Drying and Curing

Discussion in 'Harvest and Curing' started by Eyes on Fire, May 25, 2015.

  1. Eyes on Fire

    Eyes on Fire Guy Smiley

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    Hi guys n Gals.

    I thought I would pretty much post how I dry and cure my cannabis.its essentially like these posts that Ive taken from various places and mashed them together to imo give a little more comprehensive style in proper drying and curing of buds that I personally like the best.

    Once i cut in various lengths or the whole plant if its smaller generally ,i'll hang dry in a small closet with a cpl rungs on it and a small fan like 4-6 inches sitting on the floor that ill turn on from time to time.i dont let it run all the time.a few hours a day roughly depending on climate ofcourse. and i NEVER NEVER NEVER dry until the stem snaps..Never! if you do imo it'll be far too dry and you'll have small issues compound in your cure if not done close to perfect. sooo before I jar them I typically wait anywhere from a 4-7 day dry.some smaller plants will dry a bit faster,but usually works out ok actually.the more airy the bud the more issues you may develop with faster flash drying so cut down bigtime on airflow the last three days or more.the first few you'll want that air flow in stages or periods throughout the day.when its smaller that typically works well to extend it out to 7 days or so or to get that airy smaller plant to go for 4-5 days and then you'll be ok imo. and then essentially I do much of this.we all develop little tricks and times n methods within this/these systems but all in all this is a great template imo and should serve you well after a cpl tries to truly see and experience whats being talked about here.but it'll work out faster than you think and stop stressing over it man.people IE: YOU tend to make too much of drying and curing.take it easy.imagine your plant is freshly fed,n watered and all happy and dialed in.now you have a several day wait to even think about doing anything.SAME THING HERE!! small closet,small fan in periods if there is a lot of air flow(bigger gaps in door n all that.smaller gap fan can run a lil more frequently. 5 days roughly and test the stem in a different place each time you test it and slowly bend it.when it has resistance and then quickly bends but comes close to or really feels dry and brittle but doesnt snap thats when you clip the smaller buds(popcorn buds will have already been taken and jarred..they dry fast) separate and jar them up with the lovely boveda packs.I use 62% all the time. then you start your daily(twice a day for the first 3-5 days depending on nugget density) and then pretty much follow these steps.it works for me everytime.and remember...some strains treated the saaame exact way will take longer to sweeten up and smooth out.its the strain not you.so relax.once its sealed after the 1.5 - 2 weeks burping its time for the weekly burp and big sleep for the buds. and after a month or even two months in some cases it should really sweeten up and smooth itself out really really nice for you.even if you do it wrong the first time like this it'll still be smoother but might not be as smooth and sweet or smell as awesome but it'll be WAY better than fresh off the vine dry for a week and smoke n choke lol anywho.hope this is helpful for you guys n gals ,cuz it surely works for me.

    NOTE: I am a Living organic grower.so that plays a significant role in my dry and cure over any chem bud.chem buds tend to take a little longer and more burping and slower drying generally speaking.but thats the only way Ive found to have a fair amount of the chemical smell and taste to fall off a little better. Happy Smoking!!


    Curing a cannabis harvest is an important process for anyone who wants to create the highest quality weed they can. It is a fine art that takes a lot of practice and patience to get right, but once you have mastered it you will always have the best possible weed at your disposal.

    It is unlikely you have ever encountered cured weed if you have only ever bought commercially grown harvests - unless you are particularly lucky. You will find that most people who grow to sell will dry their harvests quickly without any curing involved, this is in order to get the fastest turn around possible in order to maximize profit – which is fair enough if you are trying to run a business. There are the odd few commercial growers who do cure, but it is a rare thing. The end result of this though is a product that can often be quite harsh to smoke and have a reduced potency; and whilst it may seem dry on the outside, the fast drying techniques used often leave the rest of the bud overly damp and hard to burn. That is why you will find a connoisseur cultivators own stash is of such a high quality, it has been created for their ultimate enjoyment and has been treated and cured accordingly.

    The curing process takes place after the drying process and allows for a few further things to happen that increase the quality of the bud. Firstly, it gives bacteria time to break down the remaining chlorophyll in the plant matter. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in pretty much any plant and it is a vital component for photosynthesis – the means by which plants create food for themselves. However, Chlorophyll contains magnesium which when burnt in a joint causes the smoke to be sharp and harsh. By curing the weed you remove a lot of this, dramatically increasing the overall quality of the smoking experience.

    The second advantage of curing is that it allows further control of the moisture level of your bud. Drying bud removes water, resulting in a stronger and easy to burn product. However, the drier the bud gets the more it looses its taste and aroma – you need to strike a balance and assess where your priorities lie. By moving your harvest from drying to curing just at the point when it is dry enough to burn, but not burn very well, you gain a finite level of control over just how much moisture in your weed as it finishes.

