As esteemed cannabis author Ed Rosenthal says, “marijuana may not be addictive, but growing it is.” Now is the time of year when both commercially licensed companies and homegrowers are taking down their plants and facing the next challenge: curing their finished cannabis buds. While Rosenthal is absolutely right when he says cannabis is relatively easy to grow, he also warns that curing is not quite so straightforward. Oftentimes, despite the best efforts to lovingly coax plants to flower, a cannabis crop can be ruined post harvest due to errors in drying and curing.
Beautiful buds from this year’s bumper crop could be ruined by any number of things: picking the buds before their optimum ripeness, giving them a drastic trim job worse than a bad haircut or drying the flowers too quickly, leaving the buds to retain a green chlorophyll taste.
For the basic homegrower (and really if you are in one of the many legal cannabis states or Canada, please do exercise your right to grow your own marijuana), finding space to hang and dry the bud-laden branches from even six plants can be challenging. But even if you have to hang buds from a string above the dinner table and miss out on multiple games of the World Series due to the time-consuming challenge of the trim, the promise of great ganja is worth it and the final step in getting great herb is pretty basic.
All one really needs to cure cannabis is a set of glass canning jars just like the ones you might get with homemade goodies in them from family members during the holidays. Still, even armed with the basic jars, there is one final mortal enemy of the herb left to defeat: mold. For that, it’s essential to open the jars often to let them get proper airflow. Another relatively easy fix is to drop a Boveda in each jar.
Boveda is kind of like those freshness packets that come with certain food products. The small packet placed in a jar of freshly harvested herb can help to regulate the humidity. It’s a quick fix for ensuring flower gets ready to smoke without getting too dry. Dry herb is not only dissatisfying when it turns to dust upon a rollup, but it also means the terpenes have been compromised, resulting in a harvest that doesn’t smell or taste as good as it could have.
“Historically, cultivators, processors and packagers have emphasized keeping flower below a particular humidity ‘ceiling’ for a reason: Flower that’s too moist is prone to hazardous mold and microbial growth, so it’s understandable that many operators err on the side of being overly dry,” says Boveda CEO Sean Knutsen. “With other moisture-sensitive products such as foods and electronics, we’ve seen that employing humidity controls will preserve quality, and cannabis flower is no different.”
The aim of the Boveda pack is to keep the moisture levels inside the jar at a constant state of optimal humidity by adding or removing water vapor as needed. Unlike other products with a similar mission, such as those designed to go in humidors to store cigars, Bovedas also require no distilled water refills. These little packs are more along the lines of “set it and forget it,” which means they can be a great ally for a first-time grower. Hopefully, you’re filling jars with ounces of your own bud right now, but for next year, here’s a great place to get started on your journey towards true weed freedom.
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