The way you cure and store your cannabis is a key factor in the quality of your weed. The problem is, harmful molds can crop up as you try to make the most of this process. Here are the vital actions you can take to reduce the chance of mold through the curing and storage process.
What’s your experience of smoking Grandaddy Purple or any of your favorite cannabis strains? Was the smoke acrid and irritating or smooth and gentle? When your smoke is harsh, either your smoking technique is bad or you landed on buds that were uncured. While the technique can be learned, smoking improperly cured and poorly stored buds that have mold growth, can easily land you in the ER. It’s especially dangerous for people with weakened immune systems.
Why Is Curing Important?
Curing is the chemical process through which chlorophyll and magnesium are broken down slowly in the buds. The process of curing cannabis controls the smoke quality, flavor, and potency. The taste of uncured buds has been described as “fresh-cut grass” or worse still, “fresh hay.” On the other hand, properly cured cannabis will contain unique flavors and aromas of the strain’s terpene profile. Curing also boosts the potency of your weed without increasing the “spacey” effects. This is the way to create medicinal-grade cannabis.
Akin to good wine, the taste of weed improves with age. The longer you cure your buds, the better. Unfortunately, this creates more opportunities for mold growth to start taking down your harvest.
What Does Mold On Cannabis Look Like?
Mold spores growing on cannabis have a grayish-white color when first developing and form strands called hyphae. Hyphae and powdery mildew can form anywhere on the buds or stems in an improper growing environment and will spread white mold gradually to leaves and buds. As a result, the colas will lose structure and become soft and flaccid.
Mold can be hard to detect because it starts forming from the inside of the buds. By the time it’s visible on the surface, there isn’t much that can be done to salvage the remainder of the harvest.
Taking preventative steps to protect your harvest is easier than finding a cure for the many types of mold on cannabis plants. That said, don’t panic yet if you spot a few mold-infested buds. Investing in Grove Bags disposable liners designed with TerpLoc™ film will prevent cross-contamination and protect the rest of your harvest from turning into moldy cannabis.
How To Prevent Mold Growth During Cannabis Curing
Molds during curing can ruin months of hard work. The best intervention is to start on the right foot. This means getting it right with the initial cannabis drying process.
1. Limit Molds During The Initial Drying Process
After successfully drying, the buds should be firm to the touch. If they are still soft and the small stems don’t snap when bent, it means that the plants have not been dried well and you may need to adjust your air circulation. This will present problems with mold growth in the future because the moisture content is still too high. There is only one way to sort this out; dry the buds adequately and allow the cannabis to sweat before curing.
2. Burp The Jars During Curing
Curing can involve placing the buds in airtight jars, two-thirds of the way full. A lot of moisture is released from the plants as chlorophyll is broken down, but this is what puts the colas at risk for molds during curing.
Burping involves opening the jars to “burp out” the excess moisture. This is typically done two to four times per day at the start of the curing process to reduce the high humidity forming in the jar. As the cure continues and humidity levels drop, you can begin to burp the jars less frequently.
To prevent mold when curing cannabis, the colas must be checked frequently for any signs of mold. Should any mold be spotted, the affected buds should be removed immediately.
The optimum humidity level for curing cannabis is 58%- 65%. If the buds are wet, it means that the humidity is above 70%. In this case, you should pour out the buds and allow them to dry for about two hours before putting them back in the jars for a mold-free cure.
If the buds feel moist, the humidity should be between 60%-70%. In this scenario, leave the jars open for 4 hours.
A more efficient way of achieving optimum humidity control is to invest in technology. That brings us to the third solution.
3. Invest In A Hygrometer And A Dehumidifier
A hygrometer measures the exact amount of humidity in the environment. As you may know, creating medicinal-grade cannabis and ensuring people arent smoking moldy weed is all about precision. During curing, you should aim for 58%-62% humidity. Should the humidity exceed this limit, a dehumidifier will help to bring it down.
Protecting your buds from mold takes a lot of effort. Now that you have your delicious trichome-laden colas that are free from bud rot, are you safe? Not quite yet. You still have one more leap to make; proper long-term storage. This is how to do it.
Best Way To Store Cannabis Buds To Prevent Molds
1. Freezing the buds
Molds and the freezer don’t go hand in hand. So, stashing your colas right into the freezer is a surefire way to avoid molds. However, free with caution. Freezing can separate the trichomes from the buds making your weed lose its quality and taste over time. Freezing will also re-introduce harshness, so much for all the curing work!
2. Humidity Control Storage Bags
Using packaging for humidity control designed specifically with the ideal relative humidity of cannabis in mind is a great step to prevent mold when curing. Humidity control storage bags are engineered to ensure that humidity is maintained at an optimum level in spite of fluctuations in the environment. This also happens without any effort from your end, apart from ensuring that you lay your hands on good quality storage bags.
Grove Bags’ packet less modified atmospheric packaging is special in that they maintain the exact humidity level required for cannabis, 58%-62%; nothing matches this in the market. After investing so much time and effort to ensure that your buds get this far, it would be a total shortchange if you go for anything other than the best.