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Curing Cannabis in a Commercial Grow Operation

Curing Cannabis

When I first started in cannabis many moons ago, I needed to know how to properly cure cannabis for a commercial market. I needed consistency and practices that could scale, and would work for curing cannabis in large amounts.

I dug around on the internet and the best I could find was for the household grower, with instructions on how to cure in a 1-quart mason jar, a quicker method in a paper bag, and finally a very expensive machine that could do all the work for you, but for smaller amounts and for a very high cost. 

Curing cannabis should be a fairly straightforward process that we can do commercially, but what is the solution? Is this something that can be offered? Like most people early in the industry I had to figure it out for myself. I can’t even begin to tell you how many different opinions I found on various forums, and I realized that the reason there were so many was because each grower has had to figure it out for themselves as well.  

So here are my best and brightest tips to curing cannabis, from years of failure and trial and error. Of course, before you can start curing cannabis, you’ll need to get to that point after harvesting and drying it. If you haven’t already, check out my other walkthroughs:

Curing Cannabis: The Process

Now that all trimming is done, you have an organized room of food-grade buckets that are filled with trimmed A buds and B buds. We already took the extra time to make sure that everything was weighed and the data was put in a spreadsheet so that we know the difference of the total dry weight compared to the original wet weight. We will use this calculation later. We now need to start the curing process.  

There are many opinions about the correct way to cure cannabis. The method I will describe is the best in my personal experience, and one that has provided me with great results.

If you get the buds too dry during the curing process, this will halt the process and the chlorophyll will not break down. Note that I have not seen any peer-reviewed articles to back that up, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. However, it’s definitely true that if your buds get too dry, it will evaporate your terpenes. Although a dryer bud will test higher for THC with the testers it does not necessarily make for a quality end product.  

To start the curing process, you’ll want to make sure the relative humidity is right. Daily we need to do a burp of the product and measure the humidity of each bucket with a hygrometer. You will probably let them burp 1 to 2 hours a day, lids off, in your cool room. Continue daily to lightly shake the buck and continue to measure with the hygrometer keeping them in that sweet range of 58-62% relative humidity. 

Curing Cannabis Maintenance

Once your buds have started to balance out, they will begin to stay at a constant 58-62% relative humidity when you check them each day. When you check the buds each day, you should give the bucket a gentle rotation and a light shake. Open the buckets for just a few minutes to let any gasses out that remain from the breakdown of the plant matter. 

The smell should continue to get stronger as this process goes on and you will start to get a more defined and complex aroma. Keep up this process for a minimum of 3 weeks. This will allow your buds to be ready to pass any moisture content testing and make it ready for sale.  Although 3 weeks is usually a good enough cure time for your typical market, a couple of months is better for a more refined bud, if you are really trying to cater to that top shelf market. 

Record Keeping

Congratulations! The job is done and your buds are ready to sell for even cold, hard cash.  While you are waiting for your buyers to line up, take all that information that you were putting in the grow log and in your spreadsheets and put it to work. 

We can use this gram per watt and grams per day calculator to see if you can improve your yield and quality the next time around. Look for areas of the room or tables that had lower performance and tweak the room to get better results. Raise or lower your lighting and adjust the watts put out. Take all of your notes and see how you can up your game every time you grow and put out the best product in your market.

Related Glossary Terms

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