Drying and curing marijuana buds
After harvesting our marijuana plants, the drying process begins. Drying your plants - along with curing the flowers once dried - is one of the most important steps to get first class buds.
We could say that, at the moment of harvesting, only half the work has been done. The following steps have the same importance than the nutrients used or the number of light hours received by our plants.
These are the correct steps to properly dry and cure our cannabis buds to keep at most their organoleptic and psychoactive properties.
Trimming means removing all fan leafs from the plants, leaving only the small leafs covered with resin glands. It is better to do this just after harvesting the plant, although many growers remove the bigger leafs some days before harvesting, during the last days of life of the plant.
Let's see a video about how to trim your buds:
Drying cannabis plants
Once we have removed all fan leafs from the plants, we must find a dry, fresh and dark place - slightly ventilated - to properly dry them. We can either hang our plants from strinks or use modern drying nets , available in any specialized shop. This process should take 1-2 weeks, depending on environmental conditions. The slower the process, the better the drying of our plants, for we will mantain their organoleptic properties intact. You can leave the buds attached to the stems of the branches to slower the drying process.
As you can see on the picture above, grow tents are often used by growers to dry their buds in drying nets. They ensure a dark place where environmental conditions can be more easily controlled, apart from the fact that most grow tents have an air extraction system connected to a carbon filter, which means no unwanted odours will escape the tent (keep in mind that the smell of drying cannabis may be really intense).
The ideal temperature during this process should be around 20ºC, and you should always try not to exceed it; otherwise, the most volatile terpenes will probably evaporate, resulting in milder flavour and sore throat. A relative humidity of 50% is perfect to properly dry your buds and maintain their texture and aroma.
Check this video to know how to dry and cure your buds:
The curing process
When your buds are dry enough (the small stems will break off when bending them) you can proceed with the last - but crucial - stage, the curing process. TO do it, you just need some containers to store your buds, from cardboard or wooden boxes to the more professional C-Vault containers.
One of the most popular options are 00Box boxes, which ensure optimal conditions for a correct curing process. Simply put the buds inside the chosen container, close the lid and keep it in a dark, dry place. The ideal is to open it a few minutes every day during the first weeks. After the first days inside the curing box, it may seem that buds have increased their humidity level; this happens because plant material releases some humidity when sealed inside the container, which remains inside the curing box and is absorbed again by the buds.
If your buds have dried too much, put some fresh plant leaves in the container with the flowers and they'll absorb the humidity released by the leaves in some hours. The curing process takes 1-3 weeks; when your buds are crunchy again, you can start enjoying your top grade buds!