So you're crop of frosty buds are coming along fine, and you’re looking forward to harvesting your bounty.
You can’t wait to try them. But first, they need to be dried and cured. While you may be tempted to dry your
cannabis quickly, (go ahead and take a sample) you have to be as patient as you were growing it.
Drying and curing cannabis requires removing moisture and leaching out the chlorophyll from the flowers in a controlled environment.
Following this guide will provide you with a much better product. Drying and curing properly will increase potency,
preserve all those beautiful trichomes (crystals), and ensure the final product will store well and without mold.
Equipment You'll Need
1. A Dehumidifier. Obviously, the size of your dehumidifier depends largely on the amount of cannabis you need to dry.
If you have 4 big 1-2lb plants, a typical room dehumidifier should do the trick.
Make sure you have a way to empty the dehumidifier so it keeps working. If you only have one plant,
you may not need a dehumidifier at all. An open window may be enough as long as the outdoor humidity is low enough.
2. A Humidifier. If your humidity drops below 55% RH, you'll need to increase the humidity. Optimal humidity is between 55 and 65% RH. 60% RH being the sweet spot.
3. A Few Fans For Air Circulation Box Fans if you can. 2 Box Fans in a 20x24 room should be enough to make sure you have enough air circulation if you have 2-4 big plants.
Arrange to blow air above and below the branches to circulate the air in the room. Fans should NEVER be blowing directly on the branches/buds!
4. Hygrometer Switches (optional) Automate while we're you're at it to make life easier and worry free.
A Humidity Controller Humidistat
Pre Wired Plug is in order to control both your Dehumidifier and Humidifier at the same time.
5. Space Heater and AC Unit (optional) Automate while we're you're at it to make life easier and worry free.
You should keep the room between 68 and 69F for optimal drying.
6. Good Lines To Hang Your Branches Obviously, you don't want your lines to brake, so hang very strong lines, and make sure your wall anchors won't pull out of the wall.
7. Carbon Air Filter And Ventilation Unless your are only growing a small amount and can open a window, it would be wise to invest in a Carbon Filter.
Ventilation and effective odor control when growing cannabis indoor, whether in a room or a tent, is well worth the expense.
Step 1 - Drying Your Cannabis
(about 10 days)
1. Cut and hang the branches for 5 days in a 60-65% RH room.
Make sure the branches are not touching when you hang them.
You also need FANS. Box fans if you can. Arrange to blow air above and below the branches to circulate the air in the room. 4 Fans in a 20x24 room should be enough to make sure you have enough air circulation.
Fans should NOT be blowing directly on the branches! A big dehumidifier should also be used, as well as a good humidifier.
2. Trim the branches to remove all fan and sugar leaves.
One of the reasons to hang your branches with the leaves on at first, is to slow the drying process.
Trimming the buds on the branches at this point will accelerate the drying.
3. Hang them for another 5 days
This is probably the most important time when drying your buds. While the majority of the humidity
is drawn from the flowers, it allows the chlorophyll to leach from the buds. This will result
in a much more smooth smoking cannabis.
4. Take the buds off the branches and into the bucket.
Snap-Test your branches. They should snap when bent over without breaking off. If they pass the test,
it's time to remove your buds from the branches and put them into your curing vessels.
If you are unsure if your buds are dry enough, snip off a few average size buds from your branches.
Put them in a small air tight container with a Hygrometer. After 20 minutes, check the humidity level. 65%RH is a good time to start curing.
The Gold Standard test for cannabis is to measure the Water Activity Level. A Water Activity Level of 0.65wa will ensure mold will not grow during the curing process.
It should be noted that Relative Humidity is not equal to the Water Activity Level. The Water Activity includes temperature into the equation which affects the measurements.
Step 2 - Curing Your Cannabis Manually
At this point, your buds should be in your curing vessels and in for the long sleep.
You can fill Mason Jars 3/4 full and seal them.
Put the jars in a cool dark place, and open them (burp them), for 10 minutes, once a day, for 28 days.
A small Hygrometer in the jars will let you monitor your curing buds.
If your buds are over 69% RH, leave your jar open for at least 20 minutes for the first few days, and burp them every 12 hours until
the humidity drops to about 69%.
The humidity will drop gradually over the next 3 weeks. Once your buds reach 62% RH, your job is done. If you
finish before the 3 weeks, keep an eye on them to make sure the humidity does not go over 62% RH. If they do, burp
them once or twice and, again, keep an eye on the humidity. The humidity will stabilize at 62%.
Going below 62% is fine as long as the RH does not go below 55%. If it does, add a piece of orange peel to the jar for a few days,
then remove it. The moisture from the peel will rehydrate your buds. If you monitor your curing, you shouldn't have any trouble at all.
Once your Curing Jars have stabilized, you can put them in a cool dark place for long term storage.
TIP: Instead of constantly opening a Curing Jar to access your buds, consider refilling a smaller jar to use.
Every time you open a Curing Jar, humidity will escape and it will eventually dry the buds to below 55% RH and make the smoke harsh.
Automate Your Curing and Free Yourself
No Need To Burp Jars Everyday For 3 Weeks. 1. Put your dried buds in the vessel. 2. Set the timer for 15 minutes every 24 hours. 3 weeks later, your cannabis is perfectly cured, undamaged, and ready for packaging or long term storage.
Once a day, the timer starts the pump pressurizing the vessel with fresh air.
Old off gassing and humidity is pushed out through the exhaust valve and the pump shuts off.
It's that easy.
While we don't sell the typical glass mason curing jars, we do sell the curing kits for them, because they do work great.
We find wide mouth Mason jars are simply too narrow to fit your hand and the buds get stuck in the jars.
Our curing vessels have a large 4 inch opening so your hand easily fits inside the jars and the buds never get stuck.
They also come in many sizes. You can choose between 1/2 and 1 Gallon Jars, 5 Gallon Curing Buckets, and 20 Gallon Curing Totes.
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