Harvesting, Drying & Curing Step by Step

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Harvesting, Drying & Curing Step by Step
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I have been asked a number of times about harvesting and curing. I understand that there are as many ways to cure Marijuana as there are Marijuana strains. It seems that no two growers do it alike.

From harvest day to bong. Here is my method:

I can't tell you the exact time to chop your plant down. Some research can tell you how long to flower your strain for best results or you can check trichome color. Either way, you will have to do a bit of trial and error to find the very best day to chop the girls down.

At day 60 my White Widow shows a mixture of trichome colors. Most of them will be milky or amber, with a small percent of clear ones scattered about. Use a jeweler's loupe/magnifying glass of 20x magnification or more. A small pocket microscope can be bought at RadioShack:


I have grown this strain long enough to know that day 60 gives the best flavor and effect.

Day 60. My single plant grow:



Time to chop it down: Even if you can take the whole plant in one single cut, I would break it up into large sections. This is so it can get lots of air while drying (branches won't be touching).
I take one cola/branch at a time. It is very important to take your time and be gentle in every step of harvesting. It's a good idea to always be gentle with your weed at any stage. Manhandling your bud will cause the trichomes to break off (you don't want that).

Using a pair of Fiskars® Softouch Micro-Tip Scissors, I take the first of many branches:


Noticed I put on rubber gloves? Get a box of them at the drug store. They are a must have item. You will not get that sap off your hands for days no matter what you wash with.

Tie some twist ties or line to the end:

I like to hang the branch over a bucket or trash-can:


Pluck off all the sun leaves and any leaf that is big enough to pull off (without hurting the bud). They can be easily removed by snapping them off while pulling up or you can use scissors:


You don't have to get them all. Just get what you can and save the rest for your "Trim-Party".


As you finish, stack them on a near by table:

Dry Time:

Try and find a cool, dark, preferably ventilated space such as a closet, basement, or winter attic. I have no such space at my home, so I use the attic all year. It is dark and ventilated but not always cool. Works anyway.
Try and hang all the branches so they don't touch anything:


A small oscillating fan on low will help things along real nice:

Place all the leaf in a few paper bags and place them in the same space as the hanging branches. Leave bag open.


Let them hang for three days (72 hours). After three days they my feel real dry or real damp. It does not matter.
Note: You might want to stir the bag of leaves after a day or so. They tend to be real wet.

Three days later. So sad the big bud is so small now:

Let's get this party started. Lay out all your trim gear.
A trim tray (cookie sheet will work), rubber gloves, micro-tip scissors, large paper grocery bags, small brown lunch bags and a few razors (to clean the scissors). Music helps or someone to talk to. It becomes un-fun in 15 minutes (trust me).

Most the water has evaporated out of the branches.



Time to manicure and finish your trimming.
This task takes some time and a whole lot of patients.
Take a branch and start at the bottom, cutting off all leaves and bud leaf tips. After your get all the big leaves off, pretend you are giving a slight trim to the whole bud. The very tips of the bud leaves will cause the smoke to be harsh, so just do a slight trim all around.



Now clip the buds off the main stem.


Glad that's over:

Brown Bag Um:

Get a few brown grocery bags and a pack of brown lunch bags. Shred the brown lunch bags (not confetti but strips). I bought a cheap shredder to make strips from the lunch bags:

Now lay down a layer of bud at the bottom of the grocery bag (one bud thick):

Place a layer of the bag strips over the top of your bud:

Place another layer of bud on top of the strips:

Keep making layers until the grocery bag is full. Your last layer should be strips:

Place your grocery bags in a cool dry place for two days. Churn/mix the bud and strip layers gently and place back for another one or two days:

Your bud may look over dry or a little crisp when done. Over dry is much much better then moist. The texture and smell will come back while curing in the jars.

Your bud is smoke-able but harsh until cured in jars. The longer it stays in the jar, the smoother the smoke and the stronger the smell.
I like the 32oz wide mouth Ball mason jars. They can be found at every grocery store, but next to impossible to locate the isle they are on. Look hard:

Don't pack the bud in the jar. Fill them up about 80% to 90%. You can get close to an ounce of small buds in a jar (could be wrong about this fact). Less if they are bigger bud:


If the bud it a bit too long, don't squish it or bend it. Just cut it up:


After your jars are filled, take a break (you need it):

Always store your jars in a cool, dark, and safe location. Light is bad for your weed.
Try to remember to open each jar twice a week for the first month. Leave it open for a few minutes and seal it back up. I don't always do this (I forget), but it makes a difference. It's also a good idea to check for mold while opening each one.

