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Thread: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

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    420 Member Medical Marijuana's Avatar
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    What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Commercial growers take the colas from the plant and manicure them before drying. They usually dry them on a line, upside-down, which is fine.

    However, usually airflow is forced, and temps too high, humidity too low. As soon as the buds are considered dry (usually a few days), it is sold. The reason for this behavior is the fact they are, as I said, commercial growers and in a constant hurry to exchange their buds for cash. Every minute counts and they don't want to 'waste' the space or the time needed for drying and curing. This results in harsh, grassy tasting weed that lacks the full-bodied flavor and smooth stone of properly dried and cured bud. To do it right:

    At harvest-time all you have to do is cut the plant as low as possible and hang the whole thing upside down to dry on a line. The room you use to dry should be the about the same size you grew in (if not the same room). The humidity should remain a constant 50-60%. Too high and buds will mold, too low and they dry too fast and taste bad. Temperature should be around 65-68 degrees, wherever possible. Make sure the room is dark, as light degrades THC.

    All kinds of processes, like the transport of sugars inside the plant still take place, even when you cut it down. These processes will slowly come to an end while the drying progresses, but are the main factor for the end-taste of your smoke. That is the first reason why you don't want to quick-dry your weed. The second reason is the way that a plant dries. Plants are made up of cells and, as we all know, cells contain mainly water. Exposed to air, the (dying) plant's outer cells will dry out first but the above-mentioned processes will still transfer water from the inner cells to the dryer outer cells, thus causing the plant to dry equally all over. By removing the stalk and cutting off the individual colas, you prevent this natural process by taking away the extra moisture that would be drawn from the stem to the leaves and bud. Got it? Good! Moving on...

    Make sure you hang the plants so that they do not touch each other (invites mold). With constant temp and humidity, the plants should be ready for manicuring in 3-4 weeks. At this time trim colas from the main stalk, and trim large and medium fan leaves (save them for making hash), leaving most of the smaller leaves sticking out of the bud in tact. Hang them up again and for a day or two, until 'popcorn' dry. The stems should snap when you bend them, and the bud should be dry, but not brittle. Now for the curing...

    Trim all remaining leaf (save for hashmaking) tight to the buds, and trim smaller buds from larger stems. Store them airtight; air at this point degrades THC. Note- ziplock bags are not airtight! You could use buckets with an airtight lid like used for food and sauces and such, but the best containers are those glass jars with the rubber seal and latch. Just put as much bud in it as possible using light pressure. The point is to fill it as much as possible, so not too much air remains in the container. The less air, the better. To be safe, check them the next day to make sure it's still dry (did not 'sweat'). Any excess moisture at this point will invite mold. If it did sweat and is moist (soft) again, lay the bud out on something other than newspaper and put in a dry place to get the last water out.

    Repack and place the container in a cool, dark place, like a refrigerator. Note- fridges have high humidity so they must be absolutely airtight.
    The longer it sits (up to around a month, maybe longer in the fridge) the better it gets, both in taste and potency. At around the month mark, you can move it to the freezer to almost stop the aging and curing process. Once you've got some buds stored in the freezer, you have a private stash that will last a long time. If you've got the patience to wait, the smoke will be sweet and smooth. The high will be mellow, and longer lasting. If you grew enough to last you a while, then after a few harvests you will be able to have properly cured buds at your disposal, with no downtime waiting for the next batch to cure!

    If you're not in a hurry to sell your crop you owe it to your head to wait the extra time and have great tasting, very potent bud! Curing is the only way to make harvested bud more potent, so try it, you won't be disappointed!

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    New Member AgileGrowerAG's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?


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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    There is a formula for figuring woods moisture content, or what it will be when exposed to the specified temp and humidity. I wonder if it holds true for weed.
    Wood Equilibrium Moisture Content Table And Calculator

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    New Member AgileGrowerAG's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    If you're drying/curing in an odourless tent what should your ventilation be like? I know growing should be the entire volume 1-3 times per minute. Should the drying/curing process have less than this to avoid quick drying/curing?

