to hang and dry Cannabis here.

How long after curing can you smoke?

As a general rule of thumb, if you have cured your buds correctly, then 2 weeks should be enough time to enjoy some good smoke for your efforts.

If you cure your buds even longer, you may have even better results by allowing them to reach their ripest point. If you get your buds to that point, they should be consumed soon, as they could start to deteriorate due to oxidation.

What Happens If You Cure Cannabis For Too Long?

Overdried cannabis has less aroma and flavor and burns hotter and faster. This is because the buds have lost too many of the terpenes you just spent months trying to create. The latter issues result in an unpleasant customer experience, to say the least, and typically require a greater amount of cannabis to be consumed to get the desired experience.

What To Avoid When Curing Cannabis

Avoid leaving the top of the container for too long when curing cannabis. If you do this, you risk forgetting to put it back and allowing your buds to lose too much moisture, resulting a harsher smoke.

How To Cure Cannabis Faster

It’s best to cure your buds using the methods explained, but if you just can’t wait and need to speed things up, there are ways to make that happen. You can pop the cap open for a few hours every other day to speed up the cure rate. While your Cannabis will cure faster, this will not be the best for potency, flavor, and smell. Be as patient as possible throughout the curing process.


Final Thoughts – How To Cure Cannabis Properly

Besides ensuring Cannabis flower is shelf stable, curing is important for several other reasons. These reasons include that curing encourages the degradation of plant byproducts and enhances the flavors of your Cannabis. Proper curing goes a long way and it’s very easy to do it correctly.

Check out this tutorial on how to cure Cannabis for more info.

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