We can never wait the month that is recommended for jar curing. But it does get much better as time passes. After a month it is killer.

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very good information about harvesting, drying and curing the plant

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great thread man :)

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great article! very useful information about harvest and drying.
enjoy your smoke.peace

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Very nice job big harvest Lambs. !!!!sì

Happy smokyng my friend!!!!

Greats bud..................

Have a nice day, Simone.

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Lambsbread Hello, I read your post and is very interesting.
But I 've always dried after cleaning the grass tops and hung upside down' in the growth chamber with a vacuum cleaner turned on 24 hours a day for 2 / 3days and the grass and 'dry too! !
In fact, if you just put it in pots crumble after a short time!
I will try 'your way.
Thank you, Simon.

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Very Nice :D IDK how I missed it!

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Great thread but I do it a little differently

Yes I take branch by branch as I see fit, usually tricomes are dark.

Yes i then remove the large leaf matter off and bin it.

Then I remove the smaller leaf matter (usually has tricomes on the stem and base of the leaf) this goes into a plastic bag for trim and placed into the freezer until the last trim has been added from the whole crop.

I then remove the bud from the branch and manicure each bud, every bit of trim goes into the plastic trim bag. The manicured bud then gets placed onto my drying rack and placed into a dark cupboard till crispy.

then its just the curing to do - glass, air tight jars, similar to those above in the thread. However I tend to open my jars every day.

I don't leave the bud on the branch because I feel the bud takes longer to dry.

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Drying i lay a tarp down & lay a flywire screen down above it raised up of the tarp a book or brick on each corner will work, turning buds each day. ounce they are dry all the broken hairs have fallen threw the screen and will be on the tarp, theses now can be put into a mort and pestal and turned into some of the best hash you will ever get. Use a stone mort and pestal i sit it on the stove on a low heat and add the broken tricloms and water slowly all the time pounding the tricloms the water helps break the tricloms down and the heat will evaporate the more you work it the finer the hash becomes. As far as cure goes its like a fine wine the longer the better.

Keep everything stems shades everything bag it up and freeze it then its ready for buddle hash no need to waste anything.

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Hey there


I was wondering, why cant you use a fermention bucket like in brewing alcohol, it lets the c02 out but doesnt let oxygen in? do the plants need that carbon build and release? 

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nice tutorial with good pictures here. Of course everyone has his own method that works best for him/her. 


Thanks for sharing your method with us!

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but there is nothing about temp or humidity.  that is the critical part of drying and curing everything else doesnt matter really


temp try to keep it cool close to 20c over 15 under 25(no values in guide just says cool lol)  and humidity is crucial, if you can keep them around 55% it takes around 7-10days at this right humidity level (pretty important info to tell in dry/cure guide) during the whole dry part of cure and than in container around 62% you will get the sweetest buds you have ever tasted


there is a product called boveda pack that is 2-way humidity controller meaning it can suck moisture and give moisture depending on the material, they sell 62% packs that are designed specifically for cannabis if you want to perfect the cure


when/if cant keep the right humidity levels or if you are blow air on the buds with fan doh D: the whole chemical process of curing will stop prematurely and it cannot be restarted again in jar in same manner even tho you can remoisten the buds again


and the fan blowing on buds is big nono, never put straight air flow on the buds only slight draft not breeze


close to 20c 55-60% humidity in dry  60-62% in cure  for the win



honestly these type of guides have filled the site, they first seem to be informational but fail to deliver with the numbers and even give the wrong information (fans) they do alot more harm than good in the end

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I´d manicure all and then hang them to dry for about a week, in dark and dry room.

When they are not completely dry and you put them in a jar the moist will come out and that not what we want.

The other advantage of manicuring the whole plant is that you can put the leave fresh in a freezer to make hash. bubblebag style.

But its like someone mentioned, we all have our own methodes.

To prevent sticky hands , use babyoil ! also great to clean your scissor with ( after your took the skuff away )

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i like the chop above the last nug and let it dry with all its leaves on then when all the chlophil is gonwe dry trim and jar cure

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Strain Hunters is a series of documentaries aimed at informing the general public about the quest for the preservation of the cannabis plant in the form of particularly vulnerable landraces originating in the poorest areas of the planet.

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