Tips For Preserving The Aroma Of Your Cannabis
To preserve the smell of your cannabis, you have to save the trichomes/terpenes. Terpenes are what give the cannabis plant its cannabis smell.
After harvesting your plants, the terpenes begin to degrade, but there are several steps and tips you can follow to avoid this process—or at least delay it. If you get this right, your cannabis buds will actually have a long shelf life, will smell and taste better, and will even have a more potent effect.
Some of these tips even begin while you are still growing your cannabis, but most of them apply to the phases after harvest—and some actually apply to how you use your buds once they are completely cured.
So grab a joint and let's dive in!
Before you can harvest, you need to flush your cannabis properly to remove any excess nutrients that have built up during the growing process. This will result in a smoother smoke that burns evenly and tastes better, because the aroma and flavour can cut through more. You can recognize a good flush by the colour of the ash. Light grey or white ash indicates a thorough flushing. Black ash signals otherwise.
The right moment to begin the flush depends on your growing style. If you grow in soil, it is recommended to flush your plants with pure water 2 weeks prior to harvest time. If you grow in a hydroponic setup, you should flush your plants 10 days before harvest. Only with an organic, soil-based growing style do you not have to flush your plants for long. But you must still give them pure water for at least a week prior to the chop.
When your cannabis is ready for harvesting, you have to choose whether you want to “wet” or “dry” trim. Wet trimming means you trim your cannabis plant stalk by stalk directly after harvest and hang them upside down for the drying process. Dry trimming involves hanging the whole plant in the drying room after harvest, then trimming it when it's dry.
If you want to preserve as many terpenes as possible, you should opt for the wet trimming method. This way, you will save the most trichomes. When you dry trim, chances are you will lose a lot of trichomes because they tend to fall off a lot easier. Plus, you have to really handle the buds to trim them properly.
Some growers will say that the product is already finished at this stage, but for the best possible aroma, you should definitely go the long way and cure your cannabis properly. This will give it the finishing touch, refining it so that you end up smoking some delicious-smelling and tasting weed. We recommend the TerpLoc bags from GroveBag
Moreover, this process will increase the overall potency and cannabinoid effectiveness of your buds. So, don't skip it! To cure your cannabis, loosely add your buds to wide-mouth mason jars with an airtight seal. If you grow different strains, don't just put them all together in one jar; separate them to get the most out of each cultivar. Avoid using plastic bags for the curing process. They increase the risk of mould and mildew, and furthermore you don't want your precious buds to make contact with harmful microplastic particles. What's more, the buds are mangled together in these bags because of their shape, which will ultimately result in the loss of many trichomes and terpenes.
The temperature in your jars should be approximately 21°C, with the humidity around 60%. There exist several means on the market to ensure these conditions are consistently met, such as humidity packs. For the first two weeks, open or “burp” the jars once or twice a day to exchange air and inspect your buds. You should notice how the smell of your buds enhances over time. After two weeks, your buds should be dry to the point where you can leave them in the jars without opening them all the time. But the curing process still continues. Most growers say cannabis is properly cured after 4 weeks. But some even cure for several months.