Curing is a process that has been used for millennia to preserve meats and plants, often with the use of salt or sugar to achieve the desired potency, aroma, taste, textural, or functional profile as well as prevent disease and elongate shelf life. In cannabis, the curing reprocess removes the bud's moisture and chlorophyll to ensure that the flower reaches the desired characteristics for each strain (profile).
Sometimes, drying and curing are separate, sequential processes; however, in cannabis, the curing process can be the same – drying and rehydrating the flower to ensure optimal, balanced moisture content. During the process, sugars, starches, bacteria, and other plant byproducts are broken down, allowing a heightened terpene presence. This process can take up to three weeks.
Process for Curing Cannabis
The traditional method for drying cannabis is very similar to that of tobacco. First, the freshly cut flowers are hung in a dry room around 60-70 degrees F (21 C) with a 50-65% humidity level for between one and three weeks.
After drying, the curing process begins. Surprisingly, it is similar to the drying process with slightly elevated humidity. During this step, it is important to regularly and consistently vent or burp the flowers to release gasses and unfavorable compounds.
The type of curing process a grow requires depends on the crop's size and specific needs.
Here is a guide to help which curing system is best for your cannabis crop.
Best Cannabis Curing Systems
Cultivate & Equipment
Cultivate & Equipment offers the data-driven Cure Advantage system and customizes its gas-exchange mechanisms for each client. With on-site calculations using a propriety algorithm for optimized efficiency, this system eliminates the need for burping the plants, can significantly reduce cure times to between 6-8 days, reduce the carbon footprint of the process, and significantly improve labor efficiency by reducing labor costs. Additionally, THC and trichome quality is significantly increased as well.
This is an ideal choice for medically grown cannabis, thanks to the security the system provides with reduced labor hands, outside exposure, and little generated waste, making this a high-cost saving solution in addition to the time-saved to market.
Darwin Chambers provides modifiable environmental chambers. These rigorous, temperature and humidity-controlled steel boxes offer high-accuracy environments for curing, storage, refrigeration, and testing and can be modified to serve various functions as needed. The units come in various sizes, and specialty servicing features, including drainage and ventilation systems, alarm systems, remote monitoring, and maintenance services.
This is the best option for production accuracy for operations that are rapidly changing or in need of safe, controlled, or adjustable systems as well as space for their grows.
Cann Drying Systems
Cann Drying Systems combines the drying and curing options into one comprehensive system within a 5-tier model. All housing units are made in the U.S. and come with the capacity to produce from 110 lbs to 1900 lbs of dry product. These systems afford producers a high turnover time for larger grows, or bulk batch yields from a portfolio of growers without their own capacity to dry and cure. Because of the concentrated uniformity of the process within a single, isolated environment, the quality of the flowers produced is reliable and easily replicable.
For operations acting as the middleman between cultivators and sellers or for operations that have already perfected their product and want to maintain their product quality, this is a great option that provides flexibility to scale.
Dhydra Teachnologies has five fully automated machine options for a variety of curing needs. This technology offers a hands-off approach and retrofits each machine to any room, saving and optimizing space for existing operations. Dhydra machines can evenly dry farm-fresh flowers in a record-breaking 38 minutes using a vacuum thermal energy system, virtually eliminating the need for curing.
The time savings alone make this a smart option for growers of just about any operation size. But the capital, labor hours, and operational cost savings give these machines a competitive edge over bigger, more expensive systems on the market, benefiting newer, low-budget operations the most.
Controlled Environments Limited is a part of a group of companies that provide a wide range of environmental technology systems around the world for every budget, size, and product specification. These systems are focused on precision and are geared towards growing operations with pharmaceutical and research applications.
From grow rooms and chambers, advanced lighting technologies, and drying and curing rooms to customized servicing for specific product outcomes, Conviron is a one-stop-shop for any sized grow, especially in emerging markets where services and growing technologies may be difficult to find.
Cannabis-Drying.com is a Netherlands-based company with unique, space-saving vertical products. The top-down drying system consists of a ‘sandwich unit that includes trays, H13 HEPA filters, and filter pads. This system is available as a mobile drying pallet, single and double-drying cabinets, and a larger drying cell.
This option is best for space-limited operations looking to minimize the curing process of their plant materials.
Cannatrol provides a comprehensive list of available systems. Cannatrol’s systems are exceptional at ensuring high THC and terpene outcomes in plants, gaining its spot as High Times’ STASH award winner in 2020. The company’s patented Vaportrol technology ensures that plants can maintain the perfect environmental conditions even when external environments like cold or humid weather are present.
The Cool Cure system is a three-in-one solution for drying, curing, and storage. While this is an option geared more towards home and small-scale growers, mid-sized and large prefab systems are available for a wide range of operations.