How to Cure Cannabis Buds?

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Added 12 March 2022

Curing your cannabis buds is one of the most important processes of growing cannabis. 

No, scratch that - it is the most important process because all your efforts go for a toss if you don't cure the buds properly. 

What's the point of cultivating juicy buds if you don't even get to taste them? And how about coughing your lungs out instead of enjoying the hit? Because that's exactly what happens when you don't let the buds cure. 

It's probably okay if you're not able to grow good buds. Sometimes, not everything is in your control. However, it's certainly not okay to be impatient and smoke the buds before they are cured!

You have just spent months growing your cannabis plant and a few weeks drying the buds. Now, the final stage has arrived — curing the buds. Don't hasten this process! It's very important. 

The buds realize their complete flavor profile during the curing process, thereby offering you a smooth smoking experience. 

What is curing, and how you should do it the right way — in this article, we answer all your questions about curing cannabis buds.

Curing Process Explained

Curing buds

The curing process, being the final stage of cannabis cultivation, follows the drying process. The process is as simple as placing your buds in a jar in a cool, dark place. 

Curing further accentuates the buds' flavor while retaining essential oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Essentially, it increases the potency of buds and diminishes the grassy taste. 

Also, the curing process prepares your buds for long-term storage so they don't get spoiled, lose their terpenes and cannabinoids, or fester mold and bacteria.

Benefits of Curing Your Buds

Curing is perhaps the most overlooked process of cannabis cultivation, and many growers get impatient with it. Haven't I dried the buds already? They look good enough to me! 

Well, you're mistaken right there. It's a major mistake that not only costs you months of effort, but it's also not enjoyable to smoke the buds, so the entire growing process is moot. 

With curing, you get to reap various benefits, which is why you must always cure your buds. 

Here are the benefits:

Curing Improves the Bud's Flavor

No doubt, curing takes many weeks — it seems like a hassle. But the result is worth the wait. It makes your buds flavorful and less harsh to smoke.

This is because curing degrades various byproducts leftover from the drying process, especially sugars, that can make the buds smoke harsh or bitter.

It Helps Preserve Your Flowers 

Your cannabis buds get their unique flavor and potency thanks to the terpenes and cannabinoids (like THC), respectively. However, these compounds are quite volatile and degrade easily in temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, curing allows you to preserve these compounds in the buds by maintaining the humidity and temperature at the proper levels, ensuring your buds taste as delicious as you expect.

It Enhances the THC Profile

When you smoke cannabis, you experience intense high thanks to THC, a psychotropic cannabinoid. But this compound tends to degrade over time, especially in buds that are not dried and stored correctly. 

THC turns into CBN when it degrades, which is mildly psychoactive but has completely different effects than THC.

So, curing ensures your buds maintain their THC profile at the right levels. Curing may not increase the THC; however, it enhances it. Therefore, non-cured buds do not produce the effects you're looking for. 

It Improves Shelf-Life

All the benefits mentioned above come together and make your buds easier to store long-term — as long as two years! Since the buds retain all the terpenes and cannabinoids and don't have excess moisture in them, you can store them for long without experiencing any decline in taste or potency. 

Curing Buds Duration

Curing is all about patience because it generally takes anywhere from six weeks to over six months. This period varies due to various factors like strain genetics, your local climate, curing methods, etc.

Also, if your curing containers' temperature and humidity fluctuate a lot due to local weather, curing may take even longer. So, to minimize the period, you must control the humidity and temperature levels of your containers.

In any case, slow curing is the best way to go to not damage your buds or over dry them. 

Factors that Influence the Curing Process

Curing cannabis buds

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the curing process, you must first understand the various factors that influence the curing process in detail. Doing so would give you a better understanding of the curing process and what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Light Exposure 

When the buds are curing, you must store them in a dark location away from direct light because intense light can damage the cannabinoids, especially THC and terpenes in the buds, which can compromise their flavor and potency. 

So, ideally, you can store the buds in airtight mason jars. However, if you don't mind investing a little money, you can get Miron glass jars that filter visible light except for violet, offering more protection to the buds.

