Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Jar Curing Cannabis
by Jen Keehn – May 9, 2018
There’s nothing quite like growing your own cannabis crop. Whether you’ve got one plant or one-hundred, drying and curing your weed is paramount to the quality of your product. Curing your crop takes time. And while it can be tempting to try to dry your buds as quickly as possible, curing them properly will ensure your harvest is the best it can possibly be.
There are several ways to cure a harvest once it has been cut down, but jar curing is one of the most popular methods amongst experienced growers. When done correctly, jar curing will make your finished product not only more potent but will make it last, keeping it fresh for months to come.
If you’re new to the growing scene, we salute you. Whether you’re growing cannabis inside or outdoors, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Here’s all you need to know about jar curing cannabis, a small but crucial step in the entire growing process.
Why Curing Your Cannabis is So Important
Proper Curing Increases THC Content
When your plant is finished growing, the production of cannabinoids doesn’t stop. When you cut your plants down, ensuring that you dry and cure them properly will ensure that THC content increases for the maximum potency of your pot.
Curing Will Enhance Aroma, Flavor, and Quality
All cannabis is not created equal. When you cure your cannabis, aroma, flavor, and quality are all enhanced, leaving you with the quality bud you worked so hard to grow. It also allows for the breakdown of sugars and any minerals that remain, ensuring you don’t get a harsh smoke that’s hard on the throat and lungs.
Curing Preserves Cannabis
Depending on how much you smoke (and how much you grew), your harvest can keep you high for a long time to come. Properly curing your cannabis can ensure it’s persevered, keeping cannabinoid content high and avoiding any issues with mold. It’s not unheard of for properly cured cannabis to last up to two years or more.
Properly Drying Your Cannabis Prior to Jar Curing
The first step of jar curing cannabis is to ensure you properly dry your buds. After cutting your plants down you’ll need to let them dry before curing. There are a couple different methods of drying your plants, depending on whether you decide to wait and trim your buds when they’re dry or trim them immediately after cutting them down when they’re wet.
Dry Trimming vs. Wet Trimming
Most experienced growers wait until plants are dry before they begin trimming, which ensures that the plants don’t dry out too quickly and the quality of the bud is maintained. Plants are hung upside down either on metal hangers or long string that is stretched tightly across the room being used for dying. Once they are dry, buds are trimmed before being placed in curing jars.
Some growers use a method known as “wet trimming”, where the fan leaves and other leaves and stems on the bud are trimmed when the plant is cut down. This method can be especially beneficial for larger crops where there is a lot of weed that needs to be trimmed. Buds that have been wet trimmed are usually placed in drying racks until they’re ready to be cured.
Drying Your Buds
Whatever method you decide on for drying your cannabis before jar curing, it’s essential to keep drying buds in a dark room (no direct sunlight) with temperatures around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels should be kept at 45-55%. A small fan should also be kept on in the room to ensure the proper circulation of air flow.
Drying cannabis takes around 5-15 days. Your buds are ready for jar curing when they’re completely dry. If your buds aren’t dry enough when you put them into the jar to cure, you risk developing mold and ruining your crop.
Knowing they’re ready can be tough for the beginner grower to gauge. Using the “snap test” (when the small branches snap instead of fold when you bend them) is a good way to know when they’re good to go. Buds should also be somewhat crisp on the outside.
What is Jar Curing?
Once your buds have properly dried and trimmed, it’s time to begin the jar curing process. Jar curing cannabis has been a grower’s go-to for decades and is one of the most popular ways to properly cure cannabis.
Wide-mouth mason jars are typically the most commonly used method of jar curing, but other glass jars with a tightly sealing lid can also be used. You can also use plastic containers, although curing in jars is typically preferred.
Some growers will use large plastic bags to cure their cannabis, but the majority of plastic bags aren’t conducive to a proper cure. Oxygen can’t flow properly in plastic. When it comes in contact with terpenes and oils present in the buds, the plastic can also break down potentially tainting your crop with plastic particles.
After all the work you did to grow your weed in the first place, making sure you cure it properly only makes sense. Glass jars are the way to go if you want a quality finished product.
4 Steps to Properly Jar Curing Cannabis
Dried, trimmed buds should be packed loosely in the jar until it is approximately 2/3 full. Lids should be sealed tightly, and containers placed in a cool, dark space (closets work excellent for jar curing).
The first week of dry curing is vital for success. You will need to open each jar at least three times each day for about 5-10 minutes. This lets your buds breathe and replaces any lost oxygen inside the jar. Opening your jars a few minutes each day during the first week also allows any moisture to escape, ensuring your buds don’t develop mold.
