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Different curing methods

Discussion in 'Harvesting And Curing' started by silvernomad, Jul 29, 2006.


    silvernomad Well-Known Member

    Curing is a process employed to naturally enhance the bouquet, flavour, and texture of marijuana. Curing does not lower potency when done correctly, although poor curing methods often result in some less of THC.

    Curing is not an essential procedure, and many growers prefer the "natural" flavour of uncured grass. Sweet sinsemilla buds usually are not cured.

    Curing is most successful on plants which have "ripened" and are beginning to lose chlorophyll. It is less successful on growing tips and other vigorous parts which are immature. These parts may only lose some chlorophyll.

    Curing proceeds while the leaf is still alive, for until it dries, many of the leaf's life processes continue. Since the leaf's ability to produce sugars is thwarted, it breaks down stored starch to simple sugars, which are used for food. This gives the grass a sweet or earthy aroma and taste. At the same time, many of the complex proteins and pigments, such as chlorophyll, are broken down in enzymatic processes. This changes the colour of the leaf from green to various shades of yellow, brown, tan, or red, depending primarily on the variety, but also on growing environment and cure technique. The destruction of chlorophyll eliminates the minty taste that is commonly associated with green homegrown.

    There are several methods of curing, most of which were originally designed to cure large quantities of tobacco. Some of them can be modified by the home grower to use for small marijuana harvests as well as large harvests. The methods used to cure marijuana are the air, flue, sweat, sun, and water cures.

    Air Curing

    Air curing is a technique developed in the United States for curing pipe and cigar tobacco. It was originally done in specially constructed barns made with ventilator slats which could be sealed; a small shed or metal building can easily be adapted for this use. However, this method of curing works only when there is enough material to keep the air saturated with moisture.

    Wires are strung across the barn, and the marijuana plants or plant parts are hung from them, using string, wire twists, or the crooks of branches. The plants material should be closely spaced, but there should be enough room between branches (a few inches) so that air circulates freely. The building is kept unventilated until all the material loses some chlorophyll (green colour). This loss occurs rapidly during warm sunny weather because heat builds up, which hastens the cure. In wet or overcast weather, the temperature in the chamber will be cooler, and the process will proceed more slowly. If these conditions last for more than a day or two, unwanted mould may grow on the plants. The best way to prevent mould from forming is to raise the temperature to 90F by using a heater.

    After the leaves have lost their deep green and become pale, the ventilator or windows are opened slightly, so that the temperature and humidity are lowered and the curing process is slowed. The process then continues until all traces of chlorophyll are eliminated. The entire process may take six weeks. Then the ventilators are opened, and an exhaust fan installed if necessary, to dry the material to the point that it can be smoked but still is moist, that is, bends rather than crumbles or powders when rubbed between thumb and forefinger.

    Flue Curing

    Flue curing differs from air curing in that the process is speeded up by using an external source of heat, and the air circulation is more closely regulated. This method can be used with small quantities of material in a small, airtight curing box constructed for the purpose. Large quantities can be hung in a room or barn as described in Air Curing.

    A simple way to control the temperature when curing or drying small amounts of marijuana is to place the material to be cured in a watertight box (or a bottle) with ventilation holes on the top. Place the box in a water-filled container, such as a pot, fish-tank, or bathtub. The curing box contains air and will float. The water surrounding the box is maintained at the correct temperature by means of a stove or hotplate, fish-tank or water-bed heater, or any inexpensive immersible heater. Temperature of the water is monitored.

    With the marijuana loosely packed, maintain water temperature at 90 degrees. After several days, the green tissue turns a pale yellow-green or murky colour, indicating yellow or brown pigments. Then increase temperature, to about 100 degrees, until all traces of green disappear. Raise the temperature once again, this time to 115 degrees, until a full, ripe colour develops. Also increase ventilation at this time, so that the marijuana dries. Plants dried at high temperature tend to be brittle; so lower the temperature before drying is completed. This last phase of drying can be done at room temperature, out of the water bath. The whole process takes a week or less.

