Growing and processing cannabis is a very delicate process. And if one doesn’t know the right and optimal environmental conditions to process it to its full potential, you might end up with something that tastes odd. And as a grower – whether as a professional or for a hobby – this is the last thing on your list.
The ideal humidity for curing cannabis ranges from 50% to 62%.
Though there is a given range and guide when it comes to curing cannabis, it isn’t an entirely one-size-fits-all situation. Different growers have their own “recipe” for curing cannabis and this would depend on the strain and your plant’s needs.
Through the article below, we will be detailing a guide on not only curing but also drying cannabis. We will also be lightly touching on ideal room setups on doing these two important processes.
Drying vs. Curing Cannabis: What’s the Difference?
I know, I know – you came here for information on the curing process of cannabis but the plant’s drying process is as important as curing it.
Many, hobby and professional growers alike, confuse these two processes and sometimes use them interchangeably. But the thing is, there is a significant difference between the two. Confusing each as the other can have drastic consequences on how your cannabis ends up.
For what they are, their key differences, and what the drying and curing processes look like, we have you covered right below:
Drying is the process that comes right after harvesting the cannabis plants. Drying, as the name suggests, is the process of initial drying of fresh buds. The purpose of the process is to remove excess moisture and get it ready for the curing process that comes right after.
Drying is a very important part of the cannabis planting-and-harvesting process. The process results in plants losing a huge chunk of its initial weight and moisture, which is usually due to moisture, stems, branches, and leaves that will also be cut off later on. To get rid of the rest of the moisture content deep inside the plant, drying must be done.
Drying freshly-trimmed buds can improve your stack’s shelf life and increase aroma, taste, and overall quality once smoked.
Fresh buds contain a lot of moisture. All the water and moisture content would make it hard to ignite. And if they do ignite, they won’t taste right, and could result to a harsh smoke.
Properly drying the cannabis plant you’ve just harvested will help it further develop the right taste and aroma that makes for the perfect experience.
How to dry cannabis
Drying cannabis is usually done in open air, in an environmentally controlled space.
It usually takes anywhere from five to seven days.
There are two ways to dry cannabis: dry trimming or wet trimming.
With dry trimming, the drying process is done first before trimming the other parts of the plant.
In dry trimming, cannabis buds are hung upside down on a line or hanger. This is done with plants hanging to prevent flattening or misshaping the plants. This process is also great to allow the buds to dry evenly on all its sides.
It would be ideal to check how the buds are drying after about five days of it hanging. To check how they are drying, try bending a branch. If it bends, then it needs more time to hang and dry. If it snaps, however, then they’re properly dried and can now be cured.
While you can hang and dry whole plants, you can also cut them up into smaller pieces in the shape of a wishbone. Smaller pieces tend to dry faster than bigger bud pieces.
When it comes to wet trimming cannabis, trimming the plant comes first before drying. For this method, you will need to get yourself and utilize a drying rack.
For this method, cut and trim freshly-harvested buds into smaller pieces before placing them on drying racks. Smaller pieces tend to dry faster than bigger pieces.
As with dry trimming, you can start checking the drying progress after five days. Again, smaller plant pieces can dry faster so you can check to see the drying progress even before the minimum five days. To check, bend the stem and if it snaps, then it’s done drying. But if it only bends, give it one more day and check again.
Dry vs wet trimming
Whether you choose to do dry or wet trimming after harvesting your cannabis, the only important thing to make sure is you let proper air circulation in. It’s also important for cannabis buds to dry evenly throughout.
Ideal humidity for drying cannabis
In a previous article and guide on the ideal humidity levels for growing cannabis, we’ve established how important optimal humidity levels are. In the same way, the right humidity levels are as important when drying cannabis buds.
The ideal humidity level for drying weed buds is anywhere between 40% to 60%.
As with growing cannabis, keeping optimal humidity as they dry is essential to ensure the best yield, taste, aroma, and overall quality of the weed end product.
Ideal cannabis drying room setup
A good drying room to dry your cannabis is a dream come true for any home growers. As we briefly mentioned above, cannabis buds dry well under controlled environments.
Some of the controllable elements you should keep in mind for the drying process are optimal humidity and temperature levels.
Optimal humidity levels for drying weed buds is anywhere between 40% to 60%.
For optimal temperature levels, keep in mind that it should be between 50°F to 70°F.
