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How to Dry and Cure Cannabis for Optimal Shelf Life

How to Dry and Cure Cannabis for Optimal Shelf Life

After your crops have gone through every stage of growth in the cannabis plant cycle, the last steps are harvesting, drying, and curing. Harvesting marijuana is relatively straightforward, but drying and curing weed can be somewhat tricky. Still, these processes are crucial because they help preserve and accentuate the flavors of your buds by retaining terpenes and cannabinoids. 

This guide explores what you need to know when drying and curing marijuana for optimum shelf life. It covers everything from the techniques used in curing and drying marijuana to how long it takes to dry cannabis and cure marijuana buds. There are also some insightful tips for growing weed to help you get the best results possible. 

How to Dry Cannabis

Drying marijuana is the first step in preserving cannabis. It involves removing moisture from the plant material. Although it may seem simple enough, there are a few vital factors to consider when drying cannabis. Here are the steps you should follow to learn how to dry weed.

  1. Step 1: Harvest your cannabis plants when ready and trim away excess leaves and larger branches. You can also use the trimmed branches as cannabis clones for easier cultivation the next time you grow weed.
  2. Step 2: Hang the trimmed plants upside-down in a dark room that’s well-ventilated. Maintain a temperature of between 15-21°C and about 45-55% relative humidity.
  3. Step 3: Allow proper airflow by spacing out the hanging plants, ensuring they do not touch each other.
  4. Step 4: Monitor the drying environment closely to ensure everything is perfect. Furthermore, you can use a dehumidifier or fan to maintain the ideal conditions unless you prefer a minimalist weed growing and drying technique. 

How long does it take to dry cannabis?

It typically takes anywhere from 7 to 14 days to dry cannabis completely. Even so, drying time can be influenced by several various factors. These include temperature, humidity, airflow, and the size of your buds. You’ll know your cannabis is ready for the next stage when the smaller branches snap rather than bend when you apply pressure.

How to Cure Weed

Curing is the second stage in preserving cannabis. It involves locking your dried cannabis in airtight containers to stop the loss of moisture from the buds. This process enhances the flavor and aroma of your weed and maximizes your products’ shelf life. Here are the steps to follow when curing cannabis. 

  1. Step 1: Once your cannabis is dry, trim the buds from the larger branches and discard any remaining stems or leaves.
  2. Step 2: Place the trimmed buds in airtight glass jars. Fill the jar to about ¾ full to allow space for air circulation.
  3. Step 3: After that, seal the jars and keep them in a cool, dark place. Maintain a temperature around 20°C and about 55-65% relative humidity.
  4. Step 4: Open the jars once a day for about 15 to 20 minutes during the first week to replenish the air inside. This process is called “burping” the jars.
  5. Step 5: After the first week, reduce the burping frequency to once every few days.

How long does it take to cure cannabis?

The curing process for cannabis plants usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. Several factors come into play when determining how long it takes to cure weed. Therefore, experts recommend curing for 4 to 8 weeks or even to get the best results. The longer you cure your cannabis, the more complex and refined its flavors and aromas will become.

The Bottom Line 

Whether you cultivate marijuana indoors or outdoors, drying and curing cannabis is essential. These two processes are crucial for achieving optimal shelf life and preserving the plant’s desirable characteristics. By carefully controlling the environment and allowing adequate time for these processes, you can be sure of getting high-quality and long-lasting cannabis products.

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