Curing cannabis: Why it’s important and how to do It properly

When you can’t grow large amounts of marijuana, you want to make sure what you do grow lasts for a long time.

The best way to ensure your harvest lasts year-round is to cure your cannabis properly.

Curing cannabis prevents mold, mildew and general spoilage. Plus, if you’ve grown anything worth smoking, and it’s more than you can stash in a drawer, you’ll need a storage plan.

Curing is how you safely store marijuana long-term.

There are many techniques for curing marijuana; and learning how to properly dry, cure and store your crop is a skill set that quickly pays for itself.

You’ve worked hard to grow the best weed; why ruin it by slacking off at the end?

This guide will explain how to dry cannabis, cure and store your marijuana like a pro so that you can enjoy top-shelf marijuana.

But don’t worry, if quick and easy is more your style, I’ve included the shortcuts as well.

Why you should cure marijuana

The best marijuana is cured. From cannabis cup winners to expertly grown medical strains, curing is not an option, it is the rule.

However, many do not realize that you do not have to cure marijuana to enjoy it.

It’s only required if you intend to keep it for a while. Freshly grown weed (often called green marijuana) is also enjoyable, but not cured and should be consumed as soon as possible.

Curing marijuana strain
Curing weed

Because it is green, it can become moldy or develop mildew, especially if stored.

Some commercial growers, both legal and black market, prefer to spray their harvest with chemicals instead of curing to shorten the production time.

While this saves them money, it does not necessarily improve the experience for the end user.

As a home grower, you can control everything involved with your cannabis, including how it is prepared for long-term storage.

Cured cannabis can be safely stored for months without impacting the flavor or potency. In fact, many believe that curing improves these qualities.

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If you’ve started with great genetics, you’ll probably want to reuse them. Curing marijuana properly can preserve seeds for future use.

If your flowers produce seeds, those seeds can be saved for future grows, but only when cured correctly. If they are harshly dried, the seeds will be ruined.

If you aren’t planning to store your marijuana, curing is a matter of preference.

It is entirely possible to produce good marijuana without it; however, for the best quality, it is a must.

Many believe that cured buds produce a smoother effect, stronger potency, and better taste. This may be due to the processes effect on terpenes and cannabinoids.

Still, others prefer green marijuana and avoid storing their harvest.

If you are not planning to cure your harvest, do not store your buds with other grow. If they become moldy, you could quickly ruin an entire crop.

In fact, try not to store any uncured marijuana – consume it fresh, just like any other perishable good.

5 Steps to properly drying & curing cannabis

Drying Weed (Steps 1-2)

Cannabis strain trimming
Marijuana strain trimming

Step 1: Trimming your buds

To dry your buds, you first need to trim them. Doing so removes excess plant material from your nugs, making drying much faster.

It also improves the quality of your weed since you’re removing plant material that’s harsh to smoke.

Parts like the stem and leaves aren’t suitable for smoking.

Marijuana buds hanging indoors
Marijuana buds hanging

Step 2: Hanging your buds

After trimming them, you will need to hang buds up to dry. Y

ou can hang them in the open air or in a controlled environment.

But, it is best to dry weed indoors as opposed to outdoors.

This is mainly because you must maintain a certain temperature and humidity level.

The optimal temperature for your drying room should be between 65-75°F (or 18-23°C). In terms of humidity, maintain 45-55% humidity.

After a week of drying, the surface of your buds should have the texture of popcorn.

Curing Weed (Steps 3-5)

Monitoring humidity of cannabis buds
Monitoring humidity of marijuana buds

Step 3: Monitor humidity

The process of curing cannabis differs from drying.

While drying can only take up to a week to finish, the curing process can take up to two or even four. This is because curing marijuana is also a way to preserve it.

The humidity level is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you cure marijuana. Your room would need to maintain a humidity of 58-65%.

This is why drying your buds is important. It prevents the likelihood of mold appearing on your weed as they cure.

