drying marijuana
Growing Marijuana

How To Cure Your Marijuana Harvest

drying curing marijuana harvest

After you’ve harvested your marijuana crop, you are very close to finally reaping your reward. Of course, you can’t just immediately roll up a few buds and start toking. More work needs to be done before you can really enjoy the fruits of your labor. The harvested marijuana plants need to be dried and cured before you can really call it a job well done. If you don’t properly cure your crop, you may be looking at some damaged plants or even an entire crop that becomes useless. For personal growers, it’s also important to cure plants because you can preserve them and make the yield last for an entire year.

The main reason you might cure your plants after harvesting is because mold can infect one plant and spread to the entire yield. Of course, mold thrives in moist conditions and the marijuana plants will generally be rather moist right after harvest. Most growers like to hang their crop upside down to get them dry. They don’t necessarily have to be hung upside down, but it is certainly much more convenient that way. This drying technique is simply called “air-drying” and is the preferred mode of desiccation. It allows the plants to maintain their flavorful tastes and pleasant aromas while also not exposing them to some harsher drying techniques.

When air-drying, it’s important to not let the plants get too dry. If the leaves start to become very dry and crusty then you may have gone too far. For the best smoke, you need to make sure that the plant is just moist enough to be flexible but dry enough to not get any mold. This takes a little practice, but over time you will figure out exactly what buds give you the best taste.

Of course, air-drying isn’t the only option. If you really want to fast-cure your buds, then microwaves are really the next best option. Although they have a tendency to overheat the bud, microwaves at least give you the ability to sample some of your crop right after it’s been harvested. It’s important to first take any seeds out of the buds to make sure that they don’t explode in the microwave. You also must be aware that the irradiated heat may detract from the pleasantness or the potency of the smoke. In this way, you might be getting a sample of your crop, but it might not be the best sample you could imagine. Want to know more about growing marijuana? Get a free guide about growing marijuana at this link here.

When curing your crop, patience is the key. If you can wait long enough for the plants to air-dry, then you’ll be rewarded smooth, delicate, and potent buds that will get you high every time. Other methods for curing the plants are less effective and potentially more risky. For instance, using a conventional oven or a skillet to dry the buds takes longer and potentially reduces the potency of the THC. Whatever method you choose, it’s always important to cure the buds, if only to ensure that you’ll have a supply at least until the next harvest.

Buy quality marijuana seeds at this link here.

 

  • moldy

    Here’s a little more on curing. The gent is named Simon and he posted this in a forum. It works quite nicely. ;-)

    This method is particularly effective for folks who are starting out, those looking to maximize quality in a shorter period of time, and folks who’s like to produce a connoisseur-quality product each and every time with no guesswork involved.

    It’s a very simple and effective process:

    Cut the product, trim it per your preference, but don’t dry
    it until the stems snap. Take it down while the stems still have some flex, but the product feel dry on the outside. This is a perfect opportunity to drop the dry-feeling flowers onto a screen and collect prime-quality kief that would otherwise get lost in the jar.

    Jar the product, along with a Caliber III hygrometer. One
    can be had on Ebay for ~$20. Having tested a number of hygrometers – digital and analog – this model in particular produced consistent, accurate results. The Hydroset/Xikar hygrometers are also recommend after calibration. Then, watch the readings:

    +70% RH – too wet, needs to sit outside the jar to dry for
    12-24 hours, depending.

    65-70% RH – the product is almost in the cure zone, if you
    will. It can be slowly brought to optimum RH by opening the lid for 2-4 hours.

    60-65% RH – the stems snap, the product feels a bit sticky,
    and it is curing.

    55-60% RH – at this point it can be stored for an extended
    period (3 months or more) without worrying about mold. The product will continue to cure.

    Below 55% RH – the RH is too low for the curing process to
    take place. The product starts to feel brittle. Once you’ve hit this point, nothing will make it better. Adding moisture won’t restart the curing process; it will just make the product wet. If you measure a RH below 55% don’t panic.
    Read below:

    Obviously, the product need time to sweat in the jar. As
    such, accurate readings won’t be seen for ~24 hours, assuming the flowers are in the optimal cure zone. If you’re curing the product for long-term storage, give the flowers 4-5 days for an accurate reading. If the product is sill very wet, a +70% RH reading will show within hours. If you see the RH rising ~1% per hour, keep a close eye on the product, as it’s likely too moist.
    Thanks Mr. Simon!

    • painkills2

      “This is a perfect opportunity to drop the dry-feeling flowers onto a screen and collect prime-quality kief that would otherwise get lost in the jar.”

