By removing moisture, curing preserves organic material—typically food—making it uninhabitable for the germs that would otherwise cause it to deteriorate. Even though nitrites are increasingly frequently utilized in industrial manufacturing, the oldest curing techniques, like salting and smoking, are still employed today.
For cannabis cultivators, this means that drying cannabis to a jerky-like consistency during curing will make it resistant to the effects of aging. The same bacteria that would consume uncured cannabis will also consume uncooked meat or vegetables that are left out on the counter.
Cannabis is not only preserved when it is cured, though. The flavor and even the strength of the bloom are also impacted.
What Does the Term Curing Mean?
In horticulture, the process of curing entails maturing dried plant material to optimize the moisture level and enable the breakdown of sugars and chlorophyll before to ingestion.
Numerous plants, including tobacco, bay leaves, sagebrush, hemp, cannabis, and hemp are cured.
The curing process in cannabis growing results in cleaner, smoother smoke, greater flavor and potency, and other desired qualities. When done correctly, curing also guarantees that the bud has attained a moisture content that prevents the growth of mildew and other infections.
Various food preservation and flavoring techniques are also included in the concept of curing, particularly when it comes to meals like meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables.
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The Advantages of Proper Cannabis Curing
Cannabis that has been cured produces different terpenes and cannabinoids. Cannabis that has just been cut will continue to ripen in the same manner as green bananas you got from the store will during the next several days while you’re home.
Cannabis that has been properly cured is silky, flavorful, and strong.
Although the main stalk can no longer be used by the plucked branches to collect nutrients, the blooms can and will continue to do so. THCa continues to be synthesized at this stage, and when marijuana is properly cured, these cannabinoids are given the chance to fully mature before being suspended in that state.
The terpene profile, which impacts the aroma and flavor of various strains, is also preserved by curing. Terpenes and cannabinoids may be eaten by bacteria and enzymes as they digest the decomposing plant debris. The truth is that you want some components in the plant to be consumed, even if it may seem sensible to simply stop all degradation.
Cannabis that has just been cut is still packed with extra sugars, carbohydrates, and other plant matter that is still alive, such as chlorophyll, all of which taste awful when smoked. This is why cannabis that has been badly cured (or just harvested) has a bitter flavor and rough sensation in the lungs.
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Treatment for Cannabis
A suitable drying procedure is the first step in the curing process. Depending on the environment in the room, freshly cut and trimmed cannabis must be dried outside or on drying racks for a week or two. The marijuana is prepared for curing when the dried stems snap like brittle twigs. More time should be given if the stems wilt like living plants.
From the branches, gather the buds and place them in a sealable container. Because they seal well when closed and breathe well while open, wide mouth jars, especially those with rubber seals, are frequently utilized. To let in enough air at once, fill the jars about 3/4 of the way. You shouldn’t pack them tightly because doing so will just raise the humidity, which will make it easier for mold and mildew to grow on the buds.
To precisely monitor humidity levels, some growers insert a digital hydrometer in the jar. Temperature is frequently shown on these devices as well. The optimal range for temperature and humidity is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
An illustration of how commercial cannabis is dried on screens.
To replace the used oxygen within with new air during the first week, you should open these jars once daily. It allows for a small amount of degradation to occur at a time and is known as “burping.” Burping once every few days should be sufficient after the first week.
NOTE: The first few times you burp your containers, if you detect the smell of mildew or ammonia, it implies the bud is probably not quite dry enough to cure. To prevent mold, remove the buds from the jars and let them air-dry for an additional few days.
Cannabis needs at least two weeks to be properly cured, but longer cures of four to six weeks are preferable. Some producers can take up to six months to cure their weed. Weed will remain quite fresh in a sealed container like that for up to a year.
What Is the Cannabis Curing Procedure?
Similar to curing food, the main purpose of curing marijuana is to keep it fresh for a long time. But a perfect cannabis cure also keeps the strain’s terpene profile intact and permits THC to continue growing after harvest.
What Is Live Cannabis Curing?
Cannabis that has been freshly cut and frozen to preserve it is known as live-cured cannabis.
Fresh trichomes are preserved by freezing and are then frequently harvested for bubble hash or extracts.
When Ought I to Begin Curing My Crop of Marijuana?
Depending on the environment of the drying area, curing should start as soon as the harvested buds are sufficiently dry, which is typically 1-2 weeks following harvest.
How Long Do I Need to Cure?
Generally speaking, a two-week minimum cure is advised, however many growers choose 4-6 weeks for a better flavor. For a top-shelf product, some growers may choose to cure for up to six months.
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