Marijuana buds in a jar
Marijuana buds in a jar

Step 4: Place in mason jars

When choosing a container to cure your buds, nothing can beat mason jars.

Not only are they airtight, but since it’s glass, they won’t affect the taste of your buds, unlike plastic containers.

Step 5: burp and sweat

Another thing to remember when curing your marijuana is to ‘burp’ your mason jars. As your buds cure, moisture begins to build up within the containers.

This can be a problem since it could lead to mold appearing. To remove the moisture, you need to open the jars occasionally.

  • The curing process is a two-step. It involves an initial drying period, followed by an extended drying period. The length of this process is up to you, with many suggesting that the longer the process is, the better.
  • The initial drying period usually takes about a week, after which you cure for 2 weeks to six months. Two to four weeks is recommended (at a minimum).
  • The drying process can be done in the open air, whereas the curing process is done in a closed environment.

Both drying and curing can increase the smell and bring out the subtle flavors of your buds, indicating the greater involvement of terpenes.

Curing affects the smell of fresh marijuana by breaking down chlorophyll, removing the noticeable taste of hay or grass.

Cannabis buds: Burp & Sweat
Marijuana buds: Burp & Sweat

If you grew a strain that is known to cause anxiety or coughing, the process of curing could also reduce this effect.

The best way to experience the difference is to cure some of your grow and compare it to freshly harvested buds.

To optimally cure weed, you should carefully trim your harvest based on your environment, slow dry your buds in the open air, then continue drying in quart-sized glass mason jars.

The room temperature should be around 70°F (21°C), with 50% humidity during the drying process and 58-65% Humidity, while curing in the jars.

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There are other methods of curing, of course, with varying effectiveness, and we will include those as well.

The critical thing to remember is that curing is an exercise in patience. If you can be more patient, you could be rewarded with superior results.

If you choose to use the quicker methods, you could reduce the overall level of THC, smoothness of your smoke and seed options.

However, anything is better than having unusable moldy weed. Below we will show you how to cure weed the proper way.

How to dry weed step 1: Trimming your buds 

Once you’ve harvested your plants, you need to immediately plan for drying. Not only does it make your marijuana smokable, but it’s also the first step in the curing process.

The drying process begins the moment you cut down your plants, so every grower needs to choose their ideal method before it’s time to harvest.

Depending on your chosen method, you can dry your marijuana in as little as a day, but it could take up to a week.

Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming 

When trimming your harvested plants, there are two ways you can do it.

The first is wet trimming. This method involves removing all the stems and leaves from your buds.

It’s done immediately after harvesting, where the method gets its name.

The entire process of wet trimming can prove to be exhausting, though. This is because fresh cannabis plants are sticky, and keeping your fingers clean is difficult.

If you wet trim your cannabis, you will find that your buds will dry a lot faster since there’s less plant material.

Dry weed
Dry weed
Wet weed
Wet weed

This helps reduce the odds of mold appearing on your buds as they dry. It also has the extra benefit of not taking as much space, allowing you to dry more buds in your room.

The second way you can trim your buds is with dry trimming. As the name suggests, this method happens after you’ve dried your harvested plants.

Dry trimming, unlike wet trimming, is a lot easier. It also has other benefits besides making the trimming process much cleaner, such as a richer flavor and stronger effects thanks to a longer drying time.

The first three days of the drying process are the most crucial for preventing mold and bacteria growth, and the slower the drying process, the better.

You can also use speed dry methods (as discussed later) but these methods are not appropriate for curing and could impact the flavor of your final product.

Also read “Bud washing: the what, why and how

You should do your best not to over-dry your buds, but, if you accidentally do, you can fix it with products such as HumidPacks.

Regardless of how you choose to dry your marijuana, start by properly trimming your harvest.

Cut down your plant, either by the bud or the branch. Then trim the buds so that it is easier for them to dry evenly.

If you live in a very dry area, leave a few leaves on your buds – this will keep them from drying out too quickly. If you live in a humid area, remove the buds from the stems and trim as many leaves as possible.

