Drying and Curing
The final two steps you will need to do before you can smoke your harvest is to adequately dry and cure it. Drying your bud typically takes anywhere from 5 days to 2 or even 3 weeks, depending on where you dry it, the humidity of the area you’re in, etc. Obviously, temperate climates will allow weed to dry faster than a humid or muggy climate. The curing process is slightly longer and can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months - or really as long as you want to cure your buds. Some growers even let their buds cure 6 months or more.
Before you hang your colas up to dry, you will want to check out the manicuring section of this website. Remove the fan leaves by cutting them off and save these for hash-making or butter. The best place to hang your freshly harvested bud is in a cool, dark place with plenty of ventilation. A closet will suffice if it is slightly open at both ends and you have a fan aimed towards it. Check your drying buds on a daily basis for signs of mildew or mold. If either of these happen to be present, remove the affected area, discard and add more ventilation. You will not want to have the fan blowing directly on your colas however, as this can dry them too fast and cause them to taste harsh. Once you can hear the stem crackle when you bend them, the buds will be finished drying and you are now ready to jar them.
Another way you can dry buds is to utilize the paper bag method. For this, you will need at least one brown grocery bag, depending on the quantity of your yield. Place the manicured and dried buds no more than 4 inches deep in a brown bag. Do not shove them in the bag. You want them to be lightly layered so as to allow maximum air flow between the buds. Leave the top of the bag open and check on them daily for signs of mold and mildew. Also, it is a good idea to rotate the buds daily so they receive even air flow. Once the buds have compacted down on their own, you may close the top of the bag. At this point, the buds will be able to be smoked, but may be slightly wet in the middle. You’re now ready to cure if you've done either this method or the hanging method.
Curing allows the bud to obtain its full flavor and aroma. To cure your medication, loosely place the buds in an airtight jar (you may need more than one) such as a mason jar, and check on it daily for 7 to 10 days, burping the jars for at least a half-hour every day during this time. Many growers like to burp the jars 6 to 8 times a day for around 2 or 3 minutes each time. After a week, you do not need to burp the jars as much or even at all, but rather simply check them for signs of mold or mildew. Depending on your taste, you may cure the bud anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks or even more. At this point, your medication is ready to be ingested. Enjoy!