Have you ever thought about what process goes behind Cannabis production and sales? After Cannabis is harvested and ready to be sold, drying and curing of Cannabis take place to preserve Cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant while removing chlorophyll and sugar contents. These steps are carried out to maintain the strain’s aroma and natural flavors.
Drying and curing Cannabis plants will be done in a perfect way to rip off extra moisture in the unnecessary plant. Completely getting the plant dry too quick is dangerous. Drying and curing should be done in the right way to extend the shelf life of the weed. We’ll see how to do that just right!
Importance of Drying and Curing of Cannabis
To cook an excellent recipe with delicious taste, a lot of preparations and steps go behind. You cannot overburn, or add excess sugar or ingredients, as that will spoil the taste of the food. Similarly, to get the perfect form of weed, drying and curing should be done perfectly with the right tools. It is extremely important to dry and cure weed, as they are necessary to store weed for all kinds of uses.
Following are the benefits of drying and curing Cannabis:
- Removal of chlorophyll – the content which when removed will make weed easier to smoke or consume.
- Fine-tuning the moisture in the buds – too much moisture will spoil the weed and result in molds – the moisture has to be in the right amount for long term storage and uses.
- Preserving the aroma and taste of the Cannabis strain – without drying and curing process the weed will lose its potency, smell and flavor.
- Increases the potency of the weed – curing will help increase the Cannabis strain’s potency – the weed will be turned into a form where it is easy for the lungs to consume.
- Helps in longer shelf life – without curing and drying process the weed will lose its cannabinoids and other important compounds necessary for carrying out its function. You can store the dried and cured Cannabis strain for months and even years.
As you are familiar with the importance of drying and curing Cannabis, we will now jump to the steps to carry out the two processes.
Drying Cannabis – What happens during the process?
Drying Cannabis doesn’t mean you toss it away in some dry place to dry it and then pick it up later. This would result in terpene loss or even total contamination of the weed. Drying Cannabis is an art and it has to be done in the right manner. Sometimes you may even require a bigger place for drying compared to the place you used for harvesting. It may take up to 7 days for the Cannabis to dry completely. It may even take lesser than that, depending on the moisture the weed contains.
You should be exact about the drying process as little drying may result in improper drying of buds. Only the external layer of the buds would have dried and the inner parts would contain moisture. If you dry the weed too much, it will result in mold formation.
There are two types of trimming: Dry trimming & wet trimming. During dry trimming, you will first collect the harvested Cannabis plants and hang them upside down to get dried. After the plant is dried, you will trim the stems, leaves, branches, and buds accordingly. During wet trimming, the plant will be trimmed first. The trimmed buds and leaves will be placed on a drying space or rack to get dry.
How to know if the plants had dried?
To find out if the plants are dried enough, you should just try snapping one of the Cannabis stems. If the stem snaps immediately, that means the plant has dried. You can take them out for the next step – curing. In case, if the stem does not snap, it means the plant has not dried completely. It contains moisture. It needs more time to dry. Leave the plant for a day or two and check again if the stem snaps. That’s how you find out if your Cannabis has properly dried.
Cannabis drying process & equipment required
Now, we will see in detail how to place Cannabis plants in a drying room or area and get them dried. We will also tell you about the equipment that you need for drying.
You will need equipment such as the drying rack or drying hanger, a fan, Hygrometer, AC unit, and a dehumidifier.
So, here’s how to get your Cannabis plants dried. Collect the harvested weed and place it in a dimly lit darkroom. Ensure the room temperature is somewhere between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be between 55-and 65%. You can use a hygrometer to measure the exact temperature and humidity.
Switch ON the fan and AC / Dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is optional. Use it if you think it is needed. If you find the buds not getting dried soon, you can make adjustments in the temperature or humidity to quicken the drying process.
If you are carrying out wet trimming, you can place the trimmed buds and plant parts in a flat drying rack and get them dried. If you have whole plants without any trimming, you can hang them on a drying hanger. Flat racks are best suited for trimmed parts as they maintain good air circulation and are easy to use.
Keep checking the plants each day to see if they have dried. Squish the plant or bud to see if it is still wet. If it is wet, leave it for a day and check the next day. Ensure you monitor the plants daily during the drying stage as you don’t want them to get over dried, as it can lead to molds.
Curing Cannabis – What happens during the process?
