Well, the world has really gone to pot…
Anyway! I’m sure you’re glad to be in lockdown as it is time to dry and cure your cannabis.
This is the last step on a very long journey. So, don’t rush it! If done correctly you can increase the potency. Yeah, now you’re willing to listen.
Right, Some Cannabis Science!
So, your cannabis plant produces tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and other cannabinoids. They produce these compounds through a process called biosynthesis, which is a fancy way of saying things turn into other things.
Right, so THCA is still produced on bud, even when it is chopped off the plant. When you’ve harvested your cannabis, make sure to keep the temperature of the drying room between 15℃ – 21℃, and at a humidity level of between 45-55%.
Now that you know the science let’s share the basics. But first a little about trimming methods.
This is when the bud is freshly harvested. It is easier to remove all sugar leaves, as they are still rigid and straight.
Also, this method allows the buds to puff out and if you live in a humid area lessens the chances of mould developing between the bud and stalk.
For the methodical grower, you’ll be interested in dry trimming.
The main reason for choosing this method is that it allows for a slower drying process. If you live in an arid area we’d suggest this method. To get started remove all fan leaves but leave the sugar leaves until after drying.
It’s unlikely that will you be able to remove all the sugar leaves once dried as they will curl inwards. While some of you might not want additional leaves in your bud, some do and say it makes for a better smoother smoke.
Drying Your Cannabis
When chopping down your beautiful plant the most popular way of drying and curing the flowers is to cut branch lengths around 30-40cms, any length will work as long as you have the space and your buds aren’t touching each other. Then you need to take these lengths and hang them up with a wire.
You can also snip the buds off and place them onto a drying rack. We sell these racks from our store.
While there’s pretty much-of-a-muchness when it comes to harvesting, for drying you will need a dark room and to keep the humidity and temperature at the levels mentioned.
You will also need to have a fan on to circulate air. Remember not to direct the fan directly at the buds as this will dry out the flower too quickly or over dry it. We offer a few inline fans and charcoal filters to ensure your home doesn’t get too smelly.
You’ll know you’re ready when the cannabis bud is a little crunchy on the outside and the small branches snap – rather than bending.
Timings can differ wildly from 5 – 15 days and are dependent on your relative humidity and temperature.
Now, it’s time for the next step
It’s Cannabis Curing Time
Now that your cannabis buds are mostly dry, it’s time to cure them. First thing is to manicure your bud and remove the branches. If you chose to dry trim now is when you remove your sugar leaves.
The second step is to place these tasty nuggets into an airtight container. You can use any container as long as it is airtight but if you’re like us and quality is important, we stock loads of good-lookin’ and environmentally friendly glass containers/jars in-store.
Make sure that your flowers have enough space between them. A crowded bud is not a happy bud.
Place your jar in a cool, dark spot. You’ll know if the curing is working when the flowers aren’t crunchy on the outside anymore. This happens because the interior of the flower is rehydrating the bud.
If this isn’t the case, you’ve over-dried your bud.
Once you’ve gotten to this point you’ll need to burp the jar every day for 1-2 weeks. Then again, if it is damp you can open the container for longer. This allows any built-up moisture to escape and lets the flower breathe. If the bud is dry an hour will do. It is a play-it-by-ear type of exercise.
If at any point, you smell ammonia, it means the flower is still too wet and bacteria has started to form. This is bad. Throw your bud out.
After the two weeks of burping every day, you won’t need to open the jar on a daily basis.
If you wait for 2-3 weeks your cannabis should be super golden. And after 4-8 weeks it’ll just taste better.
Think of it as a whisky, the longer it’s left, the better it’ll taste.
If you are struggling to manage the humidity we have Boveda products to help the curing process in your container.
As always, if you need more tips, feel free to pop us a message.
Words By:Andrew Macfarlane, writer and whisky fan.
Zootly Says: “Gosh, when cannabis was illegal we just smoked it. Now, it’s an art form.”