    There are quite a few curing techniques out there, but it is generally agreed that the following one yields the best overall results. Air tight, glass jars should be used for this process; curing with this apparatus tends to result in the most favorable bud. The bud is placed in these jars and are kept in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. When packing the bud make sure not to compact it. If the THC particles become bunched it will result in a much harder to burn end result. The jars should be opened in the first week every day for a short checkup and a bit of rotation of the buds in the jar. After the first week only open the jar every day for 30 minutes for about 3-4 weeks. This is to allow for the control of moisture levels in the weed by letting the excess moisture escape, as well as resupplying the bacteria breaking down the chlorophyll with more air to use in the process.

    As mentioned, this is seen as quite a fine art and it can be quite easy to accidentally remove too much moisture from your weed or have it so damp to begin with that the curing process is hindered and rendered useless. Should you over-dry your bud it is possible to add in newer bud, and as this continues to lose its own moisture it will moisten the rest of the jar to reach an equilibrium. Some cultivators also add in slices of fruit, such as oranges to increase the levels of moisture in the jar; this also adds its own unique taste to the bud.

    This whole process tends to take a total of four to eight weeks. You will know when it is done when the jars stop “burping” when you open them. This means that the bacteria have stopped dismantling the accessible chlorophyll. After this the bud can pretty much be stored indefinitely, but it will tend to slowly loose THC potency after the eight week mark. However, to minimize this, the bud can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place to slow down the degeneration. It is warmth, light, moisture and air flow that will be your bud's bane.

    This whole process is not technically necessary and can be quite hard to master. Drying is enough to obtain a great smoke, but if you can master curing, then you can take your weed to the next level. It just takes a bit of experimentation and patience, the important thing is to enjoy it and take pride in the end result.



    Drying and Curing[edit]
    Drying and curing marijuana is a critical step in the growth process. During this stage you can lose, preserve, or cultivate odor, flavor, and potency. Odor and flavor must be carefully cultivated. The drying and curing process allow the plant to purge sugar and if desired to purge chlorophyll (although some have developed a taste for the chlorophyll in the plant).

    Improperly dried and cured marijuana can lose almost all of its original potency and lower potency marijuana can be concentrated to slightly higher potency if handled properly. Four things reduce the potency of marijuana; those things are exposure to light, heat, damage to the plant tissue, and air. Additionally, marijuana that is not dried and stored properly can contain too much moisture and grow mold (mould). It is important to remember that many rapid drying techniques will dry only the outside of a compact flower and that slow techniques like curing may be needed to draw that moisture to the surface.

    The virtue in drying and curing as with all stages of marijuana cultivation is patience.

    Air Drying[edit]
    Air Drying is probably the most popular method of drying marijuana. Air drying can be very well controlled. By controlling the amount of airflow, you control the speed of drying. A common technique is to suspend the plants upside down in a room with a circulating fan blowing (but not actually blowing on the plants themselves) in order to keep air moving. Another technique is to put the buds on a half open drawer or tray in a place with moving air. The further along in the drying process the more you close the drawer to reduce airflow.

    A simpler way to dry the marijuana is to put the buds in a layer in a brown paper bag. This is simpler but faster and therefore the output is less desirable.

    The speed in this process is a trade off. If you dry too fast then it will take longer to cure the marijuana properly. If you dry too slowly you will be exposing the marijuana to more air therefore reducing potency. Many growers shoot for about seven days drying time. If you are not going to cure the marijuana the plants should be dried until the stems snap easily rather than bend. If you are going to cure then you can begin with slightly more damp (but still mostly dry) marijuana.

    Dry Ice Drying[edit]
    Because light, heat, and air all degrade potency someone came up with the idea of using a can or other container in a freezer or using a cooler to dry the marijuana using dry ice. Dry ice can be purchased at virtually any supermarket and is simply frozen carbon dioxide gas. In order to avoid injury you should avoid direct contact with your skin.

    By using about the same amount of ice as marijuana you can dry your weed out without exposing it to air or light and certainly not heat! Simply lay down a layer of dry ice, put an insulating layer of breathable cloth over it like a cheesecloth or a simply kitchen towel. Then lay the buds spread out on top of the ice. Make sure there is a way for the gas to escape as the dry ice evaporates.

    Dry ice never becomes liquid, it sublimates directly into a gas form and carries moisture away from your bud when it does. Once all the ice is evaporated your bud should be mostly dry. If not, put a little more ice in and repeat until it is dry.

    Some experiments with this method have suggested that it may be better to remove the marijuana before the ice is completely evaporated, since some condensation will collect in the container adding moisture back (although this moisture will dry more quickly since it is not locked in the cells of the plant).