The ideal cannabis drying room should be dark. While a little light or sunlight when you go check on your buds would be harmless, prolonged light exposure might be harmful to their overall quality. It would be best to eliminate light sources for most of the time.
If you don’t have a room with a blocked light source, it would be best to cover the buds as they dry.
Cannabis Curing Process
Curing cannabis is one of the most important parts of the entire process, however, it’s often an overlooked step.
The curing process comes right after drying the buds. Properly curing cannabis buds will help further improve taste, aroma, and potency.
After drying cannabis buds, you would have gotten rid of the plant’s initial moisture and water content, still, there is some moisture left within. What the curing process will do is redistribute the leftover moisture from its center to the drier outside parts. It will also work to get rid of the remaining moisture inside.
Under optimal environmental conditions, the process helps convert and lock in psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes so the weed becomes stronger, powerful, and more potent when used.
During the process, chlorophyll is broken down. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color and breaking it down also gets rid of the vegetal taste on weed. This helps get rid of the grass taste and smell once it’s ignited and smoked.
No one wants harsh cannabis that can often cause consumers coughing and curing helps with that as well. This allows for a smooth consumption.
A proper curing process also breaks down any sugar which then prevents mold or bacteria growth in your stack. This means you can store them without any worries, even for longer periods. Properly cured weed can be stored for up to two years, even, without any significant potency and quality loss.
Overall, proper curing methods – no matter how similar or different this is done by many growers – will help improve overall taste, quality, and effects.
How to cure cannabis
Curing cannabis usually takes anywhere from two to four weeks.
Curing is typically done by storing cannabis in airtight containers. Most often, glass, metal, ceramic, or wood materials are used for an optimal curing process for dry buds.
What you need to do is store trimmed cannabis parts in your choice of jar or container. Fill the metal, wood, or glass jars with trimmed plant parts but don’t overfill them or you’ll risk crushing and ruining them. Filling your jar up to 3/4 is a good way to go to maximize space but still allow optimal airflow.
The thing about curing cannabis and weed is that it isn’t a “put it in the jar and forget” situation. An important part of the curing process is burping the jar.
Burping is basically opening up the sealed lid to let gas out and let oxygen in. Though this can vary as with the entire curing process, most cannabis growers burp their jars at least once a day for about ten seconds. Some do it every few days and for a few minutes every burp.
What others do is to burp more in the first few weeks and lessen the intervals as the weeks go by. Again, this whole process would depend on how your processes go and would vary from one grower to another.
If you’re burping your jar and you notice an ammonia smell, this would mean your buds didn’t dry enough. What you need to do is leave the jar open for a day before sealing it back. Then, burp the jar as you normally would.
Ideal relative humidity for curing cannabis
Humidity levels are an essential factor in curing cannabis.
The ideal humidity for curing cannabis is anywhere from 50% to 62%.
It’s important to keep humidity levels inside curing jars in this range to ensure increased potency and overall quality.
Ideal cannabis curing room setup
An ideal room for curing cannabis should have a stable environment, meaning both temperature and humidity must remain stable throughout. It shouldn’t be too humid or too hot.
Ideal humidity levels go from 50% to 62% and ideal temperature levels of 60ºF to 65ºF.
A dark room would also yield better curing results. It would be best to do it where you can turn the lights off when you need to.
How to Measure and Control Humidity and Temperature Levels
When you’re growing and processing cannabis and weed, it’s very important to do it in a controlled environment or space.
For an optimal drying and curing process, you might need to install a fan for optimal airflow, or a dehumidifier and AC to have further control on humidity and temperature levels.
To keep drying curing room conditions in check, a thermometer and hygrometer would both come in handy. These tools will let you know what you need to adjust to ensure the best yield and results.
Other tools like the Boveda humidity packs are a great help in maintaining an ideal environment while curing and preserving your stock of weeds.
One thing worth noting is that drying and curing conditions could vary greatly between growers. While we can’t say for sure that there is one set answer to drying and curing conditions, guides like this one might help you work your way to what your plants need.
The growing and processing cannabis industry is an ever-growing business environment. Many are trying their hand at the game, whether for business or personal reasons.
Processing cannabis would require a well-controlled environment, which would entail control over humidity levels. When it comes to curing cannabis, ideal humidity levels go from 50% to 62%. It’s very important to check and keep humidity levels in this range to keep quality and potency intact.
And this has been our guide on the ideal humidity for curing cannabis! For other questions you have for us, come and hit us up right below.