For reference, here’s what we mean by dry and humid:

  • Dry areas have humidity that is under 30% RH
  • Humid areas have humidity that is greater than 60% RH

Humid areas will also benefit from using a drying rack (or raised mesh racks) instead of simply hanging branches of fresh cut marijuana. Keep in mind – big buds may take longer to dry.

Once you are done trimming, save some of your trim for other goodies such as marijuana butter or oil.

You’re now ready to start your chosen method of drying. Decide where you will dry your harvest and plan to check on them regularly.

Hanging your marijuana buds

The traditional method 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.

Despite popular belief, 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.

You can also hang them upside down in a closet using clothes hangers. The possibilities are endless.

Another vital reason for hanging freshly pulled marijuana plants is because it dries more slowly this way.

Hanging marijuana indoor
Hanging weed indoor

It’s the same method 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 forced to dry sends a plant into high-gear survival mode – causing 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 essential that falling rain is blocked from literally washing away THC from the outsides of curing bud, and of course to keep drying time to a minimum.

Hanging cannabis
Hanging weed

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.

Drying time using this method 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. Your optimal humidity is 50%.

If you are using an indoor drying room, you can adjust your environment. To do this try:

  • An air conditioner to cool the air and lower humidity
  • An evaporative cooler to cools the air and raises humidity
  • A dehumidifier to heat the air and lower humidity
  • A humidifier to heat the air and raise humidity
  • A heater to heat the air and possibly lower humidity

Be careful not to over-dry your marijuana and do not let your buds touch each other while drying.

Cannabis strain
Cannabis strain

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 should feel dry and slightly crunchy on the outside, but sticky (the stickier, the better) when squeezed between thumb and forefinger.

How to dry cannabis using Air-drying methods

Air-drying, in general, is one of the best ways 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 trimmed leaves, 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.

Drying cannabis with air
Drying marijuana with air

You can also dry small amounts of trimmed buds using this method.

Two unsophisticated favorites are a plain brown paper bag and a net-type fruit sack. Using a paper bag, fold the top over several times to seal it.

This setup steadily and evenly absorbs moisture from inside, then dissipates it to the outside.

You don’t want the buds to sit in the same place and possibly develop mold; so shake the bag from time to time. This also helps them to dry more rapidly.

Our free little harvest and cure guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your marijuana plants and save them from pests. Download it here.

You can also lie buds on cardboard or on a drying rack– just remember to move and rotate them to prevent wet spots.

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 maximum air circulation and the shortest drying time.

The most important thing to remember is to check on your plants.

They need to dry slowly, but thoroughly. Watch your temperature and maintain a good drying environment.

Even mildly hot temperatures, such as 85°F (30°C), can burn your marijuana- potentially reducing terpenes and cannabinoids.

If you live in an environment with lots of molds, you may want to consider drying indoors with a dehumidifier or air conditioner or using a fan.

These air-drying methods are best for drying marijuana for smoking but can be used for curing if you do not dry them too quickly or too much.

Remember, just like with the hanging method, do not let the plants get too dry. Leaves should be just moist enough to be flexible, but dry enough to burn evenly with a smooth, sweet smoke.

Chop your dried buds into fine pieces with scissors for a superior smoke with leaves or bud.

Air-drying or hanging is the only safe way to dry buds from which you intend to gather seeds for another crop.

Heated methods of drying cannabis leaves and buds

Of course, air drying isn’t your only option. Sometimes you need to dry marijuana rapidly. In those situations, you can use heat to dry your buds but do so with caution.

Heat significantly speeds up the drying process and increases your chances of over-drying your harvest.

Heat drying cannabis can also:

  • Remove terpenes and cannabinoids
  • Ruin seeds
  • Cause an earthy, dried grass smell
  • Make it impossible to cure your buds later

When marijuana is dried fully in less than 3 days, there isn’t enough time for the natural chemical process of curing to begin.