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    420 Member SnowBender's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    ^^^it has a lot to do with your particular local climate. someone curing weed in San Francisco will have much different air conditions than someone 3 hrs east in Tahoe.

    ('swy its nice to include your location in your profile)
    7500elev likes this.

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    New Member AgileGrowerAG's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    I'm from Saskatchewan Canada... if that helps at all. What are the ideal conditions for drying/curing? They could be replicated with technology..

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    420 Member Growheart's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Quote Originally Posted by LUDACRIS View Post
    DRYING.

    No bud should be smoked before its time. Its like a fine wine that gets better with age.

    LUDACRIS.

    Hells yeah it is, and I micro-brew my own wine, and now grow my own buds! This is the way it should be!

    So it would seem that, if you don't dry/cure properly, you may as well not waste your time growing... I am realizing right now exactly 28 days into flowering that I have not planned for a proper place to cure

    Thanks for bumping this great info

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    420 Member Barry Manilow's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    This has been floating around the grows and I'm not sure who to credit for it but I found it to be extremely helpful, especially as a newbie going through it the first time . More to the point it worked great!

    ------------------------------------------------
    It's a very simple and effective process:

    Cut the product, trim it per your preference, but don't dry it until the stems snap. Take it down while the stems still have some flex, but the product feel dry on the outside. This is a perfect opportunity to drop the dry-feeling flowers onto a screen and collect prime-quality kief that would otherwise get lost in the jar.

    Jar the product, along with a Caliber III hygrometer. One can be had on Ebay for ~$20. Having tested a number of hygrometers - digital and analog - this model in particular produced consistent, accurate results. Then, watch the readings:

    +70% RH - too wet, needs to sit outside the jar to dry for 12-24 hours, depending.

    65-70% RH - the product is almost in the cure zone, if you will. It can be slowly brought to optimum RH by opening the lid for 2-4 hours.

    60-65% RH - the stems snap, the product feels a bit sticky, and it is curing.

    55-60% RH - at this point it can be stored for an extended period (3 months or more) without worrying about mold. The product will continue to cure.

    Below 55% RH - the RH is too low for the curing process to take place. The product starts to feel brittle. Once you've hit this point, nothing will make it better. Adding moisture won't restart the curing process; it will just make the product wet. If you measure a RH below 55% don't panic. Read below:

    Obviously, the product need time to sweat in the jar. As such, accurate readings won't be seen for ~24 hours, assuming the flowers are in the optimal cure zone. If you're curing the product for long-term storage, give the flowers 4-5 days for an accurate reading. If the product is sill very wet, a +70% RH reading will show within hours. If you see the RH rising ~1% per hour, keep a close eye on the product, as it's likely too moist.

    -------------------------------------------------

    As I said I'm a newbie, I found it extremely hard to figure out if I was doing the cure right, this takes out the guess work.

    After I got the hygrometers I tested some stash that had been sitting in jars (luckily in the cold) for months, I thought it was doing great. The rh was over 70%. If it had been warmer that stuff would have been lost to mold.

    A cautionary note, I tried using normal cheapo temp/humidity gauges, they don't read correctly in small enclosed spaces I guess, the rh readings were off by more than 20%. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish, get a Cal III. Get several. I like to have one for each 4 jars so I can keep a close eye on things. You need to leave them in there 24 hours later in the cure to get good readings.

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    Welcoming Committee - Member of the Month July 11' Captain Kronic's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    I have been curing like that for a long time now, one thing though, I have never used a hygrometer... I just wait till the stems are still bendable but not snappy... then throw them in a glass jar and juts keep an eye on them, you'll know soon if you have too much moisture still in the flowers... if so , juts open the lid for a while and then try it again.

    Another difference, once I have the bud in the jar, I really don't think the kief is going to get lost while being trapped in the jar :/

    Anyways, that's how I've been doing it for some time now and I always have proper cured herbage... peace!

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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Yeah no worries about the lost kief, but I got that hygrometer after I saw your repost Blue. Thanks a lot for the tip, I like taking the guess work out.