      Why would the kief get lost in the jar? And, for short-term storing of my medicine, will the product lose more kief in a jar or a plastic bag? Or is there any difference, really?

      • Don

        Tricomes will stick to the sides of the jars. Jars are the best form of storage for both long and short term.

        • painkills2

          So, is part of my medicine (trichomes) collected on a screen, making kief, before the buds reach me through the dispensary?

          • guest

            good possibility of that.

          • painkills2

            Doesn’t sound fair…

    • AZMedicalBud

      Great post Moldy, and informative.
      Get the new model Caliber IV hygrometer.

      http://www.amazon.com/CALIBER-DIGITAL-HYGROMETER-CIGAR-HUMIDOR/dp/B00A9W41GI/ref=pd_sim_misc_3

  • Jamie Guest

    Always proves to be very difficult for me in AZ Any pointers? Sorry but i’m not microwaving it either

    • Sarijuana

      Hi Jamie – you and I are lucky here in the desert, that mold won’t usually be a problem for us. We have followed the directions to in a book called “Grow Great Marijuana” by Logan Edwards. The book was a present and has proved to be a simple easy read full of common sense. We harvested at the end of Sept. Dried upside down in the shed for about a week. We didn’t trim them first, and that was because we are an inn and had guests. Don’t do that. It is harder to do later, although it still was a fun thing. We hung them with plenty of air around them, and for about a week. The slower dry time is desired, and that can be the hard part in the desert. We actually trimmed off a bud a few weeks before to test how long it would take to dry out in the open. Highly recommend doing that.

      Then we brought them in, spread them out on a tablecloth and began the trim session. It took a long time. Crank up the music and get to work. Have extra scissors and be sure to scrape and save the stickies on them. Do that often along the way. At this point the larger stems could crack and snap apart, the buds were still a little more limber. Next was the curing….and this was even more important. We cured in 1 and 2 qt tupperware type tubs that were cleaned, sterilized and thoroughly dried, especially the seals.

      We filled the containers loosely leaving LOTS of air, and burped them daily letting out the old air, checking for bad odors of mold or ammonia, and letting in new air. We did this for a bit more than two weeks, or until the bud stems would snap easily. Then they were sorted more carefully and put in sterilized mason-type jars. The process went perfectly and I am soooo glad to live in an area with a dry climate.

      Now, every time we open a jar the aroma is unbelievable and the buds are perfectly spongy. Dry enough to smoke yet wet enough you can squeeze them and they don’t crumble to dust.
      On a side note…my husb was not as careful a trimmer as I, and the jars of stuff he trimmed has a grape-like scent and taste. The stuff I processed smells quite different, more citrus and the taste is more floral and citrus-like. I don’t think people realize the importance of curing properly. It make a big, serious difference in the final product. I truly believe that what is out there on the black market is named for whatever it ends up looking, smelling and rating like and there isn’t much integrity there. Same for some dispensaries. AND great genetics matter not if you’re gonna fudge it along the way with bad nutrients and improper curing. We have NO idea of the genetics of our volunteer seed that came from a bag of store-bought trim, but what we got was heaven scent! (mispelled on purpose)
      You know where to find me, girl!

      • Jamie Guest

        Thanx Sari great to hear from you here! I am looking at 3 to 5 weeks from now for harvest and i only have inside with AC and gas heat. should i add a low humidifier to help?…last time i found it was brittle in 3 or 4 days i couldn’t leave it hanging for more than 2 days it seems or it dusts up on me. last time was ok but that was a summer harvest it sure wasn’t gorgeous as it should have been

        • sarijuana

          If it snaps at the stalk like i mentioned, then you really can move on to the next step. Ref AC can take moisture out of the air, (thats why I love the swamp cooler) so if you want to slow down the first stage of drying, go ahead and try the humidifier but be sure it doesnt get too swampy and make sure it’s clean before you start.

  • Humboldt Billy

    Trim the leaves off, place the buds flat not touching on a piece of news paper, or screen or paper plates. You can also hang the buds using dental floss. If you have a dehumidifier place it in the room and turn it to the lowest setting. After 5 to 7 days some of the stems will be dry enough to snap. Place in a jar and open daily for 3 to 4 hours a day. For a quicker cure place the buds in a paper bag. Do not pack the jars tight , it can cause mold. When bugs ignite in a bowl with out having to keep the lighter on them they are ready.

