Curing Cannabis: Why It’s Important and How to Do It Properly!￼
There is no one magic bullet for successful cannabis cultivation. The ultimate product of premium cannabis flower is the culmination of months of careful cultivation, pruning, trimming, drying, and occasionally luck. However, curing cannabis at the conclusion of the procedure can make a huge difference. Poorly grown flowers cannot be saved by a careful and patient remedy, while quality flowers might be ruined by a hasty and impatient one.
This final phase is crucial and should not be skipped. Curing is essential for making smoke that is not only smooth and tasty but also more intense. What is curing? Why dry and cure your weed? How do you do it? All of these questions and more are answered in this post.
What is Curing?
Curing is a technique for extending the shelf life of perishable organic material, most commonly food, by eliminating moisture and rendering the substance unfriendly to the microorganisms that would otherwise decay it. Traditional curing techniques such as salting and smoking are still practiced today, although nitrites are employed more commonly in industrial manufacturing.
This means that cannabis that has been cured can be stored for a long period without spoiling, much like jerky. Uncured cannabis is susceptible to bacterial decay in the same way that unrefrigerated meat or produce would rot in a few days if left out.
Curing cannabis, however, has additional benefits beyond just extending its shelf life. The flower’s aroma, taste, and even its psychoactive properties are all modified.
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Benefits to Properly Curing Cannabis
Cannabis’s terpene profile and cannabinoid output are both affected by curing. Like green bananas from the grocery store that eventually become yellow, freshly cut cannabis will continue to ripen over the next few days.
Since the harvested branches can no longer get their nourishment from the main stalk, the blooms must find another source, and they will. THCa synthesis proceeds during this time, and when marijuana is cured properly, the cannabinoids have time to mature before being put on hold.
The terpene profile, which determines how certain strains smell and taste, is also preserved during the curing process. Terpenes and cannabinoids can be broken down and consumed by enzymes and bacteria as they feast on decomposing plant debris. In this case, it could seem prudent to halt all decay; yet, you need some of the plant’s chemicals to be consumed.
Smoking cannabis right after it has been cut leaves a foul aftertaste due to the presence of sugars, carbohydrates, and other “stuff” of living plant matter like chlorophyll. This explains why weed that hasn’t been adequately cured (or is just picked) is so harsh and unpleasant to the taste.
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How to Cure Cannabis
Proper drying is the first step in the curing process. Newly trimmed cannabis has to dry in the air for a week or two. This can take place on drying racks or in the open air. Cannabis is ready to be cured when its dried stems snap like dry twigs. Allow them more time if the stems flex like those of a real plant.
Collect the buds as they form on the branches and store them somewhere airtight. Jars with wide mouths and rubber seals are popular because they provide a tight seal when closed but allow for enough ventilation when opened. Do not overfill the jars; just a little air movement at a time is enough. There’s no need to cram them in there since it will simply raise the humidity and encourage the growth of mold and mildew on the blossoms.
A digital hydrometer is sometimes used by growers to keep a close check on the relative humidity inside the jar. The temperature is typically displayed on such gadgets as well. It’s best to have a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of about 60 to 65 percent.
It’s important to replace the stale air in the jars with new oxygen every day for the first week. Burping is the process that enables gradual degradation to take place. If you’ve already gone through the first week, you can probably get away with burping once every few days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Curing Process for Cannabis?
Curing marijuana, similar to curing food, is primarily a way to preserve weed long-term. But a proper cannabis cure also allows THC to continue developing after harvest and preserves the terpene profile of the strain.
What Is Live-Cured Cannabis?
Live-cured cannabis is freshly cut cannabis that has been preserved at freezing temperatures. This freezing preserves the fresh trichomes, which are often then harvested for bubble hash or extracts.
When Should I Start Curing My Cannabis Harvest?
Curing should begin as soon as the harvest buds are dry enough, usually 1-2 weeks after harvest, depending on the climate of the drying area.
How Long Should I Cure For?
A minimum cure of two weeks is generally recommended, though many growers opt for 4-6 weeks for a superior flavor. Some growers may cure for as long as six months for a top-shelf product.
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Curing cannabis is the last phase in cultivation, and it’s also the most important one for retaining not just the plant’s medicinal properties, but also its distinctive flavor and aroma. Curing enables post-harvest THC synthesis, keeps the terpene profile intact, and allows microorganisms to selectively consume unwanted starches and bitter chemicals.
It’s tempting to rush the curing process because it’s the last one before smoking, but growers who are patient will be rewarded with a smoke that’s rich in taste and silky to the touch.
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