Drying cannabis in packets
Drying marijuana in packets

Once all the moisture is removed from the plant, it is unable to cure – even if it is remoistened.

As a result, you may end up with harsher weed that could cause migraines or increase anxiety symptoms.

You also do not want to over-dry your weed, because then it is difficult to smoke.

However, you can properly dry marijuana for immediate consumption with heat using microwaves, convection ovens, or an open skillet.


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 microwaving on 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 for buds that have seeds for next year’s crop, because the radiation will kill the seeds.

Convection oven

Large amounts of marijuana can be quickly dried in a gas or electric convection oven.

Spread plant material thinly over the bottom of a large ungreased pan, then place it into an oven at no higher than 150 degrees F (excessive heat will lower potency).


Turn drying plants every fifteen minutes, taking care not to over-dry them. This method will also likely kill all seeds in any buds you dry.

Open skillet

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.

How to know when your marijuana is dry enough

Overdrying your marijuana is a problem for multiple reasons. It can ruin the quality of your smoke and also limit or entirely prevent curing.

If you plan to use your dried marijuana in any way you need to know when it is dry enough.

Marijuana is finished drying when you touch it, and it feels dry.

If you dried trimmed buds, you don’t want the buds to dry fully. They should only be dry on the outside. Leave a little moisture on the inside.

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If you left your plants on the stem, a more precise method is breaking off a small stem to see if it snaps. If it snaps without any effort, it’s dry enough.

If it leaves behind a stringy trail of plant matter, it is not dry enough.

Bigger stems, on the other hand, should be a little flexible; this indicates that there is still a little water left, and you want that.

That water will travel from the stem to the buds, providing the perfect moisture.

Dry marijuana strain
Dry marijuana strain

You can also try to snap of an individual bud. If it pops off effortlessly, you are ready to go.

If you aren’t sure, err on it being slightly too moist. If you plan to cure your marijuana, it’s better to be slightly moist rather than over-dry. The buds will finish drying during the curing process.

If they are too dry, they will not be able to cure correctly. As long as your marijuana is dry to the touch, or snaps off of the stem, you do not need to worry.

Now that your marijuana is dried, you can either smoke it or prepare it for curing.

If you choose to smoke it, remember, it still hasn’t been cured, but it will be a different experience than consuming green marijuana.

Whether you plan to cure or store your marijuana, remove the buds, place them in glass mason jars and close the lid.

How to Cure Weed Step 3: Monitor Humidity

The curing process (drying pot) begins after marijuana has been dried for at least three days, but for the best results, use a slow-drying method that takes at least seven days.

This is where choosing dry trimming over wet trimming becomes an advantage.

By not trimming your buds, you increase the time it takes for them to finish drying since there’s more moisture thanks to the excess plant material.

Once your buds are dried, you can proceed to the curing process. It’s important to note that marijuana is ready to cure when it has 60-65% RH.

Optimal Humidity Levels for Curing Cannabis

FeelRelative HumiditySolution
Buds feel damp..70% or lessLeave the buds out to dry for another 12-24 hours
Buds feel moist..65-70%Leave the buds to dry for another 2-4 hours
Buds feel dry..60-65%Optimal for curing
Buds feel brittle..55% or lessRehydrate the buds

The curing process, or drying pot begins after marijuana has been dried for at least 3 days, but for the best results, use a slow-drying method that takes at least 7 days.

Marijuana is ready to cure when it has 60-65% RH. If it is close to this, place it in jars but leave the lid open so that it can finish drying.

If it is too dry, you may need to rehydrate your weed before it can be cured.

How to Cure Weed Step 4: Place in Mason Jars 

With traditional curing, marijuana is dried in a controlled environment. In this case, the controlled environment is quart-sized glass mason jars.

If your marijuana was dried correctly, the containers would create the perfect humidity due to the moisture left in the plant.

You should store your jars in a room that’s kept around 70°F (21°C). 

A hygrometer can help ensure your jars maintain the optimal humidity of 60-65% RH.