  • mlc

    Are soil meander products truly organic

  • mlc

    I place my trimmed budz in a box with lots of drilled holes on all four sides with no holes on the bottom .I then place my boxes in a closet with a fan.l check them every day and fluff them “gentle” up , making sure they don’t have moisture on the bottom of the inside of the box. After five to seven days. I check to see if they are dry by bending the “bud” stalk.if it bends , I leave it to dry a little longer until the stalk “breaks” the bud may “feel” a little “wet” but is should come off the stalk easy and burn like paper when lit and smoked. I then test a few more budz stalks and if they break.I then place the rest of the budz in a glass or ceramic jars with the flip top for curing and for the first month in the jars I open the jars for 30minutes to an hour to let any moisture out and to keep it from molding . This also improve smells, flavor, ps keep boxes and jars in a cool dark place and maintain “air” around your boxers. ..

  • Kore Walters

    wow.. I hate to say it, but this is about the most non informative article I’ve ever seen on curing your weed. No mention is made of how to cure, though the author spends a whole paragraph on the dubious method of drying your buds in a microwave, which is about the worst possible way to dry your bud even in an emergency. I notice you hawk your book, but make no mention of any single method of curing or even what curing is about. Its is not just about drying!

    • reefer

      so just how does one “hawk” something thats free?

      • Kore Walters

        it’s called ego gratification that someone is listening to your book! Don’t you see that there are other rewards than cash?

  • OG BOND

    Hanging only if the temp isnt too hot and where some air circulation can occur. Boxes with 1/4″ screens or any enclosed breathable spot with a small fan circulating from below only till the main most fiberous stems snap.Getting to this stage without over drying the buds lies the challenge when developing your system. Then as soon as the more dense stems snap into glass jars a third or half full for a week to three opening and gently turning the buds within once or twice allowing stale air to escape and the quality of the cannabinoids the terpens as well as the flavor will benefit!!!

  • AZMedicalBud

    Worst advise I you have ever posted Johnny. I have always enjoyed reading your threads, but this is going to lead folks in the wrong direction.
    Microwave ??? REALLY ???
    We cure our medicine after properly drying for 4 to 12 weeks in sealed glass Mason jars. “Burping” twice a day for the first week, then once a day for the remainder of the cure.
    Just like fine wine, the curing process is the most important part of the grow cycle, second only to the genetics one starts with.

    • Sarijuana

      “the curing process is the most important part of the grow cycle”

      Absolutely, and even if you have fabulous genetics, if you miss the mark on this, why bother to go to all the trouble.

  • Sko Hayes

    I’ve tried different ways of drying, usually done in the garage, hanging on lines with a fan on a timer to come on a few times a day. I’ve also used paper grocery sacks, where the drying takes a bit longer, but rarely gets too dry. I’m lucky to live in a low humidity environment, so before it dries completely, I’ll place the bud in mason jars and then air them out for a few more days. Once completely dry, tighten the lids down, place in a cool,dark area and leave alone for at least a month to cure.

  • Rob

    Hey Johnny,

    I used to enjoy this blog, now that you have this hack(Robert Bergman) on your staff writing like an cop trying to mess peoples crops up, I have become less and less enamored with this site.

    As far as curing goes Simon’s method is the best method I have come across in the last 20 years of my growing experience. I am not sure if you are getting proceeds from that worthless rag that Robert bergman hawks on your site or if he is like your best friend, but after suffering through most of his tripe it is clear he has no business instructing people how to grow/harvest marijuana.

    2b2s

    • painkills2

      Growers and ego — can’t have one without the other. Isn’t there room for all methods? What might work for you, might not work for others.

      • Rob

        well all i can say is you can go and follow this “Free Advice” and mess up all the good work you may have done, questionable if you followed this hacks advice. you would be far better off taking a paid horticulture class than relying on poor free advice.

        2b2s

        • painkills2

          A horticulture class is good advice, for those who can afford it.

          • Kore Walters

            reading a book would tell you more then this stupid article

          • painkills2

            I would hope so. :)

          • Rob

            can you say Pell Grant? If you are going to be caregiving for a sick patient, it is your duty to take the necessary horticulture and Plant Biology classes to make you understand what makes a plant do what it does. When you are working from a scientific point of view , you can see that microwaving your bud is going to vaporize your thc and all other terpenes leaving you with expensive plant material.

            Any money spent on higher education can and should be viewed as an investment in yourself.

            2b2s

          • painkills2

            Actually, I don’t know much about Pell grants. I mean, I know they exist, but how hard are they to get?

