If your cannabis experience consists of Googling “marijuana delivery near me,” then you might not know just how much goes into growing it. From building the perfect grow space to choosing genetics, feeding plants, even harvesting, cultivating a quality product requires investing countless hours of your time, as well as some upfront dollars and plenty of research.
Without doubt, curing and storing are crucial to a successful harvest, and humidity is the single biggest factor affecting both. It is critical in the entire growing process. Measured as “relative humidity,” or just RH, when one talks of humidity, one talks of the moisture in air. How can growers have any control over humidity, especially during curing and storing, and what are the benefits of getting humidity right?
Effects of Humidity on Cannabis
If you have yet to grow your own plants and learn the terminology, curing is the process of drying buds. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, doing it slowly removes moisture while preserving essential compounds, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Maintaining the right RH is imperative. Too high will cause mold and similar issues. Too low makes it too harsh, dry, and unpleasant.
However, if you get the RH percentage right, plants will benefit in various ways:
After harvest, cannabis plants continue to change the chemical composition of their cannabinoids. For example, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, converts into tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, over time. Curing cannabis very slowly will make more THC, since more THCA has more time to convert into THC on its own. Of course, decarboxylation occurs when heating cannabis, so bulk conversion happens then.
Break Down of Chlorophyll
All plants need chlorophyll to synthesize, or convert light into energy. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green. It gives them their color. It also makes for a very harsh smoke. High levels of chlorophyll just taste bad, and it causes intense coughing fits. Curing breaks chlorophyll down, releasing it from the buds and greatly improving their taste and smoothness.
Terpenes, much like aromatic oils, give plants their unique smells and flavors. As cannabis cures, terpenes will naturally start breaking down. The goal is to slow this process and preserve terpenes as long as possible in their natural state. By curing properly and slowly, it is possible to maintain the integrity of terpenes, even improving their flavor and effects over time, like a fine and aging wine.
When curing marijuana, it should already feel rather dry. Despite this, some moisture still exists inside the buds and in stems. When you cure cannabis the right way, this moisture seeps out slowly, helping to get the necessary dryness, and ultimately buds that store well for lengthy periods. Curing is mainly what separates good weed from exceptional weed.
When buds reach their peak potential after a long and healthy curing, you then need to preserve these qualities during storage. Again, humidity plays a crucial role, dictating if buds will last or not. If humidity fluctuates, stored weed can go from wonderful to disastrous in no time at all. Too much and the weed gets wet again. At the very least, this will make for a nasty smoke. At worst, it will attract mold.
Then, if humidity drops too low, cannabis becomes overly dry, brittle even. This causes trichomes break up, crumbling buds, and harsh smoke. Furthermore, humidity fluctuations denature terpenes, causing buds to lose their flavor. For this reason, it is essential that you protect your buds in storage. You do this by maintaining an ideal RH percentage throughout the entire growth cycle and curing phase.
Making Humidity Levels Safe
The best method of maintaining safe humidity levels is to use products that do the job for you. Humidity regulators, in combination with airtight containers, allow you to maintain a specific relative humidity, depending on your own personal needs and desires. These products protect your buds from too much humidity and the consequences thereof, such as mold, during the curing process.
At the same time, humidity regulators improve the quality of the cure itself, allowing the process to bring out the very best in the buds harvested. After curing, these products can also ensure buds retain the qualities that guarantee pleasant smells, flavors, smoke, and effects. If cured and stored properly, cannabis can maintain its quality a full year, even longer, depending on strain and your climate.
Growing quality buds takes much time, money, and effort. Not everybody succeeds, with many left searching “marijuana delivery near me” after a failed harvest. This does not have to be you if you remember the importance of controlling humidity. It is inexpensive, requires just a few tools, and investing in humidity regulators will improve bud quality significantly.