How to:

Place about an ounce of dried marijuana into the jar and fill it no more than ¾ full.

You want to leave enough space for the buds to move when you shake it. Do not use a larger mason jar because it could encourage mold. 

Once again, ensure your buds are not wet when you touch them. If they are, do not put them in the jar; they will not dry enough with the lid on.

Preparing weed for refrigeration step 1
Preparing weed for refrigeration step 1
Preparing weed for refrigeration step 2
Preparing weed for refrigeration step 2

If you’ve already placed it in the jars and notice an ammonia odor, your buds are too wet and are starting to grow bacteria.

If it’s slight, you may be able to save it by simply opening the jar and airing out your buds.

You should open your jars once a day and inspect your weed for the first few weeks. Shake your weed around a bit. Do this daily. This must be done in the first two weeks.

This is the standard way to cure cannabis, but there are other methods for curing weed.

For example, the freeze-drying method of curing freezes the buds to negative 40°F (4°C) and then removes the water through sublimation.

While this process can be quite technical, the resulting product has near-perfect preservation.

It doesn’t shrink in size as opposed to the traditional curing method. In addition, it tremendously reduces the drying and curing process to about 24-36 hours.

With traditional curing, marijuana is dried in a controlled environment. In this case, the controlled environment is quart-sized glass mason jars.

If your marijuana was dried correctly, the containers will create the perfect humidity due to the moisture left in the plant. Your jars should be stored in a room kept at around 70°F (21°C).

A hygrometer can help ensure your jars maintain the optimal humidity of 60-65% RH.

Place about an ounce of dried marijuana into the jar and fill it no more than ¾ full. You want to leave enough space for the buds to move when you shake it.

Do not use a larger Mason jar, because it could encourage mold. Once again, make sure your buds are not wet when you touch them.

Preparing weed for refrigeration step 3
Preparing weed for refrigeration step 3
Preparing weed for refrigeration step 4
Preparing weed for refrigeration step 4

If they are, do not put them in the jar; they will not dry enough with the lid on.

If you’ve already placed it in the jars and notice an ammonia odor, that means your buds are too wet and are starting to grow bacteria.

If its slight, you may be able to save it by simply opening the jar and airing out your buds.

For the first few weeks, you should open your jars once a day and inspect your weed.

Shake your weed around a bit. Do this daily. It is crucial that this is done the first two weeks.

It is also essential to keep your marijuana at the right moisture level to prevent mold and bacterial growth.

You can test your buds by touching to make sure the outside is dry or use a hygrometer to test the humidity in the jar after the buds had some time to ‘sweat.’

If your buds stick together, they are probably too wet.

If they have over 70% RH, they are too wet and should be dried immediately.

Depending on the humidity outside of the jar, you may be able to dry them further by leaving the lid open for up to four hours, or you may need to remove them from the jar and air dry them further.

During the first couple weeks of curing, your marijuana still won’t smell ready, although many choose to sample it at this point.

Your buds will probably smell like grass, but after a while, you should notice that top-shelf cannabis aroma.

Repeat the daily checking process for up to four weeks. Cannabis should not drop below 55% RH while curing.

After 2-4 weeks you can open the jars less often, perhaps once a week.

Once your cannabis does not ‘sweat’ after 24 hours, it is too dry and cannot be cured further. Many people cure for four weeks, but you can continue the process for up to six months.

Keep in mind, that after two months, the buds will start to lose some of their color. After a year, your buds will begin to lose their potency if not stored.

What to do if your Marijuana is too Humid (or not Humid enough)?

It is also essential to keep your marijuana at the right moisture level to prevent mold and bacterial growth.

You can test your buds by touching them to ensure the outside is dry or use a hygrometer to test the humidity in the jar after the buds have had some time to ‘sweat.’

If your buds stick together, they are probably too wet.

If they have over 70% RH, they are too wet and should be dried immediately.

Drying wet weed by hanging
Drying wet weed by hanging

Depending on the humidity outside of the jar, you may be able to dry them further by leaving the lid open for up to four hours, or you may need to remove them from the jar and air dry them further.

