When it comes to weed, what does cure mean? Curing weed is the process of removing bacteria for long-term storage. The curing process is one of the most important steps after harvesting and trimming the leaves off the stem. Patience is key in having high-quality smokable products ready for medical cannabis consumers. If done right, drying marijuana and curing cannabis not only increases the potency but reduces the chance of mold or bacteria growing on drying marijuana buds. Understanding what happens from start to finish will definitely give one more insight and appreciation of what marijuana cultivators are doing for medical marijuana (MMJ) patients.
What Does Curing Weed Do?
Other bonuses for drying and curing marijuana are to help improve taste and smoothness of the product, such as bringing out the full potency of the strain, breaking down the chlorophyll, getting rid of the unpleasant “fresh hay” smell (a situationally associated smell with freshly harvested bud); and did I mention – it increases potency! Much like fine wine, the curing process can greatly affect the quality and the effects a certain strain can have on someone. In a lot of cases properly curing weed will change the subjective effects of the consumable, so keep an eye on how local cultivators are curing their cannabis buds! It’s not just about having great genetics, but how the grower has taken care of the MMJ plants during the weed plant’s life which makes the difference between “mid grade” level products and “Top Shelf” worthy buds.
Does Curing Affect Potency: How Long Does It Take to Cure Weed?
Yes, curing affects potency. How long does it take to cure marijauna? Here is my insight, the process of drying marijauna can take a few days to a little over a week long. The process of curing pot buds can take anywhere from two (2) weeks to sixteen (16) weeks; which is roughly half a month up to a little over five (5) months time.
Every strain has a sweet spot, so if it’s a favorite strain from a master grower, be patient! It’s like that saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” if there is a local cultivator you follow, learn to appreciate the absence of their product. As they spend countless hours from start to finish to cultivate the perfectly dried cannabis.
What Should The Humidity Be for Curing Buds: Do Buds Tighten Up When Drying?
Let’s talk about the proper environment before going into mediums. This process should have a designated clean room where the environment is controlled and well ventilated. There are a lot of variable strain specific factors that can go into this, but in order to achieve the highest quality of buds, room temperatures should be set 70℉ (21℃) with humidity levels ranging anywhere between 45-65% (the range is also dependent on the medium variance, we will go into this below). This prevents overly drying/decay and also helps to avoid mold growth forming while the rooms dehumidifiers are working.
In short, buds do tighten up when drying because water is evaporating from the harvested marijuana. A 100 lbs of wet weight of marijuana can lead to a yield anywhere from 25-35 lbs of dry weed.
What Happens During Curing?
During the curing process, the cultivator will store and moderate the humidity/temperature, allowing airflow into the product within a controlled container. As a consumer, keep any eye out for this as this can help one avoid purchasing overly dry pot or moldy weed at a dispensary. Drying and curing are categorized in the same process; however, to an experienced grower these are two separate processes.
How Dark Does The Drying Room Need to Be?
Now that we have an understanding of three (3) out of four (4) most critical aspects of drying pot, let’s talk about mediums for properly curing weed after harvesting and drying in the proper environment. Curing Marijuana buds need to cure inside a medium without the material degrading below “top shelf” worthiness.
Avoiding light exposure is key; you should be storing the containers in a dark location. Heat and UV light can cause degradation of valuable marijuana molecules (cannabinoids) and terpenes. In my opinion, I enjoy the full spectrum of a specific cannabis strain; so the ꞵ-Myrcene, Linalool, ꞵ-Pinene, d-Limonene, etc., are what help give a specific strain its special kind of effect when consumed. Each strain not only contains different amounts of cannabinoids but terpene levels as well, which play a big role in the effect it may have on someone. The last thing anyone would want is an inferior product because of a bad cure.
Curing is an art form in itself and is one of the steps in successfully drying marijauna buds. Think of an orange peel when it openly sits out in the sun. Yes, it ripens but also too quickly, so that orange smells (terpenes) degrade, and within a day or two, you are left with a brown peel with no profile. Similarly with bud, if not cured properly it can lose its strain’s full spectrum effect. This is why you can have multiple cultivators grow the same strain and produce different products.
How to Dry Buds without Hanging
Using curing jars as a medium is the best way to cure while avoiding light and heat exposure to reduce spoiling the cannabis buds. For example, some cultivators will cure in large mason jars or miron glass jars (a type of glass that filters out all visible light apart from violet). Here’s a pro tip for some of you: If you ever wondered what that brown packet in the dispensary jars were, search for products like, the “Boveda packs.” These terpene packs are one key step to help properly cure cannabis buds, as well as storing them after purchase.
This is what the pros use, so I highly suggest asking the budtender what the proper humidity level is for storage the next time you purchase marijuana buds. The packets will help with long-term storage or if a product is purchased too early. Being able to throw one in the jar as you consume your marijuana daily, will only increase the quality and longevity. You’ll thank me later, but if not, just tell me how long your buds lasted and if it was helpful. There are several other ways, but these are proven safe methods for the first time curer. Also, look into large totes or drums, as they are another viable curing medium.
Can You Water Cure Dry Buds?
Lastly, can you water cure dry buds? Curing is a straightforward process considering the cultivator started with properly dried buds. If the harvest/batch is too wet before curing, the buds will clump together and there’s a good chance that mold will take hold.
Increasing moisture will also encourage anaerobic bacteria to start breaking down the weed batch. A tell-tale sign this is happening is the smell of ammonia emerging from the jars every time they are opened. On the flip side, curing buds that are too dry will create a crumbly and a harsh batch that isn’t pleasant to smoke. You can water-cure dry buds, but it requires more attention to detail. Therefore the best way to dry and cure buds is to avoid introducing more contaminants in a controlled drying environment, and having the proper equipment and ventilation is the safest way to do so. Always remember that curing is different for every type of consumable, but this is a key guide for not only curing flower buds but purchasing flower as well.