by Kyle Kushman
Curing is a lengthy subject. I believe the art of curing is more difficult to master than growing. I will try to provide an overview. To begin with glass jars are the only way to cure properly. Unfortunately they are clear, so find a spot in a closet or corner of the house that is dark and free from large temperature variances.
Drying must be done properly before curing can begin. If drying is not done properly by quickening, over drying, under drying, or anything else, curing cannot even be attempted. Buds should be dried to a point that may not burn perfectly in a joint. It burns well, but it would have been tastier if the bud had been left out to dry for just a few more hours. That's all it would take for it to turn crispy. It still has a little spring in it.
Place buds into a glass jar. The jars should be full to the top to expel the majority of air. You need air and some moisture as they allow the aerobic bacteria to come to life. They will consume chlorophyll and make your buds smoke smoother. Less harsh on the throat and tastier on the pallet.
The trick is to leave the proper moisture content in the bud, in relation to it's particular density. Relative humidity and air temperature when jarring will play a role as well. The presence of air, light, and water are all that's necessary for these bacteria to spring to life. Leaving just enough water and air to allow the bacteria to feed on the chlorophyll, but not enough to proliferate throughout the jar. When they run out of air, they die. So opening the jar is counterproductive to curing. Although it is necessary to pinpoint whether or not you got it right.
If you don't leave any moisture in the buds there will be no true cure, one that increases potency through a rotation of the THC molecule by slowly removing the water. The best way to learn is to jar a half dozen or more jars of the same size, at the same time. Date the jar, and in a week crack it open.
Catch the first whiff off the jar as you break the suction created by the curing gases. If you smell the slightest whiff of ammonia, you left too much moisture in the buds and this curing attempt is done. Remove all the buds from the jars and dry them out completely. If however when you crack the jar, you smell sweet heavenly ganja, then close it up. Repeat the process in a week to check the progress of your cure. If you've kept the jars closed for a full two weeks and the odor is 100% free of any ammonia smell, your probably home free.
I have cured buds for 6 months that came out as fresh and pliable as when they went in. Although 2-3 weeks is enough for a good cure. I don't fully appreciate the bouquet of most strains after a month of intense curing. You can keep buds sealed and curing for up to 2 years. Although that will take a lot of practice. I once smoked 2 year cured Sweet Tooth buds with Breeder Steve in Switzerland. WOW!
Article from MedicalMarijuana.com and republished with special permission.