If you find that your buds are too dry, you can rehydrate them by using Boveda humidipaks.

Typically, humidipaks reach and maintain the ideal humidity level in your mason jars while curing.

But, it can also rehydrate your buds if they are too dry.

Boveda Humidipaks pouches release moisture if the humidity level in the jar is too low.

It will continue to add moisture which will increase the relative humidity in your jar until it reaches the goldilocks zone of 62%.

How to Cure Weed Step 5: Burp and Sweat  

The last step in curing cannabis involves regulating the humidity levels in your quart-sized mason jars.

You will need to routinely monitor your buds for a couple of days, at least twice daily.

Check for any signs of mold while opening the lids for a couple of minutes to allow for fresh air exchange.

weed in a jar
weed stored in jars

You must ‘burp’ your jars for the first couple of days because it helps maintain the relative humidity in the container.

If you don’t, the RH in your containers will increase and cause your buds to dry out too fast.

If your buds become too wet or damp to the touch, you will need to leave the lids off the jar for a couple of hours to let the moisture escape.

How to Tell When Cannabis Buds are Finished Curing

If you followed the steps accordingly and kept the optimal humidity level in your mason jars, your cannabis buds would be fully cured after 3 to 4 weeks.

You can also check if you successfully cured your buds with a hygrometer. It should register a humidity level of 8-10%, and the buds should have a crunchy and spongy feel.

While curing cannabis can take up to 3-4 weeks, it doesn’t mean you have to smoke your entire batch.

You can save a couple of jars and keep curing them for an additional 4 or 8 weeks. Doing so will increase their flavor and potency.

Wet curing marijuana

While curing in low humidity settings is the standard, there is also a way to cure ‘wet marijuana.’

Also called high humidity curing, this method involves using bacterial growth to cure partially dried marijuana.

This type of curing produces different effects and may deliver a harsher experience. It is a type of anaerobic curing.

Wet curing is similar to composting and is used to create brick weed. To do this, fresh cut marijuana is placed in a pile and left to ‘cook.’

Wet curing marijuana
Wet curing cannabis

After some time, the marijuana is wrapped and compressed for storage.

This type of curing produces marijuana that does not stay green, instead taking a tan or golden color after a few weeks. It is also very crumbly.

Anaerobic cured marijuana is preferred by some people, but it is risky because of its tendency to cause bacterial growth or mold.

For those that prefer the effects of ‘brick weed,’ dry curing for at least two months can produce similar results.

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.

Drying weed with the help of a fan
Drying weed

The trick is to retain as much of the buds’ flavor and potency as possible, and the obvious tool for that job might seem like a microwave.

While you can dry your harvest with a microwave, I don’t recommend it because ultrahigh-frequency radio waves kill the seeds.

Also, microwaves heat from the inside out, which works for drying buds, but it also overheats them, detracting from their taste and possibly from their potency.

If you must use a microwave to dry pot or 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.

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The method that works best for me so far is to snip off the buds that I want to smoke, then place them in a sealable airlock bag.

Squeezed all of the air out of it, then knead the buds from outside the bag, making them warm to “activate” THC contained in them (much the same as making finger hash).

Sometimes I even stand on the bagful of buds barefoot, 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).

storing weed in a jar
Storing weed in a jar

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.

The next step is heating the crushed buds.

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.

Storing marijuana long term

After your marijuana has cured for at least three months, you should plan for long-term storage.

If you plan to keep your marijuana for a few months, the mason jar used for curing will be enough. Simply place them in a cool, dark environment and use it as needed.

If you plan to store your marijuana for longer than six months, you may want to vacuum-seal them or tightly pack them in mason jars and store them in the freezer

Also read “How to store weed & keep marijuana fresh

If stored for over a year, cured marijuana will have more of a mellow effect and have more of a beige color. The potency should remain intact, however.

FAQ about curing marijuana

What humidity should I cure my buds?

