After your hemp seems as dry as possible from the wire hanging described in post #6, it’s time to cure the flower, which ensures the moisture in the buds is fully released. You’ll know it’s time to cure when the small branches break with a snap instead of bending. While some growers overlook the curing process and push their flower straight to processing or wholesale, the most accredited operations use a prolonged curing method for its added benefits. These benefits include increased potency and aroma, along with a longer preservation time of the buds.
The first step to curing your flower is to separate the buds from the branches. After separation, trimming the buds of any leaves and stems will allow for full oxidization of the flower. This is a tedious process, but it’s recommended for any growers looking to produce the highest-quality flower possible. Once your buds are manicured, place them in any airtight storage vessel, such as a canning jar. The flower should be packed loosely to the top. Be sure not to compact any buds before sealing the container.
From there, place the containers in a cool, dark, and dry spot and leave them there for around 3-6 weeks on average, although a handful of strains require several months to be fully cured. Throughout the first week you’ll want to open the containers and let them breath for a couple minutes. You should notice your buds (which were crunchy when put into the curing vessel), are now a bit moist due to the reoxygenation. Red flags include the presence of an ammonia-type smell, which suggests bacteria is molding your flower, or overdried buds that are still crunchy. The latter is preferable, as it could still be partially salvaged via oil extraction, which will be discussed in the next post. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!