Many people are interested in growing their own hemp- both for personal use and for sale. But growing hemp is not a very simple process that ends after harvest. This means that a good harvest is not the end of the process, and you are only halfway there. The big fat fruit of your cultivation efforts goes through a complex process as you cannot enjoy the effects you would naturally desire straight from the stem. Drying and curing hemp to make it smokable are two of the most crucial processes. Apart from being time-consuming, drying and curing are the two most important steps for producing quality hemp. This can be a rewarding experience that will give you flavorful and potent buds. In hindsight, if you do not want to go through the whole process and get the final product directly, you can check out Primo Vibes hemp made products for a rewarding experience.
But what is drying and curing hemp? The first phase is drying, which aims to reduce the moisture content of hemp. Choosing your bud’s “dryness level” depends on your desired crispiness quotient. In short, the dryer the hemp, the crispier it becomes, and the better end result. But over-drying the hemp can also damage its quality, and hence maintaining a 12% of dryness can be your safe bet. The second and most crucial part of the process is curing. This process aims to keep the flowers feeling, looking, and smelling fresh long after their harvest. The curing process is aimed at showcasing the hemp plant’s flavor, aroma, and aesthetics. If you have recently harvested a batch of hemp and are unsure how to go about the next steps, read the steps of drying and curing hemp to maximize its effect during use.
The drying process of hemp:
- Step 1: The first part of the drying process begins during the harvest. The way you have decided to harvest your hemp plant will determine the right drying conditions for your buds. For instance, if you are a small retailer or growing for personal use, choose to snip small-sized buds from the mother plant. Otherwise, you can choose to cut off large branches, ranging anywhere between 1 foot to 1.5 feet. Take your harvest to the drying facility.
- Step 2: You have to ensure proper conditions in your drying chamber. To prevent the loss of valuable cannabinoids and terpenes, take the harvest to the drying facility as soon as possible. The ideal conditions of your drying facility would be a well-ventilated room with 45-55% of humidity, 60-70°F of temperature, and a gentle fan for adequate air circulation.
- Step 3: If you have already completed manicuring the hemp, you can lay out the nug-sized pieces on the drying rack. If the branches are larger, then hanging them can be a practical choice. However, the density of the leaves (in the case of larger branches) can prevent proper airflow to the center of these branches, and the downward drooping can also cause a loss of the overall glaze and aesthetics of the final product.
- Step 4: Depending on the conditions of your space and the quality of your harvest, the drying period of your hemp harvest can take anywhere between 5 days to 2 weeks. To determine the drying condition of the harvest, check a small branch to see if it breaks easily. If it does, then the hemp harvest is ready for the next step.
- Step 5: There are two choices. You can cut the hemp harvest while it is still wet for easier handling and precise measurement. Or you can wait till the samples are dry. Although in the former option, the delicate trichome coating can be disrupted, and hence dry cutting can be perfect for you if you are looking for top-shelf quality.
The curing process of hemp:
- Step 1: Avoid light exposure during the curing process. Prepare the flowers according to the way you have dried them. You can use your hands or machine to separate the flowers from the leaves.
- Step 2: Loosely place the buds in an air-tight container that has a wide mouth. Glass mason jars are great for this as they are sturdy and allow monitoring during the whole process. You can also use plastic, ceramic, wood, or metal containers.
- Step 3: Place the jars in a dark room with 60-70°F and 45-55% of humidity. For proper monitoring, you can place a hygrometer inside the jars. Within a day’s time, the crunchy and dry buds will become moist from the outside as their inner hydration moves to the outer parts.
- Step 4: You can remove the lids of the jars for some minutes during the day to prevent mold growth. If there is an ammonia odor, it means the buds are still wet. If they are still dry, the jars should be sealed for an extended period. And if there is no change, put a humidity pack inside the jars.
- Step 5: The process should continue for the next two weeks to maintain the required temperature and humidity levels. In about 3 weeks, the buds will be ready for consumption. And in about 4 to 8 weeks, the quality of the buds will improve even more.
We all deserve the best, and to produce hemp of the highest quality, proper drying and curing are essential steps. As per hemp connoisseurs, the best hemp flower experience is priceless. The process of choosing the right flower should be seamless and painless for you. Hence, if you are not into drying and curing your own flowers, it is always advisable to buy your hemp supplies from an authentic and certified store. This way, you can talk to the experts and try out products that can give you an enigmatic experience without having to go through complex processes.