If you’ve only recently started growing your own cannabis, you’re probably spending a lot of time online. Between YouTube videos on dialing in your soil pH to long articles comparing the relative merits of various nutrient mixes, you’ve got a long road of research ahead.

And just when you think you’re done – when you’ve snipped those perfect buds, your rolling papers in the other hand – you realize there’s one last step. And it’s a biggie.

Before you can dive into the fruit of your labors (flower of your labors?), you need to cure your cannabis. This article serves as an introductory guide to the essential process, explaining what curing is, what it accomplishes and how to do it correctly.

What Is “Curing,” Exactly?

Curing is an essential (if sometimes overlooked) step on the road toward great cannabis. The process happens after an initial drying phase when you leave the cannabis in a dry (but still humidity-controlled) environment for roughly a week to expel excess moisture.

By contrast, you achieve curing in an airtight container with a higher – yet still specific and maintained – relative humidity (RH). The curing process allows the remaining moisture in the cannabis to redistribute evenly throughout the buds, creating a consistently optimal flavor, texture, and burnability. The curing process also preserves flavor-rich terpenes, and allows the chlorophyll present in the cannabis to degrade (driving off those unwanted vegetal tastes).

Why Do People Cure Cannabis?

The section above more or less answered our question, but let’s review why people cure cannabis:

  • To distribute moisture throughout the cannabis for an even product that burns well and produces rich smoke
  • To preserve the terpenes (which degrade in open air or hot cures), resulting in a flavorful, complex taste and aroma
  • To drive away unwanted chlorophyll tastes
  • To inhibit mold growth resulting from high humidity and uneven moisture normalization

In other words, if you skip the curing process, all the hard work until this point will result in a subpar product.

How to Cure Cannabis

Thankfully, curing weed isn’t tricky or expensive. This resource on how to cure weed is particularly straightforward, involving little special equipment and little labor.

Essentially, you need an airtight, opaque container with a 2-way humidity control pack inside. A 2-way humidity control pack (often referred to by its brand name, Boveda) maintains a consistent RH in the container, preserving your hard-won terpenes and ensuring the cannabis has an ideal environment to mature properly.

Choose between 58% RH packs for slightly firmer buds or 62% RH packs for lighter, fluffier, sticker cannabis. If you want to keep an eye on things, you might also invest in a hygrometer (although it isn’t necessary with an accurate humidity control pack).

Next, set the temperature between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit in your curing space to further ensure terpene preservation and potency.

Now, it’s a waiting game. Most experts recommend “burping” your bud by lifting the container lid once per day for the first week, which allows for a fresh supply of oxygen around the cannabis. Leave your cannabis to cure for between two and four weeks – and voila! By crossing the finish line correctly, you should be staring at some perfect, fresh, and flavorful cannabis.