Curing weed: How to cure weed properly

If you’re a new grower you probably have some questions about how to cure weed to bring out the highest possible quality.  What is curing weed and why does it matter? How long to cure weed?

The CVault 8 liter curing jar is airtight and durable.
The CVault 8 liter weed curing container is airtight and durable.

After your weed has been properly dried on the outside, moisture remains in the middle of the buds. Curing is the process of slowly drawing out the moisture in the center of the buds, while enabling chlorophyll and other compounds to break down. It results in a smoother smoke, with more pronounced flavors and smell. In this post we’ll walk you through the best way to cure weed and how to do it to create the highest quality buds possible.

In this article we’ll discuss the basics of how to cure weed to bring out the most bag appeal possible.  You’ll learn how long it takes to cure marijuana correctly, and how quickly you can smoke your recent harvest.

Sure, you could rip into your biggest cola the day it finishes drying. But it will have more moisture on the inside than outside. It won’t taste as good as you’d expect. It’s won’t burn cleanly or stay lit as well. You may get a headache. You’ll be wasting your best bud before it reached its prime.

Curing weed to reach the ideal humidity level will take your cannabis to the next level.

The best RH for curing weed

The Govee Wifi Hygrometer lets you monitor curing jar humidity on your phone.
The Govee Wifi Hygrometer lets you monitor curing jar humidity on your phone.

The best humidity level to cure cannabis is around 60-65%. When curing weed often humidity levels will climb quickly after you initially jar your buds, so keep an eye on it.

This is especially true early in the cure when the outside of your buds may feel dry. But there is moisture remaining in the middle that you want to draw out slowly. For best results use a hygrometer to ensure you’re curing weed at the ideal humidity level.

Overly damp buds can mold, ruining the whole batch. So try to maintain humidity levels below 70%, and if it’s over 75 you may want to remove buds and separate them a bit so they can dry a bit more before re-jarring.

It’s important to harvest your marijuana at peak potency, trim it correctly, and dry it properly. This prepares the bud for proper curing. Drying too fast or for too long will negatively impact moisture levels inside the buds.

Starting the marijuana curing process

To begin curing, freshly dried bud is placed gently into your container. Glass mason jars or other large glass containers with a tight seal work well. The 2.5 gallon Anchor Hocking Montana jar is our favorite curing jar. It holds a lot more cannabis than priced mason jars so there’s less jars to burp.

The 2.5 gallon Anchor Hocking Jar is cheap and holds about a pound of weed.
The 2.5 gallon Anchor Hocking Jar is cheap and holds about a pound of weed.

When curing weed in mason jars you should only fill them about 3/4 full. Leave a few inches of room for air so that the buds can breathe a bit, and so you can gently shake the jars to rustle the buds to avoid wet spots.

Don’t skimp and get cheap jars that aren’t airtight. Half Gallon Mason jars keep a tight seal and are very affordable. Wide-mouth half gallon jars are perfect for small grows with a few different strains. The wide opening is convenient when you need to stir up the buds. The tight seal of your jars is important to keep moisture and smells inside.

If you want to cure and store your buds all in one container, consider one of the stainless steel options such as the CVault Large curing containers.  If you need something bigger, they also make 8 liter and 21 liter They cost more than glass jars, but they’re unbreakable, light-proof, and the lids can hold a large Boveda humidity pack for long-term weed storage.

You’ll notice that your plants shrunk considerably during the drying process. Be careful not to handle your buds roughly as you stir them around, as the trichomes may get knocked loose and then potency and crystally appearance will suffer.

What’s the best hygrometer for curing weed?

Use a hygrometer to ensure correct humidity levels in your curing container. Most small hygrometers are fairly inexpensive — your buds are worth it.

The Govee Wifi Hygrometer with monitor lets you see humidity levels at home or on the go, and works great in grow tents and grow rooms.
The Govee Wifi Hygrometer with monitor lets you see humidity levels at home or on the go.

There’s many smaller size models at hydro shops or on amazon in the $10-$20 range, and some models may start as low as a few dollars apiece. But you get what you pay for. The cheap ones are very inconsistent and if you lay out 10 of them next to each other, you’ll probably get a minimum of 8 different readings.  So spend a few dollars more to get a more accurate model, don’t risk your entire grow on moldy buds.