High Temperatures

If you live in a warm region, high temperatures are another factor that influences the curing process. High temperatures degrade the cannabinoids in the buds — just like intense light — reducing their potency. 

So, you must store the jars in a controlled environment with low temperatures. An ideal temperature for curing cannabis is under 70°F or 21°C. 

Improper Humidity Levels

Similarly, the humidity levels must also be under control. If your buds become too moist, they get clumped up and become prone to mold formation. Also, high humidity levels fester bacteria that break down the buds' tissues — a telltale sign of such bacteria is an ammonia smell.

On the other hand, if the humidity levels drop too low, your buds can dry out, making them harsh to smoke. The buds must be slightly moist for a better smoking experience and long-term storage.

Ideally, you must maintain the humidity levels between 45% to 55% RH for the best results — dry with a moist interior and slightly crumbly buds. You can also use Humidipaks that help maintain humidity levels. 

Step-by-Step Guide on Curing Cannabis

Once you have understood the factors mentioned above, you can now start curing your cannabis buds. The process is simple, and you only need a few things to begin. 

Things You Need for Curing Cannabis Buds:

  • A dark space with the proper humidity and temperature levels.
  • Airtight jars — mason jars work best.
  • Hygrometers for each jar or Humidipaks. 
  • Spring-loaded trimming scissors and disposable gloves.

Follow the below steps to cure your buds.

Step 1: Prepare the Buds

Prepare the buds

If you've wet-trimmed the buds, you don't need to do anything. However, if you haven't, you can now dry-trim them. Trim the branches and stem leaves from the buds.

Wet trimming refers to trimming the buds as soon as you harvest them, while dry trimming means that you trim them after they are dry. 

Use spring-loaded scissors and disposable gloves to make the trimming easier and safer for the buds.

You can save the sugar leaves for later to make cannabutter or other cannabis extracts, or you can leave some on the buds.  

Step 2: Prepare a Dark Curing Space

Prepare the area

Next, prepare an area to stash your mason jars for curing. It must not have any light exposure and have ideal humidity and temperature levels. So, your best bet is to choose a cupboard in your grow room or a big box. 

The curing space must have a temperature under 70°F and 45% to 55% relative humidity levels.

Please avoid using your attic or basement as a curing area as they have high humidity or temperature levels.

Step 3: Stash the Buds

Place buds in jar

Now, get your airtight containers. Most growers worldwide prefer mason jars as they are sturdy and transparent, but you can also choose metal or ceramic containers.

In any case, avoid plastic containers or bags. Plastic is not impervious to oxygen and can leave a subtle plastic taste on your buds.

Clean and sanitize the jars and place your buds in them. The jars must be filled up to 75%, leaving some room for air.

Once you place the buds in the jars, check whether they are dry. Just shake the jars gently — if the buds rattle around, they are dry enough. On the other hand, if they get clumped together, they are too wet and must be dried further.

We also recommend placing a hygrometer in each jar to monitor the humidity levels. Or, use Humidpaks. 

Now, place the jars in the curing space. 

Step 4: Maintain Humidity Levels and Burp the Buds

Check jars frequently

Maintaining the right conditions is the most crucial step when curing cannabis.

Check the containers a few times a day for the first few days. The buds must be a little softer. This is because the buds' interior, which is moist, rehydrates the exterior, making them softer. If the buds have not softened in the first few days, they are over-dry.

Also, inspect the buds for any signs of mold or mildew formation.

Coming to burping the buds — in the first week, you need to open the container a couple of times each day for around 15 minutes to replenish oxygen and release moisture. 

Lastly, keep checking your hygrometers every day. If the humidity levels are as recommended, let the jars be.

However, if the humidity is too high, leave the jars open for 1-2 hours to let excess moisture out. And if it is too low, avoid opening the lid for a few days to increase the internal moisture content. 

If the humidity levels don't stabilize, you can add humidity packs in the jars to increase internal humidity.

Continue to burp the jars once every day for the next two weeks, too.

