After many weeks of taking good care of your plants, the moment of truth has arrived. You've picked the perfect time for harvesting and you've started cutting down your plants. In the process of manicuring, you will be removing all the leaves from your plants. Now, all you are left with are your buds. In other words, you're left with the heart and soul of your marijuana production. Let’s take them through the final steps of growing hydroponics. Drying and curing is the process of extracting moisture out of your buds to create an amazing yield.
You should first start out by drying the cannabis. In order to do that, you need to hang the buds upside down on a string in your grow room. Carefully harvesting and drying your buds manually is going to have a tremendous impact on potency, flavor, and aroma. You definitely are looking for the best tasting and smoothest product you can get. Our guide “How to grow weed“ does not just stop at growing... curing is just as important. Let’s get to it!
Curing Marijuana: Why and How to Do It
Drying and curing your harvest will bring a ton of benefits. These include:
Smoothing buds (less coughing)
Decreasing the chances of anxiety or paranoia
Reducing risk of mold
Curing marijuana traditionally starts right after cutting down your plant. For a medium to big size commercial production, we recommend about 6 people working when harvesting and hanging buds for drying. Two people should be used for cutting down the plants, three people finalizing the trim, and one person hanging the buds on the drying lines. You will want to minimize the time your buds are sitting in your bins.
The person cutting the plant should cut if off directly at the root ball while the person finalizing the trim should cut off all the extra leaves. Cutting off most of the leaves and branches will speed up the drying process. Bonus: Less leaves will make your buds less harsh.
Pro Tip 1
Use disposable gloves to protect your hands because the buds will be sticky from the resin.
Use rope and get creative to hang your buds. You might also use racks or clothes hangers. Let your buds dry gently for about 5 to 7 days. You do not need to blow hot air on or at your buds. In actuality, a slow drying process is actually better for your buds.
Step 1: For your buds to dry slowly, choose a humidity of 50% and temperature around 70 degrees. Once the small branches snap, the buds are ready for curing in jars.
Step 2: For curing in jars, choose a humidity of 60% and the same temperature of 70 degrees. After putting the buds into the jars, make sure to open them daily for 1 to 3 weeks. In total, you will want to cure your cannabis for up to 8 weeks. Please note that some strains can take up to 6 months to get the best results.
Yes, drying your buds in a stove or microwave might be quicker. However, they will smell horrible, taste bad, and will leave you with a headache. You can test it if you want, but we do not recommend this for any professional grower. You have come a long way – no need to rush to the finish line and waist your yield. For the same reason: avoid fans if possible. If you live in a very humid area, it might make sense to use one, but should never point it directly at the buds.
Pro Tip 2
Check your buds daily when drying. Keep drying your cannabis until the outside feels dry and the smaller stems snap instead of bending when touched. The bigger stems will still be bending and that's when you know it is just right.
Cannabis Curing: Using a Jar
Bigger stems still bending + smaller stems snapping is the perfect moment to start cannabis curing in a jar. If the outside of your buds is dry, it's unlikely that mold will grow. Don’t put your buds in a jar if the outside is still moist.
Pro Tip 3
The idea of jars is similar to the idea of growing indoor instead of outdoor. Storing your buds in jars gives you full control over their environment. It's best to use jars that are big in diameter. You should also make sure you use one-quart glass jars so you can monitor what's going on inside.
Fill each of the jars up to 75% and make sure you leave some air at the top of the jar. If you shake your jars, your buds should be able to move around. If your buds are sticking together, they will need more drying on the drying lines before being put into the jars again.
Pro Tip 4
If your buds feel a little moist inside the jar – leave the top of the jar off until they feel dry again.
You can check if the curing process is working properly by opening the jar daily in the beginning. Opening the jar will provide you with the opportunity to control the progress. In addition, it will add fresh air to the jar, which is needed for your buds. You can also use a hygrometer to check the humidity inside the jar (60% to 65% is ideal).
After months of carefully planting and growing your plants, this is the final stage. Give your plants the time needed to create the best results. You have now changed from a hobby grower to a commercial grower with a truly professional production. Your choice of setting up a cannabis business will now be rewarded.
In the process of drying your buds, you will still be producing THC and other cannabinoids. Hey, your buds are still gaining potency!
Bonus: Once your cannabis is properly dried you can store it long term. The risk of mold and bacteria is largely reduced. A sealed container in a dark place will allow you to store your buds for up to two years without decreasing quality. Production drying cannabis slowly, means long-term fun. You can also consider turning your buds into a CBD oil or tincture, which have become very popular in 2018.
To learn more about how to grow weed, contact us and shoot us your questions. Enjoy your yield and happy growing!