This time we will see some of the most important features of drying marijuana as well as curing it. We should pay attention to these two points since if we don’t we can lose the entire harvest or at least reduce the quality of the flowers in a drastic way.
We can also see several preparation techniques for our flowers during drying.
We need to remember that the ideal temperature for drying cannabis is from 18 to 24 degrees centigrade and relative humidity between 45% and 50%.
Drying marijuana can be done in different ways, depending on the number of plants that you have:
In the event that you have one or two plants, you can prune the biggest leaves and remove stem by stem in order to prune the leaves that are closest to the bud (you should keep them if they contain resin in order to make extractions).
Once you have completed this step, hang the stems on a clothesline or something similar in order to dry them in a dark room and within the correct parameters of humidity and temperature.
In the event that you have more than two plants or different varieties, I recommend the use of common dryers, which you can find in your trusted grow shop. In this case, you can leave the buds without the stem that hold them. You should remember that when you do your drying this way, it will be done in fewer days.
Another commonly used technique by cultivators in the United States is to only remove the largest leaves, which don’t contain resin, at the time that you cut the plants and place them in the dryer. Doing this you create a situation in which the resin in the flowers is protected by the leaves in which they are wrapped.
Once the plants are dry you can do the final prune. This step is a little bit more complicated since you will find yourself with more difficulty when it comes to accessing the flower and leaving it completely leaf-free (it is not recommended if you don’t have the patience to carry out this technique).
The drying will be finished when the flowers lose a large portion of the water that they contain, without becoming “crunchy”. Another way to be able to determine if the drying time has reached its final moment is seeing if the stem that sustains the buds break. This is the perfect moment to move the flowers to their canisters and begin the curing process in perfect conditions.
Curing of marijuana is carried out so that a large part of the chlorophyll that is still contained in the flowers degrades, giving way to a finer taste and more specific flavors.
In my personal opinion, some terpenes such as limonene are degraded in the curing process, even to the point where 2 months into curing I can’t find any trace of this terpene that I like so much. We can also see element like nitrogen which the flowers contain disappear during the curing process, leaving behind a much cleaner flavor.
In order to carry out the curing of flowers in the best conditions you should use containers that don’t let light or air inside, since those are the two factors that affect your flowers the most. The first weeks after introducing the flowers to the containers, you will open them fewer times throughout the day, and at three weeks you won’t open them anymore. This way you can make sure that once the flowers are in perfect conditions to be conserves, they can be kept with complete assurance that their precious trichomes won’t degrade rapidly.
Decarboxylation, an important addition
You should keep in mind that the resin contained in your recently cut plants isn’t active (no psychoactive effect). A very important process needs to happen in order for the resin passes from its inactive acid form to the form that we all know as THC (active and psychoactive).
This process is called decarboxylation and it happens through curing and the passage of time (it can also happen through other means which I will explain in another more specific article).
After a few months, our marijuana will be completely psychoactive, cured and ready to be consumed.
A commonly repeated mistake
I have seen a huge mistake made repeatedly by many marijuana growers. After months of outdoor work to have large and beautiful flowers, these growers let months pass with their flowers hanging in the dryer. When they go to use them in an extraction they find that the state of their trichomes was poorer quality than that of the flowers that they had stored.
In these cases, you can see very clearly the importance of perfect conservation of your marijuana plants in order to be able to enjoy them after a few months.
I hope I have been able to help our readers another week.