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Curing Your Cannabis Crop

Curing Your Cannabis Crop

The best way to ensure year- round satisfaction is to make sure you've protected your cannabis crop. The techniques for storage are simple but vital for combating mold, mildew, and general spoilage. If a grower's crop is anywhere near successful, the harvest will be too large to stash in a cupboard or dresser drawer, and you'll be stuck with the happy task of preparing at least a year's supply of smoke for long-term storage.

Besides the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the cannabis you're putting into your body hasn't been sprayed with insecticide or herbicide, the reason for growing personal---use marijuana is to ensure yourself of a good supply of the kind bud until next harvest. That means putting a year's worth of cannabis into storage, where seeds will not be damaged by freezing, buds will neither mold or grow stale (a number of experts claim that stored marijuana will actually increase in potency for the first several months---I can't say that I've ever noted an increase in the stoning, but aged weed does seem to be a smoother smoke).

Learning how to prepared dry, and store your crop is a skill set that just keeps on paying for itself. You'll be glad you took the time to learn now, when you relish your ability to pull weed out from storage year-round. It's equally important to remember that a year's worth of work can easily be ruined by slacking off at the end. Placing green marijuana into storage without preparation almost guarantees that it will begin to mildew, then become moldy.

Drying the crop

Drying is the most common method of preparing fresh marijuana plants for storage. But within that seemingly simple stage of the growing operation there exists a multitude of different methods and opinions about how it should be accomplished.

Hanging the buds

Traditional methods of drying plants---the way it's done by large-volume commercial growers---is to simply pull up mature plants by their roots and then hang them upside down in a dry place until nearly all moisture has evaporated from their tissues. Plants are not hung upside down to allow THC to "run" from the roots into the foliage. In fact, the primary reason plants are hung upside down is for convenience; it's just easier to hang them in that orientation---the same reason that tobacco leaves are still hung by their roots for drying. A cord lashed around the stalk, below the last branch, is held securely in place when tied, unable to slide past the plant's large root ball.

Another important reason for hanging freshly pulled marijuana plants is to permit them to expire more slowly. This practice is conducted for the same reason that it is used to "cure" tobacco leaves whose smoke would be disagreeably harsh and unpleasant tasting if they were quick-dried artificially using heat. Being uprooted and dying sends a plant into high-gear survival mode, one result of which is a high level of simple plant sugars in the tissues, and a less-bitter chlorophyll. And like tobacco, those phenomena of the curing process have the effect of making the marijuana you process for smoking into a product that is palatable, pleasing to the nose, and as gentle on the lungs as it is hard-hitting to the brain. In fact, some growers maintain that proper curing is necessary for coaxing maximum THC levels from a harvested plant.

Ideally, plants hung to cure should be under a roof to block out harsh sunlight that might dry plants too quickly and unevenly. It's also important that falling rain be blocked from literally washing away THC from the outsides of curing bud, and of course to keep drying time to a minimum. Open air tobacco-curing sheds---essentially just a roof supported by posts---are probably best, but not always feasible; backwoods growers often accomplish the same purpose by stringing a green tarpaulin in the form of a peaked roof between trees, over a taut "clothesline'' hung with drying plants.

Curing time is very dependent on humidity and ambient temperature, but figure on leaving plants---especially females with large, dense buds that have more moisture content---to hang for at least a week in dry 70-degree weather. Most growers concur that thoroughly desiccated marijuana foliage is not the best smoke; for maximum smoothness and minimum harshness, your bud or leaves need to contain a percentage of moisture that allows them to burn less hotly with more smoke. Leaves that are at prime dryness will have turned dark green, but not yet brown, with slight dry crunching at the edges, but a tough and fibrous consistency throughout the leaf. Buds will feel dry and slightly crunchy on the outside, but sticky (the stickier the better) when squeezed between thumb and forefinger.

