Want Bag Appeal? Curing Matters
Cash cropper? Personal user that wants to show off their harvest? Want your bud to have bag appeal? Then PROPER curing is a must. Along with curing it is also necessary to manicure and dry your buds properly too. Proper manicuring, drying and curing will get you the most out of your weed. Not only does it make the nugs look, taste, and smell better; it makes them more potent.
Think of this: As a grower you spent months of your time, a good sum of money to grow sinsemilla with great genetics, a high THC content, and a fantastic high and in the end it looks, tastes, and smokes like shit; yeah it's gets you high but don't you want it to LOOK like it will get you high. Remember too that properly dried and cured buds are more potent too. Proper drying and curing is a must if you are looking to cash in. I don't know about you but I won't pay top dollar for something that just looks like uncompressed or unbricked mids, tastes and smells like hay or leaves, and is harsh as hell to smoke.
Now think about yourself as a buyer. Is there nothing worse than a grower who's bud is still wet? You have to pay $50-60 for a 1/8th and you have to leave it out overnight to dry because it won't burn right. You get up in the morning and it weighs 2.5 grams now instead of the 3.5 that you paid for. Do you like paying for moisture? I don't. Do you like smoking weed that tastes like hay or leaves? I don't. Do you want the weed you buy to look and smell DANK? I do. Nothing worse than greedy growers who can't wait 2 more weeks to cash in! You don't want that reputation do you?
Here's the steps I was taught by an experienced grower, I have been doing this everytime for quite a few years.
Step 1: Rough Manicuring. You'll want to remove fan leaves and larger leaves in the bud before you start drying. You can throw them out or save them to make hash. Be sure to leave the small inner leaves though.
EX: My rule of thumb is if I can see the leaves' stem, it gets cut. Leaves with green arrows get cut, leaves with red arrows stay.
Green Go, Red Stay
Green Go, Red Stay
Step 2: Slow drying. Drying your buds properly means drying them slowly but not so slowly that mold develops. Drying should be done is a COOL, DARK place with plently of ventilation and low humidity. Ideal drying conditions are temperatures between 60-70 degrees F and humidity below 60%. A fan is a great way to have good air circulation but you don't want the fan/s to blow directly on the buds, this will cause them to dry too fast or cause the outside to become extremely dry and brittle while the inside is still too moist. Buds dried too fast tend to taste like leaves or grass, and smoke harsh.
The best way to dry is to hang the colas and large buds upside down on a line by their stems. Your smaller buds or buds without longer stems can be laid out on a drying screen. Be sure to check them daily for any signs of mold or other problems. When the tips of the buds feel crisp to the touch you will want to remove the from the stems. This is the point at which you'll want to finish trimming or manicuring you buds. Take off all big and medium leaves if you haven't already, trim the larger inner leaves as close to the bud as you can. Really small leaves can stay.
Red stays, Green gets trimmed.
Step 3: The next step after your buds trimmed up nicely is the second step of the slow drying process. Brown paper bags. Grocery bags are fine. Put the buds that are crisp on the tips into the bags, I make sure the buds I put in aren't stacked more than 2-3 inches high off the bottom. If you put too many buds in you won't get enough air circulation, which could cause mold. Another reason not to layer too many is that your buds weigh more since they are still somewhat moist, this will cause the buds at or near the bottom to compress. You can leave the bags open at this point so they are getting fresh air; some people prefer to close the bags and punch holes in them. Whichever you choose, be sure to rotate them every day. After the first 2-3 days you can close the bags, you should still check daily. The bags absorb excess moisture and allow the buds to dry very evenly. The amount of time depends on the conditions in your area and the density of youe buds. Extremely dense buds will take much longer than light wispy, airy buds. Just check them everyday.
Step 4: Once your buds are dry, they are ready to be cured. Curing is what gives your buds the DANK smell and taste. It also evens out the coloring, "brings out the crystals", and makes your smoke smoother. Loosely fill Mason jars with the buds and put the lids on tightly. You should open the jars once daily and rearrange the buds for the first 7 days. After that it is only necessary to open the jars daily. Curing should be at least 2 weeks. Some strains can take up to 2 months to completely cure. But as a rule of thumb, 2 weeks should give you primo looking, smelling, tasting, and potent DANK buds.
Here are some pictures of some Jack Herer nugs, all pictures are the same strain, same mother plant, grown by the same grower, in the same room.
Uncured Jack Herer
Uncured Jack Herer
Cured Jack Herer (2.5 weeks)
Cured JAck Herer (2.5 weeks)