How to Dry and Cure Cannabis

How to Dry and Cure Cannabis

After the marijuana or hemp crop is harvested, it’s time to begin the drying process. This is when newly cut plants are full of moisture, or “wet.” To reduce the natural moisture from the plants, cultivators hang them upside down or cut the flowers off the plant.

The next step is curing, which helps preserve flavors and aromas. Curing also stops the loss of moisture and prevents mold and mildew from forming. Curing techniques vary, but generally, growers put the trimmed buds into containers and seal them tightly.

Marijuana and hemp producers need to have postharvest strategies in place early, even before they plant crops or purchase inputs, said Casey Flippo, CEO of hemp extraction company Natvana and marijuana manufacturer Dark Horse Medicinals in Little Rock, Arkansas.

cannabis-storage

Drying

Curing cannabis is the process of drying and storing the plant material in order to prolong its shelf life and preserve its potency. There are several methods of curing, including hang-drying, wet-bucking, and using industrial drying chambers.

The amount of space needed for curing depends on the chosen method, but all methods require proper ventilation in order to prevent mold and mildew from developing.

Curing is an important step in the post-harvest process, as it can help to improve the taste, smell, and overall quality of the finished product.

Cured cannabis will also have a higher potency than uncured cannabis, as the curing process helps to convert THCA into THC.

The most common curing method is hang-drying, which involves hanging the freshly cut cannabis plants upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room.

Hang-drying is the quickest curing method, but it can result in uneven drying and loss of potency if not done properly.

Wet-bucking is another curing method that involves wrapping the freshly cut cannabis plants in wet burlap sacks and then hanging them upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room.

Wet-bucking is a slower curing method than hang-drying, but it helps to preserve the plant’s terpene profile and prevents uneven drying.

Industrial drying chambers are large, climate-controlled rooms that use forced air to evenly dry the cannabis plants. Industrial drying chambers are the most expensive curing method, but they produce the highest quality product.

Curing Cannabis

Curing Cannabis

Curing is an important postharvest step for both marijuana and hemp producers of smokable flower, as it provides additional value in the quality of the resulting product.

Cultivaris uses an automated system that allows the company to dry and cure 1,200-1,800 pounds of wet-bucked flower in 14 days. This process results in a product with the optimal color, moisture levels, and flavor.

While curing may be time-intensive, it is essential for producers who want to create a high-quality smokable flower product. By using traditional curing methods, cultivators can ensure that their cannabis or hemp flower is of the best possible quality.

This results in a better smoking experience for consumers and a higher return on investment for producers.

Curing and drying are terms that are often misunderstood or used interchangeably, but drying is “where the magic is either made or lost.”

“If you dry cannabis improperly, you can never cure it back into what it would have been otherwise,” he said.

Sedillo dries cannabis between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit at 45%-60% humidity.

Cannabis Storage

When it comes to storing cannabis, cultivators should focus on two main factors: volume and expected storage time. Flower can be kept in a sealed container that protects the product from light and condensation, while also controlling air moisture.

Top-shelf cannabis flower does well stored long term in food-grade, airtight, 50-gallon barrels or mylar bags.

Biomass, which is cheaper than flower, should also be stored in a climate-controlled environment, but it can be placed in unlined, breathable bags or large food-grade agriculture containers.

For example, if you have excess biomass from harvest that you don’t plan to use right away, it can be stored in industrial-sized garbage bags.

The key to properly storing biomass is to keep it dry, as moisture will lead to mold and mildew growth. If you plan on storing biomass for more than six months,

Sedillo recommends placing a desiccant packet in the container to absorb any moisture that may develop.

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