Curing and Storing

How about a new topic? I still have buds from all three of my crops. They sure do get better over time and much easier on the throat. I have just used the large zip-locks to store mine and burp the bags here and there. I even put one in the freezer for a couple months. What is the recommended way to do this? I keep the bags inside where it's cool and dark. How do you all store your buds? The buds from my first crop are about a year old now.


  • Daisy
    edited May 26

    Hello @Ozz, thank you for starting the thread.
    Like wine, cannabis has proven to age finer over time, unlocking its hidden depths, intensifying the flavors, and enhancing potency.
    But before we cure, let’s get first things first.

    Harvesting at the Right Time:
    To achieve the best results, it is vital to harvest your cannabis plants at the peak of their potency.
    This is typically when the trichomes have reached their milky white color, indicating the highest levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.

    Drying the Buds:
    After harvest, the drying process begins. Hang the trimmed branches upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room with temperatures around 60-70°F (15-21°C) and humidity levels around 45-55%.
    This slow-drying process allows chlorophyll to break down gradually, leading to smoother smoke and a more desirable flavor profile.

    Trimming and Preparing the Buds:
    Once the buds are dry and the branches snap instead of bending, it's time to trim away the excess leaves.
    Use clean, sharp scissors to remove the larger fan leaves while leaving the smaller sugar leaves intact to protect the buds. This step improves the overall appearance and ensures a cleaner burn.

    Curing the Buds:
    Curing is a critical step that enhances the aroma, flavor, and potency of the cannabis buds. Place the trimmed buds in glass jars, filling them up to about 75% capacity.
    Ensure the jars are clean and have an airtight seal. Open the jars once a day for the first week, allowing excess moisture to escape and preventing mold growth.
    After the first week, open the jars once every few days for burping, gradually reducing the frequency over time.

    Controlling Humidity Levels:
    Maintaining the right humidity level during the curing process is crucial. Aim for relative humidity (RH) of 58-65% inside the jars. If the humidity is too high, leave the lids off briefly to let excess moisture escape. If it's too low, consider using humid packs (such as Boveda or Integra Boost) designed specifically for cannabis, which releases or absorbs moisture to maintain optimal humidity levels.

    Storing for the Long Term:
    Once the buds have been cured, it's time to store them for long-term preservation.
    Choose opaque, airtight containers made of glass or metal, as they provide the best protection against light, air, and moisture.
    Store the containers in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Additionally, avoid exposing the buds to frequent temperature fluctuations, which can degrade their quality over time.

    Monitoring and Maintenance:
    Regularly check your stored buds for any signs of mold, mildew, or pests. Inspect the containers for airtight seals and ensure no temperature or humidity fluctuations in the storage area.
    It's advisable to rotate your stash, consuming older buds first while keeping a consistent supply of fresh, properly cured cannabis.
    Remember, the art of curing and storing is a continuous learning process, so don't be afraid to experiment with different methods and find what works best for you.
    Enjoy your well-cured, properly stored cannabis buds and elevate your cannabis experience to new heights.

  • Hello, Ozz!
    I'm a new member here, and your topic on long-term storage of cannabis has piqued my interest. While I personally haven't encountered that issue for several years, a few thoughts crossed my mind. Here are some potential approaches:

    Vacuum pack and freeze cured bud: This method could be highly effective for preserving the quality of your cannabis over an extended period.

    Fresh-Freeze: I've heard that oil extractors often utilize this technique, which may be worth exploring for long-term storage purposes.

    Edibles: One option is to prepare a substantial batch of brownies or other edibles and freeze them. This can be a tasty and convenient way to store your cannabis.

    Bury it: For a more unconventional approach, you could tightly pack an extra-large, air-tight container to the brim and bury it underground. This method may offer a unique form of long-term storage.

    Regarding the longevity of the stored cannabis, the maximum duration for dried bud in a tightly packed, airtight container is typically around one year. As Daisy mentioned, the key factors to consider are air and light elimination. Any storage method that achieves these conditions would be a wise choice.

    I'm eager to hear more about your experiences and suggestions. Let's keep the discussion going!