Air-drying the leaves

Air-drying is the best method of drying leaves or whole harvested plants because it retains the most of a plant's pleasantly fragrant scent and spicy taste. In the case of midsummer leaves trimmed from plants during normal pruning, the best way to air dry them is to bag the loosely wadded foliage---"fluffed'' to maximize the airspace between leaves---in an airy sack. Two unsophisticated favorites are a plain brown paper bag and a net-type fruit sack. A paper bag, its top folded over several times to seal it, steadily and evenly absorbs moisture from inside, then dissipates it to the outside; shaking the bag from time to time to redistribute its contents helps them to dry more rapidly. A mesh onion sack containing loosely crumpled leaves is a favorite among pot growers who dry small amounts for personal use, because the netting provides for maximum air circulation and the shortest drying time.

When drying marijuana for smoking using any of the methods covered here, it isn't necessary or desirable to dry it to the point of being crunchy. Foliage that is just moist enough to be flexible, but dry enough to burn evenly with a smooth, sweet smoke when chopped fine with scissors produces a superior smoke with leaves or bud. Air-drying is the only safe way to dry buds from which you intend to gather seeds for another crop.

Microwave leaves or buds

If you need to make leaf or bud smoking-dry in a hurry, a microwave is ideal. More than that, it's a handy tool for growers who frequently need to dry small samples of their crops for test smoking. Samples of an eighth-ounce or so can be quickly dried by placing uncut foliage in a heavy coffee mug and microcoding it at high power for one minute. Larger portions can be placed, about an ounce at a time, into paper lunch sacks whose openings have been folded over to close them, and microwaves for a minute at a time. At the end of each minute, remove the bag and shake it to help dry its contents; if you have more than one bag to dry, rotate them, letting one or more cool and dry while another is being nuked. Again, the dried pot will smoke best if you leave it just slightly moist. Do not use a microwave to dry buds from which you intend to gather seeds for next year's crop, because the radiation kills the seeds.

Convection oven for leaves or buds

Large amounts of marijuana can be quickly dried in the gas or electric convection oven of a kitchen range. Spread plant material thinly over the bottom of a large ungreased cake pan, then place it into an oven set no higher than 150 degrees F (excessive heat appears to diminish potency). Turn drying plants every fifteen minutes, taking care not to overdry them. Be warned that this method will also likely kill all seeds in any buds you dry, so growers will want to clean their buds prior to baking.

Open skillet for leaves and buds

This method of drying marijuana brings back memories of squatting next to a campfire in the deep woods, shaking an aluminum campfire skillet filled with fresh- picked marijuana over hot embers until the plants were dry enough to smoke. The same technique has worked well using an iron skillet over a propane camp stove in a remote cabin and in a household kitchen.

Fast-curing buds

If you're like me, you're going to want to sample the results of your labors as soon as the buds ripen---especially if this is your starter crop, and there aren't buds to smoke from last season's harvest. Over the years I've worked out a speed-curing method that enables small batches of buds to be dried quickly for immediate consumption, because it's just too intriguing to wonder how good this year's crop will be. Besides, having an ounce of good pot to smoke (or eat) takes the anxiety out of waiting for the rest of your crop to cure.

The trick is to retain as much of the buds' flavor and potency as possible, and the obvious tool for that job might seem to be a microwave oven. I don't recommend using a microwave to dry buds because ultrahigh-frequency radio waves kill seeds contained within them. Also, microwaves heat from the inside out, which is effective for drying buds, except that it also overheats them, detracting from their taste and possibly from their potency. If you must use a microwave to dry damp cannabis, be sure to remove all seeds first (they tend to explode anyway), break material to be dried into fine pieces, and never heat it for more than a minute at a time.


The method that works best for me so far is to snip off the buds I want to smoke, then place them in a airlock bag that is sealed with all of the air squeezed out of it. Then I knead the buds from outside the bag, making them warm to "activate'' THC contained in them (much the same as making finger hash). I may even stand on the bagful of buds in shoeeless feet, squashing them with my heels until they become warm, wet with their own juices, and very dark green, almost black, in color (this operation does little or no damage to the seeds, which are protected by the diameter of the woody stalks to which they re attached). At this point I leave the bag sealed overnight, and may even sleep with it under my pillow to keep the contents warm.

After about twelve hours, I remove the warm, crushed buds from their plastic bag and lay them neatly---with air space between them---on a dry, clean cookie sheet.