    Marijuana cured by this technique turns a deep brown colour. Immature material may retain some chlorophyll and have a slight greenish cast. Taste is rich yet mild.

    Sweat Curing

    Sweat curing is the technique most widely used in Colombia. Long branches containing colas are layered in piles about 18 inches high and a minimum of two feet square, more often about ten by fifteen feet. Sweat curing actually incorporates the fermenting process. Within a few hours the leaves begin to heat up from the microbial action in the same way that a compost pile ferments. Then change in colour is very rapid; watch the pile carefully, so that it does not overheat and rot the colas. Each day unpack the piles, and remove the colas that have turned colour. Within four or five days, all the colas will have turned colour. They are then dried. One way to prevent rot while using this method is to place cotton sheets, rags, or paper towels between each double layer of colas. The towels absorb some of the moisture and slow down the process.

    Sweat curing can be modified for use with as little marijuana as two large plants. Pack the marijuana tightly in a heavy paper sack (or several layers of paper bags), and place it in the sun. The light is converted to heat and helps support the sweat.

    Another variation of the sweat process occurs when fresh undried marijuana is bricked. The bricks are placed in piles, and they cure while being transported.

    A simple procedure for a slow sweat cure is to roll fresh marijuana in plastic bags. Each week, open the bag for about an hour to evaporate some water. In about six weeks, the ammonia smell will dissipate somewhat, and the grass should be dried. This cure works well with small quantities of mediocre grass, since it concentrates the material.

    Sun Curing

    A quick way to cure small quantities of marijuana os to loosely fill a plastic bag or glass jar, or place a layer between glass or plastic sheets, and expose the material to the sun. Within a few hours the sun begins to bleach it. Turn the marijuana every few hours, so that all parts are exposed to the sun. An even cure is achieved in one to two days {(see Plate 16)}. Some degradation of THC may occur using this method.

    Water Cure

    Unlike other curing methods, the water cure is performed after the marijuana is dried. Powder and small pieces are most often used, but the cure also works with whole colas. The material is piled loosely in a glass or ceramic pot which is filled with Luke-warm water. (When hot water is used, some of the THC is released in oils, which escape and float to the top of the water.) Within a few hours many of the non-psychoactive water-soluble substances dissolve. An occasional gentle stirring speeds the process. The water is changed and the process repeated. Then the grass is dried again for smoking.

    THC is not water-soluble; so it remains on the plant when it is soaked. By eliminating water-soluble substances (pigments, proteins, sugars, and some resins), which may make up 25 percent of the plant material by weight, this cure may increase the concentration of THC by up to a third.

    Marijuana cured by this method has a dark, almost black colour, and looks twisted and curled, something like tea leaves. The water cure is frequently used to cure dried fan leaves and poor-quality grass. ;D

    TXUB :weed:
    Widow Maker

    Widow Maker Well-Known Member

    The way I cure my buds is cut them, trim them and hang them on strings in my closet for 2 days. The outer part of the bud usually gets a little crisp(texas wether). After my 2 days I either put them in a paper bag rolled up or a jar(big jars lol). I try to open the jar/bag 2-3 times a day to let the moisture out. If you dont open it up it is likely that it will mold. I do this prolly for another 4-5 days. Or until the stems snap the way I like them too.
    Putting the bud in the jar allows for an even dryout. This draws the moisture thats on the inside of the bud to the outside and makes a better product. I never tried to just go straight to the jar but that might give the sugars more time to break down. But who wants to wait on their bud that long? lol.

    I have a friend that dries his out on the plant itself. He basically stops watering and puts his plants( pot and all) into a dark cool closet. I think he told me 3-4 weeks. he has the best tasting smoke in the city. He also has alot of plants so he doesnt mind waiting the extra time. It works good for him.

    Do you see anything wrong with these methods? I may think I know everything but I usually dont get to talk to pro's. lol.

    Dfunk Well-Known Member

    Great thread - thanx for the knowledge!

    Spittn4cash Well-Known Member

    where is this coming from?

    o2tangoagn Well-Known Member

    That was very informative.

