Everything you need to know about cannabis drying and curing

Impatience and the desire to taste the harvest, which has cost us so much to bring to fruition, can cause us not to pay adequate and necessary attention to two fundamental processes: drying and curing the cannabis. Whether you have a marijuana or CBD buds avoid the temptation to turn them on quickly. Spending the necessary time drying and curing cannabis is essential for maximum flavor and potency.

Why are drying and curing cannabis so important?

On many occasions, the grower, especially if he is a first-time grower, finds the process of drying and curing his flowers, once harvested, cumbersome, as if it were not part of the ritual of cultivation. Big mistake: If we want to enjoy top quality marijuana, these stages are as important as the variety of marijuana chosen, the fertilizers used and the environmental conditions or the type of cultivation.

The importance of drying in the quality of buds

To begin with, drying is fundamental, because if the cannabis does not lose an important part of the water and chlorophyll in its tissues, neither the THC, nor the CBD, nor any of the plant’s cannabinoids, acquire the appropriate properties for human consumption. That is, they remain inactive, in their acid state (THCa, CBDa…). They are activated by decarboxylation when heat is applied to them at high temperatures, for example by combustion. But there is more: the buds do not decarboxylate their cannabinoids correctly if they have not lost enough moisture.

The importance of curing

On the other hand, curing, although not as essential as drying (since our flowers, if they have lost that humidity, will be suitable for consumption), it is the icing on the cakeThis will allow us to enjoy all the nuances and properties of our fruits and their cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol. Curing, on the one hand, prolongs the drying process, at an optimum rate and under optimum conditions, and, on the other hand, stops the degradation of the flowers and helps to preserve them, so that their qualities are further improved, as well as preventing the appearance of mold.

Cannabis drying and curing: The manicuring of the buds
Clean the buds to remove the leaves.

How to carry out a good drying process?

The objective of drying is to reduce the humidity of our fruits. Freshly harvested buds have an approximate humidity of 75%, and we have to reduce it to 15%. How? Following these steps:

Drying marijuana Step by Step

1. Choose the right time for harvesting and manicuring our flowers.

Good drying starts with choosing the right moment, if we have not harvested at the right time, because we have rushed or because we have done it late, it will not matter if we dry correctly, the final result will not be good. We have to harvest at the optimum point of maturity of the buds, when the trichomes have, for the most part, a milky tone, with some amber specks. It is also essential to have washed the roots (watering only with water) during the week prior to harvest.

2. Correctly manicuring marijuana flowers

The inner leaves of the buds make both drying and curing difficult, as well as being unpalatable for consumption and with a very poor level of cannabinoids. There are many techniques for this, the most common is to start with the largest flowers. In the same way, it is better to start cutting the most prominent leaves, until the buds are well cleaned. Do this with a pair of spring pruning shears, which will make the task much easier. An important issue is to decide whether to leave the branches or not, and this will depend on the drying method we use for drying, as we will see in point 4. We do not recommend that you leave your buds completely peeled, take advantage of the sugar leaves, so called because of the layer of trichomes that cover them. These are the leaves that usually develop next to the buds, which can be smoked. Sugar leaves may not be as abundant in resin as the buds themselves, but their relatively high concentration makes them valuable. At Cannactiva, we use them in the Trim Candy Krush, with great success among our customers.

3. Choose the ideal space for curing marijuana.

Once you have your flowers cleaned, it will be time to select the ideal space for drying (or rather have it thought of beforehand). This should be a dark and dry place, but at the same time cool and ventilated. The temperature should be between 18ºC and 24ºC. And humidity above 50%. And when it comes to ventilation, beware of strong gusts of air. The air should not hit our weed directly, or too hard, but rather circulate smoothly around it. If we do not have a space at our disposal with these characteristics, we will have to provoke them ourselves with devices (fans, heaters, air conditioners, humidifiers…), but this is not ideal.

