I have often noticed marijuana growers, even the expert ones, going bonkers seeing their ladies grow and flower.
They just can’t wait to harvest and take on the green blade.
They’d spend an entire season to nourish their baby marijuana seeds, and show the sign of outright impatience when they need to display their genius.
While there’s no better feeling than dragging weed cultivated by your hands— one should understand that a little wait can make their toking experience out of this world.
So, why should you wait after harvesting marijuana?
You should wait after harvesting marijuana because harvesting is not the last process— there’s something vital left to be done.
And it’s called the drying and curing of marijuana.
So, what is drying marijuana?
Well, the name is self-explanatory.
Drying marijuana is a process where you dry marijuana buds before smoking or vaporizing sessions.
Why do marijuana leaves get wet?
Plenty of factors can make your marijuana wet, which includes environmental reasons and your negligence too.
When marijuana gets in contact with moisture— it gets wet.
Your negligence, such as storing it in the wrong place, could well make these marijuana buds soggy and soft.
Why shouldn’t you smoke wet marijuana?
Smoking a wet marijuana leaf can dilute your experience. Here’s what happens when you smoke wet weed:
- When you smoke wet weed— it gets challenging for you to grind them into a fine powdery state. As the leaf will keep sticking to each other— you’d face real trouble in preparing your joint.
- Well, you have decided to smoke wet flowers, but how will you burn it? Wet weeds are a pain in the neck when you have to burn them down. The real-euphoria of weed-smoking gets lost while you waste your time in figuring where to start.
- Even if you burn it after hundreds of failed attempts— you’ll curse yourself for wasting so much time in pulling up the worst marijuana of your life. The taste of wet pot sucks, and it’s better that you concentrate on drying rather than shooting blank attempts on smoking a useless, damp leaf.
- Wet marijuana leeways space for mould. Mould and fungi are mean. They are always around your meal and leaves that can cause allergies and infection. You aren’t longing for that. Or are you?
- Last but the most crucial— you wouldn’t get high as much as you’d expect. It’s not that the level of THC content dips in wet weed, but you’ll end up wasting a lot of them by trying to burn repeatedly.
Now, we have covered drying marijuana— let’s understand what curing marijuana is.
What’s curing marijuana?
Curing marijuana is like adding soul to your cannabis harvest— the soul that adds essence and full-fledged potency in it.
The process deals with sampling the fruits of your labor that you have spent months and seasons growing and harvesting your baby.
It is done by storing the harvest in the closed container for a few weeks.
You can store them for a month or two (if your patience allows)— because the more time you give your leaves to break down chlorophyll— the more optimized and flavorful cannabinoid profile you will have.
Why should you cure your marijuana buds?
Our civilizations have taught us to cure food for future use. And the same civilization teaches us to make our marijuana output future-ready.
So, here’s why you should cure marijuana:
- To remove bacteria and microbes for long-term use. In simpler terms— curing is nothing but preserving the marijuana produce from microbes so that you can enjoy its features properly in the future.
- To allow natural manifestations of flavor and aroma. You don’t want to be working for months only to have marijuana that tastes and smells terrible. If you can’t cure cannabis buds— you should really think about buying them. Curing will strengthen the marijuana profile, increase its potency, and make it worthy of smoking.
- The freshly-harvested cannabis flowers, when stored in the ideal temperature and humidity, will keep converting the non-psychoactive cannabinoids into THCa. And if you are a weed legend— you might know how vital THCA is. It’s the precursor to psychoactive THC. Hence, it makes the leaf more potent.
- Terpenes and cannabinoids are highly volatile. They are actually the soul of your product. Once they spirit away from your strain— the quality of your stock degrades. To cure weed leaves is to prevent evaporation of these compounds or to subdue these compounds to transform into less favorable and likable compounds.
- As soon as you harvest the weed produce— the quality starts to degrade, and the leaves start losing sugars, nutrients, and starches. Forcing the output into the closed jar makes sure that they use up these essential nutrients, sugars, and starches before finally drying up completely.
Now that we know everything about drying and curing cannabis— let’s understand how to do them.
Note: A lot of ill-informed marijuana growers like to interchange the concept of drying and curing even though they are two different processes.
Drying marijuana is a subset of curing. We’ll cover both the subjects.
How to dry cannabis?
Before we learn how to dry marijuana— you should know the scale of your produce.
Your drying methods may change depending on the amount of produce you harvest.
Here’s how we go about drying marijuana.
#1 Light trimming right after the harvest
Marijuana harvest has two types of leaves— fan leaves and sugar leaves.
Fan leaves are bigger in size— also termed as the primary leaves in cannabis, and sugar leaves are the small leaves that protrude out of the cola— also termed as the secondary leaves.
Our first step should include removing the fan leaves and trimming bigger sugar leaves so that cola looks semi-naked.
You can use a general or spring-loaded trimming scissor to trim down the leaves.
This process is wet trimming, where we prune down the size of leaves before they are dried off.
