What is Water Curing and How Can You Water Cure Your Cannabis Buds?

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Added 28 January 2023

Growing your own cannabis requires a lot of patience and time — it literally takes months for your cannabis seeds to turn into mature plants with flowers on them. And the curing process takes multiple weeks. But sometimes, we tend to get a little impatient.

Perhaps our stash of buds ran out, perhaps you need to wind up the process quickly because your mom’s visiting next month, or you want to take your new buds to the next rave party. What do you do then?

While you can’t speed up your plant’s growth, you can speed up the curing process with water curing. What is it and how you can do it, find out all about water-curing cannabis in this article.

What is Water Curing Cannabis?

What is Water Curing Cannabis?

Most growers use the curing technique once the buds are dry, and this process helps them make their buds smoother and easier to smoke by removing the harsh compounds from the buds. 

Generally, you’d cure your buds the conventional way by placing them in glass jars for many weeks. When you do this, over time, various chemical changes start occurring within the buds that significantly improve their quality and flavor. 

For example, if the buds are kept under ideal humidity levels, the phytochemical properties of the buds change and most of the chlorophyll, sugars and other molecules that cause a harsh smoke start degrading.

Once such harsh compounds have been degraded, the profile of the buds shines through, leading to a much more pleasant smoking experience. In fact, if you cure your buds properly, the smoke turns from irritating and harsh into smooth, creamy smoke, regardless if you are smoking cannabis via a joint, vape, or a bong. 

But this conventional method takes a lot of time. What if you are short on time and want to speed things up? You can use water curing to get similar results from your buds. 

So, instead of placing the buds in jars for many weeks, you must place them in clean water for a few days. Since most of the harsh molecules are water-soluble, they get dissolved in water, leaving behind a bud with no harsh compounds that would otherwise make the smoking experience harsh.

However, there is one major drawback to water-curing cannabis. Let’s take a look at how it works to understand all about it.

Drawbacks of Water-Curing Cannabis

Drawbacks of Water-Curing Cannabis

The image you see has traditionally cured buds at the top and water cured buds at the bottom. 

As mentioned earlier, many harsh compounds present in the buds are water-soluble. So, when you place your buds in water, these compounds diffuse out of the plant tissue. Over time, the water starts changing color and gets filled with sugars, chlorophyll, and other harsh compounds. 

All of this occurs relatively quickly. In most cases, you don’t need more than a week to water-cure your cannabis buds. And if you’re really in a hurry, there is a way to water-cure your cannabis buds in ten hours, but more on this later. 

Remember, not all water-soluble compounds are essentially bad, such as terpenes. These molecules are responsible for giving your buds a distinct flavor and aroma profile. And many terpenes even synergize with cannabinoids to enhance the effects of cannabis, known as the entourage effect.

Unfortunately, water curing also removes most of the terpenes, leaving behind buds that don’t taste or smell as good. This is the biggest trade-off of water-curing cannabis as many users described water-cured buds' flavor as flat and grassy. 

Apart from the lack of flavor, water-cured cannabis has a few minor drawbacks, too, such as the following:

  • Water-cured cannabis buds don’t look appealing at all since they lose their vibrant color, so they don’t really have a bag appeal
  • If you aren’t careful, water curing can lead to mold in your buds during the drying process

But don’t worry, the buds will still be potent. CBD and THC are fat-soluble and hydrophobic, so no amount of water can pull these cannabinoids out of your buds. 

What are the Benefits of Water-Cured Cannabis?

Before water curing

Buds before water curing

After water curing

After curing

Here's another example of what the buds look like, shared by grower nicogm.

Cannabis buds before curing

Before curing

Cannabis buds after curing

Cannabis buds after curing

However, despite the major drawback, water-curing cannabis has a vast fan following because it does have some benefits that many users are willing to compromise the flavor for. Here are some of the benefits of water-curing cannabis.

1. Quick Way to Cure Cannabis

As mentioned earlier, water-curing cannabis can help you cure your buds within a few days, whereas the traditional curing method would take several weeks. This is a terrific benefit for those who want to smoke their buds as soon as possible or are short on time.

2. Smoother Hits

Another advantage of water-cured cannabis is a smooth smoke, sometimes even better than traditionally cured buds. This is because the buds lack most of the harsh molecules that would otherwise make the smoke unpleasant.

3. Easy to Do

Water curing cannabis is super easy and you don’t require any specialized equipment or practice to do so. As you will see later in the article, curing cannabis is often as simple as using tea bags to make tea.

4. Discreet Buds

Since water curing takes out all the terpenes from the buds, your buds will no longer smell or taste like cannabis. While this is a major drawback, it can still come in handy when you want to be stealthy. You can smoke water-cured buds on your smoke break at work and no one would bat an eye because it smells like…grass. 

How to Water Cure Cannabis Buds?

How to Water Cure Cannabis Buds?

To water cure your cannabis buds properly, follow these steps.