Preheat your kitchen oven to its lowest setting---usually somewhere between 150 and 180 degrees---and place the cookie sheet of crushed buds inside for half an hour. After that, remove the sheet and turn the buds over. Replace the cookie sheet for another half hour. At the end of that time, the buds should be just slightly moist, and a little sticky---ideal for smoking. Gently remove the seeds, which are usually not harmed by this mild heating process, place the seedless buds into a coffee mug, and with large scissors chop them into pieces small enough to smoke.

I hope you learned something from this article and if you have any questions please go to the forum or leave comments and questions below. For high quality marijuana seeds please visit my webshop. Please like or share this article 🙂


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Comment Section

68 thoughts on “Curing Your Cannabis Crop

By nitharshan on 26 November 2012

More people should read this

By alphonso on 3 May 2014

I've grown marijuana twice and both times they're fluffy how do I make my weed more hard and content

By Jerztp on 28 April 2016

There are numerous reasons why your buds are fluffy/airy. One of the main culprits though is weak lighting. I'm not sure what your growing conditions are but this is the first thing you'll want to look at.

By Phil on 29 April 2016

What watt light do you use?

By Joe on 29 September 2017

It's the strain ur using or not enough light.

By Jesse Chavez on 8 November 2014

Is curing the same thing as drying? You say a lot about curing and drying but little about storage. How should I store it? Last year it went brittle on me and I had to water spray it, I lost most of the potency. Should I frizze the pot after it is dry? Thanks

By Norman Countryman on 24 March 2016

Over dried marijuana can be re hydrated by putting a couple of slices of apple in the bag and sealing it for a couple of days. Monitor to make sure the slice does not begin to mold and that the moisture has returned. Of course there is the time honored process of returning moisture by shaking in a pillow case over a pot of boiling water until rehydrated.

By Phil on 29 April 2016

By putting flour taco shell into your bag over nite will make your buds moist again

By Spyder on 5 June 2016

You can use a small piece of iceberg lettuce for remoistening without adding the apple flavor.

By Mark on 6 January 2017

Terracotta soaked in water dry with paper towel place inside zip lock bag check next day works well.!

By Mat on 28 April 2016

I use boveda packs to store my weed. They are 2 way humidifiers so if the weed gets too moist it will take humidity so it doesn't rot and if it's too dry it will add moisture and keep em fluffy and tasty

By Senryu on 5 January 2017

I use them too! They are great, though a little bit pricey

By happy on 8 January 2017

you use leaves from a mother plant or another plant to moisture back in to your weed. drying and curing is two diff. things. I cure mine in a mason jar and makes great storage. just berp jar twice a week until cured.

By noligney on 12 January 2017

no its not

By Natanael on 27 August 2015

I'm impressed, I need to say. Really rraely do I encounter a weblog that's each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you have got hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the issue is one thing that not sufficient persons are talking intelligently about. I am very completely happy that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing regarding this.

By Jerry on 26 March 2016

Dry your buds on a simple window screen if you don't have a drying rack. Make sure to flip your rack daily to even the drying . About day 6 your buds will have lost most of their moisture and are ready for jars.I prefer the 1 qt jars. For larger quantity 5 gal bucket with screw on tops. Make sure to take the tops off daily to allow any excess moisture to escape. The buds should be rock hard before you even harvest and will get harder as they dry. Light is the key to harder buds, one can never have enough light. Shooting powder is also a must in the final weeks of flower. Curing in jars, when done properly will takes a few months and will reward the grower with a more intense, body high.

By David on 28 April 2016

The term shooting powder what is this?

By Big Al on 28 April 2016

Yeah, what powder are you referring to?

By Sean O on 29 April 2016

Using a food dehydrator is by far the best method for a fast dry. If you need it any faster, put it on aluminum foil over a light bulb. Or, so I hear.....

By Francine Burnett on 29 April 2016

Like the info. Helps a beginner like me. Thanx.

By latewood.ILGM on 30 April 2016


Welcome to our community blog.

I do not agree that freshly harvested buds are ready for jars in 6 days. A high % of the moisture must be evaporated before placing buds in jars.

Your advice to open and vent jars daily is sound advice.

Growers. When you harvest, make sure that the plant is dry enough to :SNaP!!!" whne you test the dryness of the stem before placing in jars.

