by: Jorge Cervantes
Manicuring buds is time-consuming. Budget 4–6 hours to manicure a single pound (454 gm) by hand with scissors. An automatic trimmer will cut manicuring time to 1–2 hours.
Manicure over a fine silkscreen,glass, or slick-surfaced table.Scrape up fallen resin glands on the table or under the screen.This potent resin can be smoked immediately or pressed into blocks of hash.
Wear inexpensive rubber gloves to collect “finger hash.” After trimming, remove accumulated finger hash on gloves with rubbing alcohol. Set the hash-laden alcohol on the counter overnight to evaporate. Scrape up the remaining hash after all the alcohol has evaporated. Or put the rubber gloves in a freezer for a few hours. Cooling will make it easier to scrape and rub the accumulated hash from the gloves.
Scrape accumulated resin from scissors when it clogs blades. Use a small knife to remove built-up resin from blades. Ball up small bits of scraped resin by rubbing it together between fingers. The ball of hash will grow as manicuring progresses.
Fresh green marijuana is not very potent. Drying converts THC into its psychoactive form and removes about 75 percent of the moisture from freshly harvested plants. Moisture evaporates evenly when plants are dried slowly over 5–7 days or longer. Buds are dry throughout so will taste sweet and smoke smooth. Buds dried too quickly retain chlorophyll and other substances within foliage. Such poorly dried cannabis tastes “green,” burns unevenly, and tastes bad.
The temperature in the ideal drying room is between 65° and 75°F (18°– 24°C) and humidity from 45–55 percent. Temperatures below 65°F (18°C) slow drying, and humidity is more difficult to control. Humidity above 80 percent slows drying and increases the chances of mold attacks. Temperatures above 75°F (24°C) may cause buds to dry too fast, and humidity can also fall below the ideal 50 percent level more easily. Always use an accurate maximum/minimum thermometer and hygrometer to ensure temperature and humidity are kept in the ideal range.
Small harvests can be dried easily in a closet, cabinet, or a cardboard box that is a fraction of the growing area’s size. Large harvests require much more room. See Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible for more information.
Use a small circulation fan to keep air moving in the drying room, but do not train the fan directly on buds or they will dry unevenly. A ventilation fan may also be necessary to help control temperature and humidity. Use an air conditioner or heater to control extreme humidity and temperatures.
Check for dryness by bending a stem. The stem should snap rather than fold when bent. The bud should be dry to touch, but not brittle. Dry buds burn well when rolled into a joint. Once dry, buds are ready to cure. Curing is essential!
Curing and Storage
Once buds are dry, they are ready for curing. The curing process lets buds dry evenly so they smoke smooth and taste sweet. When properly cured, all unnecessary moisture is removed and THC reaches its most psychoactive potential. Proper curing ensures buds are completely dry and much less susceptible to mold when stored.
To cure buds, gently pack them into sealable airtight containers. Moisture will move from stems to drier foliage. Place the containers in a cool, dry, dark place. Open the container after 2–4 hours to let humid air escape. Leave the top off for 5–10 minutes so moisture evacuates. Close the container. Open the container for a few minutes every few hours to release excess moisture before closing the lid again. Depending upon moisture content, buds should be totally dry in a few days to 2 weeks. Gently squeeze buds to feel if they are more pliable and moist than they were a few hours before. Once they are evenly dry, they are ready to smoke or seal in an airtight container for storage.
Store packaged buds in a cool, dry, dark place. The owner of this Volkswagen Beetle stored buds in a cool, dry place, but he forgot to keep it dark. Buds stored in the refrigerator will stay fresh a few months longer. Make sure buds are in an airtight container when stored in the refrigerator to prevent moisture from entering the container.
Check out this video from Jorge on manicuring and drying buds to learn more!