The Govee Wifi Hygrometer with monitor lets you see humidity levels at home or on the go. It works great in grow tents and grow rooms as well as drying and curing jars.

If you’re on a budget and can’t spring for the best hygrometers, it is strongly recommended that you get at least a cheap one to ballpark measure relative humidity. If you are curing in multiple jars, plan to monitor all of them to be safe to avoid excessive humidity which can lead to mold.

You already have invested a lot of money and time into your cannabis grow. Curing is one of the biggest factors in producing absolutely killer buds with great bag appeal. At this point spending $10 bucks on a hygrometer for each jar is a no-brainer purchase.

How to calibrate cheap hygrometers for curing jars

12 pack of hygrometers
You can bet your life that you won’t get 12 of the same readings from a 12 pack of hygrometers. But they’re super cheap and perfect to tape inside mason jar lids.

You can get multipacks of low cost hygrometers to measure relative humidity (RH) in curing jars, but keep in mind that the cheap models are very inconsistent. Buy a 12 pack of cheap hygrometers and may get 10 different readings. Seriously.

I’ve used these cheap hygrometers when curing cannabis in mason jars many times, stuck to the bottom of the wide-mouthed lid with double sided tape. They’re great for that since they’re so small.

Before using, make sure to test them all against a higher quality humidity reading (such as the unit you use to monitor your grow tent or room).

Most of the cheap hygrometers I’ve bought stay within a few percentage points of each other, so they’re not perfect but helpful to see if your bud jar is too moist or too dry.

Label the variance on each unit so you can estimate the true reading in the jar more accurately. And use your observation skills when opening each yard. You don’t want to risk moldy buds over a shitty two-dollar humidity sensor.

More accurate hygrometers to try

The Smartro thermometer and hygrometer displays displays high and low temperatures for the past 24 hours and all-time.
The Smartro thermometer and hygrometer displays displays highs and lows for the past 24 hours and all-time.

As the cheap ones stop working, I’ve been replacing hygrometers with slightly better versions. Since I’ve stopped curing cannabis in half-gallon mason jars in favor of larger 1.5 or 2.5 gallon jars, I don’t need as many.

With less to buy and more curing weed at risk for mold, it makes sense to use more accurate humidity measurement to ensure better quality and lower risk.

  • The Cigar Oasis digital hygrometer ($24) is accurate.  It’s long but thin, best for curing cannabis in large containers.
  • A 3-pack of Bluetooth hygrometers from Govee ($28) is a great solution to monitor multiple jars on your phone. At under $10 each this is a great solution for small home growers on a budget. The units are 3.5 x 2.5 inches, best suited for larger wide-mouthed jars 1 gallon and up.
  • The Smartro backlit hygrometer and thermometer displays highs and lows for the past 24 hours and all-time. It’s cheap and helps you keep track of conditions in your curing jar.

How long do you wait before opening  jars during curing?

Your goal is to maintain 60-65% humidity levels throughout the entire cure. How often you need to open them depends on the moisture level when they enter the curing jar.

The XL Crypt Canister has a built-in hygrometer and thermometer which is helpful for curing weed.
The extra large Crypt Canister has a built-in hygrometer and thermometer which is helpful for curing weed.

Check the jar a few hours after you seal it to see where your humidity level stands. Check a few times the first day. You’ll need to open the jars at least once a day for the first two weeks to let them breathe. Keep the jar open for 20 minutes or so.  Let all that humid air inside out. It’s best to check a few times daily the first few days, especially if you suspect your buds are too damp.

To avoid wet spots that risk mold, gently rustle the buds around and inspect them. Do they stick together? That’s a signal they’re a bit moist. If they’re overly damp, leave the cover off a few hours to let them dry a bit, rustle gently, and reseal. Check humidity again a few hours later.

If your buds are sticky (hopefully!)  you can gently stir them around with a bamboo skewer or equivalent to properly separate them. Don’t use your fingers, that may damage the outer layers of trichomes and reduce bag appeal.

Never reseal damp buds as mold may develop. Disaster. If the buds feel wet (over 75% rH), then you should take them out of the jar completely so they can all dry. Place them on a piece of cardboard until they dry. This could be as long as overnight. Once dry, resume curing. And next time plan to dry your plants further before starting the cure.

