Technically, curing starts the second the flowers stop taking in water, so the process soon starts after you cut them down. Curing is incredibly important and I know you’ll want to rush this process, but take the extra time. A decent amount of potency and aroma engenders in this process and as I talked about above, it gives a smoother smoke when the chlorophyll is broken down.
You can easily tell when the flowers are dry by bending the stems. If they snap or are about to then you’re done drying, but if they are still fairly bendy then this need to dry longer. Larger steam may still bend and that fine. Be careful to not overdry the buds as they break easily and crumble. You can re-moisten with humidipacks if needed, but it’s best to not have it come to that because some growers report lost of smell.
After the buds are dried, you’ll want to place them in mason jars and fill the jars to about 70-80% full. I leave enough room that my hydrometer easily fits in, which I recommend doing.
This isn’t needed, but I like stressing that you need a good cure, because I want the best flavor and most potent high. Even if you don’t use a meter still only fill the jars to only about 80%.
After you fill your jars with the soon to be marijuana, you’ll want to place them in a cool, dark area for about 24 hrs. After a day you’ll want to “burp” them, which simply means you open the jars for a few seconds to let out the built-up moisture. You will continue to burp each jar at least once a day for probably a week or two.Use your hydrometer, if it reads 60-65% or lower then there is no need to burp and you can leave the lids on. If that number goes higher then you can burp. That 60-65% humidity range is what you’re aiming for.
Spend the $10 buck it cost for a simple meter as it just makes the whole gardening experience way easier and takes out so much guesswork. You are going to kick yourself so much if you lose $100+ dollars of valuable bud to mold because you wanted to cut cost.
When you open your jars, go ahead and take in a big nose full. A lot of people judge whether the cure is done or not by the smell. Many say uncured marijuana smell like hay, straw, or fresh cut grass, and I can kinda see that. It has a unique smell for sure. Wet straw in the winter is the closest thing I can think it smells like.
If the curing bud smells funky, rotten, etc. immediately inspect for mold.
After a week or so you should only have to open the jars about once a week, and at this point it’s fine, if you want to go ahead and start smoking your weed. I recommend waiting at least another week or two to really lock in the flavor.
Curing will take place for up to 6 months. What I like to do cure for two weeks, then only smoke from one of the jars, that way the other jars can continue to cure.