When the buds are ready for harvest, the grower's work is not yet done. The cannabis flowers must still go through the drying and curing process to ensure the highest quality in the final product. Properly drying and curing improves the smell and taste of the buds, and the effects feel more potent. It also reduces the harshness of the smoke. If you started with great genetics and have cared for your cannabis plants properly throughout their life, then curing is what makes the difference between "just okay" and buds worthy of winning any trophy. And while you can't cure a badly grown plant, you can certainly ruin a well-developed one, so it's important to get it right.
Why do we cure cannabis?
In the broadest sense, curing cannabis is no different from curing meats, other plants or any other food. It is a preservation technique that aims to make the final product more stable over time. Fresh cannabis flower is prone to the same degradation as any other perishable product, so it must be dried and cured before it goes into the storage jars.