Drying and cold curing cannabis buds is an essential process that must be done correctly to produce high-quality weed. As a cannabis grower, you must know the proper techniques for drying and cold curing your buds to be ready to smoke or vape. In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about drying and cold curing weed!
The Importance of Drying and Cold Curing Your Buds
Drying and curing weed is essential for many reasons. For one, it helps to improve the taste and smell of your weed. It also makes your weed less harsh on your throat and lungs when you smoke it. The overall consumption experience is improved with better tasting and smelling weed. Additionally, drying and cold curing weed helps to preserve its potency and shelf life. If weed is not dried and cured correctly, it will begin to degrade and lose its effectiveness over time. By adequately drying and curing your weed, you can ensure that it will stay fresh and potent for months (or even years!). This process is essential for developing the quality of your weed.
The process of drying weed involves hanging your weed upside down in a dark, dry, and ventilated space. Curing weed consists in placing your weed in an airtight container with a humidity level of 60-65%. The weed will need to be checked and turned regularly to ensure even curing. After about 2-3 weeks, your weed will be cured and ready to smoke!
You can streamline this process through cold curing with a freeze-dry device. First, the device will deep-freeze the cannabis which lowers the temperature of the cannabis buds to negative 40°F or below. The colder your product is, the fresher it will be, so don’t be afraid to deep-freeze, just make sure the process is dry or you’ll end up with weed ice. After the deep-freezing process is complete, the weed is placed in a vacuum chamber where the majority of the moisture is removed from the weed. The weed is then placed in an airtight container back at room temperature of 70-80°F where it will finish curing. This process is much faster than traditional curing methods and helps to preserve the quality of your weed. It can be achieved within 2-3 days of being done correctly.
Cold curing weed is crucial because it helps to draw out all of the moisture from the weed. This is important because weed not properly dried or cured is more susceptible to mould and mildew. Curing weed also helps to improve the taste, smell, and overall quality of your weed. This is just the basic overview of this process; keep reading to learn more!
Tools Needed for Drying and Cold Curing Your Buds
You will need the following supplies to dry and cure your weed properly:
- Cannabis plants
- A dark, dry, and ventilated space
- An airtight container
- A humidity control device (optional)
Before you start, ensure the room and equipment are clean. Any dirt or dust in the room can contaminate your weed. Food can also attract pests, so ensure the area is clean and free of food or crumbs. This is important because you want to be smoking buds and not bugs. Thus, setting up a clean and dry workspace is crucial for this process.
Now that you have everything you need, let’s get started!
Drying Your Buds
The first step in this process is to cut down your cannabis plants and remove all of the large fan leaves. These fan leaves can contain up to 30% of the plant’s overall weight, so it is important to remove them before you begin drying your weed. Although they can’t be smoked, they can be made into cannabis edibles or used to make cannabis oil. You can save these fan leaves for later!
Once you have trimmed away the leaves, you will need to hang your weed upside down in a dark, dry, and ventilated space. The ideal temperature for drying weed is between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. You will know your weed is dry when the stems snap instead of bend. This process usually takes about 7-10 days.
A helpful tip is to use hangers to hang your weed. This will make it easier to turn your weed and ensure that it dries evenly. You can also invest in a humidity control device to help regulate the humidity in your drying space. Using a fan can also help ventilate the room, but ensure you don’t point the fan directly at your weed, which can cause it to dry too quickly.
Most Common Mistakes When Drying Buds
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your weed dries properly:
Not Enough Air Circulation: If there is not enough air circulating in the drying space, your weed will not dry properly and could even start to rot. Make sure to open up any windows or doors in the area to ensure good air circulation.
Hanging Weed Too Close Together: If you hang your weed too close together, it will not dry properly. Instead, hang your weed in a single layer so air can circulate each bud.
Drying Weed in Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight will cause your weed to dry too quickly, losing potency and flavour. Make sure to keep your weed in the dark, dry space.
Not Trimming the Fan Leaves Before Drying: This can result in your weed taking longer to dry. This process may seem tedious, but it is essential to take the time to trim away the fan leaves before drying your weed.
Drying at Too High of a Temperature: Too much heat can cause your weed to lose some potency and flavour. The ideal temperature for drying weed is between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Evaluating Your Dried Buds
Once your weed is dry, it is time to check the buds for quality. You will want to look for dry weed to the touch, and has a brittle texture. The weed should also snap easily when you bend it. If your weed is still soft or pliable, it is not ready to be cured.
Another way to evaluate your weed is by looking at the trichomes. These are the tiny, white hairs on the buds that contain most of the weed’s THC. To check the trichomes, you will need a magnifying glass. The trichomes should be milky white. If they are clear or amber in colour, your weed is not ready to be cured.