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    420 Member Barry Manilow's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrogrown View Post
    Yeah no worries about the lost kief, but I got that hygrometer after I saw your repost Blue. Thanks a lot for the tip, I like taking the guess work out.
    Glad to help you out bro. If you look in Sisco's Lemon Skunk gro, he posted a video of all the kief he got by bouncing the buds on a screen first. I did the same onto a giant mirror I had. I just dropped them once from a few inches up and then jarred them. I had so much freaking kief and so did Sisco, I was making lines of it that looked like something we can't say here. If you feel the insides of the jars, they're coated with kief and it's hard to get at. Might as well snag some of it that would otherwise just end up stuck to the jar. Try it, you'll like it

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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Oh wow man, that sounds awesome! Can't wait to try thanks again Blue

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    Plant of the Month (June 11') Muggles13's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDog View Post
    This has been floating around the grows and I'm not sure who to credit for it but I found it to be extremely helpful, especially as a newbie going through it the first time . More to the point it worked great!

    ------------------------------------------------
    It's a very simple and effective process:

    Cut the product, trim it per your preference, but don't dry it until the stems snap. Take it down while the stems still have some flex, but the product feel dry on the outside. This is a perfect opportunity to drop the dry-feeling flowers onto a screen and collect prime-quality kief that would otherwise get lost in the jar.

    Jar the product, along with a Caliber III hygrometer. One can be had on Ebay for ~$20. Having tested a number of hygrometers - digital and analog - this model in particular produced consistent, accurate results. Then, watch the readings:

    +70% RH - too wet, needs to sit outside the jar to dry for 12-24 hours, depending.

    65-70% RH - the product is almost in the cure zone, if you will. It can be slowly brought to optimum RH by opening the lid for 2-4 hours.

    60-65% RH - the stems snap, the product feels a bit sticky, and it is curing.

    55-60% RH - at this point it can be stored for an extended period (3 months or more) without worrying about mold. The product will continue to cure.

    Below 55% RH - the RH is too low for the curing process to take place. The product starts to feel brittle. Once you've hit this point, nothing will make it better. Adding moisture won't restart the curing process; it will just make the product wet. If you measure a RH below 55% don't panic. Read below:

    Obviously, the product need time to sweat in the jar. As such, accurate readings won't be seen for ~24 hours, assuming the flowers are in the optimal cure zone. If you're curing the product for long-term storage, give the flowers 4-5 days for an accurate reading. If the product is sill very wet, a +70% RH reading will show within hours. If you see the RH rising ~1% per hour, keep a close eye on the product, as it's likely too moist.

    -------------------------------------------------

    As I said I'm a newbie, I found it extremely hard to figure out if I was doing the cure right, this takes out the guess work.

    After I got the hygrometers I tested some stash that had been sitting in jars (luckily in the cold) for months, I thought it was doing great. The rh was over 70%. If it had been warmer that stuff would have been lost to mold.

    A cautionary note, I tried using normal cheapo temp/humidity gauges, they don't read correctly in small enclosed spaces I guess, the rh readings were off by more than 20%. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish, get a Cal III. Get several. I like to have one for each 4 jars so I can keep a close eye on things. You need to leave them in there 24 hours later in the cure to get good readings.
    Hey Blue, had to print this out, just what I was looking for. Picked up a Cal III this morning, and have it in with some test buds I clipped a few days ago.

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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    Recently I just started drying the plant as a whole and it does seem to help it to dry slower and more evenly preserving more flavor. But man is it a pain to trim this way. Does anyone trim or at least remove the majority of the large leaves before hanging the plant as a WHOLE. Will the inner cells still transport their moisture to the outer cells? Is flavor still preserved this way or will the outside dry to fast causing the dreaded hayness?

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    Re: What is the best way to dry and preserve the cure for smooth, sweet buds?

    very good tips in here. Thanks everyone. Check out some rips on my youtube
    Last edited by Happy Kitty; 11-24-2012 at 09:12 PM. Reason: dead link

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