Just as the aging process is essential to making smooth, flavorful whiskey, the curing process is essential for producing quality cannabis that looks, smells, and tastes excellent. Most people use the classic, slow-drying method to cure their cannabis, but in recent years alternative curing methods have begun to increase in popularity. Here we highlight three innovative ways people are curing cannabis crops these days to save effort, space, and time.
1. Water Curing
The water curing method involves submerging mature cannabis flowers in water (preferably reverse osmosis water) for up to five days to dissolve sugars, salts, and other unwanted solids on the buds. While it seems that wetting your cannabis plants in this way would ruin them, the resin glands that contain cannabinoids are insoluble and won't break down in the water and the resulting buds are potent. The water curing method is faster than traditional air-drying techniques, but be aware that the resulting buds are unsightly compared to air-dried cannabis and they don't have the same flavorful tastes or pungent aromas, as the terpenes will dissolve in water.
2. Sweat Curing
The sweat curing technique is most widely used in South America, and it involves packing harvested marijuana flowers in paper bags or sacks, sometimes separated by layers of paper towels or cotton cloths to absorb excess moisture, and placing those bags in the sun. Within hours the plants will begin to warm up and dry out from microbial action from the fermentation process, and over the next few days, turn them to prevent mold from forming. Several times a day for the next five days check the plants for dryness and a change in color that signals the process is complete.
3. Dry-Ice Curing
Curing cannabis with dry ice involves the freeze-drying (lyophilization) of dried flowers using frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) while avoiding the need to use light or heat. To freeze-dry cannabis using dry ice, use a container that holds an equal amount of slightly dried cannabis flowers and dry ice. Pile flowers on top of the dry ice, secure a lid that has some small holes so gas can escape, and carefully place the container in a freezer. The dry ice will create an atmosphere in the container that draws water molecules from the flowers over the next 24-48 hours. Periodically check the flowers and add more CO2 as needed until the flowers are dry and you'll be left with cured, potent buds.