How to Cure Cannabis
The most vital stage in the growing process is to cure cannabis. Though timely and somehow boring, a proper curing process is key to producing that smooth, flavorful, and more potent cannabis. Read on to find out more about curing and how to do it right.
Why it is Important to Cure Cannabis
To begin with, curing cannabis improves desirable flavors. Terpenes, the molecules which give cannabis its unique and robust flavor, degrades and evaporates at high temperatures. Slowly curing cannabis at low temperatures preserves terpenes, which in turn improves the taste and smell of cannabis strains. The conditions used to cure cannabis also creates an optimal environment to enable enzymes to break down undesirable sugars and leftover minerals that are produced during the drying process by the decomposition of chlorophyll. Therefore, curing prevents the harsh, throat-burning sensation that is experienced when smoking improperly cured cannabis.
Curing cannabis also increases its potency. During biosynthesis, cannabis plants produce tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA is converted to THC in the biosynthesis process. Curing marijuana properly increases the level of THC and other cannabinoids. Keeping cannabis at a room temperature of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 45-55% facilitates the biosynthesis process and increases the crop’s potency.
To add on, curing preserves cannabis. Curing removes bacteria in cannabis buds for long-term storage. Cannabis is preserved while retaining vital flavors and nutrients. After a proper cure, the crop can be stored in an airtight container for about two years without losing its potency or getting mold.
Another reason to cure cannabis is that cannabis buds are less likely to cause paranoia and anxiety after curing. The active psychotropic constituent in marijuana, THC, degrades over time into CBN, which is mildly psychoactive. The high of cured cannabis is more reflective and more in-depth.
The Process of Curing Cannabis
Initial Cannabis Drying
The flowers must be dried first before curing cannabis. The drying of cannabis depends on how the crop was harvested. The most popular method is cutting 12-16” branches from the plants then removing unwanted leaves. The grower then hangs the branches from strings or wires.
Some growers also remove cannabis buds from branches and place them on drying racks. The growers trim unnecessary plant matter without cutting off all the sugar leaves. The sugar leaves low cannabinoid content makes them suitable for edibles. Harvested cannabis is kept in a dark room with temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 45-55 percent to dry.
The grower can use a small fan to circulate air gently. Lack of airflow can make the crops get mold. When the branches snap rather than fold when they are bent and flowers become crunchy on the outside, they are ready for the next process. Initial drying can take five to fifteen days to be complete depending on the environmental conditions and density of the flowers.
The Best Way to Cure Your Cannabis Buds
The first step to curing cannabis is to prepare the flowers accordingly. The preparation is done by trimming and separating buds that were dried with branches. Trimming can be done by hand or using a machine.
In the second step, the trimmed buds are placed in an airtight container. It is not advisable to use plastic bags to cure cannabis as they are not impervious to oxygen and degrade when in contact with certain types of cannabis. The most commonly used containers are wide-mouth mason jars. There are also other storage options, such as wooden, plastic, and metal containers. The growers pack the flowers loosely in the containers filling them to the top without compacting the buds. Buds that stick together are not dry enough for curing.
The third step of the curing process is sealing the containers and placing them in a cool and dark environment. Light can lead to valuable compounds such as terpenes and THC degrading. Heat can also lead to the degradation of cannabinoids. The moisture from the flowers rehydrates the outer parts, and within the first day, the grower will realize that the buds are no longer dry and crunchy.
In the fourth step, the containers are opened several times a day during the first week. This allows excess moisture to escape and replenishes oxygen in the container. The odor of ammonia indicates that the buds were not dry enough to be cured. After the first week, the grower can open the containers once every few days while taking measures to maintain optimal humidity. Two to three weeks is enough to cure cannabis but the best cure time is four to eight weeks. Some specific strains benefit from 6 months of curing or more.
There is no one secret to producing high-quality cannabis. The best cannabis is the product of careful cultivation, premium genetics, timely trimming, and, finally, a slow-and-steady curing process. The curing process takes time, but it will certainly pay off.
At Greenpoint Seeds, we offer high-quality cannabis genetics. We have the best feminized, regular, and auto-flowering seeds. Contact us to learn more about how to cure cannabis, or check out our full selection of premium cannabis seeds.
Have you tried any of our high-quality MJ seeds yet?