After Harvest...trimming, storing & curing cannabis
It’s Croptober, and you know what that means...it’s harvest time for many cannabis cultivators across the nation. Whether it’s your first harvest, or hundredth, it never hurts to go back to the basics. Or, review your process to see if you’re doing what’s best for your plant’s end product. So, what are the best practices for trimming, storing and curing cannabis or the fruits of your hard labor? Let’s review how the best growers handle their harvests.
The final phase
Did you know that once you cut your cannabis plants down, their production of beneficial compounds hasn’t stopped? That’s right. The way you dry, store and cure your bud can affect its’ final potency and quality.
That’s because the biosynthesis process that produces THCA and cannabinoids keeps going once your plants are cut down for harvesting. In ideal conditions, beneficial compounds can even gain in potency by still producing THCA while curing.
Which is why maintaining the proper practices to protect your bud in the final phase is just as important as the care you put into growing it.
While most growers differ among their opinions to wet trim or dry trim, many prefer wet trimming due to its simplicity for the harvesting process. The advantages of trimming when initially cutting your plant down include saving trichomes, avoiding mold, expediting your curing process and potentially fatter buds.
Because you’re looking to remove moisture from your hanging plants as quickly as possible, wet trimming is ideal. By removing fan leaves that are carrying excess moisture from feeding or flushing before hanging, you’re removing additional and unnecessary leaves that will make your stalks take longer to dry. This is also the main source of avoiding mold, since we all know, moisture in non-ideal conditions can cause pesky contamination.
Other growers like to dry trim to avoid a sticky mess, and/or increase terpene production. If cannabis dries out too quickly, it can lead to terpene degradation. And when you lose terpenes, you lose taste and aromas you may be looking for when producing certain strains.
Either way, whether you choose to wet or dry trim - don’t forget, the Trim-Daddy can help make this process up 4x faster than normal scissors.
The process of drying and curing buds, not only can affect taste and potency but the harshness of your hits too. If you’re producing cannabis for oil, this may not be so important. Most oil extractors request that the final flower be cut, sealed in a food storage bag, and frozen almost immediately (or within a couple days). But, if you’re growing for boutique or smokeable flower...these next few steps are key for smooth smoking.
Whether you’re hanging the whole plant, individual stalks, or even using a drying rack system...the process to completely dry out your bud will take about 1-2 weeks. And the room and temperatures you do so in, will definitely make a difference.
The best practice often recommended is in a dark space, with temperatures between 60 - 70 degrees. Light can also degrade beneficial compounds like cannabinoids or terpenes. Humidity levels are just as important and most cultivators keep humidity from 45 - 55% overall. These conditions will help your final product gain potency as they dry.
Last but not least, curing.
And last but not least, is the curing process or storing of the nugs after you’ve clipped them from their stems. At this point, you may be manicuring the buds to their appropriate shape, and removing any excess sugar leaves. These leaves also add to throat burning or harsh hits, when smoking.
To begin the curing process, your final nugs are stored in airtight containers. Typically, mason jars, hence their popularity amongst the industry. To maintain potency and protect your weeds’ integrity, it’s again, best to store the jars in a cool dark space.
During the first week of curing, you’ll ‘burp’ the jars once a day - or open the top lid for a short period of time. This allows your cannabis to breathe, and let any remaining moisture out. Which is another mold deterrent to keep your buds fresh and free of any rotting.
Certain strains can be cured in jars for up to 8 weeks - or sometimes even longer. Generally though, you’ll be curing your final pot product in jars for 2-3 weeks for ideal taste, flavor and potency.
To summarize...once you’re ready to harvest, your work and efforts towards premium or top shelf cannabis is far from over. It’s important to follow these best practices to ensure your investment and crops are just as good, as they were during their growing process too. If you’re looking to improve your team’s efficiency during any harvest - look no further. Trim-Daddy helps hundreds of growers across the nation speed up the trimming process to make their systems more seamless. Shop our products now, and save the time where you can.