Drying marijuana buds generally takes from two – six weeks and curing cannabis can take two weeks up to two or more months. Drying time also depends on where you live and the location you dry your plants as well as the soil used. Places in a desert would dry cannabis faster, and tropical areas would take longer.
Drying your cannabis buds
The first step after harvesting your marijuana buds is the drying stage. This can be done by taking the cut cannabis branches and hanging them upside down so that the fan leaves droop and cover the buds. During this step you want to place the branches in a cool dark place (not humid) with enough ventilation. It’s very important there’s enough air circulation in the room. You can get the air moving with a simple fan or two.
It’s best to check up on the buds each day to watch for signs of mold or mildew and fix the problem if anything happens. After the fan leaves droop down over the flowers and turn crisp or break off easily, you’d want to start trimming off the fan leaves only.
Trim your cannabis fan leaves before drying.
It would be better to cut the leaves off before drying your marijuana buds since it will be far more difficult to cut off the fan leaves after the buds have dried. So, I suggest you to cut them off before you hang your marijuana branches upside down.
The point for drying your cannabis this way is to dry it slowly but not too fast. If you dry your buds too fast it’ll make them smell like pine needles, hay, or taste bad. Drying your buds too slow isn’t a fantastic idea either because often mold and mildew will grow.
After the fan leaves are trimmed, you need to hang it up to dry since the marijuana buds will still be moist or wet. At this point the cut stocks should still have their little inner leaves. These will droop and cover the buds when hung.
Hang the branches in a cool dark place with proper ventilation until the little leaves and bud tips turn crisp to the touch. This is when you will know that it is time to remove your buds from their branches. This is also the time to use your creative mind and figure out a way to get rid of the extra leaf material.
This is what is known as trimming of marijuana buds. Trimming is usually done before the bud is hung because it allows the actual buds to dry faster as well as it removes a microclimate where bacteria can grow.
After a few short days of drying you will notice your buds will be a little moist on the inside. This stuff can be packed into a bong and smoked or you can complete the full curing process by following the steps below.
How to cure your marijuana with a brown paper bag
After your marijuana buds are trimmed (and a little moist) you want to dry them further using the brown paper bag method. The best choice would be a brown shopping bag located at any supermarket. You want a brown one because it is unbleached. Unbleached is very important because this will ensure your buds do not collect any synthetic contaminants.
Next throw in the trimmed buds into the brown paper bag loosely. Try not to fill it too much, you want a layer of four inches of buds. Don’t fill the bag to the top because mold and mildew can contaminate your buds.
When your cannabis is curing in the brown paper bag you want to look at it each day and rotate the buds in the bag so they dry evenly. This can be accomplished by shifting positions of the cannabis buds, turning them often or shaking the bag.
As your buds dry they will naturally compact to a self-preserving state. At this time your buds can be compacted together and the bag can be folded close. By compacted I mean lightly pushed down or vacuumed sealed.
Just be sure to remember that all climates and environments are different. Some cannabis may dry faster than others. Some may develop mildew or mold and will need to be tossed out. One of the best ways of avoiding this is by checking on your drying progress daily.
How to cure your marijuana with canning jars
Your last step is to find a way to bring out the full flavor and smoke from your cannabis buds. This can be done by using an air tight jar or something similar. Make sure you use an air tight container! Put the dried buds inside your jar without compacting them.
It is very import, when curing cannabis buds using this method, you open up each jar and introduce fresh oxygen at least once a day. Shaking the container will also help with even drying. You can do this up to 10 days until you are satisfied with the moisture quality of your buds.
You have to be on the lookout for mold and mildew when curing your cannabis with jars. Every day when you open them up be sure to look for dark brown, light green, or black spots. Also, be sure to smell each container as this can be an easy way to determine if your buds are contaminated.
If you happen to find one contaminated bud then you should throw it away as soon as possible. You can then take the rest of the buds and start with the brown paper bag curing method above.
This cannabis curing method can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. Really it all depends on how you want you buds to develop its distinguishing characteristics. The longer the curing process takes, the better.
How to determine when your bud is cured?
A bud is totally dry, cured, and ready for consumption once the stem in the center of the bud snaps easily with the fingers. The snap is easy to detect with practice. Your marijuana buds can now be sealed and stored for a very long period of time without developing mold or mildew.
Lastly, there are many different ways of curing cannabis, however I believe this is the best way and it has never failed me.