Knowing about the curing process of the flower you’d like to purchase will make all the difference in your consumption experience. If your bud is anything less than slow cured (for 30 days or more), it won’t be the highest quality consumption experience possible.
Curing is the final stage in cannabis cultivation, a natural, prolonged aging and drying process that imparts cut and dried flower with top-tier smoothness and flavor. Slow curing accomplishes this to the highest degree possible. Slow cured cannabis carries a discernible taste and aroma that is truer to the flower’s authentic terpene expression, has higher potency, can be stored for longer than dried or half-cured herb, and feels a lot less harsh on the throat. Think of the difference between dried and slow cured cannabis as the difference between cheap table wine and a private reserve that’s been aged in an oak barrel.
Because it’s an expensive and lengthy process, a large majority of commercial grows cut costs on curing, either rushing through or skipping this stage altogether. This means that flower at most dispensaries simply isn’t as flavorful, potent, or pleasant to consume as it could be.
Not so at Verde Natural, which is known for its meticulous slow cures. Curing, which is as much an art as it is a science, has no steadfast rules. An ideal cure time varies by strain based on bud structure, density, and size of buds. Overall, duration of cure is critical for flavor development and potency. For example THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, is present in living cannabis as non-psychoactive THC-A. It has to degrade to THC which takes a minimum of 30 days after harvest.
The grow team at Verde spends almost as much energy on curing as they do on growing—the minimum amount of time for a proper cure at Verde is 30 days, with up to 60 days being preferred. To give you an idea of curing’s importance, that’s anywhere from half to double the plant’s actual lifecycle.
Here, we’re sharing with you the unique inner workings of Verde’s curing procedure, which requires time, manpower, and attention to detail, to demonstrate why a proper cure can’t be rushed or skipped. If you want the best cures on Earth, this is the procedure to follow.
Stage One: Initial Drying
While curing is more than simple drying, getting the initial drying stage right is the first step to a proper slow cure. And the guiding rule? Go slow. Why? Gradual drying gives the chlorophyll, which contributes to harsh hits, enough time to break down.
Once the plant is harvested, all fan leaves and non-trichrome material are trimmed to remove any sources that could leach moisture into the bud. This step also creates mall cuts in the bud that allow moisture to escape. Each plant is then broken down into eight-twelve inch branches with small pieces of the main stem left behind so they can be affixed and hung upside down hangars. The clippings stay in the cure room, where atmospheric humidity is monitored and maintained at below 55%, until the cure manager feels the moisture in the flower has stabilized. The bud should have almost no "give" or softness to it but should not be fully dry. This process can take anywhere from three to seven days.
Stage Two: Extended Drying
To close out the drying process right, the branches are then loosely placed in unbleached paper bags, never taking up more than half the space inside. They’ll spend another three to seven days there, being stirred or turned daily to ensure the final drying stage is even.
Stage Thee: Initial Cure
Once the buds reache optimum dryness (not crispy or brittle buds, but branches snap easily) the flower is placed in sealable containers, which maintains moisture content until bud can be dry trimmed (removed from the branch). These containers are "burped" daily—opened for periods of 30 mins to several hours as determined by cure manager for about a week. Burping does two things: it prevents excess moisture from building in a sealed container which can lead to dangerous fungal growth, and it allows a total gas exchange in the container between the outside air and inside air, keeping the buds fresh.
Stage Four: Final Cure
After the bud is dry trimmed, the nugs are placed in airtight containers which are regularly burped until no longer necessary, usually at least week. At this point, the bud is ready for consumption! But the containers can also be sealed for long term storage during which time flavor and cure continue to improve.