The best moisture level to cure marijuana is between 60 and 65%, and a temperature around 15-22 ºC

Does curing affect potency?

Yes, a good curing process not only improves the flavor but the potency as well.

What’s the difference between drying and curing?

Drying means evaporation of the solvent, which results in a solid film. and curing means a chemical reaction from liquid to solid.

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Mr Robert Bergman PhD


Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations ... See profile

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109 comments on “Curing cannabis: Why it’s important and how to do It properly”

  1. Hey Robert! I Always reference your articles when growing or harvesting. I also wanted to share a technique I use for curing buds. I cut up 1 foot lengths of 14/2 electrical wire from scraps I have to make flexible hangers that are easy to loop or hook the ends around the nodes of the stalks. I try to cut the stalks of buds such that there are some short lengths of two opposing stems at the end of the stalk. Then it’s just a matter of “hooking” the stuff wire (with insulation left on) around the nodes ..I usually just form a “V” in the wire and hook a couple of Bud Stalks per wire..then hang them with the other end of the wire over a cable wire I ran in my small wine room. The temperature I prefer to hang cure at is around 14.5C and RH @65-70% in room for 6-7 days. This method makes it easy to seperate the stalks from eachother in a tight space..since I can bend the wires away from eachother. Also it’s very easy to take the bud stalks off the wires and I can reuse the wire lengths from grow to grow! After that the buds are snipped off the stalks and put into 1quart tinted mason jars..where I continue the curing process as you outline in your article..I use small RHsensors taped to the inside of the jars to help me keep the RH at 58-63. Thanks for all your info it has helped me perfect my own personal growing and harvesting techniques over the years.

  2. Very helpful info, Robert. As usual. Just wanted to thank you for all the knowledge I have gained in the last couple of years.. And the quality seeds .. thanks again ILGM..

  3. This is our first go round growing our own. So any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated

  4. This article is great! I am a first-time grower, and bought feminized GDP seeds from your website. I was hoping you could provide a bit more detail on the process of drying the plant upside down. I can’t tell whether you recommend simply pulling the plant and drying the entire thing, or whether you recommend trimming and manicuring it into separate buds and then hanging each bud separately. Thanks!

  5. Have heard about honey curing but not shure about method do I coat the whole of inside of jar or only round the rim?

  6. Robert you are awesome and the sharing of your wisdom is greatly appreciated by this Aussie Girl all the reading material has been so helpful Cheers

  7. Hi, I’m a total newbie and have a very sad looking first two plants of gorilla glue autoflower that have been drying for a week. Is there anything other than mason jars I can cure them in? I intend on making edibles, do I need this process? What does RH mean? Thanks for your help

  8. There are clear plastic tunes with colored rubberized end caps sold by a company called ULine. These are great storage media, come in diff sizes, are colorful (color coded) and can be stacked more safely than Mason jars. Also make for novel packaging / product branding.

  9. I’ve used orange peel (or lemon) in bags I was unable to consume to keep them moist and juicy. Adds a nice flavor and not as wet as the apple schtick.

  10. I dried my buds gor 5 days the pot 1 1/2 ozs in 1/2 gallon Mason jar. Keep closed and in the dark and the rH in jars is 54-56. Is this okay?

  11. After 2 years of buying seeds from ILGM , I had bad experience faith buying and bad luck trying to get seeds to sprout Chocolope. The first 20 I got no seedlings, so they sent me 20 more seeds of which I got 5 to grow. I was asked how I did with those 20 , I reported I had success getting 5 plants started at this point instead of replacing those seeds my support angel and friends told me they had no record of me ever ordering Chocolope seeds?? True story

  12. Always excellent advice, except some opinions can be confusing n repetitive. Sometimes completely opposite of previous comments written within Sometimes in the same or next paragraph.

  13. Thank you for the info. I have your book and have read many of your articles. I appreciate you putting out this knowledge for us growers.

