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5 Tips on Drying and Curing Cannabis

The process of properly drying and curing cannabis presents growers with a variety of new challenges. Similar to ageing fine wine or spirits, the drying and curing process has the potential to express some of the best flavours and aromas cannabis has to offer. However, if procedures are rushed, even the most potent flowers can end up overdried, stale and tasteless. To combat this tragedy, factors like environmental controls, procedures, tips and tools all play an essential role in producing flowers that stimulate and excite the senses. For the best outcome during this important stage, follow the article below for tips every grower should know when drying and curing cannabis: 

What’s the Difference Between Drying and Curing? 

Drying is simply the process of removing excess moisture from cannabis flowers so they can be ignited, vaporized or otherwise consumed easily. Curing, on the other hand, is a procedure of long-term storage that helps flavours and terpenes reach their full potential. Curing time varies from grower to grower, and can last anywhere from weeks to months depending on the desired outcome. In ideal circumstances, properly drying and curing cannabis can elevate the outcome of a harvest, leading to tighter flowers and more intense flavours and aromas. In short, it’s in the grower’s best interest to use available tools and procedures to get the most out of the drying and curing stages of cultivation.

Want to learn more about terpenes? Read our blog: Terpenes, Genetics and the Entourage Effect

5 Tips on Drying and Curing Cannabis 

1. Temperature and Humidity Requirements 

Whether you’re drying your crop on or off the stalk, cannabis has the best opportunity to develop intense and interesting flavours and aromas at temperatures between 65-70 Fahrenheit (18-21C) and constant humidity percentages of 45-55 percent. If you’re “hang-drying” your crop, test the flexibility of the stalk and branches after 10-14 days. At these levels, the thinnest branches will break instead of bend; flowers can then be stripped off branches and transferred to long-term storage or curing containers. Follow the same process for cannabis drying off the stalk on trays, screens or racks.

Flowers drying above or below these requirements can either dry too fast and fail to develop a unique aroma or dry too slow and be at risk for mould and mildew contamination. So, for the best chance at maintaining a consistent environment, attempt to stabilize your drying room with temperature controls like air movement, ventilation and air conditioning. At scale, and depending on your geographical location, (de)humidification may also be essential. For a complete catalogue of dehumidifies available at GreenPlanet Wholesale click here

2. Odour Control

Cannabis is at its most pungent when drying. If you’re concerned about the odour produced by drying and curing cannabis, consider setting up odour-controlling equipment both inside and outside of your drying room. Charcoal filtration systems, for instance, have quickly become a favourite piece of equipment chosen to manage odour. Just mount your chosen charcoal filter onto your exhaust fan, or set up a small “scrubbing” charcoal/fan system in the corner of your room. Filteration systems are designed to pull air from your room into your charcoal filter. However, before this odour-filled air has a chance to leave your drying space, it will first become trapped in the porous, odour-absorbing crevices of the carbon filter. 

Ona blocks, liquids, or gels can also be set up outside of the drying room to catch any odour that may escape. Ona neutralizes odours naturally; so, instead of smelling drying cannabis, guests walking past the drying space will smell fresh laundry, or apple crumble.

 3. Dry and Cure in Complete Darkness 

Drying and curing in complete darkness is an industry-standard. Not only will a light source release heat, something that can be detrimental to a drying harvest, but it can also emit small/large amounts of photosynthetic radiation (PAR). At high levels over long periods of time, PAR produced by a light source has the potential to damage the delicate trichomes of drying flowers. And so, while it is a good idea to continually monitor your crop, keeping your room in complete darkness over the drying period will ensure that the outcome of your garden remains desirable. 

Drying and curing in complete darkness is an industry-standard

4. Cure Your Crop Low and Slow 

Don’t rush the curing process! Instead, treat your crop like an ageing barrel of fine wine; you’ll be amazed at the subtle aromas and flavours that develop over a two-week period. To make sure you’re getting the most out of this stage, invest in an air-tight container and closely monitor your flowers. An oxygenation process called “burping” may also be useful during this stage. To fight the build-up of excess humidity, open your container and add fresh air to your curing jars by fluffing or “burping” the flowers inside. However, if you do notice condensation forming on the bottom or sides of your container, curing jars can be cleaned and emptied on a daily basis to avoid the build-up of excess humidity.

5. Long-Term Storage and Humidity Control

If desired, the curing process can continue for several months. So, to maintain flowers with an ideal smoking humidity, attempt to keep your cannabis in dark, air-tight storage containers. Just as high-quality cigars should be kept in a humidor, cannabis kept in a slightly humid environment will elicit its most desirable tastes, aromas, and sensations. So, before consuming your successfully dried and cured flower, attempt to stabilize your cannabis at a humidity level between 50-60%. 

Fuego, The Alaskan Landmine, Westword.com

Happy harvesting! Whatever your future plans are in the garden, the team at GreenPlanet Wholesale is here to help! For more information about the products mentioned above, please contact GreenPlanet Wholesale directly. For all other inquiries about products and services offered by GreenPlanet Wholesale, contact our team or your local garden supply store for more information. 

Work Cited

  • Fuego, H. (2020) Ask a stoner: How to safely humidify dry weed. Retrieved May 12th, 2021 from Westword.com

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