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The final part of the post-harvest process is one the most important of all stages of cannabis cultivation. An easily overlooked step, curing the product is significant for a range of reasons, including cannabinoid and terpene development. Thus, while many people think the potency,  taste and smell components of cannabis flowers conclude when the plant is cut, this is actually not the case.

In fact, properly curing cannabis is tantamount to being diligent in the cultivation of the plant. While there is not a lot of scientific backing to suggest that potency increases when flowers are well cured, ample anecdotal and cultural evidence does back a fact that growers have known for decades, perhaps centuries – curing is the simplest and most efficient way to increase the potency of the cannabinoid content of cannabis.1 

What has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, however, is that curing breaks down chlorophyll in the plant and dramatically improves the taste and overall smoothness of the flowers. Anyone who has watched a joint burn black, or experienced a harsh intake from raw flowers, can assuredly understand the importance of this aspect. When cannabis isn’t cured properly, it can lead to a nasty taste, and the flowers are unpleasant to consume by combustion.

Other benefits of curing cannabis range from the simple – it brings out the subtle textures of the terpene profile – to the complex, where cannabis flowers are less likely to contribute to a buzz characterized by paranoia and anxiety. While the science is, again here, quite nascent, there is strong support for the notion that properly cured flowers produce a generally more enjoyable experience, both for recreational adult consumers, and patients.2

What is curing, exactly? While the difference between cured and non-cured product is stark, the process is actually quite simple. It’s for this reason, coupled with impatience and the willingness to get product to market, that curing is too often overlooked and product found both on shelves and on the street is sub-par, tasteless, harsh and, generally, not as good as it either looks, or its cannabinoid content would suggest.

One of the main reasons cannabis is cured is because it increases the lifespan of the flowers. Both painstaking and timely, curing involves patience. In a cool, dark room, the flowers should be placed in sealable containers and opened, or burped, several times per day. This helps to keep the oxygen content fresh.3

Following several weeks of burping three times a day, the frequency can be dialed back to once a day into the latter weeks of the process. In total, cannabis flowers should be cured for roughly eight weeks or more, until the terpene profile of the flowers has fully developed. This, more than any other part of the cultivation process, will ensure that the flowers can be stored in the same containers they were cured in for up to six months. For long-term storage, cannabis should be vacuum sealed as this will allow it to last for a year or even longer.

1. https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/the-art-of-cured-cannabis-can-pot-be-aged-like-wine-and-whiskey-w486731/
2. https://www.growweedeasy.com/drying-curing
3. https://www.coloradopotguide.com/colorado-marijuana-blog/article/curing-cannabis-why-its-important-and-how-to-do-it-properly/
  1. "The Art of Cured Cannabis: Can Pot Be Aged Like Wine and Whiskey?" https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/the-art-of-cured-cannabis-can-pot-be-aged-like-wine-and-whiskey-w486731/
  2. "Complete Drying & Curing Marijuana Guide." https://www.growweedeasy.com/drying-curing
  3. "Curing Cannabis: Why It's Important and How to Do It Properly." https://www.coloradopotguide.com/colorado-marijuana-blog/article/curing-cannabis-why-its-important-and-how-to-do-it-properly/

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