4. Choose the most convenient method

There are several techniques you can use for drying, but the most common are two: hanging the flowers upside down from ropes, like hanging clothes, or using drying nets.The most traditional method is the first, because it is the cheapest and we do not need more than rope and space. For this technique, two fundamental things must be taken into account: first, it will help if the branches are left with several knots or bifurcations when harvesting, so that it is easier to hang the plants to dry the flowers. Then, depending on the size of the crop, we will need a fairly large space. Drying of the buds. For the second method, the drying screens are usually vertical, with several levels, which allows us to optimize space. For this technique it will be advisable to remove the branches when harvesting. The flowers should not be too crowded on top of each other. We will try to have space between them, so that the air flows and they dry better.

5. Cannabis drying time.

Ideally, wait two to three weeks. After this time it is normal for the flowers to have lost the necessary humidity. Although this may vary, and will also depend on the variety, type of crop and drying conditions. To make sure that it is dry we will do the trick of the broken branch: break some bud or branch when it breaks easily with the fingers, and the branch does not bend much, it will be an indication that the work is done. But in no case should we try to accelerate this time with more temperature or less humidity, because we could degrade its properties. However, if you have any doubts, don’t worry, curing will help you achieve the optimum result.

    How to carry out a good curing process?

    With a good curing process we will preserve the flavors, aromas and cannabinoids of the plant, such as CBD and its terpenes, preserving all its organoleptic properties to the maximum and thus optimizing the quality of the buds. The humidity level should remain at 8% to 10%. To do so, we must:

    1- Make sure that the drying process has been carried out correctly.

    If you have followed the above steps for proper drying, you will not have any problems. When in doubt, do the trick of the splitting branch

    2- Clean the flowers well.

    If we have left the branches for drying, here we will have to remove them. The objective is to keep the buds as clean as possible.

    3- Use suitable containers

    It is most common to use glass jars that can be hermetically sealed. The size will mark a little the amount of harvest, but do not use too big pots, where a lot of buds can fit. If you have a large crop, it is better to distribute it in different containers.

    If glass is traditionally used, it is because it is a very clean and airtight material, which preserves well and with which you can see the state of your flowers from the outside. You can also use wooden boxes, ceramic jars, tupperware… The important thing is that they close hermetically. .

    4- Correct introduction of marijuana flowers or buds

    Fill the containers, but not to the top. Ideally, there should be some empty space, approximately 75% full. And no pressing or crowding them. Then close the container tightly, making sure it is airtight.

    5- Place the jars in a dark, cool and dry place.

    The temperature should be around 20ºC and the humidity should be a little higher than in the drying room, around 60%.

    6- During the curing process, open the containers from time to time.

    During the first week or 10 days, you should open your container daily, at least once, for 5 to 10 minutes, to allow it to aerate. If you do it 2 or 3 times a day, it will also be fine. After that time, opening the containers every 2 or 3 days will be enough. Take advantage of the opening times to check the condition of the flowers. If you see signs of mold, you’re not doing something right.

    7- Patience during the curing of marijuana!

    The time for a good curing can vary from 2 weeks to 2 or 3 months, or even more; it will depend on the variety and the curing conditions. Of course, after 6 months the flowers may start to degrade. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to wait 3 months before you can enjoy your flowers. .

    Actually, as we have said, you will be able to taste them once you have gone through the drying process, only, and you will notice it, if you are patient and do not finish the harvest soon, you will find that the weed that has been curing for a month will be better than that of the first few days. Check the level of curing by pressing gently on the flowers: if you notice moisture or if they do not crackle, they are not fully cured.

    After curing, simply leave the CBD flowers in an opaque and perfectly vacuum-sealed container, so they will last for years. And now, yes, enjoy your excellent fruits!

    In Cannactiva we have already done all this process for you: Enjoy the CBD flowers of the best quality! Discover the CBD cannabis strains offered by Cannactiva:

      En Cannactiva queremos cambiar la perspectiva sobre el cannabis. Te traemos lo mejor de la planta a través de nuestros productos y de los posts que puedes leer en nuestro [...]

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