How to Use Humidity to Cure Cannabis Perfectly
Drying and curing cannabis are critical steps in preparing a high-quality cannabis product. Properly dried and cured buds can retain their potency for years, with mellow effects and delicious flavors.
However, if buds become too dry during curing, they can develop an unpleasant taste and aroma. Fortunately, there are simple ways to rehydrate dry buds and bring jar humidity back into the optimal range.
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For many growers, especially those who ship their product to multiple locations, humidity control packets are the best solution for ensuring that the bud remains in perfect condition. They are also ideal for dispensary storage, as they can control individual pre-roll humidity.
Humidity packets are designed to provide consistent relative humidity in jars or other containers, allowing the user to avoid mold, mildew, and fungus in storage. They are available in various sizes, including small packs suitable for personal stashes and large packets that will fit in the lid of a container or can be used to maintain the humidity in a container during shipping and distribution.
The most popular brand of humidity packets uses a salt-based technology to conform to ASTM water activity standards and remain effective over time. It is also regarded as the most efficient and reliable means of maintaining a desired humidity level compared to other products, such as glycerin-based solutions and hydrostatic polymers.
They are available in various sizes to suit any application. A small 8g pack is perfect for a single glass or metal jar, while a more significant 67g package is suitable for more extensive storage containers. The packs are effortless to use, place the sachet alongside your cannabis in the storage container and leave it there throughout the curing process. The sachet will absorb or release moisture to maintain an optimal humidity level in the jar and should be “burped” several times a day until your bud is ready for harvest.
Then how to cure cannabis? When cannabis is harvested, the drying and curing process must begin to produce a final product with a consistent taste, aroma, and potency. The ideal curing process requires an environment with temperatures between 55 and 65% humidity. This level allows the cannabinoid synthesis to continue, where non-psychoactive cannabinoids will transform into THCA, the acidic form of THC, which creates a more powerful and psychoactive effect. The curing process also intensifies terpenes, which can affect flavor and aroma.
However, as the buds dry, it is essential to check on them multiple times daily so they do not become too wet and develop unwanted mold or bacteria. This is why many growers use a humidifier to maintain a steady, consistent humidity in their growing room or tent.
The most popular and effective humidifier monitors and regulates the environment using hygrometer readings. The packs have a replaceable indicator that shows when it is time to change the moisture content, which helps avoid overdoing the process and ruining the buds.
While there is no scientific proof that 2-way humidity packs negatively impact terpenes or impart a taste, smell, or color to the marijuana, some growers claim they do have an impact, mainly when used shortly after harvesting, to quicken the curing process actively.
The drying and curing process lock in active phytochemicals, resulting in the most flavorful smoke possible and intensifying psychoactive effects. The process is similar to ripening fruit and should be done slowly, with constant attention to temperature and humidity. Many products help growers maintain the right conditions for curing, including specialty containers with a built-in hygrometer.
Hygrometers are available in various styles, from countertop units that can be placed on a desk or counter to remote Bluetooth-enabled sensors that work with smart home devices. Some hygrometers can also be connected to an alarm system that will send you text or email alerts when the temperature and moisture level are outside your desired range.
When a hygrometer reads below the optimal curing range, it may be time to rehydrate with packs. These moisture packets return jar humidity to the ideal curing range without affecting flavor and aroma.
In the last phase of marijuana growth, non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds transform into psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The process of curing cannabis slows down this transformation and increases potency. It also improves organoleptic properties, such as smell and taste, and helps protect against terpene and cannabinoid degradation. However, if the curing process is rushed or not done correctly, this transformation may stop, and cannabinoid and terpene potency will decrease.
Using packs helps to keep humidity at the right level for curing. This reassures growers about over-drying their buds, which can result in a harsh and brittle final product. Over-drying also causes the buds to lose secondary metabolites, affecting the final product’s flavor.
It is best to use a hygrometer to check for proper humidity levels. When the hygrometer reads 62% or less relative humidity, the bud is dry enough for long-term storage. It is essential that the bud not have any extra moisture left in it before storing for a long time, as this can cause mold.
Many growers store their buds in an airtight jar for two weeks or more. This makes them more smokeable and improves their flavor.
When a jar of buds has been stored for a few months, it is often time to get out the humidifiers. This will help the buds to maintain their texture and terpenes.
Most growers check their buds once a day, especially in the beginning stages of drying. This is important because it removes moisture from the jars, preventing mold and bacteria formation. This process is called “burping.” If you burp jars frequently, they will stay at the correct humidity level for the entire curing period.