The Best Way to Cure Marijuana and Quickly Drying a Sample
So you’ve just harvested your marijuana crop: the smells are divine, and the buds are looking nice and fluffy, tipped with beautiful multi-colored colas–that is the tip of the flowering bud. Your weed might look good enough to eat, but is it ready to smoke? Well, not quite. Before your cannabis is ready to be consumed, it needs to go through the crucial curing process, and it can make a world of difference in your final product. How do you cure weed? Read on to learn more!
How to Cure Marijuana: Trim. Dry. Cure.
After harvesting, all the buds need to be trimmed off its leaves, dried of much–but not all!–of its plant water weight, and cured in precisely controlled environmental conditions. The best way to cure weed requires vigilant monitoring of humidity and temperature over a long period of time to completely unlock the full potential of your harvest.
The marijuana curing process technically begins as soon as the bud stalk is clipped from the plant. Over the course of drying and curing, green chlorophyll breaks down in the cannabis buds, and the cannabinoids and terpenoids begin to mature, undergoing chemical changes that drastically enhance the flavour, “smoothness,” and even the particular psychoactive properties of your weed. Because marijuana is federally prohibited, there is little scientific information about what specifically occurs during the curing process, rendering the best way to cure marijuana a bit mysterious.
The importance of the environmental controls in curing your weed cannot be overstated. At best, Controlling the humidity and temperature while drying and curing will unlock the potential of your weed developing the flavour and cannabinoid profile, and at worst, ruin your entire crop with an outbreak of mold.
Ideal situations call for a temperature of approximately 70°F with 60-65% humidity. If your weed is too dry, it will appear brittle and dusty, and you’ve likely halted the curing process in its tracks, arresting the development of the flavour and potency of your weed. Your pot will be harsh on your lungs and taste like fresh-cut grass. If your pot is too wet or if the conditions are too humid, mold can grow on your buds and spread to ruin your entire crop if you’re not careful.
How to Cure Marijuana Step-by-Step
Keeping in mind that there is a lot of room for variation and improvisation, following these steps will provide a rough outline of how to cure marijuana.
- Trimming: You’ll want to trim off the leaves and other plant biomass before drying. Trimming after drying can prove much more difficult.
- Drying: If you’ve left your buds on the stalk, you can simply hang dry them. Drying racks can also be used if space is at a premium.. Drying will take 3-7 days.
- Curing: A good rule of thumb to test if your weed is dry enough is if small buds break off them with a snap, but larger buds still have some bend and elasticity. The weed should be placed into quart-sized (32 oz.), wide-mouth glass jars with little exposure to light at precisely controlled environmental conditions
- Checking: Weed’s flavour and cannabinoid profile develops over the course of 2 or weeks of curing. Be vigilant in checking your buds at least once every 24 hours to check for moisture. If your weed smells potent and more like weed every day, you’re definitely on the right track!
At this point your weed is ready. All told, drying and curing your weed can take up to a month after harvest before it’s ready to be smoked. Considerable variations in the method can be utilized, especially if the temperature or humidity is extreme where you live. And there are many tools one can utilize like a hygrometer to measure humidity or humidity control packets which will control the relative humidity in the enclosed jar. If there is one commonality in any of the various marijuana curing methods for the best results, it is that the process cannot be rushed.
Why is Drying Bud in a Microwave is a Bad Idea?
There’s a saying “Patience is a virtue?” There are many home remedies for how to quickly dry a sample bud from your harvest, but the fact of the matter is, no matter the method, the quick-dried sample bud will hardly reflect the finished product.
There are plenty of old heads and unreliable websites that will extol the virtues of drying bud in a microwave. Zapping your weed at 5-10 seconds intervals will get your bud reliably dry to smoke, but this method will essentially halt the curing process, prevent the development of the different cannabinoids and terpenoids, and cause your weed to smoke harshly and taste like hay because much of the green chlorophyll has yet to break down.
Similarly, other methods of this fashion are equally unreliable: baking your weed in the oven, drying under a heat lamp, utilizing dry ice, or any other “quick-dry curing method” will only serve to degrade the quality of your product. The heat utilized in these methods serves to obliterate the terpenes and cannabinoids in your weed. Curing buds for best taste and potency is a process that simply takes time, and patience and shortcuts to that end are dubious at best.