Keep in mind that if the room you’re trying to cure the buds in is very damp or very dry it will impact the time you leave your containers open during the curing process.  The humidity in your jars will climb each day as moisture spreads from the buds’ centers, so your goal when opening the jars is to allow them to dry a bit and let that moist air inside out.

Burp Lids let you extract humid air from mason jars using a pump without introducing oxygen.
Burp Lids let you extract humid air from mason jars using a pump without introducing oxygen. They come in 4 packs and 12 packs.

If you’re in a damp room such as a basement where the RH is 75% or higher, opening your jars won’t help remove moisture. Wet air will definitely increase how long to cure weed. In that situation, use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to reduce the ambient humidity.

Similarly if the air is very dry in your curing environment, don’t leave your jars open too long or the exposed layer of cannabis will dry out quickly.

How long to cure weed

The minimum recommended time to cure weed: 2 weeks

You should try to cure your marijuana for a minimum of two weeks before smoking. That will give enough time for the chlorophyll in the flowers to break down. Smell will be improved, as will taste. They’ll smoke better and will stay lit longer in joints.

The moisture in larger colas takes a bit longer to pull out from the center than in smaller buds, save those big ones for a little longer curing time to ensure the dense center area won’t be too damp to light properly.

The longer the cure, the more the flavors and terpene profiles develop. Try to cure as long as you can stand.  Or in the words of a buddy: “I like fresh buds.”  AKA “I’ve waited long enough, and it’s all I got. I’m going for it.”

Ideal cure time for marijuana: 1-2 months

When you’re staring into a jar of fat nuggets it can be hard to wait it out.

The worst part of curing weed is having to smell your buds each day and not smoke them.
The worst part of curing weed is having to smell your buds each day and not smoke them. But hang in there and let them cure properly!

Go ahead, pull out a few nugs early and go to town. The best way to appreciate the value of a good cure is to sample along the way to see how the bud quality develops. You’ll be amazed at how the buds change in smell, flavor, and smoothness of the smoke as they cure. But you’ll also notice the terpene profile wanes as the buds age. And they burn much better.

You won’t need to keep opening the jar every day during that period. After a week or two depending on the humidity won’t rise as much day-to-day.  You then can monitor and open maybe every 2-3 days, depending on what you see. Observation can help inform how long to cure weed at that point, once the humidity stops rising your can stop curing and place the buds into airtight containers for long-term storage.

Curing marijuana at the ideal humidity is what separates good buds from great buds. Ever wonder why buds from some growers are better than others who are growing the same cut of the same strain?  It’s not always just better growing technique and environment — they’ve mastered the art of properly drying and curing marijuana.

The best hygrometer for curing buds will let you get the ideal RH, but even a cheap one duct-taped to the inside of the jar will do the trick.
The best hygrometers offer better accuracy so you can properly target the ideal humidity for curing weed. But even a cheap hygrometer duct-taped to the inside of the jar will get you close.

Common problems with curing Cannabis

Marijuana is too moist

If your buds are too moist, take them out of the curing jar for a few hours to dry them out a bit.
If your buds are too moist, take them out of the curing jar for a few hours to dry them out a bit.

If your marijuana is too moist, you can lower the relative humidity level by opening your jar and leaving the lid off for 20 minutes to a few hours. Do this if your hygrometer shows readings of 65-70%.

Really damp marijuana should be removed from the jar and dried for a while on cardboard with the buds not touching each other. Don’t ignore the warning signs. If buds feel damp, wet, or stick together when you gently shake the jar then you have too much moisture in there.

Wet marijuana, with readings of 75% humidity or more, must be addressed immediately to stave off mold formation. Don’t let mold ruin your crop. Get the buds away from each other and dry them out before returning to the jar.

Keep checking these buds every few hours until you’re sure that they’re back in the right moisture range.

Marijuana is too dry

If your curing marijuana gets too dry, solve the problem by rehydrating it with humidity packs. Humidity packs for weed come in multiple humidity levels, typically 62%. I prefer 58% though.

How to cure weed with Boveda Humidity packs

Boveda Humidipacks can help restore moisture to overdried weed. Boveda 58 and Boveda 62 Humidipacks are the most commonly used humidity percentages for drying marijuana.

The 62% Boveda packs come in several sizes: 4 gram (best for quart jars or smaller);  8 gram (best for half-gallon and gallon jars);  67 gram (best for very large containers and CVaults). I prefer the 58% 8 gram packs.

