The drying and curing stages of marijuana cultivation are essential for ensuring a long-lasting, quality product. This process is crucial for retaining and developing cannabinoids and terpenes, which are directly responsible for the bud’s potency and flavor.
Drying of the buds takes place immediately after harvest. Freshly harvested cannabis contains too much moisture to be ignited and smoked, which is arguably the most important step in the production line.
Before the bud can be dried, it needs to be trimmed. There are two types of processes for trimming: dry trimming and wet trimming.
The former method involves letting the buds dry on the stem prior to being trimmed. The latter requires trimming the buds first and moving them elsewhere to be dried. Both processes have their pros and cons.
Either way, the drying period itself should never be overlong or under. Doing either risks mold development, which will ruin a cannabis crop irrevocably.
Typically, drying can take anywhere from 2-7 days, depending on the strain and size of the yield. For wet-trimmed buds, this period will be even shorter, as there is less plant material to dry. When wet trimming, you must place your buds on a drying rack or in a hanging drying net.
Drying Room: Setup
For a good drying room setup, you’ll need to consider these key elements:
Each of these factors plays a crucial role in this delicate process. The temperature should always be kept at 60 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity should be kept at relative levels of 55% to 65%, which you can monitor with a hygrometer.
As for lighting, keep it dark. Prolonged UV exposure can degrade cannabis over time, so block out any potential light source.
The room itself should be something you can control the temperature of easily. Know that larger rooms will make this more difficult. Also, be aware that the room can’t experience considerable fluctuations in temperature from day to night, as this is a crucial cause of mold.
You’re still going to need the right equipment, so here are some of the basics:
- Drying rack/drying line
- AC unit
After all that, you still need to cure your buds before they can be savored. The curing process is the final step, and it’s here that all of your efforts are fully realized. The remaining moisture in the center of the buds is slowly drawn out, which allows the flavorful terpenes and cannabinoids to build up on the exterior trichome glands.
Many of these terpenes are quite sensitive and will degrade and evaporate at temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to curing, patience is key.
For curing, you’ll need some airtight jars and a dark, cool place for storing. Simply fill the jars ¾ of the way, and regularly check for two to four weeks.
Voila! You may now savor to your heart’s content the fruits of your labor. Enjoy!