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Cold Curing Your Buds
Rather than storing it directly in containers, curers will freeze-dry their weed at sub-zero temperatures which removes all the water content. This creates weed that is extremely potent, flavourful, and fresh-tasting.
To cold cure weed, growers will first need to flash-freeze their weed at 40°F or below for 24 hours. They will then need to place their weed in a dehydrator to remove all the water content. After the weed is completely dry, it can be stored in an airtight container and will be ready to smoke!
When it comes to the hash, cold-curing rosin is the best method to preserve all the terpenes and cannabinoids. This is because the freeze-drying process removes all the water content without damaging the delicate trichomes. To cold-cure rosin, first, press your weed at a temperature below freezing. This will allow the rosin to solidify and become easier to work with. Next, place the rosin in a vacuum-sealed container and store it in the freezer. After 24 hours, remove the rosin from the freezer and allow it to thaw. Once it is thawed, press it again to remove any remaining water content. This process of curing works by keeping the temperature between 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. It should never go above 70 degrees, as it will cause the weed to lose potency or develop mould.
Finally, store the rosin in an airtight container in a cold environment and it will be ready to use. Cold curing can be made simpler with special devices that are designed for this process. If you are a frequent grower and enjoy the cold-curing process better, investing in one of these devices is worth it!
Tips for Curing Your Weed
If your buds are sticking together after shaking them in their airtight containers, it means that they aren’t trying enough. If this is the case, you need to go back to the drying stage and try again for a few more days. If you attempt to cure your buds when the weed is not dry enough, you risk mould and mildew developing, which will ruin your weed. This is dangerous and your weed will not be suitable for smoking.
It may also be helpful to separate them in multiple glass jars just in case one of their moulds, the weed in the other jars will be fine. This would be diversifying your risks to ensure that you don’t lose your entire weed stash to mould. Once your weed is dry and cured, it is ready to be smoked!
Most Common Mistakes When Curing Buds
These are the most common mistakes people make when curing weed.
Not Using an Airtight Container: This can result in your weed not curing properly or losing potency. Sometimes air leaks can occur with plastic containers, so glass mason jars are the best option for curing weed.
Not Curing at Proper Humidity Levels: This can cause your kush to dry out too much or not cure properly. The ideal humidity level for curing weed is between 60-65%.
Not Checking on Your Weed Regularly: This can prevent your weed from curing properly. Instead, check on your weed at least once a week to ensure it is curing evenly.
Not Turning Your Kush: This can cause your weed to cure unevenly, impacting the quality and taste of your weed. To ensure even curing, turn your weed every few days.
Curing Your Buds for Too Long: This can result in weed that is not as potent or flavourful. The ideal curing time for weed is 2-3 weeks. Any longer than that, and you risk losing potency and flavour. However, some strains may take longer to cure properly.
Important Factors to Consider When Drying and Cold Curing Cannabis Buds
Following these tips ensures that your weed dries and cures properly, resulting in a high-quality product ready to smoke!
The Type of Weed You’re Handling
The weed you are curing will impact the drying and curing process. Indica strains tend to be dense and take longer to dry, while Sativa strains are less dense and dry more quickly. It’s essential to know the type of weed you are curing to adjust the process accordingly.
The environment where you are curing your weed will also impact the process. If it is too humid, your weed may start to grow mould or mildew. Your weed will dry too quickly and lose potency if it is too dry. Make sure to monitor the environment and adjust accordingly.
Size of the Buds at Hand
The larger the buds, the longer they will take to dry. Smaller buds will dry more quickly. Knowing your buds’ size allows you to adjust the drying time accordingly.
Your Bud Density
This is similar to the size of the buds, but density can also impact the drying time. Dense buds will take longer to dry than less dense buds.
Experienced weed farmers have found that the drying time for weed is typically 7-10 days. However, this can vary depending on the type of weed, the environment, and the size of the buds.
Our Final Words on Drying and Cold Curing Cannabis Buds
Now that you know how to dry and cold cure weed, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice! Start by drying your weed for 7-10 days in a dark, dry area. Then, move on to the curing process, which should take 2-3 weeks. Remember to check on your weed regularly, turn it in every few days, and cure it at the right humidity level.
Be bold and repeat some steps, especially if you’re a first-timer. The most important thing is to remain patient with the process and ensure mould does not ruin your weed. You’ll be a weed-curing pro with a bit of practice in no time! Following these tips ensures that your weed dries and cures properly, resulting in a high-quality product ready to smoke.
This process can be a pain for some cannabis enthusiasts. Many just buy weed that’s already been properly dried and cured. At Budlab, for example, we have a variety of weed products to choose from making us #1 Canada’s best online cannabis dispensary. Shop now and enjoy your weed worry-free!