Along with improper flushing of nutrients from plants before harvest, another cause of the dreaded “joint that won’t stay lit and breaks off in big black chunks” is improperly cured cannabis. Curing is so much more than simply drying cannabis. It’s the penultimate step in ensuring you’re producing the highest quality medicine possible (the final step is storage, but we’ll talk about that a little later).
Curing gradually breaks down sugars and chlorophyll stored in the plant, improving flavor and combustibility. If the drying/curing process happens too quickly, these processes cannot take place and you’re left with harsh-tasting, poorly burning medicine. While cannabis can be re-hydrated (I exhale a couple of times into the container and close it up quickly, allowing a small amount of moisture to soak back into the plant material), you can’t cure if the plant material has been allowed to dry out completely.
After harvesting, hang plants or place on screens in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated environment. Putting a dehumidifier in the room is a great idea. Remove only large fan leaves, but leave some “sugar leaves” intact, as these protect the bud and are a good indicator of the next step in drying. If drying in a garage or old basement, it’s recommended you throw sheets of cheesecloth over the buds to keep dust from settling on them. This also keeps them away from the light and slows the drying process. You want to dry your buds as slowly as possible without having them mould.
When the sugar leaves are crisp and crumble between your fingers (the bud itself may not be dry), remove the bud from the large stems if you haven’t done so already and place in large, brown paper grocery bags (do not use plastic bags, as this promotes mould growth and ammonia is released), folding the top of each bag closed. Place bags in a cool, dry, dark place. Every day, open the bags and gently shake or stir the buds around to ensure even drying.
When the buds have dried enough that their stems snap when bent, place buds in glass jars with airtight lids and put them back into the cool, dark storage area. Every few days or so (once a day for the first few days), open each jar and move the buds around, again to ensure an even cure. Try not to handle the buds too much during the process, as this will damage and possibly knock off trichomes, lowering the potency of the medicine.
You can substitute plastic containers for glass at this stage of curing, but static electricity in plastic containers suck trichomes off the buds like a magnet, so glass is recommended.
Beyond the drying phase, this final phase of curing should be done for a minimum of two weeks, but four to eight weeks is highly recommended to bring out the connoisseur-quality characteristics of the world’s finest cannabis.
Note for Editor:
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