Now, with the harvest season approaching, it is more important than ever to take all measures to protect the quality of the crops as medical marijuana patients demand tighter quality controls.
THC degrades quickly after the plant is cut down if it is exposed to heat, light, or friction.
It is important to consider these factors after harvest to preserve the aroma, flavor and potency that you and your plant have worked hard to achieve.
After you cut your plants down, you want to dry them in a cool, dark place with controlled humidity.
You want your buds to dry as slowly as possible in one to two weeks. This makes a huge difference in taste and aroma in the final hardened product.
Avoid drying them outside unless conditions are ideal and they are kept in the dark and out of the wind, and whatever you do, don't dry your plants in the sun!
A closed room with a dehumidifier works great because you can control the environment. Keep the dehumidifier turned on to a high% (65-80%), and turn it off intermittently (no more than a day) if necessary.
Be sure to keep checking the plants by bending the stem to feel how dry or wet they are and do your best to keep the plants from drying too quickly. It's a good idea to gently move the air around in the room to promote even drying, but make sure you don't let the fan blow directly on the plants.
When your harvest is ready for pruning (the stems snap), cut everything down (if needed) and place them in black bags or other dark and reasonably airtight containers.
If the product is not completely dry, use brown paper bags to allow air to flow, keeping it in the dark. Now you can start the curing process while you are still trimming.
Only keep the working pile on the table while pruning, and periodically place the finished buds in a tightly closed dark container.
Now your medicine is ready for its final hardening.
Some people prefer to heal in glass jars, but growers from larger amounts often use an oven-style plastic bag or bag.
In these cases, the grower should take care to keep these jars or light bags in the dark at all times.
Even routine light exposure can make a big difference in flavor and strength. The black bag is perfect as it blocks light all the time, unless it's wide open.
It's important to store your marijuana in something that is odor-resistant to keep the odor molecules from escaping and to retain that wonderful aroma when you open the bag.
Anything airtight will have this effect.
Vacuum bags are odor resistant, but cannot be opened or closed, so they're not great for regular use. The jars may be airtight, but make sure the rubber gasket is new and in good condition as it will degrade and leak over time.
Oven style bags actually contain the smell while allowing a small amount of steam to breathe out, this could be a good or bad thing.
The advantage of this is that if there is no residual moisture left in the bud, it can escape without causing mold (possibly with a vacuum seal). The catch is that you don't want to dry out too much, and in very dry weather that can be a problem. The thicker the bag, the less moisture will escape.
Now your medicine is ready for use. Just keep it in a dark place that won't let in smells and enjoy it without interruption. Like all fresh produce, the fresher the better, so smoke!