The science of properly cured cannabis!
Written By: Gabriel Hiralal
What does it take to produce a superior cannabis flower? A well selected and traceable genetic origin? Yes. Careful cultivation combining round the clock vigilance, consistent nutrient application, state of the art irrigation systems and hydroponic lighting? Sure. A timely trim following harvest? Also correct.
These are all critical to the production of a flower that designates the kind of brand loyalty most contemporary cannabis purveyors fight tooth and nail to achieve and sustain. However, am I here to make the argument that all the work and time put into these precursory steps are wasted if the product does not undergo a slow, steady, and thorough curing process. Have you ever speculated as to why your cannabis may smoke better or worse at times? This is a consequence of improper curing, as compounds have not been “cured out” of the plant. A well-orchestrated cure sees to it that not only is your smoking experience one that is both smooth and enjoyable, but a properly cured cannabis flower will also be more potent that an improperly cured cannabis flower.
CURING PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA
Curing cannabis and its importance can be compared to the Italian staple so renowned that it’s a Protected Designation of Origin food, Prosciutto Di Parma. The making of Prosciutto Di Parma is labor intensive and expensive. The pigs are fattened on a diet of whey leftover from the making of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Once slaughtered the ham is cleaned and salted, where it is left to dry for two months. It is then washed and hung up to dry again, usually in a dark and well-ventilated room for 14-18 months.
This is where the parallels between the curing of cannabis flowers and ham legs become more evident. As with cannabis flower Prosciutto Di Parma is methodically produced and can be all but destroyed if it’s drying and aging process is improperly administered. The air surrounding the ham as it dries must be both damp and cool to produce the most desirable end product. The aging process will never begin if the air is too warm, and the meat will go rancid. What happens say, if the meat is too dry? It is ruined all the same. Prosciutto Di Parma and cannabis flowers are both systematically cured as a result of several shared commonalities, the desire to remove bacteria for long term storage and to magnify quality.
The Benefits of Curing Cannabis:
Let’s return to the finalization of a cannabis harvest. While the decimation of bacteria is one goal of curing what other benefits does it bring to the consumer? A well-handled cure halts both the chemical and structural degradation of the plant, maintaining components like cannabinoids and terpenes which have a propensity to evaporate or morph into less desirable chemical components. As a consumer in search of desirable flower you should look for stems that snap in favor of bending, buds devoid of any leaves, visual THC crystallization, a strong smell, no brown or black spots (which are a sign of molding) and when burned a white ash. Does your weed match the criteria? If so enjoy!
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This article was written by Gabriel Hiralal, who unfortunately passed away in 2020. Gabe was a visionary who created a pavestone for many to follow. His passion for Cannabis & human connection were ways he was able to speak with world. This piece is one tribute of the many pieces of content he has written. Rest in paradise Gabe.