Ask Mama: How to Cure Weed (And Why It Matters)
Published on May 1, 2023
For legal reasons, Mama can’t use the word “cure” too loosely, but one thing Mama does absolutely cure is her weed. Today Mama is here to give you a little introduction to curing weed, including what it is, why you should care, and how you can even do it yourself.
So, get ready to turn your freshly picked cannabis into the frosty nugs we all love…or just learn about how we do it for you.
What Does Curing Weed Mean?
If you love sandwiches and pizza…and bacon, good news, you love things that are cured. A lot of the meats we love (pepperoni, bacon, mortadella, some hams, etc.) are all cured, and when it comes to weed, it’s basically no different.
Before you start hitting the “who cares” button, just know that without the curing process, your weed is gonna suck. Straight up. Curing weed is an essential part of preserving it, and involves the careful drying and aging of the buds to remove excess moisture. Not only that, but it also allows the flavors and aromas to fully develop.
Why Curing Matters
Besides just making for a longer-lasting shelf product, Mama wants to make sure her friends are smoking weed with the best possible flavor, aroma, and smoke quality, for the longest amount of time. And that’s exactly what curing weed does.
Preserve the Terpenes!
Science time for my sweet cannabis nerds out there. Terpenes (the stuff that gives weed its unique flavor and smell), are actually pretty sensitive and can start to break down in temperatures as low as 50°F. All that to say your weed will get all fucked up if you don’t cure it right.
By carefully curing your weed, those terpenes won’t degrade and evaporate as quickly, meaning it’ll be enjoyed in all of its flavorful glory when the time comes to smoke that beautiful zaza.
Yeah, terpenes affect flavor, and yes, curing weed helps preserve terpenes. But, that’s not the only benefit it has when it comes to flavor. It turns out that if you don’t do a good job curing weed, the taste profile will be more like eating fresh lawn clippings than smoking delicious chronic. Grass is a cool slang term for weed, but hard pass if the weed tastes like actual grass.
Back to the lab coat for the curious overachievers out there. Why does weed taste like grASS if not cured properly? Well, it has to do with chlorophyll (the compound that makes plants green). Curing weed also helps break down chlorophyll, which reduces the grassy flavor, and results in a smoother, more pleasant smoking experience. Science, bitches.
Potency of the Pot
Much like terpenes (which control flavor and aroma), THC and CBD can degrade more quickly if weed isn’t cured properly. No one wants weak-ass weed, which means curing it is even that much more important. By curing your pot, it’ll hold its potency for a much longer period of time.
Shelf Life Matters
Unless you want your weed to be moldy, taste awful, or have the potency of oregano (in highness, not taste), then you best cure it. While Mama doesn’t let her weed get that old (it’s not doing you any good sitting in a cabinet for ages), the principle of the matter is that your weed shouldn’t go bad in a couple of weeks. In fact, when properly cured and stored, weed can maintain its flavor and potency for up to two years (which is like six gorilla years just FYI).
We’re guessing you’d only need weed to last that long ‘cuz you buried it like secret treasure and then forgot about it, but whatever the reason, you have two years.
How to Cure Weed
If you’re looking to cure your own weed, or just want a sneak peek of Mama’s green thumb, here’s the basic procedure for drying and curing weed.
Quick side note, drying and curing weed aren’t the same thing, but they are both necessary steps. More on that coming right up.
Step 1: Harvest
Before you dry or cure, you’ll obviously have to harvest the buds. This is done when most of the trichomes are visibly cloudy, indicating that you’ve arrived at peak potency.
Step 2: Trim
Like many things in life, a good trim goes a long way. After harvesting your buds, trim away any excess leaves and stems. This will help the buds dry evenly and keep mold away during the process.
(Doing it in this order is called a wet trim, but you can technically do a dry trim by drying and then trimming.)
Step 3: Dry
The drying stage can take anywhere from 2 to 10 days, but tends to be on the shorter side when opting to go with wet trimming since there’s less material that needs to dry. You can hang your buds or use a drying rack, but either way you’ll want to do so in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated space. Aim for 60-70°F and humidity levels of 55-65%.
After 2 days, check on the buds by bending the stems. If they snap, they’re dry. If they bend, check again the next day.
Step 4: Cure
Finally, the part we’re all here for. It’s curing time, which is mostly a waiting game, but does require a few different steps in and of itself. For the curing stage, the first thing you’ll need to do is put all your bud in airtight jars away from light. Your jars should be about three-quarters of the way full (no one likes being crowded — weed included), and then put them in a cool, dark place.
When it comes to curing temperature, it’s pretty similar to drying conditions. Aim for roughly 70°F and humidity between 55-65%.
Burping isn’t just for babies, it’s for curing weed too. For the first week of curing, open the jars once or twice a day for a few minutes to release any moisture and replenish the oxygen inside the container. In case you didn’t pick up on it, this process is known as burping (but better than the baby version since there’s no chance of baby vomit and the reward is weed).
Based on the strain you choose, curing time can differ a bit, but the general timeline is about 3 weeks (some like to go up to six months, but that’s up to you and how patient you’re feeling).
And just like that, you’ve cured weed. Hooray!
Mama’s Final Thoughts
Bottom line, whether you’re growing your own or buying it from Mama, you always want your weed to be cured. And because Mama loves you, she’ll let you in on a little secret, double check any infused pre-rolls you buy from places that aren’t Mama, ‘cuz some of those guys out there are running cheap tricks by hiding the uncured taste with infused flavors. Don’t trust the lames.Mama cares about taste, smell, and potency, so you’ll never catch her playing games when it comes to the quality of weed she offers. Whether it’s her products or her very own flower, Tough Mama provides only the best.