Harvesting and Curing your Weed

Learn how to dry and cure weed

2 freshly cured buds ready to dry

Hi there and welcome (back) to Free the Tree!
Today we’re going for the last piece of the series on the life cycle of weed, the Harvest, Drying and Curing of your Marijuana plants. The last step before being able to enjoy !

It is important that you take your time without rushing, these steps are as crucial as the whole growth. Even with a beautiful bud, if you don’t harvest, dry and cure it well, the taste won’t be as crazy as it could be.

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

Harvest and Curing Marijuana – Table of Content

  1. Harvesting your plants
  2. Drying your Weed Plants
  3. Curing the buds

Let’s get into it

Harvesting your Cannabis Plant

One you’ve finished flushing your plants and the trichomes are nice are ready, as we saw in the previous article of the series, it’s time to get to the Harvest.
Here are the 3 steps to harvesting that we will cover

  1. Cutting the plant
  2. Removing the leaves
  3. Preparing to dry your buds

Cutting your Marijuana Plants

This step is pretty straight forward, you’re going to want to cut the buds of the plant. If you have multiple side branches, chop and treat them separately.

Make sure you leave some stem at the bottom in order to be able to attach the bud upside down for drying.

Fruit strains about to be harvested

Marijuana ready to be harvested

Remove the leaves off the Bud

Before drying the plant you’ll need to remove as many leaves as possible from the plant. You just want to keep the flowers, and maybe the small leaves near them that are covered with trichome.

This step can be really time consuming, but it is a necessary one. If you don’t do it, after drying out the plant the, leaves will be covering up the buds and generally stuck to them due to the trichomes.

What to do with the leaves?

Don’t throw your leaves and stems out! They’re still very usable and contain THC, especially the ones full of trichomes.
You can re-use them to make hash, butter for space-cookies, cannabis tea and much more! (space cookie recipe over here )

On our end we decoded to store the leaves in the freezer and every couple harvests we make our own hashish.

harvested bud before removing leaves

Harvested Cannabis before removing leaves

Bud After Removing leaves and ready to dry

Preparing your buds to dry

Once you’ve finished cutting the leaves off your buds and you’re happy with them you’re going to want to get them ready to hang.

What we personally do is tie a piece of string at the tip of the stem, which we then tie on the top section of a cupboard.
In the end all the buds hang up side down, side by side, the closet never looks as good as that :p

Marijuana ready to get drying

Marijuana ready to be harvested

How to dry Weed

As we said in the introduction of the article, drying your buds is as important as your whole growth process.
Basically you’ll want to set your buds in a dark and dry environment for about two weeks.

Environment to dry Marijuana

Keep in mind when looking for the perfect place to dry your buds :

  1. You must keep them in a dark space : Light will deteriorate the trichomes and reduce the THC levels.
  2. With optimal humidity and temperature conditions : Around 70°F (21°C) and between 20% and 50% humidity. For example to dry wet weed it is better to have less humidity. 

Hanging buds upside down to dry is considered the “standard” way of drying but you can get creative when coming up with ways to hang plants upside down. I usually use clothes hangers or string to dry my buds.

If your weed seems very wet, or if you are in a very humid environment, you can use a small fan to create extra airflow and prevent the buds from getting too wet and causing mold.

How long does it take to dry weed ?

In order to figure out when the buds are ready to start curing the answer lies in the stem.
After about a week or two start checking them out, to do so, bend the stem regularly. Once they’re a little hard to bend and crack a little, then they’re ready to start to be cured !

About 15 marijuana buds drying out
Critical and Fruit buds drying

Marijuana drying in the dark

How to cure Weed

Here we are at the final steps of this long journey that is growing your own weed : curing.

Once you’re plants are dried the curing process begins. This is when your weed is really going to develop her taste and smell, kind of like with alcohol in the maturing stage. That is why it is crucial to consider how to properly cure weed.

Curing your weed will last at least 2/3 weeks and up to 2 years, just improving in time.
Here’s the different steps to curing:

Steps to curing your Cannabis Buds

  1. Place your buds in an air tight jar and store it in the dark.
  2. For the first week, open your jar about an hour/an hour a half a day in order to let the humidity out. This is called “burping”. 
  3. The following week or two, open the jar about a half hour a day.
    As time goes by you can start opening up it only once every few days, in order to keep letting out the humidity regularly.
  4. After about a month and a half/two months you can keep the jars closed without opening it. At this point, you might want to add some pouches to keep the jars at about 50% Humidity levels for storing.

How long to cure weed ?

Your cannabis will be cured enough to smoke after 2 to 3 weeks in containers but continuing to cure it for up to 4 to 8 weeks will improve both the marijuana taste and potency. In some cases the longer you cure your bud the better.

How to store your Weed Buds

Once your buds are nicely cured, about two months after you started curing, your buds will be ready to be stored. Here’s what you need to be careful for:

  1. Don’t store them in a too dry environment. You want it to be stored around 50% humidity levels (you can find little pouches sold in the market for this)
  2. Store them in the dark. Light will destroy the trichomes and reduce the THC levels.
  3. Keep them in an air-tight environment.

How to get rid of mold on cured weed?

Unfortunately we have yet to have a found an efficient technique for how to get rid of mold on cured weed… If anyone out here knows please give us a shout ! Remember, this is why “burping” and properly drying and curing your bud is especially important.

Critical+ 2.0 auto curing in air tight jar

Buds curing in Jar

jar open to let the humidity out

Cannabis Buds airing out

Alright folks, that are for this one.
Until next time, be safe and grow easy!

Check Out our other articles on the Cycle of Life!

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