Drying and Curing Cannabis Buds – What You Need to Know
After you harvest the buds from your cannabis plants, they're not quite ready for use. You still have a few weeks for the drying/curing phase. This simple guide will help you ensure that you have great flavor along with nicely groomed and tight buds.
Preparing for Drying
First, cut the buds off of your plant. Next, trim away excess (sugar) leaves. You can set these aside and use them to cook with. From there, prepare a drying space. You can either use drying racks or hang strong rope or wire from the ceiling. Buds need to dry upside down in hung fashion.
💡If your buds already feel really dry, leave a few extra main leaves on to slow the drying process down.
Maintaining Proper Drying Conditions
Just as with the growing process, your cannabis drying room has to be at the optimal temperature and humidity. The temperatures should be right around 70°F (21°C), but not less and no more than 75°F (24°C). The humidity should not exceed more than 50%. Higher humidity may cause buds to mold as they dry, which makes them unusable.
Higher humidity can also leave moisture in the buds, which may not grind well for use in joints or pipes/bongs. It also won’t burn well either.
The drying process takes between 3 and 7 days. You can start drying your buds while they’re still attached to the plant (just before harvest) by reducing the humidity in the grow space. Be careful to not reduce the humidity too much or you’ll end up with crumbly buds that turn to dust because they’ll be over dried.
You will know that your buds are perfectly dried when the small stems snap easily.
Curing starts the moment you cut your buds off of the plant. Curing takes from 1 to 3 weeks. When you start the curing process, the buds should be placed in mason jars and should be labeled. Don’t pack your jars too much though; the buds still need room to breathe.
If the space, buds or outdoor weather conditions make your buds too dry, you’ll end up with crumbly, crunchy buds. The right relative humidity inside your curing jars should be 60 to 65%.
How do you make sure the humidity is right inside the mason jars? Use Caliber IV Hygrometers. They fit perfectly inside quart-size jars. If these aren’t an option, you can also use humidipacks from Boveda. You’ll want the medium 62% packs.
During the curing phase, you’ll want to open the jars (burping them) every day and move the buds around. Make sure your jars are labeled. Each jar should contain three-quarters to 1.25 ounces of cannabis buds only. Don’t pack them full -- jars should only be three-quarters of the way full. Don’t use larger jars either, this promotes mold growth.
When you open the jars daily, shake the buds around. If they are still sticking together, they’re not ready yet. When your buds are ready, they won’t stick together. Make sure to move the buds around every day when you open the jar to put fresh air back inside with the curing buds.
Growing cannabis takes a lot of patience and attention to detail. If you find that your buds end up too dry, you can add some moisture back by using citrus peels.
Whatever citrus fruit you choose is what your cannabis will taste like. I prefer oranges because it is a pleasant flavor and lasts longer than other citrus peels. Be conservative with the amount of citrus peels here -- you probably only want to use one 2-inch citrus peel per eighth of cannabis though, otherwise, it’ll mold and get ruined.