    Best regards, Shoe

  • I gave a friend, who is kind of a light weight, some of the first grow I did. It was a gift and he still has some. 2 years old. Says it tastes and smells great. I grow for 2 so I really only have been able to keep around anything for longer then 3 months. I used a glass jar for the GDP I gave my friend but for me, I use plastic bags. They are kinda heavy duty ziplocks I got from my old weed guy.
    They have this emblem on em which is neat...I smoked a joint half way through this post can you tell?
    Anyhow, I read somewhere that there are a bunch of cannabis cup winners were cured for 90 days or more.

  • I still have some bud from that weird science crop a year ago. Guess I should break some out and try it.

  • Thanks, @SHOE. Those options are quite insightful, and again Just like leaving food stored and stacked away, can become breeding grounds for molds and pests you don't want to stack buds and forget all about them.
    Better still it's more like how bushes easily grow in a house not inhabited.
    Okay my point is as you carefully open the buds to consume once in a while while ensuring to keep light, moisture, and light at bay, you can preserve the potency and freshness of cannabis buds for a while and quickly catch any creeping molds

  • I've been using Grove bags for the past couple of years to cure and store. They keep the humidity levels consistent and they have worked great so far.

  • Some guy tried to impress me with his cannabis knowledge and mentioned curing in kraft paper bags. When asked later he would not say more. So I now cure in paper bags for two days. After two days I hang them four feet from my air conditioning duct until ready. I am just experimenting and definitely need more info on curing.

  • @Gulch
    I have also used Brown Paper bags for curing and found this:
    There are a few main reasons why cannabis is often dried in brown paper bags:

    Airflow - Paper bags allow for air circulation, which is important for evenly drying the cannabis. Plastic bags or containers can trap moisture and cause mold.

    Slow drying - Paper absorbs and releases moisture slowly, slowing the drying rate. Slow, even drying helps retain terpenes and cannabinoids.

    Dark conditions - Being opaque, paper bags block light which degrades THC. Light causes photodegradation.

    Oxygenation - Paper bags allow some oxygen exchange during drying/curing. Proper oxygenation helps break down chlorophyll for better taste and smell.

    Terpene retention - Slower drying in paper bags results in less evaporation of aromatic terpenes compared to quick drying methods.

    Humidity control - Paper bags reduce humidity as cannabis dries. The paper absorbs moisture while allowing needed airflow.

    Curing process - During curing, the paper bags help restrict air exchange while maintaining humidity levels. This stabilizes and preserves cannabinoids.

    Low cost - Paper bags are an inexpensive, accessible material for cannabis growers to use for drying and short-term storage.

    So in summary, the air exchange, humidity control, darkness, and slow drying properties of paper bags support the drying/curing process and help retain cannabinoids and terpenes.

  • @Gulch

    FYI, I grew up in Central Washington State, Best Hops in the USA
    Hops smell exactly like high-quality sensimilla and are grown and harvested much like Cannabis
    Here are some key points about the drying and curing processes for hops:

    Harvesting: Hops are harvested by hand or machine when they reach optimal maturity, usually in late summer or early fall. The harvesting time influences flavor.

    Drying: After harvesting, hops are dried to reduce their moisture content from around 80% down to 8-12%. Drying stops plant metabolism and preserves the resins and oils. This is done in oast houses which utilize warm air and takes around 5-24 hours.

    Conditioning: After drying, hops are conditioned or cured for another week or two. This allows moisture levels to stabilize and the hops to further ripen. Conditioning develops aromas and flavors.

    Baling: Conditioned hops are then compressed into bales, which allows for efficient storage and transport. Hops should be compressed slowly to prevent the shattering of lupulin glands.

    Storage: Bales are kept cold (around 0°C) to allow the hops to fine-tune and mature the essential oils and resins. Proper storage prevents deterioration and preserves quality.

    Processing: Before use in brewing, baled hops are milled to create hop pellets or extracted for oils and resins. This increases surface area and releases more aroma.

    So in summary, careful drying, curing, baling, storing, and processing are crucial steps to develop the desired aroma, flavor, and bitterness that hops impart to beer. The methods preserve and intensify the key compounds in hops.

    After all is said and done, Hops are stored in climate-controlled warehouses.
    Every year, one of these warehouses burns down due to spontaneous combustion.
    The bails of hops did not dry enough and the decomposing material got super hot.