Drying your cannabis flowers serves several important functions that ultimately increase the quality and shelf-life of the end product.
Ahhh, harvest time. After watching your ladies grow and flower, it’s finally time to collect your hard-earned buds. But before you can enjoy a toke of some homegrown Kush, you’ll need to dry and cure your freshly harvested weed. Below, we’ll share our answers to some frequently asked questions on the drying and curing process, so you can maximise the flavour and potency of your stash.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRYING AND CURING?
Drying, as the name suggests, involves drying fresh buds so they contain less moisture and can be smoked or vaporized properly. Curing, on the other hand, involves storing your buds in closed containers over a period of at least two weeks. This helps develop the flavour and aroma of your buds as they mature.
Get the answers to 9 of the most frequently asked questions about drying and curing cannabis.
By placing individual buds on a drying rack—or hanging entire branches in a drying room—you’ll reduce the water content of your buds by 10–15%. This process removes water from the outer layers of each flower, but you’ll need to cure your stash to rid moisture from deeper within the buds.
The process of growing cannabis does not stop at harvest time. Properly drying and curing your fresh cannabis stash is paramount to prevent mould contamination from taking place. These procedures will also result in buds that taste better and offer a superior high.
Most cannabis plants can sail through a light freeze—28-32°F for up to three hours—with no trouble. But a hard freeze, any lower temps or for longer hours, will most likely spell disaster. Frost damage causes ice crystals to form within plant tissue, damaging their cells.
When trimming scissors slow down due to resin buildup, it’s time to clean them or switch them out with a fresh pair. Keep a rag and a cup with rubbing alcohol handy. The alcohol will help weaken and remove resin, and wiping the blades with a rag will keep them spotless.
There are many types of scissors you can buy; some are spring-loaded, some not. Many people initially go for spring-loaded ones because they feel quicker and more intuitive.
It’s important to note that every gardener has a different opinion on when to harvest their cannabis plants—some like to harvest early while others prefer later. When you harvest can also depend on other factors in life, such as your full-time job, the weather, etc.
Once your plants are ready for harvesting and you have all your equipment, it’s time to chop down your plants.
After harvest, seeds continue to develop during drying and curing and if you pull them out fresh and quickly dried without some more dry and cure they don’t germinate very well. After harvest trim slightly and dump the buds in a humidor box for 12-14 hours for initial cure to even their humidity and prepare for slow dry. Then put them in brown bags for 2-3 days to dry a bit (usually moisture decreases significantly for that time) and then move them back to the humidor box to continue slow dry and cure for about 7-10 days.
So about a month after harvest usually have 99.99% germination rate and store seeds properly tagged in plastic vials with some rice in the frizzer in air-tight containers. Make sure to remove all small bits vegetable matter and grade your seed before storing them.
When RH is about 63-65% inside the humidor and buds are ready for jarring, mature seeds start falling off. At this point start pulling out the seeds gently and chopping the buds on small bits. When all seeds are out, DRY THE HUMIDOR BOX VERY WELL AFTER BUDS ARE JARRED AND PUT THE SEEDS BACK. The point is seeds to dry on lower RH.
There are different opinions and methods about storing your seeds for a long term – in frizzer, refrigerator or room temperature.
SHORTLY: DON’T DRY CANNABIS SEEDS QUICKLY and don’t store them immediately after harvest.