  14. I’m a first time grower and always wanted to learn how to grow and cure… start to gininish. This is an excellent site for that. I’ve learned so much and because I live in Hawaii( the oh Island) we have the best weather year round for cultivating.
    Mahal I for all your wonderful advice!

  15. I made the mistake of being lazy while my plant hung upside down in my basement to dry I left them hang too long and I thought that I really messed up and now they were all too dry . A friend suggested that I trim the family leaves and only leave the leaves that encased the bud but to cut the buds and to leave the stem on them and put them into the jars to finish curing. I opened those jars 4 to 5 days later and the buds smelled wonderful and they were a little squishy and get sticky my friend told me that even though the stem snaps and the leave crinkle off the bud there is still moisture there that evaporates and absorbs back into the buds and stems until it is cured it was some impressive bud but it did dry out very quickly once it was out of the jar. His advice saved my crop

  16. Thanks for all the info. At harvest I usually cut plant at base to remove root ball while still growing before hanging. Usually in mid afternoon when sap flow is in upper plant. What’s your opinion on this practice???

  17. I’ve acquired some CBD hemp bud from a local farmer. It seems a bit over-dried. So I have 2 questions:
    1. How safe is it to rehydrate weed with orange peels or lettuce leaf? I certainly don’t want any mold to develop.
    2. How does one properly cure weed when you’re dealing with commercial quantities? This bud has a beautiful aroma, but tastes a bit grassy.

  18. How long should you leave the lid off for when curing during the first 2weeks when you Open each Day, and then after that when you open lid once a Week?

  19. My plant has been growing for over eight weeks but is still small the buds are really small dont know wat the seeds are just some random

  20. I bought a oz but it was dry as heck the guy said it got away from him and got to dry I put lettuce in it and it got moist the I dried it until it snapped.( I don’t know if he even curred it) but now I’m jar curring. Am I wasting my time?

  21. Jameson you need to go read a book all all the stuff you said there was no mention of was completely covered in the article. You are the one that is lame and uneducated on the matter. And please UNSUBSCRIBE we don’t people like you on here

  22. What’s the best humidity level for a boveda pack? I’ve got homegrown maui wowie. Thanks, Mat.

  23. I have a Frementation chamber i use to to dry cure meat. I can control the temperature and Humidity in it. Would placing Mason jars without the lids on a good idea to dry my crop?

  24. This is a big help for beginners in growing cannabis. Now, they know where to look for sources on how to grow their very own marijuana plant or greenhouse. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Im a new grower this is my second crop but last grow look good grow well but had grass Smell after drying smell so good growing where did i go wrong

  26. Curing cannabis plant is never an easy task. one must have the knowledge on how to take care of it. Thanks for sharing this post. It helps people to know more about this plant.

  27. I’m on my first plant. I cut a bud to sample, dried for 4 days and it was dark green and Brittle with very lawn clipp taste. I found this thread and Y’all have put me on the right track. Much thanks to you all!

  28. I have been growing 36 years & could never unlock the mystery of curing nor was anyone willing to pass on there knowledge to me! This article has changed my drying technique & now I have finally got odour to my crop, where as before I had no odour but my crops were still potent

  29. I put a pack in all my quart jars w/ 1 oz. of weed , then vacuum seal the jar,it will last til the cows come home.

  30. through the growing season i pulled off the larger leaves as they started to yellow and to give more light to the buds. some i left in the grow room and they turned tan. the leaves dried in the dark remained green. is there any difference in potency or should i throw out the bleached ones?
    thanks for all the info

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

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

  34. Andrew,

    I suggest you join our support forum at:

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

  35. 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 now…fyi

  36. 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’

  37. Michael McComb,

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

  38. 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?

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

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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…:-)

  43. 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

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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!!

  48. 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.

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

  50. 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

  51. 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!

  52. 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 4×300 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.

  53. 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

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

  55. 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:)

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

  57. 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.

  58. 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?

  59. 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!

  60. Jerry,

    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. 🙂

  61. 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…..

  62. 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

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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

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