I walked into my garage today to check on my drying branches of cannabis – it’s been about two weeks since I picked and trimmed them. They’ve been drying nicely, with constant gentle airflow to speed the process and check mold growth. I checked to see if they were ready to pack by wiggling some of the buds, and listening for the brittle little snap of the tiny branches. They all snapped rather than bent. This was my cue to pack and cure. Curing is an important step to finish the drying process while preserving the most terpenes. Curing also allows the remaining sugars and chlorophyll in the green material to slowly dissipate. Here’s how to preserve your homegrown cannabis.
- Pack. Snap the dried buds off the branches, then pack them into your glass jars. I find that ½ gallon or 1 quart glass canning jars are ideal for storing cannabis. There is a subtle art to how densely to pack your bud in the jars. Give them a gentle push but don’t crush the buds. Leave some air pockets in the mass of bud, but aim to leave little headspace. You want to give the bud air, but not allow too much oxygen into the jar. But sure to label your jars of bud with the cultivar name and date packed. Close up the jars with the lids and store them in a dark, cool spot.
- Burp. For the first week after packing, you’ll need to burp each jar once a day. To burp the jar open the lid and take a deep whiff. It should smell like weed – not mold. Look at the under surface of the lid. It should have no moisture condensation. If you do see any moisture, you need to remove the bud from the jar and allow to dry on a tray for another day or two and then repack. For the second, third and fourth weeks, burp the jars of bud twice per week.
Your bud is now all ready to store! Congratulations – you just completed your harvest. Enjoy!