#2 Drying the bud— depending on the method you choose
You can choose an “n” number of ways to dry your buds. We’ll state some of the great techniques to dry them up:
Hanging the bud upside down
It is the most practiced drying technique when you have a considerable marijuana stock.
Hang down the buds on clothing hangers or laundry ropes and lines at your house or under any shed.
Keep it away from the interceptors.
Here’s what you need to know about how to dry marijuana and what are the drying tips:
- Keeping the room temperature below 23 degrees Celsius, i.e., 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is done to prevent the terpene content.
- Try to maintain the humidity at 50%. In fact, it can range from 45 to 55 degrees.
- Dry the buds for almost a week in a dark room.
- Space out the branches for easy air ventilation to and fro the buds.
- Dry it until it feels crispy on a delicate touch. Don’t try to overanalyze by pressing it harder. Be as gentle as you can.
- A little gentler press will tell whether the bud has dried out.
- It’s smarter to over-dry them. Under-drying will keep the moisture level up that may promote mold formation despite storing them.
Well, this might sound weird— but the rice itself has a gluttony stomach.
It’s probably the reason why rice needs so much water to soak.
People have been soaking their wet iPhones, small machines, batteries, etc. in rice.
We can try marijuana cola too.
Simply take your bud and place it in the bag full of rice.
Rice, known for its sucking capabilities, will suck down all the moisture in 3 to 4 days.
You’d like to use this method when you have a small number of weed buds, plus you also wish to have rice that smells and flavors of marijuana. 😛
Like rice, paper towels are effective in soaking the moisture of the cannabis produce.
You simply have to roll marijuana buds in a few layers of dry and brilliant quality of the paper.
You’d see the result in 3-4 days.
Again, you will need a lot of papers to meet your demand if the total marijuana output is enormous.
Dehumidifiers need a bit of investment from your side, but it is one of the quick and effective ways to dry your buds.
By merely placing your marijuana buds in front of the dehumidifier— you can get the dry cola within a span of a few hours.
We don’t recommend this method because we believe that natural drying will give your plant more time to build its portfolio.
However, if you want to have quick results— installing these machines will do your drying job much faster.
#3 Time for detailed trim
Unlike the first trimming— the detailed trimming is more about manicuring the already dried-up marijuana.
Contrary to wet trimming, dry trimming needs more attention, and if you successfully do it— your product will be worthy of the top-shelf position.
Remove the stems that are attached to the bud and discard them away.
Unfortunately, many marijuana smokers want to try stem; however, the results haven’t been in their favor yet as they induce severe headaches and other unwanted side effects.
Once you have gotten rid of the stem— try to trim the remaining sugar leaves.
Make sure that you only have the flower.
*You can avoid trimming sugar leaves at this stage as some draggers prefer the less harsh smoke. Sugar leaves dampen down the intensity of hit, thereby making it the right choice for novices.*
Once you have attained dried weed content— it’s time that we start our curing procedure.
Again, akin to drying— you can cure marijuana in several ways.
Here’s our top-most suggestion for curing marijuana.
How to cure marijuana buds?
#4 Place them in sealable containers
It’s the final stage of drying and curing marijuana.
Put the ultimate marijuana content in sealable containers such as mason jar (air-tight).
Place these containers in the cool-murky location— far away from the pets and kids reach.
Check the sealable jar and open it multiple times daily.
The purpose of opening and closing the jar is to let the container burp the moisture out that’s caught inside.
Repeat this continuously.
Make sure that while container burping— your olfactory senses don’t catch the smell of ammonia or mold.
If you smell it— it’s a dangerous sign. Your marijuana hasn’t dried enough to be cured.
Get them out of the container and re-dry it in the air until you feel it’s finally settled.
After a few weeks— let’s say 3 or 4 weeks— you can reduce the frequency of container burping.
Maybe, once in a week will be enough.
To build a really brilliant weed-portfolio— ensure that marijuana gets cured for six to eight weeks.
There have been a few other suggestions, such as curing it in zip locks and plastic bags— but they don’t manifest a compelling profile as much as glass jars do.
Here’s the quick look through the ideal curing tips:
- Maintain the curing temperature around 70° Fahrenheit (20° Celsius).
- Try to update the humidity level in the jar around 60%. You can buy humidity packs and place them inside to regulate the humidity level.
- If you are longing for perfect buds— cure for at least 6-8 weeks, for milder potency— you can choose 4-5 weeks.
- Make sure that your jar burps moisture every 30 to 45 minutes to belch out the moisture and get the fresh air.
- Don’t let it come close to direct light. Direct light is dangerous for weed as it can break down the critical cannabinoid chemicals, thereby manipulating the profile.
Let’s toke on… finally
No! Get over those myths that say you have to be an experienced weed cultivator to flower high-quality buds at your home garden.
You just have to pay a little love and attention during the drying and curing process, and the results will follow.
Build up your mind— have some patience— maintain the love for your plant from initial to the final stage— stay honest to it.
Your time and efforts will bear the fruits and the flowers too. 😉