Congratulations! You’ve taken the time to plant your seeds, nurture and care for your plants from veg to flower; now it’s finally time for harvest. But not so fast, you want to get the most out of all this work. Harvesting isn’t enough; neither is simply drying the buds out. To get the best product from your plants, you have to cure the buds, and cure them correctly.
Curing marijuana is a critical step in the growing process. During this stage, one can preserve and improve fragrance, flavor, and potency. Curing marijuana also makes for a smoother smoke and an even burn.
Not to be confused with drying, curing is the last act; a procedure by which the drying process is slowed down to a crawl. Freshly cut stem buds contain a surplus of moisture, chlorophyll, sugar and starch. During the cure process, the sugar and starch are converted by the plant into THC. The chlorophyll, which makes the bud smell grassy and smoke harsh, is eaten by aerobic bacteria, which forms from a combination of air and the last bits of moisture. The moisture content is reduced and evenly distributed throughout the stem and bud thereby curing your marijuana.
Step 1: Seal the buds
Place your buds in airtight, glass jars. Fill the jars up to 80-90% with buds; remembering that the air you leave in the jar is needed to suck up moisture.
Step 2: Allow the buds to breathe
Lay the buds out and let them dry to a point where they seem ready to smoke. Now jar them again and check them in a couple of days. Most likely they have remoistened which is exactly what you want. Open the jars, take the bud out, and allow it to breathe. Then place the buds back into the jars. Do this every day for the first two weeks, always checking for mold or mildew.
Step 3: Squeeze test the buds
Eventually, you will open the jars and your buds will no longer be moist, but should be spongy to the touch if lightly squeezed. From this point on, your buds are ready to smoke and will have much of the flavor and potency you expect from great marijuana.
Step 4: Store the buds
If you want to enhance the flavor and taste even more, set aside enough bud to smoke and place the rest back in the jars. Keep the buds sealed until you need them. As long as the jars are air tight the buds will continue to cure.
The curing process, from harvest to the first smokable product can take anywhere from two to eight weeks, depending on your climate. Proper curing can exponentially increase the quality and desirability of your harvest. The key is in remembering to go slow. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort to grow those buds, take the extra time to cure them properly.