Drying and curing marijuana is almost always done by harvesting the cannabis, letting it sit in open air until it dries, then curing in containers.
But there’s an alternative method for curing marijuana.
It’s called the water cure and it means what it says: instead of curing marijuana in air, you cure it underwater.
You use the water cure because:
- You want to remove chlorophyll and other plant compounds that make cannabis taste and smell grassy.
- You want to remove chlorophyll and other plant compounds that make cannabis concentrates, tinctures, edibles, medibles, and extracts taste too “green.”
- Your buds are contaminated with powdery mildew, other spores or biological contaminants, pest bodies or dung, or dust and debris. Water curing can wash most if not all that stuff away.
- If your buds have gray mold, keeping them submerged during the water cure stops the mold from progressing.
- Water curing marijuana can reduce scent so your herb is less stinky to smoke, and stealthier for transport.
Water curing marijuana is easy. Here’s what you do:
- Properly dry your cannabis. Read this extensive article to see how.
- Get a stainless steel or glass container large enough to hold several ounces of cannabis.
- Put cannabis into the container and cover with reverse osmosis or distilled water.
- Leave the container in a clean, dark, climate controlled place (71-75°F is best) for eight hours.
- Dump out all the water. Cover the cannabis with water again.
- Dump the water after 12 hours and refill.
- During the second full day of soaking, dump the water at noon and refill. Then 8 hours later, dump the water.
- Now place the wet cannabis on lint-free towels and/or paper towels. GENTLY press out as much water as possible.
- Put damp cannabis on a drying rack in climate control between 70-75°F and 40-47% humidity. Make sure there’s air movement and darkness.
- Check cannabis every 8 hours for mold. Immediately trash any moldy cannabis.
- If air drying isn’t working well, lower your humidity. If drying still isn’t happening fast enough, put cannabis into oven at 150°F for as long as it takes to ensure the cannabis is properly dry. The lower the oven temperature, the better.
Other useful tips for water curing marijuana:
- If you’re using the cannabis to make marijuana medibles, extracts, tinctures, or concentrates, use the drying step as a way to decarboxylate the cannabis.
- This means you put the cannabis into the oven at 250°F for between 35 minutes to an hour.
- Decarboxylating converts THCA acid-form cannabis (not psychoactive) to THC (psychoactive).
- If you don’t decarboxylate marijuana before you use it to make edible marijuana, marijuana tincture, or other products, the cannabinoids remain mostly inactive.
- Read here for a comprehensive how-to on decarboxylating marijuana.
- Gently stir the cannabis when it’s submerged in water, but I emphasize gently. If you disturb the buds too much, some resin glands will fall off.
- You may need a dehumidifier in your drying room.
Water curing produces a different taste and smell than air-curing.
Experiment with this little-used way of drying and curing cannabis, and see if you like it better than curing marijuana in air.