Once you’ve trimmed and manicured your cannabis buds, you might be tempted to start smoking those sticking buds right away (or converting them into edible goodies, like cannabutter or canna-oil).
Drying and Curing is Essential
Curing your cannabis preserves the plant, so it’ll keep longer, plus it enhances the flavors and aromas that make smoking or eating cannabis strains enjoyable. But most importantly, cannabinoids such as THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) are created through a process called biosynthesis, and this process continues even after the plant is harvested. The conditions created during curing also break down excess sugars, which can make smoking improperly cured cannabis harsh on the lungs.
How to Dry and Cure Cannabis
First, you will dry your cannabis. After trimming excess leaves from the buds, you will need to hand them out to dry in a dark room with temperatures kept within the 60-70°F range and humidity between 45-55%. Keeping the air circulated with a small fan is best. You can use a combination of air conditioning and a humidifier to achieve the conditions needed.
Once the buds are feeling slightly crunchy and dry on the outside, you will move on to the next step, which is the curing. Place your buds into an airtight container (like glass jars or Tupperware). Place the containers in a cool, dark, dry place for 4-8 weeks. During the first week, you will want to open the containers for a few minutes to let them air out a bit. If you notice the smell of ammonia, dry your cannabis out a little bit more, because it is a sign they are not ready to be cured. Not doing so can ruin your cannabis and cause mold growth. After the first day, you can wait a few days to air out your cannabis until it is finished.
The difference between quality and mediocre cannabis often comes down to having patience and properly curing your homegrown buds. Not only will you enjoy your marijuana more, but you can maximize the medical benefits and get the most out of all the effort you put into growing it.