You’d think after months of growing, pruning and caring for cannabis plants, the process would be over, but no, there’s still the matter of curing cannabis!
Hey, if the entire operation were easy, everyone would be a professional, right?
Contrary to what you might think, the process of getting your weed from seed to bud isn’t finished once your plant has grown. Properly curing your cannabis is a whole other ball game.
That said, when cannabis is properly cured, the result is a flavourful batch of bud with fantastic potency. On the flip side, if cannabis isn’t cured correctly, it will lose some of this potency, making curing a crucial step in the production process.
So, get ready to take notes. Today, we’re taking a look at the basics of curing cannabis and find out how to do it correctly.
Let’s get started!
What is Curing Cannabis?
In cannabis cultivation, curing is the act of aging and drying the weed plant after it has been fully grown and harvested.
Curing cannabis is generally seen as the bridging stage between the final harvest and the point where you can actually consume the bud.
The entire process of curing cannabis revolves around making the bud more flavourful, smoother to smoke, and even more potent than it already is.
The curing process involves cultivators initially drying the buds of their cannabis plant before they can be aged. This technique serves to prevent the growth of mildew, mold, and other grime that may persist in damp environments.
Generally speaking, the longer the curing process, the smoother the bud will be in the end.
What are the Benefits of Curing Cannabis?
So, you might be thinking to yourself, “what if I just skip the curing cannabis stage altogether and get straight to the good part?”
Let us stop you right there. There are numerous benefits for curing cannabis, including:
It Enhances the Effects of Your Bud
The female cannabis plant naturally produces a handful of cannabinoids and terpenes like THCA and CBD. If you’ve ever tried eating cannabis raw, you probably already know it won’t get you high without some type of decarboxylation.
That said, through a process called biosynthesis, cannabis can convert some of its compounds into new mixes. This process is how THCA is eventually converted to the psychoactive compound THC when exposed to heat.
As for the curing process, the process of biosynthesis can convert non-psychoactive compounds in the plant into THCA, which will increase its potency and the intensity of its high. While this process occurs while the plant is in the growth phase of its lifecycle, it doesn’t entirely end when the buds have been harvested.
In fact, the buds of a fresh harvest can be kept in environments with temperatures between 15 to 21°C or 60 to 70°F with a humidity level of around 50% to extend this process and further convert even more non-psychoactive compounds into psychoactive compounds.
Curing can Influence Flavour and Smoothness
As you probably already know, cannabis is loaded with several other compounds other than cannabinoids. In fact, arguably the second most popular type of compound in cannabis is its terpenes.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give many plants in nature their distinctive smell and taste. For example, the scent of citrus from the rinds of lemons and oranges is from a terpene called Limonene, and that’s just one of several others naturally-occurring in plants, including your favourite bud.
These terpenes are responsible for giving cannabis its intoxicating aroma and unique flavour. Unfortunately, terpenes tend to be quite volatile and can degrade when exposed to moderately high temperatures.
This fact is why you’ll be able to taste the actual flavour of your weed with more purity when vaporizing it at low temperatures compared to smoking it in a joint. In fact, some terpenes can begin to degrade at temperatures as low as 21°C (70°F), meaning that they are quite fragile.
For those reasons, slowly curing the buds in the 15.56-21°C (60-70 °F) range will yield the best results.
While the gradual exposure to mild heat will help with the cannabis curing process and create more potent buds, the opposite is true to quick drying. Exposing cannabis to high heat in dry conditions actually halts the curing process and can potentially weaken the strength of the buds.
Curing cannabis in an environment that’s too dry may also create harsh buds that can irritate the throat.
All this to say that curing cannabis is a delicate and precise process!
Proper Curing May Extend Shelf Life
The buds of the cannabis plant are susceptible to losing their potency as time goes on. This degradation is a natural occurrence that is known to affect many things.
However, knowing how to store weed and properly curing cannabis may allow you to store your weed for longer without the risk of mold or a loss of potency.
Properly cured cannabis can be stored in secure air-tight containers for up to 2 years before any significant potency loss.
How To Cure Cannabis
The Drying Process
The initial drying of cannabis is somewhat dependent on how you decide to harvest your bud.
However, most cannabis can be successfully dried if kept in a dark room between 15 to 21°C, with a humidity level of around 50%.
Use a small fan to gently help with air circulation.
The critical element to remember when drying your cannabis is to keep the conditions as stable as possible. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity may affect the end product.
For that reason alone, we recommend investing in a dehumidifier, A/C unit, and any other tools or equipment that may provide assistance.
To determine if your cannabis has dried completely, check if the outside of the buds is crispy and if their stems are easily snapped when bent.
If buds are crunchy or crispy on the outside, you’re ready to cure them.
The Curing Process
After drying your cannabis, begin trimming and manicuring the buds. If the buds are still attached to their branches, start removing them as well.
Place your freshly manicured buds in a secure airtight container and fill it so it is at least 3/4 full.
Now, seal your container with the lid and place your container of cannabis in a dark room that is cool and dry. After about a day or two, the buds’ texture will change from crispy to slightly hydrated.
During the first week or so, you’ll want to let your cannabis breathe every so often so moisture can escape the container and to replenish the oxygen levels. You can do this by opening the container at select intervals during the day for a few minutes at a time.
During this period, pay attention to the smell of your weed. Keeping it too moist can cause mold and bacteria to grow. You won’t want to end up with moldy weed.
After about 2-3 weeks of this process, your cannabis will be ready to be enjoyed. However, if you are patient enough, you could extend the curing process for even longer, extending it up to 6 months total curing time.
If you are patient enough, the cannabis will benefit dramatically from this, as certain strains require a longer curing time.
After all, patience is a virtue!
Curing Cannabis – Crucial for Overall Quality
While growing the plant is one aspect in the cultivation of cannabis, curing it is another.
Curing cannabis is often an overlooked process, but its role in preserving and fortifying the cannabinoids and terpenes is immense.
Just as you should take the proper time and care in growing your weed, you must also take the appropriate time and care to cure it.
When performed correctly, the buds of your harvest can benefit from enhanced potency, flavour, and smoothness.
If you’re new to growing your own weed, this process will likely require a bit of trial and error to get it right, and the genetics of every strain will require different curing times.
If you aren’t interested in the art of growing at home, that’s okay, too! Stoney Ave flower is expertly dried, cured and trimmed to ensure the highest quality blazing experience.
Check out our website and browse our extensive catalogue of available flower options to see for yourself!