So, you’ve now successfully grown your own crop of cannabis! You’re enjoying the triumph, and loving the way your plant is looking. Now, what?
How do you cure weed?
In this article, we will give you everything you need to know about drying weed so that all of the efforts you’ve put into growing a thriving crop won’t go to waste.
The way you cure your weed is a critical component to the finished process! It can make or break the quality of your buds. It’s possible to overdo the process of drying weed, making your buds brittle and compromising their taste. You may also start the process of curing your weed too early. This means that you’ll be smoking buds that might make you cough, or simply buds that have not reached their ultimate prime.
Let’s discuss all the many methods there are for drying weed and getting it ready for consumption and use. There are methods suitable for different types of weed, and we’ll leave it up to you to pick the one that best suits your crop and situation.
How to Harvest Weed
Before your cannabis buds are ready for curing, you’ll need to know when your plant is ready to be harvested. You’ve now reached the near-end, and are reminiscing about the very beginning of your journey, right from sourcing the best cannabis seeds to finding the best soil to grow your plants.
Here are some tricks of the trade so that you will make no mistake in how you harvest and when you harvest.
This is one of the most thrilling and rewarding parts of growing marijuana, and you want to do it the best way possible for it to go without a hitch. There is so much that relies on when you decide to harvest, and because of that, it’s really important to understand when to go about it and how.
When to Harvest Cannabis
There are a lot of factors that come into play when we consider the right time to begin harvesting. Here are some things to keep in mind and observe, so that you can be certain it is the prime time to start chopping:
- Use a microscope to investigate the colour of the stigmata (the hair-like stands that cover the bud) – Look to see when the stigmata of your plants start to change colour, this is a clear indication that it is time to start looking daily at your plant for signs of maturity.
- Use a microscope to investigate the colour of the trichomes (the sticky, clear droplets of THC resin on your buds) – You want these to have successfully transformed from being clear see-through resin to an opaque white in colour. This is when your THC content has reached it’s highest point, and if you wait too long after that, it will start to deteriorate, so it’s critical that you time this properly and look daily. However, if you do end up leaving it, the THC will then turn into CBN, which is another healing cannabis compound, so it’s not the absolute end of the world if you intend on using your harvested buds as medical marijuana.
- Harvesting time is personal, and each grower will have their own intuition about when to do it. Use your gut, and make sure that your buds feel relatively compact to the touch.
How to Harvest Cannabis
There is way more to harvesting weed than simply chopping it down. You want to make sure you don’t damage the buds, and you also want to make sure that you keep the stems intact. Keeping the stems intact will assist in the overall end product of your buds, and will make it easier to cure them – because you won’t have cannabis buds rolling around everywhere.
- Cut your plant’s stems at the base with a sharp clean knife or even a hacksaw.
- If necessary, cut stems again to make them smaller and easier to handle.
- Begin trimming off all of the excess materials, such as the leaves on the stem and the leaves protruding from your buds. You want to finally be left with very clean-looking stems that have neat weed buds on them. This process can take a few hours, or even a few days, depending on the quantity of your yield.
How to Dry Weed
Drying weed can be done in a multiple of different ways, and it all depends on your personal preference and how much space you can utilize when doing so. You want to get this done right, because curing properly will have a huge impact on the potency of your yield, and most of us want the potency to be high.
High THC strains can be used for so many amazing things, you can use it recreationally and smoke it with one of the best bongs in South Africa, or you can use it to make dagga oil for cancer. Whatever you choose to do with it, having a high potency yield is one of the most valuable aspects of growing cannabis.
The Chemical Process
Let’s dive into the chemical process that’s taking place when you cure your buds. Your cannabis plants produce THCA ( tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and a bunch of other cannabinoids in the process of biosynthesis (the process in which compounds are broken down into different blends). This process is responsible for turning THCA into THC.
This process does not stop when you harvest weed, and that ‘s why you’ll need to keep your freshly chopped stems of buds in a room of 60°F (16°C) -70°F (21°C), and keep the humidity level between 45-55%. The transformation of THCA into THC will continue, and by maintaining a controlled environment with ideal temperatures, you support this enriching process.
Quick, dry and harsh curing completely diminishes this process, leaving you with buds that have not reached their highest potential THC potency.
How to Cure Weed for Prime THC Potency
You want your weed drying in an environment where the process can be slow, because your THC can be compromised and dry out if the temperature is above 70°F (21°C). A slow cure will preserve your terpenes much better than a quick and dry process.
Keep the temperature of the curing room at the right temperature, and it will allow the opportunity for other enzymes and bacteria of your cannabis to break down undesirable sugars created by the decomposition of chlorophyll (the chemical in your marijuana responsible for photosynthesis).
You’ll also want to set up a small fan in the room of your choice to keep the air circulating. This plays a massive role in maintaining the fresh aroma and taste of your buds!
Methods of Curing Weed
So now we fully understand what it is that we want to do, and how it works. Let’s get to the practical component of just how to go about curing your weed.
This is the most popular method. This is when growers simply take their branches and hang them on a wire in a room of the correct temperature. This method is uncomplicated, and will only require you to set up a few wires to hang your cannabis on whilst it cures.
This is another simple way to cure your marijuana. You can invest in a drying rack online, or simply make one yourself.
You can do this by using old filing systems, or by using ventilated fabric and sowing a long tube that has different levels for you to place your curing buds in. This is a great method for those who don’t have much space to use, and may not have access to an entire room exclusively for curing.
The Final Step to Curing Weed
We now have a feeling that the end of the journey is here! Keep your microscope with you, and when your buds feel a little crunchy on the outside, and the smaller branches start to snap instead of folding – you have reached the near-end of your curing process. This can take anywhere from 5 – 15 days.
Cut your buds off from the now dry and brittle stems, and keep them aside. Take these buds and place them into an airtight container, such as an airtight glass jar. When you do this, do not compact your buds, put them in the jar loosely so that they don’t crush each other.
Place your jar/s in a cool, dry and dark spot so that the curing process can complete. You will notice within the first 24 hours that your buds will no longer be crunchy, but will transform to be more rehydrated. If this does not happen, then the chances are that you have over-dried your weed.
For the first week, open your airtight container/s several times a day. This is a major part of the curing process, and it allows your buds the chance to ‘breathe’. It also stops mold from growing on your plants, as moisture can escape. If you notice a smell when you do this, then you have started the last process of curing your weed too early.
After the first week, you will only need to open your container/s once every couple of days.
After 2 – 3 weeks of continuing this procedure, your buds will be smokable and ready for a quality experience. However, if you continue for a period of 4 – 8 weeks, you are in for a treat!
Enjoy your freshly cured, tasty and excellently aromatic buds!
Final Thoughts on How to Cure Weed
Now that you know how to dry cannabis in the best way, your buds are guaranteed to be high-quality and high-potency. The curing process is one of the most overlooked, yet most valuable, parts of cultivating truly amazing cannabis.
Due to insights being shared on this aspect of weed cultivation, more and more are realizing the benefits involved with curing properly. Knowing how to cure weed well is what takes your end product from being good to being exceptional!