After watching your cannabis plants grow and flower it’s finally time to haverest your buds. However before you can enjoy a smoke of some homegrown bud, you’ll need to dry and cure your freshly harvested weed. Below, we’ll share our answers to some frequently asked questions on the drying and curing process, so you can maximise the flavour and potency of your stash.
Differences Between Drying And Curing
Drying, as the name suggests, involves drying fresh buds so they contain less moisture and can be smoked or vaporized properly. Curing, on the other hand involves storing your buds in closed containers over a period of at least two weeks. This helps develop the flavour and aroma of your buds as they mature.
Why Do I Need To Dry And Cure My Buds?
Drying your cannabis flowers serves several important functions that ultimately increase the quality, potency and shelf-life of the end product. Freshly harvested cannabis buds contain a significant amount of moisture which needs to be dealt with before smoking. Why? First, smoking fresh buds serves up harsh hits with little flavour—if the buds are able to ignite at all. Removing moisture helps to tone down the harshness and let the terpene profile shine. Second, fungi thrive in dark and moist conditions. By drying your flowers correctly, you’ll dramatically reduce the chances of mould striking your stash.
By placing individual buds on a drying rack or hanging entire branches in a drying room you’ll reduce the water content of your buds by 10–15%. This process removes water from the outer layers of each flower but you’ll need to cure your stash to rid moisture from deeper within the buds. Curing is super important because it helps preserve your weed so it can be stored over time while still retaining its unique flavour and maximising potency. When you harvest your buds, they contain excess sugars and starches that eventually come under attack from airborne bacteria and enzymes. By curing your buds, you actually encourage the degradation of these nutrients, making for a smoother, better-tasting final smoke.
What's The Best Way To Trim My Buds?
There are two main methods for trimming your buds at harvest time. Wet trimming involves trimming your buds straight after harvest. Dry trimming, on the other hand, involves trimming your buds after drying and before curing. Ideally, we recommend trimming while your buds are still wet, as it’s easier, more precise, and you don’t risk losing resin from agitation as you do when handling dry buds. That said, dry trimming can make for an exceptionally manicured product worthy of a top-shelf position on looks alone.
What's The Best Way To Dry My Buds?
In order for your buds to dry evenly you’ll want to ensure that air can move freely coming into contact with them on all sides. The best way to do this is to string up your cut and trimmed branches or to use wire racks if you’re working with individual buds or small branches. If you choose to use racks keep in mind that you’ll need to flip your buds regularly to ensure they don’t flatten on one side.
What Humidity Level Shoud I Aim For When Drying My Buds?
For best results you should hang or otherwise position your trimmed buds in a dark room with good air circulation and a relative humidity of about 45-55%.
How Long Does It Take To Properly Dry My Buds?
There are many factors that affect how long it takes for cannabis to dry. The size of your buds will obviously affect drying time, as larger, denser buds will take longer to dry than smaller ones. How you choose to trim your plants will also come into play. Remember that the branches of your plants hold the most water, so if you hang large branches, these will take longer to dry than smaller branches or individual buds. Finally, the temperature, humidity, and airflow in your drying space will also have a big impact on the time it takes for your weed to dry. In general, the drying stage takes about 7–12 days, depending on the above factors. During this time, your buds will lose a lot of water, meaning they’ll shrink in size and lose a lot of weight, too.
When Do I Know My Buds Are Dried and Ready To Be Cured?
There’s a simple test to know if your buds are dry. Simply take a small branch and try to bend it. If it snaps, your buds are dry and you’re ready to move on to the curing process. If they bend, your buds need a little longer to dry.
How Do I Cure My Buds?
If you trimmed your buds wet, you’ll be ready to move on to the curing stage as soon as your buds have dried. If you choose to trim dry, on the other hand, you’ll want to do this before moving on to curing.
Once your buds are dry and trimmed, place them in big, wide-mouthed jars (mason or jam jars work great). Fill the jars about ¾ of the way so there’s room for additional air, and to reduce the risk of mould or mildew ruining your harvest. Once you’ve filled up your jars, store them in a dry, dark environment (like a kitchen cupboard) and check on your buds at least once per day for two weeks.
During this checkup keep your jars open to allow for air exchange and inspect each bud individually for signs of mould. If you find an infected bud, make sure to remove it from its jar immediately to avoid the fungus spreading. This process of consistently checking in on your buds will pull excess moisture out of your jars and allow fresh air to hit your buds. After about two weeks, you can start enjoying your harvested weed, but the longer you wait, the better.
What's The Best Humidity Level For Curing My Buds?
You should aim for a humidity level of around 62% when curing your flowers. This increase in moisture content will slightly re-hydrate your flowers, improving their taste and smoothness while still preventing mould formation.
How Long Does It Take To Cure My Buds?
Most growers will cure their weed for around a month however curing for 4-8 weeks will really get the most flavour and aroma out of your buds.
The Best Way To Store My Buds Once They Are Dried and Cured
Once you’ve finished your cure, you can keep your bud in the same jars in a cool dark and dry place. You no longer need to check on your buds as frequently, so make sure to keep your jars well-sealed to prevent your flowers from drying out too much. If you have a lot of weed, consider investing in humidity packs or something similar to keep your flowers fresh over long periods of time.