Farmwork Friday: Drying and Curing

Before you can get to the fun bits of cannabis, a lot of work has to go into the cultivation of the plant. Or, maybe you consider that the fun bit? Either way, we’re here to outline what the team at Elyon does to give you the best bud, from choosing the soil to harvesting the plants. Let’s get to (farm)work. 

Remember when we said that you were ready to enjoy the flowers of your labor? That wasn’t entirely accurate. You’ve got just a few more steps. Trust us, though. It’s worth the wait. 

Fresh Budz

When you say you want fresh buds, you don’t really want fresh buds. You want freshly dried and properly cured buds. If you were to take just-harvested nugs and try to smoke them, you wouldn’t get The Most High. First, newly harvested cannabis is still wet. You won’t physically have the same smoking experience. Second, there is a buildup of sugars and starches that need time to decompose. But isn’t sugar delicious? No. In this case it’s not all sugar and spice and everything nice. The sugars, starches and trace amount of minerals can cause a harsh, acrid taste. Properly drying helps preserve terpenes and creates the deliciously unique flavors in your cannabis. Third, you really won’t get the most high because the plant continues to produce THCA when it’s dried at the proper temperature and humidity. THCA turns into THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis.

I’m Going to Make it So Dry For You

That’s the opposite of what’s good. Drying, just like all steps in the growing process, takes some knowledge and skill. You don’t want it too moist, for the reasons outlined above as well as the potential mold risk. But you don’t want to overdry the cannabis either. This can also degrade terpenes and THC. So how do you achieve such a perfectly preserved product? First, you need to decide if you are going to fully trim the plant before drying (wet trimming) or just strip the larger fan leaves and manicure after drying (dry trimming). We’ll go into more specifics about trimming in our next Farmwork Friday. For now, just keep it in the back of your head and let’s get back to drying. 

You’ll need a cool, dark space to hang your plants. Ideally, the temperature should be between 60 and 70 degrees with humidity ranging from approximately 45 to 55 percent. There also needs to be air flowing between the plants. 

Bend and Snap

How long you need to dry depends on several factors: if you wet trimmed or not, how big the buds are, the temperature and humidity levels, etc. It’s not a one size fits all. Generally, the process will take between 7  to 14 days. The easiest way to know when they are ready? The bend and snap! Grab a small branch and try to bend it. If it snaps, it’s ready. If it just bends and folds, it needs some more time. You’ll also notice that the buds have shrunk and will be a little crunchy. 

Race For the Cure

No, it’s not a race. This is the final step before you can light up but it takes time. After the drying process is complete, you’ll need to fully trim the buds down (if you haven’t already). After they are fully manicured, store the buds in airtight containers. Those mason jars that were once so Pinterest-worthy but now just clog your kitchen shelves? Those are perfect. Don’t cram the cannabis in. Loosely pack it so that there is still airflow between the buds. Store them in a cool, dark place. Check on them every few days, opening them up. This allows some of the moisture to escape and replenishes oxygen. Two to three weeks is sufficient but four to eight weeks is ideal. 

Light It Up

The buds are now dried, cured and ready for you to smoke. Go ahead. You deserve to get The Most High. 

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