I also recommend placing buds in a paper bag for a week or so; Allowing the inner bud to dry evenly with the outer portion, further preventing the possibility of mold. 🙂

By Jameson on 6 January 2017

Poorly researched article. No mention of a branch being dry when it snaps. No mention of 70degrees and 50% humidity? Lame, may unsubscribe after this. Curing improves flavor and harshness of smoke. Facts. Read a book.

By latewood.ILGM on 30 April 2016

Using a dehydrator for Cannabis is a bad idea. This is terrible advice, as is any way where you take Cannabis and dry it from a living plant to drying it in a few minutes and smoking it. Good way to get sick.

Grow it. Dry it! Cure it! Then...Smoke it!

By David A on 30 May 2016

Some advice for a newbie, my plants are in there fifteenth day of 12 on 12 off with four 300 watt full spectrum LED lights and no signs of sex, what should I do?

By latewood.ILGM on 9 June 2016

Well David A,

This blog is on curing cannabis after finishing it. Perhaps you would be best suited to join our support forum where we have many expert growers and members who love helping out a new grower. Happy growing:)

By zoomer on 5 January 2017

i know its off topic, but i would like to follow this thread,i am wanting to change over from hid/hps to what you are running , the 4x300 watt full spectrum led. or something similar, even tho its fill spectrum, its the lumen output that has to be factored in, to be a suitable hid replacement.

By zoomerduck on 5 January 2017

to the post :By David A on 30 May 2016 i forgot to add.

By Nakednthewoods on 30 May 2016

David, don't sweat 15 days with LEDs. Usually my girls are showing the initial signs of femaninity at 14 days but perhaps you are just not seeing what the girls are showing you. Go look again, the girls are probably showing. Do you see 2 hairlike growths , maybe an 1/8 or 1/4 inch long, sprouting from anywhere close to the stem?
or on any branches? If so, that is your girl. My experience....males show way before 15 days. Good luck, and grow happy.

By llatewoodILGM on 9 June 2016

Broveda 62% 2 way humidity control packs are what all the growers are using to cure cannabis these days. Great Product.

By StonerGarden on 6 January 2017

I just recently discovered Broveda 62% humidity packs. Currently I'm using them to keep the humidity correct AFTER curing. My curing procedure is to slow dry the bud until the stems snap then put into quart jars filled about 2/3 full. For about two weeks I open the jars, smell for mold and then close them. After this two week period I figure the curing is done. How would my procedure change if I used Broveda DURING the cure? Could I simply add a small Broveda pack to each jar and then figure the curing is done in two weeks? No more daily open/smell/close. Once the curing is done I fill the quart jar so that it's almost full, place a Broveda pack on top then close securely. Once a month I open the jars, check the Broveda pack and if starting to turn hard I replace with a new pack and then recharge the spent pack. Thanks for your great site!! I've learned a lot!

By Roy on 18 March 2018

I use 58% Boveda packs, that's what they recommend for medical marijuana

By Roy on 18 March 2018

Boveda recommends that is

By Rothers on 5 January 2017

potency ? when dried by hanging vs fresh mature leaves diced and mixed with oil Then infused(heated)
and inserted into your fav. mix. boom one hour

By Jose B. on 5 January 2017

thank you for all your advice that really helped a lot of people.

By Aaron on 6 January 2017

Havnt yet had a chance for a successful grow but i enjoy reading these blogs and pre-learning from youns, now hopefully this next (hands on) season will be prosperous or at least partially, keep it up, thanks,Aaron

By Roy ILGM on 6 January 2017

I hope you get to grow this season Aaron! Not long now 🙂

By Snoopy sam on 30 September 2017

Aaron is obviously from the great city of Pittsburgh

By Ginny on 6 January 2017

Hey Robert 🙂 here's a quote from you in the Microwave drying section, "if you have more than one bag to dry, rotate them, letting one or more cool and dry while another is being naked." I know you meant nuked, not naked, just a typo...but it made me laugh. Thank you, I needed to smile!!