1. Gather the Supplies

You don’t need a lot of things to water cure your cannabis buds, so gather the following things:

  • Mason jars, preferably with a sealable lid
  • Clean spring or RO water 
  • Your freshly harvested cannabis buds

2. Manicure the Buds

Once your buds are cured, they will lack bag appeal, so it is crucial that you manicure them beforehand to try and keep some of the appeal intact. For this, use trimming scissors and snip off any unwanted parts like sugar leaves from the buds.

3. Place the Buds in the Jars

Next, fill the jars two-thirds way with your cannabis buds and add water until all the buds are completely submerged. Make sure your buds don’t float in water, and if they do, use tin foil to hold them down. Then, gently shake the jar and keep it aside.

4. Change Water once a Day

Within a day, the color of the water will change as it pulls all the harsh molecules from the buds. So, you have to change the water every 24 hours for the next 5 to 7 days until the water comes clean. 

5. Strain Your Buds

Once the buds are cured, you need to strain your buds to remove excess water and prevent mold. For this, you can use cloth or paper towels. Then, place them on the drying rack to dry. More on this later.

Water Cure Cannabis Even Faster

There’s an even faster way to cure your cannabis buds, but it is not recommended for everyone as it wastes a lot of water and isn’t always needed. But if you’re in a big hurry, you can try this method. Follow these steps.

  1. Add your cannabis buds to a large bowl
  2. Place it under a tap and let a thin stream of water pour over it — ensure the water is not too cold 
  3. After 10 hours, your buds are cured and ready to dry

How to Dry Cannabis Buds After Water Curing?

How to Dry Cannabis Buds After Water Curing?

Once your buds are cured, you need to start drying them correctly to prevent the risk of mold. You can place them on a drying rack or paper towels. For faster results, you can also use a food dehydrator. 

Whichever method of drying cannabis you use, ensure the buds are evenly dried. Keep turning the buds regularly to ensure all the sides get dry. 

Also, water curing will not remove preexisting mold. In fact, water curing can attract mold. So, always check the buds before and after drying them to ensure they are not riddled with mold. If they are, toss them because smoking mold can be seriously harmful to your health

Is Water Curing the Same as Bud Washing?

Is Water Curing the Same as Bud Washing?

While the two methods — water curing and bud washing — seem similar, both are completely different. Bud washing is a process where you use water to clean the buds post-harvest, whereas water curing requires you to submerge the buds in water for several hours. 

Plus, bud washing is a method that can improve your buds’ flavor and aroma by washing all the debris, pesticides, and other harmful compounds that sometimes sit on the buds. The same can’t be said for water curing as it washes away the flavor and aroma from the buds. 

Summary: What is Water Curing and How Can You Water Cure Your Cannabis Buds?

Water curing is a cheat-code method to cure your cannabis buds within a few days instead of multiple weeks like you would with traditional curing. Here, you simply have to place your buds in a jar and add clean water to remove all the harsh compounds from them.

This comes in handy when you are short on time and want to cure your buds as quickly as possible, but it comes with one downside — a lack of flavor and aroma. So, as long as you are okay with compromising your buds’ flavor and aroma, you can give it a try. 

Lastly, follow a proper drying process to decrease the risk of mold. Excess moisture can attract mold quickly and you want to avoid that to keep your buds safe. 


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I've done this, The smell is rank when changing the water out everyday. It destroys all terps and taste of the buds once its done and most of the colour will be stripped from the buds if its a purple strain. I used a EC pen to test the soaking water and once it hit 0-30ppm above base water level I called it done took about 5 days for me. I used tap water and kept it away from heat and light, If I ever do this again I will put them in the fridge vs a dark closet. Salad spinner is a must, they are still sticky after the cure as trichomes are not water soluble plus it removes so much more water out of the buds to prevent them from rotting afterwards. I like to use a dehydrator on its lowest setting for first day then air dry. FYI the buds will not yield as much in total weight as more is taken out of them. Overall worked just fine for what it is. Maybe an option for a smoother edible or stealthy smoke but not needed in almost all circumstances and kills all the other nice aspects about the weed. terps, flavours and colours vs just water insoluble cannabinoids IMO.
No !, absolutely NOT !!!!
@nerdtill_dankster420,😃need to try
I did this in the early days when I had spider mites and decided to harvest early. Didn't fancy smoking the spider mites and the unflushed weed, but decided instead to try water curing it. Sure enough, all the spider mites floated to the top and what was left looked, smelt and smoked like what was described above. It lasted at the back of the cupboard until leaner times and then wasn't all that bad. Certainly better than not smoking anything at all, and probably better than smoking a tonne of spider mites...?
I received this article title in an email and just had to see for myself how ridiculous of an idea this is. Confirmed.
i just dont see the point. Buds look awful and from what ive read they taste like grass and you risk mould.. Fuck that..😂 Interesting article though and all info is good info..