    Unfortunately, this method causes the trichomes on your marijuana to fall off leaving you with a less potent product.

    Microwave and Oven[edit]
    A microwave and an oven both dry marijuana using heat. You can cover bud between layers of paper towel in a microwave or use an oven on the lowest setting with the door cracked open to dry marijuana but heat will absolutely degrade the potency of your final output dramatically.

    Food Dehydrator Drying[edit]
    Food dehydrators can be used to dry marijuana along with most other materials but are not recommended for this purpose. Food dehydrators use the direct application of rapid air movement and in most models the application of heat to dry materials. As explained previously heat and air will degrade the psychoactive components in the marijuana such as THC.

    Slow Cure[edit]
    Now that your initial drying is over you need to distribute the remaining moisture evenly through the bud because right now its all in the middle. You also want to remove some more of that moisture and the chlorophyll with it.

    The traditional technique is the slow cure. With the slow cure you will put the material into a sealed container such as a glass jar or ceramic jar. Plastic containers aren't recommended as much because they aren't typically as air tight as glass jars or ceramic jars with sealed lids (think the type of jars you might put flour or sugar in) Most growers recommend curing for a minimum of two weeks. You want to fill the jars as much as possible, the less air in the jar the better. Keep the jars at room temperature, never in an overly hot environment. Hot environments can cause the moisture to come out of the marijuana too quickly, which if left unchecked can cause mold or fungus to develop. Once a day for about the first week, with the lids on, shake the jars around to move the buds(they will stick together, trapping the moisture between them) and then open the lid, leaving the lid off for about 1-3 minutes, so that any excess moisture in the jar can evaporate, then re-lid. After about 3 days in the jars, it is recommended to empty all the jars (of the same strain) into a larger container, and re-bottle them. Some buds in the jars will cure faster than others, and there will be more moisture in some jars than in others. By rearranging the buds in the jars, it equalizes the moisture. After the first week of opening once a day, and rearranging at least one time, you can go 2-3 days between opening the jars, but make sure you still do this for at least 2 more weeks. After about 2-3 weeks, you will notice a significant change in the smell inside the jars occurring. It will stop smelling like fresh cut grass or lawn clippings as much, and start smelling sweeter (or possibly spicier, depending on the strain). When you no longer can smell any hint of lawn clippings type of smell (some people also describe this as a putrid swamp smell) then you can be reasonably sure that the marijuana is cured and smokeable. The leaves on the buds maybe lighten up in color during this time also, though not always. The longer you cure it, however, the better the flavor and aroma will become, and typically the less harsh the smoke will be.

    Once you've reached the ideal cure, do not open the jars anymore unless you intend to consume the product, as opening the jars will just continue to dry out the buds.

    During the cure the chlorophyll in the leaves turns to sugars, which is what gives the marijuana its taste and aroma. It also allows the trichomes (the sticky frosty stuff on the leaves and buds) a chance to ripen. Marijuana flowers ripen in much the same way as a tomato might. Think of a green tomato, you wouldn't want to eat it (unless you actually like green tomatoes, but less assume you don't) So you put the green tomato somewhere and leave it for a few weeks, and it turns red, soft, and edible. Bananas do this as well. No one likes green bananas, though they are still edible (just like marijuana is still smokeable) The difference in "ripe" marijuana is that the high will last longer than if you smoke it when it isn't cured. Sometimes you may smoke uncured marijuana and only feel the effects for a very short time, but that same marijuana cured may last for hours when smoked.

    Drying and curing marijuana are VERY different. If you use a "quick dry" method and then smoke it, expect to smoke garbage. You can still cure VERY dry marijuana, but it will be very crumbly when its cured.

    Generally medicinal grade cannabis can be stored for approximately 6 to 12 months before any degradation is noticed as long as it is stored in completely airtight containers, in the dark. DO NOT STORE IT IN THE FREEZER, this could ruin your marijuana.

    Gladware containers, Ziploc bags, and most "airtight" containers other than glass and ceramic should be avoided, as they actually aren't air tight as you think, and will cause quicker degredation of your finished product. Mason jars with tight lids are ideal

    Sweat Cure[edit]
    This is often done in impoverished nations with large commercial crops and is similar to how tobacco is commonly cured. Pile your buds into a pile of alternating layers. Shift around the buds periodically. This will cure and brown the marijuana quickly but is using heat to do it. This technique will reduce potency and helps breed harmful fungus and bacteria. For these reasons it is not recommended. it is also common among Jamaican and Rasta culturistic curing techniques. . .


    Curing Marijuana makes the it stronger and milder to smoke. It also gives the pot the nice smell. Curing is done by controlled fermentation.