Boveda Humidity Packs help restore moisture to overly-dried weed buds.
Boveda Humidity Packs help restore moisture to overly-dried weed buds.

Boveda 62% humidipacks are perfect for curing weed if you need to restore humidity to overly dry, crumbly buds. The Boveda humidity packs will bring much needed moisture, but they can’t replace lost terpenes or flavor compounds from overdried cannabis. But by raising the humidity level back up the smokability will improve, and at least the buds won’t burn too quickly and scorch your throat.

Once you’ve re-humidified your buds to the range of 60-65%, remove the packs. Don’t use the packs unless you really need to, as using them too early will negatively affect the way your bud tastes and smells.

Boveda packs say they work both ways, removing excess moisture. But on multiple grows we’ve used Boveda 62% humidipacks to cure weed in some jars and not in others, and those buds in the jars with Boveda packs lacked the piney taste and smell of the buds in the jars that didn’t use them. Too much moisture is bad for taste and smell, so don’t use Boveda packs for curing cannabis unless you need to.

Long term weed storage

Marijuana can be stored long term if you keep it in a sealed container. Avoid excessive heat or cold to prevent denigration of THC.

The 21 liter CVault container is good for curing and storage.
The 21 liter CVault container is good for curing and storage for a large amount of cannabis.

Bud will definitely lose some of its vibrant green color the longer you store it. Terpene profiles will become less noticeable. But if you keep it at a reasonable humidity level it will still smoke nicely, and will still get you fried.

Learn more about the best glass jars and stainless steel containers for curing weed and long-term storage.

Stainless steel containers

  • 21 liter CVault container
    • A great choice if you’re looking to cure a medium to large harvest and then store a few plants worth of the same strain of cannabis in a single large container.
    • The cover holds a large size 67 Boveda pack to keep humidity in check.
  • 8 liter CVault container
    • Holds about a pound and a half of weed depending on bud size.
    • Airtight seal and unbreakable durability make it a good long-term investment

Glass containers

Amber mason jars block UV light from weed to prevent breakdown of THC.
Amber mason jars block UV light from weed to prevent breakdown of THC.
  • Half gallon mason jars
    • After curing weed in mason jars you can use the containers for long-term storage.
    • The lids provide an air-tight seal with a smaller size that is convenient to access smaller amounts in the future. You don’t want to constantly be opening a large container to access buds. Storing weed long-term requires it to be left sealed.
    • Smaller size 8 Boveda humidpacks are perfect for half gallon jars. Size 4 Boveda packs are good for storing weed in mason jars that are quart-sized or smaller.

Plastic containers

  • Storing weed in 5 gallon buckets or Tupperware isn’t ideal.
  • But if you have a lot of bud from an outdoor crop it’s a cheaper alternative to storing pot in mason jars or stainless containers.

Regardless of container, knowing how to cure weed and long-term cannabis storage requires maintaining dark conditions at the right humidity.

Using humidity packs can help refresh overly crispy buds that have been stored too long. Too dry bud will burn quickly and harshly. You want to avoid it crumbling into a fine powder when you break it up later to smoke it.

Properly cured weed has great bag appeal, flavor, and appearance.
Properly cured weed has great bag appeal, flavor, and appearance.

Weed stored longer than 6 months is an anomaly I’ve never encountered. The lifespan of a jar of good weed is much shorter in my experience. So I can’t relay anything of value about super long-term storage of cannabis. Flavors and smells decline over time, so to maintain the strongest terpene profile make sure to keep them sealed tight.

Summary: How to cure weed

Knowing how to cure weed brings out the full potential of your buds. Maintaining the ideal humidity for curing weed helps improve appearance, taste, smell, smoothness of smoke, and how cleanly it burns.

How long does it take to cure weed? Cure for at least two weeks, preferably longer. Open the daily the first few weeks to let it dry out a bit, and correct issues with moisture before mold can form.

Use a hygrometer to keep the best RH for curing cannabis − in the 60-65% humidity range. Burp jars more or less often as needed.

Following these steps will show you how to cure marijuana for maximum potency and quality. Happy smoking!

Curing weed: How to cure marijuana
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Curing weed: How to cure marijuana
Learn how to cure marijuana properly. We'll teach you how to cure weed to maximize bud quality: how to cure it, for how long, and at what humidity.
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Happy Pot Farmer
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