After cutting down your marijuana plants, a proper dry and cure are crucial. These help retain terpenes and cannabinoids, preserving and accentuating the flavors of weed, while diminishing chlorophyll, and getting rid of the vegetal taste of the plant.
A dry shouldn’t be too quick or too long. Too quick and the outsides of buds will appear dry but the insides won’t be. Too long and buds could develop mold.
The drying and curing processes are similar but with a subtle difference. Drying happens before or after trimming and occurs when the initial amount of moisture comes out of buds. This can happen after you cut down the plant in drying trimming, or after you trim the buds in wet trimming, when buds are in a drying room or on a drying rack.
Curing happens after this initial removal of moisture and after buds have been trimmed. It involves storing finished buds in containers to stop the loss of moisture and to preserve flavors and aromas. More on curing below.
Leaves are often dried to use as decorations in craft projects, or to preserve herbs for use in cooking. There are many ways to achieve either result, so take the time to sort through them to find those which work best for your purpose(s). Fortunately, most processes involve using resources that are easily obtained or can be found around the house.
Well, we already talked a little about it in the harvest post and we also have some other posts on the topic here on the blog – but it is always important to bring this idea to really fixate it, right? Drying is an ESSENTIAL step, much more complex than it seems. That’s because, if you don’t do everything correctly, you can ruin the entire result of your precious cannabis harvest and have problems with fungi, such as mold.
Mold is caused by filamentous fungi, which do not form mushroom-like structures. They live mainly in humid and dark places. They appear with whitish, greenish, orange colors, among many others. Although this fungus can help us a lot in some processes, like in the maturation of some cheeses, it can also be responsible for a huge range of problems – from allergies to fatal contaminations, such as aspergillosis. We have self-cultivation as one of the main Harm Reduction strategies, since you can know exactly what you are consuming, but mold makes cannabis totally unfit for consumption.
Drying reduces the presence of water in the bud to 10-15%, and one of the keys to this is to have a well-controlled environment. And there are many reasons to do this in addition to avoiding mold: drying properly preserves the perfect taste of your buds, and even affects the effect that this cannabis will have on the user’s body. The longer the bud dries, the more THC will turn into CBN and other cannabinoids. So, even talking about the same strain, the effect can be more flat or more agitated, raising or lowering the agitation. This happens not only because of cannabinoids, but also because of terpenes.
Terpenes are organic aromatic hydrocarbons found in most plants – and even some insects! The substance is used by plants as a natural repellent for predators, and also as a way to attract useful predators and pollinators. It is quite volatile, like alcohol, and can evaporate. That is why it is so important to do these processes in the right way: thus, all the substances in your cannabis will work together at their highest potency, in the so-called entourage effect.
Let’s talk a little bit about what to do and what not to do in this step.
WHAT TO DO
It is worth saying that drying and curing are an artistic process, and each person will do it differently and find the equation that works best for them. In some reliable literature, we found some tips:
Place your cannabis in a wooden, cardboard box or a specific structure for drying plants. The ideal is to leave the plants separate, so that there is air circulating between them.
Arrange your cannabis in a cool, airy environment with plenty of space between each bud.
If possible, use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity in the room.
To achieve a good degree of evaporation in the first few days, a temperature of 68 F (20 ° C) and a relative humidity of 55% will ensure that the bud is left with approximately 30-40% water.
After that, the temperature should drop a few degrees to 64 F (18 ° C) to slow down the process. The humidity should be around 50%, or the buds will dry out too quickly.
Some growers like the 60F (16° C) – 60% relative humidity – in Brazil this reality is hard due to out warm temperatures
This process takes between 10 and 14 days.
HAT NOT TO DO
Do not leave the buds staked, on top of each other, as this facilitates the proliferation of mold.
Do not try to dry them too fast, as the taste and chemical composition of cannabis can be changed in the process.
Don’t let sudden changes in temperature occur – so you preserve your terpenes and cannabinoids.
Do not allow your buds to be in an environment without air exchange. Ventilation is essential for drying.
Don’t put your buds in the sun! Direct light and heat will degrade your cannabis.
HOW TO DRY YOUR BUDS AT HOME IN A SUPER EASY WAY
Get a paper box;
Close the bottom part of that box, which will be the back of your clothesline;
Draw two squares on opposite sides of the box;
Drill 4 holes;
Pass a wire through the holes of opposite polarities, here we use hemp wick
Close the box;
After drying, you will be able to fold your box again! But it under your bed and it will be ready for your next harvest.
The curing process
After drying their cannabis, many experienced growers cure the buds. It is more or less like the process of aging wine: if the quality is not so good, it may not make much difference; but if the buds are top notch, it’s worth waiting a little longer for an even more incredible result.
Curing is an art, and you can start to play around and figure out what works best for you doing some experiments after harvest. That way, you get very good at it, and you never have big losses if something goes wrong along the way. This step increases the intensity of the flavor and slowly, but steadily, decreases THC in favor of CBN, which is much less potent than THC. The effect of a well-cured cannabis is more profound and introspective, serving almost as a meditation and an internal deepening. The flavor becomes much more complex and refined, gaining in depth, as well as in the variation of the bouquet.