So you’ve followed our definitive guide to growing weed and now you ended up with hundreds of of tasty-looking buds. Awesome…the only thing left to do in this epic growing journey is to dry and then cure your buds.
But why do we even need to dry and cure our weed?
Drying the buds makes them less harsh on your lungs and curing amps up the potency and makes the buds much more tasty.
By drying and curing our weed we are essentially doing two things:
- Reducing the moisture content inside the buds, breaking down chlorophyll and thus making the buds both storable and smokeable.
- Increasing their potency, optimizing cannabinoid profile and most importantly, improving their taste and smell.
As you already know, producing top quality homegrown cannabis requires some work. There are lots of variables that go into creating a bountiful plant, not to mention that it takes months just to go from a seed to a fully flowering plant.
That is exactly why many expert growers use this exact stage to fine tune their buds to the point of perfection.
And here is how they do it:
- They take their time time, to ensure the highest quality product.
- They do not have a time constraint, as their priority is to produce the best possible bud.
- They follow a tried and tested system, that I’m going to share with you right now.
Let me explain:
I’ve seen many people make the same mistake with their homegrown cannabis — dry it too quick.
And we can all understand that…
You’ve spent months nurturing your herb and now that you’ve harvested the flowers you simply can’t wait to try out your fruits of labor.
But the simple truth is this:
The drying and curing process should be slow because it is the only approach that will give you the best possible potency, smell and taste.
If you accept this right away, you’re going to have an amazing product in the end.
Another point to consider is the optimal time frame you’re going to dedicate to this.
In my experience, the entire process should last 2 months, more or less depending on the strain and the potency you’re going after. Of course, you can cure your buds for 6 months if you want to, but I think it’s better to keep things optimal.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to properly dry and cure your buds:
Once you harvest the buds with their stems, do a light trim. Take off the fan leaves and trim the bigger sugar leaves. You can do this with a pair of spring-loaded trimming scissors that you can pick up for $10 bucks. In the end, your buds should look like this:
Hang the buds upside down in a dark room for 3-7 days (5 days is usually enough). Feel free to use either a regular coat hanger or just a simple clothesline. You can fit those in your bathroom, shed or any other room that you want to use for drying.
Image source: Cannabis Pictures
Some important tips for the drying stage:
- The ideal drying room conditions are 75° Fahrenheit (23° Celsius) with 50% humidity (use a Digital Humidistat to monitor your humidity levels).
- Make sure to space out the branches so air can flow between the buds
- Your weed is dry enough to cure when the buds feel crispy to the touch, but they still spring back a little bit when pressed (be gentle when testing)
- Remember: it’s better to over-dry the buds then under-dry them, as they can become moldy (which ruins the taste and even makes them toxic)
With the buds ready for curing, do a detailed trim. Take the buds off from the stems, trim the remaining sugar leaves and only leave the nuggets.
Place the buds loosely in a mason (air-tight) jar. Avoid ziploc, plastic bags and other alternative methods of curing that you might have read online — wide mouth mason jars work the best. These Ball Mason Jars would be a good fit.
Important tips for the curing stage:
- Ideal conditions for curing are 70° Fahrenheit (20° Celsius) with around 60% humidity (you can put humidity packs inside the jars)
- Cure your buds for at least 4 weeks to get the optimal potency and taste
- For perfect buds, cure for 6-8 weeks
- Open up the jars every day for 30-45 minutes to get the fresh air in (this process is also known as burping)
- Keep the jars out of direct light, as it can breakdown cannabinoids
Once you’re done with drying and curing, your bud will go from 80% moisture to around 10-15% if you did everything right.
Now you can store the buds in glass jars or just smoke them right away. Weapons free from here but be sure to remember this:
Both oxygen and light degrade THC so try to store your weed in a dark spot and within an airtight container. Room temperature (18-23°) should do just fine for most short to mid-term time spans.
For more information on storing, check out this article about the best ways of storing weed.
Of course, like everything else related to producing top quality weed, it all comes down to expertise. You’ll need to harvest, dry and cure your weed a couple of times before you learn all the little ins and outs.
But it all pays out…
By the time you go over this process a couple of times, you’ll develop a feel for your buds and know exactly when to harvest, dry and cure for maximum potency and taste.