Have patience. Curing your cannabis takes time. After the first week, jars should only be opened every few days. Let them breathe for 5-10 minutes and then tightly replace the lid and return jars to their cool, dark curing space.
Letting your cannabis jar cure for 2-3 weeks is usually enough time to make sure your harvest is top quality. Have the patience to let your buds cure longer? Curing them for 4-6 weeks or longer can make your finished product even better.
Curing cannabis correctly is one of the most important parts of growing your own stash. Unfortunately, it’s also something often overlooked, ruining many a potentially amazing crop. When you take the time to properly jar cure cannabis, you’re ensuring you end up with a quality finished product you can be proud of.
Whether you’ve got one plant or one-hundred, drying and curing your weed is paramount to the quality of your product. Here's how to do it.
What happens to weed that’s left in a jar for five years?
What happens to cannabis after five years of storage?
WeвЂ™ve all had one of those moments where youвЂ™re cleaning out the couch cushions or rummaging through the junk drawer and all of a sudden, you stumble across a glorious sight вЂ” old weed you had lost or forgotten about. But typically, the colour has faded away and the bud has lost its bling, which causes you to second-guess throwing it in your piece. Luckily, Marijuana.com is here to settle your worries.
As you may already know,В Weedmaps TVвЂ™s Gil (one of the media pioneers of this industry) has been conducting strain reviews since 2010. We were able to track down some of his вЂњstunt weedвЂќ ganja вЂ” sweet, succulent, sun-grown cannabis that was harvested in the fall of 2012 and has been sitting in a jar on the WMtv set ever since. While the cannabis had bright spotlights shone on it for the last five years, the seal of the mason jar had never been openedвЂ¦
So, of course, we decided to send this rare five-year-old cannabis sample toВ CannalysisВ testing lab.
Age can cause deterioration of some cannabinoids more than others
ItвЂ™s time to really answer the question, once and for all, what happens to marijuana after years of less-than-ideal storage?
The Science:В Old weed is notoriously known for acting as a potent sleep medicine. When THC is exposed to oxygen, it transforms into CBN вЂ” an unbelievably healing cannabinoid that helps relax and put the body to sleep. In this case, the buds were stored in a mason glass jar so exposure to oxygen was minimal. The high amount of THC that still remained in the bud made it obvious that there was very little degradation of THC to CBN. However, there was still a higher presence of CBN than average, 0.6% CBN to be exact. The slight dose of CBN still induced a relaxing and sedative effect, melting away all the tension and stress of the day.
Appearance:В Not surprisingly, the buds have lost their once-spectacular glimmer. Their original lime green hue has gradually become a bit duller, fading toward a more khaki green. The trichomes, however, are still very much intact and their perfect amber heads continue to glow.
Consistency:В The once super-glue sticky buds have transitioned into a slightly crunchier version of their original selves. This specimen was jarred before we were all enlightened to the glory of humidity packs, but even still, the sealed jar kept these buds in surprisingly nice condition. While the buds were more than a bit drier than what most smokers enjoy, when viewed up close you can see the trichomes are still melty and sticky, ready to be inhaled.
Scent:В Now this is the kicker, almost any canna-expert will tell you the first thing to degrade are the terpenes (essential oils) of cannabis. However, we were pleasantly surprised at the presence of terpenes even after five years!
Still, breaking the seal of the mason jar for the first time in a half-decade was a rather foul experience. The stale air had a strong fermented plant matter smell that tingles the nostrils. The odd odour reminded me of a spice cabinet in an old moist home or a mixture of exotic dried herbs found in traditional Chinese medicine. Once the lid was off and the stale air had been flushed, the faint aroma of cannabis terpenes dominated the jar.
Cracking open a bud exuded a more pleasant floral citrus scent with an earthiness, kombucha-esque aroma that lingers in your nostrils. Lab tests showed that 0.67% of terpenes remained intact with limonene leading the way at 1.66mg per gram. These buds were also high in linalool and myrcene. The presence of myrcene means that even though these buds are old, they still have the power to break through the blood-brain barrier and produce an excellent high.
Taste:В While the look of old buds is not quite as show-stopping as a freshly cured bud, the taste of these 5-year-old flowers was rather вЂњinteresting.вЂќ The flavour was quite dry and earthy, hitting the back of my throat rather immediately. While not completely unpleasant, it wasnвЂ™t the most enjoyable tokeВ of my life. Mild citrus notes still rang through, even if they werenвЂ™t quite at their former sweet pine and fresh blooming flower glory.
The Verdict:В Smoke that herb! While it may not exude the beauty it did in its prime, old weed is still good weed. And who knows, you might enjoy the new body-melting couch lock it provides.
ItвЂ™s time to really answer the question, once and for all, what happens to your weed after years of less-than-ideal storage?