By removing moisture, curing preserves organic material—usually food—making it uninhabitable for germs that would otherwise cause it to spoil. Even though nitrites are increasingly used in industrial production, the oldest curing techniques such as salting and smoking are still used today.
For cannabis growers, this means that drying cannabis to a jerky consistency during curing will make it resistant to the effects of aging. The same bacteria that would consume raw cannabis will also consume uncooked meat or vegetables that are left out on the counter.
Cannabis is not only preserved when it is cured. The flavor and even the strength of the bloom are also affected.
What does the term reinforcement mean?
In horticulture, the curing process involves ripening dry plant material to optimize moisture levels and allow sugars and chlorophyll to break down before ingestion. Numerous plants including tobacco, bay leaf, sage, hemp, cannabis and hemp are cured.
The curing process in growing cannabis results in a cleaner, smoother smoke, greater flavor and potency, and other desirable qualities. When done correctly, curing also ensures that the bud has reached a moisture content that prevents the growth of mold and other infections.
Also included in the concept of healing are various techniques for preserving and flavoring food, especially when it comes to meals such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.
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The benefits of properly curing cannabis
Cannabis that has been cured produces different terpenes and cannabinoids. The cannabis that has just been cut will continue to ripen in the same way as the green bananas you got from the store for the next few days while you are at home.
Cannabis that has been properly cured is silky, aromatic and potent.
Although the main stem can no longer be used by the plucked branches to collect nutrients, the flowers can and will continue to do so. THCa continues to be synthesized at this stage, and when marijuana is properly cured, these cannabinoids are given a chance to fully mature before being suspended in that state.
The terpene profile, which influences the flavor and aroma of different strains, is also preserved through curing. Terpenes and cannabinoids can be consumed by bacteria and enzymes as they digest decaying plant debris. The truth is that you want some components of the plant to be consumed, even though it may seem reasonable to simply stop any decay.
Cannabis that has just been cut is still full of extra sugars, carbohydrates and other plant matter that is still alive, such as chlorophyll, all of which taste awful when smoked. This is why cannabis that has been poorly cured (or just harvested) has a bitter flavor and a harsh sensation in the lungs.
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A proper drying procedure is the first step in the curing process. Depending on the environment in the room, freshly cut and trimmed cannabis should be dried outside or on drying racks for a week or two. Marijuana is ready for curing when the dry stems break like brittle twigs. More time should be given if the stems wilt like the live plants.
From the branches, gather the buds and place them in a sealable container. Because they seal well when closed and breathe well when open, wide-mouth jars, especially those with rubber seals, are frequently used. To let enough air in at once, fill the jars about 3/4 of the way. You should not pack them tightly, as this will only increase the humidity, which will make it easier for mold and mildew to grow on the buds.
To accurately monitor the humidity level, some growers insert a digital hydrometer into the jar. The temperature is often displayed on these devices as well. The optimum temperature and humidity range is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
An illustration of how commercial cannabis is dried on screens.
To replace the spent oxygen inside with new air during the first week, you should open these jars once a day. It allows a small amount of decay to occur at a time and is known as “burping”. Burping once every few days should be enough after the first week.
NOTE: The first few times you burp the containers, if you detect a musty or ammonia smell, it means the bud is probably not dry enough to cure. To prevent mold, remove the buds from the jars and let them air dry for a few more days.
Cannabis needs at least two weeks to heal properly, but longer cures of four to six weeks are preferable. Some growers can take up to six months to cure their weeds. Weed will stay pretty fresh in such a sealed container for up to a year.
What is the procedure for curing cannabis?
Similar to curing food, the main purpose of curing marijuana is to keep it fresh for a long time. But a perfect cannabis cure also keeps the strain’s terpene profile intact and allows THC to continue to grow after harvest.
What is live cannabis healing?
Cannabis that has been freshly cut and frozen to preserve it is known as live cured cannabis. Fresh trichomes are preserved by freezing and then frequently harvested for bubble hash or extracts.
When should I start curing my marijuana crop?
Depending on the environment in the drying area, curing should begin as soon as the harvested buds are sufficiently dry, which is usually 1-2 weeks after harvest.
How long do I have to heal?
A minimum cure of two weeks is generally recommended, however many growers choose 4-6 weeks for better flavor. For a top product, some growers may choose to cure for up to six months.
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