There’s nothing quite like growing your own cannabis crop. Whether you’ve got one plant or one-hundred, drying and curing your weed is paramount to the quality of your product. Curing your crop takes time. And while it can be tempting to try to dry your buds as quickly as possible, curing them properly will ensure your harvest is the best it can possibly be.
There are several ways to cure a harvest once it has been cut down, but jar curing is one of the most popular methods amongst experienced growers. When done correctly, jar curing will make your finished product not only more potent but will make it last, keeping it fresh for months to come.
If you’re new to the growing scene, we salute you. Whether you’re growing cannabis inside or outdoors, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Here’s all you need to know about jar curing cannabis, a small but crucial step in the entire growing process.
Why Curing Your Cannabis is So Important
Proper Curing Increases THC Content
When your plant is finished growing, the production of cannabinoids doesn’t stop. When you cut your plants down, ensuring that you dry and cure them properly will ensure that THC content increases for the maximum potency of your pot.
Curing Will Enhance Aroma, Flavor, and Quality
All cannabis is not created equal. When you cure your cannabis, aroma, flavor, and quality are all enhanced, leaving you with the quality bud you worked so hard to grow. It also allows for the breakdown of sugars and any minerals that remain, ensuring you don’t get a harsh smoke that’s hard on the throat and lungs.
Curing Preserves Cannabis
Depending on how much you smoke (and how much you grew), your harvest can keep you high for a long time to come. Properly curing your cannabis can ensure it’s persevered, keeping cannabinoid content high and avoiding any issues with mold. It’s not unheard of for properly cured cannabis to last up to two years or more.
Properly Drying Your Cannabis Prior to Jar Curing
The first step of jar curing cannabis is to ensure you properly dry your buds. After cutting your plants down you’ll need to let them dry before curing. There are a couple different methods of drying your plants, depending on whether you decide to wait and trim your buds when they’re dry or trim them immediately after cutting them down when they’re wet.
Dry Trimming vs. Wet Trimming
Most experienced growers wait until plants are dry before they begin trimming, which ensures that the plants don’t dry out too quickly and the quality of the bud is maintained. Plants are hung upside down either on metal hangers or long string that is stretched tightly across the room being used for dying. Once they are dry, buds are trimmed before being placed in curing jars.
Some growers use a method known as “wet trimming”, where the fan leaves and other leaves and stems on the bud are trimmed when the plant is cut down. This method can be especially beneficial for larger crops where there is a lot of weed that needs to be trimmed. Buds that have been wet trimmed are usually placed in drying racks until they’re ready to be cured.
Drying Your Buds
Whatever method you decide on for drying your cannabis before jar curing, it’s essential to keep drying buds in a dark room (no direct sunlight) with temperatures around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels should be kept at 45-55%. A small fan should also be kept on in the room to ensure the proper circulation of air flow.
Drying cannabis takes around 5-15 days. Your buds are ready for jar curing when they’re completely dry. If your buds aren’t dry enough when you put them into the jar to cure, you risk developing mold and ruining your crop.
Knowing they’re ready can be tough for the beginner grower to gauge. Using the “snap test” (when the small branches snap instead of fold when you bend them) is a good way to know when they’re good to go. Buds should also be somewhat crisp on the outside.
What is Jar Curing?
Once your buds have properly dried and trimmed, it’s time to begin the jar curing process. Jar curing cannabis has been a grower’s go-to for decades and is one of the most popular ways to properly cure cannabis.
Wide-mouth mason jars are typically the most commonly used method of jar curing, but other glass jars with a tightly sealing lid can also be used. You can also use plastic containers, although curing in jars is typically preferred.
Some growers will use large plastic bags to cure their cannabis, but the majority of plastic bags aren’t conducive to a proper cure. Oxygen can’t flow properly in plastic. When it comes in contact with terpenes and oils present in the buds, the plastic can also break down potentially tainting your crop with plastic particles.
After all the work you did to grow your weed in the first place, making sure you cure it properly only makes sense. Glass jars are the way to go if you want a quality finished product.
4 Steps to Properly Jar Curing Cannabis
Dried, trimmed buds should be packed loosely in the jar until it is approximately 2/3 full. Lids should be sealed tightly, and containers placed in a cool, dark space (closets work excellent for jar curing).
The first week of dry curing is vital for success. You will need to open each jar at least three times each day for about 5-10 minutes. This lets your buds breathe and replaces any lost oxygen inside the jar. Opening your jars a few minutes each day during the first week also allows any moisture to escape, ensuring your buds don’t develop mold.
Have patience. Curing your cannabis takes time. After the first week, jars should only be opened every few days. Let them breathe for 5-10 minutes and then tightly replace the lid and return jars to their cool, dark curing space.
Letting your cannabis jar cure for 2-3 weeks is usually enough time to make sure your harvest is top quality. Have the patience to let your buds cure longer? Curing them for 4-6 weeks or longer can make your finished product even better.
Curing cannabis correctly is one of the most important parts of growing your own stash. Unfortunately, it’s also something often overlooked, ruining many a potentially amazing crop. When you take the time to properly jar cure cannabis, you’re ensuring you end up with a quality finished product you can be proud of.