Simply drying your plants after harvest will not just do the trick alone; you need to cure those babies! It’s the way to go to fully enjoy the fruits of your labor. Curing involves drying your buds slowly in a controlled environment.
There are many reasons why you should cure your marijuana. If you started growing with great genetics, and you put in the effort to grow well, then your end product can go from good cannabis to prize-worthy if you cure it. Curing will give you the maximum flavor and potency you can achieve. Potency is affected in the first week of curing. It evenly removes the moisture in the bud so almost all the THC is psychoactive. Also, You don't want mold to stand a chance against ruining your crop and curing helps remove the excess moisture. You can tell when bud has been cured well by the way that it burns; it will be smooth with an even glow.
What happens when you cure your bud is it gives bacteria time to break down the left over chlorophyll in the plant. You want the chlorophyll to break down because it contains magnesium-the mineral that causes the smoke to be harsh when it’s burnt while toking. If you cure your bud to remove most of this mineral, then your smoking quality gets enhanced.
Now it’s time to get out your notebook and take down notes for this crash course on curing. If you’re ready for curing your crop then your plants have been drying for about a week (depending on the size of your bud). If the stems break when you bend it then you can put it straight into a jar. However, if the stems still fold when you bend it then pay attention to this coming process. Put your buds in a paper bag stacking them no higher than 6 inches. Fold the bag closed and check on your buds a few times a day to overlook their drying. Carefully move them around in the bag so that different sides are exposed. I said CAREFULLY! Remember that too much handling can cause knocking off precious resin glands. Once dry, and the stem snaps, then you are ready to move on to the next step. Also, if you went straight to jarring your harvest only to realize that they are too wet, then you can use paper bags to dry them out and then return them to the jars.
The best way to cure your buds is to use an airtight glass jar, like a mason jar. Plastic containers can sometimes cause an unfavorable taste in your bud, but I understand you may have to resort to this if you’re working in high volume.
Worth the effort
Fill the jar up ¾ of the way full and put it in a cool, dark place overnight. This creates a microclimate allowing moisture to even out among the bud. Internal moisture will work its way to the dry parts of the bud. The next day check on the curing buds to see if it is rehydrated and if the buds sweated moisture. Gently squeeze to feel if they are moister than they were a few hours before. If they are more moist, put them in the paper bag. If they’re still dry, close the lid again.
For the next week or two open the lid for about 10 minutes to let moisture escape and then close the lid again. Gently move the buds around a bit in the jar. The whole process takes anywhere from 3 to 7 weeks. You can tell that they’re getting to the point that you want them to be in when the jar stops “burping” when you open it. This is a sign that the bacteria has stopped breaking up the accessible chlorophyll. It may take a while longer to cure your bud but it certainly is worth the effort.
Sure, there are fast ways to cure your buds like using a microwave, but save the microwave for your popcorn as this method using irradiated heat can reduce the quality and potency of the smoke.