            I don’t think this article was advocating microwaving your bud, but I would think that some people in reduced circumstances may have to resort to such techniques. Of course, if they don’t work, one would hope that they don’t try it again. Since I don’t have a microwave, it doesn’t really apply to me personally.

            If your money isn’t being spent at a for-profit college with no credentials, then it could be considered an investment. It’s just that I don’t know too many people who have any disposable income for investments, personal or otherwise.

            I am in awe of growers, as it is all too scientific for me. I frequently get lost, especially since I need to be hands-on to really learn. So, kudos to you, and all the others who are working for their patients, and not just for profit. I fear your breed is fast disappearing…

    • reefer

      hey at least give the guy credit-hes tryin to teach ppl to grow cannabis-and share the knowledge for free. i may not have learnd anything new from Robert B., but id bet his work has helped quite a few achieve their first crop.

  • Jamie Guest

    Thanks people! I’ll let you know if the party is @ my house :)

    • painkills2

      Maybe, at the harvest party, personal growers can figure out how to bottle the fragrance of, say, my favorite strain. That way, I can always access the memory, even if I don’t have the bud.

      I don’t know how that would work, a bunch of potheads at a harvest party trying to figure out this bottling process, but in my imagination, it’s a really fun time. :)

      • Jamie Guest

        I sure do wish you could see the get-together @ the 420 market in Phx on 1st & 3rd Saturdays. WOW! there is some stuff in there I’d sure rub on my neck! It’d probably bring in the predators though hahaha Just tables and tables of fine concoctions and goodies! That bottling at home process in AZ could land ya in jail tho since they don’t understand that Cannabis is Marijuana in all of its versions and varieties. They say we legalized marijuana flowers not cannabis oils i guess? dumb dumb dumb would love to battle these skin cancers with it but i’m “not allowed” evidently.

        • painkills2

          Wikipedia says that Walmart is AZ’s biggest employer — bummer. Here, this will make you feel better (photo also from Wikipedia). This is the entrance to Arizona from New Mexico on I-10.

          • painkills2

            Well, that one makes me feel better, how about this one for you? (Also from Wikipedia.)

          • Jamie Guest

            where exactly are these walmart employees? i know when i go any time of day there are 3 cashiers with 9 people in the line! ROFLMAO I don’t think i’ve ever seen these workers wiki speaks of!

          • painkills2

            That’s because Walmart makes one person do the job of two or three. Anyway, Walmart’s stuff is crap. Keeps falling apart, then you have to buy it again, and then it falls apart — endless loop of junk.

          • Jamie Guest

            No worries for me I only have money for TP and Catfood usually LOL haven’t purchased clothing in 20 some odd years. There’s always a teenie-bopper growing out of their clothing to give me…how sad is that? again ROFL

          • painkills2

            Holes in my clothing? So what. Just more room for the air. :D

          • Jamie Guest

            Look closely you can almost see the lack of oxygen! Get some Hemp growing up in this barren wasteland! …. Wait is that a border patrol sitting there waiting? hahaha thanx PK

          • painkills2

            Border patrol? Or, could it be Mulder and Scully?
            (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I’m done now, promise.)

          • Jamie Guest

            If that’s Graham or Greenlee county it’s probably Roscoe P Coltrain & Boss Hogg! hahaha ok i’m done now too

  • Dr. Clone

    What old Johnny isn’t telling you is: 1) Make sure there is no light exposure to drying buds. 2) Never dry in an environment where there is no air circulation. No wooden boxes with a few holes in it! 3) Hanging upside down versus laying on a screen makes ZERO difference in the final outcome. 4) NEVER MICROWAVE!!!!! Dry in an oven that is no more than 100 degrees. This can speed the process considerably, but not make it immediately accessible. You spent over 3 months nurturing and tending this baby, do you really want to waste some? 5) Never dry in an environment with over 50% humidity, as it will never really dry. 10%-30% humidity is optimal. 6) Never dry in environment that is below 70 degrees. The cold will cause lots of problems. 7) Let the material dry until they feel dry, but still soften up ever so slightly when bagged. In a good environment the whole process should take about 5 days 8) Remember to never dry it completely as it will turn to dust when you try to grind it. 9) ALWAYS enjoy it!!!!!!!

  • painkills2

    ..

  • Jamie Guest

    No dudes here ever! sorry

  • painkills2

    NSA Protest Day — not much, but it’s all we got.

  • painkills2

    Sometimes, memes are fun…

  • painkills2

    Okay, memes are ALWAYS fun…