Curing a cannabis harvest is an important process for anyone who wants to create the highest quality weed they can. It is a fine art that takes a lot of practice and patience to get right, but once you have mastered it you will always have the best possible weed at your disposal.
It is unlikely you have ever encountered cured weed if you have only ever bought commercially grown harvests – unless you are particularly lucky. You will find that most people who grow to sell will dry their harvests quickly without any curing involved, this is in order to get the fastest turn around possible in order to maximize profit – which is fair enough if you are trying to run a business. There are the odd few commercial growers who do cure, but it is a rare thing. The end result of this though is a product that can often be quite harsh to smoke and have a reduced potency; and whilst it may seem dry on the outside, the fast drying techniques used often leave the rest of the bud overly damp and hard to burn. That is why you will find a connoisseur cultivators own stash is of such a high quality, it has been created for their ultimate enjoyment and has been treated and cured accordingly.
The curing process takes place after the drying process and allows for a few further things to happen that increase the quality of the bud. Firstly, it gives bacteria time to break down the remaining chlorophyll in the plant matter. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in pretty much any plant and it is a vital component for photosynthesis – the means by which plants create food for themselves. However, Chlorophyll contains magnesium which when burnt in a joint causes the smoke to be sharp and harsh. By curing the weed you remove a lot of this, dramatically increasing the overall quality of the smoking experience.
The second advantage of curing is that it allows further control of the moisture level of your bud. Drying bud removes water, resulting in a stronger and easy to burn product. However, the drier the bud gets the more it looses its taste and aroma – you need to strike a balance and assess where your priorities lie. By moving your harvest from drying to curing just at the point when it is dry enough to burn, but not burn very well, you gain a finite level of control over just how much moisture in your weed as it finishes.
There are quite a few curing techniques out there, but it is generally agreed that the following one yields the best overall results. Air tight, glass jars should be used for this process; curing with this apparatus tends to result in the most favorable bud. The bud is placed in these jars and are kept in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. When packing the bud make sure not to compact it. If the THC particles become bunched it will result in a much harder to burn end result. The jars should be opened in the first week every day for a short checkup and a bit of rotation of the buds in the jar. After the first week only open the jar every day for 30 minutes for about 3-4 weeks. This is to allow for the control of moisture levels in the weed by letting the excess moisture escape, as well as resupplying the bacteria breaking down the chlorophyll with more air to use in the process.
As mentioned, this is seen as quite a fine art and it can be quite easy to accidentally remove too much moisture from your weed or have it so damp to begin with that the curing process is hindered and rendered useless. Should you over-dry your bud it is possible to add in newer bud, and as this continues to lose its own moisture it will moisten the rest of the jar to reach an equilibrium. Some cultivators also add in slices of fruit, such as oranges to increase the levels of moisture in the jar; this also adds its own unique taste to the bud.
This whole process tends to take a total of four to eight weeks. You will know when it is done when the jars stop “burping” when you open them. This means that the bacteria have stopped dismantling the accessible chlorophyll. After this the bud can pretty much be stored indefinitely, but it will tend to slowly loose THC potency after the eight week mark. However, to minimize this, the bud can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place to slow down the degeneration. It is warmth, light, moisture and air flow that will be your bud’s bane.
This whole process is not technically necessary and can be quite hard to master. Drying is enough to obtain a great smoke, but if you can master curing, then you can take your weed to the next level. It just takes a bit of experimentation and patience, the important thing is to enjoy it and take pride in the end result.
Source: Curing Weed – Zativo