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Drying and Curing for Maximum Terpenes

May 13, 2020

After months of growing, you have finally harvested your plants. Congratulations! Now, to get the full, terpy potential out of your buds, the most important steps lie ahead. Fortunately, drying and curing is one of the easier parts of growing medical cannabis, but it is a vital step to ensure a great flavor and smoking experience. To get the tastiest weed in the garden, you need to cure. To get weed you can smoke, you need to dry. 

Drying

Drying is the process of allowing the water inside the buds to evaporate, leaving you smokable marijuana. Properly drying requires touching the flowers as little as possible. Doing so can reduce the potency of the buds. Expect to see the buds shrink a fair amount throughout the dry, as they will lose 65-70% of their water weight during this time. Missouri winters will require adding moisture, while summers may mean taking moisture away depending on the conditions in your setup.

The key to drying is to go gradually and slowly. Quick drying methods can reduce potency and flavor. For instance, cutting off buds from their branch can increase drying speed, but may not yield optimal results. Remember to avoid lighted areas throughout the drying and curing process. Light easily breaks down THC and reduces potency. You may choose to use your flower chamber for drying, as it should not allow in light, has fans for air flow and a carbon filter to keep the smell from spreading to the neighbors.

For a slow, tasty drying method, hang whole branches from a clothesline using clothespins or place onto a drying rack. The entire drying process will take approximately 5 to 10 days depending on your strain and environmental conditions. On the first day, maintain relative humidity (RH) levels around 50-55%. Gradually decrease humidity over the next few days, ending around 45-50%. Once you can break, or snap, a stem cleanly, the cannabis is ready to begin curing.

Curing

Curing helps ensure great tasting marijuana. This process will take 3-4 weeks. Feel free to take samples throughout the process to compare with the final product. Put the bud in Mason jars and add a moisture packet. To be more precise, you can even add a hygrometer to measure humidity. The ideal humidity during cure is somewhere between 60-70%, with many growers finding 62% to be the sweet spot. It is important to allow the bud to receive fresh air and lower humidity throughout this process, so “burp” the jars every day for about 30 minutes. 

After a few weeks, you will be ready to blast off with your ultra-potent, mouth-watering marijuana.