    Fresh weed is not very potent itself. Most of the THC is created after the harvest. THC is what makes the user stoned.

    curing marijuana

    Fresh weed also does not smell as nice as matured weed, because the aromatic oils do not express themselves fully yet.

    Curing Marijuana is the process of slowly but controlled drying of the fresh weed. This can be seen as an art form with many variations. It is similar to wine- or cheese-making: It takes some patience and everybody does it a bit different.


    Well I saw some other nice points on other sites but thought it might confuse you ,lol! this should be ample imfo for anyone to use as a temple for my style of drying and curing.I cure for typically assuming I have meds to hold out that is,for about 2 months before i even let ppl check em out.but sometimes I can only push it for a lil over a month and being a Living organics grower,again this lends to being able dry a lil faster for smaller plants and so forth to dry faster and cure a up a little faster and smooth out quicker too.the natural oil profiles mature really really well in organics.
     
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  2. Fantasy Island

    Fantasy Island Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN

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    Very nice breakdown Eyes, and just at the right time. I just cut down my very first and I was nervous as hell!

    But I'm following your guide. Wish me luck.
     
  3. Eyes on Fire

    Eyes on Fire Guy Smiley

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    you should do fine man as long as the air flow aint too high and your numbers are close(aint gotta be exact unlike many think although it does help) and start with cooler temps imo.but either way follow what I said and the guide and find that happy medium between the two as best as ya can towards to ideal numbers and you'll be right as rain in no time.if ya grew chems cool it down right off the start to keep it slow man so it'll dry slower hopefully for a full on 7 days or better watching for molds n things.the ballance is the air flow once your temps and RZh are there.so be patient.every 12 hours after the first cpl days er so is when you'll be able to feel the difference in the texture.they'll be very crispy the larger buds.small popcorns will be taken after just a few short days typically speaking for sampling n so on..good luck dude!! happy stoning LOL!
     
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  4. Fantasy Island

    Fantasy Island Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN

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    Hey Eyes need some help here. So my easy ryder has been drying for 6 days. It is crispy on the outside and the stems are still very flexible but possibly on the verge of snapping. So i put them in a jar with a meter. This was last night and as im writing this its been 19 hours. The Rh is now sitting at 53???? What happened why is it so low? I thought it was going to be to high considering i couldn't snap a stem. The good news is my B62s came in today so i dropped one in the jar.

    PS i only sort of care. She has been my training plant. She still gets me High. But I need to learn from my mistakes and I cant figure out where or if i went wrong.

    Oh yeah My RH in my room is 53

    :pass:
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
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  5. Chester

    Chester Honey Hugger ...

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    You dried them a little too long ... you should have jarred them a couple days ago to allow the moisture that is deep in the buds and stems to move to the outside of the buds ... 53% is not terrible but it's low ... often if you leave them closed up for another day or two the rh will rise a little more ... never be quite as good as it could have been but a good cure comes w/ practice ... as the outer bud dries to where it feels dry I like to jar them for 8-12 hrs and then back into the open air ... sometimes I do this a couple times during a dry and cure ...
    :toke:
     
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  6. Fantasy Island

    Fantasy Island Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN

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    My instincts was to do it a couple of days ago.:doh: I have read what you have said and i couldn't figure out the differences between Dry then jar then check and then drying them some more then jarr again. So I went with the... 1 day per 10 Rh. then add a day. So i went 6 days and also the stems would not even come close to snapping.

    Even after reading Eyes post like 10 times it still didn't register.

    The important thing is I learned. And i just got done chopping my second lady lets see If I do understand:pass:

    Thanks Chester
     
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  7. Chester

    Chester Honey Hugger ...

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    When I first learned to cure I was under the impression that as long as the bud didn't drop below 60% it was fine so I would dry it w/in 3 days to 62% and then wonder why the taste wasn't mellowing the way I wanted and it didn't smell right ... Now I drift the rh down to mid 60's rh over 7-10 days ... I've had weed that was less than a month old taste better/less harsh than stuff that had been curing for months ... properly cured the moisture stays deep w/in the bud for a couple months ... about 3 months in a jar at the right rh is what it takes for the rh to be uniform ... I'll bet you'll get it right w/ the next one.
    :hookah:
     
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  8. AKNorthernlights

    AKNorthernlights Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN

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    It can really help keep a close eye on RH if you use these lids.

    I can put buds in a jar and put on the lid , check back in a half hour and see if its close enough to stay in the jar with the lid on or off, or needs to be taken back out and put back in the bag.


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. paddler54

    paddler54 Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN

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    Aloha AKNL, how's life? What is the brand / manufaturer of those jar lids? They look awesome!
     
  10. Fantasy Island

    Fantasy Island Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN

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    as soon as the meters come in I will be building these.
     

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