    Thank you, 02

    MrPresident Active Member

    hmm i wanna know more about the process of curing on the plant. letting sit in the dark for 3-4 weeks.

    I left some fluffy popcorn buds on a trainwreck bush and about a month later picked it and smoked it and it knocked me on my ass like nothing else. bag appeal sucked though kuz it looked like a tan or nute burnt bud.. but the trichomes seemed to swell even possibly elongate?!... and infest all the surface area. Only prob was it tasted like crap because the soil was still moist so i think it was still wicking up some nutes.. back when i used snyth chem nutes..

    pinkus New Member

    by E. Rosenthal and M. Frank...i've read it about a billion times.

    mr. childs likes this.

    MrPresident Active Member

    I dont have that one! Would you mind sending a link if possible?
    Thnx in advance!

    pinkus New Member

    Sorry, the original marijuana grow bible...this bible is mostly fact :weed:

    I don't have it anymore but I've seen snippets all over the web, some credited, some not. I really wish Mel Frank would come out with another since his "insiders guide". That guy was meticulous and not quick to jump to conclusions...he musta went to weed college. :wink:
    Mr. Maryjane

    Mr. Maryjane Well-Known Member

    I thought light degraded thc? and I know trichromes and resin stick to plastic bags

    maxtor Well-Known Member

    how about making tasty thai-sticks, dry your trimmed buds somewhere dark/ventilated 3-5 days, then pack them tight in the middle of a piece of newspaper max 3-5cm in diameter, wrap elastics around very tight, hide them away in a dry dark place 10 days later u got some sweet tasting weed

    MrPresident Active Member

    did my first stick with the main cola of my ice cream!
    tasty but still had the wet grass smell, needed more curing in the atmosphere i had set up.

    MrPresident Active Member

    I had some trainwreck popcorn buds I left on the plant until they started to get that light green shade. I noticed a much more candy-sharp tone and I wanted to eat it. took about 2 weeks for them to crisp without browning. train always takes long to dry because of all the resin glads but it definitely was tasty and strong in a whole new way.

    yogabloke Active Member

    Hi there folks.
    Well I was just wandering the web today, and looking for detailed info on different drying and curing methods for buds, when I stumbled across this foum.
    The advice from Silvernomad has actually prompted me to sign up to (hopefully) stop anyone from following these methods which are guaranteed to fuck up any bud you've grown.
    THC and other psycho active compounds in marijuana are DESTROYED BY LIGHT AND HEAT.
    Any drying process MUST be carried out in the DARK. Air needs to be kept moving (table fans are perfect), and the buds need to be hung so they do not touch. If you have an extractor fan, switch it on, as lower humidity is preferable for drying, and to prevent bud rot.
    The process should take 10 to 14 days.
    Curing is a separate process all together, and is done to alter the subtle bouquets of buds after drying.
    Buds are placed in small airtight jars, and are taken out every day or so, rotated, and sealed back in the jars.
    This process can be carried on for weeks, months or years (!), and alters the flavour and taste of the buds, although not the potency.

    As for the 'air', 'water', 'sweat' curing methods, they do of course exist. They are just TOTALLY BOGUS.
    We've all smoked 'brick-weed', or brown/black crap week that's just been harvested and then dumped in a pile in the sun to 'cure'.
    Don't do it to your own hard work folks!!
    Smoke on.
    decrim68 and phenob like this.

    BlackHit Well-Known Member

    You need to watch how the Morroccans dry their herb, or the Nepalese. They lay that shit out in the hot ass sun for about 10 days until its all dried up then then press it down and make hash. Their hash (the nepalese kind) is some of the most potent in the world so there is more than one way to skin a cat if you get my drift.

