One of the most crucial parts of growing cannabis is the drying process. While you may be anxious to check out what you have grown, you will have to wait a few weeks before it is ready to be used.
There are certain things you have to do during the curing process to ensure that it will stay fresh for as long as possible, and taste the way you want it to. Here’s a look at what goes into drying your buds, so they can be perfect each and every time.
The drying process should be started once your plants have made large enough buds that you are happy with, or have been grown for the correct amount of time, according to the strain you’re using.
This involves the plants being cut and hung upside down, in much the same way that you may dry flowers to preserve them.
There are a few different ways you can dry them, but many opt for simply hanging them on coat hangers or a clothesline. The buds must be allowed to dry for at least 2 weeks, but you can let them dry out a little bit longer than that if you want.
This is really the preferred method if you are growing a lot of plants, since you may not have the space to do it any other way. The other methods are really for growing smaller yields and for keeping for a long time.
Although the whole process can be called drying or curing, there are those that think there as slight differences in the two. The process of curing is up to the grower, since there are probably certain things you want to do during this time, which other people may not deem necessary.
It’s a good idea to put some thought into it and do some research to figure out which steps are mandatory and which aren’t before you start the process, so you do everything right the first time.
In order to make sure that the buds cure properly, it’s a good idea to trim off the extra leaves, especially the large ones, before you start to dry them. This saves you time because you won’t have to pick those things out later on after they’ve dried.
At that time, they will have shrunk and may not be as easy to get rid of. These large leaves are not designed to be smoked or used, so they would definitely affect the taste and quality of your product, and can even keep them from effectively drying out.
In other words, you can’t downplay properly pruning leaves when you start the drying process.
On the flip side, you must also prune the plants when they are done drying. This is to get rid of any tiny leaves or other things that will affect the overall product or that you don’t want in your buds. At this time, you can think about how you want to store your cannabis as well.
More curing options
Besides the initial drying, some growers opt to continue curing it for a long time after it’s completed its drying cycle, and they can do this in several different ways. Either way is acceptable, but they are also not something that you absolutely must try, unless you want to.
The first way is through letting it dry for a longer amount of time in something like a large net basket. You can simply hang them from the ceiling or up high, in order to let your product dry out in a more uniform manner.
Remember that this isn’t good for the first drying process, since there will be excess moisture that can stay on one side of the plant if it isn’t suspended, which would leave a wet side and a dry side to each of your buds; you don’t want that to happen.
Another way that some experts swear by is using large jars. You will have to have these jars ahead of time, along with a few other supplies.
For example, while your buds are in the jars, you will have to keep the humidity and temperature levels in a proper range. You can read about the proper ranges on web sites dedicated to growing to learn more.
There are essentially two ways to use these jars. One way is to keep them open for a while until your buds are dry enough to keep the lid closed. This is the method where you’ll have to make sure that the temperature and humidity are at the proper level.
After the buds are dry enough, you simply put the lids on the jars and keep them in a dry and cool area for a few weeks. Every couple of days or so, roll the jar around and then open up the lid and make sure that the product smells right.
This also allows oxygen to enter the jar, which is part of the process. After a few weeks, you can simply store the jars until you are ready to use the buds without having to do any other work.
If you intend to store them for longer than a few weeks, you might want to consider placing them in airtight containers or sealing them in shrink-wrapped vessels to ensure that the quality stays the same.
The other method is to purchase special packs that can be placed inside the jars that take away the excess humidity. This will make sure that the buds are not too wet and will continue to dry out properly in the jars.
This procedure may take some getting used to however, so you might want to look into it extensively before you try it for yourself.
You may want to try to dry your cannabis quicker than you should, and have read a lot of stories where people did so with positive results. However, this is really not a good idea. You should take your time with this step, since you can keep your buds for a very long time when they are dried the correct way.
A lot of things can go wrong if you try to use a microwave or some other type of device to try to dry your buds, since there is a bit of a science to getting it just right.
You could end up destroying the quality and taste if you try to do something hasty, so refrain from trying something that’s outside the norm. You will need to have the proper time devoted to the drying and curing process, since it is so important to the end product.
Otherwise, you may have wasted all of the time it took to grow your plants, which would be a terrible waste.
The learning curve
You likely won’t be able to use all these techniques the first time, or even know where to get some of the items you would need to do so. This is a good thing, since you should first learn how to dry your plants the conventional way before learning some of the other tricks that people like to use.
You can leave your buds on a clothesline for a few weeks or longer, especially if you can keep the humidity and temperature at bay, so there’s not much incentive to deviate until you know you have that process down frontwards and backwards.
Another thing for you to keep in mind is where you are drying your buds. Even if you’re growing outside, you may want to go indoors when it comes to drying, so you can be sure that there isn’t a lot of humidity in the air.
You are better able to control things when you do this indoors, and there is a lower chance that bugs or mites will be on your cannabis as it dries.
There is not really a lot to learn when it comes to drying and curing your buds, but the process has to be completed in the proper manner. Many growers simply hang it from the ceiling, while others cure it longer using large jars.
Both methods work well, no matter what purposes you’re growing it for, so it’s up to you to learn all the tips and trick. This can help you decide for yourself which method you feel comfortable with.
Always remember that cannabis buds should be dried for at least 2 weeks and can be dried for a longer amount of time. If they are dried in jars, they can dry more slowly, over the course of about a month or so.
However, there is no good way to speed up that process, so refrain from trying to find shortcuts. It is a very important aspect of making sure that your product is of a good quality and will be useful, so it should be given all the respect and time that it requires.