After months of hard work and patience growing it is finally time for harvesting cannabis. It is important to dry and cure your weed correctly for the best results and best smoke.
There are many ways to do this but there are also some basic rules for them all. I will show you how I harvest, dry and cure my marijuana plants. Since I have limited space available things have been adapted to my specific situation. But if you grow in a tent or closet they should work for you too.
Harvesting Cannabis Correctly Gives The Best Results
If you want the best quality weed you need to pay attention to your harvest. Many growers get preoccupied with growing their crop and often they get impatient and rush the process because they want to smoke it.
I think proper flushing and harvest are equally as important as the grow itself, maybe even more so. Taste, smell and potency are all improved when things are done right. I would say you are better off buying a bit of weed to get you through the process rather than rushing it.
I am not going to cover when to harvest or how to flush because those are separate topics and can get lengthy. I do talk about flushing cannabis here: https://420grower.org/flushing-cannabis-plants/
So assuming you have taken care of this, harvest time is here. The video below will show how I hang and dry my cannabis. If you want to follow the grow itself up until it is chopped you can do that here: https://420grower.org/black-banana-cookies-9-test-grow/
Drying Your Weed Crop
I recommend that you hang your plants upside down to dry. You can use hangers or string but avoid using drying racks. If you use them your buds will have flat spots from sitting on the rack and will also be much harder to trim. After you cut your plants down you should try to remove as many large fan leaves as you can.
You need a dark place to hang them. Even though you cut them down they are still alive. If they are exposed to light they will try to make more chlorophyll and your weed will end up looking and smelling like hay. Turning on a light for a few minutes to adjust thinks wont hurt but make sure you turn it off when you are done.
I use my closets to dry my weed. Since they have a carbon filter smell will not be an issue. They also have fans to circulate the air. If you have a grow tent or closet this is the easiest way to dry everything without stinking up the house. If you have a spare room or closet that’s OK too.
You want to dry your weed slowly. I would aim for about 60% humidity and about 60 to 65 degrees if possible. At that range most weed will be dry in about 7 days. It can vary depending on your humidity and temperature. Higher temps can make it dry faster and higher humidity can make it take longer.
That is why you will want to check your buds. Eventually you will know how long it takes for your environment. Your cannabis is ready to remove from the stems when they snap clean in half.
If you try to snap off a bud and it comes off with a string of stem attached it is still not ready. Also larger buds will dry more slowly than small ones so those are the ones to check.
Curing Cannabis Buds
Get Some Quart Mason Jars For Curing Your Bud
You will need some quart mason jars to cure your bud in. Wide mouth jars are best for this. When your plants have dried properly you will want to clip them off the stems. You can put them in a plastic bag or bucket as you do this. You dont want them to get too dry before you get them in jars.
Each jar will hold 1.2 to 2 ounces of weed. You dont want to pack them too full because you want the buds to have some air space as they breathe. Remember they are still alive and going through the ripening process.
Trim your buds to your liking before putting them in the jar. I find in most cases I dont even use scissors unless I need to trim off a stem. The leaves should be brittle enough that a flick of the finger should easily remove them.
If you find moist leaves while trimming you need to let the buds sit in open air for a while before you jar them.
They will feel pretty dry but that’s OK. There is still moisture inside the bud and this is where the magic happens. The buds will equalize their moisture inside the closed jar.
Using Boveda Packs For Curing Buds
were originally developed to control humidity in a cigar humidor but this technology also works great for curing weed.
The prevailing opinion from connoisseurs and pot snobs is that 62% humidity is best for smokability. Some folks do prefer it a bit lower though. These packs can be placed on top of your buds before closing them.
They do make packs for maintaing lower or higher humidity but I would not go higher than 62%. The packs also come in different sizes. If you are using quart jars you will want to use the 8 gram size.
If your buds are on the dry side they can add moisture. If they are on the wetter side they can absorb some moisture but if you have dried properly this should not be happening.
Boveda packs do have their limits and are not meant to correct bad drying practices. Their value is maintaining a stable 62% humidity curing environment. They are not absolutely necessary but they can help you produce a superior product that will smoke really well.
If done right the buds will soon stick together and the curing will begin. Some weed will change the way it smells as it cures and some wont change much but the natural terpenes will be enhanced.
You want to crack or “burp” your jars several times a day for the first week to allow fresh air inside. You dont need to screw the tops down tight. The jars will start to seal naturally. After a week you should be good to go. If you can, let the buds cure for a couple of weeks before you smoke them.