    BlackHit Well-Known Member

    And another thing, I think "brick-weed" is of such low potency because it is usually full of seeds. Seeds growing in your buds will decrease potency more than compressing it into bales will imo

    darkdestruction420 Well-Known Member

    i agree! this info is bs. u dont dry buds ur gonna water cure first and if u follow any of the other ways he said ur gonna get moldy/rotted shitty bud that all the thc degraded in
    Brick Top

    Brick Top New Member

    One more time ... this is what I follow:


    Manicuring, Drying, And Curing Marijuana

    Right after all the plants have been harvested, it is time to manicure them. Manicuring is simply cutting off the leaves that were growing from the buds. Cut off all the leaves surrounding the bud, so that just the bud remains.

    Work over a glass table or some kind of smooth flat surface. This will make it easy to collect all the material that has been cut away from the buds. It is lower in THC than the buds, but rather than throw it away, you can use it to make hash oil.

    When manicuring the buds, use a pair of scissors with small blades (to reach hard to get leaves) that is comfortable on your hands. If you have a small crop, you can handle the plants with you bare hands. With a large crop, wear powder free latex gloves.

    The latex gloves will collect trichome resin in a similar manner to the way live marijuana plants are rubbed to make hashish. The latex gloves have to be powder free or the powder will get mixed into the resin.

    Do not touch anything other than the plants once you have put the gloves on. If you have to do something, remove the gloves you are wearing and put them in a plastic bag, prior to doing whatever it is that has to be done.

    When finished, put on a pair of new gloves. Material on the first pair can be collected later. When you are finished manicuring all the plants, remove the gloves and place them in a plastic bag (to catch resin that drops off).

    Put the plastic bag with the gloves in a freezer for 2-3 hours. The trichome resin can easily be peeled from the frozen latex gloves and consumed the same way you would use hashish.

    If absolutely necessary, you can wait to manicure the buds. However, the job will take more time if you wait. Manicuring right after the plants are harvested will also speed the drying process.

    Instead smoking marijuana directly after it is harvested and manicured, it is best to dry and cure it. Some new growers might be in such a rush to try the marijuana that they don't want to dry the crop, or they might be tempted to put buds in a microwave oven to dry them out.

    Drying Marijuana After Harvest

    You probably don't want to smoke marijuana that is harsh and bad tasting. If you do not take time to dry the bud, you will not get the best possible smell and taste your crop is capable of producing.

    Proper drying and curing will also ensure maximum potency of the marijuana you have grown. Marijuana is not potent just after harvest. Some of the THC is in a non-psychoactive acidic form. Drying marijuana the right way will convert the non-psychoactive acidic compounds into psychoactive THC.

    The area where the drying is done should be dark. Light and high temperatures (higher than about 80 degrees) will cause THC to break down into less desirable chemicals, this will lower the potency of the finished product.

    A good way to dry the crop is to hang the buds upside-down by the stem, from some string or wire. The drying marijuana must have some circulation blowing over it at all times. A gentle breeze that circulates over all the plants is necessary.

    A fan or two will circulate air within the drying room. Fans will aid in drying the plants evenly, and reducing the chances of mold. If mold starts and is allowed to grow, it might ruin all of your crop. Mold looks like white fuzz and has an odor that is unpleasant.

    You will have to keep the temperature and humidity within a certain range for optimal results. Conditions should remain constantly somewhere within the following ranges, temperature should be between 65-75 degrees F, relative humidity should be between 45%-55%.

    At temperatures lower than 65 degrees, drying time will be lengthened. At temperatures higher than 75 degrees, the heat will cause the outer portion of the bud to dry quicker than the inner part, and the taste will suffer.

    At humidity levels lower than 45%, the marijuana will dry too fast and the taste will suffer. At humidity levels higher than 55%, the marijuana will take a long time to dry, and it will be prone to mold.

    Keep a hygrometer and a thermometer in the drying area, close to the plants. A hygrometer will allow you to keep an eye on the relative humidity level in the room and a thermometer will display the temperature. Some hygrometers[​IMG] have built in thermometers so you can measure the temperature and humidity together.

    Depending on the time of year and your location, a heater or an air conditioner may be necessary to adjust the temperature. To control humidity, a dehumidifier can lower humidity and a humidifier can be used to raise humidity. There are warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers.