By Roy ILGM on 9 January 2017

Haha thanks for noticing, glad we could help 😀

By Patrick Monk RN on 3 November 2017

Feedback appreciated. After appropriate drying and curing I plan on vacuum sealing. How long should I cure for.

By den on 8 January 2017

whar are denBroveda 62% humidity packs

By den on 8 January 2017

or should I say Broveda 62% humidity packs

By doris Grierson on 10 January 2017

what is the simplest way to prepare the buds for seeds to grow next year if you just have 3 or 5 plants I would dry them upside down and then could you just put the in a jar? I want to bake with cannabis could I use leaves just of the plant? or how would I bake with it? I need to know how to get seeds and store and how to prepare for baking? dg

By Roy ILGM on 11 January 2017

Hi Doris, that are a lot of questions. I would like to advise you to hop onto our support forum. Our experts there will take the time to answer your questions in depth 😀

By Sirv on 1 June 2017

I got the mini harvest download!

By bud123 on 29 September 2017

moisten over dry weed. I use leaves from my mother plants or staging area plants. it works well, just put freshly cut leaves in with your dry weed and will moisten over nite

By Frank Cassianna on 29 September 2017

You want hard rock buds... feed them good shit...and sweeten them with molases and honey.... Thanks Robert great information, kind of do the same jar/dried buds for flavor

By William on 29 September 2017

Mollasses and honey; makes intuitive sense; if so, how much and how are they applied? And, I believe temperature affects the sugars of some plants; is cannabis one? If so, how to do such? Thanks...:-)

By Christina on 29 September 2017

I started just one seed in my window seal, late even. She's little but she flowered, I believe this will be my little hobby. but I'm having problems, well I keep reading i need to harvest when the hairs are brown. Im so Nervous... so... can I post a picture and can you guys tell me if she's ready or not.

By Tim dogg on 29 September 2017

If the hairs are mostly red or brown and the crystals are mostly cloudy she is ready. Enjoy

By Tim dogg on 29 September 2017

If u use a magnifying glass u can see crystal heads up close. Mostly cloudy and a few amber color is best. At least all cloudy. Hope that helps Christina.

By robert on 30 September 2017

when looking for those crystals that have started to amber, do you include the ones that extend out on to the leaves

By latewood_ILGM on 3 October 2017

Yes Robert,

Atrichome is a trichome. 😀

By rickee on 30 September 2017


By latewood_ILGM on 9 October 2017

No NO dehydrator. Chlorophyll will still be present

By Michael McComb on 5 October 2017

We just harvested our 4 sativa plants, trimed them down to mostly buds with some sticks, hung them in a closet with 65 degrees and 35% humidity and put a fan so the air circulated thru the closet. The buds were dry in 2-2 1/2 days. Is that even possible to over dry them?

By latewood_ILGM on 9 October 2017

Michael McComb,

You dried those buds too fast. 35% humidity ios too low. Humidity should be between 58-62%

By Michael Alba on 6 October 2017

What about putting buds in the refrigerator after drying

By latewood_ILGM on 9 October 2017

If your container is sealed really well, you could put in frig; However, you won;t get the correct humidity for curing in a frig'

By Andrew 78 on 24 October 2017

I just started growing the autoflower strain. My plants were fighting for light and grew as tall as 3-4 inches out from the soil.
Should I leave them be to continue growing, or should I be doing something else before it gets too heavy?
I am using light now for 18hrs. a day and 6 hrs of complete darkness

By latewood_ILGM on 30 October 2017


I suggest you join our support forum at:

We can give you all the help you need, there. Happy growing 🙂

By Jeffrey Miller on 26 February 2018

I'm having a problem with the smell it still smells like grass it's been in the jar week and a half and I believe I'm doing everything right but the aroma is not coming out are there any tricks I can use to get the aroma to come out. Any helpful tips will be greatly appreciated I am desperate to get that um good aroma to come out.

By latewood_ILGM on 27 February 2018

Jeffrey Miller,

Once the "terpenes" have left the flower, it cannot be recovered. However; After proper drying and curing, you should have good tasting MMJ. It is a delicate process, the drying and curing of cannabis.

By Roy on 18 March 2018


By latewood_ILGM on 18 April 2018

MMJ = Medical Marijuana. You must be old like me. LOL

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