After a few weeks, the curing process will end, and the buds will be ready to smoke. Finally! 

Just remember that factors like humidity and temperature and your strain's genetics may lengthen the curing period. 

Step 5: Store the Buds

Store the buds

The curing process is over, but you need to store your buds properly. Otherwise, all your efforts will go to waste.

Store your buds in a cool, dark place away from direct light. And maintain ideal temperature and humidity to keep the potency and flavor intact and avoid mold. Mold tends to thrive in temperatures over 77°F (25°C). 

And ensure the jars are sealed tight. You can even vacuum seal the jars to reduce the buds' exposure to oxygen.

If you are storing multiple strains of buds, then keep them separately to maintain their flavors.

Summary: How to Cure Cannabis Buds?

The key to curing cannabis buds is being patient. Just follow the steps mentioned above and wait for your buds to cure fully. If you have followed the proper steps, the flowers' quality, flavor, and potency will increase significantly. 

In fact, you can even cure your buds for up to six months to further enhance their flavors and quality.



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Hello. Through the time I've been on this site I've read a lot of different methods of drying and curing buds. I would to add my 2 cents worth. This article did not mention anything about Ethaline. Ethelene goes in to the gasoline we buy for our cars. Ethaline is a colorless and odorless gas but if you trap it with what you are curing it ripens much faster. If you take a very ripe banana and put in a bag with some green tomato's it will ripen the tomato's much faster. But the funny thing is if you trap this gas with the drying buds you can cancel the bitterness of the cannabis and enhance its taste. All you need is 2 weeks not 6 months. If you want to try this is how I do it. Wet trim the branches as they are cut from the finished plant. The wet trimmed branches are hung for 3 days 4 if it's the middle of winter. This gets rid of about 30% to 40% of the moisture. Cut the buds of the branches into a paper bag. I cut the top 1/3 off so the buds don't have too far to fall. I try not to go over 3 inches deep because of mold possibility and hang on the same lines you hung the the branches on. Clothes peg them closed for 1 week and no peeking then check. I found if the buds are dense I might have to hang the bags for a few more days, you make that call. From the bags I tip on its side and pull the buds with a large tweezers into the mason jars and I don't even touch them. I grow cannabis for the little crystals of resin. It is those that is most important to me as a consumer of cannabis. Taste is a close second. So what I don't get is, why do you want shake up the jars or pour out the jars and fluff up the buds. In my mind all you are doing is making your pot less potent with every crystal you knock off. Also cannabis degrades over time. so the longer you take to dry it the longer you expose it to the 3 main wreckers of cannabis. They are Oxygen, Light and Heat You can control the amount of oxygen you expose the cannabis to by finishing your cure as soon as you can. Light- do it in a darkened room. Heat- I do what I can but sometimes I can't control that (summer). When my friends stop by and we smoke they compliment on the great taste all the time. Have you looked at a dispensary's web page and zoomed in to see if you can see any crystals on the buds they sell. You can't see any on the outside because of all the abuse they suffered through the drying and curing process. Don't do the same to your buds. That's my 2 cents worth. Chuck.
@Chucky324, great! I'll definitely look into this. Thank you!
@CannaScience, Hello. Ethylene is made from corn and is very explosive they add it to gasoline. Ethaline is what I'm talking about here. And I'm sorry if it sounded like I meant to put the fruit in the bag with the drying buds. The fruit in the bag was just an example of how the gas works. The paper bag also wicks the moisture away and is not air tight. In the first grow book they said to line a bushel basket with straw and put your buds in the middle and cover with straw. This is just a different way to do the same thing. The straw traps enough gas and it wicks moisture away slowly without mold. Just don't put too much buds in the straw or bag. I'm not trying to B.S. you or ruin your crop. Give it a try with 1 bag and see if it compares to the finished product from the 3 month drying and curing method, with the burping, fluffing and the jar shaking. Just want to bring it to peoples attention. Chuck.
@Chucky324, Hi Chucky, ethylene may speed up the process, but there's no other material to support that fact. Also, wouldn't fruits expose the buds to mold, etc?