    A warm mist humidifier will raise the temperature while a cool mist humidifier will not affect the temperature. There are also humidifiers that allow you to switch between warm or cool mist. If you are going to purchase a humidifier for this purpose, take your climate into consideration and buy an appropriate humidifier.

    Warm mist models will actually heat the water and release warm humidity. Cool mist water isn't cooled, it just means that water is not heated. In most cases a cool mist will work best. To be safe you can get a humidifier that lets you switch between warm and cool mist.

    Curing Marijuana

    It will take at least a week or two to dry the crop with temperatures between 65-75 degrees F and relative humidity between 45%-55%. You will know when the marijuana is dry if the stems snap or break (rather than fold) when they are bent. Try smoking a small bud (1/2 gram or less) in a joint to be sure it is dry enough.

    At this time, small buds will be dry enough to smoke. But larger buds should be cured (slow dried) to ensure that the marijuana is as potent and tasty as possible. If necessary, you can set aside buds that are less than 1/2 gram for smoking, while larger buds cure.

    The cure lasts a week or two. The aim of what you are doing is evenly finishing the slow dry process, so that mold will not grow when the buds are stored long term. Also, by the end of the cure, any remaining inactive THC will be converted to active THC (that increases potency).

    To cure the crop, you will need one or more containers made out of glass or plastic. Some people say plastic can impart a taste to the marijuana. Personally, plastic containers that some types of roll your own tobacco are sold in, have no negative effect on the taste.

    Containers that have a rubber seal work best, but any type of container with a tight fitting lid will do. One quart canning jars do a very good job if you are curing a few pounds or less. They have a rubber seal and hold 2 or more ounces of marijuana per one quart jar.

    When curing quantities in excess of a few pounds, large (over 40 quarts) plastic storage boxes[​IMG] are recommended. They are not air tight, but will do the job when smaller air tight containers are not practical.

    Gently place your marijuana in the containers (cut buds to size if the are too big to fit in the container) and put the top on. Store the containers in a dark area where the temperature is between 50-65 degrees and the humidity is between 40%-60%.

    You will have to open the containers for a few minutes to allow moisture to escape by fanning with your hand. If any moisture builds up on the inside of the cap on your container, wipe it off. Do this preferably 2-6 times daily, at regular 4-12 hour intervals.

    You should also re-arrange the buds by giving them a quarter-turn once a day. This will ensure that different parts of the buds are exposed to the air in the container. Keep up this routine for 7-10 days. When properly dried, marijuana will burn evenly when smoked in a joint (if stems are removed).

    The taste will be as good as it can be, and the THC will have reached a point where it is ready to be ingested or stored. You can keep any marijuana that will be consumed within a few months (1 year maximum) in the same containers used for curing, without having to keep opening them to release moisture.

    If the marijuana is to be stored for more than a few months, you can use a vacuum sealer (designed for storing food) to seal the marijuana in an airtight environment. If stored in a dark area that is between 40-55 degrees F, the marijuana in vacuum sealed plastic will remain potent for up to 5 years.

    Dry marijuana can be stored in a frost-free freezer, but some of the THC on the outer part of the buds may be damaged when frozen. A refrigerator is in the right temperature range but they tend to be humid (unless you can control the humidity).

    If stored in an area of high humidity for months or years, even vacuum sealed marijuana can eventually become as humid as the surrounding air. This will necessitate drying it again before smoking. But, unless mold develops, humidity itself will not degrade the THC or make the marijuana any less potent.

    Light will degrade some of the THC, so dark containers can be used for storage. If you place the marijuana in a see through container, it will have to be located in a dark area that is not exposed to light or high temperatures.

    Always make sure to properly dry your marijuana prior to storage, if you grow your own or if the stuff you have is very moist. And remember that to preserve marijuana potency at a maximum level, keep any exposure to air, heat, and light at a minimum.
    danke, mcone and phenob like this.

    charlesweedmore Well-Known Member


    Abso Member

    of course there is but there also is the best way that brings out quality and thats wat buddy is trying to say, plus they usally use that method for large quantities + they aint smokin it

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