The next process is Curing. So, what is the difference between the drying and curing stages? During drying, you dry the plant to remove wetness and moisture. During curing, you will fine-tune the moisture in the weed to preserve its aroma and flavors. So, it can be used for sales. Curing is also vital for the longer shelf life of Cannabis.
The curing process plays a big role in maintaining the smoke quality and flavor of the weed. If the curing is done perfectly, the weed can be stored for the long term without the worry of molds or contamination. Temperature plays a crucial part in curing. Curing should be carried out at a low temperature in a slow manner to preserve terpenes in the weed.
You can store the perfectly cured weed in a container for up to 24 months. The potency of the weed will be more or less the same as it was in the beginning. Ensure storing it in an airtight container and a dark cold place. We will know more about the storage of weed soon in this article. Now, coming back to the curing process, aren’t you curious to know how curing is done and what is the equipment required for it? We will know all about these now.
Cannabis Curing process & equipment required
About equipment, you won’t need much for curing. You just need airtight containers and a hygrometer to carry out the curing process.
Remember to choose a place or room with a stable temperature to carry out the curing process. Avoid curing Cannabis in wet, damp or hot places. These places are not appropriate for curing. A space with normal room temperature and humidity will do well for curing. The room should have the option to switch OFF lights. Too much light can destroy terpenes. Pick a room where the light will not leak.
You can start the curing process immediately after the Cannabis plants are dried. We earlier tipped you on how to find if the weed has properly dried. Follow the same method and collect the dried Cannabis. Now, place the trimmed parts into an airtight container. You can use a glass jar or wood vessel or even a metal vessel. A ceramic jar is also absolutely fine for curing. But, make sure these containers are airtight and air won’t leak in or out even accidentally.
Never use plastic bags for curing as they will not prevent air leaks. Your weed will also taste like plastic if you cure weed in plastic bags. Now, after you chose your suitable container, start putting the buds inside the container. Don’t pack Cannabis buds inside the container. Loosely pack them without crushing the buds. Once packed loosely, close the container tightly and keep it in a dry, cool and dark place.
Duration of the Curing process
In 24 hours or within two days, you will see the buds getting softer. We will tell you why. The moisture in the middle part of the buds will slowly move to the outer layers. This will make the buds appear soft. If you don’t see this happening, we’re so sorry! You have dried your Cannabis too much!
Do not worry, as we have an effective solution for you. If you have over-dried your Cannabis, you can use humidity packs (available online / stores) to add moisture to your buds.
The humidity inside the airtight containers should be somewhere between 55-and 65%. You can use a hygrometer to measure the exact humidity. If the Cannabis buds are extra wet, you can leave the container’s closing lid open for a day or two to help the buds get dry. Close the lids once the buds have got enough drying.
Do this during the 1st week of the Curing process: Open the airtight containers containing the Cannabis at least once a day. Leave the lid open for a few minutes and then close it. This will help the buds release moisture and makes oxygen enter the container.
In 2-4 weeks, your curing process will be done. The Cannabis plants will produce the best aroma and flavors according to their strained nature.
NOTE: Some special Cannabis strains require curing for up to 2 months or even 6 months.
Curing will only benefit the Cannabis plants. So, do not worry about too much curing. You can open the lid to check if the Cannabis has gotten into a form where it produces the best smell and taste. If you feel so, you can move on to the next stage called ‘storing’.
Storing Cannabis plants
Storing Cannabis is comparatively an easier process than drying and curing. If you have done perfect drying and curing, then storing will be a piece of cake for you!
Well-dried and well-cured Cannabis can be stored for up to 2 years, without loss of its potency, taste and smell. You should store the Cannabis in a dry and cool place. This will keep the Cannabis away from molds or insects. As organic matter or mold sustain in temperatures between 75-87 degrees Fahrenheit, it is not recommended to store Cannabis in a hot or damp environment.
Store it in a dry and cool environment. If the Cannabis is placed at a hot temperature, it will dry the terpenes and Cannabinoids present in the weed. You will then be benefitted from hot and rough smoke, which will be unpleasant to your lungs.
Storing in a glass container is recommended. Keep monitoring the humidity level if you want high potency even after a year of storage. Decrease air leaks or oxygen exposure to Cannabis. If you possess different types of strains that were cured in different timelines, it is best to stick a date and label them for easy identification.
For longer shelf life, keep stored Cannabis out of Sunlight and store it in a cool atmosphere. Labeling the Cannabis storage jars with strain names and date will not just help you in identifying them easily, but also will make you know which one to use first. It is also a great time saver!