Why Do Growers Dry and “Cure” Cannabis Buds?
Your buds are ready for harvest, yet your job as a grower is not quite over yet. You still need to put your newly harvested buds through the cannabis curing process.
In order to ensure the best quality for your freshly harvested buds, you must prepare your buds with a process known as curing, which involves drying your buds slowly in a controlled environment, then keeping buds in glass jars over the course of a few weeks to let certain natural plant processes occur.
Growers cure marijuana buds because they will not achieve their peak potency and quality if they’re uncured. If you started with great genetics and you’ve taken care of your marijuana plants properly during their life, then curing is what makes the difference between “just okay” and trophy-worthy buds.
by Nebula Haze
This is a super condensed version of this tutorial! You may also enjoy our marijuana life timeline or complete beginner’s guide. The following tutorial is very basic, but if you follow just these steps you will get to harvest!
Step 1: Choose Your Place to Grow
I personally think grow tents are a cheap (under $100) and easy way to set up the perfect grow environment, but there are lots of great places to grow!
by Sirius Fourside
Many growing methods seem like common sense once you’re actually aware of them. For example, low stress training seems like an obvious thing to do once you understand that exposing more of the plant to light makes for more buds.
This week, we’re revisiting a topic that many newer growers may be unaware of: The Perpetual Harvest. The idea of the Perpetual Harvest is very simple in nature, so it might not seem like much. But it’s one of the best methods of ensuring a steady supply of cannabis when you need it.
The Perpetual Harvest is a technique in which growers utilize multiple grow tents/areas to ensure that there are always plants in both the flowering stage and in the vegetative stage.
“I need to harvest as soon as possible. What’s the fastest growth method? What can I do to speed up the time to harvest?”
Many of our readers write in to ask about speeding up the time to harvest.
So, how long does it actually take to grow marijuana?
Short Answer: From Day 1 of your marijuana plant’s life to a smokable harvest, you are looking at a window ranging between 3 and 7+ months!
Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months. Learn more about the marijuana growth timeline.
Long Answer: These factors have the greatest impact on total time to harvest:
- Plant strain – strain has the largest impact on growing time.
- Desired yields – do you want to grow a few grams, a few ounces, or a few pounds?
- Growing method – differing grow methods/setups can add or subtract a few weeks or even months!
What is the Point of Flushing Before Harvest? (Leaching Extra Nutrients Out of Buds)
Flushing is free and easy technique that may improve the quality and smoothness of your cannabis buds beforeharvest. Sounds good, right? Of course it does! But growers must also be careful with flushing before harvest because if you do it too early you can actually hurt your quality (and reduce your yields)!
The process of flushing involves giving your plants just plain water with no nutrients for a period of time before harvest. For growers who normally give water to their plants with nutrients in it, you would water your plants as normal with the same type of water you normally use, but you don’t add any nutrients. Depending on the setup, growers usually flush their plants this way for a few days up to about 2 weeks.
Note: You still need to pH the water during the flush, because too high or too low pH can cause your plant to absorb extra aluminum and salt out of the water!
When should I harvest the buds from my cannabis plant? That is the eternal question…
I’m sure the answer we’re all thinking is “Not soon enough!”
Unfortunately for us impatient growers, harvesting at the right time is just as important as how you grow the plant. Harvest too soon and you lose potency and cannabis yields; too late and you can end up making a batch of sleep medicine.
You only need 3 things to determine the best marijuana harvest time:
- The knowledge of when to harvest – You get that today!
- Eyes for visual inspection – You’ve probably had these for a while!
- A magnifying tool – Makes the glittery, resin-filled trichomes on your buds easier to see; although not 100% necessary, this lets you time your harvest perfectly to get the exact effects you’re looking for
When it comes to magnifying tools for growing, there are a few options: Continue reading When to Harvest
Ready for Harvest Pictures
Blog about when to harvest your buds
Harvest when 60-70% of hairs have darkened for highest levels of THC.
Harvest when 70-90% of hairs have darkened for a more calming,
anti-anxiety effect as some THC turns to the more relaxing CBN.
With some strains, you may see a bunch of new pistils appear right when you think you’re getting close. This is normal, but it happens more than 3 times you’ve eventually got to just make the decision and chop. Learn how to speed up the time to harvest.
Read the full Blog – “When to Harvest your buds”
I still can’t tell the difference between clear and cloudy trichomes!!!
It can be hard to tell the difference between clear and cloudy trichomes, especially if you don’t see both types of trichomes at the same time! This is completely normal, and it takes a little experience before this part becomes totally easy.
However, when in doubt, consult with the pictures of buds above. If you combine both methods you’ll get the best results! Although looking at your buds isn’t the most precise way to know when to harvest, it does give you a really good idea. Try to take everything together. If your buds just have white pistils sticking out, you know for sure that it’s no where close to ready, so you also know that the trichomes on the buds aren’t all cloudy yet. It’s only when your buds are getting close to looking harvest-ready that trichomes are going to have something to tell you!
The trichomes in this picture are still mostly clear, but that may be difficult to know immediately if you haven’t really looked at trichomes before! However, I don’t even really need to look at the trichomes in this picture to know these buds aren’t ready yet. There are other signs it’s not ready. I can clearly see several white pistils sticking straight out in the photo. The only two pistils that have darkened haven’t even curled in yet